Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Don't happy

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I love the easy, laid-back days of the end of the year. Even in the industry that I work in, it seems to slow down some, and I'm using "some" gently. It doesn't come to a complete halt by any means. Telecommunications is a rapid, fast-paced technology that can never really stop the train. But when it slows down.....and everyone breathes a little, I can almost physically feel the relaxed atmosphere take hold, which is a much needed feeling, believe me.
Whether you do New Years resolutions or don't give them a second thought, I think knowing that the calendar is about to flip to page one brings feelings of newness, infusing energy into our days.

As I take the holiday decorations down to put away until next time, (always after New Years, never before) I've often felt sad to do so, but also happy to begin again, in a brand new year. The "bring it on, let's do this!" feeling overrides any sort of melancholy thoughts I might have.

I think goal-setting is always a good thing, but I've also subscribed of late to the "don't worry, be happy" attitude. It's important to invest your time and care in the work you perform each day, these five-out-of-seven days that provide the means for the two-out-of-seven days where life, in my opinion, really gets good. So by all means, get out there and kick some butt, make things happen, proudly sign your name to everything you've worked hard on. And for the new projects coming your way, embrace!

But, try not to stress about these things. Easier said than done, right?

"In every life we have some trouble......But when you worry, you make it double"

I'm sure you've heard the mantra, "will this matter five years from now?", "will it matter tomorrow, even?"

Maybe the answer is yes to both. Or maybe not. The point is, relax. Take it one day at a time, and do your best along the way. Stressing is not going to help, it will only rob you of a decent nights sleep.

Take a walk outside, weather permitting. Add some physical activity to each day if you can, and please, check out yoga if possible, You don't have to go anywhere, this can be done right in your own home. Breathe, stretch, inhale, get it. If you schedule time for you, amongst all of the 'I-have-to-get-this-done!' items, the year will begin, and continue, with great balance.

"Don't happy".....2016 may be our best year yet!

Wishing you the happiest of New Years friend, see you soon!

PS With all of this holiday baking and cooking and eating and celebrating, I think the time is near to go back to the basics for Breakfast at Tiffany's. Scrambled eggs and fresh fruit it is! Or, how about oatmeal!
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tell them now....

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Although every Christmas was special to us, there are a few that stand out in the eyes of my sisters and I.The Barbie townhouse, with an ELEVATOR y'all!, was the shining moment for me one year, and my sister, Melissa, got a speed buggy and a sit'n spin, that same year. We made ourselves sick on that thing, spinning round and round so fast that when we laughed, no sound came out due to the wind velocity we were creating. At least, that's how I remember it. Then one year,  there was the Holly Hobbie oven. I made a real cake! It was the size of a small round brownie but when you're eight  years old, it's the size of a Texas sheetcake. That year, Mom, er, I mean, Santa, put 3 different flavors of Freshen-up gum in our stockings; Spearmint, Peppermint and Cinnamon. Today, if I come across Freshen-Up gum anywhere, I immediately go back to that Christmas. Small things I know, but these are what memories are made of. Those tiny little details that you think you've forgotten, that appear the second you see, or hear something to jog the memory.

Now that I've grown up, well *mostly*, ahem, I can look back and appreciate the lengths my mom went to in order to make Christmas a special time of year. It always was, and I know it was because of her. I think it's important to tell our loved ones that we appreciate their efforts, and that we love them for everything they do. Tell them now. Don't wait to tell the story, or the feeling, years later. It's a free gift to give, and one they will treasure always.

I can remember Mom telling us stories about when she was growing up and what Christmas was like back then. My grandma had seven kids, unfortunately one passed away the day she was born. So mom grew up with three sisters and two brothers, can you imagine the mayhem on Christmas morning? I'm pretty sure all of my cousins know that when Grandpa was ready for his kids (my generation's parents) to come out of their bedrooms and begin the barrage of unwrapping everything that my grandparents probably just stayed up all night to wrap, he would put Bing Crosby's Jingle Bells on. When the kids heard that they knew it was "go" time. I think many of us today do this same ritual, because Pap did.
We called my Grandpa "Pap", I think maybe I couldn't say grandpa (?) , or maybe I just saw "Pap" when I looked at him, but once I called him that, he became Pap to everyone in our family. As you might surmise, my extended family is huge, so I claim what stories I can here and there. I have always felt lucky to be a part of such a large family. I love them so much.

I like hearing about what other families traditions are during the holidays, and also when they share memories from Christmas past. This is our makeup, or at least part of it. The good part hopefully, I know the holidays can be rough for some people, and I am always sorry to hear about that from friends, or even family. It's called The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Andy Williams (and other artists)  sing this, with me often singing right along. Yes, I'm one of those. I love *most* holiday music, and if I know the words, or really, let's be frank, even if I don't, loud and proud I will sing along anyway. What I would say to anyone having a hard time during this time of year, is try and pick one good memory, just one, from this season and focus on that. Remember what's on the list of things you are grateful for,  and know that you're not alone. I see the spirit of peace on earth, goodwill toward men, more during this time of year, than any other month. I do wish it could be that we have this feeling all year long, but I think it's also one of the reasons why this time of year is special.

