Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!!!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
For all of you who read this regularly,
I want to apologize because I wanted to wish you 
Merry Christmas
and post a gorgeous family portrait.
However, as Murphy's Law would have it,
I forgot my password (yet again),
which I took as a sign from the heavens
that maybe I needed a little tiny break
from blogging to holiday it up
with my family.
And,
you didn't get a gorgeous family portrait,
because,
1) I was using the self timer on my camera which I've only in the past used by accident 
and needed to get familiar with, and determine which spot to run quickly too and 
act normal and fabulous (that didn't happen).
I had to make sure my big boots cleared the tripod and that I didn't 
trip on the Christmas lights I wrapped everyone up with.
Which is hilarious because you can barely see them in this last pic.
2) I was still figuring out where Jake needed to go so his melon would hide the security gadget on the wall.
3) Jon had to hold the dog who sleeps all day long perfectly still,
until I round up the family for a picture.
(Had to crop the dog out-he looked like a blurry version of the alien pug in Men in Black).
4) By the time I figured it all out so that we didn't look entirely like dorks tied up in 
Christmas lights- the battery on my camera died.
And with it, 
went my window of opportunity to 
make that stellar photo.
After that is was like herding cats.
This was the very last shot.
We were almost there.
It was supposed to be our Christmas card,
then it was going to be our New Years card,
but we never reattempted the session.
So you get this awkward photo
but the wishes and warmth
are the real deal!
I wish you the best,
very best 
for 2012!
And a special warm thanks again for 
visiting me here and
giving ear to my thoughts,
silliness, randomness, and 
hopefully once in a while cleverness,
but usually, most often,
nonsense.
I will resume regular postings after the new year!
We'll talk soon.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Caroling



Every year we go 
caroling at
the
Danville Nursing 
and Rehabilitation Center.
It's my favorite.
We've been doing it for so long that we've
lost count of how many years
it's been since our first visit.
I used to have to hide behind my big
camera because I would cry 
the entire time.
I'm now able to come out from 
the camera, visit with people and 
sing along.
Without much preparation
we bust out a few carols,
do some sign language,
and
actually we sound quite
nice too.
MyDearWorshipLeadingLovelyFriendPeggy
always smiles the entire time.



We start in the lunch room where a few of our
fans are usually waiting.
This sweet fan was so excited about our
song that she began directing.
Probably she also saw a 
little need there,
but it was so
much fun.


MyTalentedStageLovingVocalistFriendGina
stepped out and led a few songs of her own.


Which was also tons of fun!


I love this picture of my BeautifulFriendBarbie
helping a lady find her place so
she could follow along in songbook.
I also love the face on the
little boy in the back.
Priceless.


And my most favorite part
and the part where my heart usually melts
all over the place-
is when we take the 
Christmas spirit down
the halls.
We visit all the 
individual
rooms. 
Sometimes the children will go
right in the rooms and talk to people
handing them handmade gifts
or cards, as we did this
year.
We had a request this time
to visit a room where someone was
especially down and in need
of encouragement.
As we sung 
outside the room
one of our vocalists was
compelled to go in and sing a
spontaneous song of blessing 
over the residents.
It was so sweet and precious.
From the spot where I stood I could 
actually see the atmosphere of the
room shift into one that was
lighter and sweeter.
As their spirits were lifted there
was a visible change.
How cool is that?
It's because a bunch of us
decided to go singing in a place where
people long for visits, companionship,
and joy.


Don't you want to join us next year?




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

decorating chandeliers


Most of you know how much I love
decorating chandeliers.
Since my ladder copped a big
attitude and decided to
become faulty and unsafe,
I have had to neglect
my chandelier
for the 
holidays.
So,
you see how
happy it made me
when I was visiting my
UberTalentedDecoratingFriendJill
and saw that she took the opportunity
to dress up her lighting for Christmas.
It made me so happy I had to snap a picture.
It's very pretty
and since it's natural,
it also smells lovely.
So I thought I'd 
share it with
you.
Jill's recipe for 
Christmas decor:

A few sprigs of pine,


A pinch of lilies,


Sprinkled with some Ginger!





Sunday, December 18, 2011

Teacher's Gifts


Today we discovered that 
my favorite candle company
Woodwicks makes minis.
They come with a very mini price point
but a whopping big aroma.
We bought a vanilla cake scent.
I've mentioned in past posts how much I love
these candles with their wooden wicks
that make a crackling sound
like a fire.
It's super special to me
because the fireplace in our house
is not operable and I long for
the feeling of a cozy,
roaring fire place
to snuggle up in front of.
This is like a little piece of that for me.
So we decided that these tiny little 
candles with their intoxicatingly 
delicious scents would make 
a lovely little gift for
the teachers.


We went to Richard's to doctor them up
just a little.
With one sheet of Christmas
label stickers we were
able to personalize
each one and make
them a bit more 
festive.


I had this ribbon already in the creamy gold. 
I bought the roll of chocolate brown
so that we could mix it up.
This ribbon is extra wide, extra sparkly,
and lasts forever.
I use it for everything.


