Tag Archives: Holidays

Happy Holidays!

26 Dec

holiday card 2010 punchbowl

Was hoping to get this posted a couple days ago, but well, I was enjoying my family and the holidays.  Hope you were too.  The photo is me with all my adorable nephews and niece. For any family and friends who didn’t get my e-card and a chance to read my message I probably don’t have your email.  Send it to me and I’ll make sure you get it.  (Also, check your spam filters, for a card from punchbowl, sometimes it get’s eaten.)

Hope you all had half as wonderful a holiday as I did. 

Love, love, and more love,



24 Jun

This weekend has given me the opportunity to do alot of thinking about what I want out of life.  After realizing I’ve not been fulfilled working simply to get by and my yearning for travel and cultural understanding has gone unfed, I’ve made the decision to spend 4 to 6 weeks next year volunteering in India.  I decided to do the volunteer program after deciding I wanted more than just the cursory tourist experience.  The task of finding the best program is still a bit daunting, but I’m confident that the decision at least is the right one. 

 In preparation for the trip I will be learning Hindi, one of many national languages of India, including English. I’ve already began to fall in love with the beautiful Devarangari script.  Allthough speaking Hindi is in no way a requirement for any of the programs, I feel it will give me a better opportunity to understand the people I am working to help and their needs and desires.

 My goal is to do a trip a year, to different countries or areas and to become a global advocate and public speaker for global issues when I return in my spare time.  It’s also something I hope to incorporate seamlessly into my writing.

 I just feel the sting of how easily we as Americans, sit within our four walls and are so disconnected from the world at large, the suffering that is taking place is so easy to push out of our minds.  I feel the need to do something to address that.

 Why India?  I’m not exactly sure where my fascination with India began, but it has not diminished over the years that I have been aware of it.  The opportunities I’ve had to meet natives of India and hear their stories have been fascinating.  And these have been the lucky ones.  The well off ones who have come to the US.  Within their stories are horrors of sexual inequality and social systems that make helping their own people difficult.  But for many in India hunger, unemployment, and an inate sense of an inability to help oneself are commonplace. 

I’m also fascinated by the religions and cultures of the different regions of India.  The history, colors, spices and fabrics as well as rituals and rites that are worlds apart from what we know here in the United States.

I hope to spend part of my time in Delhi and part of my time in rurul Dharamsala were I will also be exposed to the Tibetian culture as it is the home of the exiled government of Tibet and the Dalai Lhama. 

I’m not sure exactly when the trip will take place.  Things will have to be worked out with my job and fundraising.  But I’m hoping for sometime next summer.

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on this endeavor, and any suggestions or advice you might have for me.

Live Well!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

20 Dec

(By Popular Demand – My Favorite Recipe!!)

Sift Together:

4 1/2 C. Flour

2 tsp. Baking Powder

2 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Nutmeg

2 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Cinnamon

Cream Together:

3 C. Sugar

1 C. Shortening


2 C. Pure Pumpkin

3 Eggs

2 tsp. Vanilla

Combine dry ingredients with wet.  Add 1 large bag of chocolate chips.  Add 1 C. nuts (optional).

Drop by large spoonfulls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degress for 13-14 minutes.

Holiday Meltdown

20 Dec

Yesterday it finally happened.  3:45 in the afternoon and I was sitting in the kitchen crying because I couldn’t get my holiday newsletter’s to print, had no car and was supposed to be across town in ten minutes.

It was more than that really, needing to finish shopping, wrapping, baking, being behind on my writing and reading and (sorry to my poor blogcritics and mindspillers) and just wanting everything to be perfect and unable to make it so.

I managed to take a short nap and wake up with a much better attitude and by cancelling my meeting with my friend got the cards and newsletters done.

But gotta love my sister for trying everything she could think of to help me as I’m standing there freaking out.

Gotta love Holiday Stress. 

Here’s to 6 more days till normality!!

Merry Something…

16 Dec

Last year I was a complete scrooge.  I didn’t want anything to do with Christmas and it felt like such a chore.  I swore this year was going go to be different.  I was going to make christmas cards, homeade gifts, cookies and try and focus on the happiness of the season.

But it seems no matter how much christmas music I blast at full speed, how creative I get about giving and how hard I try to enjoy the holidays….there is a melancholy that just takes over this time of year.

Maybe I just miss the snow.

It has something to do with being single for the holidays.  But, even more than that, the stressfull, forced mood that prevails is enough to make anyone into a scrooge.  Arguments break out over money and time, and people get upset becuase they have too many places to go, or not enough.

