“Merry Christmas”

Wishing all my readers a Blessed Christmas and health and abundance in the coming New Year.

With Gratitude,


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“The Horror of Gift Wrap”

gingerbread-familyI love giving gifts, but I hate to wrap…..once I just put bubble wrap around a present. I guess it’s because I have always felt what is inside is the gift, not what is outside, in all matters of life.
Luckily, I have a husband who loves to wrap……so each Christmas he is now delegated the task of wrapping all the gifts…..
He insists ALL must be wrapped, even gifts I already know …….
You would think being an artist would make wrapping a creative process for me……
It isn’t.
I always get the widths wrong, have to piece wrapping paper to adjust, we are always out of scotch tape…..to me, wrapping something so beautifully that will be ripped off in a moment is needless.
Gift bags are God’s gift to Christmas………you add a bit of tissue and you’re done.
Once, when I was working at a large plant nursery during Christmastime, part of the job was learning how to foil all the poinsettias.  This is the crimping and folding done on each pot to make the plant look pretty and festive.   I didn’t mind that, I liked shaping the red foil on each one.
I remember one day, a person came in to buy a plant and demanded she be given a piece of foil to create her own presentation.   She was an artist she said and could do it better than we could.   We watched this woman take the sheet of foil and bend it into the most forlorn mass of crumple imaginable.
We didn’t say a word.   She didn’t either.  She seemed to love it.
To each his own………whether you love to wrap, or love the look of crumpled, pieced together, sometimes glue sticked packages when the scotch tape has disappeared……..
Blessed Christmas,
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“Living with a Bunch of Furry Kids”

Anyone who lives with a pack of dogs knows they are just like kids.   They get jealous over toys, they get jealous over beds, they can be spiteful, and they can be so compassionate your heart will melt.

We have a toy bin……yes, a toy bin of stuffed and chew toys.   We have a collie puppy.   He must first empty the bin every single time before he chooses the one he wants.   Of course, the others make their selections too.   I find toys hidden in their favorite corners, like pirate doubloons.

They make “dibs” over beds and blankets too.   It reminds me of shotgun…….who calls it first, gets it ………..

This is Bud……he is a shepherd, perhaps, rottie, perhaps dobie, perhaps anything mix.   He tips the scale at a rather portly number.   But he likes to sleep in my toy poodle’s bed.  Like I said, a bunch of jealous kids fighting over who gets the favorite toy………:-)

As you can see, his selected choice of toys are nearby.

Solstice Blessings,


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“We adorn graves for “us” not them”

Last night, a cousin called.   I don’t keep in touch with family anymore.   When my husband handed me the phone and said it’ s your family……..I said………”Who died?”

It wasn’t a death, though my ties to family have long been deceased.   She lost her mother this past summer, my last elderly aunt.    I lost my mom a very long time ago.   Together, their mortal bodies share a grave.

I say mortal bodies because I don’t believe they are there anymore.   When I lost my mom, I believed it.   It took a long time, it took visits each day to the cemetery, it took evolving and growing to realize she is not.

I live in an area where Christmastime brings elaborate grave blanket decorations.   Here, each glittered pine cone and feathered bird brings the price up one more dollar.   It has become a display to see whose grave is the biggest and most glittery.

Back to the call…….there was some mention of busy body cousins visiting the cemetery and commenting on the barren ground of their aunts’ grave.  Winter to me is a barren time; there will be flowers in the spring.   I used to buy statues for my mother’s grave, but much vandalization occurred and things were stolen.   My mother always told me to treat the living right and you will not have to treat them with flowers when they are dead.

I like the custom of placing a stone on a grave.   Just a natural remembrance that one has been there to honor the place, not the body……for the body has moved into an eternal place of energy.

My cousin hinted about sending me a check to adorn the site.   She lives too far to visit……..an hour away.    To me, that is not too far, but I was silent.   My distress was internally cast upon my body in the form of bad dreams last night.

