Friday, December 30, 2011

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~World Illusion

   Well in just a very short time the whole world will be entering into a brand new year.

New beginnings.

       New Blessings ( God willing)

So, I thought it only fitting to bring you some art that is themed around the whole world. I had to see this more than once to get the full effect. Please enjoy art from French artist  François Abélanet~~~Magic World~

OK, was that fabulously wacky or what?!!! It is a form of art called anamorphic illusion. The person who shot this video goes by the name World Scott . This is the François Abélanet's website: (click "land Art" tab) it is in french but the videos show the process of his work...very interesting.

I hope you enjoyed this week's art. I hope and pray you all have a safe and happy New Year!!! See you on the flip side!
                                         Blessings, Joanne.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Fashion Wednesday~~~New Year's Eve

        So we get over Christmas and then there's New Years Eve. As a child we never ever went anywhere for New Year's eve. We all stayed home and Mom and Dad had a glass of Champagne at the end of the night and we got to drink 7up from champagne flutes.

Living in the city you would think that I had gone to see the ball drop in Times Square at least once right?
NOPE. I  don't like crowds. Though they do look like they are having fun.

There have been only two times that I have celebrated New Year's eve away from home. Both times witnessing countless car drivers weaving in and out of consciousness while driving top speed. No thanks brother I am staying home.

I do love seeing the fashions of the people that choose to go out though.  This year is all about the  one sleeve

now for some unsolicited advice...

The one shouldered look is very in this year but quite frankly this is for the young young young. Anyone (not in the best of shape) over 45 sporting this ( especially after giving birth and  breast feeding children) might look like she is smuggling two long loaves of Italian bread.  A bra would definitely be in order but anyone over the cup size of b will most likely be lopsided by night's end. And that loose skin that we sport under our arms will only make a clapping sound if we wave hello to anyone;  Too much to think about I'd say.

Shine shine shine is the name of the game for New Year's, but if you are just a tad overweight (as it is in my case) you may want to cut down on the shine just a bit ...If I wore head to toe shine people might start the countdown whenever I descend a staircase thinking I'm the ball in times square.

Lastly, the kiss at the end of the night. First , make sure you are wearing non-smearing lipstick so that your sweetheart does not end up looking like Milton Berle in drag. If you are lucky to have a sweetie to smooch when the clock strikes twelve then smooch away...remember I wrote the word smooch...not sword fight your way into the new's best to leave that to a more private moment.

Now will I be celebrating New Years Eve? Of course!

Only I'll be wearing this

and sporting these

and there might not be champagne but I can still get a little buzz...I bought the extra large box of Swiss Miss chocolate cocoa mix....


                                              I am set!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After Christmas.....Ahhhhhhhhh What a Relief!

I am sitting staring blankly at the computer screen and I've got nothin'

It's sort of like when It's dinner time and there you are staring into the fridge hoping that an idea...any idea of what to cook comes to you, but all that happens is that you realize you have spent 5 minutes staring at frozen chicken breasts.

All I have come up with is the fact that I am glad that Christmas is over. No, I am not a scrooge. I love Christmas, but I think ( for a Mom) in addition to Mother's day the next best day has got to be December 26th. No more stress-filled days of preparation. Every year without fail I have a no holds barred crying fit. It usually comes from a pile-up of things that go wrong and the stress of being a hostess with hardly anytime to spare.

This year was different. I did not have my annual breakdown where my husband looks at me like this.

I wondered why and I finally figured it out.

I didn't aim for things to be perfect.

That's it.

I accepted that there were things that I was just not going to be able to do and I didn't think twice about letting go.

For example every time I went to get Christmas cards made at CVS there was a long line and or the photo machines were not working. After trying several stores  I said "what the heck; I just wont send them this year"...and you know what? The world did not come to a screeching halt and went right along turning without the cards.

The awesome seafood dinner that I was going to make for Christmas eve  became homemade sauce with ziti and meatballs.

The kids did not get every single thing on their list and you know what? They loved the gifts they got and were thrilled.

I gave my Mom a purse and hat and glove set and I also made her very favorite dishes for Christmas and she loved that more than the fancy schmancy Microwave we got her a few years back.

So I am glad this Christmas is over and I can place all those great memories and seal them in my heart. It was not perfect....but in a way it really was.

Hmmm, I did have something to write about after all and guess what we're going to have for dinner tomorrow...Chicken. Go figure... I killed two birds with one stone!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's 12:36am and It's Finally Christmas

     It is 12:36 am so it is officially Christmas. The house is quiet and I am finally at peace.

No more Christmas shopping.

