Wednesday, December 28, 2011

christmas holiday (#816-828 of 1000 gifts)

"A holiday gives one a chance to look backward and forward to reset oneself by an inner compass." - May Sarton

Our Christmas weekend was fabulous with a crowded house and lots of activity. Monday after everyone left, it was eerily quiet except for the chug, chug of the washing machine and soon the whine of the vacuum cleaner. Inside my head it was quiet too, with the muffling fog of fatigue.

That fog has slowly lifted as I've caught up on my sleep. I'm ever so grateful for this quiet little hallway between Christmas and the beginning of 2012—a time to lounge about, tie up loose ends, read, watch TV, visit friends, dream a little.

Here are my gifts from the last week or so...

816. Safe Christmas travels.

817. Baby smiles





818. Little boys being little boys.





819. Big boys playing with little boys.



820. A full table.



821. A birthday cake for Jesus.



822. A bookful of exploring to look forward to (the book: An Introduction to Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem—just what I asked for!)


823. A no-stairs laundry area.


824. Cozy new PJs.


825. Leftovers.

826. Thoughts turning to new beginnings.


827. The knowledge that losing all those Christmas treats around my middle is as simple (and hard) as not eating.


828. Just back from our daily morning walk, I'm loving the unseasonable warmth (10.5 C = 50.9 F).


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If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.



Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

light


Merry Christmas music box

I wish you could see this charming little decoration in action. It's cute as a still diorama. But flick the switch at the back and music starts to play, the lamp glows, light shines through the window, and the tree pulsates, morphing from red to blue to green back to red. Then place the magnet-bottomed bear onto the skating rink and watch him twirl across its surface.




Thursday Challenge

Next week: Light - 2nd Week (Candle, Street, Business, Fireplace, Glitter, Sparkle,...)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, December 19, 2011

anticipation (#805 - 815 of 1000 gifts)

"Hustle and bustle, hurry and haste,
Never a moment that we might waste;
Shopping and wrapping, ribbons and bows,
Christmas is coming as everyone knows..."

A stanza from "Christmas is Coming" by Garnett Ann Schultz (Christmas Ideals)

I rarely sleep through the night. In fact I wake up several times each night to toss, and turn, and look to see what time it is. Our large-number, glow-in-the-dark digital clock which sits across the bed from me on hubby's bedside table is perfect for that. I can actually read the numbers without my glasses.

Lately when I look at the time, I can't tell you how often I happen to see it when the numbers are three-of-a-kind, four-of-a-kind or a run: 11:11, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33. Saturday night to Sunday it was 4:44, last night it was 2:34. I've played enough cards to know that such repeating numbers often signify a good hand. We call such hands lucky. However, I've been interpreting these "clock-hands" not as lucky, but as little reminders that God sees me, loves me, and, even in the middle of the night, is up to give me a little wink and a smile. Am I crazy? That's my gift 805 this week.

And...

806. The Christmas passions of others. The lady who coordinates our church's funeral teas invited all the volunteers to her house for a Christmas tea this week. The one game we played was to find all the manger scenes she had placed in the various rooms of her house. Would you believe the grand total was 32 (and I thought I had an abundance with eight)!


807. Getting Christmas cards and letters and emails from friends and family. It's so nice to catch up!

808. A delightful tree decorated in unusual turquoise and pink (not mine).


809. Doing Christmas baking. I love baking but really shouldn't be eating sweets. However, when the kids are coming, I can afford to get carried away!



810. A medical scare close to home. I'm so thankful for a nearby hospital, attention within the day, and reassurance.

811. An old/new CD by Kim Hill bought from the bargain bin at our local Christian bookstore. (Love her voice, a combination of Rita Springer and Connie Kaldor.)

812. Permission from son and hubby (as if one needs permission, but anyway...) to have ham instead of turkey for Christmas dinner. Suddenly Christmas dinner prep is a whole lot easier.

813. A car mural.


814. Seeing cover designs for my novel. Suddenly it feels real.

815. I'm very close to being ready for Christmas!

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If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.


Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, December 12, 2011

music (#792 - 804 of 1000 gifts)

There shall be music, sweet and clear,
Calling the reverent worshipers near,
Telling the story in notes and in rhyme
Of the Child who was born at Christmastime.

