Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What Resolutions for 2015 are you making?

Hi all,

Well, you need to get ready, because 2015 is right around the corner!  Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and then we will usher in January 1, 2015.  Are you ready for it?  Not that it makes any difference if you are or not. 

Have you given any thoughts to making any resolutions for the new year?  I'm sure many people make resolutions and within two to three weeks, they can't keep them.  I know a lot of folks commit themselves to losing weight and getting healthier.  Some succeed, others don't.  They either give up or don't have the will power to continue. 

As for me, I don't really have any resolutions.  Instead I'm going to continue giving thanks to God for all the blessings He's bestowed upon me.  For the past nine years, I've maintained my weight, mostly for medical reasons.  I have chronic Congestive Heart Failure and it's important for my heart to keep my weight down.  So, since being alive is very important to me, I work hard at keeping my weight the same.  I'm proud of myself for doing this, even though I really can't do any exercising or walking.  Mostly I watch what I eat and try to eat healthy foods and foods high in fiber.  Oh, sometimes, I enjoy some chocolate candy or peanut butter cups, but I don't over do it. 

I am also thankful for all my creative abilities.  I can't do the crafting that I used to do, but I am grateful for what I can still do.  I honestly have to tell you, that if I wasn't able to write or make hand made greeting cards, I'd be so lost.  It would be very hard for me to make resolutions because my life is very sedentary and has been for almost nine years now.  I'm not complaining, not at all.  I've accepted my life as it is and I am just thankful that I'm still living. 

So, if you have no resolutions to make, for one reason or another, perhaps you can just give thanks to God for all you do have in your life.  Regardless if it's a roof over your head, a decent job, a faithful spouse, growing children and an extended family that you love.  Maybe your resolution could be to thank God for all these things more often.  I promise you that someone else is far worse off than you are in every aspect of living. 

Make a promise to yourself to tell each and every person that you love, how much they mean to you and how very much you love them for being in your life.  We all take so very much for granted, always!  That's so sad, to say the least.  Believe me when I tell you that your entire life can change in a split second!  Please don't just assume that your life will always be happy and wonderful, because bad things happen to everyone. 

I want to take this time to wish each and every one of you a very happy New Year of 2015.  I hope each of you have many blessings and good things happening to you this year.  You may not have a job that you love, but it's a job and it pays the bills.  You may not have a fancy house and car, but having a place to call home and a car that runs, is what's most important.  You may not have an over abundance of money, but having enough to buy food and pay the bills is a blessing.  Learn to be satisfied and happy with what you do have and stop worrying about what you don't have.  If you have your health, you are truly blessed! 

Happy New Year and may God bless you always.

 God's beauty is everywhere.  Stop and look around you, look up to the sky and you will be amazed.
PS:  Keep checking out my blog to see what creative projects I'll be doing in the new year.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Day After Christmas!

Good evening,
I hope you all had a wonderful and fun Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I will tell you that I certainly did, even though I was exhausted today.  Of course I did go to the grocery store this morning, which greatly tires me out at any time of year.

Well, now I suppose you're all looking forward to New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  We really don't do anything special on either day.  We are going out for an early dinner on New Year's Eve, but will stay home on New Year's Day.  Of course, we will have pork and sauerkraut for dinner that evening.  It's a tradition in this household and we both love sauerkraut, which is actually good for us.

Whatever your plans are, please don't drink and drive.  Going out and celebrating on New Year's Eve is wonderful but if you're going to be doing any drinking, please either get a cab or have a designated driver for the drive home.  As for me, I will be in bed long before the clock strikes twelve midnight.  Most times my husband stays up but as soon as the new years comes in, he goes to bed.  Many times, I am awoken by the sound of fireworks, but go right back to sleep.  I just need nine to ten hours of sleep every day.  I can go for about two days without that much sleep, but then it starts to catch up with me and I'm dragging my feet all day.

I want to take time to wish all of you good wishes, health, love and many blessings for 2015.  Unfortunately, life sometimes doesn't happen that way, so whatever happens, please try to accept whatever comes your way.  An easy way to help you to do this is to live every day of your life with gratitude and acceptance to God.  I can promise you that it helps so much in learning to accept whatever occurs in your life. 

I'm not sure what my first project for 2015 will be.  I was just thinking this afternoon about possibly writing another book of poems.  I truly enjoyed composing the first book.  I do need to soon get started on my hand made greeting cards for 2015.  February and Valentine's Day will arrive very fast and my first family birthday is in April.  It takes me quite a lot of time creating the cards for my family and I love doing them.  I haven't really given any thought into if I want to add another novel to my series.  I'll have to think some on that subject. 

