Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just taking a moment to wish each & every one of you a wonderful, welcoming into 2012. I hope 2011 was good to you and that you look forward to 2012.


We are having a quiet celebration at home. Hubby is still reuping from the knee surgery and small jaunts out are about all we can manage right now. Very much looking forward to our friends from Texas coming to visit us tomorrow! Not very happy about how many Cherry Bottle Caps are in the box I am currently eating (there have to be at least 20 piled up already)

I am looking forward to 2012. Looking forward to many more opportunities in life and happiness. Exploring many different options. Continuing my blog & hopefully getting back into the flow of pictures.  I hope your 2012 looks just as prospective.

Cheers my friends!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thought of the Day

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. —Rumi

Cheers! 
Hope you had a wonderful day. I am happy to report the black eyed peas turned out so yummy! Slight miscalculation in the beginning.  Added too much water and they weren't cooking properly, so I drained off some water, turned the heat up & they were so good!  I even got the (for now) bland eating, chicken & rice, hubby to try some & he liked them! 

So here is what I thought about today while working from home. Why is it we are inclined/drawn to watch TV shows that if someone walked in on us we would change the channel. I admit, I am guilty of this. I like to indulge myself in stupid reality shows and would never want to get caught watching them. Ha! Other times I might feel like a good cry so I watch sappy shows or movies that cause me to cry. Bah! 

I worked from the dining room today & the cleaning lady was here. I suspect this pondering question probably comes from something she had on the TV. Although I'm not quite sure what she was watching. I was subliminally listening to the sounds. 

I leave you with that thought. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rambling

My muse sleeps a restful sleep.
Yet my muse does not look very comfortable.

My pups are passed out asleep.
Yet my pups insist on sleeping on separate beds.

My bed looks so comfy.
Yet I must expel my thoughts before I can rest.

Nonie's Crock Pot appears again

Nonie's crock pot will be making an appearance again tomorrow. I can't wait until New Years Day for some yummy black eyed peas so I am soaking the beans tonight & making them tomorrow. Bonus...I am working from home tomorrow so I will get to smell these yummy puppies cooking all day.

Pretty good day overall today. Our friends from Texas are getting closer. Can't wait for their visit. Cough is  starting to sound better.

Hope your day went well. Tell me what you're cooking in your crock pot.

By the way, I did manage to keep most of my holiday shopping local this year. And while I was not able to pay it forward every day during the 12 days of christmas I did try my best.

Cheers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bottle Caps, Runts & Red Licorice

Who would have thought that such simple little treats could make so many so happy!

Bottle Caps, Runts and Red Licorice. I could probably make up a song about these 3 things that make me happy! But like all things that make me happy, I like to pick them apart. Only certain flavors, certain colors or certain shapes.


Bottle Caps
Bottle Caps..oh such a wonderful little treat. Thanks to my friend Vinny I now get to have Bottle Caps more often than just Halloween (when they are a popular treat!). Vinny has taken it upon himself to take up my quest for bottle caps every time he goes to a flea market, toy show or other event that may have candy vendors at them. My Christmas gift from Vinnie was 4 movie size boxes of bottle caps. Yahoo! Before that he found me several rolls of bottle caps to take on our trip to Texas. But my favorite flavors of Bottle Caps are Cola & Root Beer! Oh yum, yum, yum.  Next in line would be Orange & Grape. Ones that I never, ever eat..Cherry. Way too sour for me. And i eat my bottle caps in the order. I pour some out, separate the flavors & than munch away!



Runts 
Runts are another of my favorite treats. And yet another treat that I only like certain flavors. First & foremost you always should eat the bananas. Than the cherries. Next onto grapes. Lastly & only if you don't feel you've had your fill you should eat the orange. Limes are a never in this bunch.


Red Licorice 
Yet another one of those delicious treats. Thankfully this one doesn't have many options that you have to choose between colors. Just size. Sometimes you can be in the mood for a Nib and other times for a rope. Anyone for a roll of red licorice?



I have a thing about separating M&M's too. Separate by color, than start with the pile that has the most colors in in! LOL 

What are some of your favorite snacking candies & what weird habits do you have with your snacking candies? Or am I the only one? 

Cheers! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day after Merry Christmas

Hope you all had a wonderful christmas.
Ours was simple, easy and quick!
Now onto New Year's and welcoming 2012.

Hubby is on the mend. Hard to believe it will be a week tomorrow since he had knee surgery. I am on the mend as well. Finally spent most of last night able to sleep without coughing uncontrollably. Hands are hurting and today I finally broke down and took some advil for it. I get frustrated because I can't understand why they hurt but than simple conversations make me realize that I am doing so much more now than I am used to. People really do take for granted the things other people do for them.

Here are a  few of the things I am thankful to my hubby for doing: 
1) coal--filling the hopper and dumping the ash.
2) carrying laundry down for me
3) cleaning the bathroom
4) helping me make dinner
5) carrying in packages
6) driving
7) helping to bath the pups

Hope you all are enjoying the down time of the holiday season.

