Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Yes, yes, I realize that it is 17 hours too early but chances are slim to none that I will be awake at midnight so....there you go!

As I take stock of 2013 I have to say that it was a pretty good year in spite of the drama that ensued.  It started out slow and went on without a hitch until July when my daughter and I both got sick and had to had surgery all within two weeks of each other.  However, we seem to have come out on the victorious side and life is getting back to normal.  Now I am looking forward to the new year and am making plans.

I don't believe in resolutions because they usually involve food -- basically the not eating of it -- and I just fail miserably at that.  If I say I am never eating sugar any more you can be guaranteed that I will have a cookie in my hand before I finish typing the sentence.  So, yeah, no resolutions.  Instead, I would like to look at the goals I have for the year.

Quilting -- yes, I am anxious to get back to it.  I have been away from it -- having burned myself out on it for a while.  It seemed that every time I looked around I was required to make a quilt for something and it went from a joyous pastime to a chore so I stopped.  I have always loved handwork though and am now exploring English Paper Piecing and hope to ease my way back into quilting for pleasure.

Reading -- I signed up for two reading challenges in 2013 and contributed to both.  I committed to 20 books for the 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge and actually read about 25-26.  I also signed up for the Pre-1960 Children's Literature Challenge and read 5 for that one.  I feel like I did pretty well, I learned some authors new to me, I fell in love with Nancy Drew and I explored audio books which were a fantastic help on my daily commute.

I am only signing up for one reading challenge this year -- the Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge and the first books I will be reading are a biography of John Lennon that I got for Christmas, the next Elm Creek Quilt series book "The Quilter's Legacy", one off my Nook queue "90 Minutes in Heaven" and the fourth in the Nancy Drew series.  I don't know if I will read them simultaneously or one after another -- I usually don't do well trying to read more than one at a time but I will see.

Exercise -- yes, well, I need to do that but after whacking my back out on my Tony Little Gazelle I think I will be revisiting pilates -- on my bedroom floor -- and walking on my little feet.  I have a path through the house that yields 100 steps with my stride.  Yes, I don't have a large house and I would have to walk this path about a bazillion times to get enough steps in for the day but at least I wouldn't have a backache.  So. yes, exercise will be a daily, ongoing challenge it seems.

Eating -- ah, I said eating wasn't going to be a part of this but it is.  I am definitely going to try to eat better -- more fruit and veg, less meat and fewer treats.  I think moderation is the key here.

My blogs -- definitely more attention to the blogs and less attention to Facebook.  Who knew how addictive FB could be and I am sure it is not a good addiction so less Face time and more bloggy time. 

So, there are some of my goals for the year.  I am sure I will have others as the year goes on but for now, this will keep me very busy and I look forward to getting on with it.

So, again, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cosmetic Update

A while back I posted about my quest for less toxic cosmetics and skin care.  I think at the time I mentioned that my skin care routine now consists of two products -- Dr. Bronner's baby soap and rosewater.  I did buy a bottle of Burt's Bees Rosewater Toner with glycerin the other day and started using it instead of the bottle of plain rosewater I was using.  No particular reason -- and it works the same.  I don't think I will ever vary from this routine because it is just so easy and very cheap frugal.

I have been using the Rejuva line of mineral makeup for a few months now and I have to say I love it.  Well, not all of it.  I love the foundation and the blush is what I have been looking for all my life! I don't see myself changing either of those any time soon.  I don't care for the eyeliner pencil I bought as it isn't soft and doesn't go on well on my old, creapy eyelids.  The mascara isn't what I thought it would be either.  It goes on well and doesn't clump but it tends to smudge.  I will finish the tube but I don't know that I will re-order.

Looking at other sources for cosmetics I ran across a company called 100% Pure Cosmetics.  I ordered a lipstick.  I don't care for it but it came in a lovely little case.

I think part of it is that I just don't like lipstick so for now I am using Burt's Bees Replenishing tinted balm.  I don't think Burt's Bees is so pure but for now it is the best I can do for lippies.  I digress.  The lipstick came with three little samples of other 100% Pure products and I absolutely love them.  One is a coffee bean eye cream,

 one is a coconut body cream

 and the other is a super fruit anti-aging cream.  I just tried the super fruit cream this evening and so far I like it but I love the other two -- so much that I placed an order for full sized containers of the products.  I might add the super fruit cream after a couple of days of trying the sample.  I am also going to give their eye shadows a closer look.

