Monday, December 29, 2014 more week!

I became a fan last year.  Late bloomer.

Yes.  I am a Downton Abbey devotee.
I am all caught up and ready for the new season.

My favorite character is  The Dowager Countess of Grantham...played by Maggie Smith.  Full of quick wit, she is the matriarchal figure.  Like me, she has difficulty accepting change.  I get that personality quirk.  I can relate.  I find it hard to step in to the new.  It is easy to love this character.  Can't wait to see what she is up to in this new season.  

I found this website interesting.  Downton Abbey is now a destination!

Do you watch?  Who is your favorite?
My morning brew these days. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas

Isaiah 9:6   "...He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..."

Luke 2    "...she wrapped Him and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn...."

Luke 2   "....and all who heard it were amazed...Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart...."

"....Glory to God in the highest...and on earth peace...."

 On this Christmas day, I wish you PEACE.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Enjoy the sounds of Gloucester Cathedral Choir-In the Bleak Midwinter.

Oh to have a voice such as these.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The walk

That momentous walk across the stage.

She has been waiting for years.      

Saturday was it.
Her time.

She occasionally thought it would never happen.  The college road is a long, arduous journey.   It would have been easier on those toilsome days to just hang it up, but she didn't.  She pushed through  and never quit.
We live in a world of instant gratification.  We want it all and we want it now.  Instant messaging, instant pudding, fast food...instant is in.
But is it?

I love the quote:  "There is no shortcut to any place worth going."

The learning is in the journey, and I can tell you that our daughter has gleaned much along the way to that stage she paraded across last Saturday.  Many were the deposits into the wisdom bank that she would not have grasped had she not walked the path she has traveled thus far.

I asked her at the end of the day how she felt.

Her reply...
"I am feeling the love!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

A must view
The grave of the unknown warrior is in Westminster Abbey.

Military voices-1914-the carol of Christmas is a powerful remembrance of souls lost.

Take the time to view this video.  It will fill you with awe and reverence for those who gave their lives.  We will remember.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Staggering number isn't it?

We thought so too.


We recently brought our vehicle in to have the usual upkeep done.
We soon found this would be no ordinary visit.  Nope.  This service call would lend us a loaner for about two weeks.
Plenty was going wrong with our car.  The number says it all!

I could tell by the next to zero eye contact,  that the technician did not want to be the one bearing the bad news to us.
Can't blame him.  If I were him I would have declared, "don't kill the messenger!"

What a blow...and right around the holidays.  We had to sit.
We wiggled and sat with our heads hung low.  I could have cursed, but bit my lip.  Dollar signs floated in the air like exhaust fumes, making it hard for us to breathe.
The car I loved with the heated seats and the race car steering wheel was at the moment, a money pit. A bicycle would be worth more.  At least it could move!

We were on our way to being major bummed when the same tech came up to us and gave us perhaps the best news someone who has car issues could ever hear...
GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!   "Your vehicle is STILL UNDER WARRANTY!"

 We did a happy dance right then,  and you can bet this news made a full page in my gratitude journal!  I still am smiling.
I am grateful to turn the key on my Jetta and now it works!

Cars often have unexpected problems that seem to come at the worst times don't they?

What a gift to have our warranty still in place.

Makes me think of another gift wrapped in a manger all those years ago.

In Isaiah 9:6 it says, "...Unto us a child is born...He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace....."   And in Luke 2:10  "...Do not be afraid...I bring you good news of great joy...Today a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord......Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests......"

The GOOD NEWS of Jesus.  The reason for the season.
I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

On my tree

A new ornament has been added to my Christmas tree.
It screams ME !!!
This is one of those "impulse" buys, but wow...Major SCORE!!!  It is all about England!  The guard, the double decker bus, Big Ben...Merry Christmas to me!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The gift I give myself

This past week, my husband and I went wandering about town.
 We strolled around and found ourselves here.  A mini German weihnachtsmarkte!    A perfect day to roam around and peek at the vendors goods.  For the end of November,  it sure was a balmy afternoon.  The lines were long for the Gluhwein (hot mulled wine) and there were even brats!   We said our HO HO HO to St Nicholas, tried some toasted almonds,  and dodged a few puddles.  Yep...the snow was actually melting in spots.
We saw what we wanted,  and so decided to go window shop  on other blocks.    Soon we stopped in front of this intriguing place.    
We peered in the window and soon were let in by the shop owner.  

"Have you been here before?" asked the jovial, lean man with the navy blue bow tie.

"No we haven't" I replied with glee.

My husband's eyes said it all.  This is going to cost me!  
We stepped inside to a time long ago.  Smells of vintage antiques wafted in the air.  Christmas carols tickled our ears.  In the middle of the room stood a tall tree filled with wonder.  There we stood, staring at the dancing lights, entranced by the joy of it all.        
I dare say I was hypnotized!  
My eyes scanned the room.  Treasures were everywhere.   I looked and looked and then....there...on the old desk....
 What is it you ask?
A journal!
with clasps!
    I love to journal.  Near the end of each year I gift myself with a  new one to start fresh..  Blank pages to write and see what I am going to learn in the new year.  I pick a word.  One word.  A word to focus on for a whole year.  2014 it is all about TRUST.  I have a few ideas for my word in 2015.  You see, you don't pick it, it picks you.  And wow, have I learned a lot about TRUST.  Fear has been my thorn for way too long.  My TRUST journal is filled.  I literally have 4 pages left for this year to pen some last lessons about TRUST.  Oh, I know I'm not finished with this word.  I have a feeling it will keep me posted throughout this new year, but fear is in my rear view mirror these days.  I am moving ahead with the help of some dear friends.

When the word is on your radar, you find it everywhere.  In line at the grocery store, on the radio, on the bank marquee, EVERYWHERE!!!  The word just jumps in front of you, screaming for your attention.  As I look through this journal, there are countless ways that I have learned on a deeper level what this word means...
One quote I wrote:

"eat the mystery of the moment with TRUST.  it terrifies, true.  But it exhilarates."  --Ann Voskamp

I'm on the hunt for a new word for 2015.  I am excited about which one it will be.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Making memories

My family and I were privileged to see a classic over the weekend.  
 What a delightful treat to see such superb acting.  If mistakes were made, we sure didn't see any.  It was a packed house.  Each character played out brilliantly.
 A Christmas Carol is the classic story  written by Charles Dickens, the great England novelist.

The main character is  Ebeneezer Scrooge.  He is visited by Marley, a ghost.  Marley was Scrooge' business partner in life.  He has been dead for seven years.  The actor who played Marley looked real.  Scared us half to death with the clanging of the chains.  He made a dazzling performance.  His part alone should make you think twice about being "a scrooge."  He came to warn Scrooge that if he doesn't shape up, he will end up like  chains and alone, wandering,  forever.   He warned him that he will be visited by 3 ghosts on Christmas Eve.

 The ghost of Christmas past, The ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

The story is basically about a mean old man (Scrooge) whom everyone is afraid and thinks poorly of.   He gets to see his life played out with the help of the 3 ghosts, and realizes he is missing out.  He won't be around forever, and he gets the chance to see what his life will be remembered as if he doesn't change his ways.
He gets the chance to change before it is too late.

How fortunate to be able to see the error of your ways before it is too late.

 Sitting in our seats...(4th row!!!) waiting for the play to begin!
Have you seen this play?  Did you like it?    I LOVED IT!!!!