12.31.2008

Happy New Year!

Life's been hectic here ... T's son & his family were here for 4 days, so it was a true whirlwind of adults & kids & fun! I've not done much of anything crafty for at least a week & am having major withdrawal right now. I will be working on my Kelly Kilmer class prep tonight!

I read about a "resolution revolution" on another blog & am really taken with the idea. Christine offers suggestions of words to use in your own revolution & as I looked over the list, I found many grabbed me - but the strongest (so far) was "gratitude". I think that's a good place for me to begin creating positive changes in my life. I know I'm not alone in this - I often realize I'm sitting there, grumpy 'cause something hasn't gone my way or I've not gotten 'enough' of whatever or...or...or. Instead of looking at the positive - like, I received a payroll bonus & should be grateful I (a) have a job and (b) work some place that can & does give bonuses - my first reaction was "why did that one get more than me? why did I get just $x more than her?" Sad, wrong reactions. I can try to justify that with my opinions about things in my workplace - but, why? What does being ungrateful achieve, especially for my own mental health? Nada. Nothing. Zip.

BUT ... if I focus instead on being appreciative of what I've been given ... wow! I'm smiling, thinking how wonderful it is - thinking about how I can bank most of it, gift my niece a bit of it, the few art supplies I need for my class won't stretch me so much now ... I do embrace the positive energy of it all & release the pettiness into la-la land, away from me.

So ... what word would you choose? What one thing might you focus on in 2009?

12.27.2008

Merry after-Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!

We've got family in from out of town, so the weekend's going to be a wild one - but all fun! I'll post pictures later. ;o) We've had a great Christmas - even had a long-time friend stop by on Christmas day, which was an extra blessing.

I hope none of you are too affected by the wild weather that seems to be occurring everywhere ... we're to have temps in the mid-60's today & high winds!! And it's December?!?!?

12.23.2008

Receiving

At this time of year, probably more than any other, we're often reminded that giving is more important than receiving .. reminding us to open our hearts to others, giving of ourselves in most any form, is one of the best things we can do. No doubt about it.

But (of course there's a "but" lol) ... today's message from The Universe is true as well & even ties with yesterday's post about sharing your creations. I'm thinking it's all that old cliche about the circle of life ... giving, receiving ... when you open yourself to all possibilities, when you open your heart to give as well as to lovingly receive, the power of joy for everyone increases. Don't you think?

Hubba, hubba, hubba! Isn't this a fun time of year? Lights everywhere, mistletoe, eggnog... and all the receiving!

Indeed, because when you receive, not only do you affirm your own worthiness and open the way for more, but you make possible even greater joys for the giver.

Tallyho, ho, ho!

12.21.2008

Creating

“We share our self-love with others when we share our creations.”
— Kristi Tencarre


I just read this quote & wanted to share it with ... well, you! :o)

What do you create? Do you alter books, cross stitch, garden, paint ... ? If so, please be sure to share with others! Let the world see you, know you, appreciate you!

12.19.2008

I just came across a cool site, Daily OM ... and today's message is just plain ol' well-timed.

The Great Transformer

Loving What You Hate

Hatred can be irrational, and it has a greater impact on the individual who hates than the person or object being hated. Yet overcoming hatred is difficult because hatred reinforces itself and causes greater enmity to come into being. The most powerful tool one can use to combat hatred is love. Deciding to love what you hate, whether this is a person, situation, or a part of yourself, can create a profound change in your feelings and your experience. There is little room for anger, dislike, bitterness, or resentment when you are busy loving what you hate. The practice of loving what you hate can transform and shift your emotions from hatred to love, because there is no room for hatred in a space occupied by love.

Granted, it is difficult to forgo judging someone, love your enemy, and seek the good in situations that seem orchestrated to cause you pain or anger. But in deciding to love what you hate, you become one less person adding negativity to the universe. On a simple level, loving what you hate can help you enjoy your life more. On a more complex level, loving what you hate sets you free because you disengage yourself from the hatred that can weigh down the soul. Responding with love to people radiating hatred transmutes their negative energy. You also empower yourself by not letting their negativity enter your personal space. Rather than lowering yourself to the level of their hatred, you give the other person an opportunity to rise above their feelings and meet you on the field of love.

Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Loving what you hate sends a positive, beautiful energy to people while spreading peace and harmony throughout the planet. Instead of reinforcing hatred, you become an advocate for love. Hatred responds to hate by causing anguish. But hatred responds to love by transforming into blissful peace.

12.17.2008

Love my gifts!


This GORGEOUS needle holder is my 4th day gift in the "12 days of Christmas" exchange. I LOVE it! Thank you, Lauren!!! (She has one present marked as the 'last day' gift to open ... When I called to thank her for this, she was surprised because IT was supposed to be the last day gift! *lol*)








This cute li'l bunny is from two of K's friends at college. They were here a couple of weeks ago & are such great girls! Anyway, they started calling me "funny bunny" last week ... and decided to get me a bunny for my birthday. According to their note with the gift, they couldn't find a stuffed bunny anywhere, so they made me this! And, they included a bag of my fav candy - dark chocolate M&M's - YUMMMMM!!! Thank you, girls!!!

12.16.2008

Weather!

Now, how am I supposed to go to Easton tonight to pick up my copy of "Mamma Mia"???? :-)

Today

Snow likely...mixed with sleet and freezing rain late. Total snow accumulation around an inch with a trace of ice accumulation. Highs around 30. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Tonight

Sleet and freezing rain likely. Additional icy accumulation possible. Near steady temperatures in the upper 20s. East winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming south after midnight. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

Hope your weather is pleasant today!

12.15.2008

Busy bee here

I've been doing a bit of crafting, a bit of gift receiving & giving - including for myself! - and I got one page of my JYC done yesterday. ONE!! I think I now have THREE to get done! YIKES!

Some of my stitching friends & I exchange "12 Days of Christmas" gifts - and, coincidentally, 12 days out is my birthday! *lol* Anyway, Lauren & I are partners this year ... and silly me, I forgot to take pictures of what I gave her, so she'll just have to share ... For my part, I've opened my first two: a darling snow picture on glass that I'm going to hang from the chandelier over our dining table.
OH! And I almost forgot ... she gave me a generous piece of her "Golden Harvest" fabric AND cards of her new handdyed flosses! Now, to stitch ... ;o) Thank you, Lauren!



This is a bracelet I made myself of furnace glass beads. Love it!








And, finally, JYC day 13 - obviously, about songs! :o) I love Christmas carols & hymns & have wonderful memories tied to many of them, which I'll journal more about, on a partner page ... some day ...




And, last but not least, though I've yet to take the first picture of it all ... THANK YOU, Sandy, for making my birthday a wonderfully memorable day! Sandy was so generous! The funniest was the phone call I got from her on Friday, telling me I had to go to PizazzIt 'cause there was something there for me. Of course, I went right away! She gave me a gift certificate, which I'll use as soon as their Slice "FaLaLa" cards come in! The sweetest of them all was her birthday greeting on her blog. Told you ... she made my day! THANK YOU, dear wonderful friend!

12.14.2008

Ok, I'm shameless ... *lol*

Maybe you've heard of the daily messages one can receive online ... maybe not. I subscribed earlier this year & the weekday affirmations are just wonderful! Yeah, maybe there's a bazillion of us receiving the same messages, but ... so what? Maybe it really is The Universe saying "hi!".

I received the following in my inbox today & though it may be computer generated or whatever, I don't care. I really like the message & hope on your day, you receive something like it.

Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu!
A few years back… not so long ago, heaven and earth erupted into a major celebration with the news of your impending adventure into this very time and space. You see, someone like Nancy Norris doesn’t come along all that often… in fact, there’s never been a single one like you, nor is there ever ANY possibility that another will come again. You’re an Angel among us. Someone, whose eyes see what no others will EVER see, whose ears hear what no others will EVER hear, and whose perspective and feelings will NEVER, ever be duplicated. Without YOU, the Universe, and THAT IS, would be sadly less than it is.
You’re the kind of person
Who’s hard to forget,
To the people you’ve met.
Your friends are as varied
As the places you go,
And they all want to tell you
In case you don’t know:
That you make a big difference
In the lives that you touch,
By taking so little
And giving so much!
Nancy, you are so AWESOME!
For your birthday, friends and angels from every corner of the Universe, including buddies you didn’t know you had, will be with you to wish you the HAPPIEST of Birthdays and an exciting new year in time and space. You won’t be alone!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Nancy
PS - this is going to be YOUR year!!

