I believe I've had
enough of 2013. Yes, there were good times, fun, and happy days.
But there was a lot more stress, sadness, and difficulty than usual
for me this year. I am determined to put all that behind me; to move
forward into 2014 with a clean slate.
To that end, I
have been cleaning house, both physically and mentally. Cleaning and
organizing my home puts me in a positive frame of mind. I function
better and feel more motivated when things are in order. Purging
things I no longer use or need gives me room to enjoy those that I
love. Eliminating clutter frees up time and space.
Tossing out old
thoughts and negativity clears my head and opens up space for
happiness and peace of mind. I'm keeping the lessons learned but
losing the difficult experiences. I'm hanging on to happy memories
but letting go of sadness. I'm steering away from negative people
and moving toward those who make my life better. I'm purging old
habits, excuses, and time wasters, so that I can be free to explore
These last few
days of 2013 are for clearing out the old, so I'll have space for
what comes in 2014. Here's hoping for a Happy New Year full of joy and laughter!
overflowing with the new. But it is necessary to empty out the old
to make room for the new to enter.” -- Eileen Caddy
a fabulous Christmas gift to ourselves...a week on the beach at Gulf
The house we rented, a gulf front cottage called Beach Music,
sits on the Fort Morgan end of the peninsula. It was nicely equipped
with wide windows, big screen TV, satellite, a fireplace, and wi-fi.
No one stayed in the houses around us until the last two days.
was chilly when we arrived, and we had one night in the lower 30's.
So what? We put on hoodies and jackets, and walked the beach anyway.
Most days were fine, from the upper 50's to 70. Sunsets were bright
and colorful; the stars were amazing. December is
perfect here, since there are no crowds and rates are at their lowest.
Shopping was fun, and the seafood was mouth-watering. We ate at our
favorite places, Mikee's and DeSoto's.
Blue Angels are based just down the road in Pensacola, and we've seen them practicing
several times when we visited Gulf Shores. This trip, we only saw
one of them, but he gave us a private air show that made our day! We
were walking the beach, no one else in sight. He flew low toward
Mobile Bay and wagged his wing a little as he passed us, very close
to the beach. Then, he came zooming back and just as he got to us, turned
on the smoke and did a loop in his F-18. Couldn't get the phone
camera up quickly enough for that one! Then he moved out further
over the gulf and went through some other maneuvers. We did
get a few shots of those.
beach is my happy place, rain or shine. I must have seagoing ancestors, because
since the first time I saw the beach, I have been drawn to the rhythmic sound
of the waves and the breathtaking beauty of the sea and sky.
I am renewed and
relaxed, with a sense of peace and happiness. And that is what I wish for you this Christmas.
decorations are the best, don't you think? They bring back fond
memories of Christmas past, especially friends and family we've lost.
I added two items to my Christmas decorating this year, both
inherited from my mother-in-law. Her Norfolk Island pine is now a
Christmas tree for my sewing room. We gave her the little tree one
year for her December birthday. The tiny lightweight ornaments
include a thimble and thread spool painted with Santa faces.
lighted Christmas Village, which was displayed on their hearth every
year, now resides on the sideboard in our dining room. There's a
church, station, hotel, school, shops, house, barn, and lots of
little people, animals, cars, fences and trees. I love the handmade
accessories crafted by my father-in-law: twigs painted with white to
simulate snow covered trees, a mailbox, and a sleigh.
I'm still keeping
my simple decorating rule, using only my favorite things like my cute
ceramic Santa bears, the iron tabletop tree, and quilted accents.
It doesn't take long to put up or take down our Christmas
decorations, but there's something festive in every room.
The freezing rain
and ice that accumulated on our pine trees early Sunday morning
brought down a dozen fairly large limbs. We'll have to get out the
tractor today to drag them down to the burn pile, but not before I
cut lots of pine branches. Nature provided easy access for me to
create fresh arrangements for the house.
"Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."
~ Charlotte Carpenter