Sunday, December 27, 2009


GOOD MORNING DEAR READERS! I hope your Christmas holiday was wonderful. I hope Santa brought you lots of nice presents. I hope you had peace and joy and love during your holiday. And now I hope you are on the road to recovery from the stress of your holiday. I know I am. We had a wonderful day with my family. Just the six of us. My husband Randy, daughter Danielle, niece Diana, nephew Brandon and niece Francesca. And of course the 5 little furry children. Who, by the way, became totally stoned on their Christmas present of catnip. They were so funny! Francesca aka Chessie was so enthralled with presents! She is an absolute angel. For those of you who do not know, Chessie was born with Trisomy 21 aka Down's syndrome. She is an adorable child and so bright and smart. But the trisomy has its physical problems which keep these kids a bit behind "normal" kids. They have physical developmental delays. She is a tiny child, about the size of a two year old. She was 4 on December 15. She weighs 30 pounds and is 36 inches tall. She does have issues with eating and drinking which can be a challenge to her Mom. She will not drink fluids from a glass and will only drink water in sips or her prescription formula from a bottle. She is still our baby! She is also not potty trained in spite of numerous attempts to do so. Chessie is very strong willed and will only do what she wants to do. And that does not include going potty on the big girl potty! Her speech is delayed and she tends to use only the first syllable of words. So it is pretty much her own language but we do understand her and she has no problems with understanding what we say to her. And she has a terrific memory. She just loves opening presents. She would sit in her little Elmo armchair and say "More!" When the presents were all opened she proceeded to help open any other persons presents and would oooh and aaahhhh over each gift. She was just too precious. She loves to be at our home because she pretty much can do anything she wants to do without restrictions. Of course she is spoiled. Spoiled with love!!! She is our gift from heaven above. God blessed all our lives with wonder when he sent us this child. No other child could be more loved. She just loves when I crochet things for her. And she will get up into my chair and take a crochet hook and yarn and try to crochet. She is still too young to learn yet but I have tried and will keep on trying to teach her until I succeed. It is such a joy to teach her. She is very bright and catches on quickly. Brandon Michael, her big brother is also mentally challenged. He has moderate mental impairment, Autism, Tourette's syndrome, multiple food allergies and ADHD. He can have behavioral issues at times. Medications do not work for him. We are able to diffuse a difficult behavior situation when it begins. He is a very very loving sweet boy. He will be 24 on January 26 but his mental age is about 6. He adores his sister and is very gentle with her. He lives at a group home during the week and has a job (with one on one supervision only) and comes home on Friday afternoon and returns on Monday morning. We call it school. He loves all things that are boy like monster trucks, guns (Nerf), tools etc. He is also very attached to any type of keyring, old keys, flashlights, and walkie-talkies. Or anything small and electronic whether or not he can work it. He also loves Cd's and dvd's. He carries around a stack of dvds everywhere he goes sort of like a security blanket for him. He loves to listen to his music on a portable cd player. He likes just about any kind of music and can tell you the name of the song and the artist at any time. If any of you dear readers have any old keys or keyrings and would like to give them to him I will be happy to pay for postage so email me if you do. I always look for these items at yard sales and thrift shops. He is very attached to me and I am his Godmother. He calls me "Auntie". He has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. We have a great time together. I have a special ability to "defuse" him when he gets upset. I think one of the best presents I gave him was a keyring that burps. It burps in 2 or 3 modes and burps the alphabet! He just loves it. He is such a goof!! He does not have contact with his bio-dad. He calls my Husband "Daddy" because he is like a father to him. He does understand that Randy is really his uncle but likes to call him Dad. Also, the baby calls him Daddy. She has never known the bio-dad because he wanted nothing to do with the child since she was born. So Randy is the only daddy she has known and does he adore her! He loves her as much as he loves our daughter. He is truly a wonderful man, kind and loving. I am a blessed woman! Well, dear readers, you have now learned a lot more about my family. I would love to learn about you and your family so if you have a blog please send me a line or just send me an email about yourself. There are no such things as strangers, just friends you have not met yet. God bless and have a wonderful day! Hugs, Annette

