31 December 2013

END OF YEAR RECAP --- DOES ANYONE REALLY CARE?


I keep seeing posts with end-of-year summaries of a year's worth of blog posts.  Some of them are quite interesting because I might have missed something the first time, some are very amusing and make me laugh, and some are neither. Such is life...



Here's the thing:  I have availed myself of the Blogger Widget or Gadget or whatever they call that little gizmo which has already done this for me down at the bottom of my blog.  It seems redundant to reinvent the wheel by listing them all again.  If you want to know which of my posts are the most popular, just zip down to the bottom of the blog page!  Some of them were older than this past year, but c'est la vie!  
  

Hint:  the colors red and yellow are heavily involved.

My year of 2013 was abundant and fulsome,  quite a lot of fun in some ways, and some of those times you have read about on this blog.  Some of the other events of the year which were not so fun, you haven't heard anything about. 


In this year 2013, there have been joys and sorrows, happy times and sad -- in other words, just life being lived.  I had a serious injury as a result of a fall in May (but I am fine now); a minor auto accident (not my fault and no one was hurt); 


new peepers!
two eye surgeries which have enabled me to see very well; and several unpleasant dustups with the ARB over my pergola which got built as a result of some new neighbors behind me having an entire row of trees along the fence line cut down.  

On the other hand, we got two other sets of new neighbors, one a young family next door and another across the street, who are absolutely wonderful!  Our house got some much needed prettying up over the course of the year, 
We left snow in Santa Fe in January, and had snow not long after we returned to Alabama!
and we took several nice little trips during the year just to get out of town.   

A worrisome biopsy in the Spring came back negative.  All good things.



We began our new year of 2013 with an extended stay in Santa Fe, NM, The Land of Enchantment, and we are winding it up and beginning a new one here in Sweet Home Alabama with my son and his new fiancee.  
Both ways are good.  

In all likelihood, we will soon be saying a final goodbye to a beloved elderly relative and that is cause for deep sorrow.  My husband's parents are both about 80 now and are starting to have some health issues which is worrisome, but his maternal grandmother turned 99 in September and is still going strong, "as feisty as ever" as she puts it.  Another 94-year-old cousin of mine is doing quite well living independently, all things considered.  These events are the circle of life coming to a close.



Watching my son and his chosen wife-to-be so hopeful and full of their future plans as they embark on their life's journey together gives me cause for hope and reinforces the knowledge that a new circle of life continues even as these old ones are drawing to a close.  We are in the middle, so they are like interlocking rings.



Sometimes success comes to us later in life, but if it ever comes at all, we are very lucky.  I am ecstatic to announce that at this mature time in my life, I now have a contract with a literary agent who loves a novel I have written, thanks to a fortuitous connection between her and my son.   He also found me a Beverly Hills lawyer who specializes in contracts in this field, having handled book deals for some well-known people, so I am taken care of in that regard.  


I love books, can you tell?
The agent thinks my book has great potential, but of course, there is much work to be done on her part as well as mine so I will be very busy with that project for the next few months.  You may remember that I already have one book published which had a limited run, a biography/memoir about my late mother GENEVA.

I hope it will be "Goodbye to the cane" this year!
It is very likely that I will be getting new knees in this new year, and I tell you these things so that you know that there will be periods when I am not actively blogging.

While I have never have gained a huge following or a large readership, I want you who do read my blogs to know that I sincerely appreciate every single one of you.  Many of your blogs have been so informative and inspirational to me over the last five or so years, and I have made some very nice friends as a result of blogging.  I will continue to read and interact with you as I can.  


I have reactivated my Facebook page so that I can keep up with my globe-trotting son.  You can go over there (the link is on the sidebar) and see if I might have posted anything lately in case you miss me here. The best way to see if there is a new post here is to subscribe. 

I wish the very best for each and every one of you in the coming year.  Here's to a great 2014 for all of us!  Cheers!





  
I will be linking up these words of wisdom to the following parties, assuming they are partying this wee!


Alma at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday
Nita at Mod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday
The Dedicated House for MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Kathe With An E's You're Gonna Love It!
 Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays 
No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
 French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday







28 December 2013

HAD A LOVELY CHRISTMAS?


