Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Year Gone By ~

Oh yes! How does that ole' saying go, "The years go by faster as you get older?" As I get older, I find that saying rings more truth with every year that goes by. I can hardly believe it has come to an end.

As I reflect on this past year, I remember the laughter, the joy, the hard work and the tears. It is also a time to think of the new one to come. This is a time of new beginnings. I want to live more in the moment. To be able to fully appreciate the "now."

To let go
Let life
Surprise me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have A Merry Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Month Of December

The cover of STING ~ IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT...


December come to me
I hope I can see
You not just in dreams
I will let you be
Why can't you believe
How much you really mean?
December won't you come
Back with snow, even some
Don't say that it's done
I will carry you home
Take you from the loneliest place
You have known
I will carry you home
Take me from the loneliest place
I have known

Written by Norah Jones


Since the Month of August, there have been many deaths. In the month of November alone, there were four people I personally knew in one week. It was bizarre to read the obituaries in our local newspaper and see four people that I knew on one page. Charlie's mom passed away in September and also someone who's daughter died at a young 19 years of age in August, just to name a few.

The holiday's come and it is very hard for some that have lost their loved ones. To make matters worse, decisions are hurled at them daily. It can be overwhelming regardless of the way they are feeling. The holiday season accentuates the fact that their loved ones are no longer with them. Many people feel isolated from the festivities and alone in a variety of ways. Families split by divorce and families separated by distance have a difficult time handling the holiday season as well. People with meager financial means who cannot afford to keep up with the demands of the season also struggle to survive. In many households there is sadness, often hidden behind a happy facade. A season that began as the remembrance of the blessed birth has unfortunately evolved into a season of a high rate of suicides and heavy burdens.
From the book When Will I Stop Hurting? by June Cerza Kolf

The last two weeks some friends and I have come together and made baskets to reach out to those we know who've lost their loved ones or finding it difficult this year financially; letting them know they are not alone, show to support, and try to lessen the heavy burden. December can be a month of sadness to many. It is a hard month to get through. I know this from past experience.

You might know someone who is in need and not know how to approach them. Just do it. Let your heart reach out; send them a card with a personal note, or give them a hug for starters. Sometimes our gut is telling us exactly what to do and we are afraid to act on it. Just go with it. It may be the one gift you can give that makes all of the difference to someone this season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Day of Winter

Looking out the window today, it is hard to believe yesterday was the first day of Winter. The sky is a bright blue and the birds are acting as if it were Spring. If it wasn't for the brisk cold air that cuts through you when you step outside, I would too. As I was getting wood to put into the fire this morning, I heard wild Geese making their familiar Geese call . I looked up to see them flying above in their V formation . It stirs emotion inside me every time I witness this. I can not help it.

They are Beyond Beautiful ~

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Violets blooming in my kitchen window.

A bird contemplating on taking a bath.

I purchased this blown glass bird feeder and hung it in my Japanese Maple tree in the back yard. I am wondering why I haven't done this a long time ago? I think I have enjoyed the birds as much as the birds have enjoyed the feed!

*Listening to STING ~ IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT and NORHA JONES ~ THE FALL this morning as I finish up the gift wrapping.

I hope you have a beautiful day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Rockin' Santa

Santa getting his groove on!

Our local fire station drives one of their fire trucks adorned with lights up and down the streets in the little town where I live. While Christmas music lets the residents know they are coming, Santa waves and yells "Merry Christmas!" In addition, little elves are busy handing out candy canes. Everyone looks forward to this event and will walk out to the street to greet our Fire Fighters to support their jolliness. Diandra danced along to the music "Rockin' Around" as the firetruck with Santa atop came down the road. Santa obviously saw her ahead of him, because he started mimicking her moves, and rocked to the music as he passed our house.

We are on our way to see two of our grandson's Christmas Program. You never know what little kids will do up on stage. What a great way to start the weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Little Moments

The sun rising as I unlocked the cafeteria doors for the kids that come early. With going to work as early as I do, seeing the sun rise is a favorite part of my day.

A case of fresh oranges waiting to be cut for breakfast. As I was cutting these oranges, the sweet smell of citrus sprayed into the air. I couldn't help but think about how bright and pleasing to the eye they were as I cut them. I thought about how in the season of Winter, the orange stands out. It promotes healing when so many are fighting off being sick. I thought about the Persimmons, Lemons and Pomegranate's too. How good is God? He has thought of everything.

As I made Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches, I scooped the jelly out of the jar and plopped down a heart.

This morning a double rainbow outside the cafeteria's kitchen door reminded me of God's promise.