Purses & Mamma Mia

What more could a woman want for her birthday?

I have to confess...I picked out the purse for my mom to give me. *lol* She's not able to get out & about much right now, so here's what I picked out for me, for my birthday. Isn't it awesome??? And, yeah, I'm not a teenager ... well, chronologically anyway. ;o) The purse is from the "Red" line by Marc Ecko & one of the surprises about the bag is the little red envelope tucked in the inside pocket, that has a little "personal" note inside, "Thanks for showing love ... Enjoy!" - what a great touch!










And because my family knows my love of ABBA & Mamma Mia, T gave me the soon-to-be-released DVD of the movie & K gave me the soundtrack CD. YEA!!!! I love them both (the people and the gifts!).

Today ... well, let's hope I get my JYC caught up! :o)

12.12.2008

Since Louisiana had snow...

I thought I'd share my pictures of Wednesday's sleet ... yeah, sleet. YUCK!





















Of course, it began just about the time I'm getting ready to leave work ... of course! Fortunately, by the time I'd driven about 1 mile from the office, it was only rain ...

Today's weather report brings flurries this afternoon ... much better than rain or sleet!

JYC ... 2 days

Day 11's prompt is the beautiful Christmas tree & one's memories of trees past or present. I can't imagine a Christmas without a tree of some size! Sometimes, it seems more work than I want to deal with, but once that beauty's up & decorated - I am glad we carried through. Our house's basement is half basement, half crawlspace & of course, things like the trees & decoration storage boxes are all in the crawlspace - which I detest crawling into. Once K's moved on to her own home, who will I send in there to get the boxes?!?! ;-)












Do you spend lots of time & thought wrapping gifts? I try to ... then, most years, end up feeling like I'm in a time crunch so it's almost an assembly line of preparation. Get paper on it, slap a ribbon or bow on it ... next! I see so many pretty and/or unique wrapping ideas online or on tv shows & I have such good intentions ....

12.09.2008

Catching up ... sorta

The first here is the beginning of my page for today. The theme is 'tradition' & our stockings are a HUGE part of our traditional celebration. I'm really tired tonight, so this is as far as I got - but my plans are to write the memories, tuck in a picture of my childhood stocking (yep, I've still got it!) and title the page ... maybe tomorrow. I've got to be more awake tomorrow!














The theme for Day #8 was about observing your surroundings, sharing a photo taken & writing about your observations. Our weekend snowfall & my snow-capped coneflowers were what I had to use ...

Snarkiness (love it, Vonna!)

“Hold a true friend with both your hands.” (Nigerian proverb)

Vonna has this great post on her blog about people, courtesy, holidays, people being "snarky" ... Love the word, very much appreciate the post! While it's a bit twisted, it's sort of comforting to know we each encounter snarkiness in people ... makes it a bit less personal. *lol*

I hope you have an un-snarky day! That you find peace & something to laugh about today 'cause as Nickelback says, tomorrow's not a given right. Grab today & have a blast!

(And, Sandy? Thank you for the laughs & joy you so wonderfully bring into my life!!!)

12.07.2008

Grace

An online group sent out a prompt today about 'grace' .. where you find it, how you define it, if anyone's shown you grace lately ...

And this was in another email today:"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they, too, have their story."

Very interesting that both appear today as I was reminded earlier today about a Tarot reading I had in October as well as a life path reading a friend did for me. One of the cards in my reading was the 'death' card which does not often actually mean death but means an absolute end to something. I've felt very strongly that it has to do with my stitching but I know I have no intention of never crossing another "x" - so, why would I would I think that that's the tie?

