I've been absent from the blogoshpere for a long time. I've stopped by sporadically and without much gusto....I miss writing....it is a goal of mine to get back to the writing. Thinking I might have lost my writing wizard I've shied away and funneled my creativity into other areas. Today I feel a pull to refocus, as always, the looming New Year inspires me to take stock. I'm not compelled to make a list of resolutions, but rather make note of what I would like to focus on in the new year.
When I began this blog I was searching for something....certainly the name of my blog spells out my focus, to LIVE instead of hide, but I'm wondering if there aren't more ways in which I can LIVE that I have been avoiding. This might be something to focus on.
My first quarter of school will be over next week, finals week. I am confident my grades are where I want them, but I feel like I could have done better, been more committed, so I will dial up my focus there.
And I am already feeling the affects of winter wearing off...yes, I know winter has only just begun, but today I busied myself with a sort of purge and it felt inspiring, like an early spring cleaning. Feels like I might need to revamp the blog, too, so please stay tuned!
Tonight I will send out my wishes for the New Year to the "Wishing Moon".....the magical Blue Moon, which happens to be on New Year's Eve......
Happy New Year to you all and thank you for your inspiring words and your friendships.
.....cookie day! My 'girls' are coming over to bake with me....this is one of my favorite Christmas traditions....and I can't wait.
Wednesday is my next favorite thing.....The Light Ride.....we load up a thermos with hot chocolate, pile my sister's van full of blankets and Christmas cookies and hop in and cruise the town oooohhing and aaahhhhing at the Christmas lights on the neighbor's houses....this year my niece and I are going to photograph the lights...I can't wait.
Thank you to Brian, RxBambi and Graciela for stopping by on the 7th and 8th for sharing their stories....watch for a prize in your snail mail!
I sent out my Christmas cards this weekend! I found the most wonderful cards with gorgeous pictures of Santa Claus on them and it gave me great pleasure to prepare them and send them out. My beloved Mom J used to send out over 100 Christmas picture cards every year.....all of us kids and grandkids would gripe about having to get a picture done every year for the card, but in truth, we all looked forward to those cards. The Christmas after she left us I recreated an old card that she had sent out in the 40's with a picture of herself as a young woman, letting all of her Christmas card recipients know that she was gone. Sending out all 100 of them was a huge undertaking and it gave me an appreciation for what she did each year.
This year I sent out a few additional cards outside of MY usual list of recipients, I included a few to "Recovering American Soldier"......Please, if you have an extra card or two, or you have access to a class of kids, send a card to a Recovering American Soldier, here is the address:
A Recovering American Soldier c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center 6900 Georgia Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20307-5001
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and that your weekend was divine.
It's my birthday, December 11th......Yeeeeee Haaaaawwwwwwwwww!
I feel like a list is in order....maybe two.....
I wish for a light heart....a strong heart....a good heart.....
I wish for peace, world over, even if it sounds cliche'
I wish for everyone to receive what they dream of, now and always
I wish for love.....abiding and hopeful
I wish for the stamina to make it through school
I wish to make a difference....to give back.....to help
I wish to have snow on Christmas....(I think I'm pushing it on this one, snow in Roseville once a decade is probably all we can hope for)
I wish for my Nephew to find his own peace as he assimilates back to civilian life after Iraq
I wish for my loved ones to have a beautiful and fulfilling Christmas.....
AND, list two......
I love how my fammily has always made sure to set my birthday apart from Christmas even though it would have been easy to lump them in together...
I love how my Mom and I joke about her making me a birthday cake each year and she actually makes one for me.....
I love how my Dad bugs me for a list of things I want for my birthday and then goes out and buys the super, duper, ultra deluxe of whatever I've asked for, even though I don't really want or need the super, duper ultra deluxe model.....
I love how my Dad always insists on seeing me (and his other kids) on their actual birthday to wish them a Happy Birthday.....
I miss how my Grandmother would load up a gift bag with items she had been squirreling away for years ahead of time.....I always got what I asked for, but usually two years later......
I love that my birthday is exactly two weeks before Christmas....not that other birth dates aren't special, but I've always believed that December babies are a little more special.....