Thursday, December 24, 2009


HELLO TO ALL MY DEAR READERS! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now that said, just give me a bed and let me die in peace! I am exhausted! I get this way every year. Why? you ask? Because I am a nut case! I HAVE to do this and I HAVE to do that. It must be done today or it cannot wait until tomorrow. I HAVE to find that last little gift. I CAN'T SAY NO! I have nophobia. I am unable to say no to anything when it comes to my family. I can do it. It won't take long. Are these words familiar to you? Do you suffer from the same disease? Are you overcome with feelings of guilt if you don't do it? Will the world come to a flaming end if it doesn't get done? Will hell freeze over. Does a chicken have lips? Was the pope polish? Does a bear poop in the woods? The answer is YES YES YES YES YES AND YES!!!! I can't stop. I must do it. It has to get done! I am crazy, just all out blooming crazy! You think I would learn my lesson. But NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not me. Every year it is the same thing. Total exhaustion and it's my own fault! Now take today for example. My daughter wants a leopard or zebra snuggie. You know those things they advertise on tv - the blanket with arms. Cute little idea. Last week I saw a bajillion of them in every store I went to. Did I buy it??? Nooooooooooo, of course not! Oh, they will have them everywhere. Well guess what? Those stupid little blanket things that are destined to make their creator a bloody millionaire are completely sold out! Just like the Cabbage Patch dolls of the 70's and 80's. My husband and I went to 8 different stores today. Yep, that's right. This idiot went to 8 different stores in search of the elusive snuggie. One store had 5 kids sizes and one had 3 dog snuggies (how the hell do you put a snuggie on a dog?). But not one stinking snuggie for adults. Not a one. Everywhere you go the damn things are sold out. There is going to be a whole bunch of people with snuggies whether or not they wanted one. They are definitely going to be gifted with a snuggie. But guess what? MY DAUGHTER IS NOT GOING TO BE ONE OF THEM CAUSE I CAN'T FIND A SNUGGIE ANYWHERE!!! Am I having a nervous breakdown over it??? You betcha I am. In the words of Fred Sanford - "get ready Elizabeth - I'm coming - this is the big one). Will she get over this? Of course not. She wanted a snuggie for Christmas and the princess of more than enough will not be getting a snuggie this year! Will she pout for the rest of the day? You betcha she will! And I guarantee you that she will never let me forget it either! Here comes another 3 years of therapy for me! I can hear it now. We will be gathered together in the future with my 6 grand-kids (that's how many she says she wants) and she will be telling her kids - "Did I ever tell you of the Christmas that I wanted a snuggie and never got one???"........... Now I also had to go to the grocery store to pick up the seafood for tonight's dinner. We are having the usual fish dinner for Christmas eve. Baked stuffed shrimp with seafood stuffing, Scrod, Scallops wrapped in bacon and spaghetti with clam sauce. Oh and fresh green beans and tossed salad and shrimp cocktail. Then for dessert there is pumpkin pie, pecan pie and 32 different varieties of Christmas cookies all hand made by me. Thats right! You did not read it wrong. I made 32 different cookies for Christmas. 28 regular varieties and 4 gluten free kinds for my daughter and nephew. Oh and 2 pies are regular and 2 are gluten- fee. Do you know how many different cookies there are in 32 varieties???? Too damn many. We give cookies to everyone! No one is spared! People line up at my door with their hands out begging for a cookie, just one little cookie. I am famous. So why aren't I rich????? My daughter says the gluten free ones I made are so delicious that I should set up a web site and start selling them. The cost of gluten free baked good are astronomical! Just the mixes alone are 5 to 8 dollars a box. I have come up with my own personal gluten free baking mix and it works well. She thinks that I will be the next Martha Stewart??? Oh and did I mention that I only use 100% pure butter in all my baking? Anything less than real butter should be outlawed when it comes to cookie baking. There are just no substitutes for real butter! Ok dairy men - where is my kickback for that?? And did I mention the nuts? Pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts! They cost more than 14K gold! And I use tons of them. Pounds and pounds and pounds. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of nuts then I use 2 cups. I like to taste the nuts in my cookies. Yesterday my husband and I were shopping for gifts in our local Kohls. We were in the housewares dept. and there was this cute young man shopping for his wife. He seemed to be in a quandry so I asked him if he needed help. He showed me a list as long as his arm and said "she wants cookie sheets" Sooooooo........I proceeded to educate him on the virtues of cookie sheets and showed him examples of good ones and bad ones and that price was an important factor in choosing a good cookie sheet and that double walled ones will never burn her cookies but if he bought the thin ones then I guaranteed him that his cookies would be black and he would be buying new cookie sheets next year. He responded with tears in his eyes - yea, our sheets are kind of lumpy and twisted. I proudly proclaimed that I was the QUEEN of cookie baking and just last week I made 32 different kinds for Christmas. Then he really started to cry and grabbed my arm begging me to adopt him. I hate to see a grown man cry. But I reassured him that if he bought his wife the right cookie sheets then she too could become a cookie queen or at least a cookie princess and that he would have many years of wedded bliss and eat glorious cookies to boot. He was profusely thanking me and kissing my hand as my husband was dragging me by the arm to the cash registers. He can be soooo touchy at times. And did I tell you that on Monday evening my daughter volunteered to have their work Christmas party at our house? Yes, 25 lovely women to feed and entertain. She told them to BYOB but failed to tell them to bring food! Oh no, not necessary - my Mom is a great cook and will make stuff! And of course, Supermom did just that! There was enough food for 50 lovely ladies to eat and plenty of leftovers. I have to admit, the compliments were wonderful. Nothing like being told that your food is great! Makes it all worth while. I felt that I owed it to my daughter to have a great party. After all, she has not been able to entertain for the last 3 1/2 years while my niece was living in my living room with her two kids. Last year we did'nt even have a tree cause the only place for one was to hang it from the ceiling. So this year we have 6 Christmas trees. One big one and 5 small ones of various sizes and decor. You might say that we are making up for lost time. And I guess we are. I even managed to get in a little crocheting during all this work. I finished a dishcloth for my January partner in a dishcloth exchange and finished a scarf for my niece Francesca. Never did finish the afghan for Danielle. She might think it was a substitute for that damn snuggie!!! Oh well, Valentine's Day is coming. And I heard her exclaim as she drove out of sight, Merry Christmas to all and does anyone want a cookie??? Please??? Peace and Joy to you all. Hugs, Annette