So, that is where I stand on the less toxic cosmetics.  I have had no desire to search for new foundation or blush and the little containers are so cute!  I would recommend for sure!  I will give another review on the 100% Pure skin care products after I have a chance to use them more.
New Blog

I started a new blog today.  It isn't to replace this one.  This one will remain what it is and won't overlap with the new one.  The new one is faith based and is actually a personal discipline of gratitude journaling.  I am making it public so that maybe others will want to join in with their own gratitude journal.  So, visit me here if you wish:


Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Blog Look --

Ok, last night I spent a little time messing with the blog.  I tried on some of the backgrounds from other places -- some worked, some didn't, some were just frustrating so I came back to the standard ones on Blogger.  I have always liked this one -- a little bit more than just "plain" but not overwhelming.  Some blog pages I see are so busy that I tend to look at the page and not read the content.  They are lovely, to be sure, and definitely catch my eye but again, I am there to read content.  So, I decided on this one so I could add my own photos.

Speaking of photos, I decided to remove the Christmas photo -- nice as it was -- and put up something a bit more wintery.  This is a photo of our back garden during the recent ice storm.  Looks cold and dreary, right?  Well, that is because it was.  Fortunately we didn't lose power which was wonderful.  Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and it wasn't fun.  Anyway, the patio doesn't look like this right now but we are in for another cold snap beginning this afternoon so who knows what might happen.  I am hoping for nothing!

I also added some new lists to the blog.  I am only subscribing to one official reading challenge this year -- the 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge -- but I have a few personal goals.  I love reading books in a series.  There are two series that I am particularly enjoying right now -- The Elm Creek Quilt series and the Aunt Dimity mystery series.  My goal is to finish these two series this year so making a list on here makes sense as I can see at a glance what I have read.  I also added a list for the Nancy Drew series.  I have no plans to finish this series this year as there are many, many books in the series.  I might stop at the original books and not progress through the more modern writings.  However, since I am enjoying that series as well I would like to keep a tab of what I have read. 

In addition to all the reading, I am pursuing a new quilting technique -- well, new to me but it is quite old in reality.  I have explored English Paper Piecing in the past -- in fact, I just ran across sixteen "flowers" that I made a while back.  I started again and am having great fun both sewing and reading blogs about technique, finishing and such.  Apparently EPP is to quilters what knitting is to knitters -- portable, relaxing and addictive.

Not sure how I am going to finish these -- whether I am going to link them all together and make a quilt top -- applique them down and make quilt squares or put them together and make cushion covers or link them together and make a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  I have a couple of other projects to finish before I get too involved with this but it is really nice to sit in front of the fire (and tv) and stitch away.  I have always loved hand sewing from quilting to embroidery and cross stitch.  I would like knitting and crocheting but apparently I was out of the room when that gene was passed on.

I will be starting a new blog on Wednesday -- well, Tuesday night probably.  It is devoted to gratitude and will be heavy on the spiritual side.  I am doing it as a personal discipline and I thought about keeping it very private but then I decided that it would be a good opportunity to encourage others to count their blessings and maybe see life from another perspective.  Anybody who is interested is certainly welcome to visit me there but if that isn't your "thing" feel free to visit me here -- the two blogs will not be linked -- both have different purposes and will probably have different audiences. 

So, there you have it -- blog overhaul, dreary photo, and goals for a New Year! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blog Redo

The end of the year is creeping up and it is time for a new start.  Sounds poetic but actually, January 1 seems pretty much like December 31 to me.  I gave up resolutions a LONG time ago and my mother pretty much killed the black-eyed pea tradition when .... well, let's just say one year we didn't have such good luck after eating said peas.  So, no peas, no resolutions, just one day to the next but I am going to give my blog an overhaul.  I have been looking through the various sites that supply backgrounds and templates and such but I think I still like putting up my own photos.  I don't know, the choices are endless and I get bored easily so it is easier to be able to change things up with photos.  We will see.  I will probably add more lists -- mostly for my own reference and -- oh who knows -- maybe I will surprise myself and go all fancy schmancy.  It will be fun!  But, anyway, if you come around here and it looks all wonky don't go away -- I will get it fixed.
2013 Reading Challenge and a Book Review

The year 2013 is rapidly coming to a close.  Most would say I should be grateful for that since this year has been a bit challenging in other areas than reading.  However, I don't feel that way.  I feel that every day is a blessing with it's own work to be done and it's own promise to be enjoyed.  I find that as I am getting older the days pass way to quickly  with too much time spent on meaningless endeavors.  But, as has been said in the past, all good things must come to an end and I guess that means 2013 as well.  Unfortunately that also means the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge.  However, the 2014 Reading Challenge is just around the bend and I am already looking forward to that.

