Blog Archives

Keep Calm and Pin On

PinterestKeepCalm

Today’s post is a little bit of fun. If you’ve never heard of Pinterest, it is another social media site where you can create “boards” for your different interests, and then add pertinent photos to those boards. You can easily add to those boards when you find something online that is of particular interest and you want to save it, or you may find things on the Pinterest site that you want to save on one of your boards.

I’m not sure of the history of how and why it started, but many people use Pinterest to put together ideas for home decorating, weddings, DIY projects, and the list goes on. It’s kind of like a giant bulletin board!

I joined Pinterest awhile back and am not always good at updating my boards, but here’s a look at a few of them.

 

Crochet

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For the Home

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Scenery

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Pink!

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So, are you into Pinterest too?

Pinterest

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SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna

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Shout for Joy

 

ShoutForJoy

Shout for Joy

Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, mountains!
For the LORD comforts His people
and will have compassion on His afflicted ones
—Isaiah 49:13

 

Here comes the bus!

The entire camp staff had assembled to greet our campers. We gathered in a circle, each in turn offering prayers for these precious children who had been placed in our charge for the week.

Years ago, I was one of the counselors at this camp for abused and abandoned children. Because of all the hurt, pain and anger they experienced every day, we were determined to show them the joy, love and grace of their Heavenly Father.

We heard the rumble of the diesel engine before we saw the bus and smiled nervously before turning to greet the unknown faces in the windows. We waved, wondering if they were as nervous as us—probably more so.

The bus stopped in front of us and the door opened. When Peter, our ‘fearless leader,’ appeared at the top of the steps, we began waving again and welcomed our little visitors with shouts and whoops. Peter smiled his approval at our enthusiasm, then yelled, “Are you ready to meet your kids?” We clapped as hard as we could and were rewarded with smiles and waves from many of the children.

Peter stepped out of the bus and consulted his clipboard. Every time he yelled a camper’s name, we jumped, clapped and shouted a spirited welcome. The children seemed to enjoy the noise and attention so we continued to act like crazy fools, hopping and jumping in accompaniment to our shouts of welcome.

These children, who usually had no hope or joy in their lives, were like sponges in our care. They soaked in the wonderful news about a Father Who truly loves and cares for them and during that short week, learned how to turn to Him for comfort and peace.

Unlike those little children, we’re old enough to understand that life isn’t always easy. Instead of lamenting what we can no longer do, let’s try shouting and singing joyfully for what we do have. No matter what is going on in our lives, God is always there with us and shouldn’t that make us want to shout for joy?

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SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna

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A Bit of Pinkness

FridayLove
I realized the other day that I haven’t shared any pinkness with you lately, so today’s the day! I love this little Teddy bear with the pretty tulips, but I have an even better tulip image for you.

MoreTulips
Aren’t they gorgeous? When we round the corner from February to March, I always start thinking about tulips. Even though they don’t have an aroma, they are still my favorite flowers. Something about them makes me feel hopeful!

What about you, Beloved? What is your favorite flower?

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SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna..

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Crochet Tidbits

tidbit tuesdayToday I want to share some photos of some recent crochet projects.

Crock Pot Carrier

Isn’t this an odd-looking thing? The inspiration came from a pattern to make a carrier for a covered casserole. I tweaked it a bit so that it would fit my little crock pot. My Rick came up with the idea to include an extra set of handles to keep the lid in place. Isn’t he clever?

I tried it out recently and am very happy to say that it worked out just the way I planned. These small crock pots are different from the large ones because the outer shell does not have the carrying handles; the crock itself does. And boy howdy do those handles get hot! It is very difficult to carry the thing when it is hot, which is why I was going to look online for something to buy but not necessary because I really ♥ the way this turned out!

I used cotton yarn and made the bottom quadruple thick, meaning I made 2 circles for the bottom using 2 strands of the yarn for each circle. It is very thick and very sturdy.

Gift Bags

This is an ongoing project that I am absolutely crazy about! I take horrible pics, so please forgive the obvious amateur look of these. The ongoing part of it? I am going to keep on making these cute gift bags to use instead of paper whenever possible!

Tartan Plaid!

HolidayTartanAfghan-PatternPhoto

This last one is a pattern photo for an afghan I am making for myself. I HEART plaid, especially this particular tartan. It is called a Holiday Tartan Afghan, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it for me! And forget about displaying and using it only during the Christmas season, this gal is going to have it out and ready to use every day!

It will take me the better part of this year to make it, though, because I’m working on it in between other projects, including more wheelchair lapghans (some with matching bags to secure to one of the arms) and a couple of Christmas projects for some very special people for Christmas 2014.

AnnaSmile…..

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Christmas Pink

Just feeling the need for a little Christmas pinkness, so here are a few pink Christmas images for you!

AnnaSmile

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Another Crochet Mishmash

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ball-of-yarn

This is a typical ball of yarn. Innocent looking, right?

yarn-shop

This is an example of a typical yarn shop.