Do you have any plans for early in 2015?  It's never too early to start planning something constructive to do in your spare time.  Take some time and think about it, you just may surprise yourself with what you decide you'd like to do. 

My book of poems, "My Soothing Poems from the Heart" is available at amazon. com; as well as all of my books and booklets.  Please take some time and check them out.  Just enter my full name in the search block and click.  All of my materials will come up for your perusal.  Perhaps you'd like to join their borrowing program.

Have a safe weekend and drive carefully.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Just wanted to say...

Hi everyone,

I just want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I know all of you will be busy preparing for the big day for your family and friends. 

I would suggest to each of you that if you haven't already done something kind for someone else, times running out!  There are so very many people out there who have no money, or very little.  Perhaps they won't be having a fancy meal or a gift for their children this year.  Or, worse yet, maybe they have no home, no food and no job.  Times are tough for many people, so no matter how hard things are for you, someone else is always worse off. 

It doesn't have to be something spectacular that you do for another person, just something simple.  If you are going through the take-out window at a fast food restaurant, purchase a few extra hamburgers and give them to so street people.  You'll never know how much this small gesture will mean to them.  Or perhaps if you have a number of scarves or an extra winter coat, take them with you and when you see a homeless person, give the scarves and coat to them.  It could just save them from freezing to death.  One never knows, now does one?

Enjoy these couple of days with loved ones, whether they are family or friends.  We never know when our last day on earth will be.  Enjoy every day and give back for all your blessings. 

Merry Christmas and all my best to each of you for the New Year of 2015!
May God bless you and keep you safe!
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Are you tired yet?

Hi all,
Well, Christmas is in five days.  Are you ready yet?  I do hope you haven't left everything go to the last minute.  Of course, I'm an old lady and trying to accomplish everything at the last minute wouldn't be good for me!  I've been ready for at least the last week.  Oh, I do have last minute meal preparations to attend to yet, but that's to be expected.

My youngest daughter watches a one and a half year old little boy and today they came to visit me.  His name is Jack and he is so adorable.  When he smiles, his whole little face lights up.  Of course, as I was saying goodbye, I thought to myself, "I would be lucky to be able to watch him for an hour!"  He's not a bad little boy, just a normal toddler.  It's me who's too old, but I do love spending time with him and my daughter.  It's been a long time since I've had a toddler around.  My youngest grandson will be eighteen next April.  That's quite a long time.  Of course, when my six grandsons were little, I was healthier than I am now.  But, I so enjoyed this little boy visiting me today.  Of course, I also enjoyed the visit with my daughter.

I've decided on an easy menu for Christmas Eve this year.  I will be serving home made Crab Bisque Soup, Shrimp, bar-b-q meatballs with condiments, sandwich rolls and dinner rolls, home made macaroni salad and pickles.  This will be followed by desserts of: pecan pie, cookies, 9 layer cookie bars, home made chocolate bark (4 kinds) and of course, stuffed dates.  I say 'of course' because making and serving stuffed dates is a tradition from my Mother.  If you don't know what they are, you take pitted dates, slice them open on one side, and then fill them with peanut butter and roll them in granulated sugar.  Oh, I may also make a jello mode as a salad for dinner.  We'll see!

What's on your memo for Christmas Eve?  Or aren't you cooking dinner that night.  Perhaps you are going away, which is also nice.  For  Christmas Day, I will be cooking a stuffed turkey for my husband and myself.  I usually don't make the mashed potatoes because of having the stuffing (which is fattening enough).  I will make gravy and we'll have a vegetable and cranberry sauce, of course.  We don't eat at any particular time, but it's usually between one and two o'clock.  It's just the two of us, so we kind of eat whenever we want.  After getting up in the morning, whenever that is, we fix our breakfast and then exchange our gifts.  I've gotten to enjoy our quiet Christmas Day, especially since we have a full house the evening before. 

What are your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans?  I'm sure that most of you have plans, but for those who don't, please don't spend this time alone.  If you have no family, check with your church to see if anyone is opening their home to visitors; or perhaps a neighbor would invite you to join them.  This is not a good time of year to be alone!  But, please remember that you are never entirely alone, for God is right there with you, always!

I know I've mentioned before that my newest book, "My Soothing Poems from the Heart" is now available for electronic reading on amazon.com.  Please take a few minutes and check it out.  It is my first book of poems and I truly enjoyed composing each and every one of them.

 I wish all of you a productive weekend.  Be safe and smile at everyone you see.  You just may be the only person who will smile at them that day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eight Days Remain!

