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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Sending out 2015 with gratitude

Even though I haven’t done much blogging myself in 2015, I’ve still kept up with some of my favorite bloggers’ posts. And because of them, I learned about Dawn Landau’s blog party over at Tales from the Motherland. The idea is simple: in just 10 minutes’ time, compose a list of 50(ish) things from 2015 for which you are happy or grateful, then share it with the world. Since events this past year would make it easy to send 2015 out with ill-will and negative thoughts, I felt like I really NEEDED this challenge. So here goes…

Fifty things from 2015 that filled me with joy and/or gratitude (in no particular order)

  1. My loving, supportive husband
  2. A mostly-healthy body
  3. A purring cat on my lap
  4. Blazing sunsets
  5. Music from Adele to Zac Brown Band, and everything in between
  6. Parents who raised me to know right from wrong, and to take responsibility for my choices
  7. Rainy days
  8. Books that make me forget where I am
  9. A doctor I trust
  10. My Wine & Whine crew
  11. A reliable car
  12. Huge mugs of steaming hot tea
  13. Truckers who stay in the right lane on the interstate
  14. A membership at a gym with a pool
  15. Walks around the lake
  16. Pinterest, because I wasn’t wasting enough time on Facebook
  17. Days with a carefully planned agenda
  18. Days with nowhere to go and all day to get there
  19. Dark chocolate
  20. Long solo drives with the radio turned way up
  21. Subtle, pastel sunrises
  22. Sleep-in Sundays
  23. Life lessons and skills learned from my grandparents
  24. A warm, safe house to come home to each day (even if I do share it with squirrels)
  25. Caramel apples rolled in dark chocolate chips (or drizzled with chocolate…I’m not picky)
  26. My iPhone’s camera
  27. A freezer stocked with homemade soups
  28. My sisters- and brothers-in-law
  29. Christmas Wreath candles (Yankee Candle, please don’t discontinue this scent!)
  30. Time to be creative (and enough skills to turn ideas into reality–usually)
  31. Visits with my mom
  32. Long, hot showers in the evening
  33. Freshly laundered sheets
  34. A food plan that is steadily bringing the old me back
  35. An abundance of volunteer opportunities around my community (and time to participate)
  36. The internet–for banking, making reservations, shopping, looking up useless information
  37. The luxury of a space heater under my desk and a fan blowing on my bed–on the same day
  38. Sangria and mulled wine–not necessarily on the same day 🙂
  39. A valid passport–just in case Donald Trump is elected in 2016
  40. Skype, when my hubby is out in the field
  41. Friends and family who are there if I need them
  42. Erika, who recently gave me one of the best haircuts of my life
  43. Repurposing treasures from antique stores and flea markets
  44. New recipes that turn out to be keepers
  45. Seeing my students making progress toward their goals
  46. Thorlo socks, which don’t get eaten by my sneakers when I walk/jog
  47. Poker with the gang
  48. Exploring model houses, trolling for dream home ideas
  49. My 5:30 a.m. gym buddies and instructors
  50. Every chance I have to get “closer”

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list (the timer doesn’t matter for filling in the instructions, intro, etc). The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s okay. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When you finish your list, feel free to add links and photos.

To join in this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post into yours). 2) Click on the blue frog at the very bottom of Tales from the Motherland’s post. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can paste the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 15, 2016. After that date, no blogs can be added.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of (or an attempt to write) 50 things that made you feel happy or 50 things that you are grateful for will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise; it will be removed. Aside from that one caveat, there is no such thing as too much positivity. Share your happy thoughts, your gratitude; help flood the blogosphere with both!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Christmas Magic

full christmas moonLong ago, before I knew better, I thought Christmas magic was a bulging stocking or the biggest gift under the tree. With age comes new perspective, though, and I feel blessed to now recognize and appreciate Christmas magic in less materialistic ways. A full moon on Christmas is a rare thing. The last one occurred in 1977…the next will be in 2034. I thought this 2015 Christmas moon was only going to be something I read about, as it’s been raining here for days, and the forecast still calls for low, thick clouds and an 80% chance of thunderstorms. Yet a bit of Christmas magic has occurred, and the clouds thinned enough around midnight for me to capture the above image with my iPhone. More magic–notice how the tree branches make the round orb of the moon look like a star? And even more magic–the perfect halo surrounding the moon is caused by tiny ice crystals in the high, thin cirrus clouds that still remain, not by some trick of the camera lens.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2015 in Photography