Happy Tummy

Split pea soup with ham and carrots – such a simple meal yet it makes my tummy sing with joy.

Quiet House

Thanksgiving is over.  My family has gone home and I feel rather lonely.  The house is so quiet, just hubby and me and our two little pups.  What a wonderful holiday it was.  Two of my sons and their families came.  We tried to get a good picture of all five dogs, but it was so hard.  When one would look, the other wouldn’t, but we had fun trying.

 I think this one is the best.

We remembered to get a picture of us at the Thanksgiving table (except one son who was taking the picture.)

Dinner was delicious and we are still eating leftovers.

Today after everyone left, I began taking down the Thanksgiving and fall decor.  Tomorrow I will start pulling out the Christmas decorations.  I love making new Christmas decorations and will probably make another wreath for the front door.  We aren’t putting up a tree though because we will be going to visit the family in California.

This is about my favorite time of the year.  There is something so warm and cozy about the holidays even though we don’t live in a climate where you would want to have the fire roaring and drink hot chocolate.  We make a habit of watching just about every holiday movie that comes on TV, whether we have seen it before or not.  My son was watching one with us this morning before he left and he said it was kind of cheesy!  Well of course!  The cheesier the better for me.

 I know the holidays can be really hard on a lot of people, those who have lost loved ones or are alone without family.  I feel truly blessed to be able to enjoy these days.  For me it’s about family, joy, love, friendship and of course faith.

A Doggone Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is on the horizon.  One son and his three dogs are here, another son and his family will be here tomorrow.  I wish all my children and their families could be here to celebrate, but we who are here will have a most wonderful day just the same.  The granddogs are having a great time with all the new scents and sights over here at grandma and grandpa’s house. Good old Luke (age 14 this month) just wants to sit by his Daddy. He’s completely deaf, but gets on just fine. What a sweet guy.

Sweet, sweet Goldie, age 6, has been having a great time exploring the backyard.

Darling year old Biscuit is quite the cuddler, very busy too.

 On the home front…

Sugar and Meeka are loving tolerating the company.

Have a doggone Happy Thanksgiving!

Granddog Biscuit – What Have You Done!

Biscuit, where are you?  Can’t you hear me calling you?  Don’t tell me you are out in that mud again!

Oh my, Biscuit, what have you done?

Oh Biscuit, is your tummy full of mud too?

Look at that tummy!!!

Well, bath time for you!

Newly Made Christmas Wreath

This

Turned into This

Not sure I like the pine cone and the bells.  Maybe in needs more bells.

I had fun making it.  I will be making more traditional wreaths in a few weeks.

A Fantastic Life

Here is what happens when I take the time to have an easy day.  I find wonderful old pictures.

These are my grandparents – my dad’s parents.  This was taken on their wedding day in Glasglow, Scotland in 1908

My grandmother was 18 years old. I don’t know my grandfather’s age. I do know that he was in the British Military. I know they were both born in Ireland, were married in Scotland and lived in England when my father was born.

Check out my grandfather in his uniform.  What a handsome man.  I can see a strong resemblance between him and my nephew.

 

My father was one of four boys born to James and Dorothy Dynes. He was born in 1912. His brothers were born in 1908, 1910, and 1914. When my father was 3 years old, grandma and her four boys made the trek from Liverpool, England to Canada.  Her husband was still serving.  She must have been a very strong women to make this trip alone. After all, this was a mere three years after the Titanic sank, on the very same route.

My grandfather died by drowning when my father was 10 years old. Life was very difficult for Grandma with four little ones to care for. Because she was unable to financially care for all four boys, she made the difficult decision to send two of her boys (my father and one of my uncles) to a nearby orphanage. She would visit as often as possible. Here is a picture of her with the two boys on one of her visits. My father is the older on the left.

Eventually the boys were able to move back home, then made another trek – from Montreal, Canada to Los Angeles, California.

My father lived a very happy and abundant life. He passed away 10 years ago at age 90. I couldn’t begin to tell you all the many life lessons he taught me, but I know that my belief that –  life is always good, no matter what might be showing up at the time – surely came from him.

Abundance all Around

The holiday season is upon us.  Visions of sugar plums, turkey, pumpkin pie, Santa Claus, gift giving – soon turns into not enough time, not enough money and not enough energy. It happens to all of us at one time or another during the season.  I have to pay attention in order to not fall into the feeling of lack.  I can go there so easy – without even realizing it.

First of all, I tend to put such high expectations on myself.   I think it’s because I love the feeling that goes with having home-made, beautiful decorations, the perfect meals, giving the perfect gifts, planning the best surprises, etc.  I’m sure you know what I mean.   Right now I’m thrilled because some of my family is coming from California to have Thanksgiving with us.  I’ve planned my dinner over and over again.  I’ve shopped, I’ve decorated the house, I’m planning activities – will this be right? will this work out? will I have enough? will it all come together?  Even though I truly love the hustle and bustle of it all, I can make myself crazy.

This year, my plan is to stay centered.  I will forget perfection because the most important part, being with family is already a win in my book.  Most importantly, I will remember that I already have a truly abundant life.  Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about anyway – being grateful for what we already have?

To really experience abundance in the true sense of the word (which to me is abundance of ALL good things), I need to be AWARE of the abundance of everything around me.  Things I might otherwise take for granted.   I look in the grocery store and I see hundreds of apples, pears, bananas, potatoes – the list is endless.  I shall not starve to death.  I look in my closet and see way too many clothes, I shall not be undressed.  I look at church and see hundreds of people with beautiful smiling faces.  I shall not be friendless.  I look at my family, I shall not be unloved.  I look outdoors, I shall not go without seeing the beauty of the Universe.  I look at my little Sugar Plum and Meeka, I shall not go without unconditional love.

No matter what happens, I will remind myself that I live in an abundant universe. My life is abundantly blessed.

 

My Lovely Picture

I love this picture I took while on one of our many trips in our RV.  I can’t remember exactly where it was, but I know it was in Vermont.  It’s so tranquil.  I’m always calmed by this picture.  I just imagine myself there, peaceful and serene.

Life is Good and I’m always in-joy-in mine.

Here it is!  I finished my first Christmas apron.

It’s still a little rough around the edges and it obviously looks like a first attempt.

Look at the cute rick rack. I just can’t wait to wear it. Here are a few more photos.

First pockets!  Looks like I could have ironed it a bit better though.

I’m happy with it and I know that they will get better with each one I make.

It feels good to get back to making things.  I haven’t sewn in so long I couldn’t even remember how to thread the bobbin!  Right now I’m attempting to make a  Christmas wreath of  bows and bells, I’ll post it when I finish.

29 Gifts in 29 Days

Have you read the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker?

I found this book in November of 2009 when our minister gave a talk about it.  Since November is gratitude month, this is my third year in which I use this book as a guide to give 29 gifts in 29 days.

Cami Walker  was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis one month after she married.  Her life was turned upside down, she couldn’t work, she was in pain and tremendously exhausted.  Life as she knew it was over.  She said she spent quite some time feeling sorry for herself and hating life.

 Now this is very significant to me because I was in a similar place at one point in my life.  I did not have a MS, but I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia one month after my wedding.  The pain was impossible to deal with.  I had to retire five years later and my life as I knew it was over.  On top of that, I had severe back problems, had surgery and had a very bad outcome.  I won’t go into all the problems I had, but suffice it to say, I could understand what Cami had been going through.

Back to Cami, by a dear friend told her to stop the whining and then wrote her a prescription.  The Rx said to give 29 gifts in 29 days.  They could be anything to anyone.  It did not necessarily have to be gifts that cost money or were even tangible.  They could be a phone call to an old friend, a thank you note, picking up someone’s dry cleaning or letting a stranger go ahead of her in line – you get the picture.  The gifts had to be mindful and from the heart – and given joyously and freely.

You need to read the book to see how it completely changed Cami’s life – but I can tell you that doing this has changed my life too. Even though this is my third year of mindfully giving 29 gifts in 29 days, I have adopted an attitude of giving on a regular basis.  It’s amazing that I have gotten back so much more than I could ever give.  It has changed my life in tremendous ways.  I now see the abundance of all good things in my life and not just lack, which had been my only focus.

November is not only the month for giving thanks but also for simply giving.  My gift to you is sharing Cami’s book. Enjoy her and check out her Website at 29gifts.org – I promise you huge wonderful changes just by simply reading this book.

Remembering that Life is Always Good and I’m in-joy-in my life.