Archive for December, 2010

What will 2011 Bring?

  • Greater acknowledgment of how our world will be changing
  • Scaling down and discovering the best use of space
  • Born again work and living environments – with a major focus on convenience and an emphasis on spiritual comfort – basically, the development of a home and a creative work environment  for our souls
  • Reconversion of compressed living areas into eat, sleep and mini-work spaces
  • Exploration of unique personal pathways for further self-growth and improvement
  • Habits that support healthier harmony
  • Fresh – foods, purer water, crisper air and cleaner environmental conditions
  • Less stressful living situations
  • More elaborate home entertainment systems
  • More attention to the side effects of medications, causes of allergies and the investigation into never before, newly acquired sensitivities
  • Greater consumption of power foods that boost memory retention and infinite energy
  • Efforts to rise above the ordinary and become somewhat extraordinary
  • Customized styles / highly personal decorative touches that give voice to our passions
  • Fine-tuning of things that make us feel more desirable and less invisible
  • Counter-plans for unexpected layoffs (complete turnaround strategies) – learning to earn at a much faster rate than could ever have been previously imagined
  • More mindful living situations – greater concentration on what works best for us (lighting, location, spaciousness and attention to climate concerns)
  • Routine exposure to virtual art
  • Bibliotherapy – reading as a form of self-help / self- healing therapy
  • Greater recognition of the therapeutic value of friends
  • The use of color and its psychological effects
  • Participation in tele-coaching for the corralling of our irrational emotions
  • Close-at-hand time savers
  • Serene sleep spaces
  • Return of the dressing table but with a twist – vanity stations
  • More emphasis on attractive meal presentations
  • Cost saving computer repair plans
  • Personal pledges to community services
  • Expressive self-portraits
  • More sensible weight loss options
  • Better sources of on-the-go nourishment
  • More emphasis on menopause and issues related to the mind
  • First lady fashion and beauty trends
  • Greater concerns about personal privacy and security and increased anxiety of being observed and possibly overheard
  • Influx of futuristic books and science fiction films
  • More speculation about our economic stability
  • Greater opportunities for risk takers and hard workers

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As we move forward we leave behind us this year a string of moments that has extended to this period where we are today. With only two days left of the calendar year we have but memories of time that we have either wasted or used efficiently. As we look toward midnight, day after tomorrow, we still have a brief interval with which we can evaluate how we have spent the past 363 days.

We speak of time as if we can control it. We act as if it is our possession yet, every day we see that it has the power to mock us as we gaze at our reflection in the mirror. Life teaches us lessons about time. No matter who we are, where we are, or who we are with, we eventually learn that time can have two sides to it. It can be very generous with us or very unforgiving.

“Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.”

Dion Boucicault

Time always presents us with choices. We can make use of it in the moment, contemplate it or end up regretting how we spent it.  We can engage time in helping us to measure our progress or blame it for our not fulfilling our promise. Time can be a factor in our success or the reason for our failures.

“The clock talked loud.  I threw it away, it scared me what it talked.”

Tillie Olsen, Tell Me a Riddle

In matters of the heart, time can be our friend or our enemy.  It can help us forget or draw us back into a world that we cannot change.

We can manage our time or mismanage it.  We choose. We can squander it by placing wings on it and watching it fly away or treasure it too much by hoarding it until it’s all used up.

Time is or can be:

  • Seized
  • Wasted
  • A secret
  • Splendid
  • Mysterious
  • A false notion
  • An illusion
  • Long and drawn out
  • Fast and fleeting
  • Understanding
  • Unforgiving
  • Unrelenting
  • Important
  • Crucial
  • Irrelevant
  • Immaterial
  • Intense
  • A superficial factor
  • Deceptive
  • Sustainable
  • Irreplaceable
  • A cloud that impairs our judgment
  • A father
  • Extraordinary
  • Boring
  • Meaningful
  • Misinterpreted
  • Intimidating
  • Imposing
  • A gift
  • A mixed blessing
  • The perfect moment
  • The wrong opportunity
  • The focus of an obsession
  • Consumed
  • Lost
  • Bought
  • Bartered and traded away
  • Miscalculated
  • Private
  • Social
  • Measured
  • Sequenced

Time cannot be:

  • Stopped
  • Altered
  • Corrected
  • Duplicated
  • Replaced
  • Repeated
  • Avoided
  • Replaced
  • Traveled?
  • Contained
  • Overshot
  • Denied
  • Dismissed
  • Ignored
  • Hidden
  • Overlooked (without consequences)
  • Foretold?
  • Necessarily bring relief
  • Run backward
  • Be returned once used

“For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work.”

Doug Larson

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Our existence these days is filled with gadgets and mechanisms that offer us ease and efficiency.  We can find some apparatus that will address every problem we can possibly conceive of if we search for it long enough. The availability of all these living aids pretty much make our lives effortless  because we know we can rely on them for some sort of improvement but what about our self-concept? It is not so easy to just recharge it overnight like we do our cell phones when they run out of juice. When we are running low and feeling under par we have to depend on ourselves to get back up to speed with our self-image and re-start our engines up again.

