Monday, December 31, 2007

Celebrate


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

(MUAH!!)

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

We two hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne

And here's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

"I would like to make a toast!"
"Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening
and live every day as if it were your last."

Cheers

;)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Reflections


"Time moves on, but love can remain forever."

Another Christmas has come and gone. The tree came down Christmas night after everyone had left. The ornaments and decorations are all tucked away safely in their tissue and put snugly into their boxes. I did manage to get rid of some Christmas decorations that I have not put out in quite a few years.
It was so nice to see and visit with my Aunt Kimmy. My sister Jessica and her family also stayed with us a few days. We managed to go to the movies, get some visiting in without all of the chaotic business that comes along with Christmas festivities. However, I don't feel like I got enough one on one time with everyone. I guess that is what happens when it is held at your own house...
I am finding myself with a little "Post Christmas Blues." It went by so fast. I didn't get to see anyone open up their presents. It seems like the older I get, the year goes by faster too. I do like to savor moments, just wanting them to last.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

~ Year End Re-Cap ~


Christmas Cactus

Sherry @ Sage and Thyme has tagged Sheila @ As Time goes By for this meme. As Sheila said, "It looks easy peasy," so I am going to do it also.
It is a year end re-cap. In this meme, the tagee is to post the first line, of the first post for each month of the year.


January ~ I was 19 when I had my first baby, 20 when I married my Husband.

February ~ Everyone of us has little opportunities each day to intentionally weave love into somebody else's life.

March ~ Just Once

April ~ This weekend I took pictures of the "man on the moon!"

May ~ For everything else there's MasterCard!

June ~ Empties coming back

July ~ The Great Outdoors.

August ~ Sometimes there just aren't any words.

September ~ Blessings... The rising sun. *NOTE ~ I noticed that the sun was actually setting and not rising in this picture (did anybody else notice this?). Still a blessing.

October ~ A little something to try to live by.

November ~ If you have been reading my blog, you might have noticed that I love this time of year.

December ~ I want to thank those of you that have left me comments showing concern for me.

Tagging anyone who wants to do this..

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What Child Is This?



What Child is This

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies he in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleasing.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant king to own Him,
The King of kings, salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Hoopla!



I just received an email from Sheila, letting me know she has tagged me for a meme.

It goes like this,
1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas.
2. Please refer to it as a ‘hoopla’ and not the dreaded ‘m’-word…
3. You have to tag specific people when you’re done. No “if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged” stuff is allowed…then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you — but the more, the merrier to get this ‘hoopla’ circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it! Let’s involve as many people as possible!
5. Please give Andrea some link-love as the “Hoopla-Creator!

Here are my twelve random things..
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. When my sister Jessica and I were little, After Santa would have left, I would wake her up to sit in front of the fire, turn on the lights to the Christmas tree and just look at all of our presents as well as the stocking full of surprises. One year, she wouldn't get out of bed, so I dragged her with the blanket and we both fell asleep lying there. My mom woke up to find us with melted chocolate on our faces from getting into our stocking hanging with care on the mantel.
2. Money was very tight when my husband and I had our first Christmas together. We got a tree but didn't have any ornaments. So, I got some construction paper and the kids and I made a construction paper chain. We then strung pop corn and cranberries with a needle and thread. We made a star and covered it with gold glitter (I still have it). It was one of the best Christmas trees we had.

3. I only use white lights on my tree and colored lights for the house.

4. I keep all of the Christmas cards that I receive. Instead of throwing them away, I will go through the cards and use some as name tags for presents. I will cut each one, adding a little glitter and ribbon.

5. I have kept all of the "Santa Letters" from the kids throughout the years.

6. I love traditions... One that I start with is changing the wreathes for the doors the day after Thanksgiving.

7. I am very particular with details. I put a lot of thought into my gifts. My husband and I believe in putting limits on our gifts. I find that it is a good challenge every year to stay within the budget. When everything is said and done... I am quite proud of myself, and so is my husband. And they are good gifts.

