Sharing and enjoying my small-town life with my darling husband, family, friends,
faith, two adorable Ragdoll cats and one very sassy Yorkie!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

"No pressure, no diamonds."
-- Thomas Carlyle

I love that quote! Obviously as a self-proclaimed diamond junkie ;o) I like it. But there's so much more to it than that.

As scientists tell us, diamonds are formed deep beneath the earth's surface. They are made up of pure carbon, enduring immense pressure and heat for millions of years. This relentless heat and pressure is what hardens the carbon and ultimately makes it become the rare and beautiful jewel we know as a diamond.

Isn't life like that, too?

When things are g-ooooo-d, we be-bop through life, whistling a tune, and that's great! Sometimes I think we can also tend to start feeling somewhat *smug*. That's not-so-great.

And unfortunately for all of us, life isn't always "g-ooooo-d". Sometimes life can be hard and dark and sad... and we can be laid low by problems, adversity, and tragedy.

What happens to us then?

It's time like that -- when things are hard, and we muster strength, courage, and endurance, and we hang on to it with everything we've got... when we keep on breathing in and breathing out and putting one foot in front of the other... that we can truly become strong.

And don't we come out on the other side of those kinds of experiences with more compassion, more grace, more patience, more wisdom? It's as if these external pressures can show us what we're made of.

We may be carbon going into it, but if we hang in there... we can be a diamond coming out of it.

Photo courtesy of *here*.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

“The human brain is the only organ in the known universe that seeks to understand itself.”
-- Dr. Richard Restak

*LOVE that!*
(Photo courtesy of *here*)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Sweet Surprise!

I came home from work last Friday to a surprise!

Carefully placed between my two back doors was a lovely bouquet of flowers! But peculiarly enough, there was no card!
"Who gave these to me?" I wondered, as I happily arranged them in a vase of water.

Well, obviously it was someone who doesn't have a key to our house... so that ruled out the "usual suspects", such as husband and children! My mind started to speculate.

Hmmm... I'll bet it was my sweet "honorary" son, who had said the nicest thing to me just a few days ago. Or perhaps it was his lovely wife who I have been helping with a quilt? Or maybe it was my nephew and his wife, who had spent a few days with us recently? Or maybe my mother wanted me to know that she appreciates and enjoys the manicures/pedicures that I give her? OH! I know, I'll bet it was my sister, who I sat with recently while she was having a minor procedure done.

It was very fun, and surprisingly reaffirming to look back over the last few days or weeks and think of people I care about who may have been moved or appreciative of something I had perhaps said or done. The list became a little longer. I was reminded of the wonderful friends and family in my life, and of the thoughtful give-and-take that is such a blessing.

So one by one, I asked them... and each time as I was ready to thank and hug them, I got the same answer, "It wasn't me! I wish it was, but it wasn't!"

So who gave me the flowers?!

I still don't know. But everytime I look at them, I smile... and I thank this person in my heart.

This thoughtful person didn't just give me an anonymous bouquet of flowers. This person gave me the gift of looking back on and remembering many wonderful recent memories. I feel proud and happy that I had so many "possibilities" of who the giver may have been.

I will not forget this. And sometime, when I want to make someone's day a little brighter (as well as give them some wonderfully unique reflecting time!), I think I will sneak a bouquet of flowers anonymously between their doors!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pet parents -- you gotta try THIS!

OK, pet parents, I just ran across something today that I just HAVE to share. I am so excited to have found this!

Living with my Ragdoll, Boo, means living with a LOT of fur. He is a shed-meister! We call Boo hair on our dinner plate a "garnish", and cat hair on clothes is a must-have fashion accessory (isn't it?!)

Believe me, I TRY to keep it under control. We brush him frequently. We have a Dyson Animal vaccuum cleaner, and lint rollers and brushes in almost every room... but even still, we were losing the Battle of the Cat Hair.

ENTER the Pledge Fabric Sweeper! A small, hand-held, totally low-tech gadget (no batteries, no power cord, no switches) that really works to pick up all that pesky pet hair from fabric, upholstery and furniture. It is downright amazing (and dare I say it, even FUN to use!)

Here is a link for it: Pledge Fabric Sweeper

I found it today at Wal-Mart; a pack of two was about $9.00. Yeah, that's kinda spendy, but I'll bet there are some coupons out there; I'll have to keep my eyes open. But it is reusable (until it is "full") and I am telling you, it is WORTH IT!

Boo was VERY interested in it,too!

"Hey, Mom, what's going on here???! That smells like ME in there!"

So here he is... my sweet little angel baby and the
Source of the Perpetual Battle of the Fur!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Eye shadow and blush and lipstick - OH MY!

I have ALWAYS loved make-up! Loooong before I was "allowed" to wear it in public, I already had a large collection of bottles, tubes, pots and jars and I was *practice, practice, practicing* eagerly at home!

A little of this, and a little of that... some sparkle here, some shadow there... and what I perceived to be a rather "plain" face sprung to life with color and depth and interest! It was magical!

And (fancying myself a budding expert) I happily shared my interest with my young girlfriends... making them small, pocket-sized "make-up guides", with detailed pictures and narratives on how to brush, blush, shade and contour.

I remember going through many phases... the famous frosty blue eyeshadow, thick eyeliner (top and bottom!) and very pink blush. (If I had a nickle for every time my mother said, "Wipe some of that blush off your cheeks!" I would be a rich woman today!)

Then there was the "natural" look... which took at least an hour to carefully apply 10 - 12 products to make you look like you weren't wearing any make-up at all!

Then there was the Green Obsession. I have green eyes, and based on an article in a fashion magazine, I decided that I should wear green eye shadow. (Makes total sense, right?!) Thus began a collection of green eye shadows... in every hue and color... from pale celery to grass green to deep metallic forest green. And believe me, I wore every one (proudly!)

Then one day a cosmetics salesperson (oh, those wonderful and mysterious women behind the cosmetics counter, wearing those crisp white smocks and looking like a cross between a super model and a doctor) told me that with my "lovely green eyes", I really should be wearing a "contrasting color of eyeshadow, dear -- like purple". Purple? OK, purple it will be! And thus another collection began. Light lavenders, soft plums, deep eggplants... I had (and loved!) them all.

In all this preoccupation to my eyes, though ;o) I was, admittedly, simply not paying the proper attention to my lips. But one day a wonderful new friend introduced me to... The Grown-up Art of Lipstick! What a marvelous thing that was! Oh, I was well familiar, of course, with shiny, sparkly little tubs and pots of clear glosses... but Real Lipstick?! In those seductive, sophisticated, sleek and slender tubes?! And OH! The colors! Deep plums and raisins and berries and wine... so dramatic! Watching my friend so artfully and casually apply her lipstick, (and then followed by the requisite blotting!) I was hooked! And this was, of course, the start of The (very successful) Lipstick Collection.

And let me assure you now that if I live to be 100, I could never use up all of my lipsticks!