Monday, December 31, 2012

Meet Me on Monday


1. What New Years resolution could you make that you know would break in less than a week.
Clean my house every day.

2. How many of the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne do you actually know?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?  (Scottish loosely translated as for the sake of old times)
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
3. How much should a babysitter be paid for working New Years Eve?
$3 an hour per kid plus all the snacks they can eat

4. What are you most looking forward to in 2013?
A peaceful quiet year.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  How will you celebrate New Year's Day?
Me--I will try and work on an art project just for fun.  Then probably read in the afternoon.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

An Easy Resolution

Everyone is thinking about making new year's resolutions.  I suggest an easy one that is very rewarding.
Say grace. Saying grace before meals reminds us that above all food is a gift. It's a reminder that we are nourished and cared for by divine and human hands: by the God that turn the planet and the seasons, and by the labor of bakers and bumblebees. Our meals depend on the work of the men and women working night shifts in a cannery or stocking shelves at the mini-mart.
And this year I resolve to remember to pause for a second before eating a lunchtime sandwich to remind myself: Yes, even this is grace--to remind myself to say thank you.

Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations.

James 1:7 
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Back

As the clock ticks down on 2012, I think back to what this year has brought me--certainly lots of happiness, and some sadness.  It has shown me where I must let go, and where I can still influence for good.  I have had some valleys and experienced some mountaintops.  2012 has not been my best year by far, but I have had worse.

The things I have learned--I am responsible for my own happiness.  I am never alone.  
There is beauty all around me, no matter if I am looking up and see the majestic mountains and sky, or looking at my feet and see a tiny little flower stretching through a crack in the pavement.  I have learned that there are some things that I can't do a thing about, so I must just step back and do the only thing that I can--pray.  

I have learned that I must take time for myself and do the things that I enjoy--the housework will still be waiting for me when I return.  I have learned that I am blessed to have a good family, even if they are scattered all over the West.  I have learned that people I have never met--my blogging friends--encourage and challenge me.

So I salute 2012!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
Highlights from this past week
Basil waiting for Santa

Christmas Day gift

A crisp Christmas morning

Sharing Christmas with the grands

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1. Without fail, whenever I fly_
I end up sitting by a garrulous person who just won't let me enjoy the joy to being on my way to an adventure.,_
2. I used to be_
concerned what people said about me, but with age came the knowledge that as long as I am happy with me, the rest is their problem.__
3. When I _
read__ I __get lost in another world and a tornado could hit and I wouldn't be aware_
4. My greatest fear is __
that my children will forget the lessons that I have tried to teach them____.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose-Resolutions

This Week's prompt is: Resolutions

I resolve to--  The steady stream of Christmas carols on the radio has been replaced by a myriad of ads telling us that we MUST resolve to change the way we eat, what we drive, where we go for dinner, even what underwear to  buy.  With all the hype, the idea of resolutions has been watered down to just a passing fad.  It seems that we don't have to use any thought process to find out on what we need to focus.  So it's hard for me to make a meaningful resolution and just as hard for others to believe that I really do mean it.
I try and make some goals that I want to work toward in the new year.  I list them, figure out how to achieve them, tell my friends, and track my progress.  I know some days, I won't make progress, or might even slip back a step or two, but it is a journey and I keep slogging along.  This past year, I had a goal of losing weight--I lost about 50 pounds, and exercising more--I joined a gym and go six times a week.  I also had wanted to spend more time on my art--that has been hit and miss.  