I signed up for 20 books to be read in the 2013 challenge however, I surpassed that by 6.  It was easy to do since some of my books were actually audio books that I listened to on my daily commute.  Loved listening to them and I found it made me a better driver because I would slow down so I could listen to more of the book!  One of the books is not on my Goodreads list as it just wouldn't load.  I have no idea what I was doing wrong but it didn't work but trust me, I read it.  I think my 2014 Challenge will be about the same.  I will commit to 20 books and see how it goes. 

My last book in this years challenge is "13 Little Blue Envelopes"  by Maureen Johnson.  It isn't usually the sort of thing I read but it was the first in my Nook queue so I decided to give it a go.  I actually enjoyed it although I found it sad in a few places but I think that is due to personal identification with "Aunt Peg" who reminded me so much of my Aunt Linnie.  I thought the concept of the book was really clever -- it progressed the main character -- Ginny -- through her adventures quite well and it didn't seem awkward.  I will say that in the beginning of the book the adventures seemed to have more "meat" to them and the last few adventures seemed to be hurried through -- not as much "adventure" but all in all it flowed nicely.  It ended nicely but rather abruptly and I do think you could see some personal growth in Ginny.  However, I think there were some things left unfinished -- perhaps room for a sequel.  Don't know how that would work but I guess you never know.

I would recommend this book as a light read.  It isn't a long book and it did keep calling me back so it held my interest. 

I also signed up for the "Pre-1960 Classic Children's Book Challenge" and I didn't do as well with that but it did spark my interest in the Nancy Drew books again.  I decided to try a series on this challenge and I started with the Bobbsey Twin books.  They were fun to read but didn't really grab me so I decided to revisit the Nancy Drew Books.  I had tried to read them as a child but they didn't hold my interest.  I was much more interested in the works of Kate Seredy, Lois Lenski and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I even had a subscription to the Nancy Drew Book Club where I would receive a new book each month but I still couldn't get into them.  I am happy to say that I absolutely loved reading them in my old age and am going to try to read the entire series.  Don't know how that will work because I am going to want to actually buy the physical book because a part of it is actually owning the whole series but I will see how it goes.  All in all, I read two Bobbsey Twin books and three Nancy Drew books.  I am looking forward to the next ND book in the series as soon as I can go get it!

 That is the end of my reading challenge for this year.  I think I did pretty well.  I found authors new to me that I really liked and I discovered audio books which were quite enjoyable.  I think I will only sign up for one official challenge next year but I have set a few personal goals for myself which I will discuss in another blog entry. 

So, for anybody reading -- have a fantastic New Year! See you on the flip side!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Musing Mondays -- December 16, 2013

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  The goal is to answer just one of several questions posed for readers. 

Today I am going to discuss what I am reading, what I think about it and why I chose it.  I am currently reading "13 Little Blue Envelopes" by Maureen Johnson. It is the chronicle of a young woman, Ginny Blackstock, who is sent on a journey by her unconventional and newly deceased aunt, Peg.  The journey is guided by 13 little blue envelopes containing instructions along the way.  Each envelope contains a destination and a number of tasks to be completed once Ginny is there -- funds are provided by Aunt Peg.  Clearly this is an opportunity for Ginny to discover herself as she is put in situations that she would probably never find herself in otherwise.

The book is reminiscent of "Bridget Jones Diary" (which I never read, I am basing my opinion on the movie) and "Austenland".  It is light hearted yet very deep.  Ginny finds herself in some situations that she handles with much maturity -- more than most seventeen year olds would.  For that reason, I think it is a bit unrealistic but it is a fun read if you don't get too analytical.

I chose it because it is the first on my list in my Nook library.  I keep adding books to my Nook library and then I keep buying physical books so I figured I should start chiseling away at that list.  In fact, that might be one of my own personal challenges for the new year -- read the Nook Books!