   No more Wrapping gifts.

       I am alone with my thoughts and so content.

I wanted to take this time to Wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.

I wish you joy.

I wish you peace.

I wish you love.

I wish you health.

Now I am going to go to sleep.....but before I go I may eat one of the cookies left for Santa...

Wha? come on he'll never miss it.


                Happy Birthday Jesus!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Paper Angel

    Just a few days ago we decorated our Christmas tree. We Always play Christmas music. This year I could not find our traditional Christmas CD. So instead in the background played Tropical Christmas with a bit of a reggae beat. yeah mon... We did have our Traditional hot chocolate

          and Christmas cookies (made by me---no burnt ones in this                batch...that's a first!)

                                    after we place all of the ornaments (most of which were hand made by our kids) on the tree;  we placed the angel on the very top.

In 1995 My Husband when My Hubby and I were celebrating our very first Christmas I was determined to find the perfect topper for our tree. Growing up my family placed a glittery star that lit up on top of our silver Tree that had branches that were stick straight ( hey it was the 70's) Our friends had an angel that moved her arms out and even her wings moved too. I wanted something special as well. So away we went to look for that perfect topper for our tree.

We looked every where but we couldn't find the right one. Then on one outing when we were buying Wrapping paper, we looked on a shelf and way in the back was a paper mache angel.

It wasn't glittery

                    It didn't move

                                          or light up.

We fell in love with her.

She had been marked down considerably. I guess no one wanted her...but we sure did.

Every year we unwrap the angel and place her on our tree. We think back to those early days when we were just starting out and wonder how can so many years have gone by when it feel like it just happened?

The Angel has held up very well in fact she looks brand new and it never ceases to amaze me how just looking at her brings us back to that first Christmas when it was just Hubby and I starting out....just yesterday.

could you believe she is made out of paper?!

                     What is on  top of your tree?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A night in the City~and a Day to Write a Post

Since my Computer is working in super slow speed and I can't seem to get a post written in less than three hours I have decided to just post a few times a week until after Christmas  when I can try and fix this stupid stinking pile of junk I loosely call a computer....Do I sound too angry?

My frustration

My solution

But since we all know that I am NOT going to trash the computer I will try to post a post today EVEN IF IT TAKES ME ALL STINKING DAY!!!!


OK, I feel a bit better

SOOOOOOO anyhoo,
                On Friday a we went into the city to see the Radio City Christmas Show starring the Rockettes. It was the first time for my friend who was visiting and I think she was quite overwhelmed by the crowds. You see before moving to Upstate New York she and her husband were stationed in Alaska. Big difference for sure! 

We left the house at 4:30 and just made it to the 7pm show. Parking in the city at Christmas time is the biggest pain in the butt ever. I should have taken the train but that would have set her over the edge I think.

The show was great as always and the Rockettes were beautiful and flawless in routines that have been a staple of the show since 1933.
 I have to admit however that my very favorite part is the living Nativity scene. it is breathtaking.

 That is a real camel in the back right corner

I must have taken a hundred pictures! Later on after the show I heard over the loudspeaker that pictures of the show were strictly forbidden. SOOOO I guess I am technically a criminal on the lam.

Later we walked over to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and stood in the midst of a sea of people who were also trying to get the perfect shot.
                                 There is an ice skating rink below
                but I couldn't get close enough to include it in the picture

Then off to St. Patrick's Cathedral....leaves me in awe every time.

The view as you walk into the church


The Stations of the Cross Carved relief from stone


                                                                 The Pieta 
The Pieta was sculpted in 1906 by William Ordway Partiridge. It was inspired by Michelangelo's Pieta in St. Peter's Cathedral at the Vatican in Rome.
The chief sculptor was Francesco LoDestro

I hope you enjoyed the if  New York's finest (police officers) drop by your home asking about some illegal pictures taken at Radio City...MUMS the word OK?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Who's Afraid of The "Big" Bad Dog?

Hi Everyone,
                First let me start by apologizing for not posting the last few days. Let's just say that my computer has been really s-l-o-w. There is something definitely wrong with it. It takes forever to load and commenting on other blogs has become impossible. But all is not lost...where there's a will there's a way right? on with the post.....

This past weekend some very dear friend came and stayed with us. We try to visit at least twice a year and at the end of every visit we hug and cry. We will all miss them... all except maybe for...our Dog Max. Remember our dog Max? Here's a picture.

Whatta face huh? Well it just so happened that on this visit our very dear friends brought along their dog. Right off the bat their dog was obsessed with our Dog.

He just wouldn't leave our dog alone

I think Max would label him as a vicious animal.

