Monday, November 30, 2009

Banners, Pictures, Images... Oh My!

I cannot get the hang of sizing pictures for my header.  I have an early photoshop program, but it's Greek to me!  I miss my old photo program that came with Windows 98.  It was easy to layer images, add words, edit color or size.  *sigh*

I apologize for the "hugeness" of the header image.  I have been sitting here for the last hour trying to create something that will fit.  I give up for today.

Also, does anyone out there know where your blog goes when you download a copy to save it.  It's not actually on my computer anymore.  When I click to open it, Internet Explorer starts up and trys to open it... and that fails too!

All of this is a result of trying to give my blog a fresh, new look for Christmas!  Please send me comments or email with suggestions.  Please... please... 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had to laugh when I saw today's calendar page (below). 

Photo removed due to Copyright Issues.  Sorry...

That's about how I feel on Thanksgiving... all the preparation, cooking, cleanup... which involves deboning the leftover bird... "Turkey Schmurkey" just about says it for me!

This year is different though. No extra family members will be sharing dinner with us, and I will miss that part of the day. It will just be my little family of four. The fun part is, three of us voted out the turkey! We will be dining on roast chicken! It is one of my favorites, and my sweet husband agreed he would be fine without the traditional bird. He also baked two pumpkin pies earlier in the evening. PJ is the pastry chef in our home, and he's great at it! The house smells lovely... shades of cinnamon and spice.

My job starts in a few hours... making the layered salad, veggie trays, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and getting the chicken in the oven. All this will be done with the traditional sounds of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade playing in the background.

I love Thanksgiving! It's a time of sharing good food, fun, and memories with my family. I wish each and every one of you a day of joy. May it be filled with the making of new memories, lots of love, and shared laughter.

Nita Jo

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quick Hello... and Quotes...

I'm a bit under the weather. So today, I'm just leaving you with a couple of favorite quotes...

"Friendship is unnecessary,
like philosophy, like art...
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things
that give value to survival."
~ C. S. Lewis
"Memory is a way of holding onto
the things you love, the things you are,
the things you never want to lose."
~ Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold in "The Wonder Years"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Nobody can make you feel inferior
without your permission."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Do you ever give people "permission" to make you feel a certain way? I know I have. Sometimes in the glaring "critique" of someone else's eyes or words, I've allowed myself to become inferior. So, the fault does not lie at the feet of the other person, it lies in my heart. And the word, lies, can be taken either way... to rest with me... or to deceive me.

I can't remember the exact moment I realized this truth. I do know, from that moment on, I took hold of an inner peace I'd never had before. It's as if the curtains were thrown wide open. No matter what someone else may think or feel about me, it is important to find out what I think of me.

I must have my own moral compass; that compass must be tempered by what I believe to be true. My moral compass tells me I have to be responsible to my heavenly Father. I must do my best to share His love and compassion to others; to extend His forgiveness, His strength, His word.

I am not a minister, or a teacher. I am not a Bible scholar, or a prophet. I am a believer, and as a believer I must be aware of my opportunities to touch another heart. It was a big step when I realized, I have been given control over certain deceiving emotions. With Christ dwelling in my heart, who should I feel inferior to? If I love the Lord, I must love myself as He loved me. And, in loving myself, it frees me to love others as Christ loves them.

It is a beautiful gift to recognize I do not walk alone; therefore, I can release any threads of inferiority that threaten to bring me down. I am so blessed...

Copyright November 17, 2009 ajj

Exciting Give Aways...

Here are some Give-Aways you may want to sign up for:

From KC Willis of Lipstick Ranch. She's giving away a beautiful flag,
"The Women-The Flag" 50 women for the 50 stars. Enter her Give-Away by Here. The deadline for entering is November 23. KC is also offering a workshop on marketing your art. To check out the Marketing Mindset Classes go Here.

From Donna of Brynwood Needleworks. She's giving away a selection of treasures, including an Earth Elements diffuser, an Acorn Ornament, a Moda "Patisserie" fabric Sweet Treats Bag, and more. To see all the beautiful items and enter the Give-Away, go Here.

I may be adding one or two more later on. Internet is sloooow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Wonderful Day...

Well, I'm 53. Does it sound old to you? Does to me. I still think of myself as I was in my early 40's, although the aches and pains do remind me, often enough, that I'm not.

I've had a lot of birthday cards and well wishes. Such fun to hear from friends. My husband took the day off to spend with me. He's making me a Gooseberry Pie... Yummy, and also a Pineapple Upside-down Cake for the rest of the family. Nobody else likes Gooseberry... unbelievable that I raised two boys who have no hankering for gooseberries! Where did I go wrong? Oh well... all the more for me.

It's a gorgeous, sunny autumn day here in the Northwest. Our trees dropped their leaves during the past few days, and I mean dropped! There is a huge raking job waiting for us, if the wind doesn't carry some of them down the road or over to the neighbors (won't they love us). Oh! There are some racing down the street now!

I got a package in the mail Saturday! My Autumn Banner from Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage. It's beautiful! I hung it in my entry over my mirror. There were two pretty tags included, and it was wrapped in a cloth ribbon. It made my day! I smile every time I walk by it.

Please visit Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage... just click on the highlighted name. That will take you to the post about the banner. Sandy has also included a very detailed Tutorial so you can create a banner for yourself. Be sure to visit her home page and see her many other beautiful creations.

Sending you a huge "Thank You" Miss Sandy!

I love my banner!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Everything Old is New Again...

"When I was younger,
I could remember anything,
whether it had happened or not."
~ Mark Twain ~

I have been enjoying things lately, like reruns of old TV shows, old comic strips, old movies. The thing about getting older, and more forgetful, is that many things seem new again. I've forgotten the "punch lines" to many things. I laugh like it was all brand new, which of course, it seems to be. Having memory problems isn't funny, but it does have the silver lining of enjoying things... the old things.

