What’s In An Old Year?

breatheI wonder how many people view New Year’s Eve Day as a day of reflection. As I look out onto my yard and the beautiful glistening snow I am reminded of the seasons that have passed this year.

For me it has been a year of successes, failures, fun times with family and sad mourning times with family and friends. It has been a year of life because as much as we would like to dream the New Year is going to be free of any anguish it isn’t going to happen, because life is filled with hills and valleys every single year. Some years may be better than others but those years, and hills and valleys make us who we are.

There are always moments in life we know we can do better. There are moments in life we hold on to so tight it keeps us from moving forward in our lives. The trick is to recognize the moments we need to leave behind and the moments we need to carry with us into the future.

Looking back on my life there are many times I have failed as a mother, as a wife, as a financial planner of my finances, in my writing and as a friend. When I feel the despair of depression, those are the moments I cling to and they keep me in the past. They keep me from moving forward. They keep me from accepting who God has created me to be and I stagnate.

I don’t believe we were meant to live our lives feeling like a failure, but the outside voices beat us down and we hear the negative rather than the positive. We don’t see our successes or the positive moments and people who help shape our lives.

This may seem like a strange New Year’s column but I write from the heart. Today is a day of reflection for me, looking back, seeing what I want to change, what I want to hold on to, and what I need to do to go forward to be the best me I can be. And  that is what I wish for you, my readers.

This isn’t a resolution but a way to began the new year. I love to write. I love dreaming of weird impractical characters and I will keep doing it. I must admit this year I have felt the respect slip from being a computer technician to beciming a writer and especially a writer of silly tales. I feel the respect of my readers and those that love Cozy Mysteries and the impractical, but I felt the ridicule of those that do not understand spinning a tale of silliness in the real world. This coming year I choose to spin more silly tales and let the voices of those who believe I am nothing but a fluff bucket, and my opinions do not matter because of it, go and not stop me from doing what I love.

I choose to speak out against disrespect in all areas, on the Internet, on my Social Media and in real life but I also choose to answer the disrespect with respect.

Having a creative soul leads me to explore many creative avenues and this year I choose to explore them and not let those that think I should stick to one thing stop me. My soul has to soar. I can’t be burdened with structure and lines and people that box me in.

And I vow to get out of debt. Yes, writers can have debt. I don’t know how, but I will have faith in myself to believe I can do it.

I am grateful for my life this year. I am grateful for my family and friends and for my readers. I am grateful for life, and light and hope. I am grateful for my failures, my successes, my moments of holding on and my moments of letting go. God created each of us different and I will listen to the voice inside of me telling me how to use my creative talents. I hope all of you will do the same. Our lives are complicated. They are a mixture of feelings that make us, us. My hope for me and you is to accept yourself as you are, celebrate your uniqueness, let go of those moments you need to so you can go into 2016, growing, caring, loving and yes failing, for it is in failure we find out who we are and what strengths we have to carry us into our future.

Happy New Year. Celebrate you.



It’s A Blooming Christmas!

SOMETHING ABOUT NOTHING COLUMN Week of December 21, 2015growth

My Christmas cactus is blooming. It always amazes me in the cycle of life that a plant knows when to bloom every year.

My Christmas cactus has a history. It was part of my life for as long as I can remember, first at my Grandma Krock’s and then at my mother’s home. This cactus has lived longer than my years.

My mother put the cactus outside in the summer so it could enjoy the warmth of the sun and the summer days. When fall arrived the cactus was put in the dark basement and brought upstairs in November. Every year the cactus with its pink blooms sat beside the Christmas tree at my grandmother’s and then my mother’s home.

In my mother’s later years, instead of a Christmas tree, the large cactus was used as her tree and she would adorn it with small bows, bringing more of the season to the cactus, already beautiful blooming blossoms. The living cactus was an important part of her life.

My mom had a green thumb. I have a brown thumb. When my mom entered the nursing home it was February. I forgot about the cactus in her basement for many, many months. I ignored the living plant in her home. A living entity needs love and care to survive and this cactus, after months of neglect, showed its will to live. When I found it, a few leaves were struggling to survive.

I mourned that I had let die something that obviously represented life in our family and had meaning to my mother. It wasn’t just a Christmas cactus, but always a part of my mother’s life from the time she was small. It was rooted in our tradition and it seemed that with my mother’s life failing, I was losing the tradition or our Christmas cactus along with my mother. The Christmas cactus held tradition and memories.

As much as many of us fight to live, my mom’s Christmas cactus did too. In spite of my brown thumb, the Christmas cactus again started to grow leaves after my mother died. The beautiful cactus decided to bloom once again at Christmas time. I give it no special treatment except to smile at it each day. It doesn’t see the dark basement and it doesn’t change its spot on the windowsill, yet it lives, blooms and blossoms. I have to believe my mother is tending it from above.

For me, as I view my beautiful old Christmas cactus this season, I feel hope. Once again it has grown big and strong and has weathered the storms of neglect. I feel the glowing memories in my heart of the many years of family Christmases, of my youth, of what seems like simpler times and my heart stirs with love at the memories. Its beauty, a reminder that there is always new growth in life if we nurture and care for the gifts of life seen and unseen that we have been given. Out of struggle for survival, comes growth.

My wish for you this Christmas is peace and love in the simple things of the season and in the recesses of your hearts. My wish for you is a glimmer of hope and new growth through your struggles throughout the year. May you bloom where you are planted, watered often with encouragement and love, and may your roots be strong to survive the dry, desert moments of your life. May you blossom and bloom this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas!

Review: Death Of A Dummy: A Wax Museum Mystery

Death Of A Dummy: A Wax Museum Mystery
Death Of A Dummy: A Wax Museum Mystery by C. F. Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What could be more intriguing than an old wax museum, a deadline to prove yourself to your parents and new acquaintances being murdered? I liked the setting,enjoyed the characters and the plot in this mystery. I look forward to more mysteries in this series. It’s a winner.

View all my reviews