Thursday, November 24, 2011


It’s not that I don’t have plenty to be thankful for, I guess it just becomes more apparent this time of year.  
I found myself complaining (hopefully to myself and not others) I never felt like I got my fill of summer.

Having grown up in Southern California, I always loved the heat.  Even though I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for the past 22 years, it seems like there were always distinct seasons... until this year.  

Sure, there were a couple of days in the 80s, but my measurement of what kind of summer I’ve had comes in the form of how many times I’ve watered the lawn and my rose garden, and whether or not I’ve turned on the fan/air conditioning system we have.  

Sadly, not only have I not watered the lawn at all, nor have I turned on any fans, I just noticed today that the Styrofoam protector to keep the pipes from freezing is still on one of the faucets from last year!  And the only reason I watered my rose garden once or twice was to soften the soil so I could weed the beds.

I started thinking... how is it that I can feel so young and so vibrant, but I have outlived all of my relatives except for my children and a couple of nieces?  Does that make me the matriarch now?  Gulp!

Then I remembered that my oldest son and his wife will be having their first child in April.  My other son lives a few miles from me so we can visit often.  And my daughter is getting married next June.  I have a second daughter and will soon have a third son.  I will be a grandma for the very first time.  I already have a wonderful mother-in-law buddy because of my son’s wife, as well as her sister and a son and daughter.  And now I’ll be getting two more in-law buddies next June.

And I am blessed to have the most wonderful man in my life.  He is my best friend, my mentor, my sweetheart.  He shared his incredible mom with me soon after we started dating.  Add to that a brother and his wife and family, and a sister and her husband and family.  And the icing on the cake are his two wonderful daughters.  One has a great husband, two little boys and a baby boy.  The other has a very special man in her life.

You see, sometimes we take for granted those things that should be so obvious.  I don’t care if it isn’t hot and sunny all the time; I really don’t care if it rains most of the time.  Well, I try not to care about the rain... but living here and enjoying the lush greenery year-round and the wildlife certainly makes it all worthwhile.

What a perfect day to think remember how blessed I am and truly be thankful for what I have.
I hope you take the time today to count your blessings as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Please realize this blog isn’t “anti” anything.  Quite the opposite, it’s “pro”.


This was shared on Facebook by Heart Vintage Design, a store in Mount Dora, Florida (a self-proclaimed purveyor of quality vintage items).   I think it’s very worthy of being shared again and again.



As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods – merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.  This year should be different.  This year Americans need to give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans.  There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.  Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people.  Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese-produced wrapping paper?

Everyone – yes, EVERYONE – gets their hair cut.  How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership?  It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.  And for those special furry critters – what about pet groomers?

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed?  Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen?  Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants – all offering gift certificates.  And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint?  Remember folks, this isn't about big National chains – this is about supporting your hometown Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom?  Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

Okay, you were looking for something more personal...  Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves.  They make jewelry and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.  

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.  And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.  

Honestly people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese made lights for the house?  When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community.  If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.  Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.  And when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

May it be your tradition as well.