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Good morning!  I would like to share some of the poems that I have written with all of you dear readers.  I hope that you enjoy them.  I would love any feedback you may have about them.

My wish for you  by Annette McKitrick

How bright the sun up in the sky

The wispy clouds that drift on by
How sweet the song birds fill the air
How gentle the breeze that lifts your hair
How warm the sunshine on your skin
How joyfull your heart beats deep within

I wish beauty and peace to fill your days
Joy and love to send your way
Your desires and dreams may soon be fulfilled
And love keep your heart quiet and still

May your troubles be tiny, may sorrows be few
May you always have springtime inside of you
To know only kindness and love so true
These are the things I wish for you

Christmas Wishes for Our Armed Forces
by Annette McKitrick

You won't be home for Christmas
on this very special day
My heart is sad this Christmas
while you are far away

Duty to our country
took you across the seas
But in my heart this Christmas
you will be close to me

The call to protect our freedom
is  your gift to the USA
So Christmas here without you
will be a lonely day

Without you here our family
is lost and incomplete
You fight to protect our country
with victory over defeat

You won't be home this Christmas
But that's OK with me
My angels are there with you
And will return you safe to me.


A baby girl was sent to us
One cold and wintry day
Her birth was a very difficult one
And her mother began to pray

She call upon her God above
To help her little one
And the angels came to comfort her
They filled her heart with love.

Rest easy sweet laboring mom
There is ought for you to fear
God’s angels have all gathered round
His love for you is near.

The babe was brought into this world
As the doctors did their part
 Looks of sadness upon their faces
Struck terror in the mothers heart

I have bad new to tell about
This sweet little babe newborn
She is not like all other babes
Said the doctor all forlorn.

What’s wrong with her please tell me now
The mother shouted out
Your baby has Down’s syndrome
The doctor’s voice rang out.

The mother took her baby home
And she began to grow
Each day that passed was special
Her mother’s heart did know.

As pretty as a sunrise
All golden, pink and light
Her auburn curls gleamed softly
To brighten up the night.

Her skin as soft as roses
Her eyes as blue as the sky
A prettier child you’ll never see
A truth you can’t deny

Each day she fills our hearts with love
She’s as smart as smart can be
And makes us laugh at her antics
She fills our lives with glee!

And the love she gives to everyone
That meets this little one
Brightens up their faces
To shine like light from the sun

Some people say she’s handicapped
They pity her family
Not one of us who love her
Would never ever agree

She’s a beautiful gift from God above
No more blessed could we be
She fills our empty hearts with love
For all the world to see.

Eternity  by Annette McKitrick

I remember when first I saw your face
It intrigued me. Your eyes full of passion and grace
Nothing remarkable – just a spark in my soul.
Wanting to know more but wondering why?.

We did not speak each others language
But the spark gave way to flames.
Talk is not important when
speaking the words of the soul

My trembling heart remembers
From many life-times past
You were my love for eternity
No world could keep us apart.

And yet these moments of passion
Were fleeting in our lifetime
We both knew that we would have to wait
Until our souls come again..

MY BELOVED    by Annette McKitrick

M any times you told me you love me
Y our eyes so blue mirror the beauty of your soul

B eing with you is all I ever wanted
E cstacy is yours and mine alone
L oving you more and more each day
O nly you can play the music that I dance to
V ibrant is how I feel when I’m with you
E very day with you is a gift from God
D evoted to you I shall always be

The Journey    by Annette McKitrick

I chose to go on a journey
The most important one in my life
It started out in a hospital
But was not with stress and strife

I began with much thought and soul searching
It was not so easy to do
I entered into it joyfully
With positive thoughts thru and thru.

It took me down long winding pathways
Places I’ve  never been to before               
But entered with great expectations
And I knew that I want to learn more.

My life had been full of trials,
Prejudices and grief
It was time to turn the tides of disapproval
And to swim towards the shores of relief.

