Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year

At midnight tonight we welcome the New Year.  Many of us make resolutions that we keep and many of us make them just because we feel like we should but in the end,, never give them a second thought.   Each day we live, we should resolve to do better, be kinder, have more compassion, see the blessings in life more plainly and understand the power of our words.  We don't need to wait for New Years to make resolutions, they should be done daily, perhaps in our prayer time, our quiet time of the day when we are honest with ourselves.  Maybe that is my resolution, to resolve daily to check my heart, my goals, the importance I place on things in my life.   Earlier this year I began praying a different sort of prayer for people in my life, even those that sorta irritate something within me.  Instead of praying for specifics, I pray for each person that comes to mind in a more complete way, praying that their lives be filled with love, joy, peace, hope and serenity. This sort of praying removes me personal agenda from the picture. Praying for a person to be filled with hope, joy, love and serenity, covers all ground, including illnesses.   And the best part of praying like this, it works on our hearts.   It brings to life our need for those things in us, for others, for ourselves.
I get off track. Its easy to do in this pressure filled, fast paced, high performance modern life we are all part of in one way or another.  Simply by reading this post, you are on a computer, a marvel of modern invention but also a major time thief.  A major distraction much of the time. 

One good thing about the New Year, there is so much talk about making changes in our life, we take stock of where we are, even if only for a few seconds.  Its a reality bite moment.  One we can use or just toss to the side.
I need changes made, not afraid to admit that.   On a day to day level, I need to get back on track with my walking and  get past all the holiday time sweet eating !   I need to slow down a bit each day and breathe deeply and appreciate the silence of a moment.   I  need to fall in love all over again with simplicity in all its beautiful forms.   These things I will do.  
Happy and Blessed New Year to all of you !

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quinoa Salad

Found this recipe for Quinoa Salad on YouTube and had to try it.  I added some cooked black lentils. Smells wonderful cooking and tastes fantastic.  It sure was nice running out to the garden to get the kale I needed to make this !

You're Invited to Join the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart

We are joining ! A great way to start the new year

The Beauty of The Morning

The beauty of the morning is there for all to see, if only we open our eyes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What's New ?

It has been a busy week.  The day after Christmas, Emery and I did our annual after Christmas sale shopping.  For the past decade or more, I have shopped the day after for next years Christmas wrap, Christmas cards and for decorations.   Since redecorating the living room, the old decorations no longer fit in with the look we have worked to achieve, making the after Christmas sales a real benefit.   I was thrilled to fill an entire shopping cart at Michael's for under $100, which translated into about $400 worth of decorations pre sale price.  I like sales !  It was fun to buy wrapping paper that had all the same colors as my drapes and yet pay less than even the cheapest wrap during the season.   All the decorations for the dinning room this year were purchased on sale after Christmas last year.  My Christmas cards for next year are already addressed and stored for next years sending to the folks I know will not be moving.   
This is going to be a very intense month for me.  My father is having surgery the 18th, and they will be doing a biopsy at the same time, checking for bone cancer.  My heart is heavy.   Then on the 24th, Mei-Ling will be having a huge surgery with a very long and difficult recovery.  A month recovery in bed for a 4 year old is beyond difficult.  The surgery itself, is about a 7-8 procedure.   On top of this, Emery will be having some follow up tests from his hospital stay last fall.   It will be a month of much prayer !
On a fun note, yesterday I was shopping at one of my favorite stores and checked for the umpteenth time, the price on a set of cooper pans.  I have a copper crepe pan that I adore, and have dreamed about owning a set of copper cookware for many years but the price makes it hard to justify the purchase.  I even have a picture of them on my vision board.  Yesterday, there they were, marked down from the normal price and then for their after Christmas sale, everything marked down was an additional 50% off.  I called Emery at work and asked if I could buy them, his response was music to my ears and now I am the proud owner of three new copper pans.   Can't wait to use them.   This stage of our life is what we have worked towards for our entire marriage.  Happy adult children that are well established.  Grandchildren that bless us in more ways then we could have ever imagined.  We have been debt free for many years.  Our retirement is well planned for and we are blessed to be able to enjoy life.   Simple living has paid off.  Life is good.  
The last photo is of my father and Mei-Ling over 3 years ago, sitting side by side in their rocking chairs.  I love it !

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas !

What a joyous day !  Family, gift giving, good food, lots of laughter and squeals of joy from little ones opening presents !  Santa arrived at our house, leaving bits of his Christmas magic here and there.  Yet, not a one of us has forgotten the true meaning of this special day.   May each of you have a day blessed with love, joy and completeness.
Santa ate all the cookies we left for him and we should have cleaned out the wood stove a bit so he wouldn't have left such big sootie foot prints on the hearth.    The gingerbears helped us out by doing the dishes and wrapping a few last minute gifts !

Friday, December 23, 2011

Joy of the Season and Traditions

Tonight was cookie baking night with Melanie and Mei-Ling.  We had to make cookies for Santa, only Papa kept eating all the Snickerdoodles !  A whole dozen of them all by himself !  We had so much fun and its a delight to keep up the tradition we had with our own girls when they were small.  Gingerbears are magical as you can read about in Our First Gingerbears Christmas and here then my oldest wrote about her first Christmas away from home and making Gingerbears on her own.   I love family traditions, they are glue that holds families together, binds our hearts one to another. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Sunset From My Front Door

Jack Frost Paid Us A Visit

Frost covered everything this morning, and sparkled in the morning sun as if diamond dust had fallen last night while we slept.  The beauty of it all felt Holy.  It was the creative Hand of the Creator.  Unspeakable beauty all around me.  So much more beautiful than watching a home make-over show or strolling the isles of a store.  
The whole outdoors captivated me, held me in a grip of awe and at the same time shook me awake from this dull slumber I had fallen into where things had begun to matter more than strolling the land each morning, looking with eyes wide open.  Holding dear to my heart the most simple pleasures.  Life is a lesson, each day a new chapter to be read and understood.  My lesson of the day, simplicity is profoundly beautiful.

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...