Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Adventures

are you ready to start the new year?

from this day forward remove the word "impossible" from your vocabulary. become an expert in possibilities

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's About Time

Tell the audience what you're going to say, say it; then tell them what you've said. ~ Dale Carnegie

Week #52 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - walking the walk and talking the talk
I did it! 
I found some of LIFE'S simple pleasures and documented them every week of 2013.  If you are looking for some fun reading and want to discover the little things ... check out some of my different posts throughout this year.
Topics through the last quarter of the year include: shoes, circle, bed, Halloween, discovering, Random Acts of Kindness, music, thankful, it's a sign, winter, Christmas and finally..... stating what I was going to do, doing what I say I was going to do and and finally completing what I set out to do!

One of the mission statements over at the House of Shine is: Don't think too much and do/be/create as much as possible
And throughout this entire year I was on the hunt to find the simple things in LIFE.  Things I forgot about.  Things that were there all the time.  Things that made me slow down and appreciate LIFE.
Life is simple when you live simply.

If the simple things in life don't put a smile on your face, then you will never be truly happy.

I must admit, that this project in writing/research/illustrating was at times a very hard task to complete.  And then I found that there is so much more I could have written about: making someone smile, when something you were going to buy is on sale anyway, finding a treasure in the back of a closet, hanging out with a friend, getting a hug from a child, silly faces, old love letters, being brave, singing loudly in the shower, unexpected sticky notes....

I look back on this and smile because it was LIFE and I decided to live it!

Thanks for coming along on the ride through 2013.  Happy New Year!! Can you imagine the possibilities I can embrace in 2014, when I color my thoughts with only the brightest of hues....

Thursday, December 26, 2013

LIFE'S little Collections

Going back to a simpler life is not a step backward - Yvon Chouinard

Week #52 LIFE'S simple pleasures - walking the walk and talking the talk
We made it to the end of 2013!
Each week on my blog I tried to highlight different things in my LIFE that I thought were one of LIFE'S simple pleasures.... the little things... things that don't cost a lot of money... part of our world...beautiful things right outside my door!

Although  it may seem that LIFE throws me a curve ball every once in a while... I truly want to express how blessed I am!!!
Each new day is another chance to change your life.
As I reflect on this last full week of 2013 I have discovered or re-discovered a lot of beautiful things over the last 52 weeks: graduation, American Flag, stop and smell the roses, front porch, bugs, day adventure, birthday celebration, collections, parks, umbrellas, summer time, fairs, lefties,stages of life, picnics, sounds of summer, volunteer, hearts, fall, home.

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are.
So, if you've stopped my blog throughout the year ...(thank you, you should have left me a comment so I knew you visited!) have you looked around to see all the simple pleasures, the little things that are a part of your LIFE?  Amazing, huh?
In 2014 I'm on the hunt for 'possibilities'. I found this recently, but will tweak it at some point to reflect me....
"Because I am a collector of moments and I believe the stories of how things come to LIFE, matters"
Kelly Rae Roberts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Another Chance

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best - Henry Van Dyke

Happy, Happy, Happy
My homage to Duck Dynasty.  It's amazing how a few Duck people can cause America to flap their beaks and get them to really think and talk about this world and our countries' freedom of choice!
Week #52 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - walking the walk and talking the talk
A year of simple pleasures in review.
Hot topics I wrote about, weeks 11-20:  Birds, comfort food, furry friends, Spring, Pinterest, people watching, all things earth, geocaching, honoring mothers, clouds/sky.

Whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.  Richard Bach
There are many awesome things we've learned about geocaching (Week #18) .  Look at our Earth's beauty captured in some of my pictures.  One of the big things that geocaching requests that you do is CITO.... cache in, trash out!  So, not only are you walking around in God's beauty, you clean up and leave the place a little better than you found it. 

I can't help but love the sunny days as well as the cloud filled days.  They are all stunningly beautiful when it is a simple pleasure.  Go back to Week #20  to see where the skies the limit!
Each new day is another chance
to change your LIFE.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The End is Near

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagan

One last topic and I can declare victory!!!
Week #52 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - talking the talk and walking the walk

Starting back in Week #1 of LIFE'S simple  pleasures I have weekly made the attempt to look for in my surroundings, many of the simple pleasures the encompass my LIFE.

I have found at least 51, but it's actually much, much more!!

Weeks 1-10 included LIFE with a twist on: Beverages, Snowflakes, Fuzzy Socks, Fireplaces, Books, Teddy Bears, Valentines, the Sun, Cookies and Mail.

