Happy Chinese New Year (Spain to China)

chinese red shoesThe beauty of blogging is meeting fellow Bloggers from around the world. Last year, I met Marta through her blog, “Marta Lives in China.” She is from Spain and married a Chinese man. As her blog states, she lives in China and shares stories about life there compared to Spain. When she got married she had two weddings, one in China and one in Spain. She has fabulous pictures from both weddings. Recently, she shared her story about being pregnant and giving birth in China. If you visit her blog, you will be transported to China and learn about the Chinese way of life.

In her latest post, “Getting Ready for Chinese New Year.” Marta has photos of shopping for Chinese New Year. She mentions the importance of the color “red” in this celebration. This is her child’s first New Year’s, so it is very exciting.

Years ago when I worked in manufacturing a fellow co-worker, who was Vietnamese, brought in red envelopes ($1 inside) for ALL of his employees, he even included me. He invited me out for Chinese lunch with the group and wished me good fortune. I was honored to be included in their celebrations.

It’s a New Year, time to dust off my red shoes again, put on my prettiest red dress and head to Chinatown with my Chinese friends to celebrate! They will order the food, so I will try many new dishes.

Wishing a Happy Chinese New Year / Happy Lunar New Year to my Asian friends. Excited to be included in the festivities.

Happy Thanksgiving… YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

D0206A70-E212-407F-939F-203ED00A3FAARecently, I came across this big sign that said, “You Are Beautiful!” As you can see the message is BIG and you can’t miss it. I admit, I had to smile. YES, “I am BEAUTIFUL.”

I sent this to a friend of mine. She said that a Chicago artist named, “Matthew Hoffman,” was the creator of the “You Are Beautiful” campaign, which he started in 2002 with 100 stickers. Now, fifteen years later people from around the world have been placing “You Are Beautiful” stickers in their communities. Hoffman has been commissioned by different companies to create art for them as well.

Here is a nice video where Hoffman talks about the project…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember… YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Spread the word!

Bells, bells & more bells… American manufacturing

4C8FBCB9-16F0-4AD6-87C7-E133132B8D56Black Friday is coming and that means the Salvation Army will stand outside the stores ringing their bells asking for donations. Bells, bells and more bells. We have bells on bicycles, churches, sleighs, jester’s hats, hotel reception, cow bells, sporting events, dinner tables and more. Amazing, bells are really everywhere.

Have you ever thought about how they are made and manufactured. I admit I hadn’t until recently when I came across an article about an American manufacturing company called, “Bevin Bells.” They have been making quality bells since 1832 in Connecticut, which is 185 years. This is a family owned business, 6th generation and they are the oldest surviving bell manufacturer in America.

I mentioined Salvation Army, because they have sold bells to them. In 1865 they made the first bicycle bell. For those of you who have watched the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” you cannot forget the famous ending of the movie when the tiny bell (made by Bevin Bell) on the Christmas tree starts ringing and Suzy tells her Dad that her teacher said, “every time a bell rings an angels gets his wings.”

image1While there are good stories… there are sad stories too. In 2012 lightening struck their manufacturing plant and burned it to the ground. CBS Evening News covered the story on November 15, 2012 in this article, “Conn. bell manufacturer looks to ring in better times.” While this was sad, there was a happy ending. In 2013 Bevin Bells received a Grant from Connecticut to rebuild their plant. It’s wonderful to see people coming together to keep a company alive. It’s part of our history.

So, this year as the holidays approach and I hear ALL the bells ringing, I will have an extra SMILE on my face knowing that these special bells are made by Bevin Bells, an American manufacturing company!

Hello Ma’am…. Does that mean I am a senior citizen?

C5622730-0C6A-475A-A80F-86BCD66C41F2I just read an amusing post, “Discount Me Out,” by a fellow Blogger (Life In A Word). In his post, he takes up the discussion of pricing discounts offered to senior citizens and when are you a senior citizen?

He got me thinking about “old age,” I mean when does that really set in? Recently, I was approaching a door and a nice gentleman said, “Let me get that for you MA’AM.” Of course, I appreciated his gesture; however, he left me thinking about the word “Ma’am.” Isn’t that a Southern term, we don’t use that in the North. Also, it seems to me that “ma’am” is for an older lady. I need to ask a Southerner about this.

Life In A Word’s blog also talked about discounts. An interesting topic. Do senior citizens always get a 5% discount? For example, he said his dentist gave him a 5% discount and then the sprinkler guy gave him a 5% discount. Is there a NEW trend going on with the 5% discounts or is this for people in their 50s, now senior citizens?

Makes me think of Andy Rooney. He was a senior citizen and did a fabulous job with a 3 minute clip at the end of 60 Minutes every week. Here on Youtube, “Andy Rooney – Birthdays,” he talks about getting older and why birthdays are not that special. Very amusing.

Paul Harvey, the radio broadcaster, was the same. In my family, when it was “Paul Harvey time” everyone stopped to listen. He covered all sorts of interesting news pieces, but what kept us listening was his voice — he had the most engaging voice. Here is a clip from YouTube called, “Remembering Paul Harvey / Legendary Radio Broadcaster / ABC.” If you haven’t heard Paul Harvey before, you’ll enjoy this.

Senior citizen – Andy Rooney and Paul Harvey proved that it didn’t stop them from working and being admired even at an “older age.”

Like my Dad says, “Nothing wrong with a discount in any form!”

International cleaning day, Spanish flamenco dresses and more…

IMG_1968Sometimes there just isn’t time to write, we’ve got to get other things done. I thought I’d give you a smile today. I’ve decided that TODAY is International Cleaning Day!

Who says cleaning is boring? Last year I had to move and with that means going through storage and making that “big” decision on what we keep and what we give away. What’s interesting with storage is that we forget what we have in there.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened a box that had two small flamenco dresses inside. That brought back a nice memory. I had bought those dresses in Spain for my daughters with a fan and dangling earrings to match. This was when they were small, of course, and I used to dress them up.

IMG_0474Next I found a beautiful dress that my mother bought during her travels in Afghanistan/Pakistan area. She thinks it was a wedding dress that someone was selling. You can see how beautiful it is with the embroidery!

One more find, a polar bear! I couldn’t part with him, so as I washed the dresses I put him in the wash too. He came out super fluffy from the dryer!

As I am finishing this article, I think it would be GREAT to have a post on International traditional costumes from different countries. Each country is unique and beautiful!

Now… back to laundry!