There shall be music, soft and light,
A lullaby sung on a crisp winter night,
Sweetly angelic like the voices that told
Of the birth of a king to the shepherds of old.

There shall be music, deep and strong,
Filling the air with melodious song,
Resonant sounds of gladness that tend
To lift every heart to a grateful amen!

- Alice Leedy Mason (Christmas Ideals - 1978)


As I always do at this time of year, I've hauled out the Christmas albums and am giving them some play time. Some of my favorites are the 2003 Michael W. Smith Christmas album and some CDs released by Our Daily Bread that contain beautiful classical songs. I have yet to play two golden oldies that we have only as records—a Nana Mouskouri Christmas album and one by Roger Whittaker. There's nothing nicer than a house filled with the warmth of a fireplace, the twinkle of lights, and the gorgeous songs of Christmas. That's number 792 on my list of 1000 gifts.

And ...
793. A hawk sighting.


794. Much shopping and other Christmas preparation done this week.

795. The way frost transforms, outlining ...


796. ... sugar-frosting ...


797. ... glazing ... 


798. ... and exposing.


799. Discovering a new worship album. The Journey by Stuart Townend has a lively Celtic flavour. Love it! (From some notes on Mr. Townend's website: "This album may signal that it’s time to turn the guitar amps down from 11, time to dust off the violin and flute, get out the accordion and the banjo, and lead God’s people in worship along slightly different musical paths to the ones we’ve got use to in recent years – and, in my humble opinion, that’s no bad thing…" - I'd say AMEN to that!)

800. A visit with my sis.


801. An inspiring church Christmas production.


802. A Christmas party with one of those wild gift exchanges where you get to steal someone else's gift. I came home with some Starbucks!


803. Plans for Christmas Day finalized. They'll be home!

804. A beautiful Sunday walk in the fog.

Fort Langley Bridge over the Bedford Channel

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If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.



Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Thursday, December 08, 2011

communication

Sometimes words aren't necessary
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Thursday Challenge

Next Week: SHOES (Boots, Sandals, Dress Shoes, Wooden Shoes, Stiletto heals, Horse Shoes,...)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, December 05, 2011

christmas is knocking (#776-791 of 1000 gifts)

Christmas comes in softly
Soon you see it there,
In fancy foods and children's eyes,
Holly wreaths and angel hair ...

... Christmas comes in softly
As a feeling in the air;
Keep your heart alive and listen:
See and hear it everywhere!"

- D. R. Barnes (From Christmas Ideals 1978)

The second advent candle signifying preparation was certainly appropriate for the week that was. I decorated my house this week, something I've started doing in stages, which makes the job much more fun than doing it in one marathon day. And the Christmas activities have began. Both of these seasonal traditions figure into my gift list this week...

776. The special guest at our women's Christmas event was Sarah Schieber. (She popularized the song "Christmas in Heaven.") We were touched by her story and so enjoyed her music.


777. An added gift was spending the evening with my sister.

778. Getting a couple of first drafts done—early! (Now for a little spit-and-polish, and they'll be ready to send off to their respective editors.)


779. A Christmas banquet with hubby.

780. There Johnny Forrest (of Don Messer fame—yes we are old-timers) entertained us with songs from bonny Scotland.


781. Some gorgeous winter days where the colours are subtle, but still present. Now we depend on twigs to tint the scene.



782. Meeting with cousins. Though the occasion was sad (a funeral) the time was rich.


783. Reflecting on a life well lived.

784. Happening to sit beside the lady who bought my mom's suite (you could call that a sweet serendipity).


785. We're lighting advent candles at church. (We are not of the liturgical persuasion and this is something new. I love it!)



786. A wonderful Sunday with first a service at our favourite church, followed by one of our favourite walks, then lunch at one of our favourite restaurants, and finally home to watch curling, my favourite sport!

Mud Bay Park - Surrey, B.C.

787. Critters—we saw several on our Sunday walk. A heron was fishing in a tidepool.


788. A racoon was up in a tree. Why?



789. Perhaps he was in a standoff with these eagles, perched nearby? 



790. Tansy, still smiling its cheery yellow smile even though it's December.


791. Now that the house is decorated, I love the long sparkly evenings of December. This is my favourite decoration. 


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If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.




Violet Nesdoly / poems
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