Friday, December 23, 2011

thoughts

Where has the time gone? I can't believe tomorrow is already christmas eve. Seems like it just snuck up this year.

That annoying little cough from Sunday...well that turned into bronchitis. Kudos to hubby for calling it before he went into surgery on Tuesday. He said-you have bronchitis. I couldn't believe when I found out he was right. I've only had it 2 other times so I have no idea how he knew.

Worked from home today. That was a fun experience. I am thankful to work for a company that allows me the opportunity to work from home as needed. Will probably do it a couple days next week.

Today there was a bridal shower held at our house for a family member who is getting married in July. It was a lovely shower-simple. The bride was hoping to not have a shower but shared her gratitude that it was kept simple and was filled with memories and love. Much love and happiness to her & her groom to be.

My aunt & uncle are celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary today. I love them both to pieces. They had such an influence in my life.

Tomorrow..tackle the last of the christmas shopping. Hopefully get hubby on his first adventure out of the house since the knee surgery. Perhaps make some clams, steak & shrimp for dinner. Hopefully get some well needed rest. Sunday is christmas day & monday is a holiday for me.

Hope everyone is doing well & ready for the holiday. Merry Christmas to you & Cheers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Knee Surgery; dealing with pain; inspiration

Simple words tonight and an apology for not posting sooner. I believe in my last post I said I had a few days I had to get past. We've crossed the first hurdle.

Husband had knee surgery yesterday. Torn ACL, torn meniscus, long day at the hospital, long recovery road ahead.  I try to help him as much as I can but I don't always get it right and that frustrates me. I feel like I should just be able to step in and understand what is needed.

Frustrated with myself as well because my hands are not playing well. I have undetermined pain in my wrists and forearms. Lots of testing has been done for carpal tunnel and it's not that. Sometimes the pain limits me and aggravates me. Someday I will learn how to work past the pain. I hope!

So tonight I leave you with some simple images. Inspire and be inspired. I am happy to have lots of people in my life who inspire me.





Cheers!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekend Blahs/Love Local Shopping!

Sorry for not posting as regularly as I would like. Life has slowed me down a bit the past few days.
Not uncommon for this time of year. Just a few more days & things should start looking up again. A little frustrated that I've developed a cough and I don't know it's origin. Don't have time to be slowed down right now.

But I am happy to report I did get some christmas shopping done this weekend and I managed to keep it local. Found a great little shop. It's near my office and I've been wanting to get there but could just never find the time. Well Saturday I made the time. Check them out  Earth & Wears facebook page





Some other great sites!
Lyn's Etsy Shop
Lyn's pottery teachers shop
her daughter's shop
breaker brewing company-I work w/ these guys at a real job! LOL







oh-zie Designs.  - I've mentioned Kim's shop before. She makes awesome hats & fingerless gloves. This year she added fleece to the design & I'm even more in love. My fingers are normally okay but lately I find it's my wrists that are bothering me alot. Kim's recycled T-shirts & fleece hand warmers are the perfect thing. They keep my wrists warm, they allow me to move my fingers freely. My thumb can easily move in or out of the glove & they are so fashionable I can match them with any outfit!



Hoping this one ends up under the christmas tree!



Next up on the agenda. Making some redneck wine glasses for gifts! 



Cheers!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gratitude



Tonight I am thankful for the simple things in life. A new computer chair, a new mouse for the computer, yummy food to put in my belly and great company! 





Thursday, December 15, 2011

Whirlwind of Life

Just got done watching a heart touching/soul moving movie. The Help.
Brought me to tears, made me laugh, I couldn't stop watching it and admiring all the characters. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454029/
If you get the chance--watch it.

Simple words tonight. Today has been one of those whirlwind days that kind of sweeps you off your feet.

Hope you all are doing well & just about ready for Christmas. Me--I'm still not. The stocking stuffers are bought and I've only bought a few presents. Guess my Christmas Eve shopping partner will not be heading out with me. I'll try to get some shopping done this weekend.

Leaving you with this picture I've had on my desktop for a few days. Was just looking for the right time to share it.


Cheers!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Memories


 So I have a smile on my face tonight that I don't know anyone could knock off. Got some awesome news from wonderful friends and they made my night! The call couldn't have come at a better time and the news was welcomed with tears of joys.

I am so thankful to have such wonderful people in my life.


So being that I am on a high (joyous) feeling, I also felt a little nostalgic and decided to share some old family photos with you.

