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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

As I was up late last night catching up on my reading of so many of my  blogger friend's inspiring, beautiful blogs, and sending New Years wishes for 2009 ...... it was just after the stroke of midnight and all of a sudden, I got tagged by Jain at Once in a Blue Moon Iris!! Now, if you don't know Jain, you must visit her  blog. She is an amazing woman who lives in an amazing place, and creates the most amazing things to eat .... and that is all I am going to say about that.....you must see for yourself!

Being tagged means that I must, first, follow the rules of being tagged, and second, I must write 6 random things about "me".

Here are the rules:

Rule #1 ~ Link to the person that tagged you.
Rule #2 ~ Post the rules on your Blog.
Rule #3 ~ Write 6 random things about yourself.
Rule #4 ~ Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
Rule #5 ~ Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their Blog.
Rule #6 ~ Let the tagger know your entry is up.

So, here it goes...... 6 random things about me:

1) I make lists. Lists that say "to do", lists that say "to get", lists on top of lists.....I have always made lists because I don't want to forget something that pops in my mind.

2) I have to straighten things. Pictures, piles of papers, books, rugs, pillows, you name it. Everything has to be at the correct angle and aligned with other things in their general area. Crazy!

3) I always wanted four children, but was blessed with one.

4) Currently I have no pets. I had a kitty for 21 years. Sweet thing was never sick or went to the vet until the very end of her life. I also had a true "angel" dog for 14 years. She brought us so much joy and laughter!! It has been 5 years since she has been gone and I am still not ready for the commitment again. It took me two years to stop crying - when I thought or talked about her. I sooooooo adored her with all my heart!

This is my girl!!! xxxxooooo

5) I am the oldest of three and the only girl. I was an only child for the first 10 years of my life. Same mom & dad....they just had a big gap!
6) I played the piano from age 10 to 14 .... and one of the things on my list for 2009 is to sit at the piano and play this year!

Now you know a little more about me!

Tag you are it!

Happy New Year, Girls!!!!! ~ Cheryl

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

......the count down!

Auld Lang Syne (The Good Old Days) is a song traditionally sung at midnight when horns are blown, confetti is thrown, and a general party atmosphere is created to ring in the New Year with happiness and hope for a bright and prosperous year. The outgoing year is often represented by an elderly man known as Father Time and the new year is represented by a baby known as Baby New Year.
Robert Burns wrote the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne in the 1700's.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Solstice

Yesterday, in the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st was Winter Solstice. Even though I am a day late, I had to share this beautiful morning sunrise with you all! Since my last post of the fog, beauty in it's own right, I am now experiencing a dry, crisp, cold morning (28 degree). However, witnessing such remarkable God given colors - even on a cold morning- warms the heart! At the moment I was viewing this sunrise to capture just the right picture, I didn't feel the cold at all. I was in the moment! Something to put on my "list" for 2009. Live in the moment, afterall, that is all we are guaranteed on this beautiful planet earth! Happy Winter! ~Cheryl

Friday, December 19, 2008

it all started out a beautiful day.........

beautiful sun rising in the fog
sweet girl catching the bus

It all started out such a beautiful morning, so I am hating to share this story with you today. However, I would not forgive myself if I did not heed a warning (or reminder) to all women. I had a little scare this morning with a couple of dogs. If you have read my earlier post, you know that I walk with my neighbor, Danielle and her dog "Casey", in the early morning. This morning as we were putting Danielle's daughter on the bus, "Casey" started barking and pulling fiercely. As you can see, our visibility was not great. I looked down the street and saw two large dogs (rotwieller mixes) that were standing in the fog - looking at us. "Cujo" !!! They started toward us and "Casey" went crazy barking and showing her teeth. I tried to get our intruders to go about their way - as I have with many dogs on our walks. I am a dog lover and a fan of the show "Dog Whisperer".
Therefore,  I know that I must show that I am the pack leader and not let any dog have the upper-hand. Kind of  like raising kids :)

