Happy New Year 2016

Wishing you all a Happy New Year with the hope that the new year will be filled with love, joy, warmth and laughter.

Happy New Year 2016

A new year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. -Anonymous

Happy New Year.

Same Old Lang Syne

Today’s post is in response to a weekly event at The Broken Spine called Wednesday’s Lyrics that I have enjoyed participating in on occasion.

The idea is to post song lyrics to a song that has inspired or moved you. As well as a brief reason why you chose your particular song.

This song seems like a fitting song for the last Wednesday’s Lyric of 2015. Whenever I hear this song I am transported back in time to the 80s. It always brings to mind Christmas memories as well as New Year memories while I was a young girl in Massachusetts. I heard it just the other day on the radio and commented on how it always made me think of wintry evenings and Christmas times of long ago.

Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg

Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling, Christmas Eve
I stole behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve

She didn’t recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried

We took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation dragged

We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn’t find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how

She said she’d married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn’t like to lie

I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn’t sure
If I saw doubt or gratitude

She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was hell

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence
Another ‘Auld Lang Syne’

The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away

Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain

May you have a happy and healthy and prosperous New Year!

Happy New Year Greetings 2016

Fav Foto Friday #22 – Christmas Edition

Fav Foto FridayShare each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday is a Christmas Edition, which seems rather appropriate seeing how it is Christmas Day!

With the recent  loss of my Mom, and also earlier this year the loss of my boyfriend’s dad, Mr. Z., this season has been difficult to say the least. But we have tried to do some things in order to celebrate the season, like going into NYC to see the tree, which despite the crowds is always a sort of fun city outting.

Rockfeller Tree 2015

We also thought 4 days before Christmas was obviously the best time of year to check out the Lego store in the city as well (we really need our heads examined!!!) but seeing the Lego creations, like this Santa, was kinda cool 🙂

Lego Santa

Then earlier this week I stopped to capture a pretty view of our church building looking rather festive…despite the warm weather and lack of snow.

SCC Christmastime

And lastly, our own Christmas tree. We thought we might not get one this year…then a few days ago we were feeling guilty for not feeling like celebrating Christmas, so we agreed to get a little tree so that we might attempt to find some moments of Christmas joy. So without further ado, I present “Junior,” our Christmas tree…complete with an Oreo cookie under the tree for Santa 🙂

Our Christmas Tree

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Santa Checking His List
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap-
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donner and Blizen;
“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys – and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Author – Clement Clarke Moore

Merry Christmas to All

May this Christmas bring you comfort, joy, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year!

What if Christmas, Perhaps, Means a Little Bit More

This year as I attempt to avoid the holiday craziness and to some extent the holidays all together, I can’t help but think that maybe this year, Christmas might mean a little bit more, by spending more time just remembering Christmas’s past and enjoying the simpler moments. No big parties and no shopping malls and lots of packages, rather, more quality time with friends and family, messages of thankfulness attached to small tokens of appreciation and moments of quietness and reflections of the holiday season and the true meaning of Christmas.

Whoville

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without watching this classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, where Linus answers Charlie Brown’s question, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2: 8-14

 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! I would like to take this time to wish you all a blessed holiday season. May this Christmas bring you comfort, joy, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year!

Fav Foto Friday #21

Fav Foto FridayShare each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday is a simple photo I took of some cut flowers that managed to stay beautiful for an extra long time. This is one of the daisies that were in a Thanksgiving bouquet that I just tossed this past weekend. The rest of the flowers in the bouquet didn’t look quite so pretty anymore but these daisies stood out from the rest and still looked beautiful, so I decided to keep them around a little longer. So I did what any other wanna-be-photographer would do…I took some photos of them 🙂 It just made me happy that these flowers seemed to survive for so long, I thought they deserved some special attention and to live on as a photographic memory.

Thanksgiving Flower

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

Belleau Wood by Garth Brooks

It goes without saying for people that know me, Garth Brooks is pretty much my all time favorite artist/musician. I have listened to some of his albums over and over and over again, for months at a time, it’s amazing the CDs have not worn out!! I have been fortunate enough to have been able to see him in concert on a couple of different occasions over the years, the most recent was his return to touring after retiring from performing in order to raise his children, in Boston, January 2015 with my best friend. It was AWESOME!!!

