Saturday, December 29, 2007

All Things Beautiful

It's been 18 months. This girl named Stella is a safe happy dog. If I could ask one wish of you in 2008, it would be to do whatever you can to help abused and neglected animals. Stella was abandoned, sick and terrified when she was found as a stray. It took 6 months before she could relax enough to let us touch and love her. Today, no doubt: love heals!

This has not been one of my easiest or most festive holidays: too many challenges at one time. But it's still the little things that make me happy. Here: a butterfly in my Christmas stocking, a dozen tulips from my best friend; JB's greens put in little salt and pepper shakers and lined up on the kitchen window.

I would gladly give up every present under the tree as long as I could have my stocking. Here's our family stockings which, by the way, we all made by our own hands one Sunday a few years ago: Jess, Mike, JB and me. And this package to No-name and BB: that's grandmother lingo for JB and yours truly.

My mother and I made 13 dozen cookies. JB and I then glazed and decorated each one. I feel happy to give a gift box of cookies to someone: it might be a friend or neighbor or colleague or relative or tradesperson or the mailman.
JB cleaned out the refrigerator just in time for my arrival with groceries to cover 4 major meals and several small ones. Over three days, we made a full brunch from eggs to fruit salad, chili, chili-cheese cornbread, guacamole, garlic bread, raviolis from scratch, and turkey with all the fixings. Normally we might have thrown in a holiday party too, but this year we feel fortunate to do what we did.

Drumroll: Here he is: one day old and now almost one year old. Mr. Ryan is inquisitive, happy active and darling. We got to spend 24 hours at one time with him and loved all of it.

Guess who this is? At the time and for years afterwards, I saw myself as a geeky awkward frump. Now, I can be more supportive and compassionate to this little third grader of a girl.

This is simply one of my all time favorite pictures: Jess and Rosie.

If she's deemed to be sufficiently safe and independent, we've found a wonderful wonderful home-like environment for my Mom. We'll know this week. If you are so inclined, your prayers that she and the home are compatible would be very much appreciated.

Here's a random two shots of my bookcase. For no reason other than I love books and I thought you might like to see some of them.

This outside-of-moleskine original "Best Friends Don't Grow on Trees" adorns my livingroom.I happen to be blessed with a best friend who is a fantastic artist, not mention a wildly uniquely stimulating and terrific human being.

And I am equally blessed with a fantastic terrific partner who wraps fantastic terrific presents. Here she's recycled last year's Christmas cards (see your card, Ces?) and embellished with her never-ending stash of ribbons.

And finally: we think Esther drank too much and inappropriately dragged along little Mildred AND the Christmas angel. None of them has moved since yesterday......



  1. Happy New Year, sweetie, May it be blessed in ways we've yet to think of, dream of.....
    It's been a wild ride, this rickety tickety year, but it's the ticket to the next, and for that, I thank my lucky stars.

    Peace~love friend, to you and yours, and this One World, "Let's hope it's a good one....."

  2. singleton: this year is the ticket to the next--what a great way to look at it. here's wishing you a never ending circle of peace and love! so nice to get to know you...

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  4. I do hope that your mother is going to live in a wonderful loving home, KJ. I love your cookies and stockings and the other pictures. I could comment on each of them, but it would take too much reactionspace ;-) From the Netherlands I wish you and your loved ones a very happy New Year. And I give a special hug for your sweet dog Stella.

  5. This is beautiful and heart-warming -- you two really know how to have a fun and love-filled holiday! :) I love all the photos and memories and will pray for R. to be matched up with that retirement community. Four months to BY .... Happy, happy New Year, my friend. :)

  6. SUch a good exercise to review that good in your life. A very wonderful New Year to you, too!

  7. I love the touch of humour in your posts, like your drunk housemates.
    I look forward to enjoying your blog in 2008 as well.

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  9. Prayers for your Mother and your entire family. We are in the same cycle in my family, I know how tough it is. Yet, there are many blessings to be had during this time, ever good interaction is that much better because you are aware of how finite we all are.

    Finding your blog has been one of the highlights of 2007 for me!

  10. ces, my bestest friend: here's to a frolicking rocking year ahead. here's to colors and words and everything in between.

    wieneke, i wish you a wonderful new year too. your visits to my blog are always a joy for me. plus, i love your sense of humor. i think we would have a lovely afternoon talking over apple pie, don't you?

    melissa, happy new year to you too. don't forget: this is THE year, whatever that means!!!

    cs, i never fail to visit your blog and that tells me something very nice. happy new year in that fab house of yours.

    my friend pieterbie, i look forward to another year of sharing. don't forget to slow down!

    ces, i thought of you when i included that photo. didn't we know one another in third grade? i think so....

    debra kay, what sweet words you've left here. thank you so much. i know you understand about my Mom. happy happy new year to you.

  11. I was just sitting here all cozy in my livingroom with a fire, waiting for the snow to fall, and your warm wonderful post really hit the spot. It looks like you managed to have a very nice Christmas despite difficulties.
    I see there is a new chapter waiting so I have to go...

  12. Hhehheee, I'm with Esther *glurp*