So I do set goals, evaluate them regularly, adapt them to my current situation, and try to remember that if I fail doing one, today I can try again.  It's okay to fail, it's not okay to just give up without a fight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Coming Home

Come Home to God This Christmas
by Rick Warren

"Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39 NIV)
Did you know that your heavenly Father wants you to come home this Christmas? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or how long you’ve done it. God says, “I want you to come home to my love and my forgiveness.” That’s what Christmas is all about.
What would keep you from coming home to God’s love and forgiveness? The fear of rejection. 
You may think, “God wouldn’t want me now. I’m too far away from God. I’ve been away too long. I’ve done too many things he probably wouldn’t approve of.” 
If that’s what you think, you’re dead wrong! Romans 8:39 says, “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV). God doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done or how long you’ve done it. He still loves you and wants to forgive you. 
But how do you know God loves you? Christmas proves it. God came to Earth in human form — Jesus Christ — to show that he loves you and wants to forgive you. The Bible says, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we can have eternal life through him. This is real love ... that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9-10 NLT).
Here’s how you know that Scripture is true: Jesus didn’t stay in a little cradle in the manger. He grew up. He went from the cradle to the cross. On the cross, with his arms outstretched, he said, in essence, “I’d rather die than live without you.” That’s how much God loves you. Christ left his home in Heaven and came to Earth to show his love for you and to pay for your sins so that you could be forgiven and come home to him. That’s real love. That’s the reason for Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Angels Among Us

A year ago today, early Christmas Eve morning, a driver fell asleep at the wheel and his truck left the freeway at a high speed.  The vehicle flipped several times before coming to rest on its wheels hidden from sight; the driver severely injured, unconscious for several hours in those cold early hours.  Then from out of nowhere a man came to the wreck, took the driver's cell phone and called the emergency contact number telling the injured young man's mom who lived in another city where the accident was located.  Then he disappeared.  His mom called 911 and me and my grandson was air evacuated to a trauma center where he was in ICU and underwent many surgeries for facial reconstruction.  He lived due to the intervention of that unknown person--that angel sent from God.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Love Came Down

This week’s Advent theme is love.

It was love that brought Jesus down here to clean up our mess.  It was love that caused God the Father to send His one-and-only Son into the world to save it

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are the highlights of my week
Orange and lemon tree ready for harvest in the backyard
Grandson's team took second place in state for PeeWee Football
Granddaughter at school Christmas music program, that's her in the front row with the gingerbread man
Grandson at school Christmas program.  He is on the top row, second from end.
Red sky Thursday night

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1. When I am in a _
happy___ mood I _sing and dance around the house__
2. When I _
see how fast the time flies__ I _wish I was more focused and didn't waste so much of it.__

3. If I could donate a ton of money to a charity it would be__
to Samaritan's Purse___ because __they are so focused on underprivileged children_____.

4. I like to visit __
some new blogs every week_blog(s) because _I try to expand my network of blogger friends and am always inspired by the creativity that I find._

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose--Overcoming Loss

This Week's prompt is: Overcoming Loss

Through the years, I have had many losses.  My parents and a sister passed away, my little sister abandoned the family, my husband divorced me after twenty two years, I have had severe financial losses, two of my children became addicted to drugs, I lost my job after 11 years due to downsizing, and I have had health issues.

WAIT! Don't grab for the Kleenex, because it is all good.  I can hear you say, "Man that chick is crazy, somebody call the doctor.  Get a padded cell ready!"  

But I have so much to be thankful for.  My family that died are all in heaven where there is no pain.  Even though I am single, I have learned to live independently and enjoy it.  I now have enough money to pay the bills, and if I am careful enough to take a vacation each year.  My wayward children turned their lives around, and now are productive citizens and through their experiences are able to help others.  That job that I lost was one of the best things that happened to me. After a year of temporary jobs and some unemployment, I got a job that was challenging, rewarding, and a boss who gave me freedom to take her practice to new heights.  I retired after twelve years with the satisfaction of a job well done.  The health thing, well that is ongoing but I am able to do the things that I love.

