Monthly Archives: December 2012

And… Exhale

After Christmas there is always this sense of a sort of exhale for me.  All the hustle and bustle is over and I can finally release the breath that I feel like I’ve been holding in through it all.  It’s really quite a relief actually, seeing as I usually rather enjoy breathing, in general.  😉

I’ve mentioned many times in previous posts how much I hate busyness and unfortunately sometimes even the fun kind wears on me.  The past few Christmases have been so different and also difficult for me.  I hope one day everything will be back to normal, but perhaps this is just how it’s going to be from now on.  Maybe once you experience the death of a close loved one and/or other multiple major life changes, the holidays never really go “back to normal” again.  Or maybe it just takes time.  I did have a nice Christmas though, for the most part, and I hope you all did too.

I’d have to say that the best thing about mine was having my punk nephew home from California.  I only get to see him every few years, so it was really nice to have him here for Christmas this year.  On the first day that I got to spend with him we all went out to see the movie The Hobbit.  I am a huge fan of Tolkien and I really enjoyed seeing a beloved story of mine brought to life on the big screen.  I also thought it was very well done and I look forward to the next installment.

The next day, my nephew and his girlfriend came over and we all made candy together.  My mom happened to snap this photo while we were working on making our Christmas mice.100_3816Maraschino cherries dipped in white chocolate = yummy little mice!

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Yeah, they may be all smiles in that photo there, but on Christmas Eve when he brought over a new game for all of us to play, things got a bit heated.  Taboo…DSCF0112aWe always play games after eating and opening gifts on Christmas Eve, and Taboo was tons of fun!  I had never played it before, but I think I was pretty good at it.  Well… except for the whole not being allowed to talk with my hands part of the rules.  That was a bit tricky.  Yes, I’m one those people who talks with my hands.  Hey, I’m often overly expressive, what can I say?!  😉

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Another thing I enjoyed this Christmas was the new recipe I tried out.  It’s called Christmas Crack and omyfreakinggosh is it ever delicious!  And addicting.  Hence its being called “crack.”  DSCN6265This will definitely be a regular treat that I will be making around the holidays from now on.

Edit note:  I would love to share this amazing recipe with you all, but I’m afraid you’ll have to find your own drug dealer for this one, as I’ve just recently been made aware that this particular recipe is in fact Top Secret and was only shared with me in the strictest of confidence.  Oops!  My sincere apologies to the dear friend who shared it with me as I didn’t realize that before I posted it here earlier.  There are many other variations of this recipe out there on the Internet free for the taking, none as delicious as this one mind you, but you’ll just have to make due.  I know, I’m such a tease.  😉

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Well, I don’t know about you, but between doing crack and devouring poor unsuspecting mice, I had waaaay too many goodies over the holidays.  Oof, time for a diet!

And speaking of needing to go on a diet, look at the picture I took of my cute, chubby little kitten.  DSCF0089aShe is usually a timid little thing whenever there’s company over, but she was celebrating like a pro with the rest of us on Christmas Eve.  She kinda has a thing for wrapping paper and she wasn’t giving this piece up for anything ~ not even for a nap.

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And look what we subjected my daughter’s poor dog, Teddy to…DSCF0024aHaha oh how he detests wearing his Santa hat, but he just looks too darn cute in it to not make him suffer in it, at least for a little while.  😉

Besides, we’re all subjected to a bit of suffering over the holidays.

And… exhale.

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Now it’s time to get busy contemplating all of those New Year’s resolutions…

Endings and Beginnings: Thoughts For The Day

I awoke to a beautiful sunrise this morning.  There weren’t many clouds to help accentuate it, but in the cold winter morning air the puffs of exhaust coming out of the smoke stacks of the various buildings here in the city were PINK!  It looked like cotton candy billowing into the sky!  I imagine that’s what it would be made of in Candyland, but unfortunately in reality, it means pollution spewing into the air.  Not a pleasant thought, but it was still really pretty to look at.

So it’s the 21st of December in the year 2012 and YAY we’re all still here!  Not that I ever doubted it, but it’s fun to joke around about it and interesting to muse over various end-of-the-world theories.  When they try and use science and tie it in with astronomy I find it all very intriguing.  Of course not knowing a whole lot about that stuff myself, I have no idea if those various theories have their facts straight or not, but it’s still interesting to me.

We’re all just searching for the answers and the meaning of life aren’t we?  We look at history and ancient times to try and find out where we come from, and use that information alongside with current understanding and knowledge of the universe to try to find out where we are going.  Well, some of us do.  I suppose some of us could care less about all of that searching mumbo jumbo and just want to absorb ourselves in entertainment and in whatever pleasures this life has to offer.  And some of us (I fall into this category) try not to worry about knowing all the answers to the universe, but enjoy learning, discovering, and keeping an open mind to various possibilities while simply just trying to live each day with meaning and love.