Wherever Max went our friends dog followed. A few times he even challenged our dog by staring him down threatened with his "vicious" bark.
 Max had never been confronted by such a "in your face" kind of dog.

Even though Max might have been in a bit of danger I let him fight his battles with this dog.

The weekend ended and Max came out of it unscathed.

and Thank God for that too because there were few times there where I thought my Max was a goner.

I mean when faced with an adversary as tough as this....


We're lucky Max is still alive!  :O)

By the end of the weekend they started to get along. They even wore their matching sweaters.

Its not music that soothes the savage's bacon.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

          OK, I know you might not get many letters from 48 year-olds but since you didn't get me my baby Alive doll, doll house and a real pair of roller skates  when I was little I figure you owe me one.

I am trying to keep the Christmas spirit but you see its a teensy weensy bit hard when my tree lights look like this

When every last stinking Christmas cookie turns out like this

And when it seems that every toy (no matter how simple) is never priced below

And if I hear Mariah Carey sing all I want for Christmas one more time I may end up in an institution!

My question to you is how do I get back my Christmas Spirit when I just feel crappy and stressed and a bit sad?

                              Joanne ( you know the one who you didn't give a baby alive doll even though I was really good)


Dear Joanne,

          I see your dilemma and I think I have a way for you to get the Christmas Spirit back...

 Here's a reminder


I hope this helps.

                                                      Love, Santa

P.S. I think it's time to let go of the Baby Alive doll grudge.


Dear Santa,
                Thanks. I guess I needed a little reminder. I'm feeling a whole lot better now.

But since I have your attention...
                                   Can I have a Doll House?


                                                      Love, Joanne


Dear Joanne,


                                        Love, Santa

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Sad Goodbye


          Today we found out that a beloved teacher of our school passed away after a long fight with cancer.

          To say that this Teacher was special is an understatement. Every year when parents found out that their kids were going to be in her class a giant sigh of relief was heard.

My own daughter was lucky enough to be in her class. At the beginning of that school year my husband and I went to open school night. One of the first things this teacher said was "I love to teach. I love teaching the fourth grade." she said this with a huge smile and eagerness. It was infectious. she then told us how she would push and challenge our kids to learn, but that they would have a great time doing so.

They did.

This teacher quickly became my Daughter's favorite teacher.

This teacher was patient and kind and opened new worlds for the children. She was excited to teach which in turn made the kids excited to learn. There was something about her that made you strive to try harder and do better. The kids wanted to do well at first for her because she expected them to always try their best, but then they did well because they wanted to learn. They wanted to explore and soon discovered that they did indeed love science and math. They wanted to do better because she made it fun for them.

At the end of the year the kids were sad to leave, and she was sad too, but she was excited for them to continue their journey. She was always interested  and overjoyed to hear of their successes. This year many of her old students were inducted into the Junior Honor Society ( my own J included). She would have been so proud.

Once in a life time one comes across a teacher that we remember forever. She was that teacher for these kids. Teaching was what she was meant to do. She was the absolute best at it.

Today my kids were told of her passing. They came home with heavy hearts.

Tonight at dinner we prayed for her family asking God to comfort them in what is certainly the worst time of their lives.

As I write this I feel that we should not think of how she left this world but celebrate this wonderful woman's life. We should give thanks that she chose to teach and entered our children's lives; and because of her their lives were enriched, and blest for having known her.

 Dear Sweet Teacher, As you fly with the angels we know you take the children's love and ours with you. We will miss you so much. The Children you taught will always have a part of you with them.

You can rest now Mrs. N.  ... the kids you loved and who love you will take it from here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Tree Lighting NOT in Rockefeller Center

If you are ever in New York in the month of December you have to go see the Christmas  tree at Rockefeller center. It is huge! There is a great big tree lighting ceremony and people come from all over to see it lit for the first time.

The Christmas tree usually stands on average about 70 feet...once once reaching 100 feet. 

So... not to be out our little neck of the woods our town has its own version of a great tree lighting ceremony. A few years back they started off by planting a tree a bit smaller than the one in  Rockefeller Center... I think it was a bit shy of 70 feet...OK it was about 10 feet high but the Fire department came and so did Santa.
                              Santa was like a Rock Star instantly
                                            surrounded by Children wanting to meet him!

 Hot chocolate was given out and there was music galore. This year it was no different except the initial crowd (a few years back of just about 30 or 40)  has grown significantly. This year the tree looked to be about 12 feet (its growing nicely) Santa came by firetruck as usual but was also accompanied by some of the prettiest horses you have ever seen!