I am going to visit my parents’ grave today.   I am not bringing a glittery blanket.   I am bringing myself………which is all they ever wanted ……..the remembrance of a child.   You can buy a thousand glittery pine cones to ease one’s conscience or appease the relatives……..but ……………..

Once, I visited the cemetery a week or two after Christmas.   There is a short window of time when the holiday is over and the cemetery workers come to collect the blankets.  I saw a woman traveling through the cemetery, collecting all the glittery pine cones and feathered birds and placing them inside the trunk of her car.   A cemetery worker said, “You know the florists and wreath makers come now, replenishing stock for next year.”   I was amazed back then, but now, older and more “seasoned”……..it doesn’t amaze me anymore.

I will keep my beliefs about our bodies replenishing energy………my cousins can keep their beliefs about glittery blankets that cover graves and a lot of hidden agendas…….a-shroud-of-snow




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“The Light Continues”

Early this morning when I awoke and came downstairs, a beautiful beam of morning sunlight was focused only on a photograph of me and my Little Guy…….I think it was St. Lucy’s light, telling me that Little Guy was in her arms…….
I raced for my camera, turned it on, but the charge was dead. I guess some things will not be “captured”……..some things must be believed, like faith and St. Lucy.
In a very dark room, sunlight filtered in and brightened my heart and day……….
St. Lucy is the Saint of light……today is her Feast Day.
When the day comes and a beautiful beam of light appears at the end of a tunnel, it is my heart’s wish that Little Guy and all the others will be waiting.
Light to everyone,me-and-little-guy-c
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“Empty Chairs” (For Pearl Harbor)”


Today, 1941……….Pearl Harbor.

My dad visited Pearl Harbor on board his Navy ship during the war.  He didn’t speak much about the war; regretfully, I didn’t prod him for more, although I would have liked to hear it all.  He didn’t like Hawaii…..maybe the island paradise doesn’t seem so heavenly when the threat of being killed looms over your head each day.

Before he left for duty, my dad sold his beloved car.  He told me he didn’t think he would be returning home again; he wanted to leave the money for his wife and baby.  Girls remember first loves, guys remember first cars.  My dad did come home, and his face filled with sadness as he told me how he wished his car was still waiting for him.

A lot of guys didn’t come home…..a lot of first car seats remained empty until sold.  A lot chairs at the dinner table were never filled again.

So today……….

for each one of those guys who did make it home again after bravely serving their country to drive their first cars again and share family meals and give life to daughters who blog.

And especially for those who never made it home again……..rest in peace.



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“What the World Needs Now, is Light, Sweet Light”

Saint Lucy’s Feast Day is December 13th.   Different cultures celebrate her, but all celebrate with the theme of light.  Scandinavian girls bring Santa Lucia buns and crown their heads with wreaths of candles.  Processions of Lucia’s children must have been wondrous and a bit worrisome in celebrations past; today the children wear candles lit with the help of batteries.   Lucia’s light was divine in origin; a light whose reverence has not dimmed through the centuries.

I am of Sicilian heritage….so reverence to Santa Lucia is a given ……
My mother never ate a crumb of bread or cake or wheat on St. Lucy’s Day…..she purchased a special  wheat free grain at our Italian Bakery and kept her lifelong fast as homage to this Saint. With such devout faith, Lucy was imprisoned by a body of such exquisite beauty, men coveted her. She is said to have plucked out her own eyes, the light seen through them was nothing compared to the light of her connection with God…

When I was very little, I gazed upon her statue in my church and in my home and thought those were olives on the tray she held before her…….also a given in a Sicilian  home.……It was only after learning her story that I realized she held her eyes on that tray.  St. Lucy is the saint one prays to for the eyes………so light can enter those clouded with cataracts or blinded by old age or illness.

Today, I wish for light to enter the eyes of this clouded and darkened world.   So many eyes have been blinded with hate, with anger, with intolerance.

It is not the outer facade, but the inner light of true beauty and goodness that our hearts and souls, not eyes, should see.santa-lucia

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