Monday, September 28, 2009

Salutations is my fancy way of saying hello

“The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes" Leo Tolstoy

Chin up, chin up / Everybody loves a happy face / Wear it, share it / It'll brighten up the darkest place / Twinkle, sparkle / Let a little sunshine in / You'll be on the right side, looking at the bright side / Up with your chinny-chin-chin. Charlotte "Charlotte's Web" 1973

As I climbed from my car I noticed this spider wrapping some food storage. I leaned in as close as I dared, hoping not to disturb it...which brought quite a smile to my seems only a few years ago that my brothers could back me into a corner shrieking whilst holding the smallest spider in their hands.

I love Autumn. It is a time for reflection and quietness. A time before the barrage of holiday activities is also a time of great melancholy as it signals a season of loss...remembrance of those that have left this life...try as I might I am unable to shake the "blues" at this time of year. My feelings go into hyper sensitive drive and I find I must have time alone to brood and sort myself out. I spent the greater part of a weekend wrapped in a quilt not feeling "well"
And sort myself out I did indeed. During a period of "unrest" I must strive extra diligently to express gratitude and appreciation...

so today I am extremely grateful for

  • loving family and friends
  • the beauty of all I see around me
  • yummy homemade broccoli soup for lunch
  • the slight chill in the air
  • the anticipation of cooler weather
  • a very special wedding in a few weeks
  • baby toes
  • haircuts and restoration of my natural color
  • the weight of Moe kitty sleeping on our feet
  • Duncan shivering with anticipation over a doggie treat
  • sweaters and jeans and scarves
  • riding with the top down (the car's top)
  • HONEYCRISP APPLES - the tart sweetness and the sound of the crunch
  • soon to be started major art project
  • knitting
  • the satisfaction of canning some holiday pepper jelly
  • the smell from bread baking

and I must express sincerest thanks to Robin at Bird Tweets for the most beautiful "gift of jewels" made my day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday - Laughter

"A merry heart doeth good like medicine" ...Proverbs 17:22

What had happened wuz...

An entire weekend spent with rib aching, body shaking laughter...

Laughter is the BEST medicine. It warms the spirit, exercises the heart and lungs, helps balance stress and it is CONTAGIOUS!!!
Mix together wonderful friends, a lovely setting and some good old "story telling"...toss in some beautiful weather...ta dah...a recipe for laughter and joy!
Dear Jeanne...please send photos as I was laughing too much to get everyone!!!
Dear Ladies of SOS Fall Migration...each are a joy and a to you!!!
Dear Mary Jane...still thinking about the spaghetti and meatballs...
Dear Strangers from Philly (?) thanks for the extra laughs!!!
Dear Everyone else...find something to laugh can turn the whole day around!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kindness Crusade

Have we become a nation of ill mannered beasts? When is it okay to get on a stage and steal someone else's thunder by being an obnoxious boor? I would like to see "Kanye" go head to head with one of his fellow rappers and pull a stunt like that...Taylor Swift won an was her moment whether everyone agrees or not. I have even heard various stories of the outburst being staged...hmm. Is this just a cover up for bad behavior? South Carolina has been in the midst of a media feeding frenzy with Representative Wilson's outburst in Congress. It is rude to disrespect the office of the President. Representative Wilson APOLOGIZED to President Obama. Enough Said. Can we all move on with our lives now?

I hear children, yes children, using language that would make one's ears BLEED. Driving is an hazardous occupation at best with all the road rage. When did Please, Thank you and Excuse me become obsolete? When did it become okay to let a door shut in some one's face. Is common courtesy a thing of the distant past?

I started my own kindness rebellion (sounds like an oxymoron)...we have NO idea what is happening in any one's life on any given day...being a little gentler and kinder matters. I laugh and smile often...excessively often...I hold doors, return shopping carts, smile at frazzled people and speak to them even if someone yells at me or looks at me as if I have grown two heads.