It is still Christmas at our house -- what about yours?  I worked so hard right up till the time we left for the airport late on Christmas Eve to pick up our family that I hardly noticed.  Since then, I have just enjoyed their company and the fruits of our labor.  No Christmas cards were sent this year -- just no time.  (Sorry about that everyone!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!) Most of the other usual rituals on the run-up to the big day got lost in the shuffle, too.  Now it is time to enjoy it with the ones I did it all for in the first place.  I do not understand the concept of yanking it all down the day after Christmas.

We have a happy piece of news to share!  Brendan and Heshi told us they are now formally engaged, and they will be getting married in China in Heshi's hometown (which I cannot begin to pronounce -- it is in Northern China) in about a month.  Boxing Day officially marks their engagement day, the day they have gone public (i.e. all over the social media) -- quite a change from the old days when it was announced in the newspaper! 

We had a little celebration with a nice bottle of Mo√ęt Chandon which I had bought for our own 23rd anniversary on the 22nd.  I think I baked cookies all day on that day, and we were so tired that the day came and went without much notice.  Well, we did have a filet mignon that I managed to overcook, but that was about it.  I am not sure I even combed my hair…



So now this darling girl who I love will be our daughter-in-law!  I couldn't be more pleased.  Her mother sent me a lovely gift from China (think blue and white!) that you might get to see in another post.








24 December 2013

A CHRISTMAS TRUISM



Are you old enough to remember when ladies got dolled up like just to go shopping?

Raise your hand.  There are more of us than you think!


21 December 2013

WALKING A TIGHTROPE

Santa came early today.
Doesn't this guy know this is only Saturday?
Christmas is not till Wednesday?


We are going to get some wild and wooly weather this evening here in the Deep South, so say the weather prophets.  They pronounced it will probably be 75 mph straight-line winds and maybe a few tornadoes out in front of the squall line.  Jeez…  I am starting to sound like the weatherman.   It has been crazy hot today -- like 80 degrees.  The back door is wide open and the fans are running full-blast.


Here comes Santa Claus,
here comes Santa Claus,
right down Santa Claus Lane!


Everyone knows that our weather has become very unpredictable and and violent, thanks to global warming.  Anyone who thinks otherwise has their head in the sand.  (Allow me to say to the unbelievers -- sorry, we just don't agree.  I think the evidence is irrefutable.)




All day we have been battening down the hatches, removing our outdoor Christmas decorations, moving things off the screen porch and out of the pergola to the garage.  
My formerly cute porch

My formerly cute pergola
through the screen door.


all is bare,  all is dark

That's not all.  Today was the scheduled pickup for the old DR chairs -- no one bought them, so I donated them -- and half a lifetime's worth of decorating and design magazines, all in mint condition.  All the information therein is somewhere in my head, but it feels like throwing away an incredible amount of knowledge.  Does this mean that there will be a big gap in my brain now, where all that knowledge used to be?


The truck showed up to collect.
The King's Home is an organization which protects abused women and children.
They provide housing and refuge for many,
a very worthwhile endeavor, certainly.


The chairs are really leaving…
they have been in my life in one way or another 
since 1969.
The stories these chairs could tell!



…they are still pretty.
I hope they find a good home.

Bye...

The King's Home pickup guy told me they usually just put magazines in the dumpster.  The woman at the charity's office had told me they get money by the pound from a paper recycler.  I guess I am beyond sad for the waste of the pleasure that could be afforded someone else and agitated by the weather predictions.  The driver said sometimes they put them in the shop and sell them if they don't have too many.


getting it done

I kept the table.
I will paint it a bright happy color after the first of the year and
continue using it as a work table for now.

What a job!
What is too many?  Sweet Husband says they didn't just pick them up out of the goodness of their hearts, that they will get some sort of compensation which will help someone.  I hope so.  Too bad some design students didn't have to chance to absorb all the information in them first.

We have done all we can to prepare for the impending storm.  We have the necessaries in our "safe place" but who knows how safe it will actually be.  Sometimes these warnings are overblown, but then, there was April 27, nearly three years ago. Who could forget that? And then Joplin's tornado two weeks later.

