Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A garland of pearls . . .

I think this is the first Christmas item I unpack every year.  Of course, it is the first thing to go on the tree (after the lights) but it always puts me in the right mood.  Many years ago, I strung this garland made of pearls and other bits of broken jewelry. 

Contributions came from my mother, my grandmother and my mother-in-law.  My grandmother and mother are gone now.  Both leaving me within a month of each other - both right before Christmas.  Needless to say, Christmas has never been the same for me and I struggle every year. 

But this garland made of pearls reminds me of Christmas' past.  When we were all younger and family traditions were born.  The same traditions that I passed on to my children because the traditions were part of my mother and grandmother. 

As I hang this garland made of pearls on the tree and as it sparkles from the twinkling lights, I remember.  I am reminded of good times.  I am reminded that there are good times yet to be had.  I am reminded that I have been and still am truly blessed.

The Christmas decorations are spilling out all over the house.  I really should take a photo of the boxes because they will probably be out longer than the actual decorations.  Just like 'you have to spend money to make money' you have 'to have a mess before holiday decorating is accomplished'.

Get those Christmas boxes out, girls, and start foofing up your house.  Christmas is only 25 days away!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I guess I'm grateful . . .

. . . I mean, I really should be grateful for oh, so many things.  My family, my home, our excellent crop year, my church, my easy, peasy life!  Why don't I count my blessings every day rather than fret and stew over the things I can't control?  Why do I let hurtful comments or perceived slights bother me for days on end?  Why don't I do something about MY faults, MY imperfections, MY attitude?  Why can't I go outside my comfort zone and meet new supportive friends, find exciting avenues for entertainment, offer my services for a worthy cause, be invitational?  I truly think that I am a supportive friend, mother, grandmother.  I've always been the cheerleader in the family.  Urging committment, tolerance, perseverance.  Why can't I have my very own cheerleader? 

I've just been thinking about things lately.  Deep thoughts (so unlike me!).  There are people, places and circumstances that need to be changed.  Even my blogging needs to be changed.  And it all will begin with me.  These new beginnings in my life won't come easy, or fast, and I won't get them right the first time.  And probably not even the second time.  But I see a light up ahead that will guide me in the right direction.

Now, before you worry that there are major secrets I'm keeping, please know that there are none.  It is just that I'm not happy with myself.  And I'm certainly not happy with the lackadaisical way I've been treating my own blog and my bloggy friends.  There are a few loyal-to-the-bone friends that shoot me a comment every time I post.  No matter the silly, unamusing or down-right boring content of the post.

So, what am I truly grateful for this Thanksgiving?  My family, my home, our excellent crop year, my church, MY BLOGGING BUDDIES, my easy-peasy life!  I'm grateful that I can be a good listener to those that are going through really rough times.  I'm grateful that I can see through the gloom and scary parts of the world to find that compassion and dedication to make things better are still out there.  I'm grateful that little touches of kindness are meant to be shared.  I'm grateful that happiness can be a state of mind, no matter the situation.  I'm grateful that you let me ramble today so that I can write down my thoughts and feelings freely, without judgement.  I'll be reading this post periodically to remind me of my goals.  I'm grateful that so many of you are willing to share your thoughts, your families, your homes, your talents with me.  Inspiration is abundant here in cyperspace!

I'm wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!  I hope your turkey thaws in time to roast, your green bean casserole doesn't bubble over, your yams have plenty of marshmellows, your whipped cream sets up for the pumpkin pie and that your pants have an elastic waist!  I hope you are spending the day with family and friends that are grateful to have you in their lives.  I hope you are happy! 

Blessings - I got a million of them!  Happy Thanksgiving my lovelies!  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

140 down, 500 to go . . .

. . . delicious Lutheran pies, made lovingly by good Lutheran women!

Rhubarb and a few apple pies today.  Peach, cherry and the rest of the apple pies later. 

Fellowship with other women always accompany playing with pie crust (which is made with 7-Up!).  We talk about our kids, our grandkids and some even speak proudly of great-grandkids.  We talk about the 'olden' days and about people who have come and gone in our lives.  We even gossip just a little, but being in the church kitchen, we sneak looks over our shoulders to see who is listening. 

There is nothing more satisfying than a good morning's work.  Knowing you contributed to a worthy cause.  Feeling that life's problems have been discussed thoroughly and solved satisfactorially.  We have caught up with each other and can go on with grateful hearts for our church family and our friendships.

Thanksgiving tables will be laden with pie. Each buyer has permission to take the credit and can honestly announce that the pie was made from scratch.

I don't like pie.

I have been burning the midnight oil sewing.  I have been invited to show my wares at an open house with 18 other vendors.  Oh dear!  I can't tell you how anxious I am.  I have sold so many of my creations this year that I can hardly keep up but I am still amazed that anyone wants the stuff I make.  Wish me luck girls!  If nothing sells, I guess I'll have a series of giveaways before Christmas!   

Better get back to work . . .