Now, I want you to understand that the road that I traveled was not easy and not without tears and heartache.  Often, I didn't know how I was going to manage from one day to the next, but I did.  I realized that trouble is a part of life--no one is exempt.  With my losses, I have found a formula that works for me.  First of all, I have to take care of me--eat, get enough sleep, and get out and exercise.  Second, realize that there are givens in life David Richo, a former Catholic priest in Boston then became a psychologist and turned Zen, has come up with five: “The Givens of Life and Things We Cannot Change”
     1. Everything changes and ends
     2. Suffering is part of growth
     3. Things do not always go according to plan
     4. Things are not always fair
     5. People are not loving and loyal all the time
Third, I allowed myself to express my emotions,  I cried, I was angry, I ranted.  Then I remember the good things about the reason that I was grieving, and being the artistic person that I am I made a memory book of the good things.  Fifth, and probably the hardest, I didn't dwell on the loss, but made a conscious effort to move on.  If I have done a wrong, I ask for forgiveness from God and if possible that person.  Above all I have my faith in God who I know stands beside me always no matter what I am going through.  Looking back, my life has been enriched through my losses.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. How will you spend 'the night before Christmas'? 
At candlelight service, then home.

2.  What is one thing you are not?

3.  Fudge-are you a fan?  Your favorite flavor?
I like a piece of fudge, and that would be just plain chocolate

4. Did you attend any craft/vendor fairs in the month of December?  Do you prefer homemade goodies or the more professional stalls? Are you giving any homemade gifts this year? 
Except toys for the grands, all the gifts that I give will be homemade.  I didn't go to any craft fairs this year.

5. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? 
Merry Christmas, God bless you

6.  We're approaching a new year...what's going to be different in 2013? 
Just will try and keep on working toward my goals of living a peaceful, healthy life.

7. Share a favorite scripture, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to peace.
Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. Ps 37:37

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
It seems that this year has just disappeared.  So much has happened.  I need to make a list of the things that I have learned.  The thing on top of the list will be that no one knows what tomorrow will bring, so live each day to its fullest with joy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Take my Hand

Take a few minutes to listen to this great old hymn. In the depths of despair I cry out Precious Lord take my Hand


Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me


1. What are your favorite h'orderves at a party?
Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
Perfect Christmas Appetizers - Cranberry, Feta, Cream Cheese, Green Onion + pepper jelly!1 (170 g) package dried sweetened cranberries
1 (250 g) container cream cheese spread
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
4 large flour tortillas or 4 large wheat flour tortillas or 4 large spinach tortillas

1 Combine all ingredients except tortillas, mix well.
2 Divide and spread mixture evenly among tortillas.
3 Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.
4 To serve cut into 12 slices.
5 A nice variation is to add thin slices of ham on top of the spread before rolling.
2. What Christmas song have heard too much already?
Grandma got run over by a reindeer

3. Do you have New Year's Eve plans?
No.  I usually just stay home with hopes to watch the ball drop on TV, but I generally fall asleep.

4. What was the best blog post you read this week?
The tragic news of the CT school shooting is everywhere.  One of the most touching blogs I read was written by Dawn at Beneath the Surface.
And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  What is your weather like today?
Today it is chilly after two days of rain.  The high Sunday was about 60 and will be a cool 40 degrees tonight.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Want Joy?

The third candle is said to represent joy and the proclamations regarding the coming Savior. Joy is hard to achieve these days, particularly with all the bad economic news. It’s much easier to find things to bring us down than to lift us up.

Yet 2,000 years ago, a young girl, pregnant and unmarried, found joy in a situation that, in those days, was about as bad as it could be. The very first line in her song of praise Mary sings:

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! – Luke 1:46-47

Mary rejoiced because to her, as it should be to us, Joy is hope fulfilled.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This week, celebrate with joy that your hope in Christ is certain; prophecies about him are always fulfilled. “And we have heard the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).

Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Programs of Yesterday

This week my granddaughter had her Christmas Dance Recital.  The school auditorium was filled with parents and friends.  The stage was lit with LED lights, a snowman made of twinkle lights graced the stage. As I sat waiting for the program to begin I closed my eyes and was transported back to the Christmas Programs that I was in at our quaint country school in the mountains of Wyoming. Things were a lot different back then. The highlight of the school year was the Christmas program. Right after Halloween, we would start working on it--memorizing songs and lines for the play. 
Sometimes it was a traditional story, like Dickens’s Christmas Carol, or maybe a modern story, like Home for Christmas, or the Gift of the Magi.  On the last evening of school before Christmas holiday, folks from all over the valley would come for the program.  The classroom would be crowded with ranchers, and their families, cowhands all slicked up and fine young ladies who that very morning had been cooks and cabin maids. A canvas curtain as wide as the classroom separated the audience from the stage.  Advertisements from Cody Drug, The Irma Hotel and Shoshone Feed and Seed covered the audience side.  On the other side children scurried to get into their costumes and take their places.  As the curtain rolled up everyone watched as the children presented their play, weaving the story of the importance and meaning of Christmas.  
Following a brief intermission, the curtain went up again and the nativity story was presented.  Sometimes, Jesus was a real baby if one of the families had a young baby, otherwise it was a favorite doll. Every boy and girl looked forward to the time when they would be old enough to be Mary and Joseph.
After the final curtain and a rousing round of applause, there was community singing, lead by the school teacher playing a slightly out of tune old upright piano.  The evening always ended with singing Silent Night.  Even though it was only a bunch of mountain folks, the sound was like a heavenly choir.  Many a ranch hand had tears in their eyes as the last note ended.  But then it was time for cookies and punch in the library, visiting, catching up on the latest gossip, and plans for the holidays.  
Finally, everyone, tired and happy piled into their cars and trucks and headed home over the crisp snowy roads. The memory of that night filed away with nostalgia–one of the good things of life on the North Fork.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
Some of the happy spots in my life this week
Prescott grandkids playing in the pool at the YMCA
Granddaughter's Christmas dance recital

Taking a bow after recital
One of the Christmas cards that I made this year

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1. I usually _
like to live on the edge__ but never __so close that I will go over__
2. I was named _
Girl mostly likely to succeed __because __of my straight "A" grades_
3. I would never change __
anything drastic_about my body, but I would change _how I take care of myself--make better food choices__
4. The last time I said “I Love You” was to _
my daughters, today_

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose--Memories

This Week's prompt is:  Memories
Those of you that follow my blog will realize that a lot of my posts are about memories--memories of growing up in the Wyoming Rocky Mountains near Yellowstone Park, memories of the special times that I spent with my family on our ranch and memories of how we did things in the olden days.  I love to remember how things were and compare it with how things now are.  Somethings are better, some not.  I was born in the age before telecommunication.  We did have a radio, and when I was 11 or 12 we got a telephone--a party line.  There were no CD's, DVD's or even tapes.  Some people had Victrolas (record players that played 78 vinyl records)

But more important than the technological advancement memories, are the memories of the people and events.  There will always be a record of the advances in our world, but unless each of us take time to record our memories of the events of our lives, the special things our parents and our children did these will be lost forever.  

In many cultures the stories of their heritage are passed on through stories told by the elders--each generation learning the old stories and adding the current happenings.  The past is revered, its lessons not forgotten. This is a lesson that we need to learn.  We should take the time to tell our children of their heritage and the rich tapestry woven of past experiences.  We can use our technology to preserve the pictures and stories that make us all so unique.  We should establish the importance of our roots.  So then our memories can be a touch stone for the future.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1.  So, when did you last take a walk in the woods? A stroll along the beach? A drive going nowhere in particular in the car? 
The last walk in the woods was this summer when I hiked trails in Olympic National Park in Washington.  It reminded me of Hawaii.

2.  Are you sending Christmas cards this year?  About how many do you send?  Photo card or something more traditional?  How do you display the cards you receive?
I make my own cards and usually send a couple of dozen.  This year I used Beatrix Potter images--a series of four.
I hang the cards that I receive on a room divider in my dining room.