This journey was not going to be easy,
 No magic bullet that would make everything right.
It takes a great deal of planning,
 Support and positive insight

Everything that I ever had lived with,
Would have to be changed overnight
The  newness at times overwhelmed me
But I kept my eyes on the light

The days passed by ever slowly
And I wanted results right away
But anything worth having takes time
And Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I didn’t embark on this adventure
For anyone other than me
This trip was granted by heaven
The results are for all to see.

Some days brought joy and contentment
Some days were filled with fright
When ever I consumed the right item
It filled my soul with delight

So on and on I traveled
But no road weary person was I
I adored hearing the compliments
That lifted my soul ever high

Now whatever road my life seems to travel
Where ever I choose to be
I stand tall and slender
From this gift that was granted to me.

.        .


By Annette McKitrick

Alone, why do I feel so all alone?
An island floating in a dark stormy sea
Where is the love I once knew?
Where is the caring?

Alone, why do I feel so alone?
My heart is heavy, fearing it will never
Feel the warmth of the sun again.
The cold murky waters lap at my soul.

The Darkness oppresses me
As I feel my way around this box
That has enclosed me.
Alone, why do I feel so all alone?

I long to feel joy again, I long to have
A reason to be happy.
But how can I feel these emotions
When my life has lost its purpose.

Searching for so long to feel whole again
Knowing that you have closed your heart to me
Wanting it to open up and enfold me once more
This is the wanting in my soul.

Alone, why do I feel so all alone?

And last but not least is the first poem I wrote.  I should say the first serious poem.
I wrote it 3 days after 9/11 and the pain was still a raw wound in our nations hearts.
It was published by the Branford Review, our hometown newspaper.  It was given a full page spread with photos of 911 surounding the poem.  I was quite honored.  I know that it has been emailed half way around the world.  I hope that you enjoy it.

The Day America Cried   by Annette McKitrick

The sun shone brightly that morning There was not a cloud in the sky
Life went on just as always The day America cried.
We were not thinking of evil
The tragedy was not forseen
Our country changed in a heartbeat
By the sounds of thousands of screams.

Can you remember what you were doing?
The day America cried
Can you remember your shock and your sorrow?
When you learned how many had died.

Our Country so strong and so vibrant
Was quickly brought to its knees
The work of a madman's desires
Who lives far away across the seas?

An act of terror so heinous
Our minds cannot comprehend
The lives of thousands of heroes
Abruptly would come to their end.

The pain in my heart consumes me
My grief remains ever strong
I cannot forget this sorrow
It clings to me all the daylong.

Our hearts are crying for answers
We long to understand why
For families who lost loved ones
The day America cried.

Our faith and our spirits were tested
But God was guiding our land
The tide of adversity strengthens us
And together united we stand.

The many brave men and brave women
In our hearts forever will stay
By actions and deeds made immortal
Heroes were born on that day.

So what gained you out of your evil?
For you there is no place to hide
America is stronger than ever
We stand as one nation with pride

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Time Lament of the Over Stressed!

Hello my friends!  Please forgive me but I am rapidly falling into the "Christmas Panic Mode" of life.  You know that one - too much to do, too little time and no money!  We are all suffering from this.  I have been diligently baking a jillion christmas cookies.  So far, I have made 10 different kinds.  I usually make at least 20 varities but this year it will be more.  My daughter has a gluten intolerance and cannot eat wheat flour.  I have been adapting my recipes to be gluten free.  This is a whole new chapter in baking.  I have finally found a GF flour recipe that seems to work well.  Also, she can have a certain amount to spelt flour.
She is not Celiac disease but we think it is a gluten allergy.  We have so many allergies in our family and her cousin Brandon also has the allergy.  People with celiacs disease cannot have spelt flour because it is related to wheat and has a certain amount of gluten in it.
Dani can eat the spelt bread from Trader Joe's.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I made her spelt dinner rolls with potatoes in the recipe.  I just substituted the spelt for the wheat flour and made them as usual.  They were absolutely delicious and she kind of went crazy with them.  She probably ate 5 or 6 of them in one day and she did get sick.
She never ate that much spelt before and it did react with her.  She gets terrible pains in her stomach and then vomits.  Sooooo - she now knows that she cannot over do it with spelt.  I find if I use half spelt and half GF flour it works well.  The cakes are the best with a velvet crumb and smooth texture.  They are slightly heavier than wheat flour products but most people cannot taste the difference.  I have found some great recipes for cookies on the web.  The cut out sugar cookies were superb.  I could not tell the difference from my regular sugar cookies.  The only difference is that the GF mixture could not roll out as thin but not too much difference.  Still very crisp and highly enjoyable.  If any of you are GF diet and would like the recipes, leave me a comment and I will post them.

My husband just adores cookies. I call him the cookie monster.  Would be happy to eat them for every meal.  We give a lot of cookies as gifts and he always brings a huge tray of cookies into work on Christmas Eve day.  He has gotten quite good at helping me make the cookies but has so little time off.  He has been working 12 to 14 hour days and will only have one day off until Christmas.  Many of those hours are evening.  Today he is working from 8 am to 11 pm.  Well, thats the retail bussiness for you!  We are just so glad that he has a job!  No complaining here.

