Thursday, December 31, 2015

Farewell to the Old - Bring in the New

The last day of 2015. 

The beautiful planet Venus shines above 
Mt. Rainier and the Cascade range at first light. 

Like most years, we've had our share of love and loss, 
heartache and happiness. 

It was a memorable year. 

We gained a first Grandchild and lost a Father. 

Celebrated a niece's wedding 3000 miles away,
 and a milestone birthday for me at the coast.

We lost our rescue dog, Champ, 
and gained a new buddy, Kai. 

We had personal heartache and sorrow, 
 but, also, plenty of love, fun and laughter.

And like all of you, my Dear Friends, 
we have witnessed a world that is 
always changing. 

We've prayed for all those who have suffered, 
and prayed for peace and enlightenment 
in a world that sometimes seems to have gone completely mad. 

But as we've all seen, it is at these moments
that mercy, and the love of mankind for one another,
shines most bright. 

I am an eternal optimist. 

I firmly believe that we have all been chosen
to be here in this time and place on earth, 
to bring peace and harmony
to a world that greatly needs our help. 

Small acts of kindness ripple outwards
like a pebble thrown in still water -
the concentric circles expanding ever wider
as these acts get passed on, one to another. 

I know that I can't change the world
unless I start with myself.  

For my New Year's Resolution, 
I want to practice more
of those virtues that ripple outward
in a positive way.

As I walk my path,
I want to practice more kindness, patience,
understanding, and compassion.

I know that I can't control the actions of others, 
but I can control my response.


This is not always easy -
Especially in traffic!  :)

I know that a slow and steady pursuit
of these virtues, will always bear
sweet fruit. 

This does not mean that I should accept
being treated unkindly. 
There is such a thing as discernment. 
Sometimes we have to let people go
that don't have our best interest at heart......

Wishing them well. 
But still being kind.

This is another thing I need to work on
in the coming year. 

Learning to let go and forgive.

I can really beat myself up over the past sometimes :) 

But as I've grown older, I realize that all that 
negative self-talk isn't doing any good. 

Nor does it change a thing.

So I will try to search for the lessons.
The silver lining in the dark cloud.


I want to live more in the moment this year. 
I've learned a lot about this from my pets. 

Every day is a new adventure! 

Joy is a new treat, or their favorite 
human coming home, or a walk in the woods. 

They don't worry about the past, or 
whether their hair looks good, or
if they've gained a few pounds
or have a few new wrinkles. 

They just bound through life 
with a smile on their face and tails wagging. 

Of course, they don't have to worry about 
paying the bills, but they have such
an accepting and grateful way of 
appreciating the smallest kindness,
which I really admire. 

And they don't judge each other by size, shape, 
color, breed, religion, profession, or other silly comparisons. 

Well, maybe they judge each other by smell. Lol! 

So this year, I want to love and play more,
learn from the past, appreciate every day, and forgive and let go,
but always remember, and hold in my heart,
those wonderful good times. 

Just like the song.....

Auld Lang Syne - (Old Long Ago)

Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot
And days of Auld Lang Syne?

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear.
For Auld Lang Syne.
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
for days of Auld Lang Syne.


Wishing you the very best in
the coming New Year,
my Friends!

Thank you for being the wonderful,
talented, creative, kind and beautiful
people you are.


If you've noticed, 
some of you might find it hard to 
follow Blogger blogs lately. 

Here are some answers:
                                                  An update on Google Friend Connect

Monday, December 28, 2015

Time for Reflection

We woke up on Christmas morning to a dusting of snow.....

And beautiful rays of light
from the heavens. 

Nature's beauty ushering in 
this most blessed of days. 

The table was set.....

( Candles wrapped in birch bark paper
for the centerpiece. )

Log rounds served as coasters. 

Toasts were made.....

'The Elf' - a splash of Midori in a glass of champagne
garnished with a cranberry :)


On the menu: 
Brown Sugar glazed ham
Scalloped potatoes
green salad / rolls
Gingerbread cake

Simply made from two boxes of gingerbread cake mix
frosted in the middle with a tub
 of store-bought cream cheese frosting. 

Simple and delicious
on a busy morning!

The 'Poinsettia' was made using 
jelly candy 'fruit slices'. 

We gather around the tree....

With our special guest - Jen's Mom, Julia. 

Presents were opened....

Celebrating Ethan's first Christmas! 

A special gift from Gramma - 
finished just in time! 

He's been OUR special gift this year <3

All too soon it was over.

The house is quiet now,
but sweet memories linger.

I hope you all had a wonderful, Merry Christmas! !


I've been under the weather with a head cold
this last week, so I am taking this time
before New Year's to rest a bit.

I will be visiting while I recover - something
 I have not had time to do recently.
I was unable to get close to my
little grandson at Christmas
because I didn't want to pass this nasty
bug along.

Praying for all those affected by the
terrible weather in the middle of the country this week.
My heart breaks for all those who lost loved ones.

 My Dear Friends.
It's been such a beautiful journey
getting to know each and every one of you
this past year and I look forward to
a New Year of friendship with all of you.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bringing in the Light

As we count down to Christmas Day, 
we have brought together many
traditions from all over the world,
most going back centuries.

Decorating the Christmas tree.....
(or two)

Anticipating Santa's arrival.......

Or perhaps Father Christmas.....

(I found these darling little lambs at Spot on Cedar Pond
Santa and Father Christmas were made by me.)

But the real reason, of course, is the birth
of the baby Jesus.

A symbol of hope, light, and all things
 good, just, and holy.

In this,  the darkest time of the year,
we each bring our own light
to our celebrations.

All things bright and shiny
 reflect our own inner light.

Angels, God's divine messengers,
are lovingly displayed.

Nature's gifts are brought inside -

And if we are fortunate, we have
a warm and cozy home
on these cold December days.

It's a time to remember those less
fortunate, who might not be so blessed.

It's a time for giving and receiving....

A beautifully wrapped blog give-away that I 
won from Celeste at Southern Day Dreams

A sweet little tree in a tart tin,
surrounded by presents.

So perfect on my kitchen queen shelf.
Thank you, Celeste!

It's a time to remember those no longer
with us, and a time to pray for
all those struggling with serious health issues,
loss, and misfortune.

And it's a time to gather those we love
 together, to celebrate
this holy season of light
with joy and peace in our hearts,
counting our blessings
that we made it through another year.

Another year to live, love and learn
what is most most important
in this life.

Faith, Family, Friends.
And all the love and light we can share.

Sending all of you my very best wishes
for a truly beautiful Christmas,
filled with love, wonderful memories
 and many lovely blessings.



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