December 30, 2009

Keep the kindness going

After the holiday season is over, wouldn't it be great if everyone kept to their smiles and politeness? I sure hope so. It's the little things that people remember about other people. Letting someone pass you w/your carriage in the supermarket with a smile, giving up "your" parking space to someone else.

Every year I notice people being nice during the month of December. Then something changes and goes askew. In January, people look worried, harried and generally unhappy. I know I can't change the world, however, I can change my part of the world, and the way I look at it. I am definately carrying the lovely politeness to the world over into January. Who knows? Maybe some will spill into February? :)

December 28, 2009

Time for Reflection

Illustrated by Susan Branch

In addition to Christmas Eve and Christmas, I also love the days that follow up to New Years' Eve. All the crazy timelines have been met, and I find myself in my favorite chair taking stock of what the holidays meant to me this year. It could be different from year to year, however, I think most people would include family and friends as an integral part of the holiday season. I know I do.

I like to reflect, even if it's just from a few days ago. Christmas night before dessert, we opened the paper crackers that "pop" when you open them. Before we knew it,we were all wearing fun style hats (mostly King and Queen styles). Conversations would change, and I would find myself smiling, because the topics were different from the style of hats on our heads. It was great!

Reflecting on the past year is something I do, but for a brief period only. I'd rather look in the moment than behind. However, I think it's important for me to take stock, and see where I was, and where I am now. It is sort of a spiritual journey, not meant to be an inventory of collectibles. I am interested to see how much I've grown in mind and spirit. And the days before the New Year are a perfect time for this type of reflecting.

So, here I go to try and get as comfy as the illustration above, by the wonderful and talented Susan Branch. Happy Holidays to all!

December 24, 2009


Artist: Stephen Lyman

When I started this blog October 2008, I didn't have any specific expectations. However, you bloggers in Blogland have swept me off my feet, literally. It is such a joy in getting to know you. It's a wonderful sharing of spirits, and for that I thank you immensely.

I wish all of you a joyous holiday season!

December 23, 2009

It's almost Christmas Eve!

(image karin nussbaumer)

December 22, 2009


Artist: Stephen Lyman

When I started this blog October 2008, I didn't have any specific expectations. However, you bloggers in Blogland have swept me off my feet, literally. It is such a joy in getting to know you. It's a wonderful sharing of spirits, and for that I thank you immensely.

I wish all of you a joyous holiday season!

The gentle peace of Christmas

Designed by Mark Weissbach

"I knew by the smoke, that so gracefully curl'd
Above the green elms, that a cottage was near. And
I said, "If there's peace to found in the world,
A heart that was humble might hope for it here!"
Author: Thomas Moore

December 21, 2009

A gift that means so much

Many many years ago, I worked with a girl by the name of Babette. I mention her as a "girl" because we were both in our early twenties. Young ladies, young women, girls..we fit all those categories.

Babette was a very sweet girl. She was more of an introvert than extrovert. She did her job, did not partake in office gossip (thankfully),although many times that made her the target of it. Small people with small minds, I say.

Back to Babette. She had a sadness about her face that I couldn't help but notice. Sometimes, we would have lunch together. She told me one day, she did not know the whereabouts of her Father, and her Mother had passed away. I knew then, why the sadness in her eyes. She did not have any siblings, and just one Aunt who occasionally looked in on her. She never mentioned her family again, and I did not ask. Whenever she spoke specifically about herself, I only listened.

Babette spent much of her spare time making various kinds of crafts. During one particular December, she made corsage pins for many of the women in the offices. She even gave to those whom she knew gossiped about her. Her kindness was unending.

One day, she told me she was moving to California. She left no forwarding address, and was vague about what she was going to do when she arrived there. I did not ask her any questions; I only listened to what she wanted to share with me. She was very adventurous to move 3,000 miles away to a place she had never been before. I think she was looking for a new start in life, far away from her sad memories.

I still have the white lace corsage that she made me all those years ago. Every year when I open my Christmas box decorations, there sits Babette's gift, carefully wrapped so as to perserve it. I think about Babette mainly when I see the corsage she gave to me. I hold it in my hands, and wonder how she is. I do not remember her last name. I hope she is, most of all, happy and healthy, doing what she wants to do, and being who she wants to be.

Merry Christmas Babette. I still wear your lace corsage on Christmas.