This was my family in the 1980's. L-R Kerrie, David, Me, Mom, Johnny Ray, Standing-my father.
There are lots of stories to this family picture. I laugh as I am writing this because John and I just had a discussion the other day about the table in this picture. The table held all my grade school writings! I apparently was a hard writer (and now a hard typer) and it always went thru the paper into the wood. I broke a toe on one of the 4 benches that went around the table. We brought the table home in a snow storm. The table moved to NM with us in 1986. That's alot of memories for a table! 
The wallpaper was my mother's special. She wanted the feel of old newspaper in our dining room. Personally, it always reminded me of the tables at Wendy's restaurant. Anyway but the time we moved out of this place, I could tell you just about all the headlines from that newspaper wallpaper! 
The hurricane lamp on the table. My mom had an obsession with hurricane lamps. I don't know if she was worried about losing power and we would need lamps or what but they were all over the house. One of my memories about this room was when we first moved in. Guess I should set the scene for you. This picture was taken at 235 Rutter Ave, Kingston, PA which was (and may be again) a 4 apt building complex. When we moved in we converted the 2 upstairs apts to 1 living quarter with a connecting hallway. So this dining room was actually (I think) a bedroom on the right side of the house. On the left side of the house it was a laundry room & my own personal kitchen. But back to my memory. We had a long day of moving things in. Mom was exhausted. Dad wasn't around. Not sure if he went on a fire call or to the bar for a drink. Mom set two chairs around a box, set some candles out,  put a pie plate down, poured some Reese's Pieces (this was the time of ET the movie) in the pie plate & told me that was our dinner.  So mom & I sat in the new home having Reese's Pieces for dinner by candle light. At a later date we also had some really horrible chicken livers (after the Bloomsburg State Fair) that even the cat wouldn't eat them. 
The picture was taken by JB Earl of Earl & Sedor Photography. At the time he was dating my sister. This was one of many family pictures he did for us. I'm glad he captured this memory. Who knew what the short future for us would hold. 
For my brothers & sister to be at our house, all together was a rare occurance. Typically, my brothers & sister did not get along with my father and chose not to be around often.
Don't you just love that little orphan annie perm I'm sporting. My mom used to give me my perms. I'll never forget it because it was so tight & I remember looking at the JC Penny catalog before school started and saying...why don't you just buy me little orphan annie clothes & dye my hair red. LOL 
WOW! That's alot of story for one little picture! 






This is my brother David A. Davis
So I know I've written about my brother Dave before, when my nephew got shipped to Afghanistan.  But I found this picture on my drive and wanted to share it with you. My brother Dave passed away in Nov 1986 due to suicide. We aren't supposed to talk about how he died. If memory serves me right he was 18 yrs old when he passed. My sister got married in Sept 1986, Dave died in Nov 1986, by Dec 1986 we were in a Uhaul heading to NM, leaving our family, our memories and our life behind. Yes my brother Dave was a goof. He was a big kid-well over 6 feet tall. He felt clumsy in his body. He was awkward and felt that making people laugh was a good way to ease the tensions.  Dave loved all and had a sweet heart. He loved my mother's canned peaches. He would come over to steal them from the basement & when mom would realized they were gone she would just remind him to bring her canning jars back. 
Dave was the only person I know who broke his knee falling off the ski lift on the way up the slope. I remember going over to see him after it happened. Being that I was several years younger & by far always shorter, I had a blast playing with this crutches. 
Dave used to drive a purple Chevy Nova. What an awesome car. He did donuts in the parking lot of Pierce St Pharmacy. Funny thing about that Chevy Nova, it was my mom's pea green Chevy Nova that I used to be embarrased to be seen in. I would duck down in the seat when we passed people we knew. But after Dave transformed it, it was a cool car. 
I wish my husband could have met my brother. I think they would have gotten along well. While Dave may be long gone and we are not allowed to talk about him in the family...he holds a very special place in my heart. I turn to him with questions, I share important events with him and I talk about him whenever I get the chance. I know alot of people think suicide is a selfish act, on and on and on. But until you been in the shoes of a suicide relative, you'll never understand what that person was feeling or thinking. As a young teenager I idolized my brother and thought that if I had the guts to do what he did (commit suicide) that my life would get better. Than I outgrew that phase/depression and I learned to love my memories of my brother. I made myself a promise that I would share him with everyone I meet and I do.  I talk about my brother when people are talking about suicides. I don't hide it. It's not a bade of courage that I wear but a badge of honor. Yes my brother was a troubled person but he was my brother and he was very loved. He just never got the chance for me to tell him that! 

We didn't have an easy life. I was my father's only child. My siblings are from a different father. But I love my brothers just the same. I grew up with (what is technically called) an intact family, my siblings grew up with their grandparents.  We only saw them on weekends & holidays. They went to a different school than me. They were raised differently than me. My mother paid child support in the 1970's, their father did not. 

Well that's enough memories for one night. Cheers! 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nonie's Crockpot

Did you miss me? I missed writing for you.  Sorry but it's been a busy couple of days.



To start you off, hubby got an 8 point buck on Saturday morning. So proud of him. I was laying in bed, lazily thinking about how he would be out of the woods soon and we could go for breakfast when I heard the shot. I reached over & checked my phone. 8:08AM. He called about 15 minutes later to verify that indeed it was his shot and the boy went right down. What a beautiful boy it is too. Caught on the last day of rifle season here in NEPA. Meat in our freezer and a great new mount to add to the wall.
So our day was spent around the deer & deer related activities.






Nonie's Crockpot...I love this thing.

