Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jaws of Love

My niece's bulldog, Chloe, is a little, slow-moving (unless running to dinner!) latte-colored love ball. Her sister, Bella, pictured in an earlier post with Chloe, is an energy ball! Chloe is seen here nuzzled into the comforter on her mommy's bed. She has this adorable little slow blink that she does as she looks at you. And I can't even describe all the little sounds (grunts!) that they both make. They're like little muscular, wrinkled, baby bundles.

Chloe is also good friends with Mr. Puff, her Persian kitty brother. Here they are out by the pool enjoying the sun.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Very Mary Christmas

My in-laws have the warmest, most welcoming home, and my mother-in-law, Mary, once again shines bright by creating a Christmas wonderland. Even though it's 2008, I wanted to post these pictures because they are so great - it gives me a renewed, however late (or early?), sense of Christmas spirit. She and Dad create this vacuum of love when visitors come to call. There are sweet treats, hot teas, and perfect snacks to make your visit all the more satisfying. During the holidays though, it's even more special because the little castle is all buffed up with holiday decor. I took these photos a few days after Christmas, so there's an obvious absence of presents under the tree. But you can certainly get the idea . . . First, the picture above of the mantel (topped by a beautiful embroidered "painting" by Mary of a village of houses with paths leading to each door). The next one is the entryway when you walk in the front door. I love the Durer bunny.

These stockings Mary created many years ago when James and Fred were young. The one that says Jamie at the top in pink and green is hubby James'. How cute is that? There were others for Marty and Paul, also great, but I didn't get shots of those.

This next picture is a shelf on the china cabinet upstairs. And if my $450 camera could take a picture that wasn't blurry, I'd have a great shot of that. However, I won't make you squint at the shot I did get. Last there are the resident bears outside in the garden, all decked out with Christmas ribbons. So very Mary.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

One Foot in Front of the Other

I am inspired by this post about 'Easing Into It' by my friend Sherri at Foziewisp. And as we sipped non-fat (because it makes the best foam) Chai tea lattes yesterday, we talked about this concept. We humans can be so hard on ourselves. We expect super-human results sometimes, and all that expecting can just stymie a person. Me, for sure. As an avid dreamer, sometimes I get so tangled in my dreams and goals that I trip and fall over them and get nothing done at all! And what causes more agida than stillness, when all you want to do is move forward and do all these things whirling through your head!? It's crazy-making. A slower approach is the answer. Taking a step and savoring the job well done. A little thing done well and complete is a wonderful thing and bound to lead to more of the same.
Something I'm happy about: yesterday I made lots of progress on the 'big garage clean out of 2008' and did a bazillion loads of laundry which had piled up while I was in Florida.
Something I want to do: knock off the saying of the guilt-drenched word "should" - also inspired by Ms. Foziewisp. The word simply has to go!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Year Begins

Most year-ends happen slowly enough to give you a sec to think about the year's events as you weigh your big hopes for the coming year. This year was a crazy whirlwind as I traveled between Fort Myers and San Diego making lots of big decisions; probably weightier than any I'd made for myself all year. Quite an experience, chock full of lessons and moments that kind of stopped me in my tracks. As a result of my travels, I was left with a stronger feeling that it all boils down to a few simple things: family and friends and the love you share with these folks. And ironically, these things can be quite economical and available in abundant supply with the right mindset. If I have any resolution for the coming year it is to live, laugh, and love more. And, well, maybe some crunches? :-)
Here are a few pictures from Florida. First, my sis-in-law, Sheri, at the top of the stairs at the Bubble Room - a restaurant that we go to as a bit of a family tradition. Although the food didn't wow us as much this time, it was still nice to be there all together.

Next, the herd of Paparella dogs, all with underslung jaws. First is Chloe (a.k.a. Chlo-bee or Chlo-bee-wan-kanobi) on the right, and Bella (a.k.a. Bells or Belly) on the left. The boxer is my brother's son, Harley! Harley is pure LOVE. Words cannot describe the enormity of this dog's personality.

Last, but not least, I leave you with Buddy - the cockatiel I met at the airport during my 3.5 hour layover as I flew back to San Diego on Christmas Eve.