I am about half way through the book -- it isn't a long book, I have just been busy, and at this point I would recommend it for something light and quick.  I will review further when I am done.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas 2013

I have to admit that I don't like decorating the Christmas tree.  I am too short, it is too tall, most of the ornaments I have are absolutely decades old and are beginning to look it.  I wish I could kidnap my daughter for a day and have her decorate the tree for me like she used to do when she was a child.  She was a perfectionist and absolutely ran her brother off when he tried to help.  I was more than content to get out of her way and let her do it.

Some years we don't put up the big tree because we have a small tree in the center of the Christmas Village that goes up every year. That tree is decorated with candy canes, jingle bells and glittery pinecones.

Since I don't particularly enjoy the decorating part of things, I started slow this year and did just what made me happy to do at the time.  I didn't want it to become a chore. 

I started with the ornament collection started for me by JLSHall.  I added one this year in the form of a little owl sitting on a candy cane.  For some reason he just spoke to me.

 We added the wreath

The Nutcrackers

And, of course, Tuppy

I wonder where he has gotten off to -- haven't seen him in awhile.  Hmm..that pesky little elf!

So, it is all decorated and I actually think I enjoyed it this year.  I decided early on that there was no "decorate by" date and I think stretching it out just made it better!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Beginnings on Friday

Brought to you by Rose City Reader. Book Beginnings on Friday ask that you share the first sentence or two of whatever you are reading.  Unfortunately, I am reading the same book as I was for my last post but here goes.
From Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

"Dear Ginger, I have never been a great follower of rules."

I am reading this book on my Nook -- I think I got it for free or on a good sale.  At any rate, it isn't the sort of thing I usually read -- it is sort of Bridget Jones-esque and Austenland-like -- but I got into it on the first page and I am really enjoying it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays -- December 10

Teaser Tuesdays is a meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  The idea is to grab your current read and share a couple of random sentences.  Share the title and the author so others can add the book to their TBR list if they so desire.

Currently I am reading two books so I will share from each.

The first is Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

"Dear Ginger, I have never been a great follower of rules.  You know that."

Hmmm...sounds like a great big "but" to me!  I just started this book last night and didn't get beyond these first two lines before the bag monster got me so I will refrain from even trying to make any sort of assessment at this time.

My second book is Good News for Modern Man:  The New Testament in Today's English.

 I have had this book for years and have never read it because I always felt the King James version to be the gold standard for Bibles but I ran across it recently and decided to give it a go.  The only thing is, I found the little disclaimer on the front page to be a bit off putting.  It says "God's Word for a New Age".  That brings up a whole other issue for another blog.  So, here is my passage:

"No one can be a slave to two masters:  he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other.  So it is with you:  you cannot have both God and wealth as your master."

So, there are my two passages. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

New Christmas Acquisition --

Isn't it cute -- a Nativity in a leaf!  I went to a cute little gift shop in Hurst called Apple Annie's.  I couldn't stay there though because it was hot, crowded and the heavy candle scents were overwhelming but I spied this on my way out and just had to pick it up!  Love it!
The Bungalow Mystery -- Carolyn Keene

Last night I finished "The Bungalow Mystery" by Carolyn Keene.  It is #3 in the Nancy Drew series.  I have been reading Nancy Drew as part of a reading challenge -- 2012 Pre-1960 Childrens Book Challenge.  This particular title was originally published in 1930 so it certainly fills the criteria.

It was an enjoyable read, as have been the two previous titles in the series.  I was introduced to Nancy Drew as a child but I didn't like them -- I am not sure why because now they are quite delightful.  I think I am going to challenge myself -- not necessarily part of some big, public challenge -- to read the entire series.  Not sure if I will actually purchase the physical books but I might since I have a difficult time trying to declutter my books -- seems logical to just add more to the fray -- oh well, at least this is the only area of my life I am not thinking minimally!

Anyway, I digress.  This is a great little read and I recommend.
Our One Guest

We put out some bird seed for the poor, freezing birds but, much to our surprise, none came -- until yesterday afternoon.  This lonely little guy decided he would brave the ice and have a little "something".

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Minimalism VS Prepper and How I Messed Up

We live in a new house -- built in 2005 -- but we don't live in a huge house.  We "downsized" to a garden home  - we have more square footage in our current home than we did in our former home but we have fewer rooms.  We have a "garden home" but we have a yard as large as our former yard -- fortunately we don't have to cut it ourselves as that is included in the HOA dues.  When we first moved here we only brought what we absolutely wanted and then took the next six years to empty the former house of our "stuff".  It was so nice, at first, to actually have empty drawers and space in the closets but somehow more "stuff" has crept into those spaces and now I am trying to sift through it and get rid of things. 

