Category Archives: holidays

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day 2018

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Valentine’s Day 2018

H & L

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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A Really NICE Surprise!

My husband and I were working in the office when our driveway detector went off. My husband said, “Could you get that?” I went out to see the UPS delivery person, something that happens often around here. I brought the box into the office and opened it. It was a vase with a dozen red roses!

My husband doesn’t like to celebrate ‘holidays,’ saying he thinks he should be good to me ALL the time, rather than just a few days each year where it’s EXPECTED that the guy get a present for his love. In fact, we’ve talked about the fact that the ads must make men like my husband  – or someone who might be strapped for extra cash – feel awful for NOT spending lots of money to ‘show his love.’  We think love shouldn’t be a ‘have-to’ thing.

My husband was really good about sending me flowers for NO occasion when I was at work. It was his hope that I would feel special, and that the other women in my workplace would feel jealous that I got flowers and it wasn’t my birthday, or Valentine’s Day, or anything.

In June we’ll celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. Since we have loved each other since I was 14 and he was 17, you can add another 9 years to the official married years. I guess I’m confessing to a kind of addiction…

I really wasn’t expecting this. The card says, “I never get enough of you!” (For two people who don’t even use the same SALT, you KNOW that isn’t true, but what a NICE thing for him to say! He’s definitely a keeper.  :0)



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Valentine’s Day Offering

One of a kind, hand-painted “Valentine Candy” basket.

“Valentine Candy” is a one-of-a-kind hand painted wooden basket by Linda Lewis. The oval basket is 11″ long x 9.5″ wide x 7 ” tall. (The basket is about 13.5″ tall with the handle extended straight up.) The dimensions of the inner basket at the base are approximately 8″ x 6″.

The “squares” created by the weaving are painted either a rich red or with a clear glitter paint. Then 3-dimensional glitter paint is used to draw either red or silver hearts in the squares. Sayings from the traditional heart candy treats are printed on the larger squares all around the basket. Glitter hearts decorate the handle of the basket as well.

Give this to the one you love as is, or fill it with goodies. Either way, she’ll remember your love long after Valentine’s Day is over!

$29.99 plus free shipping to the contiguous United States.

Please order right away to be sure it will be delivered before Valentine’s Day.

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We put up Cupid with the Valentine on the mailbox yesterday. This is a closeup.


This is the back. You can see where I tried to blend the support hanger into the design.


This is the front. We hope people smile as they either drive past our driveway or come up and see us!


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2018 Wish

Sandra Boynton via Doreen Adamson-Liber

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Happy New Year – 2018

Diane Dobson Barton via Cathy Ruggiero

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New Year’s Resolutions – 2018

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

I’ve made many over the years, and I’ve actually kept a few.

This year I’m going to concentrate on ONE – to be the best person I can be. To be kind as much as humanly possible. To really listen. To love with all my heart and tell the people in my life how very much they mean to me.

Happy New Year!


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Happy New Year – 2018

We put up our “Happy New Year” mailbox decoration with Calvin & Hobbes today.  I’ve still had to ‘think’ a bit when writing a check to get 2017 on it. NOW – another year has whizzed past my head, making my hair blow!


“My Wish for you in 2018:

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!

May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires.

May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words …….

May 2018 be the best year of your life!!!”  ~ Source Unknown

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Christmas Aftermath

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Christmas Wish

ZentoZany-via Cathy Ruggiero


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Merry Christmas – 2017

Amber said, “WOOF!” quickly, then threw off the antler head band and tried to eat it.

We didn’t have a physically white Christmas here in Arkansas this year, but we avoided a possible ice storm this week, and that really adds to the spirit of Christmas around here. We had dinner last night with a long time good friend, ate well, exchanged gifts and good hugs, and laughed a lot. Amber was even more boisterous than usual when Nora came, but then thankfully settled down and was reasonable – until Nora stood up to leave…

I found some nice Christmas quotes I want to share with you today –

Norman Vincent Peale ~ “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

Charles Dickens ~ “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”


“Merry” – Paul Militaru Photography


Bing Crosby ~ “Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.”

Dale Evans ~ “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”


“Merry Christmas” – Paul Militaru Photography


Bob Hope ~ “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”

Edna Ferber ~ “Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.”


“Night Snow” – Paul Militaru Photography


Calvin Coolidge ~ “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”




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Falalalala – Lala – La – La

I’m getting ready for our evening’s festivities as my husband naps in his recliner.