When Nonie passed away everyone was invited into the home to take something to remember Nonie by. John and I went together. I choose Nonie's crockpot & bakeware. Some thought I was crazy to want a 1970's orange crockpot. But they know not the silliness of their ways. This crockpot is a thing of beauty. This crockpot has made many helpings of venison chili, black eyed peas, beef stew and tonight a awesome chili to warm a cold night.

Today I had 2 crock pots going. I wanted to make sure we have some meals ready to go for the week & figured the crockpot was the fastest, easiest way to get multiple meals done. In total I have 3 crock pots. Each have unique abilities. Nonie's is old fashioned, cooks well, traditional round style.  Good for chili, soups & black eyed peas on New Years Day. My newest crock pot is a 7 quarter that holds alot more food than 2 people can consume in one meal. Good for stews and things that hold up for a few days. My oldest crock pot is a two piecer. The base can also be used as a hot skillet. The container itself is metal, storable & the perfect size for 2 people. Good for pork & sauerkraut! Yum.

So today I had chili going in Nonie's crock pot & a hearty beef stew in the 7 quarter. The house smelled delicious. I set the chili to finish in 4 hours so we would have some for dinner & set the beef stew on an 8 hour cook. Chili turned out awesome! I've always done my chili on the stove in a dutch oven so I wasn't sure how it would turn out in the crock pot. But no worries. Just as good as the dutch oven.

I've been following a blog about cooking in the crock pot. It's amazing to me the things you can do with your crock pot. Bake in it, make drinks in it, make a whole entire meal in 3 or 4 crocks. Wow.
http://www.crockpotgirls.net/http://www.crockpotgirls.net/

And last but not least a shout out to our friend Jaime who turned me onto a great new recipe that I never considered trying. Chicken & White Chili. She used a recipe from Giada and it tasted awesome. When I asked for the recipe I was shocked to see it had swiss chard in it. I thought the green stuff was spinach or something. Swiss Chard was a nice surprise. And Giada/Jaime's recipe used ground chicken. So while I was in the store today debating what to make, I chose to pass on the back of the can recipe as it did not use ground chicken. It wanted you to pull chicken breasts apart. So maybe next weekend that recipe will get a try.

Hope you had a good weekend as well. Tomorrow is 12-12-11 (no significance just like the way it looks).

Cheers!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Simple-Pay it Forward-12 days of christmas

Just a simple post tonight. 




Asking you all to head on over to this website & check out the 12 days of christmas from pay it forward.

www.chicagonow.com/chain-links

I hope you'll challenge yourself to one or all of the 12 days items suggested or participate in your own way.

I guarantee you seeing someone else smile by your random act of kindness will bring a smile to you.



Cheers my friends!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Walk by Moonlight


My dad used to ask me, quite often, if I needed an "attitude adjustment".  In order to help me understand what an attitude adjustment was, he would play Hank Williams Jr on the cassette player in the pick up truck.

Well tonight I needed an attitude adjustment and I am quite thankful for my husband and his much kinder ways than my father. We took a walk by moonlight. Rather than just walking the driveway, we suited up and walked around the woods in the newly fallen snow. It was a fun time. Decompressing, taking in the sights, the scents and the sounds. He showed me new deer rubbings that I had not seen before.  He also showed me tracks that I thought were from the dogs & showed me how to tell that it was really a deer track.


We walked, we talked, we absorbed, we observed & I released. It was much needed decompression and I am thankful to him for having that sense about him to know I needed to decompress and knowing the perfect way to do it.



Hope you have a wonderful Thursday evening.
Cheers!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Several topics tonight

 Several thing bouncing around in my head. 

1) I fully intend to get out and take pictures of Christmas Lights (not sure when). But until than, I want to take the time to thank all of those beautiful people who decorate their houses with lights. While I may not feel in the Christmas spirit this year, the houses so beautifully decorated with lights brings a smile to my heart. I love seeing what people put on display.
Bundled up for the snow.



2) Around this time of year I often think of my husband's grandmother "Nonie". Nonie touched me in such a special way. She was a woman of grace and taught me the finer points of being a lady. I can still picture Nonie getting bundled up every morning for the drive down to her house. And than when she would come home, I would sit in the kitchen & talk to her. Nonie knew that this simple gal was good for her Johnnie Boy and she could overlook any imperfections that I may have felt were hard to over look.
 (Sorry, I can't get my picture of her to upload.)



3) A dear friend of mine (Michelle P-W http://www.omwithmichelle.com/ )- shared this blog post on her facebook page & I wanted to share it with you. Touches home on so many points and not just for those who are in the final stages of their life. http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2011/06/23/regrets/


So I hope you read Paulo's blog post...because here goes...
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This is something I struggle with at times and have become much stronger about in the last few years. I know realize that I do not have to live my life to please others. Only I need to be happy with the decisions that I make. 


2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. I'm okay with this one. I know my limits and most of the time I know when enough is enough. 



