Sunday, December 30, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Happy New Year!

January is ushered in with celebration and glee
We invite the New Year in as we watch the old one flee
The New Year is a calendar blank, full of endless possibility
Three hundred and sixty-five new mornings and evenings, fifty-two fresh weeks
Four new seasons to cherish, spring time’s new life, summers lazy days, autumns blazing colors, and winters cold and bleak
Twelve months of holidays and ample opportunity for memories to be made
Each square is fresh, blank, and free, all in a row, neatly laid
Just waiting to be wisely used by you and by me
From wishing away our seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years we must flee
Remember that today is the tomorrow you wished for yesterday
Each day is God’s gift to us with ample time to work and rest and play
We should usher in each day for the gift it is with mercies tender and new
Arising at the start of each asking the Father what to do
And how we spend our time and what pursuits to seek
What we should let go of and what we should keep
We think the time is ours to spend so fully and so freely
When it is all the time we are given is God’s time really
Everyday we have a choice as we stand at the crossroads and look for the ancient paths of old
Asking where the good way is, walking in it, and finding rest for our soul
We cannot see what is coming, we can only look behind
Asking our Father to bless us and to help us to redeem the rest of our time
So have a blessed New Year and may this little rhyme
Remind you of the gift you have in where, when, how, and in whom you invest your time!


May you each be richly blessed in the coming New Year,

Miss Sandy

Friday, December 28, 2007

Laughter Is The Best Medicine.....

The envelope I held in my hand was post marked December 13 and yet it was still unopened. I knew what it held and I chose to do my best Scarlett O'Hara imitation and ignore the unpleasantness that it contained, at least until after Christmas. I knew it contained yet another questionnaire, not the kind you find in a magazine or one of those quirky web quizs, like What kind of biscuit are you, home made or canned, type thing. This quiz would ask me all kinds of questions I was tired of filling out and getting no answers to in return. It was from the office of yet another specialist, one of the next two I will pay a visit to in the coming weeks. I am frustrated that there is no answer, yet I fear the answer all the same.

Tossing the cover sheets aside to read through after filling in the blanks I heaved a huge sigh and picked up my pen and began to make check marks down the pages. That unpleasant task finished I picked up the tossed aside pages and began to read all the requirements before my upcoming visit. I skipped across all the personal information already filled in at the top of the page and read all the areas that were highlighted with the most pertinent instructions. As I was about to refold the pages and return them to their envelope, my date of birth caught my eye. I blinked and blinked again and sure enough the date was typed in wrong but it was not the date that stunned me, it was the age I was listed at. Incredibly, I was listed as being 101 years old! For some reason I found this totally funny and began to laugh and laugh and laugh.

I wondered if the office wondered why I was even bothering to find out what was wrong with me as I had already lived to the ripe old age of 101 and it probably didn't matter what the results would be as my days were surely numbered. I could just hear the office buzz about seeing a patient of that age and being wowed when I walked in instead. I thought about calling them and telling them about the error but I decided I will have a little fun with this instead.

After all the laughter I am feeling suddenly better, lighter, and certainly younger! Laughter truly is the best medicine. It really does not matter so much what the results reveal, it will be what it is and I will do what I have always done, persevere. I will follow the advice of the Apostle Paul, be content in my circumstances, whether I abase or abound, therein I will be content. I will cling to the Serenity Prayer, to change what I can and to accept that which I cannot change. I will choose to cling to hope for better and brighter days without uncertainty. I will waltz into those appointments as no 101 year old woman has ever done and I will be mischievous and have fun and I will take my medicine, a hefty dose of laughter and I will feel better.

I prescribe viewing the following video for today's dose of laughter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tl2qGWvPdc

Wishing you all health, happiness, and a hefty dose of laughter,
Miss Sandy

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas.....

"Joy to the world,
The Lord is come,
Let earth receive her King!"
I’ve often thought of the Christmas story from Mary and Joseph’s point of view, as a parent with the awesome responsibility of raising a child. I’ve thought about how they must have felt an even greater burden knowing that they had been entrusted with not just any child, but the Son of God. My thoughts have run along these lines because I am a parent and I have some insight into the enormity of the task of raising children. This is a common bond I have felt with Mary and Joseph.

I have not, however, given much thought to the Wise Men or Shepherds points of view until I became a grandparent. I had an experience, which I am sure must have been akin to what Wise Men and Shepherds must have felt when they first saw the new born baby Jesus.