                            This guy stole my heart

So Maybe it's not Rockefeller Center With it's multitudes of happy tourists and famous ice skating rink, but it suits us just fine      

Friday, December 02, 2011

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~LED Sheep

      Many of you will probably be putting up lights this weekend ( if you haven't already). Well, I want to share with you a video that  displays those LED lights in a whole different way!

OK Some of you may have seen this video but It was the first time for me. It seems some farmers in Wales decided to create some art of their own. For the most part they were able to create awesome shapes with the sheep ( with the help of the sheep herding dogs of course.)  It really is an amazing video.

So here is LED Sheep Art ...they are so cute!


And The next one shows a bit of the
                              behind the scenes of farm art : LED sheep


How cool was that! And to think I feel putting lights on the outside of the house is hard :O)
I hope you all have a magical weekend!

                                                             Blessings, Joanne

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Letting Go

Yesterday was a rough day.

I had to take my mom to doctor's appointments and it seemed wherever we went took forever. No matter how many magazines an office has or even if they have a TV...a long wait is a long wait.

Then you get your hopes up when they finally call your name but this just means that you will have yet another long wait in the exam room...So we waited and waited, but it could have been worse

This poor guy must have had a really really long wait.


So as the day progressed the angrier I got. Since I was with my mom I could not outwardly show how angry I was. I was not angry at her. I have harbored intense anger at two particular people and whenever I find myself completely overwhelmed with caring for my Mom. I get angry all over again. I get angry and feel guilty that my kids have been affected by these two people. The fact that I have to drag the kids everywhere and that they themselves have done more for my mom than they should....and always with a happy giving heart.... makes me even angrier at those that don't seem to see. I thought about how disappointment has invaded my Mom's heart and mine in the past.  After I dropped her off at her apartment I got in the car and raced to do some grocery shopping. I spoke out loud...

I asked God how could I forgive people when they have not asked for forgiveness? How could I let go of this awful anger I feel and have felt for years and years? I hate this hate I feel ( hate for what they do, not hate for them themselves)  and I feel so defeated when I allow the anger to eat at me.

I raced home to get there just in time for my children's arrival from school.
 my daughter volunteered to decorate the youth house at church and so we raced there. At the main part of the church there was a prayer group being held. I debated going in. I am relatively new to the church and I am not comfortable in new situations especially when I virtually know no one. I walked in and everyone had already sat down. There were prayers for the Church and it's members. It felt good being part of a prayer group again. There were prayers of gratitude and Love for God and his blessings. Then something happened...

The Pastor spoke and said "I just feel that God wants me to pray about this so I am just going to say it...I want to pray for anyone here that might be holding a grudge or having trouble with forgiveness."

I swallowed hard and willed my face to not turn red.

I had my answer. This was no coincidence.  They were praying for me and they didn't even know it. So as I prayed for others there that might be going through the same anguish...I let the hate go. I said goodbye to the anger. With the help of people that I don't even know I said OK Lord here I am and I am letting go and I'm doing this your way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Fashion~~~Winter Hats and a Package from Becca

Hi everyone I am so sorry this post is late. Had  take my Mom to two appointments today and had no time to sit here and write.

First let me thank Becca from Everyday Life I was having a crappy day and then it was turned around when I got  a package from Becca. I received a $10.00 gift certificate a week ago and then yesterday I received An awesome book! She has cool give-a-ways and I won two! If you haven't checked her blog yet please do. She is so sweet and quite the poet. There is always something new going on there. Thanks again Becca!

And now onto Wednesday's Fashion

I love hats. In fact in my early 20's I lived in a black Fedora hat. Lately  however I have stopped wearing hats, but I think this is my year. I am off to find a cool hat to wear this winter.

In the 80's I lived in a hat like this


1920's and 30's

Should I go totally 20's? Check out this velvet trimmed hat. too cool



OOO LA LA  a knit Beret and I am kind of liking that handbag...very unique.


I love the fact that everyone went out wearing a smart hat



Lovely Grace in a lovely flower adorned hat


1960's Catherine Deneuve

I remember my Mother always tying a pretty scarf around her hairdo.

Now you know I had to include Audrey somewhere in this post. How chic is this scarf wrap!


The 70's brought back the wide brimmed floppy hat


Since my ears hurt terribly when the cold wind hits. This would be perfect for me


The 90's brought us flowered embellished hats...We can thank the show Blossom for that.


Currently anything goes. Designers are taking their inspiration from the past.



And that's great; more choices, but I wonder if I can pull off wearing this?


Not exactly high fashion, but oh so much fun!