Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All

So, we had a little Christmas gathering with Stephen and Hannia last night. Unfortunately, it looks like Hannia is going to be driving to Texas with her parents, and Stephen is staying in Greenville. But we went out to eat, and came home and opened gifts. This is what the kids gave me. It took me a second or 2....I thought it was a really cool frame. Then I saw cats....then it dawned on me that these were MY cats....and I teared up. Hannia really is an amazing photographer. I try constantly to get good pictures of my darlings, but it never happens. First of all, the lighting has to be perfect for the features of a black cat to show up....and secondly, I can never get them to be still, look at the camera, etc. My attempts usually end up with kitties hiding under beds until I go away. That she got such good pictures, especially of Vixen, the black cat who looks like an angel here, but is curmudgeonly and grumpy most of the must be a Christmas miracle. LOL. Seriously.

I love that they got a good picture of Brock in there, even though he has just joined the family. And I also love that Geico the lizard (chameleon? is it the same thing?) is in there, and Chipmunk the mouse that was rescued over Thanksgiving.
I can't tell you how much I LOVE this!!!! Oh, and we came home after dinner last night to find that my friend Ana had made us a tray of homemade tamales. Oh yummy delicious.....I feel so blessed.

Right now, on Christmas Eve morning, I have to run out and buy food for dinner tomorrow. We have been so busy, working so late, there has been NO time for it yet.
Wish me luck that the grocery store is not too picked over and I can find what we need. Bruce wants roast I need to run and find one. I hope all of you feel the love and the blessings that I feel right now. And yes....I have teared up a couple of times missing Erica, but she is having fun in Merry old England and its all going to be ok. Love you my daughter. Whenever I get sad, I just start thinking about planning our trip to see her. Love to all,

p.s. Speaking of my daughter-in-law and her mad photography skills, she is thinking of volunteering to take photos of the animals at the Humane Society here in Pitt Co. Good photos on Petfinder make a huge difference in adoptions, and she made me so happy when we talked about this last night. The Humane Society is, of course, a cause very near to my heart. I know they would be absolutely thrilled to have her work with them.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Many Thanks!!

This is a blog post from one of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho. My favorite book of his is "The Alchemist", which I found right at a time when I needed it the most, not long after my mother passed away. He published this post a few days ago, and once again, at a time when I need to be reminded that things change and its OK.
It also reminds me of something another favorite author of mine said, "This world can offer you nothing of lasting value due to its impermanent nature." Eckhart Tolle

Words of Paulo Coelho:

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.
Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.
Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.
Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.
This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are......I found those words to be simple but wise. And also, empowering in some way. I think I found what I want to make my New Year all about. Thank you Mr. Coelho. You keep popping up to help right when I need you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I guess I am growing up (finally)

Maybe I am growing up. Ok, I KNOW that I am 49 years old, with a husband, 2 grown children, a daughter-in-law, a full time job and a house to take care of. You would think that would make me an adult by default, wouldn't you? But no, because I still feel like I am playing house, waiting for the "real" adults to step in when a problem arises. And yet, maybe I am finally becoming the "real" adult. My first hint of this was over the upcoming holiday. I admit it, I was sad that Erica had to leave for the UK before Christmas. And then when Hannia's family made plans to have Christmas in Texas, I was sad all over again. Christmas without either of my kids???? I knew it was inevitable at some point, seeing as how they are both grown with lives of their own.....but I really REALLY was hoping that day was some time in the far distant future. Oh well....

Stephen has not been certain he would be able to go with Hannia. Time constraints (her parents are driving and its 23 plus hours WITHOUT the stops) are making it difficult. And money factors in as airfare is expensive this time of the year. Its still not clear whether or not he can go. They are watching airfare prices and hoping for a last minute drop. If not, Hannia may still go with her parents to help drive. For a while, I was selfishly kind of hoping he would be home. With us. At least one of my children here for Christmas. But over the past few days, I realized that I was hoping he could go. Would go. Because it will be sad to be away from Hannia for the holiday. And we will be fine. Really, we are going to be relaxing and enjoying the end of the most hectic time of the year at work. I am making a dinner, but nothing too over the top complicated. A few goodies....a few presents....mainly just laid back relaxation. We have invited Chris and Jessica to be with us....And I am ok with all of that. And that fact? The fact that I would rather him go be with Hannia and have a Happy Holiday someplace else, someplace away from his family? That is the proof that I am all grown up and ready to accept that life is all about changes. And changes don't mean "bad". Just different. And we can all have fun and be happy even if we aren't in the same place on Christmas Day. I feel like I need some kind of rite of passage ceremony to celebrate my newly found grown-up-edness. LOL!!