Step one.


Step two.
Then we fluffed them up a little,
twisty tied a mini ornament
around a clear plastic bag.
I think they look 
adorable.
I'd be so happy if a
student gave me 
something like this.


I wish I could brag about how inexpensive these
gifts were but I know that some of the
kids' teachers read my blog.
So I must keep that under wraps,
but I do want to encourage 
everyone that it doesn't 
take a lot of money 
to give a very
thoughtful,
pretty
gift.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tears are Trick-Tricky...



Tears are trick tricky, quick and sneaky
Spreading out when the heart is leaky
Tears show up most announced, but wide awakey
Makeup goes drippy and words go shakey.
Often when I'm unawares
that my heart is full of extra cares.
My heart's remembery is better than my brain
When missing loved ones gives it pain.
I can go for crazy days-ies
Busy-beeing all sorts of place-ies
Then in the commonest place so random
Discover tears fall out unabandon
Where do they come from and where do they lurk
Why are they sneaky and how do they work?
Tears are cleverly inconvenient at best
Their pranks and surprises seem never to rest.
Popping and dropping all over the place
Drip-dripping, sniffsniffling and stinging my face.
All that to say, so misunderstood
For tears I believe are most oftenest GOOD.
For tears are designed for our hearts-
Our hearts hold on to things that are tough
And when the heart feels that enough is enough
Kindly asks tears to get rid of the stuff.
Tears speak a language the whole world knows
That are emotions inside that need to just goes.
They do not discriminate
Tears are poor planners and most often late
And most silly ridiculous to articulate
But they take junk-junky-junk
Sad sadness and funk
even Tenderness, Fond fondness and sweet things I say
The Good goodness that is so hard to say.
When words are too hard for the heart to think up
Tears will come out and mess everything up.
But I like them I do with my heart whole
And I declare tears are good for the soul.


I wrote this poem today, 12/15/11.
I have a very different relationship with tears than most people.
In 2005/06 I had an inspiration and an entrepreneurial dream
to change the way the world cries. I was going to give the world permission to cry by creating little gift boxes filled with all of the thoughtful things a person might need to just cry.
I won't go into detail because it may still happen one day but in the process of planning, I had done a LOT of research on the subject. Even though I understand the science of tears, how they work, how they eliminate emotional toxins from our bodies, I am still often mystified about how they seem to come out of me at the most random and inconvenient times.
For instance:
Sunday I cried at the Disney Museum. When you enter the room where they are announcing in 1966 that he died on an old tv set, you turn around and there is a giant wall of cartoon characters grieving his loss. I thought about how all of the artists influenced and employed by him had used their art to process their own grief, help others process theirs as well as to honor him.
I cried.
Yesterday I cried at the end of speech video on the life of Dr. Suess. It was not a sad speech, in fact it was inspirational, lighthearted and fun. At the end of the speech, the student quoted a poem that Dr. Suess had written late in life, most likely during his fight with cancer. This is the poem.

How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December's here before it's June, My Goodness,
How the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
Dr Suess

This poem touched me so deeply that tears came out to play.
I had to ask myself "Why am I crying?"
Have you ever had to ask yourself why you are crying?
Do you ask your heart, "What's going on in there?"
I am mystified that there are parts of me, all of us, that are feeling and carrying things that I am completely oblivious to.
I realized that in one week I had been reminded of two very special, creative men in the world that had passed on leaving the world with living memories that are warm and lovely. I realized that "Oh!!!! They are reminding me of my dad! He was super fun like them, creative, a great story teller, and he also has passed away leaving us with living memories that are warm and lovely."
You see, every day I walk through my house and see things that he gave me, talk about what he would think about such & such, see his eyes in my daughter, think of all the things that I appreciate, and then just one day
you'll be listening to someone's kid give a speech
and 
somehow rhyming words will unlock all the 
feelings that are deep inside.

So that's one level his poem reached.
In my powder room hang two of my favorite pictures of Jake and Calli. A photographer friend took them when Calli was 4 and Jake was 6. They are precious. 
I love these pictures.
I look at them and wonder how they got so tall, why am I 40 when I feel like I'm 20, and all of these things rush through your head. I know you all do it too. And then Dr Suess gave it words:
"How did it get so late so soon?"
It's what every parent feels when their kids start kindergarten, graduate 8th grade, go to prom, get their driver's liscense, go to college, get married, have children. It's what we all feel. Tomorrow we will take the homeschool group to go Christmas Caroling at the Nursing and Rehabilitation Home, something we do every year and love, love, love. I bet every ancient person in there (last year there was a man that was 103!) is asking themselves the same thing:
"How did it get so late so soon?"

So this morning as I sat down to post something on my blog, I thought I would just put the poem up there and leave it at that.
I wonder that sometimes these posts are so long that people just lose interest. Plus, there are no pretty pictures to put up of me crying. As I sat here collecting my thoughts, looking at my Christmas tree, remembering sometimes Christmas is the hardest season of the year for people. My heart felt heavy for the people like me who miss their daddies during Christmas, people who are experiencing their first Christmas without someone, people who have families that don't know how to show love, people who don't have homes, food, jobs, or anything, and people who just don't get it-that Christmas is really, really, really, a BIG DEAL! They don't get that they are 
soooooooooooooooooooooooooo 
loved by God.

