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Could It Really Be??

Friday, December 17, 2010

Latkes prepared and eaten - Check emoticon
A Christmas Carol acted out - Check emoticon
Cookies baked and decorated - Check emoticon
A Christmas Story watched - Check emoticon
Sledding with my students - Check emoticon
Holiday concert performed - Check emoticon
19 presents wrapped in colorful paper - Check emoticon
Nutcracker Ballet attended - Check emoticon
19 presents distributed to children - Check emoticon
Cookies exchanged - Check emoticon


It's all good, but this teacher is T-I-R-E-D-!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 12/20/2010 7:22PM

    You're absolutely the B-E-S-T-E-S-T teacher on the planet...and BEYOND!


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LAGREBE 12/18/2010 5:32PM

    Merry Christmas! You did it one more time!

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MCGS62 12/18/2010 1:34PM

    Yeah!! the fun kind of exercize!

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MCSNYDER1 12/17/2010 7:18PM

    And the students think that teachers live at the school!!!

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AQUAJANE 12/17/2010 7:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Love too to see snowpoodle Stella running alongside! emoticon

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STARLASUE 12/17/2010 5:07PM

    LOve that shot of you on the tobaggan! I always get tired just reading about your days. lol You are something else, Teach. emoticon

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MY_LIFE_NOW 12/17/2010 4:30PM

    Enjoy your time off..woohoo i haven't seen 1976,,,get some rest too,!!!

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LMB-ESQ 12/17/2010 4:08PM

    Sledding! Fun! Enjoy your break -- you deserve it!

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PARKERB2 12/17/2010 4:03PM

    You can now sit back and relax. You've earned it. emoticon

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IUHRYTR 12/17/2010 3:46PM

    emoticon -- emoticon -- Lou

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3LITTLEBUNNIES 12/17/2010 3:41PM

    Wow!!! You deserve a good Christmas break after all of that!!!!
Way to go!!

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OLDERDANDRT 12/17/2010 3:39PM

    And a vacation well deserved! You've accomplished tons!!! Well done!!!


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MR.NET1 12/17/2010 3:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Unicorn Cookie and Holiday Concert

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last night I decorated the unicorn cookie that I made for the child I drew for the cookie exchange.

Here's what it looked like before baking. I always know it is going to plump up and try to accommodate that, but the cookie always gets fatter than I anticipate. I think the rainbow mane and tail put it a little over-the-top, but since it is for a 2nd grade girl, I think it is fine to be outlandishly colorful.

Here are some of the student cookies:

The children definitely make over-the-top cookies. I never really eat mine... I nibble at it and let the child know how delicious it is.

Tomorrow, during the last part of the school day, all of the 1st - 6th grade children and teachers (all 3 of us) will gather in a big circle on the floor with our cookies. We start off with, "Who has a cookie for ____?" The child who has made a cookie for that person gets up and gives the child his/her cookie, and everyone ooohs and ahhs over the cookie art. We continue until we have gone around the room, given each person a cookie, and admired each cookie. Then we sing a Christmas song and a Chanukkah song, then everyone goes home to begin winter break.

Tonight, though, is our holiday concert. The kids are sounding great and have some really good instrumentals as well. I will be accompanying one group with my guitar.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BADASSBLONDIE 12/21/2010 2:00PM

    I love love love this cookie tradition. :D

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NANHBH 12/20/2010 1:10AM

    Beautiful unicorn! Did the child eat it?

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MTNCLIMBER88 12/18/2010 6:19PM

    That unicorn cookie is gorgeous. Such talent!

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MCGS62 12/16/2010 8:33PM

    I'll eat it if you don't want it . oink oink it will help wash down the 4 chili dogs .

Those cookies look beutiful. some kids would never get hands on cookie experience at home I like the cookie exchange idea even better than a grab bag.
Good job!!

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MCSNYDER1 12/16/2010 8:00PM

    You are helping these kids build memories!

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VALERIEMAHA 12/16/2010 6:01PM

    WHAT FUN! Hope you're managing to stay sane through all of this! Wish I could be at the holiday concert!!!