I miss being a child and caroling and hot cocoa and christmas music and all that was part of the magic that I can’t seem to get back.  I can do those things, but it doesn’t feel the same.  Somewhere in the back of my mind….those worries are forever creeping in.

My one redeeming grace it seems is cheesy family Christmas Movies.  You know the ones.  The made for TV, derivitive plot romances that appear in droves from Thanksgiving on.  It’s the only time I let myself relax and pretend that Christmas really does exist. 

And just nine more days and all the madness will be over!

Surviving Thanksgiving, almost…

24 Nov

Yesterday, for the first time in thirty-five years my mother did not cook a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Don’t get me wrong, the full course of stuffing, ham, sweet potatoes and pies accompanied the traditional bird…but for the first time ever, my mother wasn’t in charge. 

What a fabulous idea.  I love my mother and her cooking, but she tends to get a bit overly stressed and perfectionistic around the holidays, so when my cousin offered to host this year’s festivities at her house we all sighed a collective “Yes!”

I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable Thanksgivings I can remember.  I’m sure a bit of that had something to do with the expensive wine being passed around.  But more, there was a relaxed atmosphere….for the first time I can remember at a family gathering I didn’t feel rushed, in the way, lazy, or out of place.  I just had a good time.

Until…I woke up this morning with a horrible cold or something that I think I got from  my um ex-boyfriend…well we don’t need to go into that either. 

It just seems whenever we have family in town, I manage to get sick.  Most people insist that I’m always sick, and I almost have to agree, except there was that one day last week….

Nano, is going down the drain….between being sick, family in town, getting ready for the holidays early so I’m not stressed. (ha, ho, ho).  Let’s see 5 days left and I still haven’t broken 30,000 words.  Not impossible I suppose, but with the packed schedule we have until my brother and his family leave on Tuesday, not likely.

But that’s okay.  I accomplished alot, and I found an entirely new direction for the plot to go that I wasn’t expecting, but which gives it a strong theme and spine.  I’m very excited, but it’s going to take some more research as well…so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy.

One last note. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I just want to mention, because I don’t do it often enough; how grateful I am for the excessess I have in my life.  Excesses of love, of understanding, of support, and of friendship.   Thank you to those of you who have helped to make me who I am today and have allowed me to be a part of your lives.  Because that’s all that really matters in the end.

Where Have I Been?

19 Jan

I was listening to a podcast this morning about blogs, and felt entirely guilty for neglecting mine. But I was still shocked to log on and see exactly how long it had been since I had actually written anything on here. I suppose I can blame it on the Holidays, etc, but that’s only part of the story.

I had quite an adjustment period coming home from New York. It really is a different planet here. Every planet has it’s stresses, but both are very different and coming home from NY in and of itself was a stress bomb. Combine that with a period of being out of my medications, then not being able to get one approved and I spent a few months a bit depressed and anxious, so my apologies to all for that.

The news is not all bad, I spent alot of time catching up on films, reading and mulling over my writing and now that the med mix I’m currently on seems to be working, I’m writing like crazy and hope to be ready to submit my current book/screenplay within the next few months. I’ll hopefully be 2nd or 3rd drafted and looking for first readers in another month, so I’ll be looking for volunteers.

I’m also going to have to have a contest or something to figure out what to name the thing when it’s done, I’ve changed it about 12 times so far, so we’ll see. For those who keep asking what it’s about….the quick synopsis is that it’s a coming of age story about a family. But atypical in that all four of the main characters are going through this process at the same time. It’s a story about how far we will or won’t go to protect the people we love, and how easy it is to make mistakes with those we care about the most. The current title is The Butterfly Storm. The butterflies serve as a recurrent symbolism throughout the story for change and growth and I’m to the point where I’m so excited about writing it, I wake up and have to start. This morning it was 3:22am when I woke up and had an Idea I had to get down and I love that feeling.

Other than that, I’m adjusting to not having a vehicle in a city where they are a necessity, but am hoping to be able to get one sometime next month and rejoin the world of the non-homebound. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself then. Probably still stay at home and write, but at least I can leave if I want to.

I hope everyone had a blissfull holiday and new year. I don’t beleive in new year’s resolutions, but I do beleive in taking some time to look back at the past year, where I’ve been, where I’ve grown and stagnated. It’s been a great year for me overall….even though I figured out that the move to NY probably cost me around ten grand….I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I learned so much from the experience and the same can be said for being back home. It’s where I need to be now, and I just hope to look for little resolutions every day to get me where I need to be.

All my love,


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