Have you gotten all your shopping done yet?  I am not even close.  I try to order things online but I am starting so late this year.  Went to Victoria's Secret site last night to order some items from my Dani's wish list.  Not one thing is available.  They have items in the stores but it is so hard for me to go to the mall.  They do not have power scooters to use and there is too much walking for me to do.  But I am going to have to hit some of the shopping center stores for gifts.  I hate to think about it.

Sunday was Francesca's 4th birthday and we had her party at our house.  What a little angel she is!!  Children with trisomy 21 (Down's Syndrome) are so special.  They are truly angels and God's gift to us.  She was so happy and excited over opening her presents.
After we had birthday cake and all the presents were opened, she came and got me out of the kitchen, pulled me by the hand, and brought me into the living room  She sat down on her little Elmo chair and then looked at me and said "Auntie, more!"  Bless her little heart, she wanted more birthday presents!!!  And of course I wanted to buy the world and give it to her in that moment!  Dani gave her her first tricycle.  A Barbie one that is like a big wheels, but pink and white.  She cannot quite reach the petals but was scooting all around the house.  It was obviously a big hit!  I just love to spoil her.  I am always finding little presents for her and she gets so excited when I tell her that  "auntie has a present for you".  She has blessed our hearts and our lives with so much joy.  We are all crazy in love with her.  Her nickname is Chessie and we call her Chessie Lou Who after the little girl in the Seuss book.  She is so tiny for her age.  Still wears a size 2 or 3.

I have been crocheting only at night lately and not that much either.  Last night I made 2 bookmarks and am working on a hat for Chessie for christmas.  She loves to watch me crochet and likes when I make things for her.  I had to try on a pink hat I am making for her and it was good that I did.  It was too big and too long so I had to rip out a few rows and make some decreases at the rim to fit her properly.  She loves the bright pink color of the yarn.  Its going to have Mickey Mouse ears on it too.  Very cute.  I am putting ties on it so it will stay on her head for more than one minute.

Well dear readers, I hope you have enjoyed this posting.  I now must go and put color in my hair.  I am looking like a skunk!  You know, white stripe down the middle!  I am pure white in hair color and have been since I was in my forties.  Runs in my Dad's family. I never remember him without grey hair.  I won't let it go natural cause I will look like an old lady and I am never going to be an old lady.  Never, never, never!  I only feel like I am 35. Mentally that is.  Physically is another story.  Enjoy your week.  Hugs to you all.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Hello dear reader,
I have posted photos of some of the christmas tree ornaments I have made using the same pattern for all of the "bulbs".  I used different yarns and threads.  I used worsted weight yarn with a gold crochet thread.  They came out heavier but I liked the weight and they hold up to the decorations.  I also used double strand of #10 thread.  These were a little smaller but still great.  I found som sequins in the shape of snowflakes and the greeting "Merry Christmas" in sequin material.  The others I used scrapbooking brads in different sizes, shapes and colors.
The candy cane ornaments were the ones I described in an earlier post.  They are from a current magazine.  They are just double crochet in a long string. I used white glue and water for stiffening and dried them on aluminum foil.  I love them and they are just adorable.
I did manage to make one snowflake out of #5 thread and It came out so cute.  I am not a big fan of making doilies and snowflakes,  I love the look of them but I don't enjoy crocheting them as nuch as I enjoy working with yarn.

The christmas trees are finally decorated and photos made.  I used garland on one but not the other.  I got sick and tired of burning my fingers on the hot glue so I didn't put garland on the second one.  I think that they look adorable anyways.  I had the cutest little vintage wooden ornaments and also some resin ones.  On one I glued some little wrapped packages onto the base of the tree.  One is for me and the other is for my niece and the kids.  I know that they will enjoy them.  Send me photos if you make one of my trees.  I would love to see what you have done.


Hello dear reader,
I have posted the photos of my butterfly pins that I crocheted.  I think they came out just adorable.  I love them all.  Each one has its own personality and won't they look lovely on a dress or coat?  The original pattern was from a blog I came across. I will try to post the link.  She made them with single strand of #10 thread but I found that they were too tiny.  I used double strand #10 thread and they came out just perfect.
I also improved upon the pattern by slip stitching all around the edges of the butterfly to make it a solid piece.  I had trouble with the craft wire that I had on hand because one was too thick and it would not go thru the hole in my bead and the other was on the thin side and the ends didnt curl as nicely as I would have liked.  When I go to the craft store again I will pick up some appropriate sized wire.  I believe a 22 or 23 gauge wire is probably the best size.   They are so quick and easy to make.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Games - Online community and dress up games for girls

