With all the stress, loss, loneliness, and changes to our “normal” routines 2020 has delivered, sometimes the thought of “moving” to the town of Hallmark sounds appealing. An escape where only happiness and love abound. At times, though, some of the movies are just a bit too predictable and perfect for even me. Still, if you’re in need of a deluge of joy, the Hallmark channel won’t disappoint. And I hope my little piece of happy Hallmark writing below brings a smile and a positive start to your week…
How heavenly to have home in Hallmark. A huge, humble harvest of happiness. The “happy” hyperbole hurries a headache. However, hear the harmony, harness the hope, humility, hospitality, and huggable humanity. The hummingbird’s hum is a highlight. Holiday honey, hazelnut, and Havarti heighten the hunger in the household. It’s happening! Heed the harmonious and heartwarming high spirits!!!!
Wishing you an abundance of happiness this week and a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! ~Lauren 🧡💗😊🍁🍂
I hope you enjoyed these snippets of my appreciation, and know that I appreciate all of you who continue to pop in and read what’s been on my mind. The last couple of weeks have been tough in some ways, but today is a new day. I hope you’re doing well and wish you a wonderful week.
Is there a challenge enticing you, but your lack of confidence makes you shy away from even trying? Well, do you realize you are allowing negative voices to control your actions? You are giving them free rent in your brain. How kind of you. Kidding. Only You know what your capabilities are without having anyone remind you, not even yourself! So, you should evict those voices! Now! Don’t wait! But it’s not easy, is it? We’re too quick to second guess ourselves, so we listen…well, listen to this…
Copper thinks he’s a lap dog. He has no idea that he is tall and lean, weighs 75 lbs. and is all muscle. Hence, he is not a lap dog! Truth is, because he’s confident in how he feels and because he sees himself as a chihuahua, he gracefully curls his body and folds his long legs to fit into the tiniest space – especially in the spotlight of the sun. He is the most faithful sun worshiper. And he’ll place himself between two pieces of furniture and lean. Yes, he’s a leaner. He leans on us when he sits next to us. He leans against the sofa and chairs and anything else that will hold his weight.
So, be like Copper and just do what you set your mind to. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t give those voices free rent anymore! You have more important data to occupy your mind and Dogs really do know best, don’t they? 🙂
Stand tall on your own two feet – don’t give doubt the upper hand.And observe your furry family members who truly know how to live a life of happy!
Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? It seems unreal because of the virus – how our everyday living has changed. Even though it’s hard to fathom that the year is coming to a close, my trusty calendar says it is, so I thought it would be a good time to post this Christmas tale from last year.
In excitement we wriggle from head to toe anticipating our daughter and fiancé’s visit from Nashville. The newly-engaged couple flies out early December to beat the holiday airport chaos. Thanksgiving dishes barely sparkle when we push and pull our Noble Fir through the front door. I want the house to be dressed in holiday attire for when they arrive. But the day after Thanksgiving is early to buy a tree, so the pickings are slim and the cost is a heart-stopper. Yet, there in the living room by the window stands the evergreen, reflecting in the paned glass.
My husband takes charge of putting up the outside decorations – hanging the Christmas flag, stringing the lights on the house, and sprinkling big ornaments on our shrubbery. My son and I begin indoor decorating by winding the lights among the branches on the tree. As we hand the wiry bunch to each other, around and around, they blink awake like eyes opening brightly. But then suddenly, they go out like sleepy eyes closing. When we tested them earlier, they lit up just fine, so their slumbering is surely a mystery. Feeling frustrated, we fuss with the tiny bulbs, and eventually, they blink “Merry Christmas” again. (Problem solved or so we think.) Then come the ornaments – many made by our children’s’ little hands: photos of them skirted in gold stars or in the arms of pink angels. The clothespin reindeer look excited to join Santa on Christmas Eve, and the homemade sequin ornaments from my husband’s grandma transports him back to the sixties. His grandma was stern but kindhearted, and when she cooked each Sunday for the following week, there was enough food to feed everyone in the county. Then my fingers feel around in the box for another ornament, latching onto the white puffy heart engraved with Dad’s birth and death date. It’s like hanging memories one by one, triggering teardrops or raising smiles. When the tree stands fully adorned, it truly looks Noble.
Outside for onlookers, the house lights blink a winter white with a splash of red, gold, green, and silver hanging among the greenery, but more Christmas spirit arrives with our Nashville kids. They gave us a beautiful wreath which hangs on the front door and completes the decorating. In the evenings, we gather around the table, catching up on life and sharing delicious food. They share their wedding plans and we hear their excitement to search for a special place to exchange vows. And we bake! Having my daughter home to help mix up some sweetness conjures up delightful baking memories.
I want to freeze time – for it alone is an illusion: drifting by like the slow drip of honey, yet, flying by like a hummingbird seeking nectar. With a blink of an eye, our visit with them has ended and it’s time for goodbye-hugs which are never easy; bittersweet tears fall like liberated water over a broken dam. Too soon my cell phone pings, telling me they’re boarding their plane. Once their feet safely touch Tennessee ground, I push the restart button in my routine. Phone calls, Facetime, and text messages don’t replace their presence but will suffice until their next trip.
Our focus is back to the Noble Fir and we notice it doesn’t appear to be thirsty. This evergreen that cost an arm and a leg is beginning to dry up faster than a drop of water on a sun-kissed sidewalk. Then to our surprise, the bottom lights go out! A couple of days later with one tilt of our heads, we spot the lights on top of the tree are out! Frustration seeps into our veins for a second, then trickles of laughter follow, and because we’re too busy to shop for new lights, our tree remains topless and bottomless where festive colors once shimmered! We join Charlie Brown and call it our Peanut’s tree – a little forlorn to our eyes but beautiful just the same. The angel our daughter made years ago, though only a toilet paper roll with lacey craftsmanship, sits in a place of honor on top of the tree. Replacing this dear angel is out of the question, so we look to her for hope that the tree lasts until the big day!