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And so is this.

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This is my own private yarn shop, actually it’s my yarn closet on steroids … well, a good portion of it anyway. The scenery changes as I take from my stash to complete projects, but then I add more yarn when I see types or colors I just have to have, even if I don’t have a certain project in mind.

The other day I was browsing yarns in yet another store when a woman next to me, who was doing the same thing, started to leave with several skeins of yarn in her cart. Suddenly she stopped and grabbed another one, saying “I better get this one, too, just in case…” We smiled at each other and I replied, “I think and do that all the time!”

Have I told you how much I love to crochet? 

Crocheting is something I can do during CFIDS and FMS flareups and even migraines. It helps keep my hands busy and my mind focused on something other than me and my pain. There have been times when I don’t feel like picking up one of my crochet hooks, but that is truly rare. It is a soothing therapy where I can see the results of my efforts and that means a lot at a time in my life when I often feel like I am floundering in a sea of pain. I started taking photos of my completed projects—well, when I remember to do so—as a way of feeling a sense of accomplishment on days when I feel like I get nothing done.

You can see some of my completed crochet projects here and here.

AnnaSmile

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Sisters on Vacation

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Since I seem to be in the mode of sharing some of my published work with you lately, today’s Treasure Tuesday offering is a story I wrote years ago about one of the times my sisters and I got together. “Sisters on Vacation” was published in a collection of family memory stories titled The Rocking Chair Reader: Family Gatherings, published in 2005.

As I read through this again after so many years, I was struck by how much things have changed … and not changed.

I wrote in this story that none of us would miss these get-togethers, but the reality is that for the past several years, my health has kept me from traveling by air. This means I haven’t been able to get together with my sisters for quite a while. That’s a big change.

What has not changed is the constant love, affection and support my sisters and I will always have for each other no matter how much time and distance separates us. In spite of difficulties we have shared in our lives, we’ve always got each other’s backs and are “there” for each other in spirit and prayer, if we cannot be there in person.

To my seesters reading this right now: I love and cherish each and every one of you!

 Sisters on Vacation

Pretty in pink(2)

[Here we are together pretty in pink. Left to right: Me, Nancy, Palma, Julie, Maria.]

I was exhausted after being on an airplane all day, but my fatigue was tempered by excitement at seeing my sisters again. I disembarked and lugged my suitcase toward the main terminal for what seemed like miles. As I rounded a curve in the walkway, someone shouted my name. I looked up and saw my sisters standing a few feet away. I broke into a huge smile when I saw the sign they held above their heads: my name imprinted in huge letters, just like a chauffeur would have.

In the next instant, I was enveloped in hugs, all of us trying to talk at once.

My four sisters and I live in various parts of the country. Two live in the Northeast, another two are in Florida, and I live in northern Arizona, all the way across the country. This scattering of family makes it difficult for all of us to get together in one place, but our annual Sisters’ Vacation is something we cherish, and none of us would miss it.

I’m the oldest, and though fifteen years separates my youngest sister and me, the age difference is barely noticeable now that we’re all adults. In spite of the age spread and the various places we live, the similarities among us are striking. We all have some degree of the curly dark hair that denotes our Italian heritage, and we each have two children. No matter where we go, people do a double-take because we all look so much alike.

A couple of years ago, we decided to meet in Orlando, Florida, to do some shopping and tour Universal Studios, and then travel to Largo to reunite with our parents. We hadn’t seen each other in more than a year and were really excited to have this special time together. We got very little sleep that first night as we shared snacks and caught up with the events in each other’s lives. We’re fairly good about keeping in touch by email, but some things just can’t be conveyed through cyberspace.

We couldn’t wait to get to Universal Studios that first day. Even threatening rain clouds didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. We were happy just to be together. The nasty weather held off for the first hour, but then the clouds opened up and we were caught in a downpour. We were immediately drenched and didn’t waste any time joining the long line to purchase rain ponchos.

What a sight we were in our powder-blue ponchos stamped with the Universal Studies insignia. It took some time for our clothes to dry under the ponchos, but we kept touring the park anyway. A little rain wouldn’t ruin our day, and the photos we now share prove it: five women with dark, damp, frizzy hair lined up in light-blue ponchos and huge smiles.

5 seesters [We always seem to line up according to age, most times not even realizing it until later. Here we are again, left to right: Me, Nancy, Palma, Julie, Maria]

When my sisters and I get together, we have the time of our lives. People give us amused glances as they pass by because we’re usually laughing about something one of us has said or seen. That’s when we turn to them in unabashed chorus and proclaim loudly, “We’re sisters, and we’re on vacation!”

Even though we’re a close-knit family, life sometimes gets in the way, making it difficult for us to always agree or be completely comfortable with one another. Differences of opinion, distance, and unresolved disputes have conspired to place a wedge in the constancy of our affection for each other. But when all is said and done, we are five women with a common, very tight-knit bond: we are sisters.

