"Any arbitrary turn along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different." ~ Frances Mayes

After losing 112 pounds in almost a year and a half, I have come to realize how very much I was missing. I may be Late to the Party, but I am doing my best to catch up in my own unique way!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Confession Friday - More Reliable Than A Man

And the Fridays keep rolling along!  And you all know what that means.......

I have a list of a multitude of sins, flaws, character weaknesses and obsessions to which I can confess.  The problem is choosing just one, which is a good thing for a writer of a blog, but alas, for you, maybe not so much . You would think that by now I would be running out of things to confess, but that is not the case. You are going to be subjected to confessions for many Fridays to come.

Today I read the most horrible news story ever. This news article has been the final straw to convince me that the world is surely coming to an end, and if not, when what is predicted in the story comes to pass, all women I know will want it to. I went into a pure-T panic.  Hysteria.  Rolled up into a ball in the corner of the room, thumb in mouth, shaking uncontrollably. Someone slap me, please, and wake me from the nightmare that is about to happen.

Sisters, I hope you are sitting down for this one.  Here's the bad news:  By the year 2014, all the world's supply of cocoa will be gone!  Yes!  As in NO cocoa -  zip, nada, zero, - as in gone, good-bye, "hasta la vista, baby", vamoose, syonara, "bon voya-gi, don't forget to write" to quote Bugs Bunny, ciao, arrivederci, tootle-loo, so-long, adios....  And we all know what that means.....without cocoa, there is no CHOCOLATE! Don't believe me?  Then read for yourselves...read it and weep!  NO CHOCOLATE

Say it isn't sooooooo.......  Insert wailing and gnashing of teeth here.....

"Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies."-- John Q. Tullius

I can't remember when I didn't love chocolate.  I was born loving chocolate. My Uncle Jack was the manager of a food distribution warehouse for a major food company that supplied grocery stores in Western Tennessee.  One of my fondest memories was taking a walk on a Sunday afternoon in the warehouse and getting to chose any candy I wanted....a whole box of Hershey bars...that is a COMMERCIAL box, not the"10 bars in the pack" box .... goes a long, long way when you are 6 or 7.  At Uncle Jack's and Aunt Etta's, there was a never ending supply of Hershey's chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream.  I learned at an early age that the more chocolate syrup, the greater the chocolate high.  Aunt Etta could make a mean batch of Hello Dollies, too, and it is to this day my favorite bar cookie, even over chocolate brownies, although I have to say that my daughter Paige makes some killer brownies!  If you don't know what Hello Dollies are, they are the most delectable mixture of graham cracker crumb crust, Eagle Brand condensed milk, shredded coconut and semi-sweet chocolate chips EVER!

"Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn't like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good." -- Lora Brody

According to Wikipedia: "Chocolate comes from the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the cocoa tree.  The word "Chocolate" comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. The Nahuatl word xocolatl means "bitter water". The Precolumbian peoples of the Americas drank chocolate mixed with vanilla, chile pepper, and achiote."

It was Christopher Columbus that took some cocoa beans back to Spain to present to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Friars in Spain then introduced it to the rest of Europe, but chocolate wasn't really imported to Europe until the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs. They were the ones that figured out that by adding sugar it became the food of the gods, at least that's how I think of it.  In 1657 the first chocolate house opened in London.  Then a renowned doctor invented a milk chocolate drink distributed by early pharmacies, but the doctor then sold it to the Cadbury brothers.  This chocolate drink was the only way chocolate was consumed and the process for making chocolate stayed the same for hundreds of years.  But the Industrial Revolution changed all that.  It was in the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution that machines were developed that could render the cocoa butter, essential to making hard chocolate. Chocolate then began to become available to the masses - lucky us!

Enter the names we associate with chocolate.....Cadbury, Nestles, Lindt, Hershey.  With each improvement and step in processing, the cheaper chocolate became.  Milton Hershey gave chocolate making his own American twist and chocolate went from being a delicacy to a product that could be consumed daily due to its low price.  Thank you, Mr. Hershey!  You are probably solely responsible for my chocolate addiction.

At the end of World War II, my dad was sent to post-war Germany.  His German secretary informed him that the German people knew that the war was lost when they heard the day after D-Day when the beaches at Normandy had been secured by the American forces that Americans were landing Cokes and Hershey bars on the shore for the soldiers.  The Germans knew that  they could not compete with such a country.  Who knew Hershey bars could be an unintentional propaganda tool?  Aahh, the power of chocolate never ceases to amaze me!