I love that I have sooooo many coincidental birth date match ups in December....my dear friend's father is the same day as mine, my best friend's birthday is on December 17th...the same exact date as my cousins, who is six days younger than me and my best friend's twin daughters' birthdays are December 26th....my younger cousin's birthday is December 14th.....many special December babies in my orbit!
Maybe my birth date is why I love Christmas sooo much.....
I love how on my birthday I never feel older, only a little more sure of myself and lucky to be here.....
I've been practicing my close up photography....loving the Christmas ornaments up close. This gold ornament is one of 25 my beloved Mom J gave to me on my 40th birthday....She collected these ornaments, one for each, her, my mom and my aunt every year for 25 years. The 2007 ornament even arrived after her death in fall 2007....pre ordered, of course. I love these ornaments, they are absolutely beautiful and they are a beautiful reminder of my Grandmother and her love of Christmas....
At school they have set up a Christmas tree with paper angels displaying a list of wishes for tenants of a Rest Home, they asked us, if it was not a hardship, for each of us to pick an angel and buy some or all of the things on the angel for the recipient. I'm a fan of this Christmas tradition, lots of businesses do it.
I was happy to pick an angel and shop for the items on this list. Without any sentimentality here, it made me feel good. I picked my angel on the way out on Wednesday and on Thursday brought my gift back the next day....I was warm all over all evening and into the next day.
I'm not blowing my own horn here, I know that many people contribute in special ways during the holiday season and I'm wondering if you will share with the blogosphere your special ways of giving this time of year. Really, I want to hear your special tradition of giving.....
For everyone who stops by and tells their story, you will be entered in special Christmas drawing for a little gift...please, share, I might even have more than one special gift!
Despite my melancholy I am still in love with this time of year. After dark tonight I went the store and was able to enjoy my neighbors Christmas lights....just doing that brought me joy. I so love Christmas lights on houses....and Nativities in the yard....
I appreciate everyone's comments on my last post....perhaps I helped someone else or at least gave them a sense that they are not alone.
I am in the midst of organizing all of our usual festivities, the annual light ride, the friends and family Christmas party, getting my supplies for the cookie bake day and working on gifts I am making....immersing myself in my favorite things....even rocking out to Christmas music!
I've already shared here that I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of year, just like the song says. I love all bits and parts of it and can't wait to decorate, bake, make merry and even shop. I love the special traditions our little family has and how we embrace them every year, giving thought to the past. Some of our traditions have died away and others I can't even remember why we do them or where they came from, others, I started in hopes of leaving something of my childlike wonder regarding Christmas to generations after me.
Over the weekend my niece and I decorated my Dad's house with a good portion of my Christmas decorations, as my home is far too small for the many things I have accumulated over the years. It is a tradition for my niece and her mom and I to do the major decorating together. For many years my house has been the place where we have celebrated, for many different reasons, but mostly, because I wanted to host and I had a place to do the celebrating in. Because we spent most of the day together decorating my dad's place, the girls did not come to my house to help with my decorating....and because of that, I had too much time to think.....
My birthday is on December 11th, two weeks before Christmas, I will be 44 years old. I have never been married, nor do I have any children of my own and for the greater part of my adult life that has been okay with me, but for times like friday night when I was completely alone decorating my tree, it began to hurt. My life is my own making, I accept this, I've chosen my singlehood. I've been very blessed with other people's children in my life and have always had wonderful friends who I celebrate the season with, but none of these people are my own nuclear family. Don't misunderstand, I love the family I've chosen, the friends I have are family to me, but I cannot cuddle up to my best friend's husband on a cold winter's night after the tree has been decorated and admire our handy work.....that just wouldn't fly, nor would I want it to.
I have always just believed that the right person for me is out there and that on the very last day that I would expect it he will arrive....I will not like him at first and slowly I will find that I really wasn't meant to be alone.
But at Christmastime I find that I regret not making an effort to procure more of a legacy of myself. I wonder what it would have been like to wake up Christmas morning with a child of my own to meet at the tree and watch as they were surprised by a visit from Santa Claus. A little one to tell the story of how or why we find a stocking full on Christmas morning or to watch A Christmas Carol with each year or to take around town and look at all of the neighbors lights. And a mate to share all of that with, someone to conspire with about gifts, party plans and to help hang the lights. Someone to leave my Christmas Spirit with....even more than some one, maybe two...someones.
This year just seems to be my year for addressing my regrets....and not having my own someone to pass down traditions to or to share with has hit me harder than previous years. Maybe because my mortality has been called out this year in so many ways, I'm contemplating what will be left of me when I am gone. Although 44 is not old, it is one more year, gone, finito, bye-bye and one more year I'll never get back. One more year that I will spend single at Christmas.
This post has been brewing for a couple of days and initially I resisted writing it because I did not want to deal with the feelings, but I needed to put these feelings out into the ether, to purge myself, so I can move past them. To let go of what feels like loss and make room for more life.
My home is strategically located approximately two hours away from either the Pacific Ocean or the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I say strategically, but I really had nothing to do with where my family transplanted to, however, I make the choice to stay here, strategically between two places I love. Well, maybe I LOVE one and REALLY LIKE the other, therefore, can be certain of what my choice would be if I had to choose. The ocean calls me, pulling at me like the tide and the mountains sing to me like the whisper of peace; both are special in their own way.
Where I grew up the smell of the ocean was always on the breeze. Today, I can close my eyes, breathe deep and still smell the ocean, the pungent mustiness of seaweed and wet wood. A tribute to my love of the ocean and her draw is my ability to feel and absorb the power she wields. Describing what that feels like is quite intimate, knowing the power is available to me is somewhat intoxicating and I almost feel devilish absorbing it. In the presence of the ocean I feel a tingle, a vibration, power beyond belief, like I could lift a car up….with my mind. Perhaps possible at some level, I find that I am almost afraid of the amount of power I feel and end up only drained by the pounding the vibrations my personal power cell sustains during my visit to the ocean. Although I find I am exhausted in a good way after an exchange with the ocean I am oddly energized as well.
Conversely, the mountains sing a beautiful, whispering lullaby to me. Quelling the noise in my mind and crooning to the slow, lower vibrations that harmonize with quiet respite. The mountains have a certain power over me, as well; however I find that the power they exude is that of peace and tranquility. Again, I can close my eyes and breathe deeply and find myself planted firmly in a stand of trees absorbing the scent of pine and earth, instantly I feel relaxed and almost able to float up to the sky. There is power here as well, only calmer, more sedate and clearer, less evocative and more focused. The air is crisp with an alert quality to it, as if the mountains are aware of my presence instead of me being aware of them. The mountains afford me the gift of solitude and peace, revitalized by their soft, gentle reverberation, I always return lightly empowered.
Although the mountains breathe slower and give gentler, the ocean is my true love. The raw power the ocean sprays at me is all too intoxicating and I cannot resist what she has to offer. I love the sound of the water lapping at the shore, taunting the shoreline with her roar. This power, this energy is what makes me feel alive, electric and whole. The ocean is for rejuvenation,the mountains for refreshment, both special to me in their own way, one a lover and the other, a dear friend.
I've been pondering a post for Thanksgiving for a couple of days now....reminiscing in my mind about past celebrations and looking forward to the current one. Thanksgiving has always been a special celebration in my family, there used to be a time when we sat almost 50 people, at one table for the meal. As our lives have changed, family units within the village have evolved, people have moved on, marriages have dissolved, loved ones have passed and the fabric of our individual lives has changed texture, I find myself looking back and forward simultaneously and longing for the past, yet excited about the future.
The celebration I will share tomorrow will be quite small...honestly, I am saddened by this because it feels as if my family unit has isolated itself from the larger part of the family we used to share with. In truth, our family has sort of disintegrated, for many reasons I won't parade here, but reasons I find sad. I enjoy the company of my small unit, however, miss the revelrie and rambunctious, rowdy commotion our larger family used to imbibe in....I'm a party girl and I miss the party.
Oddly, even as I am saddened, I find myself grateful for a quiet day with my family. We are going to review and pick out prints from our family portrait sitting, watch movies and eat, eat, eat....and, later, friends will stop by for dessert....dear friends. So, it will be a complete celebration, just a different version than the ones I can see when I look back.
One of my favorite parts of those old bashes we used to have was sharing what we were thankful for. My Mom, Sister and I used to draw and cut out construction paper turkeys and have everyone write on them what they were thankful for and then we would tape them to a big piece of butcher paper so everyone could read them. We'd save the big THANKFUL poster for the next year and do it all over again the following year. The little kids were the best....they always had really good things on their thankful construction paper turkey....I wish I could remember some of them now....
So, in honor of those days, here is my construction paper turkey:
I am thankful that my nephew arrived in the United States from Iraq this morning
I am thankful that I am alive, healthy and almost whole
I am thankful that my dad is healthy and content
I am thankful that my mom is doing the best she can every day
I am thankful that my sister's CAT scan showed an 80% reduction in the cancerous spots on her bones this past week
I am thankful that I have renewed the relationship with my sister and found that we enjoy each other's company emensly
I am thankful for my friends, without whom I would have gone off the deep end without
I am thankful for finding the bravery it took to step out of my old life and find a new life
I am thankful for rain storms, sunshine, fall color, new lawn and hummingbird feeders
I am thankful for Christmas lights on the porch.....white and blue
I am thankful for books, music and art
I am thankful for writing because it is the new praying
And, I am thankful for the friendships I've found in a place I never expected to....
Cheers to you.....cheers to yours and have a blessed celebration, however you choose to make it!
I made these Christmas ornaments today....each is a little window into a winter wonderland! I hope to sell them through a little shop in my neighborhood, the proprietress and I discussed the design idea and she's agreed to take them on consignment. If these sell....I'm making some more!
Also, I've reopened a shop I had on ESTY last year....I have some items listed that are what I call "pre-knowledge" jewelry....Beadwork I used to do before I went to jeweler's school. These items are on sale 50% off! Please check it out: Cowgirl at Heart
I have many "post-knowledge" projects ready to be listed, only waiting to be photographed and many more projects pending completion on my bench....all will be listed over the next few days, so check back often and buy, buy, buy for Christmas or "just because"!
Maybe my expectations were too high....I hate it when I read a book and the movie disappoints. I don't see a ton of movies, maybe 4-5 a year and had my BFF not invited me to this I would not have waited two hours in line to see it.....or any other movie for that matter.....
This movie was better than Twilight....but, still lacked content. If I hadn't read New Moon prior to seeing the movie, I'm pretty sure I would not have understood most of what was going on. I read a few blog reviews after I got home after midnight last night and even some of the most rabid fans had negative things to say. I think they should have asked the people, any of them, who brought the Harry Potter movies to life to do these movies......I think the Harry Potter movies came as close as possible to conveying the story the way JK Rowling set them up....at least the effects were better!
I'm not going to really go in to a lot of detail, but, suffice it to say, Taylor Lautner's Jacob Black was the highlight of the movie.....not just his body.....WOW...he was GOOD. My crush on Rob Pattinson, semi-quelched. He should have spent a little time, even just a little, in the gym with Taylor.....the scene stealer in the whole deal....the guy that plays Bella's dad, he didn't have a huge roll, but, when he had a scene, he delivered with perfect timing some funny lines.
(spoiler) there is a scene in the movie where they portray the future Edward and Bella and I have to say they 'jumped the shark' on that one, it was ridiculous and before things get too far out of hand, they should re-edit the movie and delete this scene.....and maybe reshoot it. I'm pretty sure they didn't mean for the scene to elicit laughter.....I was hoping the action and effects would step things up a little, but, it almost felt like a VERY small budget film when we all know it wasn't.....they really could have done a better job all the way around.
I didn't love it....I didn't hate it. If you're not a devoted fan....see it on video, maybe the flaws won't be as big....... That's my $10.50 worth.....
(this is a reflection off of the clear filter I have on the end of my lens - I cropped it out of the photo where the moon actually shows....this moon was sooo much cooler....)
I am soooo totally in love with Edward....I know, cheeeeeeeeseeyeyeyeyyeyyy, right? The whole Twilight dealio is pretty astonishing. But, once you sell to the kids, the folks are all done. I am soooo going to get my butt kicked by the niece, as I made her promise not to see it without me, because she saw Twilight without me....but, the BFF asked me to go and I couldn't refuse. I'm sort of wishing I did, it's cold, windy and rainy here and the theater is in Auburn, the lower foothills and it's always colder up there and we're going to have to stand in line to get in to the theater (we pre-bought our tickets).
I actually re-read New Moon this week so I would be prepared. Dork. I read all four books last year in a three day run....yes, I layed on my couch for three days and read the Twilight series (I wasn't working and I had some free time) (I did eat, go to the bathroom and sleep some).
The teenage angsty forever love is just something I'm a sucker for, what can I say...I was one of those girls.....still am....
I REALLY hope this movie is better than Twilight was....serioulsy, if I hadn't read the book, I would not have had any clue what was going on in that movie. I think they did not do any of the story justice. The trailers look better, of course, although I'm not a Jacob supporter, I'll have to admit, OMG, he's a hottie....but, so is Rob Pattinson.....I wish I was Bella......
Just a little levity in my maudlin life......
Have a fun Friday night....and a fabulous weekend.
Last month I picked up some friends from the San Francisco airport....I got there really early...(I have a fear of getting lost when I travel long distances and sometimes arrive places earlier than anticipated...)....then, found out that the flight had been delayed. No problem, I just made a few stops 'round the area and took some pictures. I found a place where I could see a the runway where planes coming over the bridge were landing. It was amazing to watch, one after the other they came over the bridge and landed, smooth as can be right in front of me. I was mesmerized by the feat of bringing a plane in to land on a tiny strip of asphalt, in what seemed like the middle of water.
I've been observing my life again, through the microscope, reviewing the details. And, life is kind of like the airport and landing a plane, right? In order to get to your destination, you have to navigate the water, the bridge and the tiny runway.
I was driving to school the other day and whilst sitting at a stop light I was running my day through my head and the list of the things I had to do played like a little recording, English class, homework, clean up the yard, do the laundry, put the dishes away.....when it dawned on me....I have a NEW life....
Surely doing the laundry, putting away the dishes, cleaning up the yard aren't new, but, they are different. Why? Because I've made navigational corrections. It dawned on me the the other day that I was thinking about the future, when school is over and it was weird because for some odd reason I kept thinking that when I get done with school I'll be going back to work.....kind of like I was on vacation, not changing the course of my life and that is when the realization hit....THIS IS MY LIFE NOW. I won't be going BACK to my OLD work, the work I hated.....even if I don't make it big in the medical world....(I'm not really planning on running the World Health Organization or anything, but, I could contribute something big, maybe), I've made it out of that old life.....THIS IS MY LIFE NOW....I've succeeded in the only thing I REALLY wanted to succeed in, getting out of an industry that was eating my soul.
It's funny, because I hadn't looked at it that way yet. I have a lot of friends in the old business, so really, I'm still connected to it, as much as I don't want to be. Sometimes I find myself thinking, (as my friends are discussing who is hiring and who is closing down and who is working with whom), maybe I should make some calls and see if I can get a job with so-and-so....and then, ding ding ding....the light comes on.....I am not going back there....I am moving on...or rather, I HAVE MOVED ON!
I've made it to one airport...landed the plane safely and am at the airport heading for the next gate....and I have seriously changed the course of my life. For me, this is profound. Even though I've realized this is my life now, I still lie awake some nights thinking about all the things that could go wrong and divert me back to that old place. Eventually I get my head back around to the runway and realize the course can only be changed by me and although I might still be a pilot in training, I've managed to navigate to a place where I am in charge and command of the flight plan.
Now I'm heading in a new direction....recovering from a life not lived.
