Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas !

I finally got my tree decorated!
Still missing the topper...I have 
both a star and angel someplace.
My favorite ornament....
Halley's Comet

My office tree with bits of my
favorite things I added throughout
the year.

Merry Christmas
and peaceful wishes
 for your best year
 yet...2013 !

This is one of my favorite

Keeping Christmas
Henry van Dyke

It is a good thing to observe Christmas day. The mere marking of times and seasons, when men agree to stop work and make merry together, is a wise and wholesome custom. It helps one to feel the supremacy of the common life over the individual life. It reminds a man to set his own little watch, now and then, by the great clock of humanity which runs on sun time.
But there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.
Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellowmen are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness—are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open—are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world—stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death—and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas.
And if you keep it for a day, why not always?
But you can never keep it alone.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Peace, interrupted

Has everyone heard of
Mattie J.T. Stepanek?
If not, please check out his
website for more info.

Just thoughts -- on interrupted peace.
by Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D.
On behalf of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation 

Peace is possible.

I do not understand why handfuls of people - those handfuls representing diverse races and religions and economic and education statuses - reach a point in life that a choice is made to destroy or diminish other lives in calculated or cold or careless ways.

I am at a loss for words and explanations right now. There are no good reasons or justifications for senseless acts of violence, or discrimination, or hatred, or revenge, or whatever. I do not know why some people, and I honestly believe it is 'handfuls of people' make the choices they make, because most people are, as Mattie said - 'generally and genuinely good'.

What I do know is that every moment in every life holds the opportunity for peace - not just as a possibility but as a reality. It comes down to personal choices.

Peace involves good judgment, not judging others.

Peace involves just choices, not choosing justice or revenge or retaliation for others.

Peace involves some level of personal sacrifice - in resources and time and mediation - not self-sacrifice or the sacrificing of others.

Peace involves education and communication and collaboration, not assumption or hearsay or force.

Peace involves understanding. Understanding our own needs that will enable us to survive, and that will also allow us to thrive and know hope and happiness.

Peace involves understanding our neighbors' needs and not assuming that all people have the same preferences or priorities in needs.

Peace involves balancing and tending to the needs of all people in a fair and just and good way.

Peace involves recognizing that the needs of humanity include not only access to food and water and safety and education, but also respect and hope and happiness and the nurturing of resiliency - so that natural burdens may strengthen us rather than harden us.

Peace necessitates a realization that mental and emotional health needs matter as much in the balance as physical and medical health needs.

Peace grows from a feeling that "we matter" and that we "have purpose" (or as Mattie called it, a "Heartsong") - despite differences or hardships or preferences.

Peace involves honesty and accuracy in story-telling and news reporting, not sensation or fact-angling.

Peace involves responding to realities in a balanced way, not reacting with emotion or political agendas.

Peace involves balancing privilege with responsibility.

Peace involves compassion and kindness, and patience and respect, and trust.

Peace is not about agreeing with or even liking our neighbors around the block or around the world; peace is simply about being with our neighbors - without judgment and with purpose. A good and gentle purpose, which is peace.

Peace is for all people, and peace is possible, if we learn and teach and understand what peace is really about.

Peace does not begin with ending wars or controlling or condemning or hating people we do not know or like or agree with or understand.

Peace begins within each of us when our needs are met, and we are enabled to make responsible choices in thought and attitude, and in word and action - in our homes, in our schools, in our places of work and worship, in our communities.

Peace grows as we support our neighbors in their needs, and in realizing that they matter and have purpose, even as we matter and have purpose.

Peace involves so many, many worthy basics, and truths.

Peace involves commitment to such basics and truths.

Peace involves role models, who exemplify all the necessary choices and truths that will create peace, despite natural burdens and differences and disasters.

Peace involves planning, and practice, and work. Hard work. Not just a commitment to ideals, but also negotiating and collaborating and creatively considering so many multi-faceted issues that interrupt peace.

Peace involves faith. Faith in Goodness, for this moment, and every next moment, and eternity.

We cannot always choose what happens to us, or to those we love and care for. But we can choose how we reflect any reality onto others, into the world, and unto the future. Peace involves a reflection anchored in hope, and nurtured by others, and strengthened with faith.

As we begin to recover from yet another tragedy, it becomes our choice in how to move "forthward" as Mattie would say - not pointing fingers, but joining hands and tending to those things that need to be fixed, and truths that need to be embraced, for our world. And I am certain that Mattie would encourage us to move forthward with a careful response that will support peace beyond the initial emotional reaction. He would say that hope is real, even in the darkest of moments, and that life is worthy of celebrating.

