Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Prayer After the Earthquake in Haiti....



A Prayer After the Earthquake in Haiti...

Lord, at times such as this,
when we realize that the ground beneath our feet
is not as solid as we imagined,
we plead for your mercy.





As the things we have built crumble about us,
we know too well how small we truly are
on this ever changing, ever moving,
fragile planet we call home
Do not forget us now.


Today, so many people are afraid.
They wait in fear of the next tremor,
They hear the cries of the injured amid the rubble.
They roam the streets with wails of grief
and the names of missing dead.

Comfort them, Lord, in this disaster.
Be their rock when the earth refuses to stand still.
And shelter them under your wings
when homes no longer exist.


Embrace in your arms
those who died so suddenly this day.
Console the hearts of those who mourn,
and ease the pain of bodies on the brink of death.


Pierce, too, our hearts with compassion,
we who watch from afar,
as the poorest on this side of the earth
find only misery upon misery.
Move us to act swiftly this day,
to give generously every day,
to work for justice always,
and to pray unceasingly for those without hope.


And once the shaking has ceased,
the images of destruction have stopped filling the news,
and our thoughts return to life's rumblings,
let us not forget that we are all your children
and they, our brothers and sisters.
We are all the work of your hands.

For though the mountains leave there place
and the hills be tossed to the ground,
your love shall never leave us,
and your promise of peace
will never be shaken.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Blessed be the name of the Lord,
now and forever. Amen
-Copyright 2010, Diana Macalintal. Permission is given to reprint for non-commercial use-

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An update on Charli......



An update on Charli....

The good news is that the swelling on Charli's face is subsided and the burn on her neck is healing nicely. I have kept her paws in gauze dressings which has helped. They are now off and she doesn't seem to be scratching any more.

The bad news is that this is the third night no one in our house hold has had any rest. Charli has worked her self up into quite a state and this morning we are having a windy day which isn't helping at all. For three days she has been pacing up and down the hall, hiding in the closet, under the bed, whimpering, bumping into walls, and falling off of furniture because she is half asleep. Night time is the worse! Once before, when she had gotten herself upset like this, we tried medication but it only seems to make matters worse. She is a highly anxious pup and this is usually something she has to work out on her own. We have no idea how long this latest episode will last. All we can do is hold her, sit by her, tell her we love her, and reassure her that she is OK. I took these pictures this morning and as you can see she is so tired that she is literally falling asleep on the chair.





The groomer did call me back yesterday and apparently one of her helpers groomed Charli. She said he has never had any problems in the past. She did offer to pay any medical expenses we might incur and also give Charli a free grooming next time she is due. I thought it was nice of her to offer but I still won't take Charli back there again. The one thing she did said that bothered me was, "Charli can never come here on a Saturday again. We are very busy and you know how she is." It was almost as if she were implying that it was Charli's fault that this happened, and not hers, or her staff. I don't know. I'm just glad Charli is on the mend and hopefully she will settle down soon.
Well, I'm falling asleep at my computer so I am going to sign off. I will slowly be making my way around to visit with all of you. Thank you again for all of your lovely comments, advice, and tips. I really do appreciated it.
Charli is sending hugs to all of you.
I hope you are having a bright and sunny day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Look what's happened to Charli!......




Look what's happened to Charli!


To say that I am upset and disappointed is to put it mildly. I think shocked would be a much better description of how I am feeling. Do you see that sweet little face? Look very closely. Do you see the swelling between her eyes? That is a blister and the outer edge of her entire eye is red! Charli is in a lot of pain! She didn't feel like posing so it was difficult to get pictures but I wanted all of you to see what happened to her. There are areas on her body that are shaved right down to the skin and other areas that have been left long so that her hair looks patchy and her skin looks bright pink in places.


As I said I had difficulty getting pictures but I wanted you to see Charli's neck. Do you see that red spot? That red spot is yet another blister!