I'm not sure what was happening
when I sat at my desk
except I do know that I should have had coffee in hand, inside me, before I began blogging
AND 
I do know that I wrote a Dr Suess inspired poem.
Key word "inspired" because it's not easy.
He was a master.
It's not a huge stretch for me to try to write 
a Suessy-style poem since 
I am a BIG, wait BIG fan of Dr. Suess. Jake is doing a humorous interpretation of a Dr Suess these days, and of course as I said before, I know a lot about tears.
Tears are a gift. 
Just roll with them when they show up. 
Check in with your heart.
Find a comfortable place.
Give yourself
permission
to 
cry.

P.S.
When I sat down at my desk this morning it was 7:35am,
oh jeez! I'm about to hit "publish" and I see it's 
10:06am.
How did it get so late so soon?






Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just Some Holiday Advertising



Christmas is right around the corner.
Most of my faithful blog readers know
that I've started a new venture.
I am selling direct for Arbonne International.
I'm super enthusiastic about this endeavor
because I'm nutzo about the products.
I offer a health and wellness line,
skin care-fab! fab! fab!
and cosmetics
all 
pure
safe
beneficial.
That's all company slogan stuff
but in my own words
I found products that do what they say.
If they say they fight aging,
they do.
If they say they clear acne,
they do.
We tried,
We're hooked.
Learn more at
nicolegilmore.myarbonne.com
Well back to "Christmas around the corner."
I can hook anyone up that might like 
to buy luxurious, chemical free, botanical, pampering gifts,
pamper themselves with a gift,
stocking stuffers-lip glosses, cosmetic items
AND 
they want to avoid parking at the mall,
standing in long lines,
and 
traffic jams.
With the added bonus of saving 35%
on your shopping spree with me.
For $5 more,
I'll even wrap them in pretty bows for you.
Gentlemen,
I have beautiful gift items for
the pampering gifts for your
lovely ladies,
including beautiful massage oils,
wink! wink!
Here is the clincher-
if you want your goodies by
Christmas
you need to order by Friday, noon.
The discount will remain
through the end of
December
for any items that 
are not time sensitive.
I realize that most of you do not have
one of my gorgeous catalogues
but you can click the link
nicolegilmore.myarbonne.com
and select the 
"shop online" menu
to browse.
Don't order on line this time,
email me
jdeclan@yahoo.com
and I'll do the ordering for you-
for the DISCOUNT!
So easy!


P.S. My random musings on this blog will return. This blog is not all about me starting a business but note that every so often I'll pop an Arbonne-something on here that I think my readers/friends would like to know about or participate in. 
That's all.
and thanks.












AUCTION HOUSE
TONIGHT
6:00PM
2085 San Ramon Valley Blvd.

You may come early to register and preview items.
Here's what I find exciting!


1940's Zenith Wilshire Console





The Fire 911 is a phone!
The phone is inside.




The two pics above are antique 
fire extinguishers.

Saki Container.
It's huge.
Hard to tell in the pic.




I want this baby!
South Pacific pin ball machine.
Wooden legs.
It works.
Absolutely darling.


Poker Table for the man cave.



Auction HOuse is also a Toys for Tots Dropoff.
I'll see you there.
Perhaps we'll be competing 
for the same items.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Who Would I Be Without You?


As I've mentioned before,
my daughter's "love language"
is giving gifts and
words of encouragement.
She whipped this card up the other day,
just for fun.
I adore it.
I hug it.
It's so sweet.
And it's a lesson.
I'm proposing that today,
pick at least one special person
in your life
and say these words to them.
Follow up
with the specific things they've done
that have influenced your life
for the better.
It will likely be the best
gift they receive this whole
Christmas 
season.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Disney Museum



We had so much fun here!
What a wonderful tribute to such
and inspirational man
that brought so much
joy into people's
hearts!
Please make a date to visit.
We went early on a 
Sunday
and for at least an hour 
it felt like we had the
whole place to
ourselves.
The space is designed to 
transport you from
the seasons of his life
and is exquisitely done.
It felt very personal,
comfortable,
interesting,
inspiring,
and 
intentional.
It is not gimmicky, 
it is not amusement park-ish,
it is not a Disney attraction.
It is a space the family has created to
honor an amazing man, the artistry he inspired,
the visions he casted and completed,
and a historic walk through an innovative
and integral life.
It seems that whoever designed the space,
respected great beauty
and gave it it's own space and due and I'm referring
to the most spectacular view of the
Golden Gate Bridge I've ever experienced
in a building.
The building perches you into a space
where you are overcome with
awe at the only thing
worth looking at
in the moment.
The view!
You will understand when you visit.
Extraordinary design throughout the museum.
We learned so much
and plan to visit several more times.
I left with a real respect for how art is such a powerful tool
to express emotion, ideas, history, change, and 
bring worlds together.