Monday, December 31, 2018

Christmas 2018 is past...

... and our kitties are enjoying their new toys!




They also shared a few colored balls and toys with the outside ferals. I watched one long-haired kitty outside playing with an orange ball. He batted and chased it all the way to the bushes in the back and I thought, that's one ball gone.... until he picked it up in his teeth and brought it all the way back to the back patio. Ha! I thought... smart cat!

The large grey rat, red cardinal, and several different colored balls were part of Tux, Julie, and Ghost's stash this year.  They also enjoy playing with all the wrapping paper that was left around by the grandkids.

Today is New Year's Eve and outside of making some Italian chicken and pesto pasta tonight, the only way we celebrate the New Year is to make some of my MIL's home-made eggnog (spiked with a little bourbon of course) and toast as the ball is dropped. Of course we don't always make it to midnight, so sometimes we just toast it in early.

And tomorrow we will have the traditional pork roast, black-eyed peas, and cabbage!  Do you have a traditional New Year's Day meal?

Today I spent putting away part of Christmas as well as  piecing together a small quilt. My DIL found some pretty fabric pieces and gave them to me in a bag of other goodies this Christmas. So today I started piecing it all together. The squares are sewn, but I haven't done the rows. I have black binding, but think it might need a bit of color... (have to think on that).

and I also did some clay sculpting, but  I'll post pics of that later...

Wishing all of you a safe
Happy New Year 2019!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

the magic of Christmas...

Reading childhood memories of Christmas on blogs made me think about my own. I always think of Christmas as a magical time. The whole holiday season seemed full to the brim with something only a child can feel... something in the air that was different from any other time of the year. 

Maybe it was a combination of the wonder of the birth of Christ as well as the possibility of Santa and his reindeer flying through the night delivering toys. When I think back, I realize it was more than that... it was a feeling of love and goodwill. It permeated the air... a season of giving (and yes - getting too - but that was alright as it was done out of love and caring). 

I still believe in the magic of Christmas. It's not quite the same as when I was a child. Now trying to feel that magic doesn't come as easy as it did back then. We grow up. We realize that Christmas is not only love, but hard work. I want my children and grandchildren to feel the magic... and I hope they do. It's hard to know. 

I wrote my oldest grand daughter a letter once concerning this (years ago). She believed in Santa and Elf on the Shelf way beyond some of her friends. And I worried when she did discover how things were done, she would lose faith (in the magic of Christmas ... and other things).

This was my letter:

Dear B---,

First of all, I want you to know that Grandma believes in magic...  all kinds of magic.  There is magic in a mother's love, there is magic in a baby's smile.  I know you've seen a butterfly, but have you ever had one light on your arm?  To me, that's magic.  It's in the moment.  Life is full of 'magic moments'... if you let yourself be aware of them.  It's a feeling like no other... and I can't explain it.  But you certainly know when it happens.

But you have to believe.  If you believe, it exists for you.  If you don't, then it doesn't.  Like everything else in life, it's your choice.  You can choose to believe or not believe.  But let me tell you, life is much more fun when you believe.

When I went to Ireland, I picked a flower in the fairy garden outside of Blarney Castle... and I left a penny for the fairies there.  And I believe there are fairies there... even though I couldn't see them. 

I believe it as much as I believe that there's a God watching over us throughout our lives... and beyond.  I can't see Him.  That doesn't matter.  I can feel Him.  And the fact that I chose to believe is all that matters.

I also believe that my mom and dad are still with me... as well as my brother and sister and any other family members that I loved and loved me.  They live in my heart and in my memories, sure... but their spirits are always close to me because I chose for them to be. 

Now... about Christmas.  I really believe in the magic of Christmas... and always have.  I can feel the magic in the air.  Can't you? When I was little, I thought I could sometimes get a glimpse of Santa's sleigh high in the sky on Christmas Eve.  Sometimes I thought I could hear the bells of the reindeer.

As I got older, I found out (by accident mind you...) that Mom and Dad bought the toys (or at least most) that I found under the tree Christmas morning.  It didn't bother me.  I knew the legend of Santa Claus.  I knew that he really did exist... here on this earth at one time... and still lives in spirit now.  The fact that grownups and parents continued his legend to help to keep the magic alive was fine with me.  I loved the magic... and still do.

And when it comes to Santa's elves...or any elves... yes, I believe in them too. Are they "real"?  Depends on what you call "real"?  They're magic... not real like you and me.  There are many many things in this world that we cannot see or understand. Sometimes we have to look "inside" ourselves to know the truth.

