“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Friday, January 16, 2009

A little PINK SATURDAY for me!

I've been wanting to participate in a Pink Saturday over at How Sweet the Sound for a few weeks and always seem to be a day late and a dollar short, but I made it this time and am very happy to "show you mine if you show me yours", something pink, that is, hehehe!

I have loved pink ever since I was a little girl. As the years marched on, so did I dragging my collection of pink goodies behind me, adding to them every chance I found another piece of pink sweetness that I just couldn't live without. My home is filled with pink decor (roses, wallpaper, tablecloths, furniture, you get the picture) to the extent that my four year-old grandson, Joshua, thinks the color and I were born on the same day.

This week's pink goodies are my pink, satin Christmas decorations that I had displayed in a crystal punch bowl centered on my dining room table during the holidays. The heavy and ornate glass piece is a treasure my great-great auntie left to me in her will several years' ago. I love the bowl and I adore the pink sweetness that fills it to the brim. These round pinkies were such a find for me...only 2.00 at Goodwill, a place that I can't drive by if I have 5.00 in my pocket!

I hope to see you next week so I can share more of the beauty-ous, wonderful pink splendor I have accumulated over the years.

(I don't know what in the heck happened, but I posted this early Saturday morning and the time stamp is for Friday. Boy, I sure must have something set wrong!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I love this! I love dogs. I love my dogs. I love this dog!

I love this. I loved it when I first saw it a couple of years' ago and I love it now. It makes me smile and it makes me laugh and it makes me so, so happy that I love dogs and it makes me so, so happy that I share my home with dogs and it makes me so, so happy that I am alive!

Thank you God. Thank you for creating dogs and thank you for my dogs and thank you for this dog! And God, you hit it out of the park when you decided you'd give us dogs, YOU ARE AWESOME!

My beautiful Freyja, Queen of the Valkyries. She is sweetness and light. She is loving and kind. She is loyal and true. Without her I would be less. She owns my heart and I own hers. She is mine and I am hers...always.

Scout, my darling rescue who lives to retrieve and to cuddle and to talk and to snack on goodies and is guy enough to tote around his little, pink piggie and still feel secure in his doggy-ness. There will never be this much love, given with such generosity, in my life again, I can feel it in my heart and soul.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When we bake Grandma's cookies, the love she left behind warms us again

There are times when brand new, never-been-used is wonderful, exciting and grand. And there are times when well-worn, often used and very familiar is just the best way to do something or see something or share something. My mom isn't with us any longer but she left behind a legacy that is re-lived, shared and cherished year after year during the Christmas Season. Memories of my mother are recalled and talked about and lovingly remembered around two kitchen tables, with eager and bright little ones gathered 'round, all because of something she left behind that lives on, and will continue to live on, for decades. Little did mom know that the time spent in her 1950s kitchen would have such a profound and deep impact on her family and most notably, her grandsons...my sons.

Each year mom would make the most delicious German Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with "just right" icing, not too much and not too little, somewhere right in the middle, always perfect. Everyone - all relatives, neighbors, our priest and close family members - absolutely adored those cookies because they had such a delicate flavor and texture, pillow soft and feather light with a rich, buttery aroma.

Normally kids gulp down holiday sweets going from dish to bowl to platter not paying much attention to who made what; not caring about good table manners but always eating and munching, sometimes wiping powder sugared lips on a handy shirt-sleeve. My sons - my boys - would always gravitate to my mother's sugar cookies leaving all of the other ornately crafted holiday treats behind. Dave and Jeff didn't care about cute cookie cutter shapes, or colored frosting, or fancy decorations. All they wanted was my mother's cookies and all my mother ever wanted was to watch those two, little boys sit at her kitchen table with a glass of milk and a dish of her cookies. She'd lean against the back of the kitchen counter wiping her hands on her apron and she'd smile, just a little smile, at a pair of small men-in-the-making, lapping up her cookies. Watching people enjoy what she created in her kitchen was one of my mother's greatest pleasures. Whatever came out of that kitchen of hers was not only a work of art, it was filled with her love and she loved to love...always.

Mom is gone now but my boys hold her Christmas sugar cookies as "the" standard for a holiday sugar cookie. In two homes, with seven little children (4 in one and 3 in the other) to help, two men take the time to create memories that will live on long after they are gone. They take the time to tell little ears about loving memories of a tiny woman they called "grandma"; bringing her to life once more as they take butter, sour cream, flour, vanilla and other kitchen goodies building a priceless foundation that time will never, ever take away...not as long as that cookie recipe is in the hands of my sons and their children and their children and their children.

Thanks mom. I love you and I miss you and I hold dearly all you have left behind. No diamonds or jewels or stocks or bonds, but a piece of your heart and a view of your soul.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I quit smoking TWO YEARS AGO TODAY. If you smoke, please stop now!

Today's blog entry isn't fancy and it doesn't have a gimmick. The entry today is entirely for me, by me, and because of me. It is my birthday and it is also the second anniversary of the day when I quit smoking. Because this entry isn't full of recipes or cute, little gimmicks, no one may find it or read it except for me, but that's OK because right now, this very minute, the pride I feel when the reality hits me that two years have gone by without one, single cigarette in my home is immense. So, me, I am happy and I am thrilled and I am content and I am healthier and I am pleased that I DID IT. I STOPPED SMOKING ON MY BIRTHDAY TWO YEARS AGO.

If anyone does happen to stumble across this entry and you are still smoking, here's my list of absolute MUSTS to have in your house on the day you quit.
  • cinnamon chewing gum
  • cinnamon candies. I used Jolly Rancher.
  • Listerine cinnamon breath strips. Cinnamon has some properties that will zap the urge to smoke ASAP and keep it away for about 45 minutes. Long enough for you to get a grip on your urge and your emotions.
  • Grapefruit juice, which will also take away the desire to smoke and it's good for you, too.
  • baby carrots
  • low calorie veggie dip
  • I used Chantix to help me quit smoking. I never in my life thought that anything would work for me, but this stopped me in my tracks and worked like a charm. I had smoked for 40 years, so if this works on me, it will work for you, too.
  • water, and lots of it
Most of all, you have to want to quit. Not desire to quit or hope to quit or wish you could quit. YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT THE LAST CIGARETTE IS YOUR LAST CIGARETTE. The one, real "key" to stop smoking and to stay that way is to never light up again under any circumstances and at no time for no reason! There will be times when you are stressed and think that lighting up will help, but all it will do is lead you right back into smoking full time and, it will make you want to shoot yourself because all of your hard work during your quit will be lost.

How do I know? Not from personal experience but from listening to, and believing, what the experts, those that quit, told me and from what I have read on the web. Another excellent tool is a web site Why Quit. If that place doesn't shed some light on what those cigarettes are doing to you, nothing will. People who are literally in their hospital bed...dying...share their stories with you, pleading with your to stop smoking. All have passed away now, but please honor their last wish and put that cigarette out...forever.

I began this entry thinking no one would read it or care but now I am hoping that just one person finds this blog of mine and stops smoking. That would be so wonderful, wouldn't it?