Add in today's messages about grace, about trying to be on 'good terms' with all people ... and I have to acknowledge the tie. I have to recognize the sign ... I've been part of a group of wonderful women, our common thread (or should that be floss? *lol*) being our love of cross stitching. A few months ago, words I said were very misinterpreted and though I apologized, though I tried to mend the perceived hurt, I've learned recently that apparently my attempts were for naught. My heart's hurt as I've realized someone's apparently decided to just totally write me off without saying a word. ["apparently" because nothing has been said directly to me, so I'll leave that little door open for my possible misinterpretation] It has seemed to me that this has made others uncomfortable or reluctant and it hurts to think others are so affected by something that should now be put away as a memory. I've worked to have this joyous attitude, a "Christmas" attitude this year ... and I won't let this damper my enthusiasm, but it most assuredly affects my willingness to 'give' as I'd planned.

Wow, what a long way around to say, I think I have to acknowledge that the 'absolute end' is me, within that group. I know I have friends within that group of women & those friendships will not end ... but somehow, there is an end to the 'group' functionality. How that works through remains to be seen, and I'll continue to pray that the situation heals .. But I'll also acknowledge & accept that life does indeed go on, regardless.

Lists

The prompt today centered on organizing ... I chose 'lists' since I'm extremely anal & live for lists! They're everywhere ... in my Curve, in my purse, on my desk ... everywhere!












Had this big discussion with T last night as he looked at the JYC pages I created. As often happens, it was more a grammatical discussion than anything else - but it really got under my skin. I know grammar, spelling, editing ... it's a passion, an obsession of mine & my education more than serves me well. He kept insisting I was keeping a diary not a journal. I kept insisting they're the same thing, which he kept debating 'til we reached the "ok! we're not discussing this anymore!" from him. *sigh* Of course, I just now looked up the definitions:

jour·nal (jûrnl)n.1.
a. A personal record of occurrences, experiences, and reflections kept on a regular basis; a diary.

di·a·ry (d-r)n. pl. di·a·ries
1. A daily record, especially a personal record of events, experiences, and observations; a journal.

Silly man... I am right! *lol*

12.06.2008

Day 6

YEA! I'm caught up!

Day 5

I'd hoped to spend the day today getting caught up but .. someone else wanted to use the computer & desk. ;-) So, tonight, I'm getting caught up!












Today's been a winter day - snow & cold! I don't know what our total accumulation is, but it snowed all day. Love it!! I took a few pictures I'll share tomorrow - maybe I'll even get one tomorrow morning of the day after...

12.05.2008

It's COLD!

So far this season of impending winter, I've managed to get around town with a fleece jacket - if one at all. As much as I love cold & snow, I hate big bulky coats. I have a 25+ year old Eddie Bauer jacket I won't part with, despite the fact it's traveled all over the country when I was a trucker (and thus probably still has RotellaT & diesel fuel on it) because it's such a wonderful GoreTex jacket. Have I said I hate bulky coats? Yep, fleece or Eddie Bauer for me!

But today?

IT'S COLD! We've had snow flurries off & on all day, wind, a bit of sunshine ... and COLD! I hope wherever you are, you're at least inside out of the elements if your weather's like ours!

But, I braved the weather ... had lunch with 2 of my best buds & one's darling almost-3-year-old daughter. We went to an Asian/Sushi restaurant I'd never been to & it was yummy! Yep, I had sushi - and, thanks to my vacation in Arizona, hot & sour soup. YUMMMM!! I'll post pictures of the Christmas presents I received today (note to self: take pictures!) soon.

Day 4 .. a day late

If you know me at all, you know I love snow & I love New England. JYC's Day 4 prompt was about our own perfect Christmas - no restraints, just our memories, daydreams, whatever - with a picture included (a photo, a drawing, whatever). How could mine not be of a Christmas in the mountains???












To all who post comments here - or, even just look (though I'd appreciate your comments!) - thank you!!!

12.04.2008

Words

Penny shared this quote in one of my online groups & I absolutely love it! I think it perfectly describes the magic of words well used, stories well told ...