Moving on from our tree-light calamity, it’s time to bake again. I find my mother-in-law’s gingerbread recipe, preheat the oven, then press the button on my faithful hand mixer. When all ingredients are blended, I dip a spoon into the sweet-spicy batter. I have to make sure it’s fine for others to eat. Of course, I do. I was about to put the pan in the oven, opening the door, when I realize 350-degree heat did not whoosh out at me in the face. I call my husband over and we do some button-pressing, hoping our magic touches will perk up the oven. No luck, but no need to panic fully because the burners work, so not a total loss. The gingerbread stays overnight in the fridge, but I’m unsure as to how refrigeration will affect the batter. I call on a friend for help and use her oven the next day. When the timer beeps, the bread looks done, except for the molten-looking center – mushy, but honestly, gooey and delectable.
Two weeks pass since the oven’s demise, and no repairman is available until December 30th. It sounds like the death of many appliances! At least the oven functioned when my daughter and I needed it to for our upcoming cookie exchange. Four dozen buttercream-frosted sugar cookies were displayed on glass platters: stars, Christmas trees, gingerbread men, and angels all bejeweled in red and green sprinkles. Now, as Christmas draws closer by the minute, I feel off-kilter because I’m unable to bake.
While the oven sits waiting to be repaired, the alternator in one of our cars dies! First the lights, then the oven, now the car! But wait, there’s more…our big TV is next on this chain of events! What a kerfuffle this holiday season has been with things going kaput! I won’t ask, because if I do, we’ll wonder what’s next! I didn’t ask!
Because of the unexpected and unfortunate events, our shopping sprees have barely begun. But we’ll still find merchandise sitting on the shelves, contrary to popular belief that Black Friday is the only day to shop for Christmas. And each time I walk past our unique Christmas tree, I am reminded of the quote, paraphrasing, of course, “It’s not about the beginning or destination; it’s about the journey.” Well, the tree’s middle glows with Christmas enthusiasm and so does our journey through this holiday season in spite of the blips.
These hiccups caused us to pause, but they’re not the end of the world. Baking later could develop into a new tradition. Our tree will remain noble until Christmas Day, or at least we hope it will. Those temperamental lights will be tossed when the tree comes down. The car is on its wheels again. So, regardless of these glitches, the blessings stand tall: precious family time, safe travels for our Nashville kids, and gifts beneath the tree acting as an evergreen anchor. Saving the best for last – our family’s good health. What more can we ask for besides new lights for our tree next year!
I hope this account of my family’s last Christmas brought smiles and maybe even a few giggles. And I have a strong hunch, this holiday season will look a little different. But if good health abounds, that’s what matters most. And Cheers to hoping 2021 is much brighterfor all!
More fires rage, the pandemic isn’t going away soon, and political and social unrest remains. So, everywhere we go, whether on a stroll around the neighborhood or a walk around the house, it’s the little things that have the ability to quell the anxiety if we give them the opportunity.XOXO
Arachnophobia has had a grip on me since I was a young child, but I can’t recall exactly why. I only know the effects are real when spiders of all sizes have caused unwanted anxiety in my life. I’m not afraid of their bite or that they’ll hurt me, though. They indescribably creep me out with their eight legs, and if they’re hairy, the heebie jeebies escalate!
Over the years, I’ve dealt with common house spiders like most of us do that I’m sure aren’t harmful. They have a tendency to pop out of nowhere and scare the living daylights out of me. One memorable event happened years ago that was anything but common…
I had noticed a big dark spot on the carpet while turning off the lights one night. I wondered what it was, and although I hesitated, I almost reached down to touch it. I’m ever so thankful I chose not to because I probably would’ve had a heart attack! So, I turned on the light and said a four-letter-word that caught my husband’s attention. Even though he doesn’t share my fear, he was surprised to find that big guy in our house. He also said that it looked like a California tarantula, harmless. Okay, first of all, how the heck did it get in the house? And harmless was a good thing. With a glass, he scooped it out and transported it outside where it belonged. Now, over time, my fear has calmed down. I’ve even saved a few.
Fast forwarding now, a few nights ago, we found a big spider (uglier than normal) hanging out on the bottom of our bedroom door just as we were turning out the lights at the end of our day. Another nighttime adventure. It wasn’t a common house spider, and where the heck did it come from? Of course, I got my husband a glass again so he could place the arachnid in its proper outdoor accommodations. I could’ve done the glass thing, too, like I’ve done in the past. But…
I was so freaked out that it took me a while to finally fall asleep. My imagination fell into overtime, and my heart was beating fast. Clearly, this fear took control even though I tried deep breathing and thinking of the first happy song that came to mind…Jingle Bells. 🙂 (no explanation on that one)
In the meantime, my husband was so tired that he fell asleep seconds later. Thanks, Honey!
I finally caught some winks, but it was a toss-and-turn night where I just couldn’t erase that visual, and on our door, no less. Maybe it was another common house spider, but there was nothing common looking about this one. It also goes to show that fear becomes magnified at nighttime. When it’s dark out, when the sun isn’t shining its light and warmth, things that scare us become less controllable, less manageable.
For the days following that frightful event, the sun has been shining; it’s felt like spring even though winter needs to visit more, and I’m okay. I had a bad case of the heebie jeebies that night, which proved that even though my arachnophobia had calmed, there could be circumstances where it flares up more than I want it to. Since then, I’ve shed those heebie jeebies to the best of my ability.
Do you share this same creepy-crawly fear? 🙂
Do you have a different fear that you struggle with?
p.s. No photos for this post, and I’m sure you understand. 🙂