Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saying Goodbye to 2009

   If truth were to be told I am not a fan of New Year's Eve, never have been. I'm not sure when this began, I honestly can't remember ever really getting excited about the whole thing. Even as a child my Mom would try to be all festive with bite size snacks and fizzy drinks for us (myself and my two nephews) and put on Dick Clark so we could watch the 'Ball' drop. My sister and brother were much older than I and out doing their own celebrating while my nephews were closer to my age and Mom was the babysitter while everyone else went out. Somehow even at that young age I sensed the whole thing was not for me.

   The week between Christmas and the New Year have always been rather melancholy for me. All the festivities and joyful times of Christmas are packed away for another year and we look forward to a blank page. I think that perhaps as an artist I feel intimidated by that blank white canvas. Where do I begin, what do I want the final piece to look like, what will other's think of my work? A lot of time is spent soul searching this week, did I do all I wanted to? Did anything amount to something? Did I touch anyone's life and make a difference? It's always difficult to look back and see how much time I wasted, what I didn't accomplish. Here I am on the threshold of a new year, will I do any better? Will the old ways and fear of failure prevent me from trying?

    I've attended my fair share of New Year's Eve parties over the last 53 years , sometimes because it's what I thought I should be doing, sometimes it was because I was cajoled into going and it was easier than resisting. This year I have decided you will find me in the comfort of my home, in my warmest jammies, snuggled up with some old classic movies and saying goodnight to 2009 when I'm tired.

   So while most of the world is up drinking, dancing and blowing into noisemakers I'll be catching a few zzzz's. After all I have a new canvas facing me tomorrow and as any artist knows the best way to get over the stark white staring at me is to jump in and splash a little color on it!
   Wishing you all a joyous New Year, one filled with an abundance of love, good health, happy moments and dreams fulfilled.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All !!!

 Merry Christmas to all my dear Blog friends!!! I pray that you are all well and enjoying time with friends and family. God bless each and everyone of you!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

    On this final Sunday of Advent I am reminded again about God's gift to us, a newborn babe sent to offer us redemption. This beautiful and amazing gift was mirrored for me in the snow storm that blanketed the northeast this weekend.

    For some areas hit by this snow it was an anomaly, places that rarely see snow were being hit the hardest. I wonder if people were able to see beyond the inconvenience and appreciate the beauty that was enfolding before us?

   The landscape was being transformed into something pure and clean. Where once there was dirt, trash and even urban blight the scenery was covered to showcase the beauty we often don't see.

When all was covered with a blanket of snow our eyes could rest on the beauty of God's creation, we were allowed to view what was most precious.

     God has blessed us all with natural beauty that often goes unnoticed because all we can see are cars, buildings, strip malls & highways. During Advent, instead of scurrying around to malls & stores shopping for the 'perfect gift' we are called to rememeber that God has already given us the 'PERFECT GIFT' in His Son Jesus. Through Him we are washed clean, much like the landscape has been during this storm. While we may be dealing with internal storms he is there to 'carry us' and to bring us hope and love.

     Before the street plows come through and erase the beauty of what surrounds us spend some time reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas and the 'Perfect Gift' you have been offered.

                         Let the Love of God fill your Heart.

Wishing you all the quiet peaceful moments to enjoy the beauty of the season. Merry Christmas to all!

If you would like to enjoy other reflections on this beautiful season visit 'Spiritual Sundays' at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can It Really Only Be Ten Days Away ???

    Ten Days and counting everyone...I should be in a panic as I am not yet done with all the preparations but as I get older I find myself staying calmer. Perhaps it can be due to years of experience, lowered expectations or possibly because as I have gotten older my views on what's important has changed. Don't get me wrong, while I have pared down some of my decorating from years past (I now put up one tree instead of three, four or five) it still looks like Macy's around here with lots of lights, greens and favorite decorations. I still continue to send out Christmas cards to friends and family, bake the traditonal Christmas cookies (though not as many) and have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners at my home (my sons are still single and I foresee no signs of going to their homes for the holidays anytime soon).
   So why so calm you ask? I guess because I have found that over the years the part I enjoy most about the holidays is spending time with my husband, sons, family and friends. I still enjoy making the magic of Christmas come alive for all who enter through our doors but I suspect that even without all the decorations and gifts we would still enjoy eachother's company. Our time together is our greatest gift.
   We may or may not have monetary resources, our homes may be large or small, we may be at the peak of physical health or suffering through an illness but we still have eachother and time is the most valuable gift we can give. We all have a finite amount of time so giving it and sharing it are what means the most. We may not know exactly when our time will come or who may not be with us to celebrate the next Christmas so now is the time, not later. Embrace those around you, share yourself, your time and even your resources if you have them for each day is a gift, once gone never to be regained.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Supporting The Economy!

    I'm just about done with my Christmas shopping, just a few last minute items and some gift cards to get...I can proudly say that I have done what I can to get our economy going again! I don't shop as much as I used to, my sons are all older now and my Toys r Us days are a thing of the past. I must admit that the first year I didn't have to make the late night toy store run was quite sad!  I may have even shed a tear ot two, silly I know. If you're a young Mom, exhausted from the shopping and preparations take a few moments to enjoy the magic young children bring to the holiday, you'll miss it someday!
   I spent last friday with my sister putting up her tree and decorating her home. She was too tired from her chemotherapy and radiation to do much more than unwrap a few ornaments but she enjoyed it all the same. I wish I could have captured the joy on her face when we were all done, I know she sits and enjoys her tree and decor everyday! She is keeping her shopping to a minimum, mostly giving gift cards...running around to the stores is out of the question at this time. I'll be getting a list of the cards she needs and picking them up for her when I get mine.
   It's funny how even though the passage of time, an illness or death in the family can change how we celebrate Christmas, the fundamental love and joy we have for each other still stands strong. Whether miles separate you from family or you have yours close by, always hold the love for them in your hearts and carry you Christmas there too.
  May you all have a blessed Christmas and may the Miracle of our Lord's birth sustain you through the coming year. Wishing you all a year filled with endless love, good health and prosperity!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

   Just wanted to say a quick hello to all of you and to assure you I have not fallen off the face of the earth! I have been busy decorating our home for the holidays and preparing to head over to my sister's tomorrow to help get her place all spruced up too! Chemo & radiation have left her weak but I know she still wants to enjoy her tree and holiday decor while she rests so I'm donning my elf's hat and red booties to do some Christmas magic at her place. (Can you hear the bells on the toes ringing?) While I have been a bit busy and not posting please know I am still visiting all your blogs and enjoying them so much, when time permits I even try to leave a comment or two! Your inspiring posts and creative ideas have definitely put me in the holiday mood...thanks!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Just a quick little post to wish you all the most wonderful Thanksgiving...may you be surrounded by folks you love, an abundance of good food, moments of laughter and the peace and grace of our Lord!

                               Blessings form my Home to Yours!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Humble Pie"

If I am to be honest, my favorite pie this time of the year is definitely pumpkin! Today I was offered up a slice of 'Humble Pie' when I was awarded the 'Honest Scrap Award' by Audrey over at 'The Magic, Miracles and Joy of an Artist' . I am always amazed that anyone is even interested in reading my blog much less recognizing me with an award so here I sit eating pie! I have been instructed to list ten things about myself and then pass this award on to ten more bloggers, no easy feat I tell you. Please bear with me as I try to share things you may not know about me.

1. I am a Christian who continues to struggle with a 'past' but marches onward to know God better.
2. I am married to a wonderfully sweet man, it'll be 19 years in May!
3. We have 5 sons, the oldest being 32, so if you're doing the math in your head right now you're confused. We are a blended family, two sons are his from a previous marriage, two sons are mine from a previous marriage and then we have one of our own! They are ages 32, 31, 29,29,16.
4. Despite the series the 'Brady Bunch' I can tell you that a blended family was not always easy but has proven to be our greatest source of joy.
5. I was a single parent for ten years before Bill and I were married so my sons and I have a very special bond.
6. I consider myself to be a 'Jack of all Trades' as I worked many jobs during those ten years. I painted landscapes in a huge warehouse, went to school at night and got a certificate in floral design. Worked for a florist and returned to school to get my dental radiologist's license and then went to work for a dental practice. I continued to study and went to work as a dental technician and bookkeeper in a dental laboratory, where I met my husband. Night jobs during this time included, selling christmas trees & designing wreaths for sale, selling and caring for plants in a greenhouse and cleaning office space at night.
7. Since the age of nine my dream was to be an 'Artist' and I even went to art school for one year at 'Moore College of Art' in Philadelphia. Life happened and I never got to realize my dream, that is until a few years ago. I decide to use my art skills and donate my work to help our church Youth Group raise money for mission trips.
8. I am an adult leader in our Youth Group and have worked with Jr. & Sr. High students. We have done mission work in Kalamazoo, MI , Richmond,VA,  New Haven, CT, on The Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Idaho and locally. I enjoy spending time with these amazing young people and while my role is to teach them God's Word I find that they often teach me so much more.
9. My hobbies include, gardening, cooking, cross stitch, sewing and quilting.
10. One of my favorite places in the world is our weekend cabin getaway in central PA. It is situated in the middle of Bald Eagle State Forest and I am blessed to see God's glory in nature when we're there.

Well that was probably much more than you ever wanted to know about me but this award is about 'honest blogging'. I am sure that all of you are honest in your writing but I believe this award is to go to those of you who open your closet doors a little wider and let the skeletons out! For sharing your heartfelt words and putting yourself out there with your blogs I award the 'Honest Scrap Award' (in no particular order) to the following bloggers:

PJ of 'Seens From the Backs of My Eyelids'
Jane of 'The Painted House'
Rachel of 'Rachel Cox Designs'
Lulu of 'Normal is a Cycle on a Washing Machine'
Sara of 'Mama Craft'
Katherine of 'Just a Girl'
Karen of 'Journey to Spirit Through Art & Creativity'
Chrissie of 'In His Grace'
Renee of 'Circling My Head'
Marie of 'A Year From Oak Cottage'

There are so many of you who have touched me, made my heart skip a beat, and caused me to pause & are all Honest scrap Award worthy!

Another Delightful Giveaway...

Get thee to the Pink Pincushion straight away as there shall be a giveaway of the most delightful kind!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bitter Sweet

  I must confess to being absent for the last few days, life gets busy sometimes...while I was away my dear friend PJ from 'Seens from the back of Eyelids' gave me this very thoughtful and sweet award. I am humbled by this and was not going to post about it, but that seemed ungrateful.
  Why would this be bitter sweet you ask? PJ recently suffered a big loss, her beloved father-in-law Scotty passed away and he had lived with her and her husband for quite some time. They had a special bond and in her posts PJ shared stories about the amazing love that surrounded them all in her home. She is one very special lady, always quick with a kind word and very supportive of others. She has been a great source of inspiration for me while my sister battles cancer. All the while she has carried her own burdens with grace and poise.
  I am relatively new to blogging but I think that somewhere out in blogland there must be an award for just such a person as PJ. She is witty and can make you laugh like no other. She is inquisitive and really makes us all think. She is kind and loving and has a heart that shares despite her own sorrows. PJ can ask the hard questions one minute and then share her faith and love of God the next.
  I wish I could wrap her in a big hug and ease the pain of this loss. She has written the most beautiful tribute to Scotty on her blog, such love, faith and devotion are rare and PJ is a shining example of all that is good in this world.

Monday, November 16, 2009

You Simply Must Visit Donna !!!

You simply must visit Donna at, she is celebrating her 200th post with the most amazing giveaway! Her blog is delightful and a feast for the eyes so you'll definitely want to become a follower I'm sure!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

'I do not understand the mystery of Grace - only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.'
                                                        Anne Lamott

Friday, November 13, 2009

Victim or Hero???

    I can't tell you exactly where I came across this quote nor who the author is but the words resonated with me and I jotted them down while searching the web for something else. This memo note has been tacked up near my PC and I have stopped to read the words several times a day. I would like to share them with you, perhaps they will have an impact on you or someone you love.
 'What if the word victim could be redefined to mean hero, recognizing that the path some have tread will spare others from the same?'

   I would like to amend that to also include 'show others the way'. The word victim can conjure up many different images for us...someone suffering from spousal abuse,

or a child abuse victim, frightened by the very people who are supposed to protect and care for her.

Perhaps a victim is seen in the face of homelessness,

or starvation and poverty.

Perhaps we envision the face of someone battling cancer or other life threatening illness when we hear the word victim.
How about heroes, what do we think of when we hear about heroism?

Do we think of those who risk their lives to help others?

Perhaps we know heroes who fight to protect our freedoms...

or someone we admire for showing  strength and character.

Perhaps like many women we are waitng for our knight in shining...

to save the day!

   The above quotation gave me pause because the it blurs the line between victim and hero, they can be and often are one in the same. Those who have gone before us and have suffered through life's tragedies become our heroes when they share what they've learned, when they show us the way to navigate through the hardships. Some become our heroes by sharing a wisdom learned so that we may grow without falling and failing. I have come to know a great many heroes here in blogland and in my many of you have shared your stories and helped me to find my way as I deal with my sister's cancer. You have shared your life experiences to encourage me and others. When I have been unsure of my path, whether it be creative or spiritual you have shared your lessons. When you are unsure why you are going through an ordeal and if God is near, rest assured that he walks with you and that He sends angels in the guise of friends to help you to carry your load. To all of 'my heroes' I say thank you! You have all helped to make this journey I call life, bearable when it seems darkest and helped me to see the light in the joyful moments too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Cost of Freedom

   On this and every day we would all do well to remember the cost of Freedom and what a privilege it is to live in this great country of ours. We must give thanks to all the brave men and women who have served this nation, years ago, today and well into our futures to protect our freedoms. Put aside your views on war and pay homage to the Veterans and the Armed Forces who protect our shores, as well as threats from afar.

      I would venture to say that while most of us recognize The Statue of Liberty we often forget what she stands for and how she welcomed countless immigrants to our shores. She continues to serve as a symbol of this great USA and all that we embody. While we as Americans are free to gripe about politics, corruption, the state of the economy, etc. we would do well to remember that despite her flaws this is still the greatest nation in the world. Many have risked their lives to reach our shores and continue to do so, why? Unless you have ever traveled abroad you may not ever get a true picture of what we have here. Our Constitution and the freedoms it bestows on us are not available to every nation. The world's people do not all have 'freedom of speech', 'freedom to worship', 'freedom to bear arms', the right to vote...and the list goes on!

      Does any recognize this woman? She is the author of a very famous poem, one I'm sure you all know at least a few lines from. Her words are on a brass plaque that adorns our Lady Liberty...

                                                                 Give me your tired,      

                                                                         Your poor,  

                                          Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

                                                The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed, to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

   My parents were immigrants to this country many years ago, leaving behind family and braving the unknown for an opportunity to have a better life for themselves but mostly for their children. They came not speaking a word of english and not knowing anyone here all because they knew that this was the land of opportunity. I imagine a great many of you can trace your family roots to somewhere across the 'pond'.

            They carried with them few possesions, only what fit in a suitcase, giving new meaning to the term carry on luggage!
They braved an uncertain future.

They endured physicals to enter and feared being turned away.

The ill were quarantined, frightened and seperated from family.

The cuisine was foreign to them and less than stellar!

While the doors of Ellis Island are now closed, throngs of people continue to come to the USA.

    Why would anyone subject themselves to such difficulties? Because many years ago, just as it is today people risk all to arrive in this great land we call home!  Now before a great debate ensues, I'm not advocating illiegal immigration, I'm trying to simply illustrate why people continue to risk their lives, crowding onto small boats and setting adrift or trekking across a river and enduring scalding heat and a hostile desert to live here. While many sneak across our borders trying to get in, you rarely see people trying to sneak out (draft dodgers don't count)! While we may complain from time to time, I hope we will all remember that people continue to risk all they have for a chance at a better life. Our Veterans have fought for our freedoms and we must honor them always for the blessings we all share!