Hi all,

I'm sure you all know what my title is referring to:  Eight days until Christmas!  Yeah!  I can't tell you how much I love this season of Christmas.  I find that so many people are much kinder, friendly, caring and loving during the Christmas Season.  Perhaps knowing that we are soon to, once again, celebrate the coming of our Savior into our lives. 

Have you ever stopped to think about how hard it must have been for Mary and Joseph to see all the pain their beloved Jesus had to go through?  Ending with His death on the cross.  I have sat and tried to imagine just how hard that was for Mary.  I am a Mom also, and I can't even imagine the pain and sorrow she went through during that time. 

How about the fact that God, in His glory, let His only begotten Son be born, only to die on a cross at an early age.  Do you know why god permitted this to happen?  If not, I'll tell you why.  It was to save all of us from the death of sin on our souls. 

I welcome the baby Jesus, once again this Christmas Day.  I'm not going to say that I don't buy or make gifts for my family during Christmas, because I certainly do.  It gives me such pleasure to give them something that, perhaps they couldn't afford on their own.  My husband, daughters, sons-in-law and grandsons are the most important people in my life.  God has so blessed me with a wonderful, loving family and I thank Him every day.  I have been truly blessed in so many ways.

What do you do to celebrate Christmas?  Do you and your family do the gift exchange?  Remember, it's not how much you spend on them, it's the fact that you love them and what to make them happy.  I understand that a child may not completely understand the true meaning of Christmas on their own, but it's up to you to share with them why we celebrate Christmas. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the tales of Santa Claus, the reindeer and his bottomless bag of gifts.  It's the reason why Santa comes to visit children on Christmas, that's so important.  To me, Santa is a mystical spirit, and I believe that every child should experience the delight and wonders of Santa Claus, just the way I did as a child.  Santa Claus is all about love, happiness, sharing, caring, giving and mercy.  Please don't take that away from children.  I still believe in that delightful old man in a red suit, with a white beard and hair.  He brings joy to all of us, in one way or another.

You still have time to find the love deep in your heart for this spiritual and magical season.   Miracles happen every day in some one's life.  Perhaps now it's your turn for a miracle.  Open yourself up to human angels.  They do walk here on this earth.  I know because I've had visits from human angels, who have changed my life for the good.  Just open yourself up to the fact that God works in mysterious ways, always. 

I hope the rest of your week goes well for you.  Try not to stress out, if that's possible. 
PS:  My book of poems, "My Soothing poems from the Heart" is now available at www.amazon.com.  You can purchase it for electronic reading for any electronic device, or you can join the Kindle Lending Program and just borrow it.  Just enter my full name into the search block and click.  All of my books and booklets will come up for your perusal.

Take care and stay safe.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Can You Believe It?

HI all,

Can you believe that Christmas will soon be here?  It's coming very, very fast now.  I am very happy to say that I'm almost ready.  I have a few last-minute things to do and preparations for Christmas Eve supper.  I have to tell you that I do not feel rushed or stressed, and that's a very good thing.

My sister, Carol, is visiting from North Carolina and has now decided to stay through Christmas.  That's makes me so happy.  I'll get a few more times to visit with her before she returns back home after Christmas.  She's going to celebrate Christmas with her son and his family when she gets back home.  I can truly say that I am enjoying having her close by.  We always seem to have so much to talk about.  She comes in to visit me two or three times a week.  We've always been very close, so I do miss her when she's back home.

So, how about you?  Are you ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?  If not, I would suggest that you get moving on your errands.  You don't want to be stressed and anxious on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, now do you?  Perhaps you should try to start earlier next year and see how much easier it is on you and your family.

I've already decided on what I'm going to be giving to my Red Hat ladies for next Christmas.  I like hand-embroidering things for them.  I hope they like the gifts because I try to make things for them that I think you'll appreciate.  Their gifts will keep me busy for a month or two.  I'm not going to hurry to complete them, but I am going to start on them soon, probably this evening while I watch television.

Even if you have very little money, you can always find a small favor to do for a neighbor or a friend.  Perhaps you could prepare some cookies and share a plate full with a shut-in.  I'm sure they would so appreciate some home baked cookies or whatever you make for them.  Sometimes, just a smile and asking how someone else is doing, will be the best thing that happens to them that entire day.  It isn't about the money or gifts!  It's about showing a kindness to someone else who least expects it.  Give it a try, I promise you they will not be the only ones who feel good, you will also.

I finished my "Soothing Poems from the Heart" book.  It is now available on Amazon.  It is my first book of poems and I am very proud of it.  You can check it out by going to:  www.amazon.com .  Then enter my full name into the search box and click.  All of my books and booklets will come up for your perusal.  Did you know that you can read electronic books on almost any electronic device.  You will have to download the app from amazon.  Books make great Christmas gifts and the electronic ones are pretty cheap, too.  Also, you can just borrow books that are entered in the program.  Check it out!

Well, you have one more weekend before the big day.  Try not to stress too much and always be thankful for what you do have.  Be safe and God bless each of you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Friendship is very special!

Hi all,

Well everyone, Christmas is coming very fast now and I can't wait.  I simply love this time of year.  How about you?  If you hate it, is it because you wait until the last minute to try to do everything?  My guess would be that could be one of the reasons.  Or perhaps it's because you simply don't have enough money to buy gifts for everyone. 

I realize a lack of money can certainly put a squeeze on your joy for the season.  But, if you plan ahead of time, things won't be that bad.  It may be too late to change anything for this year, but it's not too late to work at making things better for next Christmas. 

I remember when I was young, with three small daughters, and very little money.  The best suggestion I can give to you is to try starting a Christmas fund now, for next year.  Even if you can only afford to put away five dollars a week, that's at least something to work with.  You will have $250. to purchase small gifts for your family. 

I remember when I was a teenager, my Sister and I helped our Mom with the cleaning, laundry and started dinner.  Mom worked a full time job at a sewing factory and we had chores to do to help her out.  She gave us each $5. a week as our allowance.  Back then, that was quite a bit of money.  My Dad would put fifty cents a week in a Christmas club for each of us.  By the middle of November, we would each have $25. to buy gifts for each other, our Mom and Dad and our little brother.  Back then,
$25. was a lot of money and it allowed each of us to do all of our shopping. 

Another way to give to others, even when you have very little money, is to hand make them a gift.  You could crochet or knit all your family members a beautiful scarf or hat.  Or, you could bake a nice loaf of pumpkin bread, a platter of cookies, or any tasty treat for your family and friends.  If you're craft, like me, you can create anything you'd like for gifts.  I've certainly done that many, many times in the past.  People truly do appreciate home-made items.   I'm sure you can think of something you could do and save money, as well.  Take your home-made items and wrap them up with a big bow and see the smile that your family and friends have, when they open your gift. 

Or, a great gift you could give to someone who has young children, would be to give them a certificate for an evening of free babysitting some Saturday or Sunday.  Or, perhaps you could give them a certificate to 'house watch' for them while they're on vacations.  Gifts don't always have to cost you money.  Just take some quiet time to really think about what you could do for family and friends, that would mean a lot to them. 

I hope some of these suggestions will help you.  Another suggestion that I have for you, would be to start shopping or creating in January or February.  This works wonderfully, especially if you are hand making gifts.  Well, all except for bakery items, of course.  Then, make sure you start wrapping your hand created gifts by the middle of November. 

I promise you that you will enjoy the Christmas Holidays so much more if you plan ahead.  I've already made three different batches of chocolate bark.  I will soon make my cookies and other baked goodies.  As long as you have a nice cool place to store them, they will store nicely until you are ready to give them away or eat them.  You could purchase a big plastic tote with a tight lid to store them in and let them in your garage.  It's always much colder there and they will keep wonderfully.

I have a Red Hat group and yesterday, Sunday, we had our Christmas party.  It was held at a local Hoss's Restaurant.  There were twelve of us attending and we all had a very nice time.  We ladies, exchange small gifts (either home made or purchased) and then we each purchase something small for each husband.  We don't want them to feel left out of the gift-exchange. We got some very nice gifts.  It was very nice spending time with each of them.

Do you have your Christmas tree up yet?  Ours is up and I love it.  But, I will have to tell you that I have six trees up all year round.  I love seeing the little white lights, especially during the winter months.  I have one in the bedroom as well.  It is decorated in the colors of the Caribbean Ocean, with the miniature white lights.  When I lay in bed at night before going off to sleep, it relaxes me so much just seeing my 4 foot tree.  It gives me a very comforting feeling.

Here's a photo of one of my small trees:

I hope your week is a very productive one, filled with joy and love.  Be safe and God bless you.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What fun!