Biblical prophecy pointed to the coming of a Messiah and His arrival was long awaited and anticipated. When I found out that I was going to be a grandparent an anticipation and excitement built as each day passed and the time of the long awaited baby would arrive. Scripture says that there is a time and a season for every purpose under the heavens and in both cases the long awaited time had arrived.

When the time finally came, the Shepherds received notice from an angel and the Wise Men followed a star, and we got a simple phone call. We each had the same reaction, to go and see the new born babe. My family and I rushed to the hospital and waited anxiously. At last my son stepped through the waiting room door and announced that our grandson had made his appearance. Mother and son were doing fine and we would all be allowed to see the baby soon, more waiting! Can you imagine the anticipation and wait the Shepherd’s had? I am sure that they had to herd their sheep along with them as they journeyed towards the stable where Jesus lay. What about the Wise Men who traveled from far off lands bearing gifts for the Christ child? Don’t you imagine that their pace seemed far too slow? I imagine that they could hardly stand the wait.

When we were finally allowed to enter the birthing room, both sets of grandparents, one set of great grandparents, and an aunt followed the father into the dim room. We entered in single file and stood a good three feet in a semi-circle around the foot of the bed and no one spoke a word. My son stood at his wife’s bedside and had a soft smile on his face as he looked at mother and child. We all stood in what had to have been an absolute holy hush gazing at the miracle before us in total silence, reverence, and awe.

Mother and child were propped up on pillows. The only light in the room came from a dim wall light behind them and encircled them with a soft glow. The tiny baby was swaddled in a blanket and snuggled in the crook of his mothers arm. His eyes were wide open and he moved his tiny head in our direction as we filed in and he seemed to look right at us. He seemed to look so wise and alert, being so fresh and new from God, perhaps he was. No one moved forward and silence blanketed the room as we drank in our fill of each little facial feature, the bright alert eyes, the little rose bud of a mouth, and the little button nose. We were finally able to see and with our own eyes what we had anticipated and imagined for all those months prior to his birth.

The Wise Men and Shepherds must have felt to the same way when they first beheld the baby Jesus. I can imagine Mary propped up in the straw with the Messiah swaddled and cradled in the crook of her arm, a soft glow of light from perhaps a candle or lantern illumining them as Joseph stood by their side smiling. The visitors file into the stable and an absolute holy hush falls upon them all as they gaze at the long awaited Savior. They too were finally able to see with their own eyes what prophecy had foretold, the birth of Jesus. I imagine a prayer formed in their hearts as their eyes took in the scene before them.

I remember thinking to myself, “So this is what you look like little one.” And a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness rose up in my heart. I am sure the manger visitors felt the same only on a more grand scale. My little grandson is a miracle indeed. Scripture says that he is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God but the baby that the Wise Men and Shepherds beheld was even more of a miracle. He was no ordinary baby, he was God’s one and only Son who chose to leave heaven and dwell among men. He chose to come so that we might live. His Christmas gift to us is eternal life.

After this experience, I can better see another point of view in the Christmas story. The gift of life is a precious gift indeed. It is not meant to be taken lightly or squandered away. It is meant to be enjoyed and lived fully without regret. It is meant to be lived with gratitude and thankfulness. It is meant to be lived as the Wise Men and Shepherd’s lived it, following after, seeking out, finding, and worshiping the King.

There is saying that says, “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” I can think of no better way to spend the gift of life than to keep a fixed gaze upon Jesus, to keep a renewed sense of awe and wonder at what He has given for my good, and to tuck the message of the manger into my heart with thankfulness and gratitude at another life lesson that God has given me.
Merry Christmas and warmest wishes from me to you! May your heart be merry, your joy be full, and your day be blessed. I pray you will each experience afresh and anew the true meaning and miracle that is Christmas - celebrating Christ's birth.

God's Best Blessings to You and Your Family,

Miss Sandy

Monday, December 24, 2007

The 50th Post Give Away Winner Is.....

Dear readers, as previously promised here is a view of the mini holiday album I am giving away in celebration of my 50Th post. The album cover, front and back views:
A couple of the page layouts: The double sided pull out journal tags: At last count between the 50Th post comments and the ones from What I Love About My Holiday Home there were, can you believe this, 50 comments! And the winner is: # 37 - Vicki Page! Congratulations Vicki, email me your address and I will get your prize in the mail!

Thank you all for all your kind support of this blog. I have so enjoyed getting to know you all. I hope each of you has a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Merry Christmas,
Miss Sandy

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Christ"miss" Adventure.....


Now I have mentioned before that I can be a little absent minded. My mama always said, "Bound for you, if your head wasn't screwed on you'd forget it!" This was always said in frustration because I was always forgetting or misplacing something, usually something important, then a search would ensue for the missing item. Well that is exactly what happened to me a couple of years ago at about this time.

I was raised as a proper Southern Belle, you never, ever, ever left the house without looking your best. So, this being ingrained in me from a very early age.....
(Note the spiffy parasol purse,no true Southern Belle would be without one. Decked out in black patten leather shoes, white gloves, ruffled hat, and wool over coat, and of course the ever present lace and ruffles on dress and socks! )
I got ready to go into town to do some Christmas shopping. I made my list, checked it twice, I plotted my route, planned to stick to my budget, get in, get out, and get home in one fell swoop. Off I merrily tripped to one of those super stores with list in hand, smile on face, and a carol floating in my head. I got through the store with no mishaps, with only the items on my list, budget still in tact, ready to head to my next destination. I even managed to experience a mini miracle, no one was in line in lane number 3 but me!

I happily grabbed my packages and trotted out the big double sliding doors and headed down the sidewalk toward my car......
I was in my own little world thinking that this may be a really great day if all my stops went this well as I approach the parking area. I am going along at a pretty fast clip when I stopped mid stride, my jaw and my packages dropped at the same time my astonished eyes took in the scene before me. Right where I left my car was an empty parking space! I was really confused and befuddled for a moment, where was my car?
I whipped around and scanned the lot for the security patrol, got honked at by an impatient driver and motioned to get out of the way as I was standing in the middle of the driving lane, and lost one of my shoes in my scurry to keep from getting run over. I was fine, my shoe got ran over! All I could think about was that my car had been stolen. I retrieved my smashed shoe and stood there like My Son John, one shoe off and one shoe on, thinking that I must surely be mistaken. Why would someone steal my car? OK, it was a cool car, but why mine out of all the hundreds of cars in lot?

I must have looked kind of pitiful and very un-belle like standing there with my mouth gaping open, packages scattered at my feet, one shoe in my hand, and eyes as big as saucers staring at an empty parking space because a lady in an SUV parked next to the empty space got out and came to see if she could be of assistance. I stammered that my car had been stolen.
She said we'd better report it and was I sure this is where I had parked. I kind of got a bit indignant and said it most certainly was. I saw the parking lot security patrolman heading our way one isle over. I thanked her for her offer but I'd just cut across the isle and flag down security and get it reported. I picked up my packages and wobbled diagonally through the parked cars, intent on my destination, waving my packages and calling out to get his attention (and that of every by passer in the lot!) and irritated that my perfect day had gone south, when I got another shock. Right there in front of me was my car! I whipped back around looking forlorn and confused from one isle to the other, ( I probably looked like I watching a tennis match my head swiveled back and forth so many times!), and sure enough it was just as my mama always said, "If it wasn't attached, I'd loose it!"

By this time I had gathered an audience, as Miss SUV had told everyone who passed that my car had been stolen and when I whipped back around I noticed I had a little entourage trooping after me, just glad there was not a paparazzi in the bunch!.....
(OK, so the guy in the corner has a camera, I can just see it now, film at 11:00 - Ditzy Belle! Have we got a story to tell.....) They are all staring, murmuring, and pointing. I am wobbling, waving, and then wavering as to what I should do next when security stops. He asks if he can help me and I grope for an answer, I stammer, "Uh, Um, Uh, I just wanted to...... wish you a Merry Christmas!" I blurted out as I smiled my sweetest most innocent smile. He looked at me like I was one fruit shy of a cake, shook his head, and drove away.