I don't understand how this could have happened. I have been taking Charli to the same groomer since she was a tiny little puppy and nothing like this has ever happened before. Needless to say she will not be going back to that groomers again. I have tried contacting the groomer but all I was able to do is leave her a message telling her how upset and disappointed I am.
Charli is having a very difficult time right now because she wants to scratch. Every time she tries I have to tell her no and of course she doesn't understand. I am very concerned about secondary infections. I have had a total of three schnauzers through the years. They have all went to a groomers and I have never had anything like this happen before.
Have you ever had a bad experience with a groomer?
I don't think I can ever leave Charli at a groomers alone again! I am going to have to find one that will let me stay with her. I just wish my little Charli would start to feel better soon......
I hope all of you are having a good day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Alligator that almost became a Valentine!....


The Alligator that almost became a Valentine!

When my brother, sister, and I were growing up every year around this time we would come home from school to find supplies such as these sitting on our kitchen table. My brother was much older than us, but my sister and I would spend our winter evenings writing out Valentine's for our teachers and friends. We also made home made Valentine's for our family and one another. In those days we didn't have stickers, ribbon, foam art, or the internet like children have at they're disposal today, but never the less, through the years I think we made some very cute, rather funny, and pretty Valentine's ♥

While I was working at the hospital, before my retirement, some times the children from Saint Anne's would make Valentine's for our patients and the staff. I can't even begin to tell you how touched everyone would be to receive these little heart felt Valentine's cards.

It seems like the tradition of giving cards on holidays is becoming out dated like so many other wonderful things of the past. To me the giving and receiving of cards is such a beautiful way to express love and friendship.

Even though Valentine's Day is not an official saint's day my mother treated it as such. She sometimes even referred to it as Saint Valentine's Day instead of Valentine's Day. In our house the holiday was always considered a family affair. It was a special day to express love to one another. Every year we were given individual boxes of foiled heart candies from Sanders. Does anyone remember those sweet little boxes of candy? It is a tradition that I carried on with my own children for many, many years. My hubby and I still give cards and small boxes of candy to all of our grands and now great grands. Even Charli gets a little bag of treats.
I have written about Valentine's Day here on my blog before so I won't go into any further details here except to say that when my hubby and I got married forty four years ago we decided to make each other Valentine's cards and we have carried on that tradition for the most part all these years.

Last year one of you mentioned the following site in one of your posts as being a good site to get some great craft ideas for the holidays. I apologize for not remembering who it was that posed it, but on their recommendation I went to the site and have been receiving news letters ever since.
For Valentine's Day a down load of this charming little alligator was offered. I thought it would be just perfect to give my hubby for Valentine's Day. Isn't it darling! Can you just imagine my hubby coming home and finding one of these cute little critters on his plate? My plan was to tuck a little love note inside with some red foiled chocolate hearts.
http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/02/06/id-snap-at-the-chance-to-be-your-valentine/


The pattern for the alligator looked very easy and simple to make but as I have said before I am not a great crafter by any means. My first mistake was not printing it on green paper. I mean who ever heard of a white alligator! What was I thinking? Then I accidentally smeared glue all over one of the eyes so the poor thing looks like it has a cataract. As you can see the mouth area was a total disaster and by then I was so frustrated that I glued the feet on backwards.

So there you have it....
The alligator that almost became a valentine!



Now I have never been a quitter and since I have an idea of what I did wrong I just might try to make another one. But.... Shh..... What every you do please don't tell my hubby!

Do you like to send or make home made Valentine's cards for Valentine's Day? Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions that you would like to share? I would love to hear from you.

With warmest regards, Carol

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gratitude........


Gratitude......

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of the past,
brings peace for today,
and creates vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie-

Much has been said about gratitude and it's importance cannot be understated. The University of California did a research study on Gratitude and Thankfulness. I thought it was quite interesting so I decided I would share some of the highlights here.....
According to the study, people who are grateful are more optimistic, enthusiastic, vital, and determined. They report higher life satisfaction and are more energetic. Grateful people also have lower levels of stress and depression.
* Grateful people are more out going, helpful, and empathic towards others.
* Grateful people are more likely to attend religious services, engage in activities such as prayer, and believe "in the interconnectedness of all life".
* Grateful people are also more likely to share what possessions they have and are less envious of others.


