Category Archives: Holidays


It’s almost Easter. People ask me what I’m doing for the holiday. Isn’t Easter  . . . colored eggs, bunnies, chocolate, family, and church?

I’m on a diet (still) and won’t buy the chocolate. My family is scattered all over Texas and Arkansas. I’m in a faith crisis of sorts, so I probably won’t go to church, and I don’t want a bunny to care for. I’m not going to color eggs but I would like to boil some and pickle them in beet juice.

So, that’s what I’m doing for Easter. Pickled eggs.

My life is so exciting sometimes I can hardly believe it.



Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a Heart!



This is how I feel about Valentine’s Day this year. It’s all about the real heart. What is this symbol of love and emotion anyway? It’s a muscle so strong that it doesn’t stop beating – ever. The average heart beats over 2  1/2 billion times in a lifetime, and it only weighs about 11 ounces.

Your healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each and every day! Want a real-life example? A kitchen faucet would need to be turned on full force for at least 45 years to equal the amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime. Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it tightly: that’s how hard the beating heart works to pump blood.

heartBecause the heart has its own electrical impulse, it can continue to beat  even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of    oxygen. Ever wonder where the thump-thump sound comes from when your heart beats? It’s the sound of the four valves closing! Cool, huh?

Our society has accepted that cocaine is “everywhere.” This drug is more dangerous to your heart than you may think. Cocaine affects the heart’s electrical activity and causes spasms of the arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke, even in healthy people.


So, if you wondered just what that fairly small muscle really does – now ya know!  Happy Valentine’s Day!


Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions








Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t believe I’ve made one in 15 years. I never stuck with them anyway. I’d like to make a few this year, and this made me wonder what America’s top 10 resolutions are. Here are the top ones I found:

1) Spend more time with family and friends
2) Exercise
3) Lose weight
4) Quit smoking
5) Enjoy life more
6) Quit drinking
7) Get out of debt
8) Learn something new
9) Help others
10) Get organized

Any of these sound familiar? I need to add numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 10 to my personal list. ~ Ugh~








What are your resolutions? Do you want to work less and play more? That seems to be an extremely popular idea year-round, yet few manage to reach that goal. We get stuck in the day-to-day of life, and we forget (or deny) what is important to us.

I’ve been researching the Buddhist and Hindi faiths, as they are quite thought-provoking. Both cultures stress the tenet of living in the moment. You have likely heard this advice: yesterday is gone, and we aren’t promised a tomorrow, so we should live in the present. This is quite difficult to actually do because we’re always planlning the future and bringing up the past. Are we too fearful to even look at today?


If I look at the here and now, I see problems. My real problems. I can’t ignore them and say, “In 17 months I’ll graduate from college and be making good money.”  I also tend to invite the past to sit on my shoulder and help me run things. Bad idea.

So, my 2013 New Year’s resolution will be one thing. Live in the moment – then I can change the grief and guilt of the past and work toward my goals for the future by how I behave today. I’m pretty sure if I live in the moment that numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 10 above will take care of themselves.

Happy New Year!


Orange-Clove Pomanders – Better Than Sex!

Okay, close your eyes and think of the aroma when you’re peeling the sweetest orange you’ve ever eaten. Keep your eyes closed! Now, with the fresh orange scent still in your nose . . . imagine fresh, whole cloves with that scent. Mmmm.

You can open your eyes now (they were ANYway if you were reading). Have you ever made Orange/Clove Pomanders? Then let’s get to it!

What use are they, you ask? Other than enveloping your home in rich scent, they make lovely centerpieces or pretty hang-alone-with-ribbon items of conversation. Perhaps my favorite is the tealight holder.




For instructions, visit Cathie and Steve’s page.


If you’d rather make a lovely centerpiece for a table or kitchen island (they’re great for the bathroom, too), here’s a photo idea:

orange_clove_centerpieceThis seems a bit plain for Christmas, so I’d add red ribbon or a few sprigs of pine under the oranges . . . peeking out and giving the centerpiece some added color and texture.


orange_clove_centerpiece2I like the more formal look of the gold ribbon and footed bowl in this picture, too.

Hey! There’s my pine idea from above. I’m so smart.





