Monday, November 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! It's official, the holiday season is here. I like Happy Holidays for a greeting, too, but today I feel like Merry Christmas! Our Thanksgiving was really lovely and Dave outdid himself in the kitchen. As usual, we did our big meal on Saturday and thank goodness, there is no way Dave would have been able to pull off all he did if he had to have it done for Thursday. I hope you had as nice a holiday as we did.

On Sunday, Dave and I managed to get the Saturday mess cleaned up, carpets shampooed, Thanksgiving decorations down, and Christmas lights and garlands hung. We bought a tree, put it up and plan to decorate it tonight. I'm not usually in such a hurry to get Christmas up but I'm having what I hope will be my final knee surgery in two weeks. I expect to be less mobile through Christmas so if I need to do it, it needs to be done now - decorations, cookies, and cards will be on the list to get done prior to December 9th. What about you, are you in the holiday spirit yet?

On another fun note, it looks like may have my first art show for RiverLights before Christmas. The details are still being ironed out, but I'll keep you posted. I hope you have a great week and remember, you can't always control what comes your way, but you can control how you react, or not. Keep your cool and make this holiday season exactly what you want it to be!

Love, Kathy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Magnificent Colors!

Hi Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm not sure how it has been where you live, but I believe we are having the most magnificent fall season I've ever seen in northern California. There is color everywhere and so many reds, yellows, oranges and I just love the trees that show all colors at once. Sometimes as I am driving along, my heart races at the way the sun illuminates the colors of the trees. It really does excite me.

I'm counting my blessing this week and a big one is that my family is safe and healthy. I'm pleased that so many of our men and women are coming home from Iraq and would like to see all the other countries on that list as well. I'm grateful that I have been able to go back to college this year, it's been a wonderful time. My gratitude list is long and it includes our friendship. I've opened my eyes to the importance of nurturing healthy, supportive relationships and letting go of the ones that do anything else. The idea that we need to be in relationships that do anything else, regardless of time or relationship is ridiculous. Trust your gut because you know the truth.

I hope you have the best Thanksgiving weekend ever and you get to be with people who lift you up and make you feel more like the person you strive to be. It's my position that you are already way more of who you want to be and you simply can't see it! With so much love!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all!

It's almost Thanksgiving and even in these tough times, we all have much to be thankful for. I try to practice gratitude all year long, but I feel especially fortunate around the holidays. Dave and I have been enjoying a double dose of the fall colors and even getting an early start on prepping the Christmas decorations. We are already seeing the calendar fill up with holiday parties, school functions and all the things we want to do as a family.

Loving this time of year like I do, it was fitting that we went to Twin Peaks Farm over the weekend for the opening of mandarin season. The colors of fall were everywhere, the persimmons were delicious, but those darn mandarins are just not ready yet! Next weekend is the Mountain Mandarin Festival and it looks like we will not only have rain (with low snow predicted), but the mandarins will be very early season - that means more tart, less sweet. It's a bit of a bummer for the festival and all the people who travel to Auburn to buy their mandarins, but for us locals, it just means our sweet mandarin season will last a little longer. Last year I was sending them to my father-in-law in late January! I've got my recipes ready, as do Dave and Mason, next weekend we will see if I can hold on to my first place title or take home the grand prize! I'll let you know on Monday.

I am studying for finals and with the exception on one on line class, I am sailing through with all A's. The class that is in question could still be an A, but I missed an assignment and can't seem to find my footing. Keep your fingers crossed that an unexpected extra-credit opportunity will present itself in the next week or two. Hey, a girl can hope! If my calculations are correct, I could be graduating this time next year with my AA Degree.

Now I'm off to a parent-teacher conference where I expect to hear, "Mason is so darn smart, if only he could sit still and do his work." Much like my mom heard only where Mrs. Beckler says, " his work," my teacher said, "...not talk so much." Happy Holidays friends, I'm grateful for you and all the other wonderful people around me everyday! Make this week something to talk about.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Be The Change

The sun is out and it is a gorgeous fall day! It rained all weekend and frankly, I loved it! We had a fire going, I did lots of cooking and baking, seasonal decorating, and of course there were chores to do. Dave had drill this weekend so I'm sure he's feeling like he had no weekend at all.

As the holidays are fast approaching, what are you planning to do for holiday gifts? I sent out an e-mail that I received from my Aunt Jeannette about centering your gifts around local merchants. This goes beyond just shopping at local stores, but buying services from small businesses for people who could really use them. Dave has always been really good at this, not only shopping at little mom and pop gift shops, but he has given me a facial, a massage, and gift certificates to the nail salon where I like to go. BEST GIFTS EVER!! I love the idea of gift certificates for auto service, car washes, and finding businesses run by young people. Think babysitting -Uh, this one is GREAT! Computer work done by the people who know computers better than any of us old folks - high school kids. What about a local bookkeeper to track your small business (or family) finances? It just may be more affordable than you think.

Finally, I'm using this forum to shamelessly plug my original art, RiverLights Originals. All of you know I spent much of this summer painting river rocks and photographing them under water. Some of my images are of rocks out of the water as well. I even took one of my favorite rocks to New England and came home with some beautiful fall images. I've posted pictures on my blog and you can also find more on my Facebook page at RiverLights Originals. I have note cards ($1.00 each), calendars ($20 each), prints (4x6 - 20x30), and prints on canvas and metal. They really are quite nice.

With that, what are your holiday plans? Will you be traveling or staying close to home? Whatever your plans, I wish you peace and positivity. When you encounter poor customer service or the Scrooges that are bound to make themselves heard, be the change you want to see. Find something positive in every interaction and shake off the dark sledge that wants to hang on and weigh you down.

We all have so much to be thankful for, find a few things today and concentrate on the good. Happy Monday!