There are many ways in which one can express gratitude. Some people go to elaborate extremes, while others write heartfelt notes. Some people pray. Still others express thanks verbally, with a hug, or even with the nod of they're head. I think one of the greatest expressions of gratitude that anyone could ever give another is simply a smile.
What do you think?



I hope all of you are having a great week ♥

Thank you for all of the sweet and kind comments you leave here.

With warmest regards, Carol

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Busy as a bee!.....



Busy as a bee!.....

Are you familiar with that old adage "busy as a bee"? Well, that's what it's been like in my world these past few weeks. It has been a whirl wind of activities and much busier than the most busiest of all holiday seasons! Much of it has been a lot of fun, some of it has been quite worrisome, and some of it has been down right sad. I am hoping that things will settle down by the weekend but then I think of one of my favorite quotes,
"Life is what happens when your busy making plans"
-John Lennon-
and I don't know. In the mean time I have been thinking about all of you and I've even stopped by to visit, although, in most cases I have not left any comments yet.
Thank you so much for your comments here. I will be coming back around to visit you in the next couple of days.
I hope all of you have a bright and sunny day!
"Woof, woof" "What's that Charli?" "Oh, OK."
Charli says she is sending all of you lot's of love ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Avatar.......


Avatar......

Recently my friend Cori and I went out to lunch and a movie. We were supposed to see Sherlock Holmes but then at the last minute Cori suggested we see Avatar instead because of all of the special effects and the fact that it was in 3D. I have to admit that Avatar is not a movie I would ever go to see on my own. In general I don't like action packed rooting tooting gun slinging movies of any kind. I find them to be very intense and science fiction is just to surreal for me.

I've also never really cared for 3D movies. Do you remember going to a 3D movie when you were a child and being given those little cardboard glasses to wear? Mine never seemed to fit right and I was constantly fiddling with them. Well that's not the case any more! Now your actually given a decent pair of glasses which definitely enhanced the whole 3D experience, at least for me. In fact, I'm actually looking even more forward than before to seeing 'Alice in wonderland' after viewing the previews in 3D.

After I had let out a couple of subtle screams, hid my face in my coat, nearly slid out of seat, and ducked once or twice I must say I really got into the movie. The story centers around another world called Pandora. An ex-marine is sent to a military base there, and through DNA, and something like out of body experiences, transforms himself into an Avatar. Scientists eager to learn about the culture follow his progress as the aliens (Avatar's) take him in and except him as one of they're own. The world of Pandora is portrayed as pristine, untouched, and beautiful. The aliens have a sort of naivety or innocence about them. I thought the visual effects were awesome! In addition to being a love story, Avatar is a story about heroism, and good verse evil. I won't tell you anymore about it in case you would like to see it yourself. I will say that it reminds me a little of 'The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe' in that the characters are transported into another world much different than they're own. I think the story line is some what similar to what occurred right here in our own country in regards to the pilgrims and Indians but with a much different out come.

Apparently the movie has stirred quite a bit of controversy. Some people are calling the movie "racist", others are saying it causes "lingering depression", while still others are saying it's "anti-military". It has been touted as a "mass psychic freak out." The Vatican has even spoken out against it. It is also being compared to 'Titanic' and there is talk of Oscar nominations.


In light of all of the controversy I am especially glad I was able to see it for myself. To me, at least, the controversy seems a bit excessive and extreme.
I thought Avatar was a great movie, as movies go, and I'm giving it a thumbs up.
What about you? Have you seen the movie?
I would love to hear your thoughts about it.
With warmest regards, Carol

Monday, January 11, 2010

Orange breakfast scones.....


Orange Breakfast scones.....

