Monday, December 30, 2013

~ Happy New Year & Happiness Jar ~



I cannot begin to tell you how much I want 2014 to begin!  I believe that this year, 2013, has been the worst that I can remember.  So much loss....so many negative things.  I am looking forward to a new beginning!

Do you make resolutions?  I don't ~ too much pressure. I like to set intentions for what I'd like to bring into my life...peace, fun, new friends, new experiences and volunteer opportunities. I want to focus on the good things!

I'm going to do the "Happiness Jar" to record happy moments, good things from each day, etc.  Wanna join me?   


Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year and I hope that you are showered with blessings throughout the year!



xo
Pat

Monday, December 23, 2013

~ Merry Christmas from Texas! ~


This is a most difficult Christmas. I'm trying to keep it together to honor Abby as well as remembering the real reason for this season. We are so blessed to be able to celebrate our Savior's birth. I hope that you and your loved ones enjoy each moment!


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

~ Just a few things ~

I guess you notice the new blog design. I have had such a horrible year and feel like starting out the new year with a clean slate, so to speak.  I think a simple and uncluttered design will help me in this endeavor. If you are interested in a new blog design, please check with Rebekah at
Rebekah Louise Designs. She's awesome to work with and so very patient!

For the first time in a long time, I've had several things to share with you, however, I still don't have my computer repaired and no access to photos.  Not fun!

I'm sure if you don't live in Texas, you at least heard about our ice-apocalypse. What a trying situation. I've lived in this state all my life and have never seen ice remain on the ground for 9 or more days.  There are still some remnants on a few houses and streets where the sun is rare.

My daughter and I had a wonder*filled Thanksgiving!  I'm sure you've heard of Jo Pearson ~ she's the Creative Director for Michael's. She and my daughter have worked together for years. She made the most incredible Thanksgiving meal that you can imagine!  I took the  Pumpkin Trifle shared here earlier and a chocolate pie. Changed from the usual pumpkin & pecan too. We wore our PJ's and made Christmas ornaments in the afternoon. Such a wonderful day and a incredibly relaxing!

I celebrated another birthday Dec 1st and had a great outing with my daughter!  We ran around, shopped and then ate at my favorite restaurant, Pappadeaux's!  We sorta did the same thing on Sunday....out and about in the sunshine.  We went to Dallas and did some looking, wishing and shopping at Anthro, Urban Outfitters, West Elm, Francesca's....you name it!  Had lunch at Patrizio's ~ another favorite.  Their Bellini's rock!

I am focusing on honoring Abby this Christmas and performing RAOK's and paying it forward. If you'd like to join in, you can become one of "Abby's Angels" ~ making life better for others. The simplest act can mean the world to someone else.

Not sure when I will update again...just know I try to visit you when I can!  I really thought Santa would come through by now with a "magic" computer fix. :)

xo
Pat


Monday, December 2, 2013

~ Computer Problems ~

Just a quick note to advise that my computer is sick and out of service ~  not fun!

Please know that I will respond to emails when I can and that I'll miss each of you so much.

Hoping that each of you had a blessed Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 29, 2013

~ Pumpkin Trifle ~


This is a dessert that everyone will love!  You must try it and see if you agree.


Ingredients: 
1 box / bag pumpkin bread mix (such as Pillsbury Pumpkin Bread Mix or Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 15 oz. can pure Pumpkin
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup Grand Marnier
¼ cup water
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Bake bread as directed in a bread loaf pan.
  2. Let cool completely before slicing into ½” slices.
  3. While bread is baking, beat whipping cream, vanilla and sugar on medium - high speed until it forms peaks.
  4. Add softened cream cheese and mix on low until well blended.
  5. Fold in pumpkin with a large spoon. Refrigerate mixture until ready to assemble trifle.
  6. In a saucepan, combine syrup, Grand Marnier and water over med - high heat and bring to low boil. Turn heat down to medium - low and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes.
  7. To assemble, form a few bread slices around bottom of trifle dish (filling in little holes with bread pieces).
  8. Lightly coat bread slices with sauce using a pastry brush.
  9. Spread pumpkin mixture evenly over bread.
  10. Repeat layers up to three or four times depending on size of trifle dish.
  11. Garnish top of pumpkin trifle with pecan pieces. 
  12. May serve immediately or refrigerate several hours before serving.
There are a few steps to making this but it's absolutely worth it! It feeds a large group, believe me. Just look at the ooey gooey goodness that's layered one on top of the other!  :)


I added pecans to the pumpkin bread mix also...of course, I love pecans!  The directions did not state where to add the cinnamon and my bread was already baking when I realized this. I just added the cinnamon to the Grand Marnier mix! This recipe was adapted from Amy @ My Texas Today. She's delightful and has lots of great recipes for you to try!





