Friday, December 21, 2012

So much to do and someone has the flu...


So Christmas is just around the corner, presents are mostly wrapped, kids are home from college, there is even a bowl of baked goods that I made with a wonderful friend and our daughters...Things are feeling wonderful.  And then my daughter got sick, so I took her to the doctor and she has the flu.  She is missing a party tonight with all her friends.  They are making ginger bread houses together and she feels so bad she doesn't even care that she can't go to the party.  I feel bad for her because they are wonderful friends and I know they will miss my fun Emily.  And... now I am coughing and getting that feeling like someone is standing on my chest.  Panic is hovering over me.  I'm thinking who will fill the stockings (or help Santa fill the stockings, I should say) and take pictures, who will cook and keep the laundry pile manageable, if not me?  And, I am certain that I will spend Christmas alone because I can't even think about risking going to all the family events and making everyone else sick.   I don't think I have ever been sick at Christmas - I did spend Y2K in a hotel room in Dallas with strep throat while the rest of my family went to the Cotton Bowl, fortunately the lights stayed on.

I did put my Etsy shop on vacation until after the New Year.  I figured I would focus on family until then.  But, I am anxious to add some fun new things in January (above), a precious new brown haired angel and lots of valentine things...once i get through Christmas...sick and alone...haha...

It will be interesting to see how it all works out...maybe I will spend the day with Santa, taking down the tree and hearing all about his adventures on Christmas Eve... if I am really lucky maybe he will even tell me who was on the naughty list this year.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A place to vent sorrow.



It has been a sad week.  A boy I vaguely knew, that my son once knew, died this week.  He fell off a cliff.  It was a tragic accident.  He hit a tree on the way down.  It broke his fall and for a few days, the family and many friends had hope.  Instead, his organs were donated.  He chose, long before this tragedy, to give others hope by determining that he wanted to be an organ donor.  We will not ever know the many lives he will save, change, touch with his decision.  Of course, there was the school shooting.  Sad day all around when sweet little children are not safe.  We cannot even begin to understand the lives that were lost or the families devastated.  All we can do is pray, love on our children or on a child that needs to be loved.  We can take a second look at that single mom and access if we can help in any way.   I have other friends with real battles - like caner...
I do not remember a Christmas season when I was struck with this sadness.  I was already feeling afraid for our country and then all this.  So, yesterday, my husband and I took our heavy hearts and joined in the Wreaths Across America event.  This is where wreaths are put at the base of the headstones at our national cemeteries.   I was struck by the large number of headstones for "unknown soldier".  Tears welled up as I thought about these heroes whose mothers do not know where they are.  I was honored to lay wreaths at the base of these headstones, knowing that somewhere there was a mother, a sister, maybe a wife or daughter that would be blessed at Christmas to know that someone had placed a wreath at their loved one's headstone, given a salute and said "thank you".
In the midst of all the helplessness there are things we can do.  We can check yes on our driver's license to be an organ donor.  We can do something to ease the burden of a single mom.  We can be kind to someone.  We can say thank you to a fallen hero... and we can pray like we have never prayed before.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

More about badges...

(This post will make no sense unless you read the one below.)  Ok, so I realize most people who own a computer and who read blogs are light years ahead of me in computer knowledge, though I am assuming there are a few other old ladies out there that have an Etsy shop - or who should have an Etsy shop.  And, I know there are a lot of women out there trying to blog who also love pinterest.  So, I learned one more thing since I posted yesterday about adding the badges to my blog.  I was a little disconcerted about the size of the Etsy blog.  It was kind of like I was screaming out that I have an Etsy shop.  So, all on my own I might add, I went back into the stuff I copied and pasted and there it was height and width.  I just changed the numbers to the same as the pinterest badge.  Then I decided they were both a little small, so I increased them both.  Easy as Pie...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Etsy and the process of learning.

