Wednesday, December 22, 2010

finally...a tree

I'm just not one of those people who starts holiday decorating the day after Thanksgiving. It's okay by me if you do, I just don't want to see all of that...stuff in my house for 6 weeks.  I love all the stuff!  For two or three weeks, tops.  But I did finally get my tree and I was lucky enough to have one of the girls here to help me decorate it.  I've been decorating it myself for the last few years, now that they're grown, and it's just not the same without them.  I don't have much space in the living room, so I put the tree in the sun room, which is also our dining room.  I put some fresh wreaths, a little fresh garland, some scented candles here and there throughout the house, and some garland and lights around the front door outside, but the bulk of the decorating is done in this room, which is where we spend most of our time.

I like the way the lights are reflected in the surrounding glass. And yes, we DO have a LOT of ornaments on that tree!
We have lots of hand-made in elementary school ornaments.
These two kindergarten ones are my favorites!
Pretty!  We ate our dinner here, by the light of the tree, that night!
A simple holiday decoration - the cross-stitched Santa on the right was done by my sister a few years ago.  She's a wonderful, multi-talented crafter - crocheting, cross-stitching, etc.!
Another simple holiday decoration - three potted paperwhites will be blooming just in time for Christmas!
So, other than setting the table with holiday dinnerware and the holiday plaid tablecloth and napkins, that's about the extent of my holiday decorating.

I hope everyone has a beautiful holiday and I wish you all every kind of joy for 2011.  Peace.

Monday, December 20, 2010

welcome to Wilmington...

 "No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
  I cannot forget the people who love me
  Yeah I can be myself here in this small town
  And people let me be just what I want to be."

"Small Town" by John (Cougar) Mellancamp

Here's a link to a nice (if slightly condescending) little article written about my town in the NEW YORK TIMES Travel Section, recently!  I think most of us who live here have always thought it's a pretty hip, pretty cool place to live and we really don't need any confirmation from New Yorkers, but it's still kinda cool!

Have we hit the big time?
If, after reading this, you decide you'd like to visit, let me know!  We have lots of great restaurants, bars and shopping, but it still has a small town atmosphere.  I love that almost anywhere I go I see someone I know.  Want to see more?  Okayyyy.....

The USS North Carolina, permanently docked on the far side of the river.

Tons of old homes - some dating back to the late 1700's.
Beautiful holiday decorations all over downtown, not just here on the riverfront.
And what would an old town be without the old cemeteries?  This one has gravestones from the 1700's.

Friday, December 17, 2010

my wish list...

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.  ~Calvin Coolidge, 1927

I know, I know.  Everybody says it.  Peace on earth.  That's what I want for Christmas.  But, while I'd like to believe it, I'm not completely sure it'll ever happen.  Not in my lifetime, anyway.  So I'll settle for tolerance.  And how about some compassion?  That'd be good.  Throw in some care and concern for our planet and all the creatures on it, and I'd be a happy camper.  Actually, I think if we had all that - tolerance, compassion and caring - well... peace would just happen all by itself!

I think in real life I might be getting some books and maybe a new yoga bag and mat (hint, hint).  The best gift of all will be that I will have the bf and both of my wonderful girls (not to mention the fur babies) at home with me and I'm more than happy with that.  We'll all be in the kitchen, cooking up a storm!  In our extended family, amongst the siblings, we all make donations to our favorite charities in each others names, as our gifts.  I always look forward to seeing who donated to what.  Some years there are some real surprises and I think this will be one of those years!  Hopefully they'll all be surprised - and happy - with my donations. 

On a lighter note, I hope to get a picture of the tree and some food up over the weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

in memory...

Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened.  ~Theodor Seuss Geisel, attributed(Dr. Seuss)

You've probably all heard that Elizabeth Edwards died yesterday.  I didn't know her or John, but before the infidelity scandal he was a very popular US Senator here in NC.  Although there were some not very flattering rumors about Elizabeth (I don't know if they were true or not and honestly, I don't really care), she struck me as a smart, strong woman who was first and foremost a loving mother. And like many others, I was struck with the bravery she showed, at least to the outside world, during both the horrendous end of her marriage and her struggles with the cancer that finally took her.  I know her family, especially her children, will miss her.

Elizabeth Edwards
Today is also the 30th Anniversay of the death of another person I never met, but one who had a huge impact on my life as a teenager, as well as all these years after.  A person who made me think about who I wanted to be and how I wanted to live my life.  To this day, 30 years later, I listen to him with tears in my eyes - not just because he's gone, and gone way too soon - he had a lot left to offer the world.  Mostly I feel grateful to have had him at all.

John Lennon - Imagine 
So today is a day to celebrate the lives of two people who found a way to change the world!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a beautiful day in the 'hood...

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.
~Emily Dickinson

While "things" are still a tad hectic around here, it has slowed down a little bit.  I had the dogs out and about in the 'hood last week while the weather was still beautiful and happened to have my camera with me.  I'm trying to get into the habit of having my camera on me more often.  Anywayyyyyy...I didn't have time last week to post the pictures, and now it's sort of nostalgic to look back at these.  With our temps dipping down into the 40's - yep, that's the high! - and some rain over the weekend, we no longer look like this, sad to say.  But I'm grateful that we had such a long and glorious fall and some of the most beautiful color we've had in years.  See for yourself:

Ah!  Mother Nature does good work!

There's a sidewalk under all those leaves!

A church down the street being worked on (hence the scaffolding).  When I first approached it I thought the building was on fire, the light coming through the stained glass was so brilliant!

This picture doesn't begin to capture how beautiful this tree was.

Just looking at these pictures makes me feel warmer!  Only a few weeks until Winter Solstice (108 Sun Salutations, anyone?) and before you know it the days will be getting longer again.  Hope you're all staying warm!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

tied up...

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.  ~Confucius

This is sort of how I feel at the moment.

I am trying to keep my life simple.  Really I am.  But this week I am blessed with an overabundance of  things like work, friends who have birthdays at this time of year and want to party, the heat going out on what will be the coldest day of the next few weeks and dealing with the repair men, and trying to plan and execute the Office Holiday Extravaganza (it's not really, we just call it that), that are all conspiring against me.  Lots of things going on and that's not even including the impending holidays - I'll tackle those next week.   All I can do is breath.  And then breath again.

Hopefully all will be calm once again by tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and I'll back here real soon!

This is how I'd like to feel!

And for those of you who don't know me in person...neither of these pictures are me!