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

~ Be Thankful ~


This is a very difficult holiday ~ another "first" since Abby's accident.  However, there are so many things to be grateful for and I'm trying to stay in gratitude. So many people do not have warm homes, clothes, food or just the necessities of life and that's so sad!

I'm grateful for each of you!  I haven't been posting regularly or visiting you as much as I'd like but know that you are remembered with love.  Wishing each of you and your loved ones a most blessed Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

~ 18 Things Everyone Should Start Making Time For Again ~

I found this very interesting and valuable. Seems everyone is in a frenzy re: decorating, planning Thanksgiving meals, putting up Christmas decorations and running oneself ragged. I'm not in the mood for any of that although I'm trying to get in the spirit. I am trying to do some things that make a difference...at least for me. I've been sending out "kindness" cards almost daily ~ just to let someone know that I think about them, they matter in my life and they are loved. #1 on this list covers that. :)

1. Writing things by hand. Letters to friends, lists for the store, goals for the week, notes for lovers, thank you cards and memos to coworkers. Digital communication is easy and convenient but ask anybody: there’s a huge difference between texting someone to say that you love them and hope they have a great day and writing it on a note and leaving it next to their bed.
2. Savoring time to do nothing. Taking a cue from pre-industrialized society and cultures that enjoy siestas and long, drawn-out, sit-down teas that serve no other purpose than to spend time enjoying the time you have.
3. Thinking before responding. We’ve become too conditioned to require things immediately. Someone asks a question, and we have to respond that second. Such was not the case before instant messaging and comment threads. A sign of true intelligence and confidence, I think, is someone who takes time to consider the question at hand in a little more depth, and then offers a response.
4. Cooking a nice meal just for the sake of doing so. It really trains you to defy your need for instant gratification and of course puts you in touch with something that’s very human and can be lovely if done right.
5. Getting really dressed up for no other reason than just wanting to.
6. Books. Actual hard copy books that you can scribble notes in and mark off sections of and smell ink through and hear the sound of turning pages and bending spines while you read.
7. Making phone calls to relatives for no other reason than to just say hi, and to ask how they’re doing.
8. Disconnecting from technology frequently enough that we won’t be anxious and feeling like we’re missing something when we try to do so for an extended period of time.
9. Celebrating things with long, multiple course dinners that we hold for people as opposed to just drinking ourselves into an oblivion and being belligerent (that has it’s time and place, of course, but having thoughtful, celebratory dinners is a dying art).
10. Cleaning because it's satisfying and doing things like painting walls or getting fresh flowers just because it's therapeutic.
11. Spending time with kids, and doing kid things with them. They just know what’s up.
12. Answering things in a timely fashion, not putting off invitations and requests just because we can.
13. Making sure relationships are actually based on time spent with one another. People seem to be sustaining them through only digital means with increasing frequency and I can understand how that’s important if it’s temporarily long distance but in general, physically being with people is the only thing that will give you that sense of human connectedness.
14. Just sitting and listening to music. We’ve made music background noise in our everyday lives, but now and again we should just sit and enjoy it like people used to.
15. Traveling by train, or if that’s not possible, at least exploring places that you pass everyday. Especially if you live in a big city, there are always little hidden gems around that you won’t believe you lived without seeing while they were a block away from you all along.
16. Putting personal health and well-being first, as it often falls to the wayside in importance. This means, aside from the obvious, taking those personal days and using them to just relax. We’ve made such a quirky commodity out of enjoying napping and relaxing, as though doing so makes us boring and old. It doesn’t, it’s healthy.
17. Planning something, especially with someone else, as simple as dinner or as grandiose as a long vacation next year. You always need something to look forward to.
18. Stopping to talk to people throughout the day. Connecting with them genuinely, as such interaction is really important but is becoming increasingly less common. Turning our phones off when out to dinner (who even turns them off anymore?) and learning to not spend all of our time documenting whatever we’re doing for social media. It often takes away from the experience itself.
You might like to explore the author's book ~ it's available on Amazon.

xo,  Pat

Monday, November 11, 2013

~ Thank you, Veterans! ~


We remain the home of the free because of the brave!  Please thank a Veteran today ~


Thursday, October 24, 2013

~ Blessing Bags ~



I shared this on Facebook but if you didn't see it, perhaps this might be something you can include in your life. We're approaching the time of year when we focus on Gratitude. It's also a time to give from the heart ~

I'm a strong proponet of RAOK's (Random Acts of Kindness), especially the anonymous ones. These Blessing Bags could be handed out personally to homeless people or left in areas where there is a need. Keep them in the car and when you pass homeless people, hand them out. Kids learn about caring for others when they are included.