I have compiled a short list of some suggestions that we can try when we notice that our self-esteem needs to be recharged.

  • Accept the truth about ourselves and work from there
  • Start to use affirmations – being very specific and positive in their applications
  • Lift up our eyes and scan the sky as a constant reminder that we are no less than the other natural wonders of this world
  • Listen to criticism that is directed to us with an open mind and a receptive heart
  • Take up a new study this coming year to expand our worth and to find new value to put on ourselves
  • Find a place of peace within ourselves and visit it often
  • Be less intense and serious, more spontaneous and definitely – more fun loving
  • Keep in mind that when one insecurity disappears, one area of new confidence appears
  • Embrace reality by  consistently examining our false beliefs
  • Find a way to escape as much as possible from toxic situations that make us feel compromised
  • Use creative and innovative approaches to free up the weight of our entanglements and to express our inner spirit
  • Let the concept of love abide in us
  • Recognize the plights of others and do what we can, when we can, as much as we can to help persons in emotional or physical distress to feel supported by us
  • Celebrate the spirit of our inner child and think of ourselves as ageless
  • Smile in the face of personal misfortune and trust ourselves to be fearless trouble shooters and to launch successful turnarounds

Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem –

According to Dr. Marilyn J. Sorensen, author of – Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, “Many people with low self-esteem suffer from psychological, emotional, personal and relationship issues.”  And, it appears that a good number of these individuals go without the proper treatment. This is because the care they are given misses the mark since its focus is on other problems and rarely deals with the core issues involved.   Take a few moments to see how you score on Dr. Marilyn J. Sorensen’s Self-Esteem Test http://www.theselfesteeminstitute.com/Files/Sorensen_Self-Esteem_Test.pdf and pay a visit to her website www.GetEsteem.com for additional information on this very intriguing topic.

A Guide to a Healthier Image


Self-help Mechanisms to increase Confidence


Tips for Building Self-Esteem


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The origin of the song Amazing Grace is a mystery but the words to the song were written by a man named “John Newton.” Newton was born in the year 1725. His father was a commander of a merchant boat. When John came of age he followed in the tradition of his father, also taking on the command of a commercial vessel. When his father passed away he joined the crew on a navy ship but found the living accommodations unacceptable so he abandoned his assignment.  Newton was punished for deserting his duty as a midshipman and was reduced to a lower rank.  After being demoted he served on a slave-trader’s ship. He was taught the slavery trade and for a while participated in the buying and selling of slaves.

Newton converted to the ministry and was ordained in 1748 after experiencing the horror of a violent storm. It was such a traumatic incident that it forced him to leave his sea-faring days well behind him. It is believed that he wrote amazing grace between 1760 and 1770.  In his later years Newton who wrote the words to “Amazing Grace”  completely lost his sight which may account for the lyrics “was blind but now I see.” Some historians’ surmise that Newton was referring to how mistaken he was to allow himself to become involved in the mistreatment and transportation of people as slave cargo.

Words to Amazing Grace

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Amazing Grace – Sung by 7 year old Rhema Marvanne


Amazing Grace – Sung by Dave’s Highway Trio of Children


Amazing Grace – Sung by little Katelyn Adams


Amazing Grace by Taiwan’s Lin Yu Chun – 23 years old


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Christmas is now officially over. Our presents all opened and all the delicious delights we so carefully prepared consumed. What is left are the best of recollections of the enjoyable time we had, the fun-filled activities and stimulating conversations we so cheerfully engaged in.

We have our photographs and the videos we made that will serve as reminders of our special holiday with those whom we love and whom we cherish.

Over the next couple of days most of us will be posting these images on our Internet social networking sites. We will share with the people in our lives that could not be present with us to celebrate these wonderful moments the very best highlights of our holiday festivities.

As the holidays come to a close, we will have more than the mere physical mementos that remain behind.


We will possess the retained knowledge of our holiday experience. For example; the life changing content of the books perhaps that we exchanged with one another as gifts, reading experiences that in the future may become a way to step into a whole new life.

Or, we could be left with the reflections of a sumptuous meal. Months later,  when we prepare the dish for our friends  the directions we follow will come from the handwritten recipe that we were presented with just as we were leaving the home of a relative this Christmas.

Looking back on our holiday feast will inspire a flood of warm and cozy memories; as will season’s greeting cards, and listening to the phone messages on our voice mail from Christmas well wishers.

These are only a few of the many special things that will continue to lead to remembrances of our novel holiday experiences. Every time we revisit the past couple days we will think of the gathering of those who demonstrated to us the meaning of their love which, conceivably, could end up making this Christmas, the very best ever of all the holidays thus far.