As the milk man finished with his delivery, he asked me, "Well Angela, is it a good day so far?" I smiled and said, "It is just getting started!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I read this comic FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE this past weekend in the Sunday newspaper and it brought a smile to my face. The week before, I had a conversation with a friend that was almost word for word! Looking back, I can't believe at how I was "on top of it" when I had four kids at home. Everything was done the weekend before Thanksgiving and absolutely no later than the weekend after. It now takes me forever to do anything! I tell myself every year, "Next year, I will do better!" Next year comes, yet... there is still "no change" to be seen and then I feel disappointed in myself. Reading this comic made me feel like I am not alone. There are others out in the world like me!

There is always next year ~


*Click on comic so that you can enlarge it for a better read.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Are You Willing?

Women playing cards in China Town

The bigger the investment
the bigger the return.
You have to be
willing to
take a chance.

You have to understand
you might lose it all,
but if you take
that chance,
the payoff may
surprise you.

I am speaking in general to life as in relationships ~ not necessarily the card game.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

China Town

After our mini melt down (non-stop laughing hysterically in Old Navy) we decided it was time to venture off and do a little site seeing. Our feet took us to a bus stop which led us to China Town. In my past visits, I have only driven through it, so this was such a treat! Towards dusk time, we started to feel like we were actually in China listening to the Mandarin language, which made me feel like a foreigner! It was wonderful to see a different culture and as I looked around at the old buildings, I could feel the history everywhere. I will say it again, it was wonderful and it was my favorite part of the day.

This dragon was so big, it was in the center of a circling stair well. Beautiful!

A little sunshine planted outside of someones window.

This is what the street lights looked like. Notice the dragons climbing up the pole.

Airing hopefully clean laundry! LOL!

An oriental apartment building. Again, notice everyone is drying their clothes out the window's. I don't know why that just amazed me? I guess it is because, we just don't see that here in the valley.

Chinese lanterns hanging everywhere outside of this building.

This picture does not bring justice to this old building. It overlooked the park and when I looked up, the colors were gorgeous! On the very top of the building it is metal and is turning Verde green/grey. The purple and colorful clothes with the green was so pleasing to the eyes. Looking at the picture, I don't know why I am posting it. I wish that you could have seen what I saw.

A pigeon getting a drink right out of the faucet.

Some older women sitting on milk boxes with a make shift card table out of a card board box turned upside down. They were playing a serious game of cards and pennies, and it was COLD out. There was another lady with a big camera who got this shot too. We smiled at each other as we shared this moment , seeing how sweet these ladies were and never having to say a word.

An old sign in the market area.

A mini produce market.

Colorful produce.

Next year, we will visit two old women who make Fortune cookies by hand at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Annual San Francisco Trip

The first weekend of December is our annual San Francisco trip. My Nina charter's a bus and it takes no time to fill it up. In fact you have to act fast or your spot could be filled. The trip starts out with mimosa's and a chance to win back your $30 dollars that covered the bus fare. It is a full day of serious shopping and by the end of the day I am exhausted!

Seriously ~ The day starts with getting up early to get ready and catch the bus at 7:30 A.M. I walk through the doors of my home 15 minutes after 10:00 P.M. Although I am tired and it is no sooner over, I am looking forward to next year!

I liked how the sun was shining on the water as we were driving on the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

The bus dropped us off at the Union Square. I have to take a picture of her every time although she never changes.

This man had the coolest pants on.

They were covered with patches and he had a jacket to go with them.

We enjoyed this saxophone's solo. He played Christmas music beautifully.

This was my daughter-n-law Nessa's first time to go with us on our annual trip. As we waited for my sister to purchase her things at the OLD NAVY register, we amused ourselves with Nessa acting like one of the mannequins in the window. We laughed uncontrollably at the expressions of people walking by as they noticed her blowing kisses and realized that she wasn't one.

We went to my favorite store ANTHROPOLOGIE.

The Christmas tree at San Francisco's Pier 39 where we enjoyed our dinner and a coffee to cap off our day. My sister Jessica is in the darker right hand corner of this picture.

Do you have a special place where you do your shopping?

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Am Feeling It!

Bill board on side of building as you enter San Francisco

Our local newspaper said, "Today just might turn into a winter wonderland today, at least for a little while. With forecasters saying 1 to 3 inches of snow may fall not too far north of here. Modesto might get it's first dusting in years."

This morning I got a call from my husband Charlie asking me if it was snowing outside?
I said, "No, why is it there where you are working?"
He said, "It is falling down like crazy! I was just thinking about you. I've never kissed you in the snow."
Awwwww! He melted my heart!
I wanted to drive where he was and give him that kiss.
Sweet ~

Currently it is 37 degrees at 11:44 A.M. That is cold here for this time of day! I love it though! I have the wood stove going and I will be making a stew for dinner.

How is the weather where you live?