LIFE does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
Each week of 2013 took me on an adventure.  It took me places that I forgot existed. I stopped and really tried to enjoy.

I just need to be reminded sometimes to just take a deep breath.  Worrying never solved anything and just truly enjoy the simple things.

LIFE moves pretty fast if you don't stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ho Ho Ho!!

Down through the chimney....

Week #51 LIFE'S simple pleasures - Christmas

Are you ready?  O' come all ye faithful....I'm as ready as I could ever be.  I so get why people can get stressed this time of year.  Done Decking the Halls?  There is constant bombardment of advertising.... Joy to the World....Are your stockings hanging by the chimney with care?  Mine are.... see the picture above?  I got a wonderful handmade gift from a special friend.... banners are one of the "IN" things this year... and look?  It perfectly matches our stocking holders on the mantel!  Noel, Noel!!

Christmas time is really a simple pleasure ... it depends on how complicated we make it.  If we have faith and believe what the celebration was meant to be ... then all that wasted energy is uplifted to the spirit of peace, joy and love.

Well, you should probably get back to it.... only 6 more days until that magical day.  So much to do, right???  Have yourself a Merry 'little' Christmas....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Have a Holly Jolly One

Tis the season to be jolly....
Week #51 LIFE'S simple pleasures - Christmas
So do wish people a Merry Christmas? or Happy Holidays? 
If you say happy holidays then you can roll all the different December celebrations into one!  Those two two word phrases are causing a small controversy in 2013.  Choose your words wisely.
I love this card above .... just sparkle.

Or, how about this one... a Merry Christmouse ....
However you might say it ... don't get your tinsel in a tangle!
Just buy some creative greetings!! and
Brighten Someone's Day.

Monday, December 16, 2013

That Time of Year

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Week #51 LIFE'S simple pleasures - Christmas

I almost second guessed myself.  Is it really week #51? 

Looking at the actual calendar for December, I see that the 29th of December falls on a Sunday, the beginning of a new week, so that would technically be week 53.... but if you do the math and divide 365 days a year by 7 days a week, you actually get 52.14 weeks... but I guess that really doesn't count for figuring out the math of a calendar.

Good thing... that's all way to complicated for me, anyway.

Christmas is a beautiful time of year.  It can also be a difficult time of year. How ever you celebrate the reason for the season, I hope this year, at this moment you are being surrounded by peace, joy and love!

Keep calm and get your Ho, Ho, Ho on.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Beautiful Sight

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening
On Providence Lane, snow is glistenin'

Week # 50 LIFE'S simple pleasures - winter

A lot of people all over the US got a strong dose of winter weather over this past weekend.  Mother Nature and all her furry dumped lots of snow and frigid cold, closing schools and cities in the south. They got their first look at power outages and black ice of the winter season that has just begun!

Watching the snow from inside, as I dream by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate, is the best way to enjoy winter!... a beautiful sight.

The lyrics to Winter Wonderland were written by Richard Smith with music by Felix Bernard.  It was  released in 1934 and has been recorded by over 150 musical artists.  It has a seasonal theme (winter) but it never mentions Christmas, although it is a classic song sung at Christmas time.

Maybe in our back meadow I can build a snowman... and pretend he's a friend of Cooper Brown....
I've already heard it.  Our first snowfalls, cold temperatures and holiday bustle ... and people are tired of it. We need winter so that we can appreciate spring a little more.
One kind word can warm three winter months.
- Japanese Proverb
Go check out the snow, the Eskimo way... oh no, is that politically correct???

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Is it Winter or not?

in the depths of
winter i finally
learned that there
was in me an
invincible summer
~albert camus

Week #50 LIFE'S simple pleasure -winter

So, over this past weekend we got our first real measurable amount of snowfall here in the upper Midwest.  About 4".  It looks pretty, and it's cold... last night the thermometer dipped to -2 degrees. 

May I remind you it's not even winter yet according to the calendar!

My husband would like to disagree in regard to that statement... it's like those who wont turn their airconditioning on during a fluke 95 degree day in the middle of April.  Or those fanatics that will not turn their furnace on when it dips into the 30s at the end of October... the calendar doesn't say so! 

Forget about modern conveniences and comfort for the sake of what date it is on the calendar! You showed them!!!