Your fan,

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KRITTERKEEPERS 12/16/2010 5:35PM

    Great cookie!

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IUHRYTR 12/16/2010 4:41PM

    Creative, fun and tasty. How much better could it get? -- Lou

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MY_LIFE_NOW 12/16/2010 4:28PM

    wirth the wait the unicorn is magical and a very fun giving affair for the kids..you rock teach!!!!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 12/16/2010 4:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Nice lookin Cookie!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 12/16/2010 4:24PM

    Love that unicorn cookie! They all look yummy as well as artistic!!!
Hope all goes well with the concert and have a great and well-deserved break from school!!

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SASSYBLONDE69 12/16/2010 4:11PM

    I love your unicorn cookie! That's amazing! Your child will definitely love it!

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Cookie Exchange - Photos Included

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Today we began to make our cookies for the traditional school cookie exchange, a much anticipated tradition. First everyone gets a ball of cookie dough to form into a cookie:

Next they make a cookie to decorate later. Some children make a pretty basic shape to personalize later with the icing.

Other children really take time to make the cookie's foundation something really special. This child is making a lotus for the person she drew. It is all Top Secret. No one is supposed to know who the cookie is for except for the cookie artist until we pass out the cookies on Friday.

Here is a short article about the exchange by one of my students:

"The Cookie Exchange, By G. C.

Here at Antioch School we've been sticking to several traditions throughout the year, notably the cookie exchange. Every year, on the last day before winter break, the Younger Group, Older Group, and teachers gather in the Art and Science room to exchange the cookies we've been making for the past week. On the Friday of the week before, we pick names from a hat. And when it's time to give the cookies, we gather in a big circle, pick someone, and the person who got their name gives them their cookie. Then that person gets their cookie from someone else, and so on! Why do we do it? It's fun, festive, and as I said, a notable tradition."


This is the cookie I have crafted for the child I drew this year (it won't get decorated until tomorrow):

And this is the cookie I made last year. The recipient is a huge Stella fan:

Before decorating

And after.

The poor child who I made this cookie for couldn't bring herself to eat it it even after I reassured her that it was edible art. A year later, it is still in her freezer.

We are all looking forward to Friday when we can give our cookies to our special person whose name we drew from a hat last Friday. It will be our last activity before we break for our winter break.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRITTERKEEPERS 12/16/2010 5:38PM

    I love the Stella cookie. I don't think I could eat it either!

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    Fun and Yumm!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/15/2010 5:11PM

    Wow! Great looking cookies. I couldn't eat those....

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MARY1313 12/15/2010 4:44PM

    I wouldn't eat the Stella cookie either, I'd keep it forever!! The unicorn is beautiful, you are so artistic!

The child writing the essay is one smart cookie! pun intended.


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MEOWMAMA3 12/15/2010 6:44AM

    That is so funny about the Stella cookie! What a fun tradition! Yesterday I discovered that another of my former students has a child at our school in the 4th grade when I heard my name called in the hallway and turned around fto see a grown man who looked faintly familiar, did a double take and hollered! Big hugs all around!! He's 27 now. I taught him for 4th and 5th grade and he was one of my all time favorite kids. Can't wait to have a chance to chat with him to see what he remembers about fun things we did...back when the Standards Police weren't dictating our every move and Scrooging all the fun out of learning. He was there to pick up his son who was sick but is coming back to visit me soon.

Enjoy those cookies and know that you're creating lifelong memories for those kids!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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0309COOKIE 12/15/2010 12:41AM

    You come up with such fun activities. I would have loved to have had a teacher like you!

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MAWRTIAN 12/15/2010 12:24AM

    You are the cutest ever! Yum! emoticon

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TERRYT55 12/14/2010 11:46PM

    What a great tradition! Thanks for sharing

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MCSNYDER1 12/14/2010 9:56PM

    As a Literacy Specialist who grades writing on a Rubric of 1-6, I would give G. C. a 6 on her essay!