The house is clean, ready for guests, and the table is set for tonight. I didn’t do much for Christmas this year, but I have a wonderful infuser light decoration on the table. You put in essential oils for a wonderful aroma, and it changes colors! I also have a resin ‘chain’ of snowmen and women decoration behind the infuser. I have a string of LED lights going across the top of the window.


This is the diffuser that smells good and turns different colors.


Why is it that LED lights don’t show up well in pictures? They lend a festive note to the room.


Here are the snow people who will share our table tonight.

I’m going to fix something we’ll have tonight, take a break, then go fix something else until all is ready. A lovely way to spend the day and evening!

I hope that you are having a delightful day, too.

Merry Christmas!


Filed under Friendship, holidays

Kids and Christmas

These two photos are so precious. Maybe “I” didn’t get the memo when I was a child. I had so much adrenaline flowing through my veins and erupting that I’m amazed my parents didn’t put me up for adoption or squash me like a bug. I was cranky, didn’t eat well, didn’t sleep well until I collapsed from exhaustion.

I do remember SO many times when Santa, my parents, or my other relatives got me just the right gift. I HOPE I showed them by expression, unabashed joy, and spending a lot of time enjoying, how happy they made me.


I don’t remember how old I was when I finally turned the corner, preferring to save, plot, and plan what I would give to friends and family. I’m grateful that we get to experience both ‘ends’ of the material side of Christmas in our lives. Each is so rich, so special.

I’m listening to classic Christmas carols as I type this -what a joy!  I’m going to see if we can arrange to play these in the background as we celebrate tonight with our friend, Nora.

We have a CHANCE of snow flurries today!  I won’t expect it, because we almost never have a white Christmas, but it sure would be a wonderful gift!

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Wish

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Christmas Fun with Amber

Amber would rather EAT the decorations than WEAR them, but we caught her quickly in a couple of pics for her first Christmas.


She appreciates the smell of roasting turkey, gravy, and more, but otherwise, seems unimpressed by any hoopla she sees around here.

She is getting more and more companionable lately. She wants to be where we are, no matter what we’re doing. One of her favorite things is going ANYWHERE in the “CAR!” (one of her recent words.) My husband is trying to get her to bark at the door when she wants to come in from being outside. So far, she hasn’t a clue what we’re trying to get her to do, although Molly does it when both of them are outside. We’re working with her every day, plus playing a sound byte on the computer of a dog barking. Her new words, if we’re successful, will be, “SAY IT!”

We’re having our good friend Nora to dinner tonight as our celebration. Amber will forget everything we’ve taught her, bounding around, clobbering all with her tail, trying to bowl everyone over for a bit. Then I’m HOPEFUL she’ll settle down and show Nora what a really sweet – if destructive – puppy she is.

Nora always sits on one end of the couch in the living room. For the past month or so, I sit there and then motion for her to come over, sit – THEN say, “OK” for her to come up and snuggle with me a bit. With my luck, the fact that Nora is sitting there will be all the “ok” she needs to get cuddly with Nora…. I’ll warn Nora and watch the sweet puppy, zapper in hand….

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

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“Christmas Eve”

“Christmas Eve” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“Christmas Tree”

“Christmas Tree” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“Hello – 3 Days Left”

“Hello- 3 Days Left” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Amber’s First Christmas

Amber wasn’t feeling cooperative in our efforts to dress her up for Christmas, but I managed to get a few pics anyway. This will be her first Christmas, but she’s much more excited about playing out in the rain than she is about Christmas decorations – trying to EAT them instead of wearing them…


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“Santa Claus”

“Santa Claus” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Lunch Bunch Celebration

Peter H. Stranks via

The Lunch Bunch group isn’t quite as old as these sweet women, but the feeling is the same.

We’ve been meeting for lunch on Friday at ‘The Barn” for about 30 years now. Each week we share what we’ve been doing, our plans, our dreams, and sometimes our heartbreaks. My husband has been officially inducted in the group, occasionally referring to us, as he sits at the head of the table, as his ‘harem.”  He’s allowed to speak if he doesn’t get obnoxious… :0)

Today we’re celebrating Christmas together, exchanging gifts. My husband and I will wear our Santa hats to give everyone a giggle.

The group has changed over the years, It grows and then decreases on the number, but the core group has remained the same. It’s hard to believe how much of our lives we’ve shared. We’ve helped each other over the hard things and helped celebrate the good. We’ve laughed and hugged a lot. Friendships like these are amazing to me. I’m very lucky.

