Happy New Year!

Well, here we are at the beginning of another year. I cannot believe how quickly time is flying past me!

I am also a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t post as many blogs as I planned, or that I didn’t cook as much as I would have liked!  My days and evenings just seem to get away from me, working a full day usually gets the better of me with the fibro and arthritis that I have. Throw in some time to try to exercise and get my pup some exercise, housework and family, my life just seems to be moving too fast.

And that is something I want to work on!

But what is most important, is that every morning that I am blessed with, I just try to be a better person than I was the day before.

I guess the New Year always brings us thoughts of attempting to make our lives better with resolutions. I am sure I have mentioned before that I don’t usually make resolutions. I set GOALS.

Now I realize that many of you might want to challenge me that resolutions and goals are the same. I beg to differ!! To me a goal is what I strive to accomplish, it’s a “work in progress”. But maybe the REAL reason I choose a goal over a resolution is because of all the failed resolutions I have had in my lifetime.

That being said, I no longer beat myself up if I didn’t do what I really planned to do, yea it might disappoint me but I don’t stress over it.

I know most people want to eat healthier and exercise. But, so many of us fail with the high expectations that we place on ourselves. I have done it myself!

I always strive to live a life that is calm, hopeful, kind and loving. I think that is what most of us try to do isn’t it?

It just gets challenging with all of life’s twists and turns.

This year I am trying something a little different with my goals. I will try to begin each month focusing on one or two things that I want to improve upon. For instance, for January I will concentrate on my health and my family.

Start the month out by writing them down. Write down you plan too.  Sometimes putting our thoughts into words on paper makes it a little easier to follow.

Then at the end of the month, put out the list and see how you did.  If you didn’t quite accomplish your goals, just continue on with the list you made but see if you can tweak the plan to make it work.  Then try again.

I plan to focus on eating healthier, trying to stick to my schedule of swimming 2-3 times a week and instead of spending time watching a Hallmark movie I will read or do meditation and yoga. However I need to fit that in, I will definitely be working on a plan.

I am just not going wake up tomorrow morning and resolve to go to the gym and eliminate certain foods from my diet.  It won’t work, and I know it.

My plan for family is to hopefully get us together for Sunday dinners or a game night. Maybe after each night that I swim I can swing by and visit one of my kids for a little. Anything I can do to spend a little more time with my kids and grandkids.

My daily goal is to be more aware of my faith and spirituality. Concentrate on prayer to get me started in the morning, even if that is 10 minutes of meditation. My goal is to take the time to slow down and be thankful, hopeful, and mindful of my thoughts and my day, all day.

Give it a try, but remember you are human, you will make mistakes. You might slack now and then (who doesn’t), but when you do just recognize that you did and promise yourself that you will try again tomorrow.

Be kind to YOURSELF!!

LOVE yourself!!

Stress is not healthy.

I just want to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! And thank you for stopping in to see me! Live well and happy!!

Making a Prayer Book

Years ago a friend of mine embellished a notebook for me as a gift.  I didn’t want to use this beautiful creation just to jot down notes and scribble to-do lists, so I turned it into a prayer book.

I wrote in some prayers but mostly it was filled with friends and family that needed prayers and support.

I remember quite a few friends asking me, after they heard me say “I’ll put you in my prayer book”, what do you mean!!

But now, after many years of praying on the book and praying for every single person carefully written with love, it’s time to start a new book.

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If you would like to make your own prayer book, here are some ideas.

Choose a notebook of your liking.  It does not have to be fancy or expensive.  You can buy a very inexpensive notebook or composition book and cover it with scrapbook paper.  You could even go all out and use a 3 ring binder.  It will be your personal prayer book, be creative , or be a minimalist like me, simple.

This time around I will be using a book that has a covering that I think is called moleskin, and I’m really hoping it is not made from the skin of moles!!!  If it is, please don’t burst my bubble!!  It also has an elastic band that can keep the book closed, holding any slips of paper with prayers or quotes or prayer cards I may find that I decide to tuck inside.

The first page will have a favorite prayer, bible verse or quote, I haven’t decided just yet but I’m leaning to The Lord’s Prayer.  I was raised on that and The Hail Mary.

The remaining pages in the book can be filled however you want.  I just simply list prayers, quotes, bible verses and names of people that I want to pray for, and I write them in pen.  If you want to use pencil and erase them once the prayer has been answered you can, but I leave them in my book.

