What if Everyday Was New Year's Day?

aceo paper collage newendstudio
Another twelve months spent as the sands of time run between our fingers.  Did we reach for the stars with the help of a step ladder?  Is a try as good as a win?  The To Do List gets longer, not shorter. But isn't that the way it should be?  

Are we wiser and not just older?  Are we happier or better by savoring contentment?  Have we reached any of our goals?

What if everyday was New Year's Day?  It's the day after the party, after the expectations and the list making.  Resolution and forward thinking plus planning finds its way into the week after Christmas and before the long weeks of winter and hibernation ensue. 

What if everyday was the day commitments were begun?  What if all day long, it being New Year's Day each and every day, the promise to ourselves took the best seat in the house.  

Every day we get a chance to start our Second Act.  Our New Year's is not inscribed in stone, not yet.

I was looking through my photos (the ones the computer didn't lose for the third time) and saw this one of my aceo, Second Acts.

2013 was to be the end of one era for me and 2014 to be the Second Act so to speak.  But, as things happen, I'm still going to be in a 2013 state of being for the foreseeable future.  2014 living will be my New Year's Day whichever day it falls on in the new year.  

I said this last year , and it's worth repeating:

"Thank you for bringing laughter, wisdom, and heartfelt tears."  
Let's renew and continue to meet again in the New Year..."

All the best to you in 2014 and may your plans be well played out for you and those you love.  See you soon...

Christmas Wishes

Merry Christmas Friends,

Christmas decorations

Bells will be ringing

Candles and angels both shining bright...

Singing, "Peace on Earth"

The Prince of Peace,

Your Christmas Gift is here!

Waiting for Santa
Little ones hoping to see Santa when he slides down the chimney

fall asleep in the cozy fire's glow with snack in hand and sweet dreams to entertain.

Christmas cupcake waits on the mantel for a quick snack, but- will it still be there on Christmas morning?

ornaments on tree

Wishing all of you the 
Best of Christmas Gifts,

Peace, Love, Good Health, 
Friendship, Purpose, & Prosperity

For this Christmas and the New Year! 

Christmas 2013

Happy Christmas and See You Soon...

Meet Chico the Welsh Donkey who Walked 1000 Miles Around Wales with Hannah Engelkamp, He's The Seaside Donkey

"ETA:   With Christmas a few days from now I thought it time to post about donkeys. What's the Christmas connection?  Thinking over the Bible passages with donkeys: as transport for Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem; when the family left with new baby Jesus and used a donkey to carry Mary and Child;  Palm Sunday with Jesus riding into the city atop a donkey; finally, the talking donkey in Numbers:22 in the Old Testament.  There may be other stories, but these first come to mind. The humble and unspectacular donkey is a star, a story focus, a beast of burden, a purposeful spirit, and a cantankerous companion."  

My only experience with a mule, or is it a donkey, was a "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" birthday game from when I was very young.  (I'm not ancient yet.  Is that game still around?)

•Catrin Edwards, Cara Bastin and Kaylyn Dalton meet Chico.
Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review newspaper article and image.
For the past few months I've been entertained, entranced, and gotten a little misty eyed reading Seaside Donkey, 1000 Miles Around Wales, With a Donkey.  The writer just finished her walk around the coastline of Wales with, "Chico."  

I'm telling you about Hannah (the writer and adventuress) in case you may like to visit her blog and get caught up in this story.  I'm impressed with her gumption for setting out to do something like this.  You can find links to newspaper coverage of her walk here.

The walk was not without it's problems.  Besides the weather (Wales can be very rainy) there was relationship building between woman and donkey.

Time on the road, the fields, the shoreline and more was about 5 and 1/2 months.  My feet hurt just thinking about that.

The Kickstarter project she has set up and needs backing for can be read about here.  A book, movie, and more are in the works- looks like a lot of fun.  I hope she gets all the pledges needed.  The cut off for pledges is January 29, 2014.  If I had the opportunity I would go on the walk she is offering. Chico's big eyes just call out for attention.  Of course, he has Flo now, so he's not entirely lonely.

Congratulations to Hannah, Chico, and those who gave a hand along the walk.    