December 19, 2009

Illustrator: Brian Basset

December 18, 2009

A Stocking filled with love

Original drawing by Marilyn Dowling

"Once upon a time in a world long forgotten, there were no bionic men dolls, no robots with ray-guns, no barbies, no burpies, no flashlights or blenders, no tape decks that played back the voice of the sender.

Christmas tree candles couldn't all blink sequentially, battery powered buglers couldn't oompah perpetually. Stockings were smaller, their stuffings were simple, a hand knitted scarf, a hand whittled whistle.

Why did people still cherish the holiday season? We're not really certain, but we think that the reason that there was still laughter without all these toys is that there was still love, and it's love that brings joy." Author Unknown

Wishing you a loving and joyful weekend!

December 16, 2009

A comfy place to rest one's soul

Created by John Ruzick

I imagine this warm and inviting house to be an anchor for rest and comfort. I love a wrap around porch, and a fireplace that speaks "welcome". The snow is downy soft and deep, and the Mailman enjoys delivering to this house, because he always gets a smile.
And isn't that alot of what this season is about? It's not just one day, it's goodwill towards each other everyday.

December 13, 2009

Artist unknown

The first thought that comes to mind when I look at this illustration is peace and good will. The Dove, the earthy shading all come together to bring me to a quiet state of mind. What thoughts and/or feelings do you get when you look at it?

December 10, 2009

Christmas Eve past

When I was growing up, there were large family parties at my paternal Grandparents house. I remember them vividly because they were all about having fun, fun, and more fun. Those parties are firmly planted in the deep recesses of my mind - childhood memories!

For instance, Christmas Eve: Imagine several long tables covered with festive tablecloths. As the families started to arrive, my Grandmother was already putting hot foods on the table. There were so many courses, that I do not remember them all. I just remember tasting very delicious foods, and the aromas...I will never forget. Homemade food from start to finish goes without saying is the best kind of food. And my Grandmother was an outstanding home chef. Of course, she had some help. I remember my Mother and a couple of my Aunts arriving early in the morning to help prepare for the evening events. However, my Grandmother was the one who started cooking and baking days before, decorated the tree, bought and wrapped presents, and created an atmosphere of welcome and love.

Love was shown in my family by making sure everyone had more than enough to eat. This was measured by mounds of hot steamy food on their plate. Then there was the squeezing of your face by loving Aunts, who would tell you how pretty or handsome you are. They had no idea that it hurt, so the best thing to do was avoid the hands attached to the Aunt(s) who would do this to me (and my siblings and cousins).

Once dinner was over, fruit was served, and friends came to call. Music played, everyone danced at some point in the night. There was much singing and lots of laughter. When it was close to midnight, my Grandmother would tell all the kids to hide in the spare room so Santa would come to the house. Firm believers that we were, we raced into the room, closed the door, and turned off the lights. That's when all havoc broke loose. We were screaming - laughing with glee just knowing Santa was coming. Never did we think to open the door a crack and take a peek. When it came to Santa, we believed and behaved. The laughter and giggles of kids in a dark room waiting for the big guy still makes me smile. I am so glad I have that memory.

The door was then opened by my Grandmother, she told us Santa was there, and under the tree were countless presents. The level of excitement was off the charts! I remember some of the adults giving out the presents, and I remember looking at my Grandmothers' face - smiling.

December 7, 2009

Feeding the Birds

An act of kindness goes a long way.
Illustration by Lisi Martin

December 4, 2009

Wishing you simple joys of the holiday season!

Original design by the Bjorkman Bros.

December 1, 2009

A look back...

Leaning abit. LOL. It makes me think of the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

We are very excited about decorating our home for the holidays. However,to prevent myself from pulling out the boxes without my dear Hubby (I need to be gentle with my lower back), I decided to post a few pics. from last year's Christmas decor. I absolutely and thoroughly enjoy our decorations. Some of them came from Allen's family, some from my family, some we bought separately, and some together.
I love the thoughts and feelings that are jiggled from our memory banks as we decorate. We laugh about childhood memories and Santa, speak about loved ones now gone. Christmas music playing in the background makes it all the more grand. It's a special time for Allen and I, and we celebrate it together.

I find it interesting to see how people decorate their homes. This is a time when creativity bursts like a child's smile on Christmas morning. Do you enjoy decorating? Although Allen and I don't have children of our own, we certainly become like children, and it's fun!

November 28, 2009

Dear Lord, I ask one thing of thee, the gift of true simplicity. A cheery fire, a rocking chair, enough to eat, enough to wear. A little cottage built upon a spot that I can call my own. A garden and a shady tree, a dog to keep me company.
A pot that's big enough to hold, enough to fill another bowl. A welcome mat that's out to all, whenever neighbors come to call. A bed, a lamp, a book or two, an old friend and perhaps a new. And since all things are mine in thee, then this is quite enough for me."
Author: Grace E. Easley

November 26, 2009

Thanks and Giving

Remember to give thanks and give...

Illustration by Norman Rockwell (one of my favorite American Artists)

November 23, 2009

A bounty full of Art

When I was a Junior in high school, I worked part time in a local supermarket. I was the happy Produce girl, with the long white coat. The scale for pricing fruits and vegetables was in the actual department, at the white scale. The year was 1975, weighing produce at the cash registers (computers) had not been installed yet, although it was on the horizon. I loved taking care of the produce, and talking to all the people. My job from 5:00pm -9:00pm was to make sure each bin was full. I did my job dutifully, taking out the bad, rotating the old to new, etc.

I looked at the produce more than just food, it was a form of art. The apples were shiny, the Anjou pears had a patch of green. The peppers were gorgeous with their reds, yellow and oranges shining proudly. Looking at the produce, I could see why many many Artists rendered beautiful works of art based on such succulent foods.

I love still lifes of fruits and vegetables. Julian Merrow-Smith is a fabulous Artist who seems to capture nature in all its beautiful glory. I hope you enjoy this Artists' artistic bountiful beauty.
All artwork shown below is the work of Julian Merrow-Smith.

Two Peppers

Three lemons on a French cloth


Two Apples

November 20, 2009

Hmmm, a quote

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
- Abraham Lincoln

Have a great November weekend!

November 17, 2009

An Enchanting Palace

Enchanting, sweeping beauty, and eye popping are just a few of the descriptions I use to describe the Elizabeth Stuart Gardner Art Museum, in Boston. The pink facade, which draws in visitors by the droves, is not your ordinary museum entrance. This is the interior courtyard:

It's magnificent! You are instantly drawn into an enclosed Venetian courtyard. Real plants thrive, and marble is everywhere. The visitor then combs the beautiful artwork collected by the esteemed Elizabeth Stuart Gardner and her husband, Jack. She and her husband in the early 20th century fell in love with Venice, and decided to recreate a Venetian palace in Boston. Their collection is on three floors with paintings that are three high, and cover the rooms, decorated by red walls and ornate wallpaper. It is a sight to behold.There are approxiately 2500 objects such as glazed pottery, books, sculpture, furniture, and lace from all over Medieval Europe, Asia and the Islamic world. Nineteenth Century France and America is also represented. The Gardners were real explorers. They travelled the globe from Asia throughout Africa, and then Europe. The entire museum is a work of art in itself.

The ever gracious Elizabeth Stuart Gardner, painted by John S. Sargent 1888

Red wallpaper: The Raphael Room

Lace Panel - French 1675-1700

Rembrandt (Dutch) - self portrait. Age 23 1629 (One of my personal favorites!)

Tapestry- Flemish (Brussels) Strolling and Seated Lovers ca.1585-1600

Chrysanthemums 1888 Artist: Dennis Miller Bunker, American 1861-1890

It was a wonderful visit for me to experience. Most of the information above is from my brochure that I kept as a souvenir! I hope you enjoyed a peek of this wonderful and most unusual museum, and keep it in mind should you visit Boston. It is a walk back in time.

November 16, 2009


Isn't this bag mod? I love it! I found it at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) Gift shop. I think it would be a great bag for holding art supplies, or maybe even as a pocketbook/purse. My friend Ali (a nineteen year old) sweetie would enjoy this mod look to hold her sketch book and pencils. I want so badly to give it to someone, that I know I found the right person to enjoy it. I think it's sweet to receive, but it's a great feeling to give!

November 14, 2009

Are the stars out tonight?

I wish you a special weekend as we begin to close in on the holiday season. As we bustle about, do we ever stop to look up at the heavens above? The stars are there for us to make a wish. I hope you do!