8. I dislike all of the commercialism that comes with this season.

9. I like to wrap presents while drinking a glass of wine and listening to Christmas music, or having an old movie going that has a Christmas theme to it.

10. I am very sentimental (more than usual) during this season.

11. I love 1940's Christmas music.

12. The tree comes down right after everyone leaves Christmas day and is on the curb of the street by mid-night.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Evidently the rules are very specific and say I can't just say this is for whoever wants to do it,
I'll choose
Wanda @ Brushstrokes from the Heart~ Darlene @ A Walk in my Shoes~ Lynette @ Tourettes Mom~ Deb @ Expressions.

Please do it if you can, I know how busy everyone is..!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ladies & Gentlemen...

The Grinch has left the House!



My daughter Diandra and I had a little discussion about why we were both grumpy "tis this season...." (you know, the song...ha ha) I guess you could say we both had an "ah-ha" moment as we were raising our voice to each other. Then we got teary eyed, and had a long embrace. This is our first Christmas without my son/her brother. In 23 years, I have always had both of my babies with me to share this holiday with. Rob won't be coming home for Christmas this year. I actually talked him into the plans that they have made. His wife's dad's side hasn't met Rob yet. Her Grandma is getting up there in age as well. Nessa really wanted them both to meet her husband. They live in Florida. Rob was torn at first when they were discussing the time that they had off to go, which is Christmas. He wanted to come home. I listened to him and then he asked me what he should do. I told him that his wife comes first. Always. I was okay with them going to Florida for Christmas; I knew that I wouldn't be seeing them. I told him that her family will fall in love with him; I had no doubt. Nessa has not seen her dad in a while; she needed her best friend by her side through this. He listened to me and said, "Mom, I love you. You are right. I will tell her tonight." I felt good about what I had told him back in the beginning of September (he just arrived back in The United States from serving overseas in Kuwait, I was feeling very relieved that he was just home on U.S. soil and safe). I still do. I guess the realization hit me the closer I got to Christmas which meant the day after Thanksgiving. The real kick off to the season. Days are numbered. And it has sunk in. They are not coming home for Christmas.
I have to tell you Rob is my Christmas baby. He is the one who appreciates the decorations, my baking, my food. He was the one to get his sister and brothers up to see if Santa had arrived. He was the one to believe in him the longest and was crushed to learn otherwise. He was always humming Christmas tunes. Loved getting together with all of the family and making us laugh. Knowing where all of my grumpiness was coming from has made a world of difference. When things are placed into the light, it is easier to deal with them.
I have learned my aunt Kimmy will be here a couple of days before Christmas. It will be nice to have her here for I haven't seen her in several years. I am looking forward to spending time with her. My sister will also spend Christmas day through the 28th. I will have family to surround me, to help with the void of who is missing. I am counting my blessings. Rob could still be in Kuwait. He is not. He is home and he is safe. There are many families that are going through this season without their loved ones. I am blessed. Let's be sure to keep the men and women who are serving in the military and their families in our prayers.





Simone trying to make me feel better.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's what we give ~



We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill

Thursday, December 13, 2007

boys will be boys

Trying to get my nephew Evan to smile for a picture at my aunt's house this last weekend.


Say "Cheese!" Nothing.


Say "Mickey mouse." A little something, but not much.


Say "Poo poo." I know, I know ~ I was desperate.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Santa loves these cookies! ;)



Chocolate Crinkles
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
3 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl stir together beaten eggs, sugar, melted chocolate, cooking oil, baking powder, and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour till thoroughly combined. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or till the dough is easy to handle.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or till edges are set and tops are crackled.

Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, sift additional powdered sugar over cookies. Makes about 48.

Mmmm~

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a day spent in the country

My girlfriend Laurie invited me to her house last Friday. After work I drove out to the country where she lives; the drive was beautiful! I had forgotten what it felt like to live in wide open spaces. We walked and drove around their patch of land. I loved seeing her home, and having her share her life with me. It was just what I needed to start my weekend off. Simply Beautiful! 

















