30 December 2011

Giving thanks...

When in doubt, 
Ellen,
 show up early. 
Think less. 
Feel more. 
Ask once. 
Give thanks often. 
Expect the best. 
Appreciate everything. 
Never give up. 
Make it fun. 
Lead. 
Invent. 
Regroup. 
Wink. 
Chill. 
Smile. 
And 
live as if
 your success
 was inevitable, 
and so it shall be.
Happy global domination,
.............
The Universe

(many thanks for having faith in me....smiles)

27 December 2011

a review of the holidays....

I discovered that a dear friend is actually 
"Mrs. Claus"
Hence, Christmas-towne in her living room....








Then, to IKEA
my sweetie & I went..




Then home to decorate...


Another dear friend supplied us with a 
Charlie Brown tree...


one of my favorite ornaments....


the only time of the year in which my office is slightly presentable...


Another day, preparations for dinner for 10....




then a visit from
the daughter, who was single, blonde and pet-less last year...


who brought her new husband, dog
and....


RED hair this year!


An ornament to remind us of the V&A in London..



Lovely cards from all over...






These photos were all taken on the run...
mostly with my new iPhone....
I am still in the learning stage with it.
Hope your holidays have been 
interesting, calm and joyous...
smiles

24 November 2011

This I believe...

(with apologies to NPR)

I believe that Thanksgiving is a time to 
affirm our core beliefs...

We, as Americans, have so much to be grateful for....
life...

liberty...

the pursuit of happiness....

all men created equal....
(someday, maybe, even women)

peace on our shores.....

and 
most 
importantly,

freedom

what a bold word....
such an "in your face assertion"...

WE
HAVE 
FREEDOM!

We are free to....
bitch
complain
cheer for our team
be lazy
cry
laugh
sob
groan
mock
protest
support
choose indifference
create
explore
think independently
show loyalty, or not
work
play
grow, or not
love, or not
wallow in misery,
offend
mend
bend
end

Yes,
we are a funny lot...
filled with angst
courage
fear
patriotism

We boldly go where no man has gone before....
We root root root for the underdog...
We hate injustice
We balk at orders
We resist categorization
We are similar
We are diverse
We love
We hate
We understand each other
We shun each other
We support others who seek freedom
We are Americans
We are so very fortunate to have this land 
at this time
Great potential have we...
if only we will look beyond our differences.
Please
today 
while you feast
look beyond your differences
seek common ground
be grateful
to 
be 
Americans


smiles...

13 November 2011

P.W.D.R.T.I........

People Who Don't Respond To Invitations!

well,
to 
be 
honest....

Don't respond promptly.....

It 
drives
me 
crazy....


I don't even require a definitive answer...
simply an acknowledgement of the invitation would be 
sufficient.

Here's what the deal boils down to..
I love to entertain around the holidays.
My sweetie also likes to have people to our home.
We like the planning even....

So, 
once Halloween is over,
I usually pull up the calendar on my Mac
and start to scheme...

I love to have as many as can come...
especially at Thanksgiving.
We have children with parents other than ourselves,
so we are aware that the kids may not be with us on that day.
We also have extended family near by. 
We have friends with no family near by.
We like to extend our invitation to others, who have 
no place to go for dinner that day.
We can make it work.

I send the invitations 
early, so that consultations and plans can be adjusted,
if need be. I even gave a "drop dead" response date in the form
of "Please respond by;"


So.....
why don't people,
at the very least,
respond with something like
"I received the invitation, and we are still making our plans. We will let you know asap!"

nada
nothing
zip

Not one acknowledgement...
except my parents,
who are delighted to be a part of...
and confirmed that the invitation went out.

Is this what you experience?
Do you entertain?
Does your family respond?

What about birthday parties?
Do you host them?
Do people respond to your invitations?

Last May,
I hosted a bridal shower 
sent honest to goodness printed 
invitations of heavy card stock 
(which I love)
and slightly half of the invitees responded.
People attended that never acknowledged my invitation.
What's that all about?

If you have a tried and true method of 
inviting...
please share....
I am starting to feel a bit desperate...
smiles


07 November 2011

More Londontowne....

If you ever are given the opportunity to 
escape your "work-a-day life"
and travel
Here is a tip...
try London first.

Not just because 
I've been there.
But, 
because
it 
is 
easy
for 
Americans.

And 
we do love
easy don't we?

This is 
Windsor Castle...
Home of the Queen

She wasn't "in"
as you can tell be the 
flag they were flying that day.
"Her flag"
only flies when she is in...


Yes,
tourists look the same 
all over the world...


Personally,
I like the little 
"crown" detail on top of 
her  coach-lights....
Maybe I will fashion a couple of those for my 
front lights out of papiermache'....


Not allowed through the front gate,
we had to go around the side to the 
"Pions Entrance"
(that's ok, I wouldn't have it any other way)


Below is a
slot (technical term)
through which they would 
shoot arrows, or weapons of any sort.
The small cross section is so that you can 
pivot your bow and arrow to the sides.
Not all enemies would be kind enough to stand 
straight in front of the slot apparently....


Now,
this surprised me...
a tropical oasis on the south flank 
of her castle...


Truly lovely...


Security was everywhere,
but not in an imposing way....
I felt quite safe.


The view is incredible..
the castle is on a small rise,
surrounded by flatlands.
Quite defendable I would imagine.



Below is an alien....
(that's what I call it anyway)
No!
I didn't get any closer,
I watch the Doctor
(Dr. Who)
and am aware of what aliens might do if bothered.





Below, a relative of the queen I would presume...


We were not allowed in this area either,
as you can see
it is being guarded...



As with any old house, 
one must constantly do repairs...
See the scaffolding on the right of this photo...
even the Queen has repairs...






And who doesn't want to have their picture taken with the
guards....these two shy middle-schoolers, my guess..


They don't allow photos to be taken inside the castle,
so back on the bus....
and a lovely bus it is...


Next time,
"Bath"
where we will smell sulfur,
eat fudge
and be grateful for indoor plumbing...
smiles...