3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. I'm about 50/50 with this one. Some people would say I have no filter while others would say I filter myself too much. I can openly express my feelings of love, appreciation & compassion. It's my feelings of disappointment, regret, and let down that I tend to fight with. 
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. So while you may only hear from me at Christmas time or a once a year birthday card, know that I am making an attempt to stay in touch with you. My life has been touched by many people and I am grateful for all of you. 


5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. While people may think me silly, childish, afraid to grow up, they are wrong. The things I do to keep myself happy also keep me young. I still color in coloring books, I still wear furry animal hats and furry animal slippers (not necessarily at the same time). I still add stickers to my letters. I still draw a smiley face after my name. Allow yourself to be happier, do silly things, laugh & cry for no reason & I believe you will life a much younger life. 




Gus and I being HAPPY during our Texas visit! 



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Paying it Forward

 I am a firm believer in the action of "paying it forward". Be it with a simple smile, a kind word, a heartfelt note to someone in need or paying for the person in line behind me at the drive thru. I believe kindness starts with me.


I have been following a Caring Bridge Journal for sometime now and want to share it with you. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/patrickplys/journal/1





Patrick Plys son, Chris Plys, was in the olympics and I believe that is where I first heard about Patrick's story. Patrick's wife Laura writes beautiful entries in their caring bridge journal and inspires me with her writings. There are so many things I would love to share with you about Patrick. I"ve never met him but feel like I know him thru following their story. Patrick recently had a birthday & asked that everyone send him a birthday card to help celebrate his birthday. Imagine their surprise when they were overwhelmed with over 300 birthday cards. Each & every card was read by the family (in shifts). 


But recently Patrick & Laura were told by the doctors that they have exhausted all resources in Patrick's fight.  I cried as I read that entry. Than today I cried again when I read how many birthday cards they received & that they read each one.

**UPDATE** it is with tears in my eyes that I write this. Patrick ended his battle on Friday 1/6/12. He fought the good fight and did so with Joy in his heart. Until the end Patrick believed that "Miracles Do Happen!" While I know that Patrick is now an angel watching over his family, I am saddened at his passing. My gratefulness goes out to his wife Laura and all their children for openly choosing to share Patrick's journey on the web. I hope in turn the whole world will hold you in the palm of their hand during this sorrowful time. ****

So I will be including them in my Christmas Card list and sending a card. I hope that you will think about them & possibly include them in your list as well.

Patrick & Laura Plys
4120 Gilliat St
Duluth, MN 55804

I tell you..these Minnesota people that have been popping up in my life lately have touched me dearly. Thanks you Minnesotans.

Cheers all!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Made in America/Keeping it Local

Earlier today I posted on Facebook that I like buying locally for christmas gifts. Most of the time when I buy locally, I know the artisan making the product and I feel good knowing that a locally purchased (made) Christmas Gift is a two fold gift. Not only is it going to the recipient I intended it for, but in turn I am providing the artisan with a method to provide their own christmas gifts (money).

I spent a good portion of my day pondering if I could manage to do all of my christmas shopping locally this year. I should tell you that the gift I purchased this morning was the first Christmas shopping I've done this year, so probably buying locally would be a good thing as I won't have to spend money on shipping, often expedited shipping, extra waste in packaging, the angst of worrying if it will get here on time, blah, blah, blah.

So tonight as I casually listened to the TV, Diane Swayer ran a piece about Made in America (here is the link: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/MadeInAmerica/mailform?id=12912252 )
They were talking about how people are taking the pledge to only purchase christmas gifts made in America. How parents were getting children involved in their mission. How people spent alot of time looking at the packaging to see where it was made.

So here is my challenge to you and to myself. Maybe not everyday, but when you are in the grocery store, department store, drug store...take the time to make sure one of the items you are picking up was "made in america".


I will also try to keep my gift purchasing for christmas local. I've already got several ideas in mind.


P.S.
One more thing for you to check out. Have you ever used flavored salts in your cooking?  Have you wondered where to get them? You don't have to. YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN. I've been viewing several recipes for flavored and smoked salts and am thinking what cool gifts they would make. Showers, Christmas, Housewarming, Host/Hostess, etc. Let me know if your interested & I'll post in another blog.

Thanks again for sharing in my pleasure.
Cheers!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Off Days

Sorry for not posting. Just having a few off days here. Days where you get the creepy crawly feelings and can't shake them. As far as I know I have no reason for these happening, today at least.

So yesterday my 2nd nephew deployed for Afghanistan. Wishing him lots of luck and lots of positive vibes are being sent to his new wife.

Matthew & Brittany Simms 11-11-11 

Matthew Simms day before deployment & with his new promotion!


So how many nephews do I have that I have to refer to them...lol...My oldest nephew is Joshua, than there is Matthew, than my niece Kimber and than my 3rd nephew Zachary. All my sisters kids. All kids that I didn't have a lot of interaction with because of living in NM most of their lives and than not speaking to my sister for most of the other time.  They are all great kids and I am glad to reconnect with each of them via Facebook. 