Monday, December 10, 2007

Winter ~




There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.

~Ruth Stout

Saturday, December 8, 2007

peace



The quieter you become ~ the more you can hear.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I left my Heart In San Fransisco


Christmas tree in San Fransisco at Pier 39 taken with my camera phone

This last Saturday, my Nina chartered a bus to San Fransisco. My daughter Diandra, my sister Jessica and another aunt and her daughter also went. We have had this trip planned for a couple of months.
We left early in the morning. We had mimosa's (I don't know if that is spelled right) on the way up as well as a couple of raffles. As we drove across the bay bridge, I felt like a little girl entering a wonderland. The architect of the buildings were absolutely breathtaking. I had decided not to bring my camera and immediately felt myself beginning to have withdrawals. I plan to take the bus or Bart another day just to take pictures and have lunch. No one will even no I am gone. (wink ;))
One of the ladies had an idea and threw it at us. She suggested that we could all pitch in for a room at the hotel where the bus was going to drop us off and pick us up. That way we could go to the bathroom and leave our packages there if we wanted. Everyone loved that idea, so she ran across the street and came back to tell us they would rent us the room for $65.00! As we all got off of the bus, we handed her $2.00. We were just to go to the hotel desk and ask them for a key to the room for "Merced." We then all went our separate ways. Our first stop was Old Navy. I got all of my Christmas shopping done there for my Grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Yippee!
We also went into the Mall which I felt was very overwhelming.
I loved the store Anthropologie. As soon as I walked in, I felt as if I was home. I realized that I have never been happy with the way I dress myself. The clothes that were there, were exactly how I have always wanted to express myself.
There are a lot of people in San Francisco. A lot of people who know how to take what they want too. I got pick-pocketed. Hopefully, it was a male, because he took this cute little tampon purse I got from Wal*Mart just loaded with tampons. I bet he wasn't too thrilled by what he thought was just a score! Serves him (hopefully a him) right! It made me mad though. It was a cute little tampon holder...
We then loaded back on the bus at 4:00 to go to the Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 39. We did some more shopping at Steve & Berry's. Everything in this store is under $20.00! We then had dinner. Walking back to the bus, there were different performers on the sidewalk. I enjoyed them and watching my daughter dance. She got some attention as well. We got back on the bus at 8:00 and then came home. It was a blast! My favorite part was spending a day with my family. I am looking forward to next year's trip to the city! I will definitely take my camera.
I love San Fransisco. The business of the city, and the people are so interesting. I didn't want to leave. It was then I understood the meaning in the title of that famous song.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Silver & Gold


Silver & Gold ornaments

I have been decorating this tree for a week now it seems. As I unwrap the ornaments so delicately from the tissue and arrange each of the ornaments in groups of colors, I am thinking to myself, 'When and how did I get like this?' There has always been logic to why I think like this. I will put all of my plain silver and gold ball ornaments to the center of the tree trunk. Doing this makes these balls reflect the lights and make my Christmas tree glow even more. Then I take all of my purple ornaments and place them within a distance from each other so that I don't have a bunch of purples in one place. I continue doing that with each color until they are all on the tree. It is now coming together. I am even humming Christmas tunes.

How do you decorate your tree?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanks Martha Stewart



This last weekend, my husband got a Christmas tree. I was feeling a little pressured about putting the Christmas decorations out and I've been dragging my feet in doing so. I started to dive in and get it done but just wasn't feeling the flow of where things should go. So I quit. Our Christmas tree stood in our house bare as can be for a week due to some things that came up that needed some attention. This last Sunday, I told myself come hell or high water, I was going to get that tree done. It took me two days to get the lights on. As I was putting on the lights, I was thinking to myself, 'How did I get stuck with putting on the lights? When did it become my job?' So, I asked my husband as he was walking by, "How did I get stuck with putting the lights on the tree?" My husband replies, "You like to wrap each limb with the strand of lights, remember? Like Martha Stewart." I stated back, "I have changed my mind. You can do it." Husband replies, "My back hurts (and it really did, but he wouldn't have done it anyways ;))." grrr ~ sigh. I am thinking about getting those lighted bush nets and throwing it on the tree...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Spirit of Grinch! ME?


