Fresh Starts

We’ve never made a big deal out of celebrating the New Year..eve or day..but that doesn’t mean I’m not super glad for it; especially coming right on the heels of Christmas.

Christmas is marinated in memories and traditions designed to keep us connected to the past, and a lot of the celebratory aspects involve hunkering down at home and eating of course!

New Years, on the other hand, is all about the future and fresh starts.. looking ahead, setting goals, busting out of old patterns and making personal know, like NOT eating so much!

And while I don’t make a long list of burdensome or unattainable resolutions,  I do like to take a few moments to consider the promise, privilege and potential of the blank canvas that is the year ahead.


3-2-1…Grab your paintbrush! 🎉




Photo Credit





Memories, and what to do with them..


I’ve seen “Christmas Vacation” a hundred times– so I should have known better.

But the attic was slightly cooler than normal yesterday morning, and I took the opportunity to climb up there and sort through my disorganized Christmas stuff..most of which I didn’t use this year as I didn’t get back down to our Florida home until less than a week before the big day.

I have way too many accumulated holiday decorations, so I thought I’d give some to Goodwill, keep some here, and fill a small box to take back to North Carolina so I can decorate up there next year when the town house is a bit more put together.  (Ok…A LOT more put together!)

So there I was yesterday, just like Chevy Chase in the movie, going through piles of  snowmen, angels and Santas many of which I haven’t seen in years… completely overcome, I mean totally bowled over – flattened like a pancake (!!) with a terrible case of the blues. I wound up my entire Christmas music box collection… one at a time… one last time… before putting most of them in a box to donate. I thought back to how annoyed the kids would make me when they had all of them playing at the same time and..


I kept asking myself..”Why are you so choked up silly? These are such amazing, fun and tender memories! You have four precious kids, a wonderful husband and we have celebrated so many magical Christmases together!”

It’s not that I’m not grateful, it’s not that I don’t realize how blessed I am, it’s just that those sweet moments are over and everyone is grown up, and holy cow- I’m suddenly so old and wrinkly, and I DON’T KNOW WHY, but it’s all sooo depressing – especially the week AFTER Christmas!

I eventually dried my tears, lowered all the stuff down the ladder and piled the boxes and bags overflowing with ornaments, lights, wreathes and garland into the back of my car. The biggest bag contained several expensive porcelain dolls that I used to display every December. I swear the one in the green velvet dress was giving me a look like “HEY! You can’t give me away! I’m a part of your family’s Christmas legacy!”

We had a quick stare-down in the driveway, I lost my nerve and dutifully brought the dolls back into the house.  I  sternly announced to my daughter that if she, or anyone else, wanted them for their own homes one day, NOW was the time to speak up!

“Are you kidding?!” my youngest blurted out..”Look at those creepy eyes! I never liked those dolls, they freak me out.”



And just like that, I was emotionally back on track.

I rescued the blonde one (because I always liked her the best)  and put the rest back in the car.

porcelain doll

Creepy eyeballs… 😡 har·rumph!

Today I’m headed back up into the attic…

this time to take on the Easter bunnies.




Photo credits:,


“Brawl at the Mall”


On December 26th, almost 2,000 “unruly teens” started a riot at a mall in Kentucky.  

Below is a noteworthy quote:

The chief said his officers learned through social media, hundreds of teens were showing up at the mall, with the influx starting about 4:30 or 5 p.m. and reaching as many as 1,000, according to mall security officers.“It wasn’t like it was an organized event,” Chief Cole said. Officers will investigate whether the incident was the result of any kind of protest, but the chief said there does not appear to be any evidence of that.” 

What makes this (willfully ignorant and contradictory) statement above so interesting, is that it’s from a police chief in Pittsburgh talking about a riot at the Monroeville Mall back on December 26th, LAST YEAR.

The next, eerily similar, quote is from the spokesman for Kentucky police after this year’s Dec. 26 riot involving (again for emphasis) 2,000 (!!) “unruly teens“:

“I don’t believe this was organized, I believe this was random. I believe this was a by-product of juveniles congregating and there being some disturbances growing out of that. Fights if you will. Those kind of things and escalating out of control…” 

FYI- there were other riots on December 26th this year at malls in Virginia, Florida and New Jersey. (We won’t even get into the similar mob-style events that have taken place at beaches, county fairs, city parks, random 7-11s..)

What’s clear to this simple mommy is that these are indeed planned ‘events’ and law enforcement is obviously hesitant to speak the truth about what we are witnessing. Semi-sanctioned anarchy is on the rise and cops want to avoid confrontation.

A very unfortunate situation indeed…unless of course, you’re an “unruly teen.”


Quotes from CBS news and Pittsburgh Post Gazette.