Yes, I, too have my not so proud moments when I loose my temper and exhibit rudeness. Case in point...trying to pull into a parking lot of a local store and the person in front of you is clueless and the rear end of your car is in the street with oncoming you are "fussing" and "carrying on" the person gets out of their car and apologizes for being lost...

I joke when I say something inappropriate such as..."did I say that out loud"? However it is really not a joke and society in general has lost the filter mechanism on communication. You do not need to SAY everything you are thinking.

The wicked witch of the West had a house dropped on her...let us not wait for a house to drop to be more aware of our language and actions. Kindness always matters. People are hurting everywhere...BE the answer to their prayers not the problem!

Join me and start your own personal Kindness Crusade!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flashback Friday or When the World Becomes a Little Insane

Today is the birthdate of our son in law, Raul...After September 11, 2001...Raul must share his day of celebration with a period in history that, to me, is still inconceivable. I think everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing at the time. I was traveling to job sites to check on students. I heard the news of the first plane striking the first tower of the World Trade Center. I remember thinking what a horrible, horrible accident...then news of the second tower...attacks on the pentagon and another flight crashing...this was no accident. For me the world tilted on its axis and everything felt a bit surreal.

My heartfelt prayers reach out to those that lost loved those workers that sifted through the carnage and will never be the those first responders who sacrificed their lives to save others...even to each of us that still find the events of that day hard to believe and accept.

"Every Small Candle Lights A Corner Of The Dark, And The Darkness Cannot Overcome It."

May we each find a way to shine in the be a beacon for those who may be lost, grief stricken or shine forth for truth, beauty, honor and shine for all that is good in the world.

(photo from

Friday, September 4, 2009

Flashback Friday or What I learned from the Wizard of Oz

You're out of the woods, You're out of the dark, You're out of the night. Step into the sun, Step into the light. Keep straight ahead for the most glorious place On the Face of the Earth or the sky. Hold onto your breath, Hold onto your heart, Hold onto your hope. .[ Wizard Of Oz Lyrics are found on ]

Each year my brother Jimmy and I would eagerly anticipate the showing of the Wizard of Oz. We would take our baths and ready ourselves for bed...our Mom would make snacks...we had our blankets and pillows at the ready...such good times! In this day of DVDs one can watch anytime the desire strikes...for us though, it was a once a year deal and it was a BIG deal! The rest of the year we kept a close watch out for flying monkeys.

This is still one of my favorite movies and books of all time! As a child, I alternated between desperately wanting to be Dorothy and wear the sparkly ruby slippers and being the good witch Glinda...what was not to love about her?!!! My daughters and I watched this movie together frequently and one of our longstanding albeit most corny comments is "do you want to be a good witch, a bad witch or a sand witch" We thought we were hilarious.

As an adult I think L. Frank Baum was a genius. The best lessons learned from this story for me are...

************************** There is NO PLACE like HOME!

******************** You have EVERYTHING you need within YOU

Good Friends are the BEST, they will stand by you and see you through any adventure or trial

******People come in all sizes, shapes and colors...ALL are a lovely sight to behold

Watch out for Flying Monkeys...(all our fears and disappointments, trials )...Love conquers Fear every time.

There is a Higher Power watching over EACH of us (for me this is my Heavenly Father) for some it may be a Universal Love or some other deity.

**************************** STICK TO THE PATH

Being nice matters (or someone may drop a house on you) and everyone can use a little sparkle!

To all my wonderful friends may you always find your heart's desire...peace and love and best wishes!

* picture of Jimmy and Connie taken circa 1964ish maybe Olan Mills Photography

* Glinda and Dorothy borrowed courtesy of

* Dorothy's shoes courtesy of

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Welcome to the newest Grand Darling!!!

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar: Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home"... Intimations of Immortality - William Wordsworth

Adriano Xavier...born 9/2/09 - 8:12 a.m. - 6lbs. 13 1/2 ounces - 19 1/2 inches long only a few hours old!

In our beautifully combined family we are now the proud grandparents of ten (10) granddarlings! We are truly blessed!

p.s. Thanks Jamie N for the picture!!!