Christmas Eve


Not sure what I was thinking but I called my mom last night and offered to host Christmas Eve at my house! Yikes… I haven’t started decorating yet let alone done any shopping! I don’t even know if I have enough ornaments for the new tree I got on clearance last year–gosh, where am I going to put that thing? I better get the carpets cleaned and start my usual month-long-before-party-cleaning-frenzy (yeah, I’m a little neurotic). I am not sure what to serve but I know Steve is going to fight me for cooking duties. He’s a good cook but, hey, so am I! I always serve buffet style since my house isn’t big enough for a sit down meal. Besides we’re pretty casual around here. I have some great appetizer recipes up my sleeve but I’d like to serve something different and special; something decadent and impressive. I’m going to have to scour my fav recipe sites and pull out my not-often-used cookbooks.

What does your family do on Christmas Eve? What is your favorite special event food? Any recipe websites you LOVE? All suggestions are most welcome and very much appreciated!


Mental Health

Today someone at work posted a message to his blog regarding burn out.  I wrote back to him and I think what I wrote was worth reposting here.  I apologize if this is more information than you’re interested in but maybe it will help someone deal with similar issues.

You are not the only one.  I recently had a burn out myself.  I had been asking for a day off and it just wasn’t happening.  Everything was so intense (work issues, the guy whistling across the way, the girl eating in the next cube, not to mention home problems) that when I got an annoying phone call, I literally lost it.  My therapist was concerned enough to authorize my leave. 

I have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years.  I have been in therapy for many years.  I have made a lot of progress but I still struggle at times.  My 20-year-old daughter is bi-polar, self-medicates, and is a total risk-taker, which makes things so difficult.  I have tried almost every med on the market and hated the way they left me feeling flat and dull emotionally.  It wasn’t until the most recent break down that I found one that seems to be working: Lexapro. 

If you haven’t done these things already, I would recommend the following:

  • Get in touch with your local NAMI affiliate.  This is an invaluable resource for information as well as support for both you and your family members.

  • Find a therapist you like.  If you don’t feel comfortable with one, interview another and another until you find the right fit.

  • Work with your doctor to adjust your meds if needed.

  • Listen to your body and take time for self-care.

  • Keep talking.  Until we break down the stigma, people will continue to misunderstand mental illness.


Every time I watch my favorite Christmas movie, Elf, I laugh so hard. I laugh at things no one else finds funny. There are only a couple movies like that for me (one of the others is Wedding Singer). I was really excited to see that Elf was on last night. I watched it with the dogs. Every once in a while, they would look at me, wondering what the joke was. They never really pay much attention to the television unless a dog barks or a doorbell rings. If you haven’t seen the movie, I would highly recommend it.

What is your favorite holiday movie?

Prayer Request

This is usually my favorite time of year. Although I enjoyed seeing my family on Thanksgiving, Amber wasn’t there. I am really worried about my daughter. She’s still in Florida and when I talked to her on Thanksgiving, she wasn’t doing very well. So, please keep her in your prayers and/or send positive energy her way.

Amber and Denise

Happy Thanksgiving

I really do have so much to be thankful for. Holidays always mean family. There have been times when I was away from home for a holiday or two and it just wasn’t the same. Tomorrow we’ll be spending the day at my parents’ home in Scappoose. My dad’s side of the family lives here so in addition to my immediate family, we’ll spend the day with my cousins, aunts, and uncles. My mom’s family is spread out everywhere… and I mean everywhere. One of my mom’s sisters lives here and one of my uncles is coming down from Seattle. It’ll be a huge crowd at dinner. Lots of kids, lots of noise, lots of food. We’re having turkey AND ham; mashed potatoes AND scalloped potatoes. I got off easy this year. We picked up a cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. YUM!

Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.


so thankful

I am so thankful for the women who so openly share their art, talent, travels, and lives by way of their blogs.

I have had a blog of my own for a couple years now. It’s supposed to be in lieu of a family newsletter. Only problem is it was not interactive. My relatives didn’t get the dialogue part of the blog concept. It takes some of the fun out of it if no one’s participating so my interest in keeping it going kind of died off.

After attending Art & Soul, I realized there is a whole other world out there. I set up my RSS feed reader and regularly read many blogs. I try to post comments when the urge strikes because I do get it. I see that other people have the same fears I have. Maybe no one shares my level of anxiety but I’m finding we’re more alike than different. It’s nice to feel a sense of belonging with a group of like-minded people who share an appreciation for the soul of art. Not just the visual appeal but people who sense the energy held within the piece borne of the artist who created it.

For these soulful women I applaud you and thank you! For this sharing and sense of belonging, I am so grateful. I know I have a lot of work to do on my own journey of self-discovery through my art but I’m getting there… slowly but surely and enjoying the scenery, and the friendships as I meander along my path.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Okay, this just doesn’t make sense…

I did a google search on cutting glass and up pops a link to youtube.  So I click on it and what in the world…?!

Cutting glass underwater with a pair of scissors?!  Does it really work?  Has anyone tried it?  Incredible… who would have thought that one up?