Sevens by Garth BrooksOne of my favorite Christmas-y songs of his is “Belleau Wood” from his 1997 Sevens album. I remember when I bought the album, I was living down in Charlottesville, VA on a horse farm and I was living alone in an old mobile home. I purchased the album as a birthday present to myself that year and played that album and this song repeatedly for months! But especially during the Christmas season, I remember listening to it as I wrapped Christmas presents to send to my family that year.

The imagery in the lyrics of the fictional battle account in the song is based on the Christmas truce phenomenon (not on the actual Battle of Belleau Wood) of 1914 and gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it.

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front around Christmas 1914. In the week leading up to the holiday, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing.

This year during the Christmas season, as in many years past, I will (and already have) spend many pleasant moments listening to this song over and over again.

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
Over Belleau Wood that night
For a Christmas truce had been declared
By both sides of the fight
As we lay there in our trenches
The silence broke in two
By a German soldier singing
A song that we all knew

Though I did not know the language
The song was “Silent Night”

Then I heard my buddy whisper,
“All is calm and all is bright”
Then the fear and doubt surrounded me
‘Cause I’d die if I was wrong
But I stood up in my trench
And I began to sing along

Then across the frozen battlefield
Another’s voice joined in
Until one by one each man became
A singer of the hymn

Then I thought that I was dreaming
For right there in my sight
Stood the German soldier
‘Neath the falling flakes of white
And he raised his hand and smiled at me
As if he seemed to say
Here’s hoping we both live
To see us find a better way

Then the devil’s clock struck midnight
And the skies lit up again
And the battlefield where heaven stood
Was blown to hell again

But for just one fleeting moment
The answer seemed so clear
Heaven’s not beyond the clouds
It’s just beyond the fear

No, heaven’s not beyond the clouds
It’s for us to find it here

Today’s post is in response to a weekly event at The Broken Spine called Wednesday’s Lyrics.

The idea is to post song lyrics to a song that has inspired or moved you. As well as a brief reason why you chose your particular song.

5 Newbie Blogging Tips for Success

Blogging tips from a new blogger?!?!?

5 Newbie Blogging Hacks for Success - Scribbles & Musings

What kind of blogging tips could a new blogger possibly teach me about blogging??

I have been thinking about this post for awhile now and wasn’t sure about writing it because I kept thinking, “No one wants advice about blogging from someone who is still learning themselves!”

Well, it turns out, that about 3:30 this morning my brain decided that I was uniquely qualified to share some of these blogging tips that have made my blogging venture, this second time around, a little bit more successful. I may not have thousands of followers on my blog or on social media but I have learned lots and maybe other bloggers might find something to inspire or encourage them to continue with their blogging adventures.

Blogging Background

Both of my ventures into the blogosphere have been mainly because I wanted to learn about a particular blogging platform.

Back in August of 2009, I up and decided it was time to blog and so created my very first blog on Blogger. I had no idea what blogging really was or why the sudden need to do it had hit me, but nevertheless, I did it. I learned the ins and outs of working with Blogger. I played with various themes. I learned some HTML so that I could make some minor tweaks to those themes. And I even hooked up with a blogging team on Etsy, where we supported and promoted each other’s handmade items and shops, trying to bring more awareness about Etsy and each other. That journey lasted til November of 2011…and continues to linger out there in the interwebs and surprisingly still has some traffic!

Then in June of 2015, I decided it was time to learn WordPress, so Scribbles & Musings was born!

Welcome Scribbles & Musings

And again, I have enjoyed the journey of learning the ins and outs of using WordPress as a blogging platform. Trying on and customizing lots of different themes. Using plugins to add various functionality to my site. Learning more about SEO, social media sharing and other blogging best practices.