I hope that you have a good day today, too.

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“Christmas Ornaments”

“Christmas Ornaments” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“Ho Ho Ho – Six Days Left”

“Ho Ho Ho – Six Days Left” – Paul Militaru Photography


There is nothing that can be compared to a young child counting off the days ’til Christmas, or the experience of celebrating Christmas with young ones. Admittedly, it all looks different now as I look back on it.

I remember as a child thinking that time moved in slow motion as Christmas approached. I was so excited I had trouble sleeping. I loved everything about that time of the year – hoping for a white Christmas, singing all my favorite songs in the choir at the church services, helping my dad choose the tree we brought home to decorate. I remember my mom carefully taking out the most treasured ornaments, telling us the story that went with each one as she hung them on the tree. We were allowed to hang the unbreakable ones. (Somehow as the days passed, the tree became more balanced looking in where the ornaments hung.)  My dad was in advertising and had lots of clients. My parents were flooded with gorgeous Christmas cards from a gazillion people, plus ones from relatives we rarely saw. My mom kept the cards in a big basket on the coffee table and I spent a lot of time looking at them and reading the notes.

Our neighbors would all get together on Christmas Eve to walk around the neighborhood singing Christmas carols at each house and then trying to get the people inside to join us. By the end of the caroling, we were all happy and frozen. We walked back to our house where my mom made lots of hot chocolate while my dad made sure anyone preferring something stronger was served. We only saw these people once a year, having our separate, busy lives – but that one night a year our house danced with laughter.

We got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and then it was off to bed, everyone pretending we would go to sleep quickly. And then it was morning and one of my dad’s stretchy socks was at the end of the bed, filled with goodies. I truly loved that part of Christmas. I couldn’t believe that Santa knew me so well, filling the sock with all kinds of little toys, chocolate bars, little tools I could use, and more.

I remember one Christmas when I got the most beautiful pullover sweater that was ever made. It was made from angora yarn and was the softest shade of pink you’ll ever see. It was softly, femininely fuzzy all over and I felt like a princess whenever I wore it.

Another Christmas my brother and I got ‘racing’ three-speed bicycles and we were never seen again….. At least until we got hungry.

And then we had the privilege of seeing Christmas through our son’s eyes – much the same, and yet all new.  We so enjoyed decorating, finding presents, trying to get them wrapped and under the tree in secrecy – seeing the joy in his eyes as he opened the boxes, listening to him laugh.

Now Christmas is a bit bitter-sweet, with most of our family gone. It’ll just be my husband and me this year. I never quite caught the decorating bug this year, choosing instead to get my enjoyment from seeing my friends open the things I’ve made or bought for them, seeing the Christmas lights of others as we travel in the evenings, listening to Christmas carols on my earphones as my husband naps.

One thing won’t ever change. I still believe in Santa Claus.



Filed under holidays, Paul Militaru Photography

BE THERE via begin with yes


If you’re lucky enough this year to be surrounded by friends and family, happily buying and wrapping presents, secure in your home and finances, thinking of what you’ll serve, how you’ll decorate….

Take a moment or two to realize how very, very lucky you are, and that many people – people you know and don’t know – might be feeling bad. Many things may have happened – Mother Nature type things, like losing your home in a wildfire (or those who have recently lost everything in the hurricanes and flooding.) They may have lost a job or are having trouble finding work that will pay the bills. A death in the family has left a humongous sink hole threatening to swallow them up. There may be sickness, they may have lost a beloved pet. Their family members may be too far away to be home with them.

Whatever people might be dealing with, it’s harder during a holiday – especially one as big as Christmas and New Year’s. Everyone asks you if ‘you’re ready for Christmas.’  It’s almost expected that you’re bubbling over with joy and thinking only of the frantic rush to get everything done.

Just take a moment or two –

Pay attention to those around you.  For friends and family, be aware of each person’s situation. Give an extra hug. Help them smile. Reach out and show them in any way you can that you care. The best gifts there are – love, caring, hugs, kindness, friendship are all free. Take time to give each of these freely and in abundance – and then make a point of BEING THERE throughout the new year.


Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Holiday Gift Ideas, holidays

Getting in the Mood for Christmas

I have to admit that this year I haven’t been swept up with the Christmas spirit yet, other than making a few things as presents for some of the great people in my life.

My good friend, Jackie Lyons, created a “Snow Village” and posted it on Facebook today. I wrote and asked her if I could share it with you. Happily, she said, “Sure!” Best of all, it gave us a chance to visit and catch up a bit. She’s a beautiful lady I never would have met if it hadn’t been for the Internet and my former website, Creative Artworks.