Blessing Bag Ingredients
Gallon size Ziplock Bags
Chap Stick
Tissue packets
Toothbrush & toothpaste (Most items can be found in the travel section of Walmart, Walgreen's, Target, etc.)
Mouth wash, travel size
Comb
Soap (liquid would probably be best & place in a separate plastic bag to avoid leaking or the scent permeating any food items)
Hotel size shampoos and lotion
Trail Mix
Crackers ~ Peanut butter would be nice
Pack of gum
Band aids 
Hand wipes
Hand warmers
Blanket warmers (these are the foil like items that are very thin)
A warm pair of socks
Warm gloves
A rain poncho
Feminine items for the ladies
Tylenol packets
Ramen noodles

Ideas are really endless!  I know you'll think of additional items. Assemble all the items in the bags and perhaps include a note of encouragement and/or an invitation to Church. Seal the bags, stow in your car and then wait for a moment of providence.
Remember, there but for the grace of God, go I.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

~ Lamp Base Re-do ~

Please be gentle with this reveal! :)  It's been so long since I've done something half way creative. I haven't had any desire to do anything since we lost Abby. Now I remember how much I love to paint...whatever I can find. It's like therapy for me ~ same as baking or cooking. It's just been so hot here I haven't had the desire to have the oven on at all. Anyway, here goes:

I thought I had taken a photo of the "before" but can't find it. This old lamp base needed a fresh paint job and some pizazz to her. I love color and plan to add a lot of it to the bedroom as well as elsewhere.

Pay no attention to the stuff in the surrounding area of my paint station ~ 

I've loved this shade of green for a long, long time. If you haven't visited my friend Jennifer's blog ~ Dimples and Tangles ~ you simply must!  



 Trying to get the full view ~


 I added some bling to it in the form of gold ~ top, lower section and almost on the bottom.  The photo below is shown as it's drying from the clear gloss finish I had
just sprayed on.

And....drum roll, please....here she is!  I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the shade. If you have suggestions, I'm all ears. 


The night stand has just been painted in metallic gold. That was a challenge! I will show it after I get new handles for it. The old ones just won't cut it. This is not staged at all. Just wanted a quick photo to show you.

Can you see the Navy wall in the background?  I LOVE IT!!!  I had them paint an accent wall in my bedroom prior to moving in. I am so happy with it! I made that decision early on in the process of leasing. I'd love to have a wall painted in the living area but they won't allow contractors in once a resident has moved in....liability and all that jazz. I just didn't have the mental capacity to make additional decisions prior to moving. I will continue to consider it and we'll see what happens!

I've done a couple of other things too ~ it's helping me to focus on something positive ~ and I will show them soon.  Thank you so very much for stopping by!!

I'm joining ~


Monday, September 23, 2013

~ DIY Bracelet and Blogger Feature ~




I don't know if you're familiar with Meredith's blog...if not, it's a must for you to hop over and visit!  She and Gwyneth (her yorkie) lived in NYC ~ a favorite city of mine! ~ and then moved to NC.  Now they have moved to San Francisco, another favorite city of mine!  She is extremely talented and creative and Gwyneth often "helps" as a Supervisor of projects. :)

The bracelet featured above is a DIY project of the greatest in creativity!  I would never think of doing something like this and then have it turn out so beautifully.  Run over there, NOW!  Check out her pink door and all the decor she's created. She's a pro at dumpster diving, finding furniture just left on the street and reinventing the pieces. She's also a great fashion blogger!

I'm trying to get back into blogging but haven't felt I had a lot to share.  When I saw this bracelet, I felt I must bring it to your attention. Take a look through her blog and see the NYC apartment as well as the new one in SFO.  You'll be so sad if you don't!  ;-)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

~ Prayers for Kitty ~



Our lovely friend, Kitty, needs our prayers. Her sweet husband passed away yesterday. The family has been together all week and were there for him at the end.

After just having lost my precious granddaughter, I can only imagine how Kitty's heart is hurting.  Please remember her and her family in your prayers...send them good thoughts, light a candle, whatever your preference is. I know she will greatly appreciate each kindness!

Monday, July 29, 2013

~ Slowly coming out of the fog ~



The past 5 weeks have been a living hell. Honestly, some days and times I can't even remember what happened or who was around. I've prayed many times that God would please provide some peace, not just for me but for everyone grieving the loss of our precious Abby. This past Saturday I finally began to feel as though I was coming out of a fog ~ misty, cloudy, dark and depressing. Of course, the grief process is different for everyone and I know it's going to take a LOT of time, for me anyway. Of course, the longer we live, the more losses we are going to have and the healing can take a bit more time than the last event.