Hi all,

Today was a very special day for me, as I hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange for my Red Hat ladies.  All but one of them were able to attend.  I prepared a light lunch of chicken salad on lettuce,  a dill pickle and a deviled egg on the side.  I used my antique china because I made two pots of tea for us to share and I just had to use my tea cups.  For dessert we each had one of the cookies each one of us made for the exchange.  That made eight cookies per lady.  Way too many for us to eat for dessert, so I gave each one a baggie to take them home with them.  We each brought 1/2 dozen cookies in containers for each lady to take home with her.  We've done this for a few years now and I do hope all the ladies enjoy it.  I know I do.  I was quite tired after cleaning everything up, but I do so enjoy spending time with these ladies.  We also will be getting together this weekend for our Red Hat   Christmas Party.  We exchange small gifts with the ladies and usually have some small goodies or whatever for each of the husbands.

Have you, or will you, be attending any Christmas parties with friends, co-workers or family members?  The month of December is usually a busy month for most people because of all the shopping, preparations, last minute details and get-to-gathers with family and friends.  That's why I like to have everything done by around the 10th of the month.  I am now finished with all my shopping and wrapping and that makes me happy. 

Since I became chronically ill, almost nine years ago, I can't run around all the time doing things.  I have a little energy in the mornings, but it wanes soon after lunch.  It is hard for me to entertain anymore, but I am not ready to give up hosting Christmas Eve for my daughters and their families.  I suppose as my heart gets worse, I will have to turn the tradition over to one of my daughters.  I hate even thinking about not having it in our home. 

Traditions are so important to me.  My parents felt that way, also.  I guess that's why I feel the way I do about keeping traditions in tact.  I found out, a few years ago, that my Grandsons also feel that way about our traditions and that made me so very happy.  One day it will be up to them to carry on some of the traditions that were started many years ago.  I hope they will, but I also hope they'll start some of their own traditions. 

Well, I'm going to close for now, as I'm quite tired this evening.  How about you?  Did you have a busy day today?  I'm sure for many of you, your evening will be just as busy.  Take care and be safe.

Here's a photo of a Christmas pillow I made a few years ago.  Hope you like it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It's now December!

Hi everyone!

I do hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and that you spent it with people you love and respect.  Ours was very nice and it was family and friends.

Well, it's now December and Christmas is coming very soon.  I'm sure I share with all of you before, how much I love the Christmas Season.  I believe many people are more caring, thoughtful and generous during this time of the year, than during any other time.  Actually, that's it's too bad that people can't be like this all year round, but at least we have it during the Christmas Season.l

I'm all done with my shopping and almost done with the wrapping.  Next week, I need to start my candy making and then the following week, I need to bake some cookies.  Since I suffer from a chronic illness, I have to pace myself and plan well in advance.  That way, I'm not over doing it or getting frustrated with things. 

Here's a picture of my Christmas tree.  It's about seven feet tall, but a bit skinny.  Our living room is quite large, but we liked this tree so that's what we use.  All the balls on the tree are very old ones, that came from my parents.  I like knowing that a little part of them is with us each holiday season.  They both passed away many years ago, but I think of them very often.

What would like for Christmas?  Anything special?  There's nothing particular that I want, but I would like a laptop that is lighter than the one I now have.  It's about five years old, and I don't have any problems with the age, it's just that it's a bit heavy for me to carry.  But, I'm not complaining, not at all.  I'm just grateful that I have the one I do. 

The best part of Christmas for me, is seeing the happiness on my families faces when they open their gifts from us.  We don't go overboard, but my girls were raised to appreciate any gift they're given.  Making my family happy at Christmas time is what makes Christmas my favorite time of the year.  I do hope that all of my Grandsons will be able to join us on Christmas Eve for dinner and family time.  One or two of them may have to work.  I just hate that idea! 

It's been a tradition, since my folks both passed away, for my daughters, sons-in-laws and grandsons to come to our home on Christmas Eve.  We all share a dinner and then have some fun time before doing the gift exchange.  I'm going to repeat something I did last year, which everyone enjoyed.  I am going to have all the girls sing the song, "Santa Baby", using props.  Then the grandsons will sing a song, followed by a song from the gents. 

When my grandsons were little, I always had a new Christmas picture books to read to them every Christmas Eve.  I also made three wise men costumes, three shepherd's costumes and one angel costume.  They took turns being the angel.  I had battery operated candles for them to carry and they'd parade out the back door into the alley and go around to the front porch, where we had a large nativity set up.  All of the adults would be there and then we'd sing Christmas carols on the porch.  People would stop as they were driving by to watch.  The boys loved doing this so much and so did I!
Now, they're all grown up and I needed to make new memories for all of them.  I miss those times though.  Where have the years gone to??

Well, I do hope you all have a good evening.  Be safe and may God bless you always.