One hint for those who haven’t made these before ~ sticking pointy cloves into thick orange flesh feels uncomfy after a while, so use a toothpick or push pin to “start” your holes (do a bunch ahead of starting the cloves). Much easier that way.

Looky here . . .

orange_clove_score_a_picWith a fine-tipped marker, draw your design, then use the push pin to score that design before inserting cloves!

Does the fun ever stop?

orange_clovesAnd it all started with an orange and a clove ~



Make a Holiday Snow Globe!


I love snowglobes! They are like little magical lands I can hold in my hand. I peek inside to see what the small inhabitants might be up to. Are there people eating Christmas dinner in that tiny house? Is that deer in the snow going to see me watching it? I had a vivid imagination as a girl. I loved diving into other, smaller worlds (The Borrowers was my favorite book).

Want to join me in making a snowglobe or two? Let’s see what we’ll need.

1 – A glass jar with a screw lid (no leaks) that’s been cleaned thoroughly, including the lid

2 – Small holiday themed toys or ornaments for the actual scene

3 – Glitter – silver or white – or artificial snow

4 – A bit of glycerin, you can buy this from cake-making suppliers or pharmacies (the glycerin serves to allow water to thicken, making the “snow” fall slowly)

5 – Aquarium silicone sealant to glue the figures inside the glass (some people say to use florist’s clay)

6 – Florist’s clay – if the base of the lid needs building up because your scene is very small, this clay works well. This clay is waterproof and won’t dissolve

7- Distilled water (you can make your own distilled by boiling tap water and then letting cool)


Time for the fun!

Step one – Glue the ornaments or “scene” to the the jar’s lid with the aquarium silicone sealant (or florist’s clay). If using the silicone, let sit for 12 hours. If using the clay, you can proceed with step two.

Step two: Fill the jar with COLD distilled water until it almost reaches the top.

Step tree: Add a small amount of glitter (add less than you think, as you can always add more later, but it’s very difficult to take it out once added)

Step four: Add 1 teaspoon of glycerin

Step five: Screw on the lid and test your globe by giving it a good shake. If there isn’t enough glitter, add more. If the glitter falls too fast, add more glycerin

Step six: Once you are happy with your globe, you can hot glue the lid to the top of the jar. Just line the inside of the lid with hot glue and screw on tightly.

Decorating the outside of the lid is optional. You can choose a sky blue felt, cut a strip of it it in a “roller coaster” design and then glue silver glitter or fake snow to it. Your “snow mounds” are finished and ready to glue onto the side of the lid. Perhaps Bambi is standing in lots of snow.  You might paint the lid white to resemble snow, then just wrap with vine/holly berries. Adding buttons to the lid’s exterior can give the “folk” look. Perhaps just hot glue a pretty ribbon around the lid. The choices are many! Have fun with it!

Thank You

I’m in a mood of reflection – probably due to the recent places I’ve found myself. As a writer, the first thing I do to decompress, open up, or share passion is to write. I’m glad I have this outlet. It has been one of the things that kept my head above water.

It’s a season of thanks. Since my family and dear friends read this blog – as well as my kind-hearted and intelligent blog friends – I’ll tell a few of my thanks below, and by no means is this a complete list!

(Thank you blog readers for your comments and your visits to my world. I enjoy yours as well.)

Thank you Jerry for keeping me alive when nothing and no one else could. You actually kept me alive. Do you know how big that is?

Thank you Mama for staying with me through the enveloping swamp-days and for being the only person on earth who could talk me back to reality during my downs. I wish I had truly known what a jewel you were all the years I was young and blinded to a mother’s dedication.

Thank you Sarah for just being the soft-hearted and kind woman you are. I can hardly believe your age and that I had a hand in your development. It’s my finest accomplishment – you and your brother. Your daily texts or calls make my life complete. A mother just wants to be wanted and loved back.

Thank you Ben for the funny, loving man you are. I look at you and see in your eyes that boy I fell in love with 26 years ago. No man has held my heart as you have and will always do. You have had your own heartaches and disappointments. I am proud of you.

Thank you Jeff for raising me as well as our children. I didn’t turn out as positively as the kids did. I have always been hard-headed. No amount of words can undo my actions to you, so I’ll not insult you by trying. You’ll always be family to me.

