Time to visit St. Jude… The Universe at work!

COVID continues to rage on and as it does, people are getting sick and seclusion / mental illness is at an all time high. As this is happening, we need to remember to “reach out” to people, check on them.

I say this, because we had four family members die in the past two years, three from COVID. It happened suddenly. As we are getting older, when passings happen, we reflect on our own lives.

The reason I visited St. Jude this week was because of two SURPRISE phone calls.

The FIRST phone call was from a lady whom I talk to off and on. She called to tell me she was at doctor, had blood work done, her breast cancer might be back. OH NO! Time to pray, for this we need St. Jude!

The SECOND phone call was from an older woman, 93, that I’ve known for 35 years. Right before COVID lockdown, her husband died. Suddenly, she sold her house and moved into an Assisted Living place. Imagine that – your husband dies, your world is turned upside down, in your grief COVID strikes and in a new facility you’re told to quarantine to your room. Being elderly, you don’t know what is going on.

Back to the phone call. In November, I tried getting a hold of this lady for Thanksgiving. She wasn’t answering her phone. The Receptionist kept giving me the runaround. Always an excuse on why she was not in room, could not take call and so on. So, I gave up. I’m a friend, not a relative, so no rights. In December, I tried again, wanting to wish her a Merry Christmas — same issues.

Well – the other night she called me. She was a bit incoherent, but gave me the number of another person. Told me to call the person, that person would explain HER situation. Turns out she has been diagnosed with slight dementia and was in the Hospital for a urinary tract infection.

So… the Universe had her reach out to me. Interesting, right!

At least I know her status. I’ve tried calling, again, impossible to get a hold of her, but THIS time her answering machine was on, so I left a message.

So, I went to visit St. Jude. It’s always spiritual to do that. I pass this on to YOU, because another person out there might feel the need for higher prayer. I wish you all well.

NOVENA PRAYERS TO ST. JUDE SHOULD YOU NEED THEM….

I also lit a candle, if you need any special prayers, the candle is lit.

Wishing you well, stay healthy and strong!

1927 – U.S. ships 12,000 dolls to Japan

I’ve always enjoyed reading, but lately I couldn’t find a book to keep my attention. Still determined, I kept searching the online library for that special book to read. BINGO, I came across a book by Shirley Parenteau, “Ship of Dolls.”

A ship full of dolls, the title caught my attention. I wanted to know more. What was this ship of dolls and was it a true story? Apparently, this is a true story. This particular book is a work of fiction / historical novel, but there are other books that tell the exact story. I had NO idea.

This Friendship Doll exchange began in response to the Immigration Act of 1924. This Act banned the immigration of Japanese and other Asian nationals into the U.S..

In 1927, Sidney Gulick, an educator and missionary, together with the Protestant churches on the East Coast collected over 12,000 dolls from American children and sent them to Japanese children as a gesture of goodwill and friendship. Gulick started the Friendship Doll project to express his disagreement with the Immigration Act of 1924. He wanted children in the world to appreciate peace and friendship. Diplomacy through children / gift giving.

Eiichi Shibusawa an industrialist, wanted to return the gesture, so manufactured 58 Japanese Dolls and sent them to America. When tensions between U.S. and Japan grew during World War II, Japan destroyed some of the American dolls. American museums kept the Japanese dolls out of exhibition during this time.

Here’s a YouTube video: ARTifacts: Japanese Friendship Doll.

This is a fascinating part of history. I just started reading the Ship of Dolls, so cannot offer a review. As you see, I got side tracked from the book, while researching the Friendship Dolls.

Now, back to reading the book…

Such a great book… The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig

Matt Haig is an amazing writer. Over the holidays I found the audio version of The Truth Pixie from the Library. He wrote it in verse and he narrates. Such a fabulous story. It’s about a pixie who must always tell the truth, no matter what she is asked. Of course, many people get angry with her when she speaks so honestly. She feels lonely. Then comes the day that telling the truth saves the day. This story is about her journey of acceptance and loving herself.

The rhyming is so lovely, the story so powerful. I truly think you will fall in love with the book too. The audio is the best. This story puts you in a good mood. GREAT if you need a gift.

Enjoy!

Happy New Year! What’s in store for 2022?

As we finish 2021 and start 2022, our life is like a sliding puzzle. Remember playing those games when we were kids? There are many unknowns as the days / months unfold. We have goals, but we’re not clear in which order they will be fulfilled.

We might think the answer to WHAT (in our lives) comes FIRST; however, maybe WHO comes FIRST and then we slide WHAT to the bottom to make room for WHERE.

Our puzzle will continue throughout the year with WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW sliding around until all questions in our life are finally answered and goals fulfilled.

May your puzzle of LIFE unfold the way you would like it to!

Wishing YOU a healthy, loving, adventurous and prosperous New Year!

Merry Christmas! Angel blueberry scones…

I decided to surprise my daughters with some blueberry scones. I made them into Angels. They were very good; however, I should have taken them out a little sooner. I haven’t baked in a while, so I was a little rusty on the timing. STILL the Angels were a big hit.

My daughter made protein waffles. Interesting ingredients: vital wheat gluten, oat flour, fat free cottage cheese, egg whites, some water. Before you shake your head, they were good. I would not have known they weren’t made from a waffle mix. They were delicious, very filling.