I also have two nephews by marriage. Two beautiful little boys that I am very proud of. Ennis is 5 and currently living in Canada with his dad. Ennis and I connect via his love for books & stickers.  Liam is 11 months and lives in NY. Liam was born 6 weeks early and is quite a handsome little dude. I suspect he will be walking before Christmas. Right now he is big on clapping.


Weather here is still abnormally beautiful & I am loving it. Sucks for the deer hunters, too warm for deer to move. News is on the TV now. Talk about some possible snow this week. Keeping my fingers crossed that the buck is brought home for our freezer! 


So til tomorrow. I hope you have a great night! Cheers! 



Friday, December 2, 2011

Little Surprises...

It's the little surprises in life that make you smile more often.

Surprises like reaching into a winter jacket, at the end of a long day, and finding that you have a pair of warm, cozy gloves waiting for you in the pockets. So carelessly stowed away in the spring is now lovingly found with joy. Your hands rejoice that you have once again thought of them. Little do they know it was done with carelessness when the weather started turning warmer and the coat got more and more forgotten.


Surprises like reaching into a pair of pants and finding money that you forgot you had left in there.

Surprises like finding little treats in purses stored away during season changes. Treats like lipstick, change, love notes, gift cards.

These surprises are all such fun things and ones that we forget happen from season to season. Tonight I am thankful for those found warm, cozy gloves and in the spring I will be thankful for more found things.

Joy for this Friday Evening. Play Safe.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

jumbling thoughts..tis the season

Wow! So many thoughts bouncing around in my head tonight. Hard to settle them down.


But, I saw this quote and wanted to share.

"You're never fully dressed without a smile." -Martin Charnin


I often toy with this idea when I am doing my self portraits. Do I smile or do I try to portray a serious image. Even though I often opt for the serious image look, I think the smile tends to come thru the eyes. 


When I started in customer service (many years ago) they gave us a pocket mirror to put on our desk. We were told to look in the mirror every time we answered the phone. The point was "people can hear your smile". Now many years later when I answer my office phone it is about 98% of the time with that smile in my voice.


So tonight I am allowing my jumbling, bouncing thoughts to have some time doing what they do and I am sharing my smile with you. 


Cheers! 








  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November coming to an end

Yet another beautiful November day. Even though it rained, it was unseasonably warm and beautiful.

Tomorrow is the last day in the month of November and I stop to reflect. Where has yet another year gone. Have I spent most of the year wishing it away? Waiting in anticipation of things to come? What do I do after they get here--wait in anticipation of more things to come?  Often times I think I take pictures of so many things because I can't cram all the images, thoughts, memories and events into my brain and I don't want to miss any part of anything. I want to be able to take it all in. To enjoy every scent, every image, every feeling.

So with that being said...I went back thru some pictures from earlier this year and reflected on my thoughts and feelings when I took them. Sharing with you some pictures of the mighty susquehanna river. Before creating this day for myself, my last memory of watching the susquehanna flood was around 1976. I remember standing at the top of the stairs & watching the water lap up. I was too young to know or understand the feelings people were having from the flood of 1972. This year has created new understandings for me of those feelings. The sense of loss, devestation, recovery.




Taken from the stairs I remember standing on as a child in 1972
A friend and I were discussing the differences between being the first born & the last born. We were discussing how with the first child most people are cautious, hesitant, more home bound. With the 2nd & following kids the parents are more laid back, more ready to just pick up and go.  He mentioned that in the first 5 weeks of his 2nd child's life the child has experienced a flood, an earthquake & a hurricane. This kiddo was only born in August 2011. It made me wonder if his child will grow up hearing about the flood of 2011 the same way we grew up hearing about Agnes-the flood of 1972.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Beautiful November Day

Not a great first day for hunters in NEPA. Weather was too warm and the deer didn't want to move...but man oh man..what a beautiful day!

As I sit here writing this, it is 56 degrees out and we have the bedroom windows open. So beautiful. The pups could stay outside as long as they want. No fear of them becoming popsicles. Last night the moon was a thumbnail, today it is a tad bigger. Maybe more of a sliver shape. Clear skies so the moon can be seen clearly.

I did make it out at lunch today and it was a beautiful, sunny day. I am writing about this so when next year we are piled deep in snow, freezing weather and ice...I can reflect back on this day and how beautiful it was. Don't get me wrong, I think the snow and freezing weather are beautiful as well--when someone else is driving.  But it's nice not to worry about having to save days off for snow days.

Hope the weather where you are is just as beautiful and in the same breath I hope for more favorable weather for the hunters tomorrow. A tad cooler, a little more overcast....things that make the deer move.

Hugs!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

day before deer season in NEPA

Another beautiful sunny, Sunday out there. My girls are outside getting their dose of vitamin D & I hope to be joining them shortly.  Few errands to run before I can.

Tomorrow is the first day of deer here in NEPA. I think it's considered a holiday for most. Schools close, men schedule vacation time, wives empty out the freezers in anticipation. What is my role in all this? My errands this morning consist of helping the man get ready. Buying clothes, hanging the stand, making sure we know where everything is that he will need in the AM. Than tomorrow I will groggily wish him good luck & than fall back asleep until it is time to get the pups up and leash walk them before heading off to work at an appropriate enough time so as not to disturb the deer that may be crossing. I will wait with anticipation for the phone call to tell me that he got the handsome buck that we've been watching, than I will be calling around for prices on a freezer. When I get home the deer will be ready for pictures (my favorite part) and than off we'll go to the butcher. When the meat comes home, there will be lots of chili, kielbasa & roasts made. Yum! I like the benefits of deer season.

Hoping to get out for some pictures today. Did not make it to Hillside Farms yesterday. But I did find lots of fun stuff at the Red Cross Craft show. Hats, fingerless gloves, fork necklaces, pottery for my brother.

Enjoy your day! Hope the sun is shining where you are.

Cheers!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturdays!

If you noticed, I am sorry for not posting yesterday. The day got the better of me and I was asleep before I knew it. Oops. But I do promise to make it up to you today. I've been a busy little beaver this morning (2 cups of coffee can help facilitate that).

1) Uploaded my Turkey Day pictures, want to share some with you.
2) Beautiful, unseasonably beautiful weather for NEPA in late November. I am loving it. I can't wait to get out & play in it some more. More pictures at the park-I'm thinking! I found some new places I want to explore.
3) Support local business Saturday! I will be doing my part. Today is the Red Cross Craft Show at the Kingston Armory & I know 2 vendors I've made contact with & want to hit up. But I think I will find lots of other fun stuff there too.  (Plus I'm taking my camera to try & get some awesome pics inside the armory) Than I hope to hit Hillside Farms up after that. Both with my camera & my wallet. A small serving of milk is on the agenda for this lactose intolerant gal.

So to get you started...while you wait in anticipation of my day..here are some pics I wanted to share with you!
Kisses!




This is from a new album idea I am toying with. Morning Drive. Couldn't resist snapping this little guys picture. He  held on for most of my drive.


Pumpkin in the swamp. Accompanied by a "root ball"




Ducks in a newly formed pond



Francis Slocum State Park on Turkey Day



These are the beautiful geese I wrote about the other day. I tried to get them as they were coming in for a landing, just gracing the water but my camera acted up. I was glad to find this picture in the pile this AM. 





Francis Slocum State Park. Turkey Day 2011. Leaving you with the calm, serenity this picture provides. I hope you have a calm, serene day. 


Cheers! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. A special thanks to my friends that shared special pictures and thoughts with me today.

I spent Thanksgiving enjoying a cozy little dinner for two at a restaurant. Thanks to my hubby for the wonderful company & conversation. It was quaint, it was intimate & it was just perfect.

I spent the morning attempting to take some artsy type photos at our local state park. I think some turned out well but the one I really wanted didn't turn out. As I was walking up to the boat launch, I heard some geese in the distance. This was a great sound as it was just me, the water, the wind & the sun in the launch area. I turned to look for the geese & saw they were in a beautiful formation not too far from me. I pulled up the 35 mm to take some pics (I just believe the pics on the 35 mm turn out better) and ran into an error. So than I scrambled to turn the digital on & it is older so it just wouldn't get to where I needed to be. So I finally took a deep breath, relaxed and enjoyed the view before me. Those beautiful geese came in for a landing on the water & it was one of the most awesome sights I have seen. Graceful, beautiful, peaceful, tranquil.

My whole morning was filled with grace, beauty, peace & tranquility. I saw about a dozen deer on my drive over to the park. Followed by about 2 dozen ducks in a pond near a new housing development, than the geese at the park. That was a new part of the park for me to explore & I can't wait to get back there & spend some more time. I even packed my hiking boots today not knowing what I felt like doing. Every time I go to the park it seems like news things pop out at me. Today I found two new parking spaces & a new trail to explore. Can't wait.

So I'll leave you tonight with an artsy photo I took this summer. This was around the time of our flooding in 2011.


Enjoy your many blessings, find peace, light and love in all that you do. Love yourself always.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eve of Thanksgiving

It is the eve of thanksgiving. People are sending messages back & forth wishing each other a happy thanksgiving, posting what they are grateful for. Right about now, I am grateful to have a long weekend, a loving husband who likes to dote on me and a bed filled with warm pups waiting to cuddle up with their mom.

But in all seriousness, there are lots of things I am thankful for this holiday season.
1) My husband. I am such a lucky gal to have married such a wonderful man. Thanks for making me smile & laugh. xoxo
2) My brother. I've written about my brother Dave who has passed on, but my brother John is very special to me to. We may not be as close as siblings should be, or do the normal family things siblings should do. But he is never far from my thoughts.
3) My friends. We really do have a lot of friends in our life. Maybe they aren't friends that you get to talk to every day or even every week. But when you do catch up with them they bring such a smile to your face.
4) My job. As much as it aggravates me when I am trying to learn something new and don't have the proper resources, I am thankful to have my job and work with the same group of people for several years now.
5) My hometown. I am happy to be back in NEPA and reconnecting with old acquaintances.