Man cannot live on chocolate alone; but woman sure can. -- Author Unknown

Why do women love chocolate?  It seems that chocolate contains a number of chemicals or enzymes or whatever that can recreate the feeling of falling in love.  That makes me ponder this question:  How many women thought they were falling in love with a guy when it was actually the box of chocolates he brought her on the first or second date?  You know me, these things cross my mind.  To continue, chocolate can mimic dopamine, the substance that makes you feel happy or high.  Thank goodness the high you get from chocolate is not dangerous like cocaine or heroin,  but some experts do think there is an addictive quality to it.  If ever there was a chocolate addict it would be me. Yes, I confess, I am a chocoholic, if you haven't guessed by now.  I would be a charter member of Chocoholics Anonymous, if it ever came to exist.  "Hi, my name is Pam and I have been chocolate free for 30 minutes." 

"It's not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let's face it, far more reliable than a man." -- Miranda Ingram

To which I add "Unless, he's Willy Wonka"....just sayin'.

You know what the sad thing was when I read the news that there may be no more available cocoa by 2014?  The first thing I thought about was not being able to buy and eat chocolate.  Only after the first initial panic did I remember that Ed, my husband, will be out of work at the same time, considering he works for a major chocolate company.  Where ARE my priorities? That is when the second wave of terror hit!  Chocolate withdrawal AND being homeless, scrounging in garbage cans for leftover chocolate or candy bars is not a pretty picture.......

With that being said, I have to close at this point and run to the grocery store. I have to start buying as many cans of cocoa powder as I can get my hands on. And remember these last words of wisdom:

"Make a list of important things to do today. At the top of your list, put "eat chocolate." Now, you'll get at least one thing done today."-- Gina Hayes

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Red Bird Crossing - It's all in the family

My father was in love with nature.  Notice I used the term "in love with", not "loved".  He didn't just lOVE nature, he was IN LOVE with it.  There is quite a difference, you know, to love something as opposed to being in love with it.  He was a gardener extraordinaire.  He came from a farming family but his nature loving soul went further than the knowledge he gleaned from that.  Part Cherokee, as a child he listened to his half-breed grandmother when she would visit and I think that may have been the source of his gifts.  I loved to hear him tell how she could catch fish with her hands, a skill he never mastered, even though he loved to fish and was quite adept with a pole, reel and bait.  He loved everything in nature - clouds, rain, snow, trees and "all creatures great and small".

So it should be no surprise when I tell you that his love extended to wild birds.  He fed them winter and summer. In the winter, between his keeping the wood stoked in the fireplace (another great love for him) and making sure that the birds were not lacking for seed, his retirement days were full.  All God's feathery creations were special to him, but his real affinity was for red birds.  Cardinals.  Oh, how he loved those red feathered harbingers of gladness.

This isn't my picture, but it is similar to what I saw!

I recall one particular Christmas when my girls and I had made our holiday trip home.  My father had planted a small tree, a dogwood I think, just outside the picture window of the house in the front yard several years before.  Along with the tree, he had placed bird feeders near it and in the other trees located there.  Twice a day the birds would congregate in this small tree and flit back and forth to the feeders.  One afternoon, when the light begins to take on that late-in-the-day softness, my father, standing in the window engrossed by their activity, called to me softly to come have a look.  To my astonishment and delight I counted no less than 25 cardinals perched in the small twiggy branches of that lovely little tree.  It was one of those moments of magic that I will take to my death.  I can close my eyes and relive that moment, standing so close to my father that I can feel his warmth, hear his soft chuckling under his breath because of my amazement, our whispering in the shadows of the curtains so as not to scare the birds and make them take flight. For the next few days that I was at my childhood home for that visit, it became our ritual to watch the birds' feast late in the day.  Somewhere tucked away in a stack of old photographs, I have a badly taken shot made through that window of the red birds in the tree.  I really should try and locate it.
Who in the South isn't familiar with the red cardinal with its black face and crested tuft on the top of its head?  For those readers that are not as fortunate to see them on a regular basis here's a little FYI: 
Native to North and Central America, the cardinal is a songbird, a member of the finch family..  The boys are the ones with the fantastically red feathers.  The gals are not so showy, having duller tan-gray plumage. The brighter the male cardinal's red color, the easier to attract a mate.Cardinals can be aggressive when threatened by an intruder in their territory.  They are grain eaters, as well as seeds, bark, small flowers, insects, weeds, and snails.  Their biggest threats are owls, hawks and squirrels...yes, squirrels!  Blue jays and chipmunks and some snakes like the cardinal eggs and chicks.  It used to be legal to keep cardinals as pets but this was banned in 1918 when the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was enacted.  I am a firm believer that these magnificent birds belong in the wild, not caged and inside.