“Snow Village” by Jackie Lyons

I could feel my spirits soaring when I saw this. Who could be filled with, “Bah, Humbug” when they could see this?

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Santa is UP

We put our Santa mailbox decoration up this morning. I’m not sure if you can tell it from this picture, but the white of his beard, the snowball and fur on his hat, his eyebrows, mustache, and bands on his mittens are all textured with SnoTex, so they have a 3-D feeling. I like that stuff a lot.

We have a mystery, though.

I asked my husband if he would get the mailbox decoration that has two children on either side of a Christmas tree so that we could put it up today. He came back, saying he couldn’t find that one, but had brought back Santa. I went out to the shop and looked through the decorations and I couldn’t find it, either!

I don’t know if I’m losing my mind or what! I can’t find any pictures of the decoration, so there seems to be no record of our making it. I’ll have to look on the net and see if I can find it again. Could I have DREAMED we cut it out and painted it?

Kind of rattles my confidence a bit…



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Day After Turkey Day

We had a great Thanksgiving and hope that you did, too.

We managed to have an almost completely low-carb dinner, with roasted turkey breast, cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” gravy, a big salad, and deviled eggs. The only ‘carb’ stuff was wine and cranberry sauce.

Amber was her usual puppy self when our friend Nora first arrived, but then settled down and was good the rest of the evening. It made Nora laugh when Amber just walked right up my husband’s front to sit in his lap.

We had lots of good conversation, catching up on what’s been happening since we saw each other last. One piece of entertainment for the evening was when my husband put drops and goo into my injured eye.

When we were getting ready for bed, my husband thanked me for making the deviled eggs – one of his favorite things, and said everything tasted good, particularly the mashed potatoes and gravy. I then told him the mashed potatoes were pureed cauliflower with butter, garlic , salt, and parmesan cheese!  He was amazed, admitted he wouldn’t even have tried it if he had known, but admitted he thought it was delicious. I can now feel free to serve it from time to time – with gravy, of course. :0)

Tonight we’ll have one of MY very favorite things – turkey sandwiches! Another thing for which to be thankful.



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Happy Thanksgiving – 2017!

“May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!”



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Eye Update

mad eye moody-harry

Just got back from seeing one of the docs who helped me with my cataract surgery.

He said, “Wow. You sure scratched your eye all up. I’ll bet that hurts.”

The tech, though, had put numbing drops in my eyes before she did all the preliminary testing, so I was able to tell him that I felt better now than I had since Monday evening.

He didn’t find anything in my eye, or any sign of any other problems. Whew. We decided that it was probably a combination of the dryness we’re having right now plus the fact that I did the last bout of leaf mulching. I probably got some really small bits of leaves in my eyes, even though I wear protective glasses.

Anyhow, he called in prescriptions for an ointment and some eye drops that work to alleviate stinging, irritation, and pain while my eye has a chance to heal. There is no sign of infection. We put the two things in when I got home and I still feel a bit of ‘something being in my eye,’ but none of the stinging and no one is plunging a knife into my eye anymore! Hooray!

So I called my good friend, Nora, and said that turkey day is back on tomorrow. I can handle the amount of discomfort I have now, so should be able to do turkey and all the fixings tomorrow, as scheduled. It’s a good thing my guest is my good friend, Nora, who loves, me because I probably won’t get much cleaning done tomorrow…

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Thanksgiving Mailbox Decoration

We put the turkey up on the mailbox yesterday. I’m starting to get into the swing of Thanksgiving, finally.

We have our good friend, Nora, coming for dinner, and are hoping that another friend, Carla, will also be free. I have the fixings for our dinner in the house, and will move the turkey from the freezer to the fridge to start thawing on Monday.

I’m thankful for so many things this year –

  • My good friends from Lunch Bunch,
  • My husband playing ball with our ‘puppy,’ Amber, who now officially weighs 81 lbs at 8 months old, and keeping me company while I made two more 39 gallon trash bags full of leaf mulch this afternoon,
  • having a fun family of my husband, two dogs, two cats, and four fish up here in a house we love on top of a ridge line,
  • our son MAY be coming home from Thailand for a visit in February,
  • my husband and I are free to spend our days enjoying our lives and each other with very few serious problems

I hope that you’re looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with people you love in a warm, dry place, filling your bellies with good food, and your hearts with good cheer.


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