Carmelized onion, saute'd mushrooms and gorgonzola tart
Potato, ham and cheddar tart
Italian wedding soup
Butterscotch pumpkin cake
Cheesecake.....the new recipe
Breaking in the new firepit......PRICELESS
(Ironically, I failed to take a picture of the Pumpkin soup....which is the crown on this annual dinner....however, there was some leftover so, I will post a picture later with the recipe if anyone is interested....)
I have a wonderful group of friends....they are there for me when I need them....through the worst and always the best....I love them....and the way I show love is to cook...so, each year I have The Great Pumpkin Dinner and show them how much I love them. We gather, gobble, laugh, gorge, giggle, imbibe, chortle, even snort, but for sure we just ruminate in each other's company.
I had a beautiful Saturday night....I hope you did, too.
Tonight is my annual "Great Pumpkin Dinner"....no it's not a Halloween dinner....it's customarily done on or around Halloween, but, this year, it is a little bit late....no biggie, though, it's still fall (sort of) and it's my gift to my friends.
In preparation, Roomie bought my Christmas present early.....a firepit for our front porch, where we hope all will gather an enjoy the warm fire....
Assembly was required.................
I'll tell you all about the dinner tomorrow......have a fabulous Saturday!
I love that my little dog snuggles up to me at the end of the day, spent and content to snore his way through my favorite show.....
I love when I find myself 'framing' pictures in my head as I'm driving around town noticing the amazing color show that Mother Nature puts on this time of year....
I love Christmas....you'll probably get sick of my love of Christmas....I hope you don't.....
I love to try new recipes, even when they don't turn out like I expect them to, because I've adopted the attitude that all adventures in life are merely experiments and half the fun is waiting to see how things turn out.....
I love KNOWING that someday I'm going to be helping.....in ways I cannot even imagine today.....
I love puttering around the house, getting ready for guests who are coming to dinner on Saturday....
I love the sounds the house makes after the t.v. is turned off....and it's time for bed......
I love the inspiration I find in the blogosphere....the amazing things that my bloggy friends are doing out in the world, things that they dreamed up and started from their blogs.....
"As a representative of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, it is my high privilege to present you this flag. Let it be a symbol of the grateful appreciation this nation feels for the distinguished service rendered to our country and our flag by your loved one."
Robert Elijah Thane Henderson U.S.Navy, WWII Served on LST-268 During World War II, LST-268 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater
Anthony Lee Brown U.S.Army Serving in Iraq .... days away from returning home for good.
For My father's father (grandfather):(I do not have a photo to share): Gordon Lee Tucker U.S.Navy, WWII Served on the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier.... During the Battle of the Coral Sea.....survived, returned from the battle the youngest Cheif Petty Officer at that time.
For my uncle, Gordon's son: Ronald Oscar Tucker U.S.Navy Served Vietnam
For my brothers:
Craig Steven Campbell U.S. Marine Corps Served Operation Desert Storm
Steven Hewitt U.S. Marine Corps Served Operation Desert Storm
James Brown U.S. Marine Corps Served Operation Desert Storm
I am a woman on a mission to begin the life I have taken for granted for too long. Many changes have come in the last five years and while I have weathered them, I have not seriously taken any action to make changes for the enrichment of my life. The stories of my journey will be posted here......stay tuned for daily status of finally living a life not lived.....
To really live.....quit waiting for tomorrow....what if tomorrow never comes....what if you wake up, get dressed and head off to that job you hate and you get hit by a bus on the way.....what will you regret NOT doing? Telling someone you're sorry for hurting them? Giving your kid the 'attaboy' he or she needs to get them to the next level in their growth? Telling your friends how much they mean to you? Being there for your spouse when they've had a really bad day? Or, maybe you keep saying you're going to finally become the person you were meant to be......and you missed your chance because you didn't believe that NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME!
Been There, Done THAT..........
Spend more time with the people I love Read more....lots more Finish unpacking Take more pictures Set up my bench Use my bench Use the picture editing software on my computer Own a NIKON Tend the garden.....lovingly Have more company over for food..... Go to Blog camp in Reno Go to a Monastery and listen get a new defibrillator test out of some classes for M.A. Program finish medical assistant school
On the nightstand......
ECG Interpretation - Lippincot, Williams & Wilkins