"There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic." -- Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Book swap


I participated in Mary's Christmas book swap (see earlier post) & received my book this week. Thank you, Ruth! And thank you, Mary, for organizing the swap! Mine to Ruth is going out in today's mail ... and of course I can't show you - it's a surprise! :-)

12.03.2008

Day 3

Have I said how glad I am I joined Shimelle's class???












Today was another goofy day at work ... this daily prompting to stop & remember the season is such a huge boost!
Now to actually address & mail our cards! A project for this weekend...!

Day of Sharing Song

Via D'Blogala's blog I found LK Ludwig's blog and her wonderful post about music .. This song from Nickelback's new album, Dark Horse, grabs me and I play it everywhere ... in my car, in my office, everywhere ... It's "If Today was Your Last Day" and can be heard on their website. It is AWESOME!

Come join in today's Sharing ... you know there's a song that moves you!

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day
and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you'll never live it twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day
and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce of memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin' stand in your way
Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day
and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?

Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce of memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

12.02.2008

Snow

Oh, this is fun ... day #2 of JYC! I know I won't be able to keep at each day, every day ... but once in the swing of it, I'll be able to note what I want to do & have catch-up times.

I have more I want to include with today's page ... memories & such, so at some point, I'll do a partner page. Some time ...












The snow today was enough to have me sighing, wanting to play outside. But there certainly wasn't enough to play in ... but I can dream, right? Our grandkids have already had snow days in upper Michigan ... when's mine???

12.01.2008

Day 1

Since I didn't have an optician appt this evening after all, I came right home & got to work on my first page. I've another typed out that will be put, probably, in an envelope inside the binder as it's a bit more personal. I want to compose a letter to K as well to include as I really hope all of this helps her own outlook ...

I couldn't tell you how many changes of paper & all I did tonight. I sure hope I pull other days together faster! *lol*

JYC manifesto

Because I have this thought working & don't want to totally lose it, I'm going to begin my 'manifesto' for the Journal Your Christmas class here. I plan to share pages from my album as the days go by, hoping that will push me to stay focused, to do what I can on a daily basis. So, you're my cheerleaders ... If I'm MIA, give me a shout! *lol*

To combine some of Shimelle's words with my own:

Starting today, December 1, I will keep a Christmas journal in the album I decorated over the past weekend. I will include something every day - to reflect on the holidays past, to commemorate the joy of the present holidays & to dream about those holidays in our future. I am taking back Christmas ... and I'm hoping to include my daughter in my effort. K has become disgruntled with "the holidays" over the past years after her father & I divorced. There were rough years - who would be where when and all of that nonsense. Before we divorced, there were heated discussions about how we opened presents and who would be where when. And now, with the family we've joined, getting such a large group of people together has become a seemingly monumental task. As long as I have K & T with me, the rest just doesn't matter.

I want Christmas to be joyful for us ... I want this year to be a most memorable season for us. And I will give myself at least 15 minutes each day through the season to creating that season ... making something with my own hands, in my own words, through my own memories.

Yeah!

A friend shares...

A friend shares daily pieces of attitudes & thoughts from one of her daily readings. Today's is somewhat poignant, considering an experience I've had recently:

As I look back over this year, I will consider calmly my actions and attitudes, just as though I were evaluating the progress of someone else. I will not make it an occasion for guilt and regret. I will blame no one else for anything that happened, for I have learned in Alanon that I am not a judge of others. This day, and the days to come, will be filled with opportunities to make more of myself.
The purpose of my inventory is to get a clear picture of where I now stand, to recognize shortcomings that still need to be corrected, and not to use any self-deceiving means of justifying them.


This is a much-needed reminder for me that I have no reason to feel guilty ... that I have nothing to apologize for, regardless of how others' actions & words create discord & turmoil. My emotional reaction right now is one of hurt, disbelief, bewilderment. But I will continue to reassure myself that I did not cause what's occurred ... I am surprised that some feel a need to create 'sides' rather than live a life that reflects purported beliefs. And my ramblings here are just that ... ramblings of bewilderment. *deep breath* Life does indeed go on & I will move forward, clear in my own conscience.

p.s. Thank you for those who've left such wonderfully encouraging comments! All is good ... Every path has to have a few stumbles but I've learned to pick myself up & keep moving.