Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pondering the Holiday

If you are here and I am here, then it is safe to say that at least the two of us survived "the end of the world."

My tree is decorated, the gifts are purchased, wrapped and under the tree, some of my Christmas cookies are made - at least the cookie dough is prepared, and the holiday cooking is in full swing!

This holiday has been a very carefully staged event.  Nothing too big, just the basics.  Time spent with family enjoying the season, gazing at my very lovely Christmas tree, rubbing the ears of my dear, dear grand dogs and crocheting. Yes, time spend on crafts that give me a peaceful feeling.  (Knitting would give me more peace, but the project under the deadlines is crochet.)

And here is the biggest Christmas gift of all ... 
an English Bull Dog, named Meathead,
who is healthy, happy, ornery, stubborn, and loving.  

How dear that gift is.  In the beginning of November we feared that this dear soul our family has come to love with an intensity that is fearsome ... this dear dog might not make it to Christmas.  He is well and appears to be going strong!

The best gifts don't come wrapped in holiday paper and ribbons!

Merry Christmas to all!


Posting will resume after Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Prepare - the end is near

... or so they say.

Who says?

The Mayans, of course.


Why, today!  Sometime today!!

Oh wait!
  You don't believe in the prediction of the end of the world today?

My husband and I went with friends to a museum in Philadelphia last month to see the Mayan exhibit and find the answers to the question of ... 

Will the world end today?

Here is what we discovered.

The parking lot next to the museum had a speed limit of 7 1/2 miles per hour.  Not 8.  Not 6.
7 1/2 miles per hour, people!  Be sure you take note.  I bet it is radar enforced!!
We discovered that the city of Philadelphia has a sense of humor!

The Mayans were serious about their wall art.  Magnificent.
We discovered that the Mayans were very symbolic in their art and writings.  

The museum provided private listening devices to hear short
explanations of the various exhibits.
We discovered that their written language was picture writing - some of which can be seen on the statute on the left.

A good question.
We discovered that scholars have been studying the picture writing for a long time and believe they have translated the meaning of their writings.

Interesting!  And true.

We discovered that the idea of the end of the world did not begin or end with the Mayan culture.

"The Maya did not predict the end of the world in 2012 - we did."
We discovered that a lot of what we know rests heavily on our interpretation of the symbols.  We also discovered that this interpretation may not be a prediction.  Is it possible that we have just misunderstood what the Mayans were staying?

Here is a cartoon with another interpretation of the symbols.  I vote for this interpretation!

Anyway, we had a great time.

See you guys tomorrow!!  :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas at Brooke Grove

Christmas as Brooke Grove is always a festive affair.

The hallways are graced with the red of the season.

The table decorations are colorful and sparkly.

The shared living areas are warm and inviting.

Visitors make the festivities more enjoyable.
My two nieces, mom and me.

Smiling faces are food for the soul.
Resident pets are the icing on the cake.

The big holiday is fast approaching.  Remember to take time and enjoy the moments of the season!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Prayer and a Shawl

Cancer is a reality that drops brave men to their knees.

This holiday an extended member of our family is struggling with cancer.  And with that comes the chemo that is all too familiar to those who have dealt with this disease before.  It is the kind of fight that each cancer victim must make alone ... but not without the support and prayers of others.

This month I was moved to make a Prayer Shawl for this person.  There is little I can do to make the fight back to health easier, but I could knit a shawl to wrap around shoulders when tired or chilled.  A visible reminder that there are those who care.

It was my first prayer shawl - and, actually, it was my first shawl ever. I enjoyed the process, the knitting and the thoughts of giving it as a gift.  The action of knitting it helped slow down time and remind me that this is what is important, this is how I can help, this is how I can put a smile on her face.

And I didn't want to box it up.  I shopped for a basket that complimented the colors of the shawl.  And it was no easy task to find such a basket during the season when everything, and I mean everything is red or green.  :-)

A gift from the heart ... during a time when we sometimes forget that gifts should come from the heart!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Illusive Time and Sorrow

Time has a way of passing quietly and quickly.  I know I have the same amount of time each day that I always have, but the end result during this season is always the same ... not enough time, too much to do, no time to focus on what is important..