If all is well tomorrow, we will put everything back in place: the Christmas decorations outside and all the stuff back under the pergola and on the porch.  And I will continue to curse and swear at every big-ass oversized behemoth SUV I see on the road as they merrily continue to contribute to global warming. 






20 December 2013

CHRISTMAS AROUND THE HOMEFRONT

My old terra-cotta nativity set got a dose of Heirloom White spray paint and a generous sprinkle of fine crystal glitter ~~

looks like a whole new set.


Some day shots of the LR ~~

Here is the old dresser which is now a bar.

The tree in the daytime without the lights.

Shot on a recent sunny day




and of the front hall and entryway

"Liza Jane" from Cracker Barrel
(I named her that LOL)

kitchen window
Today I have a few more photos of my stunning, stupendous, serendipitous supercalifragilisticexpialidocious  Christmas decor.  
This little tree is actually a snowy/icy white and silver look -- but I am still trying to figure out some of the settings on my camera and this one looks yellow. 


I added some fairy lights to the white/green display on the shelf along the stairs.

This squishy Santa is an old favorite.

However, I am going to fuss a little bit as you look at all the pretty pictures, even though it is not very Christmas-y.


LR tree
I am so sick and tired of these spammers!  I am not going to give you the dot com version of these names because I certainly don't want a link in my blog to whatever the heck these sites are.  But here is the latest list:


vampirestat
adsensewatchdog
7secretsearch

Do you have any of these "lovelies" hitting your blog, too?  I have reported them to Blogger a gazillion times to no avail.  I do not know how to block them.  They artificially inflate my traffic stats -- and that is the least of the problem.  The scary thing is that I don't know what else they may be doing.

Cabernet -- the elixir of life!
Keeps me sane during stressful times.
Always tastes better out of Waterford!

Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying the photos.  I publish them only to share what I have been doing (since this is a slice of life blog), hoping you will enjoy or see something you might be inspired to do, not to try to one-up somebody else.
  
The top of the kitchen desk got filled up with the red and some green glass -- just to keep them handy in the kitchen.
I have been seeing an awful lot of that one-upmanship on the blogs, not just this Christmas, but over the past couple of years.  Many times I have though to throw in the proverbial blogging towel again, for good this time, but then I go and make some nice new blog friends, and I just don't.



Some of the blogs have become very tacky contests or very crass commercial enterprises (or both), not to mention they are now comprised of a collection of exclusive little cliques.  It is like high-school hell on steroids all over again.  I think I am not alone when I say that many people feel like they can't possibly measure up and so they just quit.  I DO know that several of my friends with blogs, both some I know for real and some blogger friends, have just quietly disappeared.  They are turning up in other venues such as Pinterest or Facebook, so I know they haven't died.  One told me a couple of years ago that "I just quit.  I got tired of buying stuff I didn't need all the time just to have something to blog about.  None of the 'biggies' ever commented on my blog anyway, even after I had visited and commented on theirs many times. "  She made an excellent point.   Bloggers like her (and me) got some of these who have hit the big-time where they are today, and it is clear that they have forgotten that in their quest for the almighty dollars.
  
Liberace Santa!

I think there is a lot of that feeling out there in the world of blogging, and I don't think it is very nice.  



At this time of "Peace on earth, etc., etc., etc.," I would like to respectfully suggest that we need to get back to what blogging was all about when we all first started this little cyber-adventure five to seven years ago:  a pleasant visit over the back fence or a chat on the front porch with a friend or passing neighbor -- the sharing of a bit of one's day or life, showing others how to do something we did that we are excited about, or just exchanging general pleasantries.

Don't forget your elderly friends and
relatives
who are in the nursing home.
They get lonely and need you!
You may remember my cousin
whose red/white kitchen
I shared a few years ago.
She just turned 93!












For those of us who are actually writers, it is a place to keep practicing our craft and keep the juices flowing.  For those of us who are very opinionated (moi?), it is a forum to inflict our views on others!  LOL!

So now that I have expressed my humble opinions on these matters, I thank you for reading.  I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to come here to visit.




Linking to
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
 French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays

The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday




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