I don't know about you but I think January is one of the gloomiest months of the year? It always seems so drab and cold after all the holiday decorations have been taken down. However, I've learned through the years that it really doesn't have to be that way. How about adding a little comfort and whimsy to those dark and snowy days. My husband just loves it when I surprise him by making scones. Scones are very easy to make and they are delicious served warm with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Some of them are packed with fruit and they have the consistancy and taste of a biscuit cookie. I always like to to decorate my tea tray according to the season or holiday.


ORANGE BREAKFAST SCONES
(A recipe from Land o'Lakes Inc.)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
1/3 cup Land O Lakes Butter
1/2 cup Mandarin orange segments, chopped
1/2 cup sweetiened dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange juice or Mandarin orange liquid
1 tablespoon sugar to sprinkle on top

Heat oven to 400 degress. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and orange peel in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles cource crumbs. Stir in Mandarin oranges and cranberries.

Combine sour cream, egg, and orange juice in a small bowl. Beat with wire whisk until smooth. Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until well mixed.
Spread into a greased 9-inch cake pan. Sprinkle with one tablespoon sugar.
Bake for 28 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and scone is slightly browned. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cut into wedges.

I usually bake my scones in a glass pie dish. Instead of sprinkling the scone with sugar, you could instead, make a sugar glaze which would be equally delcious.

One day last year I was visiting my dear friend Judy at htp://justalittlesomethingforyou.blogspot.com/ She had written a wonderful post where she had cut tiny hearts out of butter. I thought they looked so pretty and delicate. I immediately went out and found some miniture cookie cutters of my own. For Christmas one of my tea tables featured the little angels shown above. Thank you Judy :>)


Of course Charli always loves these little scone and tea breaks we have. She is usually curled up by the fire on one of her fleece blankets just waiting for a little crumpet or two to come her way.
I hope all of you have a wonderful day!
If you are located in one of our snowy states I hope you are staying warm ♥
With warmest regards, Carol








Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Award!.... Thank you Kathy!.......


An Award! Thank you Kathy!


Recently I received this very awesome award from my dear bloggy friend Kathy at http://katshappyathome.blogspot.com/ She is one of the sweetest gals I know. Thank you so much Kathy! These darling little awards mean so much to me ♥ I am deeply touched when ever I receive one and I cherish them all. I just finished posting this one on my other blog, 'Friends of Charli and Me.' That blog is where I list most of my awards and all of my special friends. I hope you will stop by there to visit some time. I have some of the most amazing friends and pretty awards in all of blog land. If for some reason, some oversight on my part, your blog is not listed and you are a regular visitor here please let me know so I can add your blog to my list.
I would also like to offer this award to all of you who leave comments here. Please accept this heartfelt award from me. I truly enjoy visits from you. Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments you leave here.


Dear Kathy,
You deserve a great big hug just for being wonderful you!
Thanks!
With warmest regards, Carol

Friday, January 8, 2010

It snowed!.....


It Snowed!.....
"Announced by all the trumpets in the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hill and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-
We had the first real snow of the year last night and have approximately three inches on the ground. Charli has been in the window all day. There is just so much to see and do! She doesn't like to go outside but she loves to watch all of the activity going on in our neighborhood. We are glad she has something to keep herself busy because she has been kind of sulky since we cut down on the amount of treats we give her. In fact, she is down right mad at my husband. She won't come when he calls her, sit on his lap, or give him any hugs. It's almost like she is saying, "Your not my friend any more" LOL
We hope all of you are staying warm on this snowy winter day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol





Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Epiphany!........



Epiphany!.......

"Three men have come to the manger:
They have followed the star.
They adore the Child.
They prostrate themselves before him.
These three men are foreigners.
The God-Child comes for all!
His birth is good news for the whole earth!
IT IS EPIPHANY!
-Prayers for Feasts-