Holiday Games - Online community and dress up games for girls


YES Dear Reader - Christmas is coming whether or not you are ready for it.  Is anyone ever really ready for Christmas???  I know that I am not.  I love Christmas, the spirit of the season,
the excitement on children's faces, Santa bringing gifts, wonderful meals and desserts, the lights, the trees, the joy.....
The stress, the anxiety, the lack of time, the lack of money, how will I get it all done?  Where will the money for gifts come from?  How will we pay our bills, the mortgage, the rent?  These are realities of the season.  For many there will be leaner times this year.  For those of you who are fortunate to still have their jobs, maybe it won't be too difficult.  Leaner but you will still have a Christmas.  For those who are jobless,
the tasks will be much harder.  How can we face all our adult obligations and still keep the meaning of Christmas in our hearts and our homes.  We as a society put much importance on gift giving.  All you ever hear is "I want...".  Maybe this year will be a good time to think of others.  The families who are not so fortunate to have a big Christmas.  I know that in my heart I wish I could just chuck it all away.  The gift giving,
the hype, the commercialism of the holiday.  The real reason for the season - peace, joy, HOPE that the world will continue because of one solitary man's birth.  Love, this is the secret!
We need  to show more love.  To each other, to our kids, our spouses, our classmates, our workmates, our friends, our families, to strangers, to ourselves!  We have the wonderful gift of free spirit.  This means that we can choose how we want to live each day.  I choose to live in love, not fear.  Fear is the antichrist.  Fear is the root of all evil.  Fear will grow and grow and grow until it becomes all powerful in our lives if we let it.  If we choose it.  But we do not have to choose fear.
We can choose love.  Love is the most powerful thing in the universe.  Love is strength, power, freedom, joy, contentment, happiness.  Only love has the power to cancel out fear.  Only you can choose which you want to live in.  Do you choose fear or do you choose love?  Everyday when I open my eyes and get out of bed, I choose to live my life in Love and not fear.  Sometimes I need to make a conscious effert to choose love.  Sometimes I need to say it out loud.  I have it printed on a piece of paper and taped to my bathroom mirror just in case I forget.  And when I say those words either out loud or inside my head, I feel the power that those words contain.  A power that comes deep inside your soul to make you remember.  Love, all we need is love.  Love is what gives me strength.  Love is what gives me hope.  Love is what brings me happiness.  Love is what makes me want to help others.  Love is what makes me want to give back or pay it forward.  Love is what gives me serenity.  Love is what makes the sun shine brighter.  Love is what makes life worthwhile.
It matters not what your faith or beliefs are.  It matters not where you live or how you worship.  Love is light.  Fear is darkness.  Just these few simple words - I choose to live today in love, not fear!  Life changing, soul changing.  Let us remember that Christmas is the season for love ever lasting.
The kids will still want their presents, your spouse will still want the roast beef and christmas cookies by the dozen and you will still get frazzled.  But love will make it easier, less overwhelming, strengthen you.  Love will make it all right.
So tomorrow morning when you awaken, make a conscious effort to choose to live your life in love, not fear and see where it takes you.   You will be amazed.  You will witness miracles!  And so dear reader, on this day after Thanksgiving, I wish you all love!  I love you!
Peace and Joy
Your friend Annette

