Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 ends

Last night I slept with my door open to the ocean~
All night a cool breeze and the roaring of the sea filled the room.

The rush of wave over wave~ awash on the shore, scattering shells and bits of wood, and tiny sand creatures that rolled in the cold tide. All night it rocked me.

I snuggled deeper into the blankets...I would not close the door! I would not shiver! I would be still and listen, and sleep.

My tummy was full of steamed oysters and Corona light.
My mind was full of wonder...of what the coming year holds.
My heart was full because I felt loved-
My mind was at peace because of the sound of the ocean.

I pondered if being in the womb was similar- tiny ears full of the sound of mother's heartbeat, and breathing, and laughter. A sound that fully encompasses life.
For some reason- even with mad thoughts, or worry, or constant speculation roaring in my head...I can THINK when I listen to the sea.

I had an epic dream...long and fanciful- with bloggers, friends, family, and curious things.
It was a long and complicated, and shot (like a movie) at a long angle...many times I could look way down the road to see what was coming next. It was a re-cap of this year I think.

At the close of last year I never expected to find any of you~
I am so happy that I did!


Photos of 2006~

Jan 06 Feb 06


>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>> June---->


Friday, December 29, 2006

A friend indeed... (click here)

I love dogs (one in particular has a special place in my heart :)

I had a lab/sheperd mix when I was a baby.
When I was 2, I toddled down the driveway next to my house...
Mom thought dad was watching me while he was working on the car,
and he thought I was in the kitchen with mom, who was fixing lunch.

When our dog, Femick, began barking- my dad looked up from under the hood, and mom leaned out the window to see what the commotion was about...

My dog was standing in front of me, with her nose to my belly- pushing me
away from the end of the driveway...away from the passing cars...away from
danger, and back towards the house.

My parents were astonished- and probably a tad upset with each other...
but profoundly grateful to our dog.
A few more minutes and I would have been in the middle of the road.

I'm not sure if I'd call Femick a friend or an angel...but she was a good companion to me
until I was 16 and she passed away.

This short post was inspired by the link you'll find above.
Please take a quick minute to read is worth your time, I promise.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas baby...

Voyage through the classics...

K9 does it again! :)
Thank you beloved pooch!

So...the question is- what songs would be on such a CD- if there was one?

"White Wedding At Christmas time" - Billy Idol

"Irreplaceable Ornaments"- Beyonce

"Synchronicity III Around the Tree"- The Police

"I want to love you, but you've drunk too much eggnog" -Akon

"Last Christmas" (you gave me mono)- Wham

"You're One of My Kind- of elves" -INXS

"I Want You, to stuff my stocking"- Bob Dylan

"A Hard Day's night- delivering all those gifts!" -Beatles

"Lay Down Sally- or Santa won't come!!" -Eric Clapton

"Walk like a Snowman"- The Bangles

"Rebel Bell" -Billy Idol (of course!)

and last, but not least- a new hit to be released next December-

* "Yellow Monkey Christmas" -Mayden

(*no lyrics- just a musical/earth sounds song- with Keyboards by X.Dell, bass by hubby, remixed and edited by K9... all I do is shake the Christmas bells and make monkey sounds- :)

This was fun :) Feel free to print off this cd cover and use it for all your cd's! :)

I am! :)

(*Editors note-Cora/Mayden has no idea who Akon is- or heard his/her music...and she only knows who Beyonce is because-- well- she showed up as a match in the "What Celebrity do you look like" game...

Any disdain for using the singers listed should be dismissed- and anyone who might have thought that Mayden was hip and "with-it" perhaps should get a life.

Mayden/Cora is adored by pre-schoolers and toddlers because they relate to each other so well...and she never made it past the 1980's in her taste for music- Ok?)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Permanent Mark-

The year is almost over.

It's been a difficult year in many ways.
And a wonderful year too because of all the people I've met- or rather I should say,
"because of people I have come to love...WITHOUT meeting them!"
Meaning YOU! :) (and some I did meet...which was sweet too~)
I started Mayden's Voyage in January...and I took the name from a book I was trying to write. Maybe one day you'll see "Mayden's Voyage" at Barnes and Noble...but to be honest- I've kind of lost the fire for the story line.
Perhaps I should start over?

2006 was arduous for a number of reasons- not the least of which was my husbands job.
His work has kept him away from us- and when he is home- he's pretty detached.

We've been married for 17 years, together for almost 20...and honestly- we are so used to each other. Like old slippers and matter how I try to dress it's still a 20 yr old garment!
On the other hand- I can't see me facing each day without him~
The monotony of monogamy is an exacting thing. It's a hidden pit in many relationships- and very few want to admit the simple truth of
"I'm just plain-old-tired of you."
Sometimes the truth is not very pretty~
Then I read Val...and wept with her as I read about the loss of her husband. Her loss made me reconsider some things- helped me to see the depth of the void she faces- and one I will probably face in the future.
I realized the full potoential of each encounter with my spouse, family, and with others I love deeply.
Life is completely...don't hold back.
Love someone who doesn't expect it. Loves someone you don't think deserves it...
Love yourself.
It's not hubby's responsibility, not my kids...or my's MINE.
Happiness is not something we find- it is what we choose to be- and do.

Some days I choose well, some days- not so well.
Also-my kids are getting older and I'm left with more time on my hands (in some ways) than I've had in a long time.

I'm looking ahead at the next 5 years and realizing that my son will be getting ready for college...and my daughter right behind him.
In some ways I feel like my life is just beginning~
It takes my breath when I consider all the mountains left for me to climb-
and places to go-
and people to see-
and countries to rule (lol:)-
I just about wiggle out of my skin when I think of all the possibilities before me...
However- for now I am still "Mom" and have plenty to do for a while yet~ but I'm stretching and planning- and it's not always easy.
Honestly- as I look back over this year- I don't know how I would have made it without some of you. Your kindness, your honesty, and your willingness to open yourselves to me has been an amazing and remarkable thing.

Some have spoken hard truths when I needed to hear them,
others were a soft shoulder to rest on when I needed comfort,
a few held my heart in their hands when it felt like no-one else wanted it,
and some of you overwhelmed me with so much joy and friendship (and art K9!)- that I felt like the luckiest woman in the world...
And I am :)
It has been an honor to get to know you...a very real and deep blessing that has shaped my life this year, and will no doubt shape my life in some ways in the future.

This will be my last post before Christmas- and maybe before the New Year... (ha- do you think I could go 10 days without blogging something? LOL! Probably not! :)

Anyway...I'll be around and reading up on you.

Some of you have made a permanent mark on my heart...and I wanted to take a moment and tell you what a gift you have been to me in 2006.

May you each be blessed in 2007 with the same kind of love, joy, and friendship I've been given this past year.

I send much love, hugs, and warm wishes to all of you!

Merry Christmas- and Happy New Year-

(and Happy Hanukkah Kate! :)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Quote of the day~

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap,
but by the seeds you plant.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson


(Does anyone besides me seem to have a lot of weeds in their garden?

Just wondering...)


Friday, December 15, 2006

The Retirement Home...

I was ready to speak~
I entered the room wearing my festive red Christmas sweater.
The one covered in snow men, decorated trees, and little gold bells that reflected the sunlight streaming in on all the elderly people who were waiting.

They looked up and smiled- I hugged old Mr. Saunders, and tiny little Mabel,
and anyone who looked in my direction. Some were in wheelchairs, some scooted in with their
walkers, and some sat quietly with their hands folded on the table.
I was in a room full of ancient people, all colors, different back grounds, and most in their late years of life...80, 90, a few close to 100.

We sang songs like "Heavenly Sunshine", "Sweet By and By", and "Nearer to Thee".
Old Hymns I don't often hear, but as I looked across the room at the faces singing back to me- I could see these dear people had known these songs all of their life.
Even the hunched-over woman in a special chair, who couldn't lift her head was mouthing the words of the songs.

They are almost radiant- as if a fading light inside got a new busrt of energy. They were connecting with something internal- and it never fails to touch me.

After songs, birthday announcements, and prayer requests, I was not "introduced", but I was welcomed :)
Everyone there knows me because I've been comming for almost a year.

Sometimes I re-tell a story, or read a book that seems appropriate, but usually I try to bring a message of hope and encouragement through something I've read in the Scripture.

Today the story was not exactly about Christmas- it was about an old childless priest, his equally old wife, and young girl who was engaged to be married.

An Angel visited the old priest in the Temple, and the young girl probably at home:

The old man was silenced for his doubt, but he and his wife were still given a much prayed for son.
The young girl was blessed and would become one of the most well known mothers in the world.

I shared how Christmas really began- with a doubter and his wife who was well past childbearing age, and girl too young to really grasp what was happening.
I was struck at how ordinary the people were that God used to further His purpose.

He used people just like me...doubtful, afraid, too old, young, and ordinary.

Oh- and faulty. He often used people who had made mistakes.

I closed our gathering with a prayer- and waited as some of the elderly people made their way out...hugging me again as they went.
One lady whispered in my ear, "Honey, I love the way you told that story- and I really needed to hear it." Then she paused and looked into my eyes and said,
"I often doubt when I need to trust...Thank you, and bless you."

I felt myself tear up.

I love these older people- and I know they are wiser than me.
They have lived long lives full of ups and downs, and made good decisions and bad-
and understand more about life than I do. They are remarkable folks who are walking
the final stretch of their race- and I should be sitting at their feet- listening, rather than
speaking to them.

I suddenly felt so ordinary.
And unworthy-

And with that feeling-
I barely began to understand how an old priest and a young girl felt, in the presence of an Angel-Months before the very first Christmas...

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the savior is born
Christ the savior is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord, at thy birth
Jesus Lord, at thy birth

Monday, December 11, 2006

The highlights of the weekend :)

Last weekend was not a total bust...

One fun thing we did last week was decorate the tree-

and I had a little pal to hang around with me...

I'd like to show you what we did :)

Here is the tree- just with lights ~

Me- in my very alluring PJ's...complete with flower socks, and pink slippers...


My new "Pal" was very helpful in making sure I made the fudge correctly :)

And he made sure I used real butter in the "Black and Tan" cookies~

And he watched over my "little Pixie" as she surfed the web- (playing Runescape)


And look who's sitting in my tree!!! :)


Ok- These are for Lux...and anyone who thinks that glasses and that "ready for nite-nite look" is sexy :)

'Nite Darlin'

Thursday, December 07, 2006

6 weird things about me...

I've been tagged at least twice now- and I wonder why :)

and Leelee

Either I'm normal with quirks.
or I'm mostly quirks.

1) I have kept a journal for almost 30 years.
In all I have over 20 journals/notebooks. This is not counting the dozens of regular notebooks with stories, and story ideas. This past year I have written about some of you!
One day these books will be passed on to my children and grandchildren...or perhaps published?
2) I talk to myself- a lot...and not always in private. (Little Lamb, we are in good company :)

3) I try to write something almost every day, either a poem, journal entry, story, or story ideas. I have 4 other blogs besides this one...but I don't update them regularly...and trust me, you are not missing anything- they're pitiful really.

4) I travel with a hot water pot and my favorite tea (English Breakfast)- China, South Africa, and New York...where ever. If I wake up some place other than home- I will have my tea and a way to make it.

5) I totally enjoy meeting new people, but I married a complete and utter introvert.
5 is my favorite number and I'm "double jointed".
(I added these in case it doesn't seem strange that opposites marry each other- which more common than I thought...even if it seems weird as heck to me most of the time living with this person :)

6) When I found my first WHITE hair (in my 20's) I pulled it out and taped it to a black index card and put it in my journal. I questioned as to whether or not I would take a plaster impression of my first wrinkle- and decided against it :)

Ok- I'm going to break the rules here and not offically tag anyone- but if you want to post 6 weird things about yourself- tell me and I will come read it- although I think nearly everyone has posted one :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Spirit of the Season~

The Spirit of the Christmas season is about LOVE and GIVING.

Loving each other, your family (if at all possible), and even loving

people you don't know.

(and I don't mean "swinging stranger parties" either! Pug!)

Hanukkah is commemorates the re dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews' 165 B.C.E. victory over the Hellenist Syrians, and a miracle that happened in the holy Temple-a Menorah that should have burned out in 1 day, but lasted 8.

Jesus, being brought up in a Jewish house hold- would have celebrated Hanukkah.
I didn't know that until today...

However you celebrate- I wish you a joyful season of

Love, Giving, and Miracles.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah!



I kind of like these guys ;)

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thank you Freya!!!

I can't really put into words how much this meant to me today...
Something came in the mail for me~

Thank you Freya...I love it! I can not wait to get our tree up!
The "pup" is going to hang out with me for a few days and will probably end up in a few photos- I think he will enjoy the new digs :)

This may be one of the most special ornaments I have now-
Thank you for being so thoughtful- I just love it!!!