As a cookie lover AND a dog lover, I would give YOU a 100 on the Stella cookie!!!

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MCGS62 12/14/2010 9:38PM

    I wouldn"t eat it either ! It is too good looking.

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IUHRYTR 12/14/2010 9:31PM

    We (heart) Stella. Such creative cookies. I sound like a broken record but I wish I had teachers like you and activities like the ones you share with your students. The cookie exchange is so terrific because no one gets shut out while someone else receives many cookies. emoticon on another outstanding project. emoticon -- Lou

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DOR2BFIT 12/14/2010 8:26PM

    So sweet she wouldn't eat the Stella cookie. The unicorn is going to be even more miraculous. (Maybe you should break it so the recipient will eat it!) A wonderful tradition- Not like some cookie-exchange parties where you can't show up without at least a dozen cookies! (My daughter always neglected to tell me about them until the night before, so I am usually quite put out by the whole idea of a 'cookie exchange') emoticon emoticon

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HEALTH4LYFE 12/14/2010 7:26PM

    Looking like a lot of fun and tasty too! emoticon

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LADYNETTIE 12/14/2010 7:23PM

    Fun and yummy too!

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BADASSBLONDIE 12/14/2010 6:57PM

    That's so sweet! What a great tradition!!!

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THETHESPIAN 12/14/2010 6:48PM

    Really cool.

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LINDAW64 12/14/2010 6:44PM

    that is really great!!

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LMB-ESQ 12/14/2010 6:43PM

    What a nice tradition! Love the unicorn and the Stella cookies. I am not surprised she couldn't eat the cookie. I'm not sure I could either!

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SOON2BEFITSLP 12/14/2010 6:42PM

    What a fantastic activity! Sounds like a lot of fun and friendship. :-)

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KNITTY_JESS 12/14/2010 6:42PM

    So cool!

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MY_LIFE_NOW 12/14/2010 6:41PM

    Yummy yummy and love that unicorn can't wait to see the finished product..may be to good to eat

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SUNNY332 12/14/2010 6:35PM

    Oh what fun...

I love it.

Thanks for sharing.


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New Kitty - Happy, Happy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stella has a baby sister! Welcome to my family our new kitty. She is from the rescue group, SICSA. She is 2 1/2 months old, and in spite of her markings, she is not a Siamese. You can't tell by the photos, but she has beautiful blue eyes.

She is still being shy and staying in her cozy crate.

Stella keeps checking her out. One of the pluses for adopting her is that there were two golden retrievers in her foster home, so she is used to big dogs.

I just brought her home and haven't named her yet.

Names I have thought of so far:

Mei Mei (little sister in Mandarin - pronounced May May)


Beatrix (Trixie)

Still getting to know her though. Ideas or suggestions for names?

I'm already in love. Now I am going to get off the computer and cuddle her up by the wood stove.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 12/16/2010 6:04PM

    What terrific photos! Does she have a name yet??? Oh, the suspense! How are she and StellaByStarlight doing?

I love Robert's cat, Kitty Rama. She is utterly spoiled and brings great joy to a very sad man (and to me too).

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MEOWMAMA3 12/15/2010 6:37AM

    Ahhhh, Meowmama's heartstrings have been plucked! I vote for Trixie, she looks like she's be up to some mischief! You sure she's not part Siamese? There's nothing like kitty love (well, ok, doggie love!). Bless you for rescuing her and may you enjoy many meows and snuggles together! emoticon

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MAWRTIAN 12/14/2010 11:03AM

    So precious! I like the name MeiMei!

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    Luna for "moon-faced" or Luna for "lunatic" because one day you will come home to find the TP shredded, the plant half gnawed and the kibble all over the kitchen? emoticon

She's pretty! Good luck and happy cuddles.

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MCGS62 12/14/2010 12:56AM

    Nice looking cat! I hope you fing an apropriate name for it.
But the way you are with the furry friends maybe you should change your name from pudlecrazy to cuddlecrazy! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/14/2010 12:57:05 AM

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BECKYLYNNE77 12/13/2010 5:36PM

    I am happy for you have fun with your kitten emoticon

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JAKEANDNELLIE 12/13/2010 5:05PM

    Some of my best friends are furry and meow! She'll give you unconditional love - on her terms.
Thanks for rescuing that beautiful baby!

