A Whole Year of Fav Foto Fridays

Fav Foto Friday

Fav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share 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 the fifty-second edition of Fav Foto Friday!?!? A whole year has gone by?!?! Where does the time go!?!? I am so grateful to all of my fellow blogger who have participated and helped to keep this weekly feature going!!

It has been a long year in some ways for me dealing with the death of my mom and yet in other ways it has flown by! I guess the ‘flying by’ of a year has a little something to do with getting older. I remember as a child it felt like forever til it would be Christmas again. As I get older it feels like I just put away all the holiday decorations and I am turning around and getting them out again.

In celebration of the 52nd Fav Foto Friday, I have decided to just choose some of my favorite photos from the past year. Celebrate with me and share some of your favorite photos from the past year…or new ones you haven’t yet shared.

Thank you for being a part of this journey!!

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.

Blogging Disadvantage of Not Being a Mom

Children CollageIrecently (as in, just this very moment), have come to the sad conclusion that my blogging career is at a severe disadvantage because I am not a mom!

Mommy bloggers have an unending source of blogging material, that more often than not makes for hilarious and or unbelievable blogging content. You never know what will come out of the mouths of babes or what things kids will do that will make you cry in frustration or bring tears of joy and feeling of indescribable love.

I have a blogging friend, Jenn, who blogs at Life as a Rambling Redhead, who’s posts, without fail, make me burst into uncontrollable laughter, usually almost choking on whatever beverage I happen to be consuming, while reading about the latest insanity of her little ones. Being a mom with little children, who provide a constant source of hilarious antics for blog posts is a definite bonus!

Over course, there are a few small (pun intended) disadvantages of having those miniature little beings full of unintentional and comical behaviors that make for such engaging blogging content.

As an aunt and someone who has been babysitting since I was 10 years old, I have loved and cared for many small children, all of whom have managed to amuse me with their quirky little ways and amusing shenanigans. And who also happen to have all grown up and some of whom, now even have little ones of their own (how the hell did that happen??), I am well aware of the ability of these adorable little creatures to sap you of all your energy, so that even entertaining the idea of blogging, much less, finding the time to blog, is an amazing undertaking in and of itself! Yet, there are many successful, amazing women who succeed out there in the blogosphere!!

My hat is off to all of you Mommy Bloggers!!

And although, I am a ‘mom’ to my menagerie of animals, who do provide me with unending sources of amusement every day. Not everyone loves and appreciates the mischievousness and silliness of a variety of different species of animals coexisting at our house as much as I do. Which does cause me to question the integrity of their character at times, but I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that  they might still be a good person, despite their lack of love for animals.

I mean, really, who doesn’t value the unending hours you can spend on social media watching funny or endearingly sweet videos of animals doing the silliest things or who have the unlikeliness of relationships with other animal species??

Aaahhh well, such is life! I will have to carry on with my blogging endeavors and attempt to amuse my readers with the tales of my menagerie’s adorable, crazy and mischievous capers, in hopes of finding other like minded individuals who appreciate such things.

 

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

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!

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.

A Different Kind of Christmas

Different Kind of Christmas

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.

My mom passed away October 28th of this year, just in time for my family to celebrate 4 birthdays in November (one of which was hers), Thanksgiving and Christmas…not to mention ringing in a New Year and then 2 more birthdays in January and 1 in April. All the celebrations that Mom made special for our family…that have already proved to be much less special without her. And although the memories will keep us going…these first celebrations are not all that celebratory this year.

We survived the round of November birthday that were definitely much less happy. Thanksgiving was spent being grateful for our many blessings but decidedly not happy. And here we are already in the second week of December with the apprehensive anticipation of a Christmas without Mom. Christmas will be different this year, I can feel it already as I try to scrape together some holiday cheer and festiveness that seems to be buried deep this year.

I heard this song on the radio in my car today and the words immediately struck a chord with me and brought me to tears, as I fear this will be a Different Kind of Christmas this year.

Different Kind of Christmas by Mark Schultz

Snow is falling Christmas Eve
Lights are coming on up and down the street
The sound of carols fills the air
And people rushing home, families everywhere

Putting candles in the windows
Lights upon the tree
But there’s no laughter in this house
Not like there used to be
There’s just a million little memories
That remind me you’re not here
It’s just a different kind of Christmas this year

In the evening fires glow
Dancing underneath the mistletoe
A letter left from Santa Claus
Won’t be the same this year in this house because

There’s one less place set at the table
One less gift under the tree
And a brand new way to take their place inside of me
I’m unwrapping all these memories
Fighting back the tears
It’s just a different kind of Christmas this year

There’s voices in the driveway
Families right outside the door
And we’ll try to make this Christmas like the ones we’ve had before
As we gather round the table, I see joy on every face
And I realize what’s still alive is the legacy you made

It’s time to put the candles in the windows, the lights upon the tree
It’s time to fill this house with laughter like it used to be
Just because you’re up in heaven, doesn’t mean you’re not near
It’s just a different kind of Christmas
It’s just a different kind of Christmas this year

Pour Some Sugar on Me

I’m a child of the eighty’s, what can I say? The first thing I thought of when I read today’s prompt from The Daily Post was Def Leppard’s song “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” off the 1987 album, Hysteria.

Complete with flashbacks from my high school prom, hanging out with friends and driving around in my friend’s cars with songs like this one blaring from the radio. Even now if I am flipping through radio stations and this song is on I will stop and turn it up and sing along. You gotta love songs that have the ability to transport you back to a specific time or place and allow you to relive those moments over again.

The prompt was intending for one to describe your favorite sweet thing to eat. Bread pudding? Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? A smooth and creamy piece of cheesecake? Tell us all about the anticipation and delight of eating your favorite dessert. Not into sweets? Tell us all about your weakness for that certain salty snack.

Ben & Jerry's Chunky MonkeyAnd HEY, sweets just happens to be my favorite food group! I love me some Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey!! It is my go to comfort-y, comfort food! If all is going well, there is always a pint of this yummy treat in my freezer…ya know, just in case of emergencies or emotional meltdowns. Oreo cookies are another one of those ‘must haves’ in the cabinet…in case of chocolate craving emergencies. And just to be thorough with this prompt…yes, bread pudding is yummy. Chocolate pudding is a delicious. Homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are pretty good too. I just so happen to make a pretty darn good New York style cheesecake too.  In actuality there really are not too many sweets I don’t like. Other than that whole dilemma of carrot cake, which I find is a total waste of cake! Although it does make a great vehicle for cream cheese frosting…but really, carrot cake is just not necessary!

As you can see, I can probably go on and on with my love of all things sweet…but all this talk has made me hungry, so I think I will go and listen to Pour Some Sugar on Me while I have a little mid afternoon bite of Chunky Monkey