So if I'm ever asked the question, "Is there really a Santa Claus?"  My answer will be, "Yes, of course there's a Santa Claus. He may not be the one who buys your Christmas toys... but that doesn't mean that he didn't or doesn't exist.  He exists in our hearts and he always will as long as people like myself believe."

So I guess what I want to say here, B---, is that as you grow older and become aware that Christmas magic, Santa Claus, and Christmas Elves may not exist in the way your child's mind imagined, they do still exist... in your heart...  if you choose to continue to believe

Love, Grandma

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas music...

I have thought of this...


I'm not especially musically inclined... never played an instrument (well, piano for 2 months in elementary school), don't have an 'ear' for it, and definitely can't hold a tune. 

But 'some' music I find especially haunting like Pentatonix' "Hallelujah" or "Mary Did You Know?". Both of these songs mesmerize me. Don't know if it's the words, the tune, or the voices. 

You're probably familiar with both of these, but I thought I'd try to link up the videos so you could hear them here. However, my technical ability isn't so great... and I'm having trouble doing this. Bear with me.

Pentatonix "Hallelujah"

Pentatonix "Mary Did You Know?"

I think I did it.  Enjoy! 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

been a while...

close up of Christmas tree (and yes, those are mardi gras beads)

Bar at Christmas time...

Life gets busy... especially at this time of year. There's Christmas lights to put up, trees to decorate, gifts to buy, cards to mail, and goodies to bake... not to mention Christmas parties to attend as well as grandkids pageants and performances!

We have one of the latter this week when the Saint Joseph's kindergarten class will be singing Christmas carols. Grand daughter will take part in that so we will be sure to be there. And last night our pottery group had their Christmas get-together and cookie exchange. Great food, good conversation, and came home with loads of goodies!

So... I've been lax on blogging. Actually I've read most the blogs I follow, but may not have commented and certainly haven't posted anything lately.  Yesterday I baked almond tea cakes and cheese biscuits for the pottery get-together. Today I will continue with whiskey balls, chocolate graham cracker crunch, and home-made granola to mail... and eventually rum cakes and more cookies for neighbors and friends. 

That's pretty much where we're at... probably the same for all of you.

Julie  'helping' with Christmas decorating...

Moose doing the same...

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a safe Happy New Year 2019! (Wow! that's the first time I've written that...)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

how life has changed...

(found on Pinterest)

I was thinking this morning as I plugged in both my iPhone and my Kindle how much life has changed in the last 70 plus years. I can instantly post pictures of things I want to share with my family and friends, I stream movies and TV shows to watch whenever I feel like it, and I now drive a key less entry car that is driven completely by buttons and which has not only a phone but a back up video camera and heated seats! (I love heated seats!) It even knows me and adjusts the seat to fit me when I enter. Can you believe? I mean... we didn't even have a TV until I was about 8... and now... well, you can see where I'm going. Technologically speaking, we are moving faster than light (to my mind anyway).

(found on Pinterest)

When my windshield wipers went on by themselves as it started to sprinkle the other day.... I thought, "huh, how smart is this car?" 
(It also honks at me if I leave the keys inside the car when I get out...)

And just how does 'wireless' work and really what is 'the cloud'??

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I sure do like most of what technology seems to do... and although we do use an iPhone, a laptop, a Kindle, and apparently a 'smart' car, there is so much more out there (and coming) that I'm not sure we'll ever understand. 

I read "The President is missing" by Clinton and Patterson and "Origin" by Dan Brown. Both these books make technology possibilities very scary... although entirely probable. It's actually not the technology itself, but how it might/could be used. And here lies the problem - so much good versus very dangerous ground. But it is not my intent to go there today (or any day).

just thinking...

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Good Morning Saturday...

This is me... every night.  I fall asleep with the book and book light in the bed... sometimes even the cell phone. This cat also reminds me of one we had years ago when our kids were small. He was a long haired orange tabby that our youngest son brought home from kindergarten. Apparently the story was that the mama cat was walking across the school yard with 3 babies and this one fell asleep on the way across. The others left him. Our son took him home. We named him Sebastian.

Now I have to share these pics of youngest grand daughter celebrating her 6th birthday yesterday evening. I have to say that there's nothing cuter than watching 6 year old girls enjoying themselves. The conversation as they played with dolls (a combination of Barbies, American Girl, and Frozen character Elsa), LOL's, etc. was priceless. I find their little minds at this age are so active that it's fascinating to listen to their conversations.

and this one shot right before she changed into her Frozen (Elsa) birthday dress....

Being around them makes me think of the old movie, "Gigi" where Maurice Chevalier sings that song, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls"...

OK, that's my contribution for today.  Just wanted to share these thoughts with you.  I'll leave with another pic I found on Pinterest that I liked.

Have a great weekend!