November 12, 2009

Make Someone's Day

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
Author - Leo F. Buscaglia

Very profound words came from a wonderful, loving and insightful man. I love all that he has written. May he rest in peace.

Last Sunday, Allen and I went grocery shopping together. As I was walking around, I made a concerted effort to smile at people. I wanted to see their reactions. Some people didn't know what to do, so they did nothing. Some people did not smile because they were dealing with the business of shopping, and maybe pre-occupied with young children. However, one man smiled back, and that made the whole experience worth it.

The smallest act of caring is a powerful tool. When I saw that man smile back, I could feel myself light up inside. Someone else was saying "yes"

November 11, 2009

On Veteran's Day and everyday - Thank you.

Photograph by Margret Maria Cordts

November 9, 2009

Oh, so charming!

Last August, my Hubby Allen gave me a very pretty charm bracelet. He knew of the one that was lost many many years ago. So, August 17th rolls around, and there's a box with a beautiful silver bracelet in it. The photo does not depict its feminine-like chain.

Allen wanted me to select two charms. So, off we went to our favorite Jeweler/Artisian Gallery to see the collection of goodies Rob had. I selected a sun, which I love, and since I was born in the summer, it made perfect sense. I also chose a small watering can. This is symbolic of my summertime gardening.

My Mother told me she wanted give me a charm from her, so I selected a heart shape charm. As if she's not charming enough, the engraving reads "With Love, Mom" - how fortunate am I to receive this heartfelt gift. I know I am, and I don't take one day for granted.

November 6, 2009

A sweet Friend

By Brian Basset

Have a nice weekend, and don't forget an old friend.

November 4, 2009

A big shout-out thank you to Cindy at for throwing down the gauntlet last October, and encouraging me to start my own blog. At first I didn't know what to do, but I soon reclaimed my composure, and voila, there it was: my little blog standing up straight in the big blog world.

I started the blog in October 2008. I learned alot over the past year. I've met many people, whom I consider my friends. This blog has been my salvation in times of happiness, and in grief. And you were all there, always willing to give a smile, a funny comment and encouragement, when you may or may not have known what exactly was in the pot of soup.

I thank you my friends: each and every one of you. I look forward to turning on the computer and seeing what you are doing and saying in your world. There's a connection that happens when writing. The only other way I can compare is sharing some time together over a cup of favorite beverages. Actually that would be much better! The blog world brings us together. I am grateful to Cindy who gave a gentle push. And thanks to all of you, my blogger friends. My appreciation is unending.

November 2, 2009

Goody Goodies!

There are baked goods, and then there are baked goodies! I recently won a contest in the blog world from Jeannie, who owns a bakery called "Icing Bake Shop" and is one delicious Baker. My Mother,Hubby and I shared the goods with smiles on our faces. She also graciously sent me an apron with the words "Icing" on it, which I plan to wear when I'm baking over the holiday season.
Please stop by her blog here to see all her beautiful and bountiful desserts.

Thanks again Jeannine! :)

November 1, 2009

The Morning After...

October 28, 2009


I am very fond of sculpture. Anyone who has been to my home knows this. One of the sculptures I am in possession of is just one of many renditions of "The Three Graces" originally created by Antonio Canova, sometime in the 19th century.

Charm, beauty and creativity is what they represent.
(Since all three are attached, it is not possible for me to capture all three faces at once; however, you can believe when I tell you all they are all lovely.)

Happy Halloween!

Leaves blow in the night
Happy children everywhere
Candy, Laughter, candles, BOO!
(My Haiku)

October 26, 2009

Flowers during Autumn season

Well, Autumn is upon us, and although I love this season, I get abit sentimental, when we have to pull out the colorful annuals, and cut back the perennials. The garden looks almost naked to the human eye. However, that is the changing season. My Grandmother use to have a saying "when the trees undress, we dress, and when the trees dress, we undress." Such a true quote; Thank you Grandma! She was always a very wise woman.

Below are a few photos of what is left in our garden that will stay around for a few more weeks. Then we will cut back,and it's bed time through the winter. I like the Autumn garden; it mixes well with the mulch, and the beautiful color leaves that decide to drop down, and mix into the garden. Do you like an Autumn garden?

Provence Lavender

Succulent Sedum that is a beautiful persimmons color

Purple Fountain Grass