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!

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.

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.

 

November! Changes!

It’s November!!! Ah the Fall, only 88 degrees today. I’m wondering if I will ever be able to wear my many beautiful autumn sweaters. Surely by December.

I had such a great time with all the ghosts and goblins last night! Fun to see the dads, dressed in shorts and t-shirts walking their children around. We moved from the country (where we had absolutely no trick or treaters) to a neighborhood filled with little adorable children.

So many changes since we moved to Arizona last January. The weather, the city life, traffic, so much to see and do. Don’t get me wrong, I loved living in Missouri, the beautiful Ozarks. The GREEN of it all! That is one thing I surely miss, besides the seasons (well, three of them anyway). Our front yard is one of only two on our whole street that has grass. The others are decorated in rock. They look nice, but I miss the green. Then there is the snow….. So beautiful in pictures. Nuf’ said.

I am reading blogs, lots of blogs, and I find myself gravitating to those from folks in the country. I guess it will always be a part of me. This is really funny since I was born and raised in the big “city” in southern California. Anyway, that’s how I’ll get my country fix.

In the meantime, I’m in-joy-in this wonderful life of mine. So many things to do. Taking sewing lessons (really a refresher course), cake decorating classes, joining a book club, all the things I’ve wanted to do! I’ve applied to volunteer at the local elementary school. They really make a big deal of checking you out. I guess that’s a good thing. It takes time though. Looking forward to it.

So now I have to figure out how to use my new camera. I say “new” because I’ve never used it before. I got it for Christmas last year. It was supposed to be so simple to use. It’s one of those little mini video cams and a still camera all in one. You can hook it up straight to the computer to download for you tube or blogs, etc. I WILL FIGURE IT OUT!!!! Maybe I should read the directions. Anyway, I will post pictures of my finished products. Promise.

Always remembering, Life is good and I’m in-joy-in-my bliss.

Gratitude in the Midst of C%*P!

I’ve been living with an attitude of gratitude for some time now. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Maybe because it’s November and so close to Thanksgiving, or maybe because I belong to this wonderful community on line called Grace in Small Things, where we write at least five small things each day that we are grateful for. Then at church Sunday, the message was on gratitude. It’s really true, what you concertrate on does become bigger and seemingly all around you in every area of your life. At least it does in mine.

I know how easy it is to be grateful for something wonderful that’s happening in my life, but what I’ve been concentrating on lately is to actually be grateful in the midst of crap! Or at least when it appears that life is not showing up the way I want it to show up.

First of all, I must say that my life is very far from crap. My life is really good and it just keeps getting better. But let’s face it, we live in this human world and things can’t always go the way we necessarily want them to. If that were the case, we would have sold our house six months ago and we’d be in our new home and closer to our family. If that were the case I’d be about 20 pounds lighter. If that were the case, I’d have tons and tons of energy each and every day. If that were the case, we’d have a huge savings account. If that were the case, oh heck, I could go on and on. But you get the picture.

So, what does gratitude mean to me. I have learned that gratitude is a powerful spiritual tool. It causes all good things to increase. It is an expansive feeling. Being grateful just feels good in and of itself. When I’m in gratitude, I can feel myself rise above any negative feeling. It turns sadness into joy, fear into love, and powerlessness into courage and wholeness. I’ve decided it’s a pretty good place to reside.

So, how to maintain that level of being grateful of all things in the midst of crap. For me, I first have to remember that there is a deeper reality than what might be appearing. I have to remember that daily apprearances are subject to change and probably will. I have to remember that Life is always giving us exacty what we need at any given time. Maybe what is showing up doesn’t really feel like a gift, but I need to remember that I can probably learn some sort of lesson out of the situation. I also remember that I need to trust, trust in the midst of crap.

The other day I had a situation happen that really caught me off guard. Somebody said something to me that really upset me. I could rationalize that what they said didn’t really have to effect me. I could see that it really said more about them than me. But for some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I kept playing it over and over in my mind. I was thinking of all the imaginary things I could have said back, it just went on and on. Finally, I decided to just be grateful for the situation and see where that took me. After awhile, several things occurred to me, not the least of which was the fact that I came to this great realization – if this is the biggest thing that is upsetting me right now, I really must be enjoying a wonderful life. I had to recognized that my life is basically drama-free and I love it! Gratitude begets gratitude! I must say that I’m truly grateful for seeing that. I am always spouting off about living my bliss and how “at peace” I am. But this realization brought it smack dab in front of me.

Granted, this wasn’t a “big” thing. I’ve had “big, bad” things happen to me, but interesting enough, not since I’ve been practicing gratitude as a way of life. Or at least, things that happen don’t feel so big – and that’s a real blessing in itself.

So, Thanksgiving is almost here and I’ll be grateful on that day, just as I am every day. Grateful for my faith, my experiences, the divine wisdom that is always here (if I remember to seek it) and the my spritual journey with all that entails. I will remember that things are just the way they are supposed to be. I’ll be grateful for that.

Opps, I Did it Again!

Well, I did it again, I put on The Home Shopping Network and bought the first thing I saw. I know better than to put it on, really I do. First of all, I only allow myself to watch it when their holiday shows start. I focus on the electronic goodies. I KNOW BETTER, REALLY I DO!

BUT, there it was – a VuPoint Magic Wand Portable Document and Photo Scanner!!!!! In a rainbow of colors! I chose blue. It’s so beautiful.

I decided to order it online because I really don’t like to use the phone. IT TOOK TOO LONG! The computer was moving very slowly. I couldn’t wait, after all, the lady on the show said they were running out very quickly and I must hurry. So I grabbed the phone and made the call. Phew, that was scary, I almost missed out. It was such a great price, marked down for today only! Of course I had to add the extended warranty and a lovely hard case to carry it in. (Why? It’s tiny and doesn’t weigh much.) BUT, I got flex pay!!!!!

So now here I sit, the HSN is still on but I have it on mute so I can’t hear those wonderful salespeople. Oh my gosh, right now they have a HD-Upconverting DVD/VHS Combo Recorder. STOP WATCHING!!!!!

I know nobody out there has ever done anything like this, right? BUT I NEEDED IT! Really I did.

Catching Up

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged! It’s autumn now, the summer just seemed to fly by.

Let’s play catch up –

1. House is still for sale, only one looker so far. It’s so beautiful here, I’m having a hard time believing that someone hasn’t just snatched up this place.
2. Still walking. In fact, I joined the Y and have been loving the water aerobics and the stationary bike. I’ve been walking outdoors with my pups everyday, but I think when it gets too cold here, I will start using the treadmill at the Y. One good thing that has happened since I last blogged is that I’ve lost 20 of the 40 pounds I had gained. Yippee for me!
3. Hubby had his lap-band surgery and has lost over 50 pounds so far. Yippee for him!
4. Just got back from another vacation to California a couple of days ago. This was a much shorter trip than the last one. We went for a family wedding, which was awesome.

Making a commitment to myself to start blogging at least once a week. This is an exciting time of the year. Holiday recipes, crafts, spending time with family and friends, staying all warm and cozy, ah… I just love it. This will be a fun time to share ideas and thoughts with everyone.

I receive the most informative newsletter. It is from Better Homes and Gardens. It is called 100 Days of Holidays. This will be my third year. It starts sometime in September (but you can start whenever you want) and it goes to New Year’s Day I believe. Each day it arrives in my e-mail. There are recipes, crafts, gift ideas, decoration ideas, and the like. I recommend it to anyone who likes these kinds of things. You can find it here.

In-joy your bliss!