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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Monday, January 25, 2010


One of my "non-resolutions" (yes, I resolved to make no resolutions this year so I wouldn't be breaking any as the months moved on...) this year was to continue actively working on stress management in new and old ways.  I suffer from chronic migraine headaches which can often be debilitating and am also finding that my body is beginning to protest more frequently and increasingly.  Therefore, I was intrigued by a seminar on "mindfulness" as a means to stress reduction which a friend recommended and that I'm beginning tomorrow for six weeks.  As I've already begun the 40-day meditation practice (Winter Feast for the Soul), the work we do in the seminar should be a further step into slowing down, breathing deep, and centering for peace within.

I know that one of the practices I should return to is yoga - I've been an "occasional" yogi-wannabe (??) for a few years and by no means am an expert or even much above a beginner, most likely.  But I DO know my favorite pose, lol!  Balasana - also known as "Child's Pose" - is the most relaxing, releasing, peaceful, peace-filled pose that I find in yoga.  This morning I was moving through some recommended stretches for my protesting lower back muscles and happily ended with an exercise that involved "Child's Pose."  Ahh.....yes, now, if I could just stay here....

Friday, January 22, 2010


I've  been in wedding planning mode for a couple of weeks now.  Even with a small, intimate affair, there is planning to be done, decisions to be made...and much fun to be had in the process.  Today's features are some finds I've stumbled upon along the way.

Frame the Date is a special way to celebrate all the occasions in your life and those dear to you - you'll create a OOAK gift that will indeed be treasured!

Intimate Weddings is a site full of advice, other links, and how-to's for the bride and groom planning a small wedding ~ lots of ideas to consider!

Another fun site, again full of suggestions, blogs, and other links, is Wedding Bee ~ and one of the contributors is my talented dressmaker! :)

StelieDesigns offers beautiful, creative invitations and more, many available to be customized with your wedding colors!

Now, where did I put that "to-do list"...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Monday, January 18, 2010


If someone has asked me in the last few years about my faith, I have found it difficult to answer.  It is a question I have struggled with, stumbled over, avoided when at all possible for very real reasons...those who know my vocation prior to these years sometimes find this odd, even shocking or outright strange, especially if they are unaware of the circumstances surrounding my journey into the desert of doubt.  I worked for "the church" and was in ministry in various areas for more than ten years, even attending seminary at one point, determining a call to ordained service.  How could I "abandon" this church, question my God, and simply seem to "fall away" from the kingdom of God?

The desert has not been an easy journey.  Dry, long, empty at times and quite lonely.  Yet through it all I sensed a presence not so much leading me but "with me" as I stepped along and found my way, as long as it took, whatever route I took.  I see with new eyes, eyes more open and a heart more full of the incredibly abundant love of our God and knowledge of Her joy and delight in all of us, ALL of us throughout this world.  I celebrate quietly that the journey is bringing me peacefully home.

Today I began "Winter Feast for the Soul" ~ a globally organized 40-day spiritual practice period, believing that "A life grounded in daily practice is one that knows inner peace. It is that peace which translates into peace throughout our lives and ultimately to peace and healing for our planet."

The guided meditation schedules provided are available from various faiths and practices and ages to accommodate all.  I found great comfort in "coming home" to the Contemplative Prayer model which today used the practice of lectio divina, reminding me in today's message that the kingdom of God is within me. Such powerful words!  Throughout that desert journey, indeed, I was not alone, and I had not "fallen away" as the kingdom of God is already here, within me.  What peace that brings.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


This week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, a country already beset with the overwhelming challenges of poverty and survival, have to make us remember in gratitude the very simplest and yet, grandest, of blessings that surround us - warm beds, safe shelter, food, water, our loved ones around us.  The images that we see shatter our quiet winter realm, and as we whisper prayerful gratitude for our lives, we are called to reach out and help our Haitian brothers and sisters who need so much at this time.  Some "how to help" resources that have been recommended...

EASY-PEASY!   Text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Other organizations on the ground in Haiti now...

World Vision 

Save the Children


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Monday, January 11, 2010


"Being Mimi" is such an incredible journey for me.  My first granddaughter (and first grandchild), Abigail, arrived in February of this past year and has had me smiling ever since. :)  From the first time her mom, my daughter, placed her in my arms - just hours after her birth - to today's impromptu Monday moments when she pulled up on my jeans and put out her arms to be picked up, nestling her head into my shoulder for a cuddle, I have found that "being Mimi" means priceless smiles, treasured times, and warm memories in the making.  My heart is full each and every day with the blessings of this journey.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

One of my FaceBook friends, orignally a dear beading artisan friend, posted  this quote yesterday as her status, and I gave it a resounding FB "likes this" response.  I am especially grateful today for the real  friends in my life - those friends who have been with me a lifetime (one who just traveled across the country for her family and still took time to trek through our first "snowstorm" to have lunch and catch up with me :) );  those who have walked side-by-side through crisis with me and see the sun still rising gloriously on the ocean's waters each day;  those who are scattered across the world and are joined with me forever in our bond of caring for each other and our common passion for the art of beading and creating;  those who just know the right time to send that email, call for that cup of tea or coffee or just to chat....yes, real friends are rare and precious gifts ~ give thanks for them today and every day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Monday, January 4, 2010


Ok, yes, I'll admit it, I'm guilty. Completely 100% guilty of blog neglect. I've ignored this thing first for a few days, then a couple of weeks, and before I knew it months, and now a new decade has dawned -- what was I thinking?! :)

So, new year, new decade, time for resolutions and all that, right? Well, at least I can give it my best shot at breathing some new life into the blog world here and see what happens...

Looking back at 2009 ~ becoming Mimi (welcoming my first grandchild!); finding love and saying "yes" (how wonderful to find and share such happiness); road-tripping with my youngest around the country (just call us "Thelma and Louise") for fun, soccer, and college exploration; saying a too-soon 'good-bye' to my remarkable, strong, and so loving father; celebrating my grandmother's 99th birthday (her "secret"? one highball everyday at 5pm)...

Looking ahead to 2010 ~ celebrating Abby's first birthday (my creative daughter has already selected a wonderful theme - "Winter ONE-derland!") ; celebrating "soccer girl's" college commitment (stay tuned - she's close to making an announcement, I think!), her high school graduation, and her travels abroad (Spain this spring, Nicaragua over the summer); planning our "simply" wonderful (key word is "simply") wedding and terrific trip; welcoming my son home from Tanzania for a three week visit before he returns to Africa to extend his work with the Peace Corps...much to look forward to in this new year and in this new decade, indeed.