I hope you are inspired to think about 5 things you are thankful for during this thankful holiday season.

Many Cheers & Joys!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rumi

Rumi is a 13th century Persian poet that my yoga instructor turned me onto. I can't thank my yoga instructor enough. Rumi's words always touch me.

Sharing some simple words with you tonight.


THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tired

Feeling very tired tonight. Possibly the weather, a little cold & gloomy today. Possibly coming down with something, helped myself to two glasses of OJ and 2 bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup w/ lots of yummy garlic in it.  What ever it is causing my tiredness I am determined to beat it. I even brought a banana up to bed with me thinking that may help in some way. lol

So sorry for the short post and lack of inspiration. But I will leave you with a new picture. I did get my hair done & am in love with it. New color & new cut!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So I've been playing with the idea in my head that it takes 30 days of continuously doing something for it to become a habit. Playing with it, because I keep telling myself if I can do my blog for 30 days straight than things will continue to flow out of me and people will continue to be inspired.

Today my 30 days challenge was confirmed via an email. The subject of the email was called "The 100 day challenge". It was about a local yoga studio student and how she started her yoga practice. She started on a 30 day challenge, was proud of herself for accomplishing that. Went on to 40 days, than 60 days, than 100 days. She said each day it was easier to carve a niche of time to do what she now felt a devotion to. This is a student that only goes to the yoga studio 1 night a week, the rest of her practice is first AM in the studio or getting up at 5AM to put an hour in before she wakes her daughter up. She is now at 199 days.

She almost mentioned something else that plagues me at times. She can't seem to stop the conversations in her head. While she may be on the mat & doing her practice, her mind is still having conversations that she can't seem to quiet. That happens to me a lot & that was some of the reason I started my blog.  I figured I have all these conversations going on, why not share them with the world. Better than trying to stiffle them and letting them fester til a later date.

So I am now on day 8 of posting with 22 more to go for it to become a habit. I am loving this experience and the horizons it has opened to me.

Many more journeys to come, I assure you of that.
*Namaste*

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beautiful, Simple Day

Today was such a beautiful, simple day.
The sun was shining, kissing us with rays of golden love.
The warmth felt like a wonderful, welcome embrace.

Some necessary shopping this AM. A stop at the library. A nap with hubby & pups followed by a nice dinner.




I like simple, beautiful days!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lights in the Night Sky

It seems in the last few days I have heard the same saying or something close to it over & over again.

-When you look up in the night sky and see the stars, know that someone you love is looking down on   you-

As we were driving back from picking up dinner and a movie tonight, I pondered that idea. I know the idea that someone watching over you is not a real portrait of reality but a means to make an uncomfortable situation more bearable. The thought that someone you love is as close as the stars in the sky.

My mother always taught me that when someone dies, they are never far away from you. She taught me to see my loved ones in the wind blowing the trees, the flowers showering us with the pretty blooms, the sun warming us with it's rays.

When my brother passed away it was a very difficult time for all of us. Sometimes I felt like I was being punished because almost a month after he passed away we were on the road (in a Hertz truck) moving to NM. Unlike other people that I knew, I didn't have a grave that I could go to visit. I couldn't just go to sit & talk with him. In time, I did learn to see my brother in all the things around me. Sometimes I even imagined he was holding my hand as I went thru some very difficult choices.

Yesterday I was shocked yet again. I saw a picture of my youngest nephew & was blown away. I can't get over how much of my brother I see in him. He is turning into such a handsome young man. I wanted to tell him how much he reminded me of my brother but held back because I don't know how much he knows of my brother. I don't know if my sister shares those memories, those thoughts with her children. I know my future children will know of all the wonderful people who touched their life without them ever having met them.

I will explain to my future children why a slight breeze can bring a smile to my face, why certain scents can bring a tear to my eye. I will make sure that my future children know to cherish those they love and remember them even after they have left this life.

I believe in writing letters to those who are no longer with us. I believe in having conversations with those who are gone. And I do believe that my husband's grandmother's spirit plays inside a certain little cat of ours.

Memories are a wonderful thing. A thing of beauty to be shared.

Peace & Love

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Life

So after a very long day at work, I was trying to decide what I would write my blog about tonight. I thought I'd show you some new pictures of my hair, but the camera battery died and it's late.

Thanks to El Sed for providing me some inspiration tonight. As I was sitting here plugging away at facebook, I hear an odd noise coming from across the room. Than the TV goes on mute. I reluctantly turn my head to see if what I am hearing is real. Good old El Sed cracks up in laughter. Amused by my befuddled look, I suppose.


So what could he have been doing that would warrant a blog post, you ask? Well there are many things he could have been doing. He is after all my husband and loves to make me laugh. But tonight, tonight there are no words to share. Just a picture for your viewing pleasure.


This is the song I heard....



And all of that was followed up by him asking me to spell for him...mathematically. I had to type it out to spell it for him.


So I end with  "conjunction junction what's your function". I hope it's stuck in your head now too.

Cheers!