I have barely skimmed the surface as far as getting this new place in order. Don't misunderstand me, I'm thrilled to be here!  I just haven't had the oomph, the excitement or the energy to do much. With those thoughts and feelings plus my back, it's still just "stuff" and boxes. I know it will get done, especially since I've glimpsed a bit of sunshine. If I knew where my camera was, I'd take a "real life" photo for you!  :)

My thanks and appreciation to all for your notes, cards, good thoughts, prayers and emails. You just don't know how much it helps!

I'm not sure if you 'know' Leslie, my sweet friend from her blog, Gwen MossClick on her name and read the beautiful post that she wrote after Abby's accident.  Leslie writes beautifully and shares gorgeous photos so you will be a new follower for sure!  I will be sharing more of my walk, my heart and my home in the days to come. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to stop by.


I'm so grateful for ~
. family
. dear friends and followers
. great coffee
. a tiny glimpse of healing
. a new home

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

~ Thank you! ~




This is a belated, however, very sincere thank you for your sweet notes, kind words and prayers. I have tried to respond individually to each of you. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that many were "no reply bloggers".  I then tried to ensure I had an email address. For those that may have been missed and your response is out there in the ethernet, I apologize!  

Suzan, my sweet and funny friend, HUGE thanks to you for sharing on your blog! The support from everyone has sincerely touched my heart and I've shared with my family.

This is, at the moment, the worst experience of my life. My mind is like swiss cheese and I honestly cannot process things in a normal manner. I want to get back to blog land and visit you but it may take awhile. I hope you know how much I really care for each of you and miss the contact!

Please don't take your family or friends for granted! Spend as much time as you can with them, especially the little ones...forget the tons of projects, cleaning & decorating. Make memories and treasure the moments, perform RAOK's, take the time to call, write or email that special person. Just know that life changes in an instant and there will not be any more chances.

xo
Pat

Saturday, June 22, 2013

~ My Heart is Shattered ~

Abby, Mimi, Alex
Christmas 2012


My heart is shattered.  My gorgeous granddaughter, Abby, was fatally injured in an automobile accident early last evening in OK. It still feels like Friday night and yet it's early Saturday morning and our lives are forever changed. One of her friends also died and one is in critical condition in the hospital. His parents were driving in front of the kid's vehicle...an 18 wheeler lost wheels and they hit the kids. The photo is one I love ~ taken at Christmas with her and her amazing brother. I posted about "time" yesterday and little did I know how fitting that quote would be. Abby was beautiful, brilliant, funny, loving, strong willed, independent and always up for an adventure. She would have celebrated her 16th birthday July 8th and was preparing her Mom's car to take it over when she received her driver's license. Alex is as handsome as Abby was beautiful and he too is extremely brilliant and so very talented. He's such a sweetheart and owns a piece of my heart. I don't know the "why" ~ none of us do. I damned sure don't understand it. I know God has the master plan but it's so difficult as humans to try and figure out why so many bad people are left and these lives were cut so short. Please remember Alex, my son & d-i-l, her sister Angela and my daughter & s-i-l in your prayers. My family is devastated and we're all going to have a huge adjustment. Dance with the angels, sweet girl! You are so very loved ~ 

I haven't had a moment to blog due to packing and organizing for my move the 28th. Now it's going to be a real challenge to get all this done.  My sincere apologies for not being around to visit.  I'm not even sure when I will now.

Monday, June 10, 2013

~ Live Your Life ~


It's a beautiful morning and the coffee is great! My brother suffered a heart attack on Saturday while at Horchow's in Grapevine. It was a God deal as to how it all developed...speedy EMT's, info communicated to the hospital, top cardiologist and team waiting on his arrival. One artery 99% blocked, a stent and excellent care since. Had he been home, Dr said he would not have made it. In fact, he didn't want to go...my s-i-l had one of her sisters visiting from Kansas and they convinced him to go. A long-time friend of theirs (Robert) is a Minister in this area. He told his wife that they needed to go to that same mall. She said she didn't want to go...he insisted. When they walked in, there was my brother waiting for the ambulance.  I asked Robert if they went to that mall often and he said, "never".  No one knew my brother & s-i-l would be there!

I know I'm always talking about trying to make the best of each day and letting folks know you care. Don't miss a chance to make that phone call, write a note or send an email. Every moment is so precious and we're not guaranteed more than the moment we're in. 