cornbread stuffing

I want to thank those of you that have left me comments showing concern for me. It meant a great deal to me. It is so nice to know that people care, it can make a world of difference in how you are feeling. A BIG Thank you! Also, if I have hurt anyone leaving them to feel neglected, I am sorry. I am still here. I have just had a difficult time shifting the gears of life. So much has happened this last week, it has me feeling so many things.

It all started the morning after Thanksgiving. I went for my daily walk earlier than usual since I was off from work. I noticed that everyone in Hughson was out and about in their yards putting up Christmas lights and decorations. I was thinking, 'Gee, I haven't even digested my Thanksgiving dinner. Whoa! This is all too soon! There is one more week left of November!' Then when I got home, my husband was getting down from the attic with boxes of Christmas decorations piled everywhere and a Christmas tree was standing in the driveway of our home. Let's just say, I was feeling a little pressured. grrr!
Then Saturday rolled around, I went out for my walk and I noticed every one's yard and the huge abundance of Christmas paraphernalia. Don't get me wrong, I am all for decorating and such... (and please forgive me if you are one of these exciting-ambitious people) BUT! I do believe there should at least be a theme. Some yards have the big air balloon's of Walt Disney (that they keep going around the clock! What happened to concerving our energy?) characters, stick Christmas trees, reindeer's, snowmen, huge packages with lights, lollipops, candy canes and then a nativity scene. Big Sigh. I think to myself, 'how much did all of this cost!?' It is almost like watching neighbors trying to out do each other in the decorating area. What are they teaching their children? Will they continue this in their coming generations? Are they in debt? I just want to get on the highest roof top and scream "STOP THIS MADNESS!"


I have been keeping this to myself, feeling like maybe I have a little of the Grinch spirit.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mmmm ~ Try This!



Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients:

* 1 can (15 oz.) Libby's 100 percent Pure Pumpkin
* 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:
COMBINE pumpkin, sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves in medium heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened.
Serve with biscuits, breads and corn muffins. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Recipe makes 2 cups.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I made this last year and everyone loved it!
enjoy
:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two Of My Favorite Stores!

When I am in Pacific Grove, I make a point to visit my favorite stores. I am sharing two of them with you today . The one below is called Diamonds & Rust which is owned by two very interesting ladies. They travel to Italy once a year and go to old churches buying different unique artifacts. I have been told that the churches are selling things which have accumulated over the years in order to raise money trying to refurbish and restore the churches to new-like conditions. Diamonds & Rust does not just consist of church artifacts. It also has accessories for the home and garden. Every time I visit, the ladies tell me something I didn't know, and I always find new treasures that are calling out my name.

Diamonds & Rust


Boxwoods is below ~

Welcome To BOXWOODS

Offering European furnishings and accessories for the home and garden, hand selected plants and unique gifts.


The gate that you enter to get to BOXWOODS


An old gazebo that has been turned into a charming store.


A little peak inside


Sweetness in a basket

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sun Rising Walks

I have to tell you... I was quite spoiled taking my daily walk along the ocean. I have to admit, it has been a little hard coming home and walking through the neighborhoods in my little town of Hughson again. My walks included watching the sun rise while listening to the ocean waves come in. The sun gave the sky beautiful hues of color that reflected off of the water. It was like walking inside of a rainbow. I was enjoying myself so much, it was over before I knew it. I really could have walked for miles and miles.


video

I know it's not quite the same as being there.... but, I was thinking of you all and wanted to share this with you!



After my walk, Charlie and I would come here for breakfast. It is called the Trailside Cafe and Coffee House. I would have creamy oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins, with a big cup of coffee. This place buzzed all morning with customers. It sits on the trail that looks over the ocean. It was beautiful!