5 Newbie Blogging Tips

Blogging TipsHere are just a few of the things that I have learned so far on my blogging journey:

  1. Blog about things that you enjoy. One of the key aspects of a successful blog is having regular and consistent content. Give your readers a reason to keep coming back. And one of the easiest ways to accomplish that is to enjoy what you are writing about. Write about things you are passionate about. If you dread the thought of sitting down to write about your chosen topic you are probably not going to enjoy blogging very much.  My blog is filled with things I like or things I enjoy doing, whether it is my love of animals or my obsession with gnomes or my dorky tech learning thrills…these things inspire me. Will these things make me a successful blogger, in a blogging world that is filled with mommy bloggers and DIY craft bloggers and amazing cooking bloggers? Who knows!? But I am enjoying my blogging journey…and isn’t that what it should be about?
  2. Never stop learning or be afraid to try different things. Learning is what got me into this blogging thing! Granted, I am a bit of a dork and enjoy learning about things, especially tech things, so when the urge to learn about a blogging platform presented itself, I used that as a jumping off point. For me, I enjoy poking around the dashboard and finding what options and tweaks are available and I try them out. Just the other day I was poking around in the Settings, under the General tab and realized there was this new little option to have it snow on your blog til Jan. 4th?!?!? When did that show up?? You know I jumped all over that option and tried it out…and hence, it is snowing on my blog! Which is nice since it has been record high temps here in CT and does not look like we will be having a white Christmas this year.
  3. Google is your friend. I am always amazed when people tell me, “Gee, I didn’t think to Google that.” Really?? I Google everything! I need to learn a new knitting stitch…I Google it! Have a question about how to care for one of the many animals that fill my house…I Google it! Decided to learn how to hula hoop…I Googled it! Want to learn how to take better photographs…I Google it! Want to get all fancy with my blog and change the font for my blog titles…I Google it! Chances are if you have thought about something…so has someone else…and it is out there, just waiting for you, in the World Wide Web. And I realize some people have issues with Google for one reason or another (I don’t particularly get it…but to each’s own) Use some other search engine…Bing or Yahoo or Duck Duck Go (ok, I may have to try Duck Duck Go just cause that is an adorable name that I had never heard of!) or some other alternative search engine and find out how to do things!
  4. Build community. Make friends in the blogging community. Read other blogs and comment on them. Create a connection! And yes, this advice is coming from an introvert…I don’t do people!! At least not in the large, extroverted way…but getting to know people through my computer screen…that is something I can manage.  I think this may be one of those key things to succeeding in the blogosphere. Don’t be worried about the numbers of followers…create real connections…create friendships. I may never be truly successful with blogging in that I can quit my day job and make a living by blogging but if I can develop friendships with other people who enjoy some of the same things I enjoy and I can learn from them and get to know them and find a meaningful connection with some of them…then I have been successful in my blogging pursuits!
  5. Be yourself. If you want to create engaging content that connects with your readers, chances are you just need to be yourself. Write as if you were talking to your friend. Tell them a story as if you just ran into one of your good friends and you want to catch up on what has been going on in your life…tell them about your trip to the seashore, what you got for your birthday or about the book you just read or how your day went. I think these are the posts that make the connections and create the friendships. They let your reader get a glimpse of who you are and what your life is about and they feel connected. They want to come back and check in and see what you have been up to.

5 Blogging Tips for Newbie Bloggers

These are just a few blogging tips I think that will help in your journey to being a better blogger…or maybe even living a better life. These days lots of life seems to be connected in some way to technology…but things like being yourself and building community and never stop learning…these things can cross over into life and make our world a better place to live in.

What are some of the blogging tips you have learned on your blogging journey?

5 Newbie Blogging Hacks for Success - Scribbles & Musings
5 Newbie Blogging Tips for Success -Scribbles & Musings

Fav Foto Friday #20

Fav Foto FridayShare each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday is just a happy little surprise that arrived in the mail this week. An early Christmas present from my best friend who knows I have a bit of a gnome addiction (which you can read more about here and here), and sent this adorable little gnome to cheer me up as I have been a bit sad these days with the loss of mom and the impending holidays. My newest little gnome has become fast friends with this bear who sits on the mantle so each time I walk by he brings I smile to my face.

New Gnome Friend

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.