My family spent the last two weeks of 2014 in Florida. Because I wasn't home for the holidays then, there wasn't much decorating going on at my house. I believe I subconsciously decided to make up for that this year. If it's stationary and doesn't breathe on its own, it's wrapped in lights in some form or fashion. One Christmas tree was not enough, oh this won't do. I must decorate two, I thought to myself. Hours and hours can see my house from space. I know Clark Griswold would approve.

I'm not sure what is happening with this strange December weather, but yesterday was the Winter Solstice and at the time I write this, it's currently 75 degrees. I don't know whether to go to the pool or light a fire, or, well, both.

With the year winding down to a close, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. That clean slate, fresh new year feeling is just around the corner! But for now, if at all possible in this hustle and bustle world, slow down, and relax a little. Enjoy time spent with your family and friends, and hopefully those holiday traditions that have been with you for a long time.

Take good care of yourself friend,


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PS I was slightly mischevious when I was younger. A shocker I know. We lived in a 2 story house that had an attic door halfway up from the floor in the bedroom my mom would do sewing in. During the holidays, Mom would make cookies and fudge, all the good things, and often store them in containers, and place them just inside the door on a shelf in the attic, because there was plenty of room and it was very cool there. That IS why she did it, I am SURE it wasn't to hide them. I found the chocolate crinkle cookies one year (my favorite). And well, I may have snuck a few when she wasn't looking. Needless to say, she was very surprised when she went to get them to put together platters of goodies, and some were missing. You notice how I'm not saying how many were left, don't you? I'll be making these tomorrow, Christmas Eve at Tiffanys. It's just like Breakfast at Tiffany's, but even more festive. The recipe:

Monday, December 7, 2015

If I disagree with you I will have trouble telling you, even if you ask.....

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"So tell me about you" he said, as he settled back comfortably in the chair.

"Tell you something, about MYself?" I thought immediately and was laughing. Internally.

Remember, I relate most everything someone says to me, to a movie quote. I can't help it, it's imbedded. My sister, Sara,  would get the quote immediately. But I often don't respond this way to people that I know may not understand. And what weirdness could it become, if I did. I mean, if they haven't seen the movie, they won't get it and then I'm labeled weird. (oh don't say it)

Tell you.....about say. Or he said. Or asked.

Sometimes I cry during animated movies. If I like a song, I'll dance, regardless of where I am. I also sing out loud, I didn't say I do it well. I like traditions, and routine. But I don't mind if routine is interrupted. I'm not OCD, but I do prefer things to be put away. Mostly. I love how eucalyptus leaves smell. I can't wait to watch Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Charlie Brown Christmas.  I like phrases like 'the dude abides', and, 'silence is golden'. I love watching old black and white movies. Like It's A Wonderful Life, and The Shop Around the Corner. And To Kill A Mockingbird. I don't care what nationality you are, nor about your religion, if there is one, or your sexuality. I do care about your passion, and how you treat others. When I say, 'I don't care', what I mean is, I don't judge, nor discriminate based on these things. I am a heterosexual female that wants everyone to get what they deserve in life, including equality. I love people who share their art. I'd rather spend double on something a friend has created, then spend half on something that says "Made in China". This doesn't mean I'm slamming China. You know what I mean.  I love animals, but please, don't ask me to pet a tarantula. A snake? Fine. One little pat to the head. While wearing 3 pairs of rubber gloves, with a standing, 4 inch pane of glass in between us. I've tasted escargot in Paris, France, Poi in Hawaii, shrimp and grits in the south, slow-cooked brisket in Texas, beignets in NOLA, conch fritters in Florida, shepherds pie in London, and tomatoes straight from the vine in Missouri. All equally enjoyed, not only because of the way they tasted, (because they WERE fabulous) but partially because of the present company. I signed up for 'it is better to give, than receive'. I'm not competitive by nature, but I like playing. So don't pick me for your team if you're ruthless. Because I'm not. I cried when Dobby the house elf died. We can still be  friends even if you don't understand the previous statement. I like scary movies. But The Exorcist scared me half to death. If you relate floating, green balloons to Glenn, you get me. If you have no idea what I'm referring to, you may still get me. You just don't watch The Walking Dead. That's okay. I have an unrealistic addiction to coffee, Starbucks that is. I laugh at witty sarcasm, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. I love Winter! and snow! and I love Fall too. I think I've developed an appreciation for all seasons and Summer took work given that I live in Texas. Fall is my favorite,but when there are twinkle lights all around and I see the first snowflake fall, I get so excited. I can talk your ear off, or stay silent when necessary. I love to read books, and I am pretty sure I'm addicted to the smell of a library. Or the pages of a perfectly-bound  book, even the old ones. Especially the old ones. If I disagree with you I will have trouble telling you, even if you ask. I won't lie, I'll just have trouble explaining. But I'll do that in the end. I won't agree just so I don't have to say, I disagree. I'll tell you the truth. I like Hello Kitty. No you do not have to be a child to say this out loud, I'll say it even when I'm 90 years old. I don't participate in political discussions in Social Media, I rarely participate in these discussions in the real world. When my cat, Penny, stares at the same spot on the wall or ceiling, it freaks me out. I always wonder what she's seeing that I can't. I love championing my friends and family when they've done something that might seem small to most, but to them it's a really big deal. Encouragement is key, I don't care what it is. Well, don't rob a bank, or anything illegal. But other than that, you have my support. I love quotes of any kind. Like "nothing gold can stay". I like sitting back and listening to kids talking and making each other laugh. Kids of ALL ages. Even the 70 year olds! I love it when people kick cancer right in the teeth and live to tell about it.I love football, college and NFL both. I love receiving texts from anyone, but I find myself extremely entertained when they're from my mom or dad. I don't know why. The LOL from them just makes me laugh. I feel that the scent of a real Christmas tree is unparalleled. When I might  feel down about myself, I don't stay there very long. I've learned the ropes. I can pull back up, pretty quickly. I think music.....makes the people..... come together. I like red wine. I also like grapes, which is where the wine comes from. So I guess I like beginnings and probably don't like endings as much. But damn, the middle.