My dad wasn't the only one in his family that felt this way about cardinals.  His sister, my aunt Etta, was just as enamored with them as he.  I am not sure about his other siblings, but it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't have the same obsession.  If any of my cousins read this, please let me know if the Mickle aunts and uncles were just as cardinal crazy, too.  I think that my Aunt Hazel, my mother's sister and for whom BeeBee in the header picture of this blog is named for, liked them.  My cousin Phyllis bestowed upon me a wonderful little wooden plaque about redbirds that Hazel had in her little stone cottage.
Aunt Hazel's redbird plaque

I have other cardinals that I love.  My wonderful friend Faith gives me a cardinal item just about every Christmas or other occasions, calling them "Mr.Mickle Christmas Cardinals" in remembrance of my dad.  There is a special section on my Christmas tree where the redbirds flock together, so to speak. At Christmas, cardinals represent the blood of Christ.  They are wonderful  reminders that redemption is possible and that even in the dull days of winter, faith and joy can be found.

Now that my father and aunts have passed on, I see cardinals in a different light.  It seems that when I have my dad on my mind, or am thinking of those two very special aunts of mine, redbirds appear at the bird feeder in my own backyard, just outside my picture window.  You may call it coincidence, but I call it a sign.  From the Red Bird Foundation's website, a center founded for bereavement and loss counseling, I have recently found this:
  "Many people report that, while deep in grief, they have been visited by red birds.  The red bird, they tell us, provided comfort and a connection to the loved one they had lost.  According to a sacred Cherokee story, the sun's daughter was killed, but returned to her mother in the form of a red bird."

Aahh.... the Cherokee connection again! It's funny how life works like that, isn't it? 

This affection for cardinals now extends to the Roy Mickle offspring.  It's in our history, our blood and in our souls. So much so that the oldest of us, my sister, Leathea, has taken up the mantle of Daddy's love of nature by recently creating a new blog called Red Bird Crossing.  At Red Bird Crossing, she will share with her readers things about gardening, animals, and nature in general.  I urge you to become a follower and regular reader, if for nothing else, to put away the stress and upheaval of the day to remember that nature can be just a step outside your door. I know Daddy would be proud of her.

As for this blog, if you love cardinals or have your own redbird story to share, I would love to read it.  Please leave a comment below.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Confession Friday - Goodness has nothing to do with it

It's Friday and you know what that means!  Confession Friday!  I LOVE Confession Fridays.  Sometimes it is such a surprise what I will confess to, even to me....  So here we go....

It just so happened that last weekend I was channel surfing and came across a movie on Turner Classic Movies starring Cary Grant and Mae West titled I'm No Angel.

I have always loved Cary Grant.  Not so much his co-star.  It had been a long time since I had watched a Mae West movie in its entirety, if ever, that I can recall.  It was near the beginning of the show and Cary Grant had not yet appeared on the screen.  But, there was Mae, engaged in the type of banter that made her famous. Ok, I thought, I'll stick with this and see where it goes.  It was the best decision I would make all weekend.  Within minutes, I was laughing my fool head off.  Mae, where have you been all my life?

Mae sang, flirted, swaggered, vamped and strutted her stuff, all the while delivering with that sultry voice the best one-liners I have ever heard come from a female's mouth on screen - better than Marlena Dietrich, Betty Davis, Roseanne Barr, Rosy O'Donnell, and Lucille Ball all rolled into one.

Mae West was born in 1893 in Brooklyn, New York.  When she was five, she first performed at a church social.  At seven she began to appear in amateur talent shows which she often won.  By the time she was 14, she was playing in Vaudeville shows with the stage name of Baby Mae.  It was here she honed her delivery of her one-line zingers with double meanings.

 At one point in her early career she even tried being a male impersonator.  Her first show on Broadway was Sex, a show she herself produced, as well as wrote and directed.  The New York City officials weren't too crazy about the subject and had the theater raided by the police.  She, as well as the cast, was arrested and she subsequently was sentenced to 10 days in prison on moral charges.  While at the prison, she reportedly had supper with the warden and his wife and told the news media that she wore silk underpants in prison.  After serving eight days, she was released, having reduced her sentence by two days for "good behavior".