This had always worked, previously, when we encountered unleashed dogs. Not today. These two dogs would not budge. They approached us and checked us out. In the meantime, "Casey" had somewhat calmed down so we continued the walk. Our party crashers decided they were going to take the walk with us. Normally we would have taken our two mile route but, because of our new buddies, we took the shorter "mile" route. All went well, and Casey was fine. Danielle and I talked and talked while Cujo One and Cujo
Two walked with us. Every now and then one of them would come up to me and brush against me with an uncomfortable "I'm the boss" nudge. Once we got back home, we all walked up Danielle's driveway. She and I chatted for a few more minutes and then Danielle went in her house and I headed for mine (next door). All of a sudden, Cujo One & Cujo Two circled me and wouldn't let me walk toward my home. I tried to keep moving forward but they jumped up on me and started tugging at my sweater. Needless to say, one of my worst nightmares started to flash in my mind. "Woman mauled by two vicious dogs on morning walk". When the growling started, all I could think to do was to try and walk back to Danielle's (I was still on her property). They let me move in that direction easier, but still jumped and tugged on opposite sides of my sweater. These dogs were probably 90-100 lb dogs. My heart was pounding with fright as I made my way to Danielle's front door ringing the doorbell and pounded on the door. It felt like "forever" for her to answer....but luckily "Casey" got to the door and started barking and the dogs backed off. We put "Casey" back on the leash and she and Danielle escorted me home without incident. I am safe and sound, however, my pride of being "pack leader" is a little dented.
What I need to tell you is that the other day I walked alone. When my husband heard this, he was not happy with me. He asked if I had taken any protection with me - he has a large stick to take during walks. I had not, and was actually a little irritated that he was making a big deal about it. It was so unlike me to walk alone anyway.  Well, after today, never again will I walk alone. Please, ladies, if you do walk alone....take your pepper spray, your phone, or something with you in the event you need help or protection. Now that I am safe in my home, I want to think that Cujo One and Cujo Two probably just wanted me to stay outside and not leave them.....but even dog play can get out of hand with two big dogs - and we were strangers to one another. So, again, I am sorry for this "crummy" story, but I really felt it was important to bring this to your attention as a reminder to always keep yourself safe and prepared. ~ Cheryl

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Soldier's Christmas

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
'What are you doing?' I asked without fear,
'Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!'
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light,
Then he sighed and he said 'Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice.
I'm here every night, it's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December,'
Then he sighed, 'That's a Christmas Gram always remembers.
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.'
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
'I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
So go back inside,' he said, 'harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.
'But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money,' I asked, 'or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.'
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
'Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.'
We are being asked by fellow blogger Dixie at French Lique to copy this poem to our blogs so that we may reach as many people as possible. Please feel free to copy this post and share it on your site. If we can all take a few minutes and put aside our decorating, baking, and shopping knowing that Christmas will soon be here - let's pay credit and say a "thank you" to our U. S service men and women. They are the ones who make all the sacrifices which allow us to celebrate these festivities we have been lovingly preparing for. For just one moment let's please stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
"thank you"
God Bless America
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN

30th Naval Construction Regiment OIC,

Logistics Cell One

Al Taqqadum, Iraq

Friday, December 12, 2008

Red Door Christmas

I need to tell you that I absolutely love colored doors and windows. Today I am choosing the Red Door, for Christmas! As a little girl living in the westside suburbs of Detroit, every Christmas Eve we would take "the drive" to the city. This was to the home of my Aunt Winnie and Uncle Bill, and my four cousins. I knew that Santa was going to visit this night, he did every year! And after Santa gave us our presents we would all pile into cars and go to Midnight Mass. Tradition! Uncle Bill was a chiropractor who had his office in his home and treated all the elderly in the area. Aunt Winnie was a mother of four who spent all of her time in the kitchen and making her home beautiful and welcoming. We are a Polish-Catholic family. Their home was on the corner of two very busy boulevards and directly across the street from the library. This was not just any library, this was a library that you imagine the law students at Yale studying. My uncle's home was a three story mansion with an entertainment basement. Every room in the house had two separate ways that you could enter. There was so much anticipation on this drive to the city, after all, it was going to be the most exciting night of the year! As we left our modest home, and headed for the expressway, sitting on the edge of the backseat, dressed in my Sunday best, hands tucked in my white rabbit fur muff, and nose pressed against the side window of the car (no seatbelts in those days) - we would pass through many interesting areas - neighborhoods of different economic situations, factories with huge smoke stacks billowing smoke in the cold winter air, department stores decked out with giant wreaths and white twinkling lights, deserted areas with abandoned buildings and broken windows, and massive 100 year old Catholic churches with beautiful stained glass art. But I was looking for only one thing on that night, and there was something in particular that let me know when I arrived. I was looking for the biggest house on the corner of the boulevards with two towering white columns and a Big Red Door!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh, Candy Cane, Oh Candy Cane......

Candy Cane! Something about a candy cane that is so pretty. For me I think it is the combination of just the "right" color of red with the pearlized white! For the last few years, I have decorated the outside of my home in red&white twinkle lights weaved in and out garland around all my doors. I absolutely love the look. Again, my motto, simple but elegant!

Peppermint Bark

If you have never had Peppermint Bark, you are in for a treat. Here, are many different recipes for this Christmas candy. The recipes couldn't be more simple and they make wonderful gifts for your neighbors! You can have white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate or a combination of all three! A different spin on the peppermint bark is to add crushed Oreo cookies! Whichever bark you make you'll be sure to delight everyone who loves Candy Canes!

a tip: one candy cane can take care of a sweet tooth without the fat!
Nutrition FactsServing Size: 1 cane
Amount per Serving
Calories 45
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Sodium 10mg
Total Carbohydrate 11g
Sugars 8g

Monday, December 8, 2008

looking out my window.....

Now close the windows and hush all the fields:

If the trees must, let them silently toss;

No bird is singing now, and if there is,

Be it my loss.

It will be long ere the marshes resume,

It will be long ere the earliest bird:

So close the windows and not hear the wind,

But see all wind-stirred.

Be glad your nose is on your face, not pasted on some other place

for if it were where it is not, you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose were sandwiched in between your toes,

that clearly would not be a treat, for you'd be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread were it attached atop your head,

it soon would drive you to despair, forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be an absolute catastrophe,

for when you were obliged to sneeze, your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin, remains between your eyes and chin,

not pasted on some other place--be glad your nose is on your face!

Friday, December 5, 2008

my shiny little apple green Christmas tree

Well, I did it! I set out to find a white flocked tree for my lime, aqua & gold ornaments but I ended up with this lovely apple green metallic table top tree! I am not sure how the "guys" in my family are going to feel about it, but it reminded me of my childhood. White, pink and blue flocked trees along with silver, gold or pink metallic trees dressed the front windows of living rooms around the neighborhood. This was the late 1950's and throughout the 1960's.  Two great decades!!!

Click here  to read about the origin of the Christmas tree and what was to follow........ Happy decorating! ~Cheryl

Must love vignettes!

For as long as I can remember, I have always "decked and decked and decked the halls" of the house (in and out) for Christmas. I have to admit, it is a lot of fun, and everyday you say, "ok, done" ....but tomorrow you see another corner in the house, or another tree in the yard that needs adorning. Because this, is my 34th Christmas to decorate ....I have been learning to scale down and do vignettes instead. I got the idea from looking through Pottery Barn catelogs years ago. The simplicity looked so beautiful - uncluttered, yet you knew it was Christmas! Here is my guestroom vignette - simplicity at its best!
UPDATE: I have been asked to add the "followers" gadget to my blog so that those who want to follow can do so. Thank you for visiting and inspiring me!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Beginnings of Christmas.........

country christmas in great room

lime green, red & glitter in kitchen

Working the funk out of Post Thanksgiving
Stay tuned for aqua, gold, silver & glitter ..........

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