When a friend tells that same old anecdote, I may laugh like it's the first time I ever heard it because, according to my brain, it may be the first time. I can see all sorts of fun possibilities in this. There is an upside to forgetfulness.

May my friends be kind to me because, if they have a younger brain, they may tire of me telling my "new" stories to them... over and over, and over again...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sleeplessness, Regrets, Faith

Another sleepless night has almost passed. Often during these times, I look back at unfinished ideas, unachieved dreams. There is only sadness in regret, so I try to justify the whys.

  • Why didn't I spend more time with my family
  • Why did I neglect my friends until it was too late to make a difference
  • Why am I the last to know when people are using me... making a fool of me
  • Why do I let despair wash over me
  • Why are there so many wonderful ideas in my head, but no energy to bring them to life
  • Why do the words escape me when my heart knows what I want to say
  • Why did I let other peoples opinions of me matter so much
  • Why haven't I completed one of my books
  • Why are the words piled up in the corners of my mind instead of being put on paper
  • Why isn't it enough to just be
  • Why can't I let go of the past

Wow! Just think what a total wreck I'd be if I didn't have God in my life. Such soul baring words leave me vulnerable to criticism from people that may not understand. That's ok. I am so much better at taking criticism. Maybe age has mellowed me. All I know is I need to write, I need to create, I want to shout out loud until I can hear myself above all the other voices in my head.


Imperfect, Vulnerable, Wounded, Failing

Reaching, Praying, Healing, Rising, Soaring

There are no boundaries if I believe in myself

If I believe in God, and I do

Faith sustains me

Copyright 11/13/09 ajj

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Update on Lucky 13...

All biopsies came back negative! No cancer! We are so thankful for that. There are some health issues, but nothing which is not treatable.

God has been good. He has been feeling better, less dizziness, but still nauseous and exhausted. We are hopeful that it will just be a matter of treatment options and that his life can get back to normal.

We did have to withdraw him from high school... Senior Year. This was a disappointment, but something we can live with. It's actually a relief for him. It was stressful to know he was falling so far behind as he's always been a good student. We are beginning the registration process to get him ready for a class with an online school. He will start slow, and add classes as his health continues to improve. This is a blessing! It wasn't that many years ago when this would not have been an option.

Thank you all for your words of encouragement, love and prayers! It has meant so much to us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Moment to be Thankful For

Do you ever find you are letting the days slip by unnoticed? I certainly have. I get so wrapped up in the daily chores, the illnesses and other challenges, the little interruptions that come along, that I forget to enjoy the moments in my day. I'm talking about those significant little events that can be easily overlooked.

I just spent over an hour sitting with my Grandma. I hadn't been to see her recently due to the illnesses in my home. Her health has faded in the past couple of weeks. When I arrived, she was in bed. I noticed right away that her bed had been replaced by a medical bed that will raise her to a sitting position, or will lift & lower her feet.

I bent down to give her a hug, and she silently hugged me back. She couldn't talk to me and didn't even try. So, I just talked to her about my family, her friends, the weather, and she held onto my hand, squeezing it tightly every couple minutes. I began to pray with her, and I heard her begin to speak. The words were jumbled, but she was praying with me. After that, we just sat and enjoyed the sun streaming in through her window. Grandma tried to tell me something, and I finally had to tell her that the medicine must be making it hard for her to talk, because I couldn't understand her. She reach out with one hand, so I leaned forward and she grabbed a piece of my hair. "Oh yes, I got my hair cut." I told her, laughing. She looked at me with a bit of a smile in her eyes. She pointed at her shoulder and nodded when I asked if she needed a back rub. I rubbed her back. I can't tell you what a joy it was to be able to do that for her.

Our time on this earth is out of our control. It feels like Grandma may be nearing the end of her journey with us, but only God knows for sure. All I know is, I treasured each minute I sat with her today. I don't want to forget that each moment is a blessing, even when it's just sitting in prayerful silence with someone we love.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tested and Tried...

My son had his medical tests yesterday. At this point, they are inconclusive, though several biopsies have been taken. It will be 10 days to 2 weeks before we get results... so we wait.

In the meantime, we have withdrawn him from school which felt sad to me. It's his Senior year, and we all had such high hopes for this year. He is fine with the choice, relieved actually. He'll be taking classes through an online school that is available to him. He's smart, and a hard worker, so when he is feeling better, we hope he will just sail through the classes. He could still be a "Class of 2010" graduate, but the most important thing is to get him well again.

I feel a sense of peace resting over us. It's a beautiful autumn day. My husband is out mowing, hopefully for the last time this season. Oh, and I was fortunate enough to win the Autumnal Banner from Miss Sandy of Quill Cottage. It's beautiful! So, in the midst of "tests" and trials, there is still peace in our lives. We are blessed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November Ramblings...

Wide awake, listening to my niece sing (on YouTube... HERE ), and thinking bout tomorrow... well, later today... Lucky 13 has some medical tests. Praying for answers. Thankful that my husband took the whole day off to be with him. Much better for him to have Dad in the room than Mom. I'm at the tailend of a cold, and I'm glad to be able to sit home, sipping cups of hot tea, while I wait for a phone call telling me everything is alright....

Just read on Silver Vally Girls blog... HERE , that it is National Blog Posting Month. I'm already behind on that, but will try to blog at least a couple times a week.

Have I said how much I love November? It's my favorite month of the year. Maybe because it's my birth month, maybe because of Thanksgiving, or that it takes us into all the celebrations that lead up to Christmas. Concerts, gatherings of family and friends, community services, memory making times. I am in my happy place right now! Blessings to all!