She went to Hollywood in 1930 and appeared in her first movie in 1932 at the age of 38, surprisingly old to be a sex symbol.  In that movie, Night After Night, she had a relatively small part, with which she wasn't too happy.  Her co-star, George Raft, said of her performance, "She stole everything except the camera."  In one scene, a hat check girl says, "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds."  to which Mae quips, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie."  And so her course in films was set.   I read somewhere while researching this post that she was only 5 '1", but on screen she appears taller, maybe because of her high heels or because she was so statuesque. Maybe it was because of her larger than life persona.  At one point in her career, she was the highest paid actor in show business.  The profits from her films are credited for saving Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy!

The Dick Cavett Show interview
Somewhere around the age of 80 she gave an interview with Dick Cavett -  her long blonde hair, evening gown, and one liners still intact.  Lordy, I can't exude that much vamp at 58! I
don' t think I ever did even in my 20's!  I shudder to think what I might be like at 80....I am sure there will not be one ounce of sexiness connected to me when I reach that age.  But Mae, well she just had IT, whatever IT is, even at 80. If you go on www.youtube.com you can see part of that interview for yourself.

Her voluptuous curves, swaggered walk and personality have became part of our culture in ways I never knew.  The classic iconic Coke bottle shape is said to be modeled after Mae's body! The Coke ad slogan "It's the Real Thing" came years after, but one thing is for certain, Mae's figure was just that...the real thing.

She appeared on the cover of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lost Hearts Band, but only after the group requested it in a hand written note to her. Contrary to the wild woman she appeared to be, Mae didn't drink alcohol, nor did she smoke. Salvador Dali used her as the inspiration for the design of his iconic blood red sofa he called "Mae West's Lips."  In World War II, the life vests of US sailors in the Pacific, along with Navy and Air Corps pilots, were nicknamed "Mae West" after her busty attributes.

Mae died in 1980 at the age of 87.    She was once quoted as saying,
Aah, Mae, what a woman!  A woman who knew who she was and what she was made of and offered no apologies for that. 

As for me, I am a walking contradiction in terms.  Part of me is a traditionalist.  A conservative.  A prude.  A straight-laced, raised in the Bible Belt,  follow-the rules, nose-to-the-grindstone type of gal. I can't help it; I was raised that way. I come from a long line of staid Southern women. However, on the other hand, I am a rebel.  A non-conformist.  A push-the envelope, think-outside-the-box, funky, eclectic woman. There's a place for both sides of me in my life.  But I confess.... yes, here's the confession for this week.... I confess that the older I get, the more I hope that the less conventional side of me wins out a little more often, that I am not afraid to speak out, show my personality, and be a little like Mae West, who broke the mold.

God bless you, Mae, for making me laugh and showing me that, as a woman, I can be content to be me, no matter how outrageous that may be or how old I get!  There's something to be said in the freedom that offers.  Don't worry, though, I'm not about to be a raging women's libber and go out and burn my bra.  Mae, even in her zaniest moments, knew the value of a good bra to keep "the girls" up front and forward.  Which reminds me, I need to go shopping.........

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flash Mob Monday - 2 Days Late!

Crazy week at work so I am just now getting to posting this. THis pretty much sums up my feelings about this subject, too.  Enjoy! Bear with the 15 second ad......

Friday, January 14, 2011

Confession Friday - Finding my Zen

I am a doodler.  For today's confession, meet one of my obsessions - doodling with a purpose! Yes, I admit -  I doodle every chance I get.

You know when you are talking on the phone and you sit and draw randomly on the margins of your notepad?  Many people do this.  Just a time wasting activity with no meaning or purpose, right?  Well, my friend, you would be highly mistaken!

A couple of years ago in my wandering through the world of the internet, I came across the theory that doodling is actually a productive activity.  Say you are sitting in a boring meeting or lecture and you are doodling.  You will actually retain more of what is said than those who aren't doodling! Without the activity of doodling, most people are daydreaming, which requires more brain attention than doodling.  Imagine that!

In the process of finding out what a great thing doodling is, I found a website about something I had never heard of that uses doodling.  This website was about Zentangles - a structured doodle!  Zentangles was started by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, as she was telling Rick how she felt as she doodled - "feeling timeless, free and engendering a sense of deep well-being" - in other words, a meditative condition.  And that was the beginning.