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Hello my dear readers!
 One of my passions is to find old ugly or not so ugly things and redo or remake them into
beautiful accessories for my home.  I have to admit that I am the Queen of the yard sales!
It is an excitement that cannot be duplicated.  It ignites a fire in my blood.  When I am driving on the weekend and I see a yard sale the adrenaline starts to pump, my hands get sweaty and my heart beats out of my chest.  Reality ceases to exist for me and I turn into
Yardsale Super Diva!!  I park the car and get out in a trance.  My eyes immediately turn into xray vision and I scan the area with the ability of a high powered microscope!  I immediately zone into the area that my radar detects.  Quickly I go over to the spot and pick up my treasure!  I clutch it in my hot little hands and then zone in on the next treasure.  Is the price right?  Do I need to haggle with the owner?  Is it too heavy to lug around while I search for the next item?  I locate the owner of the sale and quickly negotiate a place to lay my purchases while I shop.  I keep one eye on my treasure trove of finds while searching for another bargain.  If a stray shopper gets too close to my pile I shout out "Sorry - those are MINE!"  and glare at her with the look of death!  She quietly slinks away not wanting to get into it with a crazed woman.  She knows the dangers that lurk there!  Now there are times when I go to a sale and do not find one object to buy.  I cannot even begin to relate to you what this does to my psyche.  It is total and utter devastation!  I immediately drop into the black hole of deep depression and this can only be relieved by finding a new sale.  Or you drop into a sale where they really have junk - things that should be tossed into a dumpster and they have prices that are near to telephone numbers!  Then the annoyance rears its ugly head and I have all I can do not to shout out obscenities.  I really want to tell them "what! are you all crazy?  You have prices on this totally worthless junk that would single handedly relieve the gross national debt!"  "Get a life!  No one is going to pay those astronomical prices for this crap!!!!"
There!  That relieves my frustrations!  Now in New England and especially in Connecticut, we refer to yard sales as "Tag Sales".  I am going tagging!  And the cycle begins anew.  My daughter who is now 21 was only 2 weeks old when I took her to her first tag sale.  I would lift the carrier out of the carseat and find a nice shady spot to sit her while I perused the sale.  If there was not a shady spot I would put the sunshield up on the carrier and lug her around.  I rarely had to buy her new clothes in stores.  I found almost everything I needed and wanted at the sales.  I saved thousands of dollars while she was growing up.  I am very picky and only bought baby items from homes that were pristine and stylish.  I loved buying toys at sales too.  My daughter wanted for nothing.
I found fabulous items of great expense for pennies.  She was dressed like a little princess with clothes bougtht at the most expensive baby botiques.  People were envious of how she looked!  Could never figure out how I did it!  My little secret known to only a few elite ones.  And the items I found for my home!  Antiques, period furniture, waterford crystal, lenox china, sterling silver etc. etc. etc. etc.  Did I ever tell you that I have a photographic memory?  I only need to look at an object and I can tell you when I bought it, where I bought it and how much I paid for it.  And I can remember 20 years later!  My husband says that I am messed up!  He can't remember what he had for breakfast.  His favorite line is "how in hell can you remember that???"  I just smile, shrug my shoulders and say 
"I just do". 
My family took to making lists of things they wanted or needed and gave them to me.
They were always amazed when I would call them and tell them to come and pick up their items.  I would make lists of items for myself too.  Usually  I would find the objects within 2 weeks.  The only time I would buy toys in the toy store was for birthdays, Christmas and special rewards.  And of course for other kids.  But if I found a toy that was unopened and still in excellant condition I would buy it and put it in my gift box and then I would select the appropriate gift from there.  I never gave used gifts.  I don't even like to regift items.  I just give them away if I don't like them.  But when someone give me a gift and they put time and energy into choosing it for me, I will keep it for the spirit of love with which it was gifted to me.  If it was really hideous I would hide it in a closet and only take it out when the person came to visit. 
Now I took great pride in keeping my daughters thing in great condition. Toys were all kept with their appropriate pieces and instructions.  Clothing was free from stains and tears.  If it was worn out it got tossed.  And I would then have an annual yard sale to sell all her outgrown clothing and toys.  People would beg me to let them come over before the sale to buy things.  Mothers would stalk me in the supermarket wanting to know what I had for sale.  Women would try to outbid each other at my yard sales.  It was that good!!!  Smart women know a bargain when they see one.  And I can tell that you are ALL very smart women!  And maybe a few guys.  My husband Randy loved to brag to other people about the great finds that his wife bought at a yard sale.  And he even enjoyed going to them with me.  But if truth be known - I preferred to go without him.  I can thank God that his job has him working every saturday!
And now the creme de la creme!  I was fortunate enough to go to a sale at a Catholic Nuns home.  Volunteers ran the sale.  I purchased 3 trash bags of yarn for approximately 20.00.  The was tons of yarn in thos bags.  All in like new condition.  But sad to say that most of the yarn was wool.  Why sad do you say?  Well.....I am allergic to wool and can only use synthetic or cotton fibers.  But I  sorted all the yarn by brand and color and bagged it up.  Then I listed it all on eBay at auction.  Most of the yarn was vintage.  And big lots with enough to make lots of sweaters etc.  All the yarn sold and it netted me over 300.00!!   YaHoo!  Hows that for a profit???  I never dreamed that women went crazy for vintage wool yarn.  I am a crocheter and not a knitter and maybe that is the difference.

And then what do I do in the winter months when there are no yard sales?  Well, I seriously thought of moving to Florida for this reason but my husband would not hear of it.  So I dilegently go to thrift stores and consignment shops.  Now thats another chapter...................for another post!
Peace and Joy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hello to my dear readers!  I have been soooooo lazy these past few days.  We all need to have lazy days and just do nothing.  I am trying to convert my closet from summer to winter clothes but the problem is that I don't remember where my winter clothes are. And why you ask, did I not label the bins with the winter clothes in them??  Well, I did not want to marr the outside of the bins with writing and make them look tacky ! Its tough to be getting older.  They say that the mind is the first to go......its just that I can not remember which bins they are in and I only have about 50 bins in my overcrowded basement.  By the way - speaking of my basement - I don't know about you all but I need to wear combat gear just to go downstairs.  You take your life in your hands truly!!  One time we lost my husband down there and he didn't come up for 3 days.  We were going to send down the National Guard!  LOL!  Don't mind me - I just think I am funny but my daughter tells me that no one else thinks I am funny! 