Thank you Rexx for treating me like a daughter when my own father wasn’t around. I feel like I really am your daughter, and that’s thicker than blood. Thank you for loving my mama with all your heart. She adores you.

Thank you Mary and Leslie and Jan and Becky and Ann – You ladies were my friends no matter what stupid things I did to myself or others. You were always there with an encouraging word and an offer to get together. I’ve been a bad friend, but I hope to improve on that.

Thank you to Jeff P for giving me a chance to re-enter the working world and get my feet wet again. You give me a great opportunity and you don’t even realize it. This is my coming back . . . my re-entry into the atmosphere again after a long absence in space. You have no idea what it means to me.

Thank you facebook friends whom I’ve never laid eyes on, but who still support me with words and smiley faces and farmville gifts. 😉

Thank you Daniel and Megan for marrying my “babies” and for making them so very happy. And thank you for the grandkids!

Honestly, if you are reading this blog, I’m thankful for you. Please have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving.

Merry Christmas, Nathan Norman!


Rustburg, VA – The scrap book of Nathan Norman’s life is filled with his battle against cancer, a fight that started in January of 2009 when he was just a year old.

His mother Dawn Norman remembers everything about that day.

“At 5:30 in the afternoon we received the call.  It’s never good when the doctor’s office calls you after hours.  He just kept saying on the phone there’s been an abnormality, I’m so sorry there’s been an abnormality, Dawn Norman remembered. “I said, ‘Are you saying our son has cancer?'”

It started off as brain cancer then progressed and now he has a tumor in his spine too.  Surgery and chemo haven’t cured Nathan.

His latest scan in August showed the tumors are growing again, and fast.

As he begins a new round of chemo – one to stabilize his tumors in hopes that there is a miracle drug released soon – he had one request for his mom and dad.

“Nathan has asked when we got home if we would put up our Christmas tree and our lights.  He thought that would make him feel better cause he didn’t feel good,” Dawn said.

“You think … you know what?  Does it matter if people think we are crazy? Does it matter?  Bobby Norman said. “Absolutely not.  If this is his last Christmas and he can spend it celebrating for four months, absolutely.”

Video of Nathan:

The spirit of Nathan’s early Christmas, the will to heal this sick little boy is spreading.

“We have started having friends that put up their trees and outside lights and sending pictures to us,” Dawn said. “Some people have designated their tree as being Nathan’s tree.”

Gleaning for the World showed up with a Santa’s sleigh for the Norman’s front yard too. It was filled with presents for the entire family.

Then, the Christmas cards started showing up, from friends, family and people they don’t even know.

“Every day he goes to the mailbox and receives 20-30 cards – Christmas cards! In September!” said Dawn. “I don’t even know where people are getting Christmas cards this time of year.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever had Christmas cards in my whole life,” Nathan said.

Nathan is using the occasional dollar bill he gets in one of those cards to help make Christmas bags for his fellow pediatric cancer patients at Duke.

“It was surprising because it was like, how do they know? How did they find out?” Bobby said.

That support is giving the Norman’s the faith to face whatever the days ahead may bring.

“When you ask Nathan are you scared he’ll say, ‘No, God is with me.’  His sister asked him, ‘Nathan are you scared you might got see Jesus soon?’ As a mom I’m saying no. No one is going to see Jesus.  Everybody is staying here. We’ll see Jesus when we are old,” Dawn said. “But Nathan said no he is not scared to see Jesus he would just miss Mommy and Daddy.”

“As a parent you grieve over the path God has chosen for you.  After this third progression he has had for two weeks I couldn’t get through the day without bursting into tears,” Dawn admitted. “But you have to move on and you have to enjoy the day.”

“We are enjoying what we have and what we know right now and what we have today is Christmas on September 26, 2012,” Dawn said.

“If he asks us to leave it up all year we may leave it up all year because I mean  in all honesty every day should be like Christmas,” Bobby said.  “I mean we should always have the spirit of Christmas in us.”

Send Christmas cards to:

Nathan Norman
81 Dunivan Drive
Rustburg, VA 24588

This entire article was taken from the following original news site: