Monthly Archives: December 2010

>My New Year’s Wish…..

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Well. It’s New Year’s Eve.

This is traditionally a time of reflection and of looking ahead…..

Looking back:

This has been a hard year for me in many ways. Not a bad year, mind you. Just hard….

I’ve had to let go of things, of people, of dreams…..

It’s seemed as if every teeny, tiny thing was an epic battle, no exaggerating. I pinky promise.

And my hormones are wreaking havoc on my emotional state. I know what it is, I’m just not ready to face that particular reality. TMI, I know…but I’m looking back here….

One of the hardest things about this year, for me, has been Honey’s jobs. He had been working for a satellite company, which would have him out till whenever, and in all sorts of weather conditions. I hated it and so did he; but we were both thankful that he had a job.

Then, he got a job working with his BFF. He absolutely loves it. And he’s not in the weather. But, where before he had three days off every week, he now only has one. And the hours are just as long….

Still, there have been many wonderful things about the year:

Squirmy was born.
Director’s husband is cancer free.
Roo came into our lives.
My family is healthy and employed.
I’m fortunate enough to love the people I work with and for.
My husband loves his job and works with and for great people, too.
We paid off a lot of debt.
We have a home. And heat. And food.
I began writing. I wrote a book (nano).
And I met all of you….

That’s not too bad, huh?

As for resolutions, I gave those up long ago. They’re exercises in failure.

In February, I decided to write. And I have. It was my only goal for the year.

This coming year, I’m concentrating on The Follow-Through. That encompasses many things for me.

If I can manage to follow-through on at least one thing a day, it will be a success. And success is measured in small victories. I intend to build upon those small victories……I’m going to make success a habit. It only takes twenty-one days for a thing to become a habit, did you know that?

So, for the coming year, I wish for us all the healthy habit of success….

Successful in our relationships….
Successful in our work….
Successful in our creativity….
Successful in our letting go of negative things….
Successful in our endeavor to become better selves….
Successful in our healing….
Successful in our courage….

I’ve not put periods at the ends of any of these sentences because they’re open to interpretation. Healing for me may be different from healing for you….and we all have various things in our lives that require courage….

I am being courageous (more than you know) in hoping these things. I want them for all of you, but hoping them for myself…..that’s a big deal.

And for me, it will be all about The Follow-Through…..and the key will be not focusing on all these things I’ve listed or looking at the big picture. It will be about focusing on one thing at a time; doing it; completing it; and moving to the next thing….and success will simply be the natural by-product….

So, my New Year’s Wish is simply this:

I hope for all of you that this new year will hold many successes, in many forms, and so abundantly that you will have to begin heaping it onto others…..and still have so much left over that you can just wallow in it from time to time….

>Some Mischief And A Head’s-Up

>I have a teeny weeny confession to make. I’m one of those people who can get up to some weird stuff when they’re bored.

For the past couple days, I’ve been fighting off a terrible cold. Today, I needed to run some errands but didn’t because of a sinus headache. Thankfully, it’s nearly gone now, but that’s not the point here.

Do any of you remember these commercials? Don’t raise your hands! If you can, like me, you’re probably old enough to lie about your age and I don’t want to out you…..

Anyway, not in the mood to clean or read, but feeling a little munchy, I decided to experiment. Since we have some rare Hershey Kisses in the house (not rare as in worth some money, but rare as in we never buy them), I thought I’d see what they would taste like dipped in some Jif.

Know what? It’s not too bad. Still, I much prefer Reese’s Cups. That’s my mischief for the day.

Now for an announcement.

January 3 is my mom’s birthday. She would be 68 this coming Monday. If baking is allowed in Heaven, I’m sure everyone will be clamoring for her secret recipe red velvet cake…..

Anyway, what I wanted to tell you all is this: in honor of her birthday, on the 3rd, I will be making an announcement. And you won’t want to miss it.

I know it’s gonna be a Monday and some of us will be getting back into the swing of things and might miss it. That’s why I wanted to give everyone a head’s-up. And now I have.

So be sure to tune in……

>AWARDS!!! AWARDS!!! AWARDS!!! And A Haiku!!!

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Denise from L’Aussie Writing recently created this award and honored me with it. So did Madeleine and Ellie. Last time I was given awards, my computer and internet were acting up and I lost all the information I had saved about who had given them to me and what the rules were for passing them on.

This time, I saved the info in a draft post. Ha!

About the award…

It’s titled L’Aussie’s Fair Dinkum Award and it’s given out to bloggers who are “interesting and creative” and who “comment as often as time allows.” Quoted from Denise’s explanation.

One of the options she gave was to do a post about being fair dinkum, which has a few different meanings. It can be used as slang, such as “For real?” It can also mean the real deal or genuine.

I’m going with the real deal/genuine interpretation for this post.

In my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many fair dinkum people as friends and family members. My brother is as fair dinkum as anyone could possibly get, and so is my nephew. Their wives are, too. They’re all straight-up, what-you-see-is-what-you-get people who don’t play games or double talk or shove knives in anyone’s backs. They’re true-blue loyal, all of them.

If they like you, that’s it; they accept you, warts and all. When they’re needed, they’re there and they won’t accept any type of repayment. Their (our) philosophy is that we’re family (or friends) and that’s just how it works. Family means being there for each other. Always.

Another fair dinkum person is Honey (he’s my favorite but don’t tell anyone!). Over the years, he’s proved his commitment to me by being patient and understanding when I’m all wonky inside and he let’s me vent when I’m frustrated without being judgmental or condescending. He also makes me laugh like a loon, which is something that has always worked like magic on me. He takes care of my inner child, which means the world to me.

I have some friends who are pretty fair dinkum, too. They offer encouragement and support when I need it and I know that if I needed anything, they’d be there. They let me be myself and value our friendship enough that they’re completely themselves around me, too. A two-way street is a necessity in any real relationship. If it’s not there, it’s not real.

I have to say that the blogging community is the most fair dinkum community I have ever encountered or heard of. All of you are passionate and creative and caring and supportive…..and you show it not only in your responses to the blogs you follow, but in how you lay yourselves out there, too. (That two-way street I was talking about earlier.)

Not only do we need to know that someone will be there for us when we need help, but we also need to be able to offer help.  Otherwise, we end up feeling, well….needy all the time instead of useful and having a purpose and being able to contribute.

So anyway, that’s how I feel about fair dinkum and I love Denise’s award. Not because she gave one to me, but for what it represents. I do love that she gave me one, though *grinning*. Duh! And I also love that Ellie and Madeleine thought of me, too. Wow.

When Denise awarded this originally, she gave it out to the fair dinkum people who regularly show up and give some blog love to her posts. I decided to do the same thing….only, and this is a very nice thing….lots of you show up regularly. I began making the list, going through the last several posts and seeing who showed up somewhat regularly…..and I had way too many names! You all are the best and I really mean that. 
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Madeleine also gifted me with this lovely award:
Here are the award rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
3. Pass the award along to other bloggers who you think have the best blog.
4. Contact them to let them know about their award.

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this; if you are not anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously so that you could be anonymous now? I do blog somewhat anonymously because of my job. It allows me to be more open without crossing any confidentiality lines. Also, I don’t like to put anyone else’s name ‘out there’ without permission, or their photos. However, many of you know my name through email, so….

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side. I’m not stubborn *cough*. Um, it mostly shows up in little things. Like decor and ‘persuading’ my husband to have input in the choices. I am extremely stubborn….in flexible ways. Does that make sense?

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror? Lately, it’s been surreal. I’m seeing more of my sister and my mom. I never felt like I looked too much like either of them, though most people swear my sister and I could pass for twins….not sure what that means…..?

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink? Sweet tea, a Set-Up, almost anything from Sonic…


5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do? Read, play on here, nap, watch a movie…

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it? Get fit, get published, pay off our house, visit Ireland, England, and Scotland….

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching? My second grade teacher wrote on the back of my report card that I was “shy and timid” and that was pretty much  me throughout school. I did have a circle of friends and we participated in several school activities/clubs/organizations. I was on yearbook staff all through high school and I loved roaming the halls and playing with the Nikon….

 8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see? Too many things….something I said to my mom that I wish I could take back (the ignorance of children); sitting by her bedside in the hospital the night before the day she died (oh, there’s a stubborn incident-I’d already cleared it with the staff to come after work, about 12am, and the nurse on duty told me I couldn’t. I flat out told her that I was staying and I planted myself in a chair and refused to move. She left me alone after that!).

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events? I’m actually kind of comfortable being me on here. 

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why? Read a book! Unless it’s someone I like talking on the phone with…..


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received this yummy award from Donna Hole some time ago….


I’m supposed to share 10 things that make me happy and pass it to 10 friends so they can be happy. 
1. My husband
2. My family
3. My friends
4. All of you
5. My kitties
6. My ‘puter
7. Books and music
8. Soft rain
9. Gray, misty days
10. Kindness
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So, here’s the deal. If you’re a follower, these awards are for you. Your ‘visits’ and comments quite often lift my spirits and put a smile on my face and I thank you. Please, pick up these awards and ‘take them home’ with you. 

I feel like you’re all True Blue and The Best and you make me Happy!

Be sure to check out Denise, Madeleine, Ellie, and Donna over at their blogs. They’re wonderful ladies and, while they write about a variety of things, they always write from the heart. They’re some really Beautiful, Happy-Making Fair Dinkum Bloggers 🙂

My haiku:
it is cold outside
my fuzzy blanket is warm
I’m feeling cozy

Oh, snap! I haiku-ed before I looked at the theme for this week. It’s frost. Here’s another one:

draped in winter’s cloak
frosty diamonds sparkling
Mother Nature shines                                                                                                                                                                    

Remember to take these awards!!!!! They’re for you!!!!!

>My Snow Fun (Loosely Translated Means Taking Pictures)

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My favorite gift this Christmas was spending time with my family. Honey had the WHOLE weekend off (which is unheard of), and we managed to work out time to get together with my brother and my nephew, and their wives. And with Squirmy, of course.

Another thing I loved about this Christmas was the combination of two of my favorite things: trees and snow. I like to take pictures of snow in the evening or at night……

I love the lines trees make……
…..and the way their tiny little branches can hold so much snow……
This little birdhouse looked really cool but the flash kept illuminating the roof inside. The first time I saw it, I looked at the camera, then the house, trying to see what was blocking the entrance!
I tried to get some neat shots by standing next to the trees and looking up. The snow and the lens refused to cooperate with each other…..
I like this one….
It wasn’t terribly dark at all when I took this tree shot…..the flash just made it look that way.
We ended up with just over eight inches here….
I’m glad it stopped!
Even if it was beautiful!

>Seriously?!!! It’s Nearly Tuesday?!!! How’d That Happen?!!!!!!!

>Wow! I’m amazed that I haven’t experienced internet withdrawal!!! That’s how busy and tired I’ve been, I suppose….

I can’t even remember when I was on here last. Not to post, but to visit. Dang!

I think I slept all day on Friday and again on Sunday. I’ve felt exhausted lately and so has everyone I’ve talked to…..

Catching up…..

We’d planned to go to Asheville Friday morning for Honey’s side of Christmas and get back and do my side in the evening. The snow, however, changed those plans. We still did my side, though I was terribly worried about everyone traveling in the snowy conditions. I suppose I forgot who I was related to…..they regularly drive in all sorts of conditions and over a variety of terrains. For fun. Duh….

 Squirmy playing with her new toy……
 ….later in her jammies and Mommy trying to get a pic….
 …..exploring Uncle Honey’s tickle me Elmo (a funny b-day gift from me), and getting a little tired….
 …..laughing while Mommy and Auntie snap some pics….
 “I need to take this call, but this paper is intriguing….” (Mom and Dad in the background.)
…..tuckered out and snuggling with Mommy…..
I know, I’m being a bit indulgent with the pics of my baby niece. Still, they’re the first ones I’ve posted on here, with Mommy’s permission, of course, so….
These were taken Christmas Day. Nephew, CG, Pooh, Brother and Squirmy came over and we snacked and mostly just played with the baby. Eventually, the guys went into Honey’s “man cave” and watched a movie and us girls played, talked, and watched Mystery Diagnosis. (Wow!)
It was a very relaxed time, and lots of fun. All our crazy schedules make it difficult to find time to spend together, but I cherish the times it works out for us. 
As everyone was getting ready to leave, I snapped some snow pics that I will post tomorrow. So anyway, that was basically my Christmas day. Relaxed (I wore my jammies!) and spent with people that I love and filled with laughter. I hope yours was at least as fun 🙂

>Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

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Have a very Merry Christmas!!!!!

>Sensational Haiku Wednesday!

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Jenn over at, You know…..that Blog? hosts a fun little thing call Sensational Haiku Wednesday. Haiku is a form of poetry using non-rhyming words. Three lines with 5, 7, 5 syllables, respectively. Not too hard at all, but lots of fun. 
This week’s theme is Noel. 
Here are my entries for the week:
For the Solstice: 
shadows on the snow
between balanced day and night
magic fills the air
Noel:
candlelight flickers
reverent voices lifted high
on this holy night
Okay. Those are my Wednesday haikus. Why don’t you check out other entries? Or, better yet, linky up yourself and try your hand at this ancient form of poetry! It’s fun!

>Tuesday – It Came. It Went. It Kicked My Butt. And It Was Fun!

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As a rule, I generally hate Tuesdays. This one started off worse than expected. I won’t go into all the details, but, when I get up 20 minutes early and punch in 10 minutes late, it’s not a good beginning…..
Among other things, I was having a really. bad. hair day…..
However, after getting to work and getting into the groove of things, I settled down. Co-Teacher (who will henceforth be known as Evangeline) and I had an insane time getting our room together for our surprise sanitation inspection. Of all the days they could have picked!!!
Do you remember those times when you hadn’t cleaned your house/apartment, and company came? And you ran around like a crazy person, stuffing dishes into the oven and everything else into the bathtub? Well, it was a lot like that. Ah well, we did fine. 
I had to take an extra hour on my lunch break, so William, who’s out of college for the Christmas break, and I, went here:
I needed to pick up some DVDs for him. He puts together the photos and videos Evangeline and I take of kids throughout the year and edits them into a beautiful slideshow, complete with music and visual effects. We give them to the parents at Christmas (and they go crazy over them). Ain’t he sweet?
I also picked up some much needed gift bags.
Then, we stopped by here:
They’re having that ‘buy 3, get 3 sale’ and I needed to pick up some refills. *wink*
When all the errands were finished, we picked up lunch, here:
Love their chicken sandwiches!
Then the fun really began. 
We’ve been practicing for a few weeks for our annual Christmas program. Evangeline and I co-wrote a song (to the tune a a popular children’s song) and a chant for our kids to perform. 
They practiced at home and in class, daily.
Now, I’m not blessed with any vocal talent AT ALL and I had to lead the class in, singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas. In front of at least 100 people. A cappella. Was I nervous? Nah…I’ve gotten used to it. 
No one is paying attention to me. They’re watching their kids! Whew! So it’s cool….
After singing our first song, the audience applauded and the pride shining on their little faces was so heartwarming! The last song, a sort of chant/cheer thing, they did enthusiastically and much louder and I was so proud of them.
It’s hard for a little kid to stay focused when they see mom and dad a few feet away. It’s normal for a kid to cry or just run to them and forget about the whole program. Our little guys did wonderfully. They just stood there and smiled for a few seconds till they realized it was time to go to their parents 🙂
My day started off terribly and ended up pretty great. Thankfully!
So, now I’m home. Honey is on his way and we’re gonna eat some soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. 
I still need to pick up a few things, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. So will the dishes.
My back feels somewhat better, but, I’m still whipped, so I’ll be going to bed really soon. I’ll try to get some visiting done tomorrow evening. And, I have a huge announcement coming soon……
Two more days till vacation…….

>Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest – I’m Late!!!

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Okay, here’s the thing. Somehow, yesterday….I threw my back out; thus, I’ve been unable to finish decorating. 
On top of that, Honey hasn’t had time to get the tree together (he’s the tree decorator…).
Plus, we’re concerned about Roo’s reaction. We don’t have too many delicate ornaments anymore, but we’re worried she might eat something that could cause a serious problem for her….
We do have up our decorative snowmen/snowfamilies, and our dining room table is pretty festive looking, but the pics I took didn’t come out well….
So, here is our tree from our first apartment together…..
 I think this was taken in 2002 or 2003.
I would try to get some better pics of our snow people collections,
but I really need to get a nap.
I took a muscle relaxer….on an empty stomach, and it’s kicked my tail.
Today is our anniversary, 9 years!
And I want to be coherent for at least a simple dinner and maybe a movie.
If I can get some better pics, and/or if we find something that Roo can’t eat,
I’ll post them.
I hope everyone is enjoying the blogfest
and is ready for a fabulous Christmas/holiday season!

>My Harry Potter Blogfest Entry…..Sort Of…..

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As most everyone knows, Michael over at In Time…..hosted a Harry Potter Blogfest
Congratulations to Brenda Drake and Hart Johnson!
I’m really glad I didn’t have to do the choosing; there were way too many awesome entries!!!
I had toyed with the idea of writing something, but didn’t know if I could think of anything.
Then, I happened upon a video on Roland’s blog….and I began crying.
For some reason, this Christmas is about the dead or absent for me….
….and the video seemed to emphasize and amplify my feelings.
From that, my own HP entry was born.
I couldn’t enter it, though. It’s over 3k words.
And, my first and favorite MC interacts, not me.
Still, I like it. Because of its length, I won’t post it here.
It’s over there….
….but you gotta scroll up just a tiny bit.
See over there where it says Pages? It’s under the one titled Shorts. It’s where I’ll post short stories.
But you won’t have to do that this time. You can just click here.
If you have time and/or the inclination, check it out. Let me know what you think.
And, 
Thanks!