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AQUAJANE 12/13/2010 11:00AM

    Congrats on the kitty. She does look siamese-ish despite her mom's being a shorthair. Since I don't claim to know anything about cats, and no human knows her daddy, I checked on wikipedia and learned about points (dark fur in cooler body areas) and blue eyes as Siamese hallmarks. Seems not only are there traditional Siamese cats, but also the modern show variety (bigger ears, narrower head and body) and a whole slew of breeding and geographical variations, including with domestic shorthairs. Whatever she is, she's a cutie kittie. emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/13/2010 11:04:57 AM

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PENNYAN45 12/13/2010 9:28AM

    What a beauty. Enjoy the cuddle time with her.
She will help to make your Christmas Merry!

emoticon emoticon

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KJE_3001 12/12/2010 11:11PM

    Oh, she's so pretty! Congrats on the new addition to your family.

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 12/12/2010 10:12PM

    Wweet kitty and her name is suiting
♥-::-♫ Spread the Spark♫)) -::-♥
..) .)
(. (. (.`♥Victoria!

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IUHRYTR 12/12/2010 9:38PM

    She looks so very soft and cuddly and I know sweet tempered Stella probably already loves her. Although Luna can not replace Tex in your heart or in your memories, she can open a new area of your heart in which your memories of her will be stored and cherished. Thank you for caring about rescued pets. emoticon -- Lou

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KRITTERKEEPERS 12/12/2010 9:31PM

    Beautiful kitten. I'm sure she will be a good playmate for Stella. I know she won't fill the vacancy left by Tex, but she will find her own place in the family and you will love her.

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STARLASUE 12/12/2010 8:00PM

    Beautiful. She may have Siamese in her background. Does she have a tiny voice? I like Luna as a name. What a great present for you all and her to give her a forever home.

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0309COOKIE 12/12/2010 7:51PM

    Oh, she is very pretty. Good luck with her. She doesn't know how lucky she is, lol.

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SOON2BEFITSLP 12/12/2010 6:40PM

    I like all your name choices! Let us know what you decide!

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LIVESTRONG2010 12/12/2010 6:35PM

    I like her!! She's lucky to have you!

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DOR2BFIT 12/12/2010 6:29PM

    Love the name Luna!

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OLDERDANDRT 12/12/2010 6:28PM

    Oooooo! I like Luna!!! That is perfect re: Stella!!! So, sounds like her daddy may have been Siamese. Did you know cats can have babies from multiple daddy's in one litter? So nice.

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PUDLECRAZY 12/12/2010 6:23PM

    They had her mother and sisters at the shelter in the same kennel as her. Her mother is less than a year old (sad!) and a calico. One sister is black and white and the other is black. All were very cute and if I were Crazy Cat Lady ( and I have to work at not being CCL) I would have brought them all home.

She is already spayed and microchipped and is up to date on vaccinations. That is one of the things the shelter does before putting the cats up for adoption.

At the moment, Mike and I are thinking of naming her Luna. Purrfect as companion to Stella.

Comment edited on: 12/12/2010 6:25:10 PM

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DOR2BFIT 12/12/2010 6:17PM

    She is gorgeous- very svelte! How do you know she's not Siamese? She must have some Siamese in her genes! I would love to have cats again but my dh is opposed. Are you worried about your bird with a new cat? emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 12/12/2010 6:14PM

    She's a beauty. How's that for a name? Beauty! If you like, my Bianca wouldn't mind you using her name. Now you've got another Diva in the family, I think! I do hope Stella decides to like her and vice versa!

Merry Christmas!


