Grays of Winter

Now that I live in the mid-west, winter means no more sun for a few months. We do see it periodically but the gray of winter really settles in for the season. But even with the grayness, there is still beauty if you know how to look. Nature still holds the key to the beauty of creation – even in the gray of winter. Sunsets seem to be the most colorful…when you see it.

But when the snow starts to fall you see a purity that covers even the ugliest ground reminding you that even in the grayest season, beauty can still be found.

Aside for the beauty you see in the trees, small collections of snow are just as pretty, even on weeds.

So regardless of grayness or sun, winter can still be beautiful. You just have to look a different way. And sometimes in the still of night, the beauty is amazing, especially reflecting off of the snow.

So, look at the gray of winter as another way of seeing the beauty of creation taking in another side of gray. And remember whichever season you are in you can always find beauty and kindness. Share the kindness and watch the beauty grow.

CFFC: Holiday Colors

Cee reminds us to share our holiday colors. I do love all holidays…but Christmas is a favorite due to my love of unique Christmas ornaments. I love their colors, their shapes and their meanings. Christmas is a time where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and so many of my ornaments and décor follow along that theme. Except for the village. I have a fifty plus piece village that goes up in November when the weather turns cold. While there are many Christmas components to it, this year we added more winter components as in a mountain and ski slope.

You can see the full village takes up two tables, well a desk and a table, plus the cathedral is on a shelf further over. The majority of these plaster buildings, I painted as a summer project in 2000 and a few others have been bought over the years. This year we expanded the “country” by adding the mountain and ski slope.

And of course any good snow covered mountain needs an abdominal snowman…thanks to the Rudolph character Bumble.

But I must close with sharing the beauty of a new addition. My daughter knows my love for angels and got me this beautiful piece. At night, it’s lights glow, making it even more beautiful.

So regardless of the holiday you may celebrate this time of year, I remind you to do it with love and kindness. Those aspects of any holiday make the memories last longer, creating smiles and kindness that can carry you for the rest of the year.

Always Be Kind

And in Closing…

As we get ready to close out another year, I am again astounded as to how fast this past one went by.

For most of us, its a time of reflection…

Did we remember to enjoy the beauty we saw…the amazing colors of the sunrise or the calming of the sunset? Did we remember to share in the gentleness of smiles we saw, sharing them back with contagious love?

Did we catch a single snowflake on our tongue, feeling its cold but seeing their beauty as they cover the land in white perfection…knowing that no single flake is like another – an astounding reality of creation…much like every man.

Did we pause as we listened to the chirping of the birds or hear the laughter of children as they play? Or maybe we went for a walk and could hear the quiet sounds of nature as she whispers the beauty of life as God intended us to hear.

Did we truly feel the love come though with that hug we received? Did we in turn hug back with that same love, sharing a quick taste of the love to come from God…a love so full it could make you gasp with its power?

Did we remember that the gifts we are given from God are free to us for the mere asking…even though they came at a great cost…a cost we could never fathom to withstand by ourselves.

As we begin to start a new year, let us remember the beauty of this past year, even with it hardships. The hope of God’s love gives us strength even when we feel weak.

Always remember the beauty and power of kindness. It can be brighter than any star and powerful enough to change any direction. For this next year, try a little extra kindness and see how it brightens your new year.

First Big Snow

This week we are expecting our first big snow of the season – 3-5 inches. Well, having a white Christmas is always nice. That is surely something you don’t see in the south. Tomorrow at work, the three of us are doing the small gift exchange of cutesy things we get for each to have fun and to make each other smile.

For my partner in goofiness I painted her a Merry Christmas sign in honor of all snowmen.

Then I wrote her this poem to go with it for the upcoming snow on Thursday.

The Magic of a Snowman

The magic of a snowman is quite plain to see

With outstretched mittens to hug you and me

His smile is as bright as the new fallen snow

Showing our happiness in the way it should go

With snowfall a-coming, like in a few days

The smiles of these snowman will brighten your way

Merry Christmas

Anita

Remember in all that you do, to always be kind…even if you are a snowman.

Always be Kind

There’s Something Calming About a Fireplace

Being originally from south Georgia, I tend to not be a fan of winter. But I moved this way because I was tired of the heat. We are never really satisfied with all aspects of weather. But during the winter, there is something peaceful about watching the fire in the fireplace, especially during Christmas.

If you are in your winter season, may you feel the warmth of life around you and remember to share that warmth in kindness.

Always be kind

FOTD, Memories

The midwest during the winter months can be bleak. Currently we have not see the sun in four days with more rain and clouds due this next week. 🥺 Guess that’s better than feet of snow.

So I am digging back into archives of 2021 to remember the beauty and warmth of the sunshine. I fully understand the need for the plant life to rest but I do miss them so.

Sunflowers and bumble bees…sleep well my friends.

While nature is sleeping, don’t let you kindness sleep. Share it often.

Always be kind.

Christmas Songs

I have always wondered what in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge sitting up in pear tree have to do with Christmas?

I saw this on Facebook and though it interesting. Not sure of its validity but felt it worth sharing.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-

-Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-Ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

-Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So there is your history for today. I found it interesting and enlightening and now understand how that strange song became a Christmas Carol. Share this with others as you wish and have a very Merry Christmas.

And as always, remember the beauty and power of kindness and share it often.

Time to Make the Donuts

Remember the “time to make the donuts” guy with the commercials for Dunkin Donuts?

Well, for me and others in our church… its that time of year for Christmas cookies. Its time to make the cookies!!

Every Christmas since Covid hit our world, my church has been making cookies for our local fire station and police station to show them we appreciate their talking care of our community. Its a shame that it took an epidemic to make us understand the value of so many services we had been basically taking for granted. Fortunately, I have never had need of their services but I have seen them do some marvelous things for others. So if you or a family member are in one of these wonderful service groups, I thank you.

Today I made muffins, brownies and orange crispy cookies. Tomorrow I will make some quick breads. And you gotta throw in some chocolate candy, must have chocolate at Christmas. Then we bag them up two or three in a sandwich bag depending on size so it is easy for them to grab a snack after coming in from a duty call.

Merry Christmas and thank you to all the firemen and police officers who helps us in our communities.

And remember the ease, the simpleness, and the power of Kindness and use it often.

Your one small act of kindness may not change our world, but to the one receiving that kindness, you have changed their world.

Always be kind.

New Tree

Those of you who have read me over the last few years know that I go a little “Griswold” at Christmas. Because of a modification to my Christmas village this year, I had to move my train set and railroad station. So where…where do we put it??🤔 I know, I will go by to childhood years and put it under the tree. Okay, which tree?🤔 The living room tree and the dining room tree are too formal…

the ocean tree is not thematically correct…

and there is no room under the bedroom tree because of the large 4 foot stuffed Santa Claus…plus Daisy has issues with moving things.

That leaves me with only one option…buy a new tree…lol. And since it is going in the sunroom with the other outdoor themed decorations, lets make it an outdoor tree…so here we have the bird tree featuring many owls. And below we have the working train carrying its many imaginary visitors home for Christmas.

So as you enjoy the fun parts of Christmas, remember the heart of and why we do Christmas. God sent us a marvelous gift that came to give us life and to show us His power love that is to be shared with all of creation. Merry Christmas and remember to always be kind.

Always Be Kind

FOTD, Snow Bloom

I have been so busy lately. I have not had the chance to visit but I always had my camera (ie, my phone) along and I wanted to share this photo of our first snow back in November.

The dianthus had been beautiful all summer and even with the snow, it was showing a different side of beauty. Now that we are approaching the colder months, let your kindness warm the hearts of those around you.

Always Be Kind