Some days I’m better at doing that than others, lately I’ve been down right stressed out as I mentioned in my last post.  But as the sun rises and another new day dawns, I have another opportunity to try again.  I’m thankful for this new day, and glad the world didn’t end just yet.  😉  Whatever this day brings I will try to face it with hope, in joy, and with courage.

Regardless of when the world ends, we should always try and make the most of each day, each moment, because either way, our time here is brief and we should not ever take that for granted.  And while we’re here, no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, or where we are going, we should love and take care of each other and the earth, our home.

And speaking of moments, for what it’s worth… today is the Winter Solstice which means the moments of daylight are going to start getting longer!  Well, depending on where you reside on the planet anyway, for some of you it may be the exact opposite.  Sorry.  😉

And speaking of winter… although I look forward to longer days and then eventually spring and getting back out in my garden, I’m not going to rush winter along just yet, it has a beauty all its own.

I snapped these a few weeks ago during a winter snowstorm we had here in Minnesota.  This was the view outside my bedroom window…DSCF0266c

And after it was all said and done…

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Yes, it’s cold, and wet and sucks to shovel, but it’s also lovely!

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And just because this song has been running through my mind…

😀

Tis the Season to be Stressed Out Falalalalalalalalah…

I saw this the other day and thought, “I can relate.”

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The holidays can be such a busy, stressful time for a lot of people, but it’s not just because it’s the holidays that I’m so busy.  Things just seem to have been hoppin’ in my life for quite some time now.  I keep waiting for things to settle down, but then something else comes up, on and on it goes, and now it’s Christmas time.

I have always loved Christmas, absolutely everything about it.  There used to be a time when my daughter was little (and when I was younger too ;)), when I was all finished up with the “busy stuff” of Christmas before Thanksgiving.  Gifts wrapped, Christmas cards addressed etc. and I would just spend that time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas baking, decorating, being festive, and just enjoying the company of friends and family.  But now, after more than just a few major life changes, everything is different, and my perspective on things has changed a bit, and not just about Christmas.

But either way, I’m totally stressed out right now and finding that I’m having a bit of trouble feeling that ol’ Christmas spirit.  I’m really tempted to rebel against all the Shtuff* I have to do and take that nap instead.  But for the sake of my family I will suck it up, take care of everything that needs doing, and make myself be Merry and Bright (right after I finish complaining ;)).

But I really can’t complain because even despite life’s difficulties, busyness, pressures, and stress, still all I can see is how totally blessed and fortunate I am.  Truly.  I have only to look outside of myself at the others around me out there in the world to realize it.

In moving back home and being in my “old neighborhood” in the inner city, I see so many hurting people who are in true dire situations and struggling just to survive.  I think I have stress?  This is nothing!  At least I have a nice warm bed to take that rebellious nap in if things get too overwhelming, some of these dear souls around me don’t even have a place to rest their weary heads.  Shame on me for complaining about anything!  For real.  Oh, am I having trouble finding my Christmas spirit?  Am I stressed out?  Boo who, suck it up and count your blessings Missy!  Indeed.

And here are a couple of them ~ my precious daughter and my dear mom…DSCN6245Haha yeah, you should see our other attempts at trying to take a little family photo in front of the tree, we so totally fail!  Maybe they would have turned out better if we would have had a person taking them for us instead of using the timer on my daughter’s camera.  We tried to take a few with our 3 cats in them with us too, but those all turned out being just a big blur.  There is one semi-nice posed one of us that my mom intends to send out in her Christmas cards this year, but this one was my favorite because it’s a better example of our typical behavior.  😉

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To be completely honest, I guess I should mention here that even just trying to take those photos was a stressful ordeal, that’s probably why I like that particular shot because it was one of the moments during all of that where we were having fun.  And that’s what it should all be about.  I love my little family.  ♥

Well, I’m off now to go and run a myriad of errands.  Christmas Eve is only a week away!  No time for naps!  😉

But when I do lay my head upon my pillow, I will count my blessings instead of worrying…

~A very Merry Christmas to you and yours~

Give Me Some of That White Stuff

Oh you know... just waiting for my fellow flakes to arrive

~Waiting for my fellow flakes to arrive ~

I know just how this little guy feels…

We’ve been busy here putting up all the Christmas decorations and I think we’re just about finally finished.  My daughter has been anticipating decorating Grandma’s house for Christmas ever since way back in June when we first decided to combine our homes, and it’s been fun to see her be so filled with excitement.

But, now that all of the decorations are up and looking so festive, I am feeling in real need of some of that “white stuff” to top it off.  We had a light dusting of it a few weeks ago (First Snow), but it has all gone now.  Come on flakes start falling, my little snowman friend here is waiting, and I’m dreaming… of a white Christmas.

Love, love, LOVE the classic rendition of this song!

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