My walks have been short and infrequent ... a fact that was frustrating me.  One walk this month the fog of the afternoon was heavy. But the beauty of the fog provided a gentle and peaceful atmosphere.  A lovely personal space in a busy day.

My thoughts focused on slowing of life, enjoying the moment, simplifying the frantic noise of too much in too little time.  My pace was more of a stroll.  I visited the water's edge frequently to listen to the silence. Somehow the time spent thinking seemed more important than how many steps I was taking or how quickly I made it around the lake.

Life goes on.

Then the inconceivable happened.  The violent slaughter of innocent children.  Newtown, Connecticut sounds like a quaint New England town where only good things happen.  A town that is a peaceful as the lake pictured above ... and yet this month, it was a horror - worse than any hurricane or earthquake.

My thoughts were in a turmoil once again ... sorrow for the families and this town, and sorry for us as a society.  Somehow these children who lived hundreds of miles away from my town ... these children felt like our children, my children.  Words were useless.  Actions ineffective.  Disillusion that anything could change this now or in the future.

And then I heard on TV that Newtown has been flooded with requests for a town address.  Citizens around the country were seeking a way to send personal messages to the members of this town, our town, to let them know of the sorrow that we all share with them.

I am not sending Christmas cards this year, but I will be sending a note to this town, our town, so that they know - "You are not alone.  We are in deep sorrow with you.  We are all citizens of Newtown this day."

If you care to send condolences to our neighbors in Newtown, follow the link below to get more information.  The address is listed below.

Peace my dear blog friends.  
Slow down your time by not rushing the days.
Don't fret about what doesn't get done.
Love your family and your friends.
Take time to enjoy the moments of your life.

You never know
 how many moments you have left. 


Condolences to Newtown Connecticut
PO Box 3700,
Newtown, Connecticut 06470.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Monster in my Hand

You are not going to believe this!

This little monster,
 small enough to fit in my hand,
 this time sucking creature that is now firmly rooted to my hip,
 this thing called an iPhone
... is now my best friend!

The obvious feature is the phone.  I am happy to have reliable equipment without worrying about taking a deep breath and slipping out of cell phone range - dropping the call.  Yes, even the phone function has grown on me.  I have assigned ring sounds to various people.  My kids rings are "barking dogs."

I still enjoy the audiobooks and pod casts, just like on my iPod Touch.

But then there are the other new things that I have grown to LOVE!  Like ...

The Reminder List app - I use it like a To-Do list for each day.  This little app works similar to a calendar.  I stack up my activities, I mark them off, they get moved to a completed list, undone stuff gets automatically moved to the next day.  No more writing down everything on a piece of paper and then misplacing the paper. (I can't tell you how often I did that.)

Now I have GPS - I know.  I am probably the last person on the planet to get GPS, but now it is my new toy.  I have my son's address on this screen.  I know where he lives, but I play, I play.  Someday I might go somewhere where this would be handy.

Let's not forget the apps.  My favorite app right now is PT Timer - it allows me to set the time sequence on my stretching exercises so that I don't have to count to the 60 second hold with each exercise.  It times me and tells me when to stop.  Love it.  I can watch TV or listen to a book while doing my stretches.

What is nice is that this "monster" is the only piece of equipment I need to carry.   Before I had 3 things: iPod, cell phone, camera.  Now it is all in one. I can take pictures (great pictures), check email and surf the web without needing to be in a hotspot.

I can see your expression!  "Well, of course you can do these things.  Everyone can do these things.  Why aren't you keeping up?"  *sigh*  I guess I am a slow adopter to technology.

Why do I call this phone a monster?

It is a monster because I started out not wanting it, but somewhere along the way I "drank the cool aid" and now I love it.  Not sure how that happened.

I did make one final last stand:  No texting!

You have to take a stand somewhere!!  :-)

PS - Steve Jobs - you will be missed.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I do not share.

 Oh yes,

Tis the season

The time has come.

Prepare for a taste sensation.

Do not get between me and this winter treat.

It is here for a limited time only.

Peppermint Ice Cream!  

It is in my bowl.

I do not share.

My husband doesn't even know it is in the house.

All for me!