I was walking Cooper (the black lab mix) yesterday without his sidekick Pomeranian Tucker.  Little Tucker's footpads couldn't handle the snow and the extreme cold.  Poor little doggie.

During our walk I happened upon a man who was shoveling his driveway (sans a hat and gloves). He lives on a different street than us.

I said hello, with a wave.  He commented back, "what do you think of this?".... motioning to all the snow.  I stated back that I didn't really mind, yes it was very cold but the sun was shining.  And it's winter and I can't change it, so I am going to look for the good in it!  It looks pretty.

 I think he was surprised!  We are so used to people agreeing with us about the negative things.

It truly is a mindset.  You are only as old as you feel.  So what if the calendar isn't quite in the winter solstice, 4" of snow and -2 degrees, it's winter.  You don't have to be rich to sparkle.  Wherever you go, bring your own sunSHINE.

Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality
~ Andy Goldsworthy

Monday, December 09, 2013

Paw Prints in the Snow

Hello, December
Make my wishes come true

Week #50 LIFE'S simple pleasures - winter
The jury is out when thinking about winter as a simple pleasure.  I might have to categorize it as a needed pleasure, for rebirth of our earth.
I could be like everyone else and say, "Where has this year gone?" I'm sure y'all have heard it before.
However, when I think back, this has been a terrific year!  I was able to document each and every week something new (or maybe, even old).  But it was a year filled with noticing LIFE'S simple pleasures.
This post may be a bit of deja vu`.  In week #2, I posted about snowflakes! 
I guess that is pretty close to posting about winter!  This entire year I've made specific posts about the seasons, so of course I need to finish out with winter.... which doesn't officially start until my mother-in-laws birthday on December 21. It's always the shortest day of the year.... day light speaking.
Winter is the coldest season of the year.  We have cold temperatures and snow because the earth is oriented away from the sun.
You can't get too much winter in winter - Robert Frost

Friday, December 06, 2013

My sign reads: It's Possible

I saw the sign and it opened up my
eyes I saw the sign
Life is demanding without understanding
I saw the sign and it opened up my
eyes I saw the sign
No one's gonna drag you up to get into
the light where you belong
But where do you belong
~ Ace of Base, song The Sign

Week #49 LIFE'S simple pleasures - a sign

The Universe supplies us with an infinite amount of signs daily, we just need to put on the correct pair of glasses to see them.

You know, not everyone has to believe that it's 'a sign'.  If by chance someone tells you what you need to hear, it can truly validate where you are at that very moment.

There is a difference between just seeing something and seeing something 'knowing' it was meant to be there for you.  And too, not everyone needs the answers or see the signs!!!

And sometimes when you do need it most.... you hear a song on the radio that fills you with emotions, you read words on an 'actual' sign  and you say wow! that makes sense! You smell a familiar scent and good memories come to mind!   

Our LIFE is actually finely tuned.... the key is to OPEN up the *possibilities!

In my past blog posts I've talked about signs, inadvertently of course... A simple act of kindness can change the course of a LIFE time.... Words make you think a thought, music makes you feel a feeling, a song makes you feel a thought.... find a penny pick it up... Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life...

The Signs are all there.... coincidence? karma? interpretation? wishful thinking? 

Or actual Semiotics?

LIFE is full of simple pleasures, anything is *possible.

In three weeks you can find out what's *possible!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I Saw the Signs

A sign on the door of opportunity reads PUSH.

Week #49 LIFE'S simple pleasures - a sign
I could almost be a Semioticist!  I am truly fascinated by the study of something that stands for something to someone in some capacity. 
The definition almost sounds like me when I don't know what I'm talking about!!
Because I often say I like clever words and pretty things . . . I have found a different way of crossing the boundaries and finding an aha moment.  Maybe all along with my play on words, my desire to  sparkle and my whimsical creative doodles....I have been dabbling in Semiotics and never realized it.
It is truly more complicated than I thought.  So, I did a google search on Semiotics for Dummies and basically what I found is that everything has a meaning within a culture.  Anyone who is into social media should have a basic understanding of Semiotics. 
Signs are everywhere!
Literally and figuratively!!