A good deal of my problem stems from the fact that I sew. I  quilt, I sew and I do needlework -- all hobbies that generate lots of mess.  I don't have a room to do any of this in -- I sew in the laundry room and while everything fits, it doesn't allow for much clutter which seems to accumulate every where I go.

Because of this I have been doing a lot of reading about minimalism.  I have looked at lots of photos and read lots of blogs.  I have even referred back to one of our favorite books -- "The Not So Big House" by Sarah Susanka.  I have tried to employ the principals of minimalism -- if it isn't useful and you don't love it, toss it. That is difficult because I don't generally acquire things I don't like or aren't useful.  I have already gotten rid of almost every small appliance in this house and ALMOST went out and bought another rice cooker before I came to my senses. Another popular technique is to get rid of books and use an e-reader.  I have done some of that and I do enjoy reading some on the Nook but I still like books.  That creates another problem for me.  I have been known to go absolutely insane while standing at the sale table at our neighborhood B&N and buy books that I "might" read someday.  Well, I only have one bookcase dedicated to my own books and it is now double deep so I have taken some to my neighborhood Half Price Books.  However, I have been reading the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton and love, love, love the series.  I guess I had a weak moment while "minimalizing" my bookshelf and I took all my Aunt Dimity books to Half Price to sell.  Immediate regret!  So, I got online and bought them all back in hardback versions!  THAT is how I messed up!  However, I got ten hardback for $35 which wasn't a bad deal and I had earned half that from my paperbacks that I sold so I guess I didn't mess up completely!

So, we have had a major ice storm here in DFW and I have been doing a lot of thinking about minimalism VS prepping.  I have always been one to prep for weather events because I have always lived someplace where we actually had weather events.  I don't worry too much about nuclear war and stuff like that but this ice storm -- quite another story.  So, I was thinking about how you could be a minimalist and a prepper at the same time and it dawned on me that you have to be minimalist thinking in order to be able to prep at all because if your house is full of clutter and stuff you don't use, you aren't going to have room to store the things you do need and be able to find the stuff when you need it -- like gloves for instance.  Yes, I know where my gloves are, thank you, but when fishing through the drawer for them it occurred to me that some organization was in order so, as soon as I can get out of here and go shopping, I intend to buy some organizers to get my stuff in order so I don't have to search for it.  Yes, I will probably have to get rid of some stuff -- like the half dozen socks with no mates -- and I will probably have to replace some stuff -- like the half dozen pairs of socks that are no longer pairs -- and I will probably have to do a good amount of rearranging because things are not stored very logically.  I do have to get the Vera Bradly purses out of the drawers and on the shelves which means I have to get rid of the purses that I don't use anymore into a box for Goodwill. 

Ah, yes, so that is what I have been thinking about while being housebound and it looks like tomorrow is going to be a very busy day with all the drawer cleaning and all.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Book Beginnings on Fridays

I learned about this site from JLSHall's blog, A Little Reading.  It is hosted by Rose City Reader and the idea is to share the first line of whatever you are reading.  I have been looking for a new meme to participate in and this looks like something fun.

So, my excerpt comes from "The Bungalow Mystery",  Nancy Drew, #3.  I have been reading the Nancy Drew series for a children's challenge I have been participating in this year and I have been enjoying it a great deal -- much more than I did as a child when I tried to read them.

So, my sentence goes like this --

"Look at those black storm clouds!" Nancy Drew pointed out to her friend, Helen Corning, who was seated beside her in the bow of the small red motorboat."

Nothing like impending danger to lead into a story! How can you not read on.

I am reading this on my Nook Simple Touch which I am finding to be a good thing and a not so good thing but that is another blog entry.

The Wreath Has Been Hung ----

This was done two days ago when it was about 80 degrees outside.  I made this wreath years ago and it has served me well.  However, today it is a little icy so I am not sure if it will survive this year.

Today our yard looks like this --

This is NOT snow -- it is ice -- and it will not get above freezing until Sunday so here we are.  I am going to go put on some chicken and rice soup and crank up the bread machine.  Thankfully, I think it is over for us -- now we just have to thaw.  Great day for reading and Christmas movies!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

And Here Come the Nutcrackers ---

There was a time when I rushed through the holidays.  I shopped early.  I wrapped early.  I wanted the tree up on Thanksgiving night regardless.  I was driven.  I was also tired with all that rushing.  I couldn't enjoy the end result because I didn't enjoy the process.

There were a few years that I tried to keep up the pace for my children even though my children were grown and gone with spouses and homes of their own.  Maybe I was trying to ignore the fact that my nest was empty and I wasn't enjoying it.  It was very depressing to realize that I was doing what I had always done and nobody cared or appreciated it.

So....then followed the years that I just didn't bother.  I have a Christmas village that we put up every year but it turned into a chore with no joy.  Nobody was there to enjoy it and I just ceased caring.  There were even a couple of years that I didn't bother with a tree -- the village was exhausting enough.

The last couple of years my apathy was fueled by what was clearly declining health although I didn't realize it at the time.  I didn't have the energy or the interest and besides, the children were doing their own thing so it didn't matter whether I went through the motions or not.  These last couple of years Christmas has just sort of come and gone and I was just as glad to have it that way.

This year is different.  A lot different.  In the first place, my good health has been restored and I have a huge amount of energy and interest in things and I am seeing the holidays in a whole new way.  What way is that?  Well, I have come to realize that Christmas is MY Christmas too -- not just reliant on my children.  I can enjoy the holiday on my own terms -- and do it the way I want even though that may not be the way it was done in the past.  I can change things up and not feel like I am somehow betraying my traditions.  I can decorate as much or as little as I want.  I am not in a race against some arbitrary time constraints.  So, I have been decorating a little bit at a time -- looking at my decorations that have been accumulated over time -- really enjoying them and remembering when they were acquired and where.  I have even added a few new things this year.  The village will most certainly go up -- probably this weekend -- and I may or may not put up the tree, I haven't decided. The wreath goes up this evening and the stockings will follow suit. 

This season of Advent is so meaningful to me.  It is a time of quiet which I need.  It is a time of peace which I feel so strongly right now.  It is a time of new beginnings which I look forward to.  This Christmas is going to be different than the last several Christmases have been because I am different and I am thinking I like this new outlook.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I Realize I Am Old But ...

is black Friday really necessary?  I mean, when I was a kid, we had Thanksgiving which was a really quiet day for the most part.  The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed as well -- some people had company for the weekend and families like mine just enjoyed the long weekend. We didn't rush through Thanksgiving with the focus on going shopping at some ridiculous hour only to trample people for "stuff".  In my family we didn't even start thinking about Christmas until December! Imagine that.

I went shopping this evening for an event at our church and I was appalled. My neighborhood Target looked like it had been ravaged by locusts and it didn't appear to be recovering.  Everything was completely picked over, shelves were empty, there was nothing to choose from and there was no evidence to suggest that there was any restocking planned. I mean, seriously?  It is only the beginning of December and I can't believe that everybody is done with their shopping.  What is going to happen to people who don't shop until mid-month, like when they get paid?  Not everybody like to shop for Christmas presents and Halloween simultaneously.  It was really depressing this evening. 

So, I have to ask -- is Black Friday necessary? 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

And We Wait --

Advent has arrived and I have to say I really look forward to the season.  I try to get the majority of the shopping done prior to the first Sunday so that I can actually enjoy the waiting and the quiet.

 When my children were little I didn't really subscribe to the Advent mindset -- I was caught up in the chaos that begins somewhere around Halloween.  I have to admit, sadly, that I didn't really enjoy their Christmases.  They were too hectic, too much materialism, too much comparison.  I was insecure in my role as a mother and clearly lost focus easily.  Even though I was religious and my children were raised in the church, I was too caught up in the Christmas of the world and I regret it.

However, things are different now.  I have learned to embrace the quiet and the concept of waiting.  I have slowed down -- not because of my advanced age (that is a joke, people) but because I have a new appreciation of time. I don't want to look back at my time and see chaos.

So, today as I blessed our wreath and shared the readings with my youngest granddaughter I took my time.  We didn't rush through, we talked about what I was saying and what the season meant.  We talked about Advent being a time of waiting for something wonderful to come, the birth of Baby Jesus.  I could almost feel time slow down.  It was such a wonderful feeling.