Mattie would remind us that peace is about fostering resilience and rebuilding the mosaic of humanity, and not about furthering revenge or retaliation. He would implore us to consider the truths of peace, and then to reconsider how we are balancing needs and rights and privileges with securities and responsibilities and protections. And I believe that my son would continue advocating that peace is possible and that it begins with a choice, but that peace also relies on reviewing and updating policies and laws and attitudes and habits that move peace from that ever-present possibility to a reality.

We must seek peace, and embrace peace as an attitude and something that matters in all times, not just when things are going our way.

We must make peace, and nurture it as a habit, and offer it to others through our words and actions.

We must bring peace, and share it with other people - people who look and live and think and pray much like us, and people who look and live and think and pray very differently from us.

We must choose peace as something that matters for ALL people, because peace IS possible, if we make peace our choice.

-These are just thoughts on interrupted peace, and on moving forthward, from "Mama Peace" - who has been crying with too many others in our good world in response to the latest tragedies.

Closing thought for this statement:

"We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts,
to nurture, to offer, to accept.
... and now, let us pray,
differently, yet together..."
    -Mattie J.T. Stepanek
"For Our World" poem excerpt in
 "Just Peace: A Message of Hope."

For more information about Mattie J.T. Stepanek or the mission and work of Mattie's Foundation, please visit Thank you. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree..........

We got our Christmas tree 
the night (the 27th) before the
 big storms here in Northern
 California, but here it sat for a week....

.....and now it sits here !

I hope I can get at least the
lights on it  (might have to
get new ones) ......

....because I don't know how I will 
get through all of the boxes of
decorations that have been
stored for years.   :o)  I had
plans to get this all done in
November after I put everything
away from our Halloween party, but ?
Have you gotten your tree and 
decorations finished?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


How can 3 weeks fly by?   Doesn't 
it seem like we all say the same thing?
You get started on something and the
next thing you know, the weeks go
by so fast and you only got half
of what you thought you would get
done, done!
I'm still working on my Halloween pics
and now it is Thanksgiving!

We will have a quiet Thanksgiving
 Day making a plan for our first 
Christmas in our new house.  First on
the list will be a 12 foot Christmas tree!
I have wanted a tall tall tree forever
and now that we have a 12 foot spot, 
here we come! (hopefully)
 On Friday we will head over
 to Mike's folks to help out a bit.

Best wishes to everyone for a safe 
and gracious Thanksgiving full of
continued blessings.
As we express our gratitude, 
we must never forget that the highest 
appreciation is not to utter words,
 but to live by them.
--- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Bewitching wishes to all you 
haunters out there!
It's Halloween!  It's Halloween!
The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can't
be seen on any other night.
Skeletons and ghosts and
ghouls, Grinning goblins 
fighting duels.  Werewolves
rising from their tombs, Witches
on their magic brooms.  
In masks and gown we haunt
the street and knock on doors
for trick or treat.  Tonight we
are the king and queen,
for oh tonight it's Halloween!
--- Jack Prelutsky

99 years old. 
Click on image to enlarge and read.

Our Halloween party has come 
and gone.  Only 14 people came
and I had food for 30!  Oh well,
we had so much fun putting it
together and enjoying the night,
which by the way was perfect
weather!  A full moon and the
temperature was very mild.
Mike made a fire pit down by
the lake and people went back
and forth.   Jen and Ben, our
sweet young couple, sang and
played the ukulele for us too.

  Aren't they cute?

More to come..............

If you can't get rid of the
skeleton in your closet,
you'd best teach it to dance.
--- George Bernard Shaw

Monday, October 29, 2012


Mary Brio Rose

Mary has won these 2 darling pins
from my first give-away.

But don't worry if you didn't win this 
time as I will be having another
 give-away in November.    :o)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween is coming and 30 followers!

I just happened to pop by and
see I have 30 followers!
Thank you ! 
It took over a year, but now 
it is time to draw the name of
a lucky winner for the 2
darling pins.  
 Please give me this week
to get it together as we are
 working towards transforming
our house for a Halloween party 
on the 27th and ayou can see
 I have my usual mess going
 on....and this time it is a big one!

Boxes and boxes of Halloween items.
Plus more items outside.   Life size
tombstones and a coffin that my
dear friend Marie and I made 10
years ago for our last Halloween
party.... actually her husband Steve
made the coffin.  I did have a small
 party last year, but not near as 
elaborate as our party of 2002. 
 I can't believe it was 10 year ago ! 
 I also made a mummy's tomb in
 2002, but we ran out of room in the
 trailer to bring it over to the house.  
I'll use it next year.  I told myself 
last year that I will always try to 
have a Halloween party every year 
from now on and not let 10 years
 (or really 9 years) go by again. 
  Does anyone else have
a Halloween party each year?
To see more pics of 
our 2002 haunt CLICK HERE and

My 2 favorite monsters, The Phantom
 of the Opera (silent version) and
 the Creature from the Black Lagoon
(new this year).