Much love to you from me :)
-Cora :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

BOND has moved...(click here)

Daniel is over at Mayden's Voyage Photos~

He did nothing for X

SJ might have been a tad concerned over my immaturity?

Pug said he was boring (Red? From that 70's show? Definite jealousy :)

Some were confused

/t was shaken

Schaumi was unscathed :)

Iamnot may have found his twin, and
K9 lost his squirrel breakfast over a bathing suit pic-
So- here I am last Freya's scarf a test shot...(heavens I hope she gets to wear it one day!)
Besides...Daniel is just a fantasy- and each of you are real :)

(Schaumi, Kate, beloved Lux, Rach...please feel free to view the lovely Mr. Craig on my other page- I'll be there too :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

P.A.R.E.N.T.I.N.G. 101

I read this article-
"A better Nation Through Education"

Well, yes, of course- this is the premise of schooling children from age 6 until 18.
The idea that all children should be educated in the basics of Math, Language, Science and History- whether in a public or private environment to better our society.

However, this man wants things like Compassion and Kindness to be taught in school.

Oh- it sounds good.
My kid's elementary school has had a "Virtue" of the month for years now- and they have a program called "Caught being good"- where students who are "caught" going the extra mile in clean up, or helping another student, get tagged by a teacher and get to have a special celebration. There is a celebration every month.
I think this is fine, it boosts morale, and it does reward good behavior- but only on the surface.

What about doing good for it's own sake? What about being kind as a way of life?
Where is this taught?

Are we to depend on teachers for knitting the moral fiber of our kids as well as instructing them on how to add, and spell, and memorize important dates in History?

Ummm- excuse me...are parents responsible for nothing???

Everytime I meet a new Teacher for my kids- I tell them the same thing..."If you have problems with him/her- call me. I will back you up."

If my kids were disrespectful to a teacher and it got back to me-
I'd- well, actually, that has NEVER happened to me.

Know why? You know why!

Momma don't play that!

Nor do I let my kids listen to anything they want on the radio, or watch anything they want on TV, or play video games all day- even on vacation I limit TV and game time.
I do not let my kids "talk back" to me- or say ugly things to each other...and I sure don't let them push anyone around.

And you know what- it shows in all the things they do. They know how to be respectful, good and kind because I SET THE EXAMPLE!!!

I know there are kids with great parents and real problems. I also know there are great kids with royal screw-ups for parents- and those parents need to have their butts kicked.

I love teachers. They have an important job, but not more important than the job that I have of being MOM. If I do my job right- the teachers can focus on teaching- both through their broad educational background, and by their own example.

Here's a program that might really make a difference-

"A Better Nation Through better Parenting"

Can I get an Amen?

INVESTing in your child...with your time, love, patience, kindness, and ATTENTION is the greatest cure for what ails our country- and then, invest yourself in the lives of your kids friends.

And send a goodie to your kids teacher every now and then- remember- you are setting an example~

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgivng 2006, Done and Dusted!

Thanksgiving, for me, is celebrated over 2 days~

Thursday is spent with hubby's family~

Mother-in-Law loves to decorate for Christmas...

I thought the De-capitating Snow Man" Bear was a bit odd, but the kids loved it :)

Hubby and me :) And.... ----------------------------------------->J wanted a new hair color!!!

Friday is spent with my family~
Counting all my siblings- their spouses and their kids- and add my parents- we are a group of about 21 people, and 18 were able to make it this year.

The Friday Feast with all my relations was supposed to be at my sister Robin's house.
However, at 11 pm on Thursday night- her 4 yr old became rather sick. I'll skip the details- but somehow, someway- I ended up with 4 overnight guests, and 18 people in my house for Thanksgiving dinner on Friday!!!

From 8 am Friday until 7pm that evening- I cooked, arranged, cleaned, (and only cried once), organized, and entertained :)
A wonderful time was had by all- I thought I'd share some of it with you~

A bunch in the kitchen ! And Aunt Nonna (me) gettin' some love from one of my nephews :) SMOOCH!!!

I had 3 tables set up- with just enough room for everyone :)

We all had a great time, the sick little one turned out to be OK- and I was happy to have my house back late Friday night!

Hubby and I even got to see the James Bond movie Saturday night...

Daniel Craig is BEAUTIFUL!!! LOL!

Ok- time to go back to real life~ Hope your holiday (if you had one) was as good as mine- and hopefully yours had less work involved! :)