That's where the good stuff is, Just taste an oreo.

I'd love to read your monologue about yourself, if you have one. And I know you do.

See you soon, friend.


PS, the movie quote is from Coal Miners Daughter. So if we were in Butcher Holler and I was hosting Breakfast at Tiffany's, I suppose we would be having flapjacks. And bacon. I'll add fresh fruit in there too!

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Come on people now, smile on your brother......

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"We are but a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass" 

I hope the day comes that we never again, as a nation, have to feel our hearts pounding, filled with sadness, over random, senseless acts of violence.

Oregon, I am so sorry.

With each tragedy, still we rise. Together.

Mostly together, except for those that truly need help. Those that feel it necessary to take lives and shatter them like shards of broken glass.

I'm glad I don't understand what drives a person to do something so violent, to another human being. I just wish the person that even has a sliver of a thought to do this, could know that there is help for them. Another way to deal with whatever the underlying issue is.

Wishing all of us, especially the victims and their families from todays horrific events, peace and hope.

Your friend,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

So, yes. I love New York in the Fall.

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"Don't you just love New York in the Fall?"

Yes. But I've never been to New York. It bothers me. It's on my wish list and I will make the items on my wish list happen, it's what I do.

Fall is my favorite season. I'm not dissing the other seasons by any means. Each having its own lure. It's just that Fall.....the beautiful foliage, the sounds of Football, the pumpkins, the apple cider, the wearing of the cool boots, did I mention the foliage? It refreshes me. It cleans the slate.

It even has me walking around the pretty town that I live in, taking one-hundred photos of possibly the same tree, or leaf. "But from this angle! look at it from THIS angle!" I say it every year and I laugh out loud, because my friends know me well. You see, they expect this post every year. They expect the posted photos. They expect me to update them along the way when I'm doing the walk-about. And I am grateful that they care about me enough to indulge in my same, annual ramblings.

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I often begin sentences with "when I grow up", and I mean whatever it is I say. I mean come on, do we ever really reach the "Okay, I'm all grown up now, nothing new to learn, nothing to see here"?

I say no. We don't! Except for the maturity level (ahem) I sometimes feel the same way I did when I was eight years old. So happy to wake up on a Saturday morning, no school, and cartoons galore to watch. Until noon hits and then, outside we go! and outside we stay, all day. Especially in the Fall. I grew up (well, until I was thirteen years old or so) in a sort-of small town in North Missouri. It seems almost false to call it a small town, it does have a University after all. But it has the small town feel for sure. I'm not sure that we even locked our front door when we left the house. Something unheard of today, no matter where you live. My sisters and I would ride bikes, play in the yard(s), roller skate, and swing the garden hose up over the branch of a tree so we could have a make-shift water spray to run under. It gets inventive when you're young and you want to be outside. We played hard and even when the porch light came on, had to be forced inside to have dinner. I grew up in a state that showed Fall colors and felt Fall temperatures in September. This is why I crave these things long before the Lone-Star state see them occuring. I've learned to be patient. I know that if I'm lucky, late October will show tell-tale signs. By November the palette of color I see growing down my street is nothing short of spectacular.

So yes. I love New York in the Fall, and every other state in the Fall. Even the ones I haven't been lucky enough to visit.


I hope you're having a great weekend friend.
See you soon!

PS When I grow up, I will have a large enough patio with a table that can seat all of my friends, for Breakfast at Tiffanys. Pumpkin muffins and spiced lattes anyone?