Moving Across the Historic Highway Coast to Coast on Historic Lincoln Highway

The beginning of the Lincoln Highway, in Times Square, New York.
Image: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times.
The eastern terminus for Lincoln Highway is in Times Square
and the western terminus is in Lincoln Park, San Francisco.
Before there was Route 80, before Route 50, there was Lincoln Highway, the nation's first paved coast to coast road. Construction started in 1913.  It took more than a decade of hard work to build and navigate the 3,000 plus miles in all kinds of weather.

Standing in Times Square, I'd never foreseen that I'd be driving on Lincoln Way years later, nor thought about it when visiting family in San Francisco; didn't know of it's historical importance.

You could say the road was built on enthusiasm and a bright idea.  It was intended to be a toll-free road, the most direct route from New York  to California, and built by business people and not by the government.   An interesting look at the history of the road and how it came to be is here.  

Gas stations had to be built, guides, motels, diners, and more were needed to serve the people and their vehicles.  Early road goers had to make do with campsites and the best they could hope to cover on the road was about 18 miles per day with the cars available.  I have an image from Grapes of Wrath when I think of car travel in the 1920's and 30's.

US30 Historic Lincoln Highway
Driving down the hill on Lincoln Way before it crosses over the river.
Christmas lights makes downtown look cheerful on a rainy evening.

I drive on Lincoln Way often. Surviving over 100 years and being a gateway from ocean to ocean, it's a piece of our past which can still be appreciated today.

If you ever do a coast to coast and find yourself on Lincoln Highway, (also called US 30) get in touch for a cup of tea and a chat.

Have you ever travelled on this historic road?

If you want to read more about it:   Lincoln Highway News  is a blog about it and for Ohio interests Discovering Ohio names some of the places you can visit, like the Kewpee Diner, First Ladies National Library, and more.

A Pinch of This and a Pinch of That Christmas Colored Cake with Jello

Ever need an easy dessert for the holidays, maybe a cake that's not completely plain and need it fast? How about jazzing up a boxed cake mix with a red and green theme?

Take a Pound Cake Mix and after preparing the batter, divide it into three portions - make them as equal or unequal as you like.

I added one small box of Lime Jello to one portion, squirted some Red Food Coloring into another portion, left the basic batter plain and then layered each into the loaf pan.  I swirled them a bit to make the irregular design.

You could use Cherry or Strawberry Jello and Green Food Coloring to switch it up.  A layer cake or sheet cake would also work instead of a pound cake.

Add some whipped cream and you have a quick and easy treat.

I don't remember where I got the little Christmas teapot from, but since tea is my main drink, this ornament makes me smile.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy...

Tree Trimming Helper

dog in Christmas hat and antlers
I was okay with the garland as necklace, but
 I DO NOT like the x*#! hat and antlers!

I couldn't resist.  She pulled the antlers off twice, but then she let me get a few snaps of her.  I will say that she enjoyed the necklace (beaded garland) and walked around the house wearing it, no problems with the jewelry diva in her.
But, when I put the antlers on, that was a different story.

Lucy, my tree trimming helper:

dog with antlers
Look into my eyes... this will be the last time I wear antlers for you!
antlers on dog
The indignity of this getup!  I will get you for this...

Stretching Dollars and Charming the Grinch

tutorial to make thrifty wreaths
That Grinch song is playing on the radio and it's so darn catchy.  I know a few people who are real grinches, and not just at Christmastime but all the year long.  They have no interest in celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or any significant milestone or achievement.  They live for themselves.  They are miserly with their time; they are stingy with their words; they are selfish and satisfy only their own needs and wants.
Do you know any grinches?

tutorial for stretching dollars with wreath making
I wanted to put wreaths on the windows, but with packing and decluttering and trying not to spend on more stuff- I set out to see how cheaply I could make 6 cheery wreaths.

At a dollar store I bought one package of wired garland, which was 15 feet for $1.00.  Plus I bought some curling ribbon $1.00 for each roll and 2 packages of red glittered bows with loops for $1.00 each (6 bows in total.)

I cut the garland to size and just connected the cut ends by wrapping one end to the other.  I put the bow loop over one of the cut ends before wrapping it closed. Then I just put the ribbon around the circle, over and under- simple.  It still was a little skimpy so I put curling ribbon on three places on the big wreath and on the bottom on the smaller wreaths.  I took a card someone had sent, cut it down with patterned scissors and hung it from the bow.


That's my wish for you and to the Grinches in this world. I hope the holidays don't overwhelm you. Don't let the hub-bub, the crowds, traffic, and all that there is to do- take your joy.