Epiphany in celebrated in many different ways in families, churches, and countries all over the world. Some people celebrate Epiphany by giving gifts and having family celebrations. Other families leave Christmas decorations up until the day after Epiphany marking the official end to the Christmas season. Still other families celebrate Epiphany by saying special prayers and blessing they're homes.
'Blessing the Doorways of the Home with Chalk'
20+C+M+B+10
"The numerals are those of the new year. The four crosses are the four seasons. C-M-B are the initials of the legendary names of the magi- Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar.
-Holy Name Parish-
The blessing of the doorways are followed with a prayer similar to this one:
"God of all time and space, with Christmas joy we praise you
for the year gone by
and for the year we have begun.
May this home we have made be filled with
kindness to one another, with hospitality to guests
and with abundant care for every stranger.
By the gentle light of a star guide all who
seek you on the paths of wonder, peace and charity.
Fill the year with good gifts for all the world as we
join with the angels in proclaiming your praise:
Glory in heaven, peace on earth, now and forever.
Amen"
-Holy Name Parish-
Some families also sing a Christmas Carol at this time like, 'We Three Kings of Orient Are.'

I don't ever remember hearing the term Epiphany when I was growing up. My mother always referred to it as 'little Christmas' which probably goes back to her Irish roots. We would usually put our tree up the weekend before Christmas and it was never taken down until the day after Epiphany. Even though my mother would tell us about 'Little Christmas' I don't think I ever really understood it until I got older. For me 'little Christmas' marked the end to the Christmas season. The day after Epiphany our home always seemed a little colder and bare. All of the remnants of Christmas would be gone. Our tree would be propped up outside in our back yard and after school we would decorate it with bread and sometimes popcorn. Then we would go into the house and watch as hundreds of birds converged on the tree. My mother would say they were having a little Christmas party of their own. The slightest noise would cause all of the birds to fly up into the sky like a dark cloud and then in a couple of minutes they would all be back again. I wanted to decorate the tree every day but we only did it once. Then on garbage day the tree would be gone and the cold days of January would set in.
I think I am going to start some new 'little Christmas' traditions of my own next year. After all it's never to late to start a new tradition. What about you? Do you have any special traditions you do with your family for Epiphany? I would love to hear from you.
I hope your day is blessed and beautiful in every way!
Happy Epiphany everyone ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another year is here and gone!.....



Another year is here and gone!......


"What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The New years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping in the night.
We hug the world until it stings
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year."
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox-


Some of the most important things I learned during my nursing career I have also found beneficial in my personal life. Since we are starting a New Year I thought I would share them again here.....
Never underestimate the power of prayer.
It's the little things that matter most.
Celebrate all of life's little moments.
Hug everyone you know at least once a day.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
It's OK to cry.
Always expect the unexpected.
There is humor in almost every situation.
Always keep a spare outfit in your car.
"Goodness is the only investment that never fails."


One of my New Year's resolutions this year is not to commit to certain days and posts here on my blog. I found that I sometimes missed posting things that I would have loved to share because of previous post commitments. If I had a particular busy week those weekly posts sometimes didn't seem as much fun as they should have been. In addition, there were some seasonal blog parties that I would have liked to join but unfortunately I didn't have the time. Now that is not to say that I will never participate in my favorite weekly blogs again but I found committing to certain days on a regular basis has been some what limiting, at least for me. With that said, I would like to thank everyone who joined me for Tea and Friendship Tuesday's and also thank everyone who stopped by here on Tuesday's and left such lovely comments.

My hubby and I have been busy taking down our Christmas decorations and getting our house back in order.
Charli has gained a pound and a half since Thanksgiving bringing her to a whopping eleven and a half pounds! I think everyone in our family must have been sneaking her treats during the holidays. I'm not even going to mention my weight. All I have to say is I think the time has come for us both to get back on some type of an exercise program.



"You've got to be kidding. NO! NO! Not again!"
"Oh come on Charli. We can do it."
"Speak for yourself! I just want to go take a nap."








"Oh brother! We go through this every year! It's just a good think she never sticks with it."
"What was that you said Charli?"
"I said I'm walking Grammy. I'm walking"



How about you? Do you make New Year's resolutions and keep them or are you more like me? Every year I start out with the best intentions but some where down the line they fall to the way side. I'll keep you posted on how this year's resolutions go:>)
Happy New Year everyone!
With warmest regards, Carol

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