If you want to create a section with a page for each day of the week, designating that day to pray for something particular such as  Daily for spouse and children, Sunday for family and friends, Monday for school and teachers, Tuesday for world events, etc.

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You could also make sections for Blessings, Bible Verses, Inspiration or Self Improvement.  You might even want a section to hold funeral cards from family members that list their birth and death dates.  We need to continue to pray for our loved ones even after they have passed.

You can embellish each section or page if you want, if you like to draw go ahead and doodle something in your pages.  Use colorful paperclips or flags for sections, be creative if you like.

As we enter into the upcoming holiday season of giving thanks and spending time with those that we love, get a head start and make your prayer book!  Live well friends!

Happy New Year!

May you all be blessed with laughter and joy, peace and love, health and prosperity in the New Year!

If you make resolutions, good luck but do not beat yourself up if you mess up a little, you are human and will make mistakes.  As for me, I gave up resolutions a long time ago, too much pressure!  I just try to be the best person I can be, I try to keep myself grounded & positive, and surround myself with healthy relationships.  I try to keep my body as healthy as possible with good food, yoga and meditation.  I struggle with fibro pain on a daily basis, and believe it or not…dealing with daily pain really keeps life in perspective for me.

I also keep God in my life, my religious and spiritual faith keeps me going.

I hope you are enjoying a new day filled with delicious food and family and friends!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Coming Home From Work….

Gibson: MEOW!  MEOW!  MEOW!  circling my feet trying to trip me “Feed me, feed me, feed me, put my food before me now damn it, feed me!”

 (Gibson is cute but what an attitude!)

Jack: Barking and jumping and wiggly butt “Oh Mom you’re home! I missed you!  Can I have a cookie? I am SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!”

 

GIBSON:  I set his food dish down and he takes a nibble of his food and glares at me “you and I need to have a little chat about things around here”

Jack: BARK!  He spies the cookie in my hand “Cookie!  What do you want?  Big speak or little speak? My paw? The other paw? A kiss?  Please hurry!  I love those cookies you buy for me! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!”

Jack jumps on my lap and proceeds to wiggle and lick my face:  “I love you so much, I didn’t think you’d ever get home to me! Can we cuddle for a little?” “You are so beautiful and I love you so much!”

Gibson at my feet: MEOW “where’s MY treat bitch? What gives?, you gave him a damn cookie! MEOW!  What about me? I mean really! I do RULE here!!”  MEOW “Oh, by the way, a scratch on MY head would be a nice, but just for a second, got it?” MEOW

As I wander to my bedroom to change, Jack follows with energetic enthusiasm:  “Mom I am so happy to see you! I was so lonely today without you!  Have I told you how beautiful you are?  I don’t think I tell you that enough!”

Gibson follows too, meandering at a slow pace: MEOW “Listen, I want fresh food, and I want it NOW.  MEOW!  The dish you sat before me is leftover from this morning, even though it is that dry crunchy shit you think I like, I do prefer it FRESH from the container.  MEOW!  NO leftovers for me.” MEOW (said with squinty eyes and sarcasm)

Gibson: MEOW “And another thing, because you left me alone with that annoying little sappy DOG all day, I decided to shit outside my litter box.” MEOW

Jack sitting on my bed watching me with those sad puppy eyes: “I’m really sorry Mom but I did a bad thing today.  I had a “cat cookie” that fell out of the “cat-box cookie jar” today.  I know you don’t like me to do that but I had absolutely NO self control whatsoever.  I swear Gibson puts it on the floor on purpose just to tease me and get me in trouble.  I am truly sorry Mom, I will try not to do it again. How about another kiss?”

I pick up Jack from the bed and walk out of the bedroom, Gibson dashes to walk in front of me:  walking a slow KISS MY ASS pace.

Gibson wanders over to his dish, gives me a glaring side glance that would make a mouse fall over dead,  and begins to eat. After two bites he finds his hiding place naps.

Jack, he’s HAPPILY ready for anything I want to do tonight!