Miss SUV said, "Aren't you going to report your car?" Redder than Rudolph's nose I sheepishly reply, "No," pointing at my car, " I found it, I forgot where I parked," My whole little troop of on lookers laughed as Miss SUV came over and gave me hug and said, "Don't worry about it shug-ah, I've done it before myself." The crowd dispersed with murmuring comments as I packed my trunk full of purchases and did what every good Southern Belle does, I went into Miss Scarlett mode. I straightened myself as well as I was able to on one shoe, lifted my head in that southern proud sort of way, even though I was utterly dying of embarrassment, and I thought to myself, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow." I got into my car and drove straight home, retrieved another pair of shoes, wasn't thinking clearly at the time so I missed out on a shoe shopping opportunity, and headed back to town. This time EVERY time I got out of the car I studied the area to make sure I KNEW where I was parked.

I am sad to say that with me history is bound to repeat itself. Just last week I used one of those big red concrete balls in front of a certain store as a landmark as the isles are not numbered, did you know that there is more than one of those big red balls in front of the store, in fact there is a whole row of them?

Christmas Laughter,
Miss Sandy

P.S. If you missed out on the first two adventures, you can read them here and here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Giving and Receiving.....

"Be merry all, be merry all,
With holly dress the festive hall;
Prepare the song, the feast, the ball,
To welcome merry Christmas."


W. R. Spencer - They Joys of Christmas
Today I am enjoying a sick day. Well, let me rephrase that, I don't enjoy being sick but I choose to find joy in my day despite my circumstances. I watched a favorite decorating show and a movie during which I was able to create a scarf on my small hand loom. I just have to add the fringe and this gift will be complete with just one more to go......
I have enjoyed cuddling with my little sidekick, Sophie. She is our little dog and when you feel bad she is extremely sensitive and sticks by your side like glue. On such a cold day I welcome her warmth and care.....I have enjoyed sitting in my living room on such a gloomy day with all my Christmas lights glowing, sipping hot tea, and being warmed by a cozy fire. I enjoyed my husband coming home for lunch to check on me, so sweet! And now I am enjoying some blog time. So, I guess I am enjoying my sick day!

I received another bit of joy over the weekend as I received a sweet tag that I won over at Creative Chaos.....
I also received swap goodies from Kris over at Blissful Elements. I was wowed by her generosity, here is what she sent.....
This beautiful embroidered linen tea towel which looks great in my kitchen.....
This set of sweet little snowmen with their "warm winter wishes" message.....
This awesome two sided soldered necklace, a cute little Christmas bird and Santa......

This yummy glittery cupcake ornament......
Kris made these the two vintage style ornaments below with some of her wonderful vintage graphics.....Everything came packaged in one of her vintage sewing machine drawers.....
AND she gave me that great Christmas Banner at the top of my blog! I am so overwhelmed by her generosity and adore it all. Thank you, Kris, for this wonderful swap!

Here is what I sent her.....
I made this stocking from some pink and white silk. The cuff is the end of an embroidered dresser scarf. The bow is made from the same silk and embellished with some old lace and a button. The "K" is a ninety nine cent ornament from Target and the dangling embellishment with velvet bow is an ornament I picked up for half price at a local hobby store. A stocking must come filled with goodies, hers held an aromatic soy votive candle in the toe, a package each of gourmet cocoa, tea, and coffee, with a tiny decorative spoon to stir them. It also included a gourmet piece of chocolate and some bath salts, and a current issue of Country Living magazine, all of which were given with the thought of squeezing in a little relaxation time during the busy holiday season.
This little tree is a Charlotte Lyons inspired creation made from cotton batting and embellished with vintage buttons, sequins, pearls, glitter, and a tiny golden angel on top.
The gift bags and tags were embellished with little snowmen made from cotton batting, felt mittens on silver tinsel arms, crochet hats and scarves, sequins, glitter, jingle bells, and iridescent stars. Their faces are painted and cheeks shaded with pink chalk.
I also tucked in a snowman ornament made from cotton batting and scarf that I made on a small round hand loom.

I have been filling my time this past week or so doing some crafting of gifts. I wanted to send out a little joy so I made this little gift for Cindy over at Cindy is Crafty..... Cindy sent me one of her wonderful creations so I sent her a thank you gift in return. The mittens are made from an old sweater and embellished with painted berries, glittered leaves, and red velvet ribbon. I was inspired to make these by Dawn's tutorial over at The Feathered Nest. The little tin is a coffee tin that I decorated with cotton batting, fabric scraps, buttons, and some embroidery. I left the interior unlined so it could be used to tuck little homemade sweet treat inside.

I finished my Christmas cards and got them in the mail at the end of last week.....