And, for those of us who experienced the most novel of holidays this year – Christmas could not have been more glorious!

Roasted Fresh Ham with Cider Glaze –


Martha Stewart Recipes – Video demonstrating  holiday entertaining tips


Clever Christmas Cards Received



Christmas Traditions Revealed


As you begin to take your Christmas tree down check out these Unusual Christmas Trees


Christmas Memories in Australia


Christmas Stories – of Celebrations Passed


Rock on Christmas Song


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Star Of Bethlehem

Within Our Keep
by Alan Harris

What is this stillness in the stable?
What glow is here within our hearts?
Who lies so small between us?

Far more seems given us in this bed
than infant pounds and length–
how weigh, how measure possibilities?

Although just now our baby sleeps,
his waking eyes reveal an inner light–
some holy mystery within our keep.

We bow.
We love.
We are silent.

“The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131. In Dutch it is Kerstmis, in Latin Dies Natalis, whence comes the French Noël, and Italian Il natale; in German Weihnachtsfest, from the preceeding sacred vigil. The term Yule is of disputed origin. It is unconnected with any word meaning “wheel”. The name in Anglo-Saxon was geol, feast: geola, the name of a month (cf. Icelandic iol a feast in December)”. Excerpted from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

Nuns visiting birthplace of Christ; take the virtual tour:


Christmas Mass At the Vatican in Rome

Music From Christmas Masses



Christmas is celebrated differently around the world.


Catholics Being Reminded to Not Lose site of the True Meaning of Christmas by Bishop Clark


We are Catholic


A Child’s Prayer and Birthday Wishes for Jesus


Avery Winter Happy Birthday Jesus


Happy Holidays –

Christmas Around the World


20 Different Christmas Traditions Countries Around the World


Decorating Tradition for Catholics


Catholic Christmas Traditions


How to Celebrate a Catholic ChristmasBringing Your Catholic Faith to Life”

Catholic Greeting Cards –


Reflections from the Philippines


Christmas in Bethlehem


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It takes a lot more than a few living essentials and fundamental furnishings to create a homey feeling environment. A space can come alive when it is properly accessorized.  What makes a home a home are the things that draw us back to the space because of the sentiment they hold and our strong attraction to them.

A home can be identified in many ways but none as important as a safety retreat. It should be a nesting place that we enjoy coming back to because it holds in it all the things that we value and treasure the most.  Out of all the treatments that can be done to a living space to make it our personal interpretation of cozy, the most significant are those that have the greatest influence over us. I am speaking, of course, of the use of accessories and the selection of the personal touches that we choose to place in it.

A home evolves when it is properly accessorized.  It takes on its own personality and charisma. Accessories are meant to express what matters to us most within the confines of our living quarters: be it texture, color, shape or form.  Accessories are like little magicians, the deceptively play with our eyes. They hold the power – tricking us into believing we are seeing something that we are not. They can transform a small space and make it appear much larger, make us question their purpose or invite us to laugh and, thereby; change our mood!

Failing to accessorize a room and leaving it half-decorated is like serving a small portion of a meal to a group of guests; just enough to arouse their appetite but leaving their stomachs half-starving.  When we accessorize we change a space with four walls, a door, a ceiling and a window – into its own world. Of course the French know this; this is why they refer to their bedrooms as their sleeping chambers. They very carefully select every supplement so that it enhances the effect of the room in order to celebrate its purpose – rest and relaxation.  What makes the French way of decorating so unique is the “imaginative surprises” they add to their residences in the way of accessories.  I mention the element of surprise because they love to break up visual monotony by using discreet aesthetic applications of humor in their choice of accompaniments.   Sometimes you find these humorous finishing touches in patterns that conflict with one another or in contrasting color schemes (understated hues that are inconsistent with adjacent pigment families on the color wheel such as: split-compliments or double-split compliments).

There are many different ways to accessorize.  I hope your enthusiasm for adding accents to your residence has risen  by reading this blog. There is more information on this and other related topics listed below.

Related Terms

Aestheticize – to make aesthetic

Aestheticism – devotion to the emphasis on beauty / and a doctrine that the principles of beauty are basic to our moral principles

Finishing Touches – to bring out elements leading to a final conclusion by adding passionate accents

Mirage – an optical illusion, a fantasy

Theory of Accessorizing – example bath accessories from online pictorial dictionary

Here’s some more information to Learn on This Subject –

HTGV – Start at Home


Three basic Guidelines for Accessorizing a Coffee Table


A Good Example of French Approaches to Decorating – “The French Nest”


Bedroom Design Guide


Charming Place for French Accents and Furnishings and to Escape – You will love their music – Subscribe Today…


Sweet Pea Home Furnishings


Zituna – Moroccan Accessories and Lighting Fixtures – I encourage you to order their catalogue


Finishing Touches in Interior Design


Revamping an top story Bedroom with Accents


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