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!