I think Semiotics and Statistics could go hand in hand. 
Right now in all my excitement of discovering yet another meaning.... all part of LIFE'S....Learning, Inspiring, Feeling, Evolving, and Shining.... all of this sounds so, or too scientific for me!  Maybe if I was 30 years younger and saw the signs back then.... who knows what meaning makers I could have discovered!!!
All I know for sure is that I decoded the Year of  2013 as one... to find the significance of the simple pleasures that are part of my LIFE!
A smile on the face is a sign that the heart is at home! ♥

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Decode the Signs

If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk? ~ Laurence J. Peter

Week #49 LIFE'S simple pleasures - a sign

Nothing is a sign unless we interpreted as a sign ~ Peirce

A nameplate is a actual sign.  It identifies the person behind the door.  Sometimes it gives you their title... so you know their importance in the company. 

Signs also literally direct you to your destination.  I used to work at a sign company.  It sounds funny now as I type this... but there are formulas to get you inside the door and direct you as simply as possible to your final destination. 

Twenty two years ago I worked at a company named Modulex Inc. (a Danish Company) and some of their signs were based off of Legos.... building blocks. With information (letters, numbers, company logos) printed on them, they could be interchangeable and fit the needs of each customer. Other signs were digitized vinyl and some were cut outs and back lit.

It's a bit hard to tell from this photo (which is a good thing) but each of the letters above is an individual tile placed on a board that looks like the top of a Lego block.  The 1 inch name plate is then slide into a holder.   My job at the time was to take the salesman's information and put it into a comprehensible designed quote so that they then, could present it to the client.
There is some thought put behind directing you into a hospital, library or office complex. 
You need to know where to enter.  Parking in the correct lot is very important.  Finding the entrance to the building is the next thing you need to know.  Once inside the building, unless you have been there before.... a  updated and complete directory provides you with further information.... names, room numbers, levels, hours of operation etc.... After reading the directory you need to decide which way to go.... left, right, to the elevators, up the stairs --> 
Once you are heading in the right direction, the next thing is to be reassured you are going the correct way.  Especially if there are lots of hallways, doors and exits.  Once you've almost made it to your final destination, you need a sign that says where you are.  You are here!!  Room 203 PRDesigns Office! 
And lastly, and not so inSIGNificant.... you need to know how to 'get out'.  Signs to direct you to whence you came! EXIT.... stage left.
So, do you need an actual sign to direct you in LIFE
Or do you have Homo Significans?.... meaning makers!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

What's Your Sign?

If you are not failing every now and again, it's a sign your not doing anything very innovative
~ Woody Allen
Week #49 LIFE'S Simple pleasures - a sign
You could take this weeks' simple pleasure literally as a physical object... a real piece of wood or metal that has creative, fun, interesting words on it and it can be posted on a wall or a door or on a stick/stake pounded into the ground ... or it could be something that stands for something to someone in some capacity!!!
The last definition sounds, I don't know... kind of spacey?!?  But that word spacey might even be a closer definition to the semiotics study... a 'sign' could very well be something that comes to your mind... out of thin air... and it confirms your purpose at that very moment!
I've always known this, but obviously... the English language is very complicated. So many meanings for one word. 
You can 'sign up'... which means you add your name and signature to a list.
There is 'sign language' ... where hearing impaired people use their fingers and hands to speak words.
There are 'sign of the times' ... signifies the situation evident in the current times.
Hey baby, what's your sign? ... refers to astrological and zodiac celestial spheres
Exit sign ...  a lit information board that tells you where you can go!
What signs can you find today? 
By the way, I am an Aries which is the first sign of the Zodiac. Openness, enthusiasm and individualism are the main traits of the Arians. They are outspoken, alert, quick to act and speak. They prefer to speak than to listen. Arians are ambitious, with lots of drive and a strong will to lead. They are poor followers. Fiercely independent, they usually take the side of the underdog in any controversy. They are champions of lost causes and losing battles. This trait is due to a strong belief in their own abilities to turn any situation around.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination ~ Albert Einstein

Monday, December 02, 2013

It's a Good Sign

It's a sign.

They are everywhere!

Week #49 LIFE'S simple pleasures - signs

This simple pleasure might get me into trouble!! 

You know sometimes when people are in a certain place and something odd happens to them?  And if they are spiritual, symbolical or superstitious... they might say that the event that is occurring "is a sign" .... that they should... or should not do something? 

It's a sign, is another play on words for me... yes, there are ACTUAL signs that say something like: FOR SALE .... or look at me because I'm cute,  but there other signs just out there hanging in space... that our mind catches on to.

The study of signs and sign processes is called Semiotics.  I have never heard this word before, but I am curious, and that is why this weeks simple pleasure may get me into trouble!!!

First the concept.... and then the design.... it's all a process in LIFE.

Stay tuned!!


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