Mar2005-Seesters

[On another sisters’ vacation, we all decided to have our hair professionally straightened. In order of age (again), this time right to left: Me, Nancy, Palma, Julie, Maria.]

We’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how unique or disparate our opinions are. It makes no difference that we don’t all think alike. In fact, our differences are what make us a strong family unit.

On our last vacation, I was the first one to leave. At the airport, my sisters waited with me as I checked in. We shared one last hug, and then I joined the long line to the security checkpoint. About ten minutes later, as I was inching forward in this seemingly endless line, I once again heard my name being shouted. I looked to the left, and there were all four of my sisters—waving, laughing, and shouting my name. I waved back and threw them a kiss. Several people behind me smiled at our unbridled enthusiasm.

“We’re sisters,” I informed them, nodding at the four women who were still waving at me. “And we were on vacation!”

My family

[Our entire family many years ago while Mom was still with us. As usual, we sisters somehow managed to line up around Mom and Dad in order of age. Left to right: Me, Nancy, Palma, Mom, Dad, Julie, and a very pregnant Maria]

Rocking-Chair-Reader

[From The Rocking Chair Reader: Family Gatherings. Copyright © 2005 Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company]

AnnaSmile

NCIS tidbits

TidbitTuesdayDotty

Time to share another little tidbit about myself!

There are not many TV shows I like a lot but NCIS tops my short list. My sweet hubby doesn’t appreciate it as much as I do but he often joins me in watching it, bless his heart.

I guess what I enjoy the most about this show is the way the cast works so well together to make us believe they are actually the characters whose parts they are playing. In case you haven’t ever seen the show, NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The series started as Navy NCIS but the name was shortened to NCIS in the third season, which makes perfect sense because having “Navy” in the title actually made it redundant: Navy Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Huh? Great move on the name change, CBS!

NCIS-cast

The outstanding cast:

  • Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Special Agent in Charge, and head of the team)

  • Michael Weatherly as Anthony DiNozzo (Senior Special Agent)

  • Sean Murray as Timothy McGee (Special Agent)

  • Cote de Pablo as Ziva David (Special Agent)

  • David McCallum as Donald “Ducky” Mallard (Chief Medical Examiner)

  • Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer (Medical Examiner’s Assistant)

  • Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto (Forensic Specialist)

  • Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance (Agency Director)

I appreciate all the cast members but my favorites are Mark Harmon as forever Marine Leroy Gethro Gibbs (you really don’t want to be on the other end of a Gibbs head slap!) and Pauley Perrette as the tough/sweet forensic specialist who loves her team to pieces and does everything she can to decipher the sometimes impossible evidence.

NCIS  just finished its tenth season, and the season finale’s “Damned If You Do” episode is probably my favorite one. Click on the link below to watch the entire episode.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/ncis/video/E07A268A-9273-5DC4-C6CF-9CD5BD97D3C7/ncis-damned-if-you-do/

I can’t wait to see what season 11 holds!

So, how about you? Do any of you watch NCIS? If so, which are your favorite characters?

AnnaSmile

Excited…thankful…humbled by awards

I have been so blessed by all my bloggy friends and today I want to share with you several blog awards I recently received:

These awards are such fun to receive and share with you!

I need to thank Ginger from Daily Life with Fibromyalgia and Peter from PJ Grace Community: Identifying Evidences of God’s Grace .

THANK YOU BOTH!

Peter nominated me for the Lovely Blog Award, the Shine On Award, and the Very Versatile Blogger Award.

Interestingly, both Ginger and Peter nominated me for the Blog of the Year 2012 award so I get to display the image that includes 2 brightly shining stars. [See explanation of this below.]

Peter, I know I am supposed to share 7 things about myself here, but I’ll save that for a few future Tidbit Tuesdays. I only have so much energy these days, and most people would probably be able to just dash off this post quickly, but it literally takes me hours to prepare, compose and schedule this kind of post.

Ginger, I am following your ‘rules’ for the Blog of the Year 2012 because it basically only entails my copying from your post where you listed your nominees. Now that I can manage, so here it is!

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

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Here are my blog nominees for the Blog of the Year 2012:

Chief of the Least

God’s Word for Women

I Hope 4 Him

Meeting in the Clouds

Peaceful Wife

Tammy Kay’s Corner

Teshuva~Inspirations for a Better Life

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

6 stars image

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 5 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

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Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page.

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

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‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – thumbnails

Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

Blog of the Year Award 1 star thumbnail

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Blog of the Year Award 2 star thumbnail

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Blog of the Year Award 3 star thumbnail

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Blog of the Year Award 4 star thumbnail

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Blog of the Year Award 5 star thumbnail

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Blog of the Year Award 6 star thumbnail

Please visit the blogs I’ve nominated to show your support. You never know—you might be inspired to follow one of them too!

AnnaSmile

Pink Christmas

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Just thought I’d toss a little bit of pink Christmas your way…

AnnaSmile

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