They began to develop a series of doodling patterns that they could teach people easily.  Taking it a step further, they started going to businesses and corporations to teach Zentangles, as more management began recognizing that when people doodle they are actually more productive.  Zentangles can be done anywhere, anytime and helps people to relax.  The idea is that most Zentangles can be done in a short period time, 10 minutes, and taking a short break to clear the mind can refresh and boost employees.

Over the past couple of years, Zentangles has taken off in popularity.  Now Zentangles are used in therapy for stroke victims and anger management,  in art instruction, in problem solving, in gift-giving, in card-making.

  Since I first discovered Zentangles, there are now Certified Master Instructors for Zentangling. There are books that you can purchase to teach you how to 'Tangle. People all over the world are participating in classes and fun activities centered around this doodling.

I have a sketch book in which I am learning new patterns, at least a couple each week.  It is so much fun and the neat part is you don't have to know how to draw to be able to learn how to Zentangle!  There is this wonderful website www.tanglepatterns.com that you can go to and click on a pattern and it will show you how to learn that particular doodle step by step. The names for the doodle patterns are equally entertaining!  Hepmee, wired, click clack, blooming butter, kandysnake to name a few!  Check it out!

For Christmas this year, I drew Zentangle pattern pictures for two of my friends and framed them.  One was an owl, the other a heart.  It was a fun way to stay within our $10 budget we had set.  I am planning on doing some 'Tangle Christmas ornaments for gifts next year and I think I am starting on them SOON!
I hope mine look as good as these!!!
So if you have always wanted to draw but felt like you couldn't, I encourage you to try Zentangles.  And the next time your boss sees you doodling, you can honestly say that you aren't just doodling for doodling's sake, you are actually helping the bottom line by being more productive and attentive to your work!

Now I am going to go feed my creative spirit and soul by creating some Zentangles!  Go feed yours somehow, someway and let me know what it is, or share your attempt at 'tangling!  I would love to see it! Or better yet, come 'tangle with me! Happy Doodling!

P.S.  Just for clarification....all the images above are NOT Zentangles I did!  Just wanted to show some GOOD examples of what people can do 'tangling!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Song for a Winter's Night

"The lamp is burning low upon my table top; the snow is softly falling.  The air is still in the silence of my room.  I hear your voice softly calling.  If I could only have you near to breathe a sigh or two,  I would be happy just to hold the hands I love on this winter's night with you." ~ Song for a Winter's Night, lyrics by Eric Clapton, sung by Sarah McLachlan

When I was growing up in Middle Tennessee, the winters were more severe than now.  There were some winters that the snowfall was exceptional and we would be out of school for days on in.  The road we lived on was at the top of a steep hill, perfect for sledding and we had lots of icy misadventures.  On a couple of occasions I came very close to death...once almost being run over by a car.  There is nothing so sobering as going breakneck speed down a hill, hearing the car, being unable to stop the sled until the last second and staring at the hubcap of the tire as it passes right in front of your nose.  Another time, the sled and I hit a metal stop sign pole full force.  At least I had the presence of mind to move my head to the side instead of running head first into the pole, resulting in a very bruised shoulder instead of a crushed skull and brain injury.  My father witnessed that accident and literally picked me up in his arms and practically ran up the steep, slick hill, never hearing my protestations that I was fine and had not hit my head!  He was convinced that I was seriously injured and that I was talking crazy from the brain trauma that had just occurred.  Ah, sweet memories......

After a day of sledding, snowball fights, building snowmen, and more sledding, there would come the time when my friends and I were forced to come inside.  Just before dark,  the sky would take on the color of a deep blue royal blue, the snow reflecting a lighter blue.  Staring out the picture window in my bedroom, I would witness the blue world settle into the silence of a winter's night.  I can see it in my mind even now as I look outside my own home's big window into the woods behind my house.  The interior lights of our neighbors' houses shone muted behind curtained windows, the occupants settling in for dinner, warm and satisfied. I could hear my mother in the kitchen preparing supper and the rest of the family in the front of our home. Once the deep blue twilight of winter descended upon us, the darkness came on quickly.  The scene I describe was fleeting, lasting less than thirty minutes at the most.  Those moments stand out vividly as some of my favorite memories.  There is a gauzy, hazy feel to these memories, as fleeting as the actual event.