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    She is beautiful--I think Mei Mei suits her. emoticon

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MY_LIFE_NOW 12/12/2010 5:56PM

    oh how beautiful..i often wonder how roxy would take to one at home but everytime she sees one outside she goes crazy and not a good crazy..here's to many a cozy night by the wood stove..she couldn't be in a better place emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 12/12/2010 5:52PM

    Absolutely adorable!!!!!!!!!!

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MARY1313 12/12/2010 5:49PM

    Clappy Hands!!!!! I'm so glad you got a kitty! She is so pretty and shy. she will come out of that under your loving hands though. I think you should watch her personality and see what comes out in the next few days.

So happy for you Chris!!!!


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WATERMELLEN 12/12/2010 5:38PM

    Oh, my, she is adorable. A person as loving and kind as you are should not be without a cat: that means a cat which could have you -- doesn't!!

I am so so so glad that you got her AND posted these lovely pictures.

Is there something along a "moonbeam" theme which would suit her (and work well with your star, Stella??) She seems to be a glorious pearlescent moonbeam colour! What a pretty kitty.

Just in case you like the idea, here is a link to a list of moon goddess names!!


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LMB-ESQ 12/12/2010 5:35PM

    She's a pretty little thing! I like Mei Mei, a "little sister" for Stella. Not a Siamese? Boy, she does sure look like one! Enjoy her! I'll look forward to reading about her as she settles into your home!

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SLEEPYDEAN 12/12/2010 5:08PM

    Oh wow, she looks just like a siamese. My boyfriend's parents just adopted a 12 week old siamese boy. I named him Baxter. I just was going through names outloud and stumbled on that one and it stuck.

Have fun with the new addition!

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MCSNYDER1 12/12/2010 5:07PM

    She is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!
Now, I want to go rescue a cat!

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AR1408 12/12/2010 5:02PM

  I love the name Beatrix or Trixie! She's adorable. I have a fluffy orange six-year-old named Autumn. We got her after a kitten I bought from a pet store died unexpectedly (that pet store shut down shortly after due to mistreatment of animals) from a relative's friend who found her abandoned on the side of the road in a box.

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ZZYYGGY 12/12/2010 5:01PM

    Cute pictures.

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Welcome to Today

Friday, December 10, 2010

Life has its ups and downs, twists and turns, storms and calm.... it is the nature of life. The sands of change shift, and that which seems constant also changes, bit by bit, almost invisibly. That is actually part of the joy of life. Each new day, new hour, new minute, presents the opportunity for growth and discovery.

Today's a new day and I intend to fully enjoy and savor it! I hope your day is a lovely one.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 12/16/2010 6:13PM

What poignant prose and beautiful image. The wisdom of the transiency of the moment helps to get through the challenging times.

I'm reading Pema Chodron's latest book, TAKING THE LEAP: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. One little quote -- "We're always looking for a permanent refernce point, and it doesn't exist. Everything is impermanent. Everything is always changing -- fluid, unfixed, and open. Nothing is pin-down-able the way we'd like it to be. This is not actually bad news, but we all seem to ve programmed for denial. We have absolutely no tolerance for uncertainty."

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WATERMELLEN 12/11/2010 4:05PM

    What a lovely image -- it's amazing that a night of sleep can smooth things out as effectively as the sea on the sand . . .

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OLDERDANDRT 12/10/2010 12:09PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MAWRTIAN 12/10/2010 10:55AM

    YIPPIE for a new day!!! You rock Chris!! Thanks for the beach picture, thoughts of the ocean always refresh me!!!

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SIRIRADHA 12/10/2010 10:47AM

    Here I am world! I'm ready to go exploring!

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STARLASUE 12/10/2010 10:40AM


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MARY1313 12/10/2010 10:08AM

    Great Post and I think I will make sure my day is a good one! I'm the one that determines how I react to things!


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IUHRYTR 12/10/2010 9:52AM

    Chris, I hope today is stress free for you and that you have a relaxing weekend. -- Lou

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MCGS62 12/10/2010 7:40AM

    I'd rather be enjoying that beach say in south florida in 85 degree sunshine with spf 100 lotion, plenty of iced tea and a beach ball.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Back to reality
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