Hope

Good Morning Everybody!!

For weeks months now I have been just inches/seconds away from pressing the “Delete” button on this Blog…..

Pressing a button that would forever erase 100’s, no 1000’s of hours of my life, hard work and memories over the last year and a half of my life.

(Yes – That is what you think it is….. I took the above photo last month right over my house – from my front porch – with my phone!! Scary, but it stopped right there with no damage! I wasn’t in the mood for it that day, so I’m sure I looked like a Crazy Woman standing outside yelling at it to “GO AWAY!!”  and “telling it off”, but I didn’t really care at the time, LOL.)

Why had I been thinking of  “Deleting” this Blog?

Because of those whom we shall call “The Critics”, as my all-to-wise son has aptly  “named”  them. Those who stalk this Blog looking for items to criticize me about, or thoughts I’ve posted to fuel the dissention/strife that they wish to live/participate in. Those who are more interested in bringing you grief, than bringing you a smile. Those who are already forming scathing e-mail responses in their minds to the few words that I’ve just written.

We all have them to deal with in our own lives – in different capacities. The difference is in how we let them affect us/our lives.

If I were to hit the “Delete” button – then they win. They “silence” my existence/thoughts and move on to the next person that they wish to monitor/control. And there will always be someone for them to focus on – they will “find them”….. It is all they know.

This Blog is a way to share my creativity with the world.  It is a way for me to share with you the beauty that I come into contact with everyday.  A way to share my thoughts with more than just my “four walls”.  A way to stay connected with those who are too far away from me  for me to just hop in the car and drive over for a visit.  A way to “send” a photo of my world/seasons/flowers/goings-on’s to my friends in other states/countries who are still dealing with ice/snow/dreariness/natural disasters/chaos, and give them a smile when they need it most.  A way to send them some “lifting up”/encouragement/hope that whatever situation they may be dealing with that day – they are not really “alone”.  To give them hope that they can/will get thru it – one day at a time….. Like eating an elephant!     😉    

A way to remind others that “this too shall pass”;  and that while “picking up all of the broken pieces” is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to do – if we want to have any hope for tomorrow to be better, then it MUST be done in order to “live” again.  To smile again.  To be a Blessing to someone else who desperately needs some “Hope” themselves.  To give some encouragement/courage to those who are going thru whatever it is that you have already went thru (not stayed-in, went THRU). 

To help build someone else up, and to give them a “smile” when they feel like they have nothing left to smile about.  To let them know that there is someone else out there, who has to deal with the same kinds of “craziness” that has visited their house that week.  To remind them to find Joy (if only for a moment in time) in the sunrise/sunset/pretty flower/crazy animal antic that is occurring right in front of them – if they will only stop long enough to see it.

So, I am not closing this Blog.  It helps too many others, if only for a moment in time.  Those it offends – that is their CHOICE….. and they can choose NOT to read it.  I am listening to my son and choosing to no-longer listen  to “The Critics” – but  to listen instead to my heart, my God, and do what makes me happy while it ministers/teaches/helps/build-up others, and brings a smile to someone elses’ tear-stained face. If only for a moment in their world.

To write what gives someone else hope that they too can make it thru the chaos/pain/fear that is going on around them that day; because someone else has already gone thru it – or is going thru it with them from afar.

That they are not completely alone – the world is “crazy” everywhere, and there is someone else out there dealing with something too.  It gives others a “break” from their own reality, while they focus on someone elses’ life/circumstances/chaos/victory.  And sometimes,  just sometimes, this Blog even teaches you how to bake some awesome “yummy thing” to surprise your family with; or even inspires/teaches you how to make some “pretty thing” to make you (or someone else) smile.     🙂    

No, I’m not closing my Blog.

I think I will just write more to really piss the critics off.    😉   

I’m here to stay – for as long as God will allow. So….

God Bless, and

Have a Great Day!!!     😉    

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A Day Off

Work 7 days a week.

For 12 weeks straight.

A day off = priceless!!     😉    

Spring Dreaming

Okay, I (like most everyone else) have had enough of Winter/Cold/Sub-Zero/Ick!! I want some Sun/Flowers/open windows and favorable temperatures!

So, in honor of my Spring Fever, I’m going to post some of my photos taken during my favorite times of year to give us all a bit of a boost.    😉   

Ahhhh……. That’s better!     😉   

Have a great day!

    🙂

The Skinny Dipping Christmas Tree

 

I bet that’s a title that you never thought you’d see!

Me either.

But – it happened!

How?

Allow me to explain….

Nothing “simple” ever really is….

You see, it all started innocently enough.

A few extra minutes. A run to the garage to retrieve the artificial tree we put up every Christmas. Bring the tree into the house. Remove tree from bag, and set her up. It is in 3 pieces, so it is a no-muss, no-fuss 15 minute set up. You are then ready for decorating at your earliest convenience.

HAH!!

NOT THIS YEAR!!

Garage run – check.

Tree into house – check.

Open bag and unpack tree – EEEEEEEEK!!!!!!

What to my wondering eyes should appear, but a hole in the bag – and proof several mice had been living here!!!

Much to the cats great dismay – the mice were long gone, but their “leftovers” were not.

SO – that left me with 2 options:

Throw the whole thing out to the curb and have no Christmas Tree this year (a replacement is not in the budget, you see)…..

 – OR –

BATH TIME!!!!!!  (after a good vacuuming that is)   😉   

A lot of Lysol.

A little Pine Sol – gotta have that pine smell ya know!     😉   

and Viola’ !

Clean, mousey free Christmas Tree!

Who knew a “garden tub” was just the right size for giving a Christmas Tree a bath!?!

LOL

So – how’d you spend your Sunday night? LOL

🙂

Mean Mom!!!

Horatio 

You are a MEAN MOM!!! 

Lil Bit 

We cats are depressed – and it’s all YOUR FAULT!!! 

Socks 

You took away our joy and happiness – our reason for getting up in the morning (other than our Tunafish, that is)…… 

Tree 

YOU TOOK OUR TREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You Big Meannie!!!! 

Our beloved tree is gone 😦  Our pretty “soccer balls” have vanished.  😦  No more fun stuff for us to abscond with….. 

 

No more tree to hide under for surprise ambushes…..BIG MEANNIE!!! 

Lil Bit 

How dare you!! Why did you take our toys and super-secret-hidy-place away?!?! What have we ever done to you??? 

Felix and Lil Bit 

I mean – REALLY?!?! It’s OUR STUFF for crying out loud!!! 

Horatio 

YOU let those boxes in that ate our toys! YOU let that bag in that ate OUR tree!!! What were you thinking woman?!?! 

Socks 

Will they EVER come back?!? Where did they go!?!?! I MUST go find them!!!Ooohhh….the nerve of you!!! It’s all your fault!!! Our beloved tree – it’s all gone!! Gone I tell you!!! despondency and sadness….  😦  Sad, sad day…..our lives will never be the same, and it’s all your fault – MEAN MOM!!! 

Fiona Midget 

Now you must pay for your actions you bad woman!!!! Shame on you!! And by the way, where did you say your yarn was stashed???? 

yarn for scarves 

I’m just saying………

Naked Trees and Thieves

  

Yet again, I had the distinct pleasure of waking up to a naked tree, and ornament thieves! While trying to stumble to the coffee pot I came upon the latest “soccer” game unfolding down my back hallway leading to my office. “Bang”, “bang”, “crash” were the lovely sounds emitting from what was once a hardwood floored hallway that had just been converted to a feline Pinball Game arena. The deep freezer, walls, tables and open folding Pantry doors having been transformed into bumpers, backboards and ball returns! 😦  As I scrambled to retrieve the flying red and gold (plastic) shiny and sparkly “balls” from their feverish game, without being taken out by one of them myself, I came around the corner and saw my tree….my once beautiful tree. Naked except for her lights, and a few desperately clinging poinsettia sprays (also fake – just so you know). She was still upright, which is a good thing because a 7 1/2 foot tall tree toppled across the doorway would not have been a good thing – especially since she was still plugged in!! But, there she was – pitiful, and missing all of her ribbons, ornaments, flowers and stars. Her lights hung on for dear life – but that was all. Everything else was in assorted piles and heaps on the floor around her, as if she had had the worlds worst “hotflash” and couldn’t shed her clothes quickly enough.

She was a pretty tree....

Now, it was bad enough that she had to deal with a visit from “the grinch” a few days ago (her top STILL won’t stand perfectly straight!), but to add insult to injury, she now was disrobed!! I gathered all the “balls” up that I could find – I know there are still a few missing that “THEY” have stashed for just such an emergency as mom taking their toys away – and placed everything I could find back on the tree where it went. She still doesn’t look quite right.  However, at least she looks like a Christmas Tree again – for the moment. 🙂 I say that because the thievery has ALREADY began once again!! As I sit here the gray ringleader has already batted 2 glittery “balls” down and is taking off for the hallway, dribbling the madly as he goes. My cries of “Stop It!! Not Yours…MINE!!” go unheeded, as if I were cheering them on instead, saying “Go Socks, Go!!”  😦  

Socks in Christmas Tree

Socks, Official Ornament Thief

UGGHH!!  

So, it’s off to re-confiscate ornaments and get ready for work. Hope Y’all have a great day, and watch your ornaments….The Thieves are at large!!  

Shady

Mamaw’s Christmas Tree

Mamaw

 

Everyone has special memories of Christmases past; a childhood Christmas, a more recent Christmas, the last Christmas with a loved one, the Christmas as a child when you had a dirty trick played on you that you laugh about now, the year you got EXACTLY what you had asked Santa for, the first Christmas you spent with your someone special, your baby’s first Christmas, or the year your present was ALIVE!!! If you stop and think, everyone can remember at least one treasured Christmas memory, some have been truly Blessed and have several. But, we all have at least one that makes us smile. 🙂  This time of year a smell, a sight, a song, a word, an ornament or a picture can bring these memories flooding back – making us smile and warming our heart. 

Mamaw's Ornament

Someone asked me yesterday what my favorite childhood Christmas memory was. I stopped and thought, and I realized that my favorite Christmas memory was more of a montage of memories. The first one that came to mind was of a Christmas party my Mamaw had when I was a child. Basically, Mamaw raised me so most of my childhood (that I do remember) involves Mamaw. That particular year we had our annual Christmas party – you know the kind (you generally only see them on T.V. now) where the front yard has 30 vehicles parked on the lawn because the driveway won’t hold them all, there is more food floating around than anyone could ever eat, and the house is overflowing onto the front porch with friends, family, distant relatives, neighbors and even local acquaintances who have nowhere to go for Christmas. Mamaw NEVER turned anyone away – invitation or not. 🙂

 

We ALWAYS went out to our back fields and cut down our trees for Christmas, but this year (for some unknown to this day) reason, Mamaw decided she wanted one of those new-fangled Aluminum Silver Christmas trees. I think it was because we (meaning me) always put so much icicle tinsel (long individual strands of silver foil tinsel you hand-placed on the branches for those who don’t remember) on the trees that you couldn’t see the green tree anymore. 😉  Anyways, we got this silver tree (so I couldn’t put any tinsel on that year) and set it up in the front room like always. The only neat thing about this tree was that it came with one of those rotating light-changers that projected color onto the tree (red, blue, green and yellow). At least it seemed neat until the party and we all got a really good look at the tree, when it turned to the yellow light it looked like someone had peed on the tree, green and red reminded you of stop lights and the blue was the only color that actually looked cool. Hey, it WAS the seventies!  🙂  So, we decided to take matters into our own hands. The “Disco Tree” was out, a new tree was cut, and decorated –  at the party – and we all participated while Mamaw supervised from the kitchen. After dinner, the “UNO” games began, and we all had a good laugh for many years over Mamaw’s “Disco Tree”.  None of us remember what happened to that tree after we took it out to the barn, but I think Mamaw had Bad Boy (my grandpa) burn, or bury it!!

  

 

I am now the “Keeper of the Ornaments” from that tree, and several others Mamaw had over the years. My favorite ornaments of hers, however, live in the china cabinet where they are safe from “marauders” and accidental dismemberment and breakage. That way, they are also “out” year-round and I can look at them and smile at will – without having to wait for Christmas to do so. 🙂 So, what are your favorite Christmas memories? Traditions? Keepsakes? May you think of them often, and smile!! 🙂 

 

Here’s wishing you and yours many happy memories, a laugh or two, and a very Merry Christmas!! 

Shady