It’s fun to do some baking, home cooking for the holidays.

Wishing you ALL a very Merry Christmas Eve / Day!

Christmas Present: Who still plays Monopoly?

Look at this, a deluxe wooden version of Monopoly. It was so heavy I could barely pick it up. Right next to it, they had a HUGE wooden Scrabble game. I admit, they look beautiful. These are old games I used to play as a child. I forgot to look at the price.

I enjoyed playing Monopoly until we got to the buying houses. Then all the bartering, etc. got be bored and I would quit. One of my siblings was ALWAYS happy to combine my winnings with theirs and off I would go. As I walked away I could hear them arguing, “That’s NOT FAIR, etc.”

Ah — Good old Monopoly!

Scrabble, we didn’t play this much. Not sure why, but I know some people who were die hard fans of this game. We played a lot of Canasta. Remember that card game and UNO.

So — if you need a LAST MINUTE GIFT… I just gave you a new idea!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A Christmas Tree for TWINS!

Life is amusing. I was at the Home Depot for a lightbulb. I enjoy seeing their Holiday decorations. I don’t have a Christmas tree this year. FEELING LAZY, but I do miss it. So, I decided to see what “small” trees they had. I like these quirky looking ones.

I looked at their TOP branch, to see which tree had the TALLEST and STRAIGHTEST branch. Some had crooked top branches. That was an immediate – NO GO! On further inspection, I noticed two tall branches next to each other. WHAT?? Were my eyes deceiving me? Was there an actual tree with two tall branches?

By golly there was!! I immediately thought of my TWIN brother. THIS was a PERFECT tree for TWINS. I looked to see if there were any shiny gold or silver stars around. No, but one tree had these red bulbs on it. So, for fun, I put the two red bulbs on MY TWIN TREE. To make my twin brother smile, I put his bulb a little higher than mine. AT FIRST, I admit, I had the bulbs side by side, which is how it SHOULD BE. Somehow though, from a design perspective, it looked goofy. So, I lowered one of the bulbs.

Laughing — NOW, if you look at the bulbs, they look like EYES. This is a TREE MONSTER coming after me. I sent the photo to my twin, he liked it!

As I kept looking around, I saw these fantastic colored cactus. Wow, I’m not a cactus person, but I do love the bright colors. They are amazing. I should have read how long they bloom.

How about a Cactus built into an ornament. Had not seen that before!

Oh, an older lady asked me what I was doing when I was taking photos. I showed her. She said she lives alone, no children, doesn’t care about Christmas anymore.

HOWEVER, a BIG HOWEVER, when I showed her the pictures I had taken, how I was moving trees/plants around to get my photos — THIS made her SMILE.

Suddenly, she was HAPPY! She said I opened her eyes, she had not SEEN the things I had seen as she walked by. She was going to take pictures to send to her nephews/nieces.

So — I feel like I was someone’s ANGEL!

It’s a good feeling! We CAN spread JOY this holiday!

Perfect story for the holidays – THE YANKEE CANDLE

I’m always on the hunt for a good smelling candle. They are especially helpful if you’ve cooked fish, cabbage or broccoli for dinner. Light up your candle, it’s even better than opening the windows. Somehow the candles work really well.

I recently read an article in ADWEEK, “Yankee Candle Began as a Christmas Gift of Melted Crayons,” by Robert Klara. Right there, the title sold me on Yankee Candles. Melted crayons turned into a candle to make a mother happy?! We all remember having crayons as a kid. What a clever idea!

Long story, so click on the link. I think you’ll enjoy the article. They have 600 fragrances. It’s Christmas, they say their most popular candle is Balsam and Cedar, I’ll have to give it a try.

This is a special story that pulls at the heart strings! GIFT OF THE MAGI – that was quite a story too!

Happy Thanksgiving – OR – Merry Christmas?

Today is Thanksgiving, but I have to be honest, it doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving to me. COVID has changed things. Did you notice that people started putting up their Christmas trees at the beginning of November this year? They said they wanted to enjoy the spirit of Christmas for as long as possible.

I think we all feel this way in some way or another. This year, we had three family members pass within four months. This brings a cloud over the family. Funerals make us slow down, reflect on life, and think about the past, present and future.

As the year comes to an end, we want — Love, Peace, Joy, Hope — during these challenging times.

Yesterday, I thought. It’s time for me to change my mood, bring out MY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!

A few years ago, my daughter gave me this cute little mouse. My other daughter named her Elloise. I know today is supposed to be Thanksgiving, but I’m in the mood for Christmas too. So, I went to the closet, threw things here and there and FOUND Elloise. I fluffed her up, straitened her scarf and skirt. Volia! I SMILED AGAIN. Time to bring some joy to my house.

Wishing you a special day today!

TA-DA –> The Kodiak breakfast!

Well, it’s Sunday, I decided to make waffles. I wrote about the Kodiak Cake brand mix the other day. Today I used the buttermilk and chocolate mix. Why not be adventurous. I topped my waffles with blueberries and raspberries that I picked in Michigan this summer and froze for winter. By the way, frozen raspberries are quite the treat. They change color and become darker once frozen, but the flavor is still there. I added some maple syrup. It’s the PERFECT breakfast!

My friend is in France…. she’s probably eating a wonderful croissant right now!

Wondering what YOU are having!