I have been making these crocheted candy canes.  They are in the christmas issue of crochet magazine.  They are the easiest things ever to make.  Using thread you chain a length that you want, double crochet to the end and finish off.  You make one white and one red or one red and one green.  Then you make a solution of white glue and water, dip the strips into the mix and then twist the two together.  I lay them out on a piece of aluminum foil so they won't stick.  Let them dry and Voila! cute candy canes for you tree.  Now why did't I think that one up??  You can crochet a jillion strips in about an hour.  Imagine how many you can make in a day!  Why we would just have a house filled to overflowing with candy canes!

I received a great puffy today!  It came via FedEx.  It was from India.  There was an absolutely beautiful avocado green scarf crocheted in a fine yarn and a beautiful granny square motif.  Very fancy and delicate.  I just love it.  Such beautiful work.  There was also a lovely floral placemat and napkin in cloth, a rust color with flowers.  A cute charm bracelet, jeweled pen, wooden coaster that you can use for a candle or bottle of wine,
and I love everything.  The only problem is that the person sending it to me put no communication of any kind in the package.  No name, no name of the exchange and not the name of the group.  And I belong to about 12 different crochet groups on Yahoo.  I am signed up for at least 5 groups.  This might be a secret santa or christmas exchange.  I am not assigned to anyone in India. Now I will have to write to all the groups I am signed up with to try to find the sender.  Ladies, keep this in mind when you are sending out a puffy for a group exchange.  You must at least put the name of the group inside the package and your name if it is not a secret exchange.  I send out a little letter with all my personal info in it so my partner gets to know me a little.  I just really love to read about my partners!  Its so nice to make new friends from all over the country and the world. I always say that there are no such thing as strangers - just friends that we have not met yet.  I  believe this with my whole heart.  We are all from the same family.  We all come from the Creator (whom ever you believe this to be) and we are all connected each and every one of us.  Ok, ok, you admit that there are some people that you do not ever want to be related to!  But just the same, we are all one family.  And as for the differences of opinion or beliefs,  there are no right or wrong beliefs.  We are all entitled to our individual beliefs and the next person is not wrong - their beliefs are just another belief.
No better or worse than our own belief.  If we could all view the world thru this concept then there would never be any more wars.  Imagine! Can you just imagine what it would be like?  No, I guess you can't.  In so many ways, humans are so backwards and uncivilized.  Any thoughts out there about this subject?  Send me an email, I just love thought provoking discussions.  They make your brain come alive.

I was sent a cute email from my cousin Johnny (on my father's side).  We had not seen each other since we were about 10 years old.  His mom and dad got divorced and we lost touch with them.  But I loved to play with him and he is just 2 years older than me.
It was soooooo special to find him again.  Anyways, he keeps sending me emails of jokes or funny things and this one I will share with you.  Its entitled "Things my Mother taught me" and it is adorable.

1.. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A  JOB WELL DONE
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC
"Because I said so, that's why." 

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. 
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident.."

7.  My mother taught me IRONY 
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8.  My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISTS
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11.  My mother taught me about WEATHER
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13  My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
"Stop acting like your father!"

15.My mother taught me about ENVY
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world
who don't have wonderful parents  like you do."

16.. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION
"Just wait until we get home.."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20.  My mother taught me HUMOR
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me.."

21. My  mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.  "You're just like your father.."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you.  Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM*.  "When you get to be my age, you'll understand..."

And my favorite:
25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out  just like you!!

Ok ladies,  how many times have you said one of these things to your own kids?  I can admit that I have probably said them all.  After all, I am my mothers daughter.  My mothers favorite saying was "My only prayer is that someday you will have a daughter and she will do to you what you do to me only worse".  And although my kid was a handfull at times, I can truthfully admit that she was no wheres near as much of a brat as her mother was.  Do I owe this to my excellant parenting skills or just plain luck?  My bet is with the luck!  I have to admit my kid is pretty special. I am truly blessed.  God did good by me when he gave her to me.  I had a very difficult pregnancy with many serious complications right up until she was delivered.  I would pray to God that I didn't mind the bad pregnancy but the very least he could do was to make her pretty.  He held up his end of the bargain!  When my daughter was in 8th grade at St. Marys School in Branford CT, they were assigned an essay about what person in their lives would be nominated for sainthood.  It could be anyone they wanted as long as they were special and desered it.  My daughter came home with her paper that received an A+ on it.  I asked her who she chose and she handed me the paper and said "You"!  Well, that was a moment in my life that I will never ever forget. It was a gift of the greatest magnitude.  It was the angels in heaven singing "Halleulha!"  It was tears streaming down my cheeks!  It was a feeling of love that I have never before known!  My kid, my kid thinks I should be a saint?  OMG!!  This must be a dream right?  I'm gonna wake up any moment now righT?  Can you just imagine??  Well, I am blessed, truly blessed.  I will try to dig it up and print it here for you all to read.  But be warned, do not read it without a box of tissues next to you cause it is a tear jerker!

Well, dear reader, I think that I have taken enough of your precious time for today.  I will say goodbye for now.  Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog.  You all have a blessed day now!!