Tonight, I am tucked inside of the house of my adulthood, having enjoyed the memory as darkness came on.  I think of long ago friends and my siblings and the fun we had, of my dad who so loved the winter, of pet dogs who so faithfully trotted along beside us in the snow and who probably would have much rather been lying in front of the heater inside, safe and warm, of being so cold for hours and not caring, of calling the local radio station every 10 minutes at night to see if school actually was closed for one more day, and of the magical time and freedom that a child back then was fortunate enough to enjoy.

On this winter's night, call on your own snowy, comforting memories and revel in days gone by.  I hope they are as happy as mine.

Song for a Winter's Night........

January Word of the Month

Happy New Year!  How far into January can you go before saying "Happy New Year" is old, worn out, and an embarrassment?  These are things I think about....I can't help it.

As my first REAL post of the year (Flash Mob Mondays really don't count, don't you think?) I decided to choose the January WOM.  Just think, the first of at least 12 words this year!  That puts the pressure on to choose the perfect word.  After all, this word will set the pace for all the others to follow.  I have mentally gone through a long list of words that I could use and expound upon.  You know, the usual words everyone likes to say at the beginning of the New Year.....inspire, motivate, believe, create, challenge, order, change, courage, understanding, patience, family, tradition,  etc., etc.  And since I am a rebel at heart, I cannot, I refuse, to choose one of these overused, overworked, under applied words for the initial WOM for 2011.  Oh, the agony to pick just the right one.  I cannot let my readers down, but more importantly, I cannot let myself down by choosing a mediocre word.  I have put my thinking cap on.

We have just come out of the jolliest season, by far, filled with the joys and, yes, stresses indicative of the holidays. Then comes New Year's with its fresh starts and what lies ahead.  But by the end of February to middle March, the winter doldrums set in.  There are stains of life already on the once crisp pages of the not-so-long-ago newly unread book of the year.  Resolutions are forgotten or abandoned either on purpose or by fate. All our good intentions for the New Year have vanished or are sore reminders of just how human we are.  Most of the things that we anticipated that we could or would or should do lie in remnants in our soul and mind.

Here's the thing - I like that feeling of what may be coming down the pike.  It's like planning a good vacation or a major purchase of something you have wanted for a very long time. Anticipation of good things is similar to daydreaming or that comforting lull in your head moments before you drift off to sleep. There are times when the anticipation is as good as the actual thing you are looking forward to.

So, as you are suspecting, ANTICIPATE is my January 2011 Word of the Month.   Anticipation, at least the kind I am writing of, is defined as " the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation."  I like the "pleasurable" part of that definition.  

I am full of anticipation for what lies ahead this year and in my life.  I anticipate getting to my goal weight.  I anticipate discovering I can do lots of things I thought were long past.  I anticipate hiking more of the Appalachian Trail and the Pine Mountain Trail, as well as climbing Stone Mountain. 

I anticipate going to a "hike-in" inn and staying the night. 

I anticipate reading good books, participating in some craft blog swaps, making new friends through those swaps and enjoying old friends in a variety of ways.  I anticipate learning new, creative, and unusual things, many I hope to share with all of you.  I anticipate that I will have lots to confess to on my Confessional Fridays!  

I anticipate treasuring my family. 

I anticipate going to Hilton Head in the summer with my Fab 5 and having lots of fun. 

I anticipate getting together with my sisters in Nashville and having a blast! 

I anticipate finding opportunities to learn and grow, to savor and share, to enjoy and to put into practice, and oh, to scrapbook!!!!

Are there things you are anticipating?  I hope you are....Looking forward to something is half the fun!  Please share with me in the comments below ANYTHING you may be anticipating in your future, near or far! 

Flash Mob Monday AGAIN???

How can it be that a whole week has gone by and time for a new Flash Mob Monday?  Well, it has and it is, so here is today's offering.  I so want to do one of these things!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

new swap for February

If you have followed my blog at all, you will know that I love to participate in swap found on different blogs.  I want to share with you all that I have just joined one here:

One Book Shy February Swap

Can't wait to see who my partner is and what she/he likes.  Stay tuned to find out what I get for my partner and to see what I may get in return!  Fun in the New Year....that's the best!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Flash Mob Monday

Just because the holidays are over (well, almost....Ephipany is later this week) doesn't mean that Flash Mob Mondays are, too!  Here's one that will make you feel great! How they got that many people to learn it is amazing!  The "wave" is awesome! Oprah's reaction at the end is worth the watch!  Enjoy!!!