Things I Miss in my Life

I miss my…

Mom’s warm smile and loving personality

Dad’s mischievous nature and infectious laugh

Kids as babies

Brother, and everything about him

Nephew and his awesome hugs

 

I miss…

Living less than 10 minutes from the beach

The house I grew up in

Tucking my kids in bed at night and reading to them

Being tucked in by my Mom and Dad

Being able to eat anything and everything and NOT having to worry about fat, calories, cholesterol and weight gain

 

I miss my…

Grandfathers garage full of paint cans

Mammaw’s swing

Mom hamburg bar-b-q

Mom’s family speaking Pennsylvania Dutch

Youth

Grandmothers country farm cooking

 

I miss…

The book swap libraries at the marina’s I used to visit

Sleepovers at my both of my Grandmothers homes

Watching the sunset from the bow of a boat

Holding my Grandmothers hand

Rascal, my husky

 

I miss…

My Dad calming me down after I skinned my knee (but I don’t miss him ripping the band aid off)

Picking on my brother, in our adult years (it got wicked at times)

Having a garden and a patio

Having a tea party with my Dad

Having a back yard picnic with Mammaw

Recess

Naptime

My dolls

Playing a ridiculous card game called “Donkey” with my parents and aunt and uncle (laughed until I cried)

Going to the beach every summer with my family when I was a kid

 The innocence of my childhood and not having a care in the world

 

Christmas Music

Jumping in the car this morning, I turned on  a local radio station that is already playing Christmas music, 24/7.  It wasn’t until I pulled out of the parking lot that I realized I ran out the door a little too early.  Shocking if you really knew me in the morning.  Anyway, by the time I park my car at work, this old Christmas tune is playing,  Johnny Mathias, “The Christmas Song”.  I was transported back in time.  Seriously.  I sat there and saw my Mom as though it was yesterday.  In her skirt, heels and hose with an apron tied around her waist.  The couture very 60’s!  Beehive hair-do, and frosted nonetheless!  On the kitchen wall was the cat clock that wagged its tail and moved its eyes as it kept time.  Dad in the kitchen helping my Mom mash the potatoes.  In the living room my grandparents sat with my brother and me playing with our new toys by the silver tree I disliked.  Our stockings hung on the bookcase shelves because we didn’t have a fireplace.  On the rooftop was a Santa in his sleigh with all the tiny reindeer, and Rudolph with a red lightbulb for his nose leading the way.  The house was framed in those old-fashioned large bulbs.    And on the record player, a Johnny Mathias album.  “The Christmas Song” filled the house along with the aroma of a turkey dinner cooking. 

And as I sit here typing this, I remember the same album playing at my Grandmothers house.  She is baking cookies and wrapping her gifts so precisely that the gift wrap pattern matches, you cannot see any seams.  And the Nativity scene.  That is one of the things I love the most about my childhood Christmas memories.  I would lay on my belly and just gaze at Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  Oh and I cannot forget the ribbon candy!!!  She always had ribbon candy.  I didn’t think they made that anymore but someone brought some into work last week.

Hope you all have pleasant and happy Christmas memories too!

Thanksgiving, The Forgotten Holiday?

Or so says someone at work today.  We were talking about shopping for Christmas gifts, especially on Black Friday, buying decorations and putting them up, and so on.  He was not happy.  But I have to agree, Thanksgiving, in the commercial form, has definitely been forgotten.  I’d like to think that as families and friends, we still have the true meaning of Thanksgiving in our hearts.  The stores have indeed done their best to re-direct our focus from Thanksgiving to preparing for Christmas.

I have always loved Thanksgiving.  Family and friends are together, the food is incredibly delicious, and it gives us a time to reflect on how blessed and fortunate we truly are.  But I have to admit, I also love preparing for, and beginning to celebrate, Christmas.  I have fun on Black Friday shopping with my bestie and spending the weekend decorating for Christmas.

Christmas seems to bring the best out of most people.  The human race seems to be more considerate and thoughtful of those less fortunate.  Why is that?  Why can’t that heartfelt caring for other humans carry throughout the year?  I love to hear about people that are helping others, donating food and gifts.  So if this is what happens with the early arrival of Christmas preparations, is it really all that terrible?  I don’t think so.  But I do think, as my friend at work, that we need to hold onto Thanksgiving ~ embrace the traditions and celebrate one holiday at a time.

So I will be cooking dinner for my son and his girlfriend, and you can be sure that they will know how thankful I am to have them in my life, I’ll most likely visit some friends and my niece as well.  And yea I’ll be shopping on Black Friday. 

Oh, and another thing, I challenge you all to make a donation of some sort through the upcoming holiday’s.  Whether it be food donations, dropping off toys, anything to help someone in need.  Get out there and embrace the holidays, show those that you love and care for that you are blessed to have them and help those in need.

Happy Thanksgiving!