3. What's a word you've heard too much of in the past week?
Fiscal Cliff, political posturing--you get the idea.

4. December 13th is National Cocoa Day-are you a fan?  Plain or flavored?  Marshmallows or no marshmallows?
I do enjoy cocoa most anyway that it is served, probably without marshmallows. 

5. What is something you do to help alleviate the hectic pace of the Christmas season?
Start working on things for next year, right after Christmas, and simplify everything from decorations to gifts.

6. Besides jewelry, what's a favorite sparkly-glittery item in your home or closet?
I have a couple of snow globes that I keep out year round.

7. Share a favorite line or two from any Christmas carol.
Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; 
Jesus, to thee be glory given; 
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: 
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
So, all the shopping is done, and then this morning my daughter IM's me that she has put up a wish list for the grands on Amazon and hopes that I will take a look.  Hmmmm, I wonder what that means.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Venus was watching over a sliver of the moon this morning.  Indian lore said that there might be rain as the moon is slightly tipped and water might fall out.  Interestingly, the weatherman said today that there was a chance of rain Thursday.

I love looking up into the night sky, remembering that these are the same stars that shown over me when I was a kid.  The same stars that shown over Bethlehem many years ago.

It reminds me of that scripture, "The heaven's declare the glory of the Lord."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me


1. What is your favorite charity to donate to?
I donate to the Salvation Army, and of course to my church.

2. When was the last time you danced?
Last Saturday I danced at a Red Neck Barn Party

3. How do you show someone you care about them?
With kind words, prayers, and cards.

4. Do you send holiday cards? 
I enjoy making and sending holiday cards.  Hope to get mine finished this week.
And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  What do you do with others to celebrate the season?
Me--I like to go carolling with a bunch of my friends of a group of children. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Longing for Peace

Advent Week 2 - Peace Bulletin

We all long for peace!  We look around us and we see fighting, the evilness that people do,hard economical times, and we think, “Will there be peace on earth this Christmas?”  We not only want to  live in peace, but to live peacefully.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14
The birth of Jesus was foretold long ago. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6
Jesus--our Prince of Peace. God wants us to have PEACE and gave us His Son so that we would have PEACE. But we learn in His Word that we have to do our part in the process as well.

During this second week of Advent, we can anticipate that peace. We can seek the peace that Jesus left us. We seek to know the peace of God that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
We look forward to the day when the rule and reign of Christ will bring true peace to earth. There will be no more sins and unrighteousness. Sickness, disease, suffering, heartaches and pain will be gone. War, fighting and bickering will be nonexistence. Everyone will live in peace because we will be with the Prince of Peace.
Let's try to do all we can to bring peace and harmony in our midst. 
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Glendale Glitters

Every year I look forward to seeing the Christmas lights around town.
Glendale, Arizona, just west of Metro Phoenix, is home to the largest display of holiday lights in Arizona. named Glendale Glitters But it is more than just lights. The event runs from Thanksgiving weekend through the Bowl game weekends in January. The special holiday lights, which now total 1.4 million, attract more than 300,000 visitors every year.
Throughout the holiday season, there is shopping in Glendale's historic district, beautiful light displays, hot air balloons  and horse-drawn carriage rides.  
The parking is a nightmare on weekends, but during the week you can park and walk and enjoy the sights.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are are few of the highlights of my week
Book I made in class taught by Debby Schuh

Granddaughter's dance recital practice
Granddaughter's first pair of cowboy boots!

Same grand's introduction to a horse

Red neck b-b-q

Littlest grand all decorated for Christmas--I think those were supposed to go on the tree.

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1. _Early__in the _morning__ is the _best time of day__
2. _Happiness_is my_goal.
3. I like to think _I am only 40_; but I know _that is just a dream, even though I feel that way most of the time_.
4. If I just __could organize my time better_, then I could _complete some of the things on my to do list._.