Right now, I can't even think about pillows, decor or cooking. I do have a LOT to do re: this move coming up so I think computer time may be limited for me...I think I need to be in "real" life more. Take the time to live your life!  Enjoy nature, pets and people and consider every moment a true blessing! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

~ Rambling ~



I know I haven't posted much lately ~ just so much going on. The situation with the folks upstairs almost got the best of me. Not sleeping, being on edge all the time and constant noise has taken a toll. I found myself doing and saying things last week that is not me at all. Saw the Dr on Friday and he gave me something to help sleep temporarily as well as blood work for my thyroid. So far, I am sleeping better and that's a huge blessing!

The people started moving last Thursday evening. Just to give you a glimpse of their character, they had 2 guys in a truck to help but they threw their furniture off the balcony onto the ground!  I heard this whomp, bang, thump and looked out. There was a sofa, a chair, a table, boxes, a mattress, box springs, you name it! This was a first for me. I try so hard to take care of my things...as most people do...and I cannot imagine this. Then they, along with others, were there all day Friday cleaning, banging and doing who knows what. I was in tears by the evening.

We had 2 deaths in our family last week so I have been pretty fragile. I do know I'm a short timer here and that's a HUGE blessing!  I'm working so hard on clearing out and organizing before the packing begins. It's amazing to see the things I haven't used and some I've actually forgotten about. These need to go to new homes and bless others.

My apologies for this post being a downer ~ it's just where things are right now. In the midst of all the chaos, I am still grateful! I have so many blessings and my heart and prayers are still with the folks in West, TX and all of those affected by the storms in OK.

I have completed a couple of projects that I will show you soon. I think that painting has begun a form of therapy for me...like cooking and baking. :)

Enjoy your days and be sure and tell your friends and loved ones how much you care. We only have this moment, right now!  Will check back in when I can.

Friday, May 24, 2013

~ Happy Memorial Day! ~


I hope that each of you have a wonderful, relaxing and safe weekend!  Remember the reason we are free ~ because of the brave.

Monday, May 20, 2013

~ Purging ~

I haven't started packing boxes yet...I'm still in the midst of decluttering, tossing and donating along with organizing what I plan to keep.

It's evident that I am a hoarder of:

- Pens, Pencils and Sharpie markers of any color
Office Supplies

- Ribbon & some wrapping paper
- Empty boxes to "maybe use to ship someday"

- A ton of craft supplies that I'm giving to a friend 
- Paint!

Don't ask me why ~ who knows?  Some days I've been exhausted with the process, other days I leave it alone. I do have to get it done though.  My daughter was on vacation last week and we ran around 3 or 4 days...shopping, looking, wishing, having lunch, you name it!  It was so much fun and a pleasant distraction.

I'm really dreading the storms forecast for our area this evening and tomorrow. They have been so violent all around us ~ scary stuff!  I was in a tornado when we lived in Amarillo and once is enough ~  My heart goes out to all that have been affected by them in the past week.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

~ Kind Gestures ~




"I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for someone's coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people do appreciate. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain, but the irony is that almost every time you make even a small kind gesture, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain."
~ Jonathan Carroll


P.S.   Lest you think that I'm constantly  being kind to all...I just remembered something that happened the other day.  My allergy Dr's office is in the back of this Dr's building.  I was leaving and this guy was going out in front of me. BOTH doors were slammed in my face!  I yelled at him...."Thank you so much for your kindness!  I really appreciate the "gentleman" that you are."  He glared at me.  It's extremely rare that this happens in this area ~ even most young boys/men will hold the doors for women.  Guess I've become spoiled to the Southern gentlemen!   :)


Sunday, May 5, 2013

~ I'd pick more daisies! ~





I'd Pick More Daisies
By 
Nadine Stair, age 85

If I had my life to live over,
I'd try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic.
I would take more chances, I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives
prophylactically and sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I have had my moments...
And if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another.
Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
I have been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a
raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things.
I'd travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hooky more. I wouldn't make such good grades
except by accident.
I would ride on merry-go-rounds.

I'd pick more daisies!


All photos from Pinterest


I hope you'll take the time to cherish the moments, laugh out loud, go to bed later, get up earlier and watch the sunrise, hug your loved ones, wear bright lipstick, skip instead of walk, play for awhile instead of work, have breakfast for dinner, call your best friend...no text or email!, let someone cut in line, take cookies to a shut-in, order a good friend a magazine but don't tell them it was you, visit someone in the hospital, buy sidewalk chalk and use it, choose a day to wake the kids up wearing your clothes inside out & backward,feed the birds, eat a banana split and please...pick more daisies!