I bought the cards in a small pack 8 for $1.00 and altered them by using some card stock, wrapping paper, brads, glittered tags, ribbon, silver ink pad, and snowflake stamp. They were very fast and easy.

I also put together a little surprise gift for someone out there in blog land. It will wing its way to its recipient as soon as I can get it to the post office. It, like Lillie Belle,
the paper doll I made for Pinkie D ,comes with a little story.
Here it is....( Mrs. Twitter, pictured below, is made from an old sweater, vintage lace, and muslin. She is embellised with a tiny button on her lacy little wing.)Mrs. Twitter was so excited, today was moving day. She had summered in the thick bramble behind Quill Cottage and was ready for a change of scenery. She sighed as she thought of her skillfully woven nest among the honeysuckle vine where she had had the sweet scent of fresh flowers wafting around her all summer. It was time to move on and her new location sounded heavenly. She would be relocating to ____?____.

Some of her friends decided to give her a going away party and since it was being held at the end of the summer season they decided to call it a Harvest Party. The invitations were sent out and the date was set for Friday, September 1, 1882.
Mrs. Twitter was very touched by this but also sent her into quite a flutter as most women are when thinking about what to wear to a party. This was a bit different because she would be the special guest of honor. So she sent off to the milliners for some supplies to liven up her chapeau for the occasion. This was a gift left to her by little Autumn earlier in the Season. She ordered a bit of lace, some frilly yarns, a silk rosette flower, and a half nutshell full of buttons which arrived all wrapped up in pretty green tulle and tied with a rich chocolate brown twine.

She set about using her weaving skills to create a confection quite unlike anything ever seen in the Bramble community. She had decided that when she left the Bramble she was going to travel lightly and only take her new chapeau and handbag that little Autumn had left her, and of course her comfy nest. Having dispersed with all her other possessions all that was left was to say goodbye to her friends. The Harvest party was a great success and Mrs. Twitter was showered with gifts. She was presented with a set of decorative letters and a bouquet of white flowers tied together with a bit of yarn. She intended to dry and save them as a keepsake. Squirrel Nutkin was the first to step up and offered her two little velvet acorns to use as pillows in her nest and he added a real one should she need a snack along her long journey to ___?___.

Next, came her three best friends, Jenny Jay, Millie Mourning Dove, and Ruby Woodpecker. They each gave a quill so that she would have plenty for writing letters back to them and each would remind her of them, as if she would forget. Old Crow brought her a shiny metal object and told her it could be used as a fancy headboard for her nest, that it would indeed be quite beautiful. Mrs. Twitter was especially touched as Old Crow could be a cranky old fellow and one never knew if he truly liked you or not. The butterflies and moths used pollen and mud to stamp two lovely wall hangings to remind her of the plant life surrounding her former home and they each dipped their wings and imprinted them also, with many signing well wishes around the border.

Although little Autumn could not attend, she left a tiny framed photo of herself to be remembered by and the two little Nuthatch twins brought her some leaves of bronze, copper, and gold. She thought she might make these into sconces for her new home. Last, but not least, Katie Cardinal gave her a twig with some lovely moss and leaves from the tree that had sheltered her home. Mrs. Twitter was so touched that she had a very hard time saying goodbye to such sweet and special friends. They all helped her carry her gifts home and she suddenly realized that she had made no arrangements to have things shipped as she had planned to travel lightly with only what she could carry. She was sad at the thought of having to leave behind her precious gifts but there was no need to worry for the paper wasps which lived under the eve of Quill Cottage had been busy at work creating for her a wonderful paper box in which she and all her goods could ride comfortably to ___?___. The hens from across the road even brought her a burlap carpet, which had been cut from one of their feed sacks, to cushion the bottom of the box. The paper wasps had also woven her a cunning little blanket with a feather design upon it in case she got cold.

She thanked them all as they proceeded to help her arrange her goods for travel. Goodbyes were said and a few tears shed as she was sent on her way. Mrs. Twitter knew she would never forget those she left behind but looked forward to new adventures at ___?___.

And lastly I am contemplating what to give away in my next post, which will be my 50Th! Anyone who commented on the What I Love About My Holiday Home Post is automatically signed up and I will add those who sign up on the 50Th post to the list.

I pray your joy may be as full as mine is this day.

Blessings,

Miss Sandy
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