So I have had a chance the last couple days to catch my breath.  And I am so excited today I figured out how to add the Etsy badge and the Follow me on Pinterest badges to this blog.  After all, I think what makes all this Etsy and blogging stuff cool for me is that I am learning...moving forward.  There is so much to learn about Etsy and promotion etc.  I have found the community there to be wonderful.  I have bought numerous Christmas presents through these shops.  I saw a story on the news and they said if we would each buy $64 of American made goods, it would generate 200,000 jobs.  So I have bought my share and more on Etsy.   Originally, I was going to mainly blog about what I have learned on Etsy and encourage others to pursue having a shop, but I decided that was a bit limiting, so I hope to just throw pointers out along with whatever else suits me.  Its really quite simple to add the badges.  I found a great blog that teaches all this stuff.  Once I read it some more and figure out how to put the link back to her page on my blog I will let you know.  I hope everyone is relaxed and enjoying the family and friend time of the holidays rather than running themselves ragged.  I had two strands of lights go out on my tree, so there are a couple dark spots, but oh well, I feel sure no one will notice but me and I am choosing not to let that get me in a twist.

Etsy Tip:
To add your Etsy Badge go to your shop, on the left under promotion click on "off-site".  You will see your badge choices.  Click the "generate" button by the badge you want and then highlight and copy and hit "done".  Now go to your blogger blog.  Go to layout/add a widget  click + on the one that says java html...  paste in your code that you copied off Etsy and hit save.  There you go, easy as pie.  For Pinterest, its pretty much the same thing except you go to the About area and click on "Pin it Button", scroll to the bottom and follow the same highlight, copy, paste instructions as above.

Monday, December 10, 2012

True meaning of Christmas


We are bustling about trying "to get ready for Christmas".  I have a list (and I'm checking it twice) as I am sure are you.  Those lists include such things as what gifts I have purchased for whom, all the gifts I have yet to purchase (I go over this one a lot), and then there are the cards, stamps, wrapping paper, grocery lists (don't forget the batteries), the calendar with all the cookie exchanges, appetizers for this party and desserts for that one, hostess gifts and on and on it goes.  For some of us the list includes Christmas Ever service at church - which then begs the question of what everyone in our family will wear, getting it purchased, cleaned and ironed and if your kids are little getting them to put it on.  My son once spent half of Christmas Eve  upstairs because he refused to wear his nice shoes.  It is something just short of chaos.  I didn't even mention school Christmas parties, plays and events.

Several years ago, I decided that I just wasn't going to get too worked up about Christmas anymore.   I put my tree up each year, no longer worrying about what day I get it up.  If I get my cards out, wonderful.  If not, I am thankful we live in an age of texting and Facebook and other tools that insure I will not lose touch with the people I care about.  If I forget a gift, well I will give that person a big hug and a smile and send them a nice birthday gift, after all I don't think any of us really need anything.  I have even shown up at cookie exchanges with no cookies.  I don't get to take any home, but no one at my house really needs any cookies, and I still get to have fellowship with my friends - stress free. So, I dare you to just cross one thing off that list, just one.  Take a deep breath and let go.

This is supposed to be a time when we reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ.  Jesus did not stand for chaos and stress and maxed out credit cards.  He came that we might have peace and hope and eternal life.  Christmas should be a time when we are thankful - thankful for each person we have on our list, for family gatherings and the abundance we have.   One last thing.  Go to youtube.com and search for singing Christmas carols at the mall.  There are several.  Do not miss this opportunity to smile and remember what Christmas is really about.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Putting yourself out there



Things are stacking up as I am getting ready to have a sort of "showing" of my paintings etc. with a couple friends and I have decided its kind of hard to put yourself out there.  I have fallen into this entire thing by accident the last few months and have been thrilled that my things are selling (I mean what do you do if they don't, stack them to the ceiling??).  I am having so much fun learning, not only the art but how to get around on Etsy, how to market in other places etc.  Though I am not sure I really needed all these extra entries on my "To do" list.   With this show, however, I am a little nervous to be actually sitting there while people that I know peruse my stuff.  I am old enough that I don't really seek approval so much anymore, but still, its a little awkward.  What do you do if your really good friend is sitting there with a proud smile on her face and you hate her paintings??  It will be interesting and another learning experience, I am sure.  Its nice to still be learning something - it replaces all the things I have forgotten, like calculus ...