A couple of boxes of crows
 and scary bats!

And a mummy for luck !

Inside of us, there's a 
continual autumn. 
 Our leaves fall and
are blown out over
 the water.
--- Rumi

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Summer is can that be?

Yes, I am alive !  We finally moved into 
our new house on Sept. 1st.   I thought 
would spend the summer sharing
 every step of our house re-do, but now
 4 months have passed and not one post! 
  I hope to get back into blogging soon.  
  I have a lot to share with you all, but
 for now I will leave you with these
 pics of our great room.   It is still not completely set up, but hopefully soon. 

 I hope everyone had a lovely
 summer filled with special
 memories and fun times.  
  Be back soon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New House

We got the keys to our 
new house on May 17th!
Work starts on June 4th.....yippee!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New pin for Giveaway!

Well here it is.....the 2nd pin that 
will go to some lucky winner!
Keep one and give the other
as a gift or enjoy both pins
for yourself!

It measures 1 1/4 inches in diameter
and can be worn with anything.  :o)
So to win both pins ...

... just become a follower of my
blog and once I am at 30 followers
I will pick a winner.  And remember
if you have your own blog, post
this giveaway on it and you will get
2 chances to win!  Just remember
to let me know.
If you don't win this time,
there will be other chances to win. 
To enter, you must
become a follower of my blog.
Just click on "Join this site"
under the heading "Followers".
Good luck!

The neighbor's guinea hens 
were out the other morning.
There used to be 4 of them, but
 I don't know what happened 
to her.  They can sure make a
racket, but I love them anyway.
They usually circle the house,
pecking away at the bugs
 and hollering now and then.

AND this may be our new backyard!
We are in the process of buying
a house and hopefully we will know
for sure in the next 2 weeks.
I didn't want to say anything until
we were closer to the end.  We 
had a major disappointment in 
March on another place that we
both really loved.   Hopefully
this house is meant to be!
I hope to share more pictures
as we go along.  The house needs
a lot of work, but it will be fun
to see the transformation.
The significance of life
is life itself.
--- Hermann Keyserling

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day!

Our greatest glory
 is not in never failing,
but in rising up
 every time we fail.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 23, 2012


My friend Rebecca had been 
Helping Haiti
even before the devastating 
earthquake 2 years ago. In fact,
 she had returned to the States
 2 weeks before it hit!  
 Can you imagine?


She is still doing great work helping
these worthy people (even helping to
 build homes).  If you would like
to help in donating some easy to find 
items or make a quilt or even go
 through your fabric pile and share
 some of it for a very worthy cause
 then please visit
to get all the info you will need.



Teaching these teenage boys 
to "fish".   Please click HERE for
 this inspiring and touching story.
What a lovely smile!
I am sure glad there are people
like Rebecca!   It makes me
Though no one can go 
back and make a brand 
new start, anyone can start 
from now and make a
 brand new ending.
--- Author Unknown

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Feels like Spring ...finally ! And my GIVEAWAY!

There are many wonderful
things that will never be
done if you do not do them.
--- Charles D. Gill

Today felt like Spring, finally!
High 70's, with a perfect
breeze.   I visited Colleen today
and I took her for a little stroll
around the nursing home.
She wore my sunglasses and
looked pretty cool for 86 years!
I'll see about getting a photo
of her next time.

My neighbor mowed the front yard
today and it smells divine!   The old
fruit trees are getting their BLOSSOMS.

I bought some lilacs this
past Sunday at Whole Foods 
and most are still blooming and
smelling heavenly!

And my favorite PANSIES
are blooming perfectly.....

..... all is well !

A few weeks back, I bought a box 
of these lights at Kmart ....the 
last one they had.   Imagine my 
excitement when I  went back
 yesterday and there were more in
 stock!   I couldn't resist getting one
 more box.   I hope they look like 
the fireflies on the Pirates of the 
Caribbean.   :o)  One of my all-time
 favorite things to see! 
  They are solar, but since we have
 had such overcast weather I haven't 
put them out yet.  It is suppose to 
stay sunny so I'll try this weekend.
And they were on sale too.

Each experience through
which we pass operates
ultimately for our good.
This is a correct attitude
to adopt and we must be 
able to see it in that light.
--- Henry S. Haskins
Easy for him to say!
And lastly, I finally hit 20 
followers and when I did, I was
going to add another piece of jewelry
for my blog giveaway from last year !
Here is the original post on what to do.
Click HERE .
This next week I will add another piece
 of jewelry as promised.  Once I get to
 30 followers, I will draw a name and
 that person will receive both pieces of 
vintage jewelry!
I just read my original post and 
I was sure hopeful it wouldn't 
have taken this long to get a 
winner !   :o)