31 Days: Happy Revolution

Click image to save and share.

Click image to save and share.

Day 16: It’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. Revolution is thought of as a time of fire and conflict but 241 years ago it was simple tea that turned the tide.

On December 16, 1773, demonstrators destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company, in defiance of the Tea Act, in what we now know as the Boston Tea Party.

Today, have a cuppa and toast to change for the better. Here’s a blog post written by my tea-timing friend, Jennifer Forehand of SereniteasA Gentle Reminder Of The Boston Tea Party.

 

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

31 Days: Love Is 24/7

Click image to save and share.

Click image to save and share.

Day 15: Love is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week commitment.

Love isn’t for when we feel like it, or when it’s convenient. Love isn’t reserved for a special time, like Christmas, birthdays and church. Love is always, as constant as the sky spinning overhead. Love is as deep as the darkest crevices of the ocean mankind can only dream about.

Love should always be with us, at the forefront of everything we do. Like a pane of glass, love should be the lens by which we view the world. Love is colorless, blameless and love understands. Love forgives.  It’s the tiniest little things that change the world… like drips on a rock, love and time can turn a heart of stone into a beach.

Our society tries to contain love in a holiday, bringing it out only when it goes well with champagne and roses. Society tries to categorize love and label it as what is proper and improper. Love is innocent, but it has no rules because it is the law that is built into every creature. Not all of us are capable of using tools, but all creatures are capable of love.

Love isn’t a question, but an answer to everything. It’s the solution that could change life as we know it. Love is for everyone, every minute, never sleeping. Love is the one gift we all can give, and the only gift we can never give away. Once you have it, it is always with you whether returned or not. It’s the most important thing you can do with your life, and all purposes become noble with love.

See all the 31 Days posts here.

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , | Leave a comment

31 Days: It Takes All of Us

Day 13: Not everyone loves Christmas. Not everyone has someone in their lives to make merry with, and when the whole world is fixated on togetherness it can create a void for those without. Sometimes we have lost someone close to us and are healing and learning to live without. Sometimes we’ve never had that someone and the holidays can feel like an emotional assault. Sometimes, we are alone because we haven’t yet been brave enough to reach out.

The good thing is that the world is a very big place, brimming over with people. Somewhere, there is a you-shaped niche that is just perfect for you, and only you can fill it. It might take a lot of looking, but when you find it life will become amazing, and every second of your search will become meaningful. You just have to keep looking.

See all the 31 Days posts here.

Click image to save and share.

Click image to save and share.

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged | Leave a comment

31 Days: Simplicity Please

Day 13: As I sat down tonight to work on my writing, I suddenly realized it’s been four days since I have posted here. In my mind I missed a day or two. Reality tells me that the Christmas season is upon me with a vengeance.

Earlier I was stressing – run from event to event, snapping photos like mad and I haven’t gotten our own tree up yet. As I was speeding on my way today I wondered what I would blog about tonight. What I really need for Christmas is a break, I thought. Then I realized, many of us feel that way about now.

The lights, goodwill and cheer at this time of the year are wonderful, but they can easily turn our Jekyll into Hyde. Too much festivity can lose its luster and we wind up acting like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day when he tries to win Rita’s heart with the perfect (rehearsed) date.

Today, I am turning down the obligations and holiday duties to remember what the point of all this is. My tree will remain packed in the attic for another night while I cuddle on the couch with my sick husband and feed him popcorn… and our Christmas will be all the merrier.

See all the 31 Days posts here.

Click image to save and share.

Click image to save and share.

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , | Leave a comment

31 Days: Community

Day Nine: I am lucky to live in a genuine community. A group of people living together in a group is a community, but the interaction is what makes it genuine. When we first moved to Niceville I was surprised at how many charities, clubs and gatherings there were. Now I know that it’s the key to what makes Niceville so nice – the key is a strong community that encourages interaction.

If you aren’t lucky enough to live in a community like Niceville, then build one. We all have the power to encourage interaction. Start a book club at the local library, a coupon trading club, a dog play group… share something you’re passionate about and soon you will be surrounded by a community with the same loves. It starts from there. Community begins with individuals.

This image was taken during the Community Christmas event in Niceville Dec. 6, 2014. See all the 31 Days posts here.

Click image to save and share.

Click image to save and share.

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Leave a comment

31 Days: We Can All Do Magic

Day Eight: I was at the Niceville Community Christmas festival Saturday evening. There were so many people crowding the parking lot it was almost standing room only, especially near the stage where the school choruses were performing. Little children ran in and out of the shadows, stopping to gape at the lighted displays with looks of amazement spread across their faces. This is magic, I thought.

The feeling of magic didn’t come from the beautiful lights and singing, though they certainly added to the ambiance. The magic was in the interaction. Strangers smiling at each other, looking out for all the toddlers whoever their parents were and genuinely wishing each other well.

We all have the power to do magic. Every time we do a kindness, we have performed magic. You can tell by the look of joy and wonder looking back at you.

See all the 31 Days posts here.

Click image to save and share.

Click image to save and share.

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

31 Days: Love What We Have

Day Seven: When I am photographing people for the newspaper they almost always say degrading remarks about themselves and express an unwillingness to have their image captured. I usually just joke back to try and make them comfortable.

The other day I saw this video of Nicholas James Vujicic, a man born with no arms or legs. He is the perfect example that our personalities are what make us beautiful – not the outside trappings. He is a happy, active person that lives a full life for himself and shares what he has learned with others around the world. I wish I could carry this video with me and show it everytime someone tells me they will “break my camera.” We are all perfect as we are.

This is my seventh day, and while it doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, Vujicic is magic. See for yourself and See all the 31 Days posts here.

 

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

31 Days: Gift of Wonder

Day Six: One of my favorite Christmas things to do is visit the Animation in Motion display in the old K-Mart Building, 1140 E. John Sims Pkwy. in Niceville. I can share a photograph, but this amazing wonderland needs to be seen and heard so I’m posting a video to share.

It’s a magical place that stays with you all year long. The gift of Debby Lewis and her husband Charles “Kevin” Payne, this enormous, wonderful Christmas experience is in it’s 19th year. This truly is a gift of wonder, given freely and joyfully.

The display is open nightly until Friday, December 27  from 6-9 p.m. Visit them online at TheNicevilleChristmasLady.com or on FacebookSee all the 31 Days posts here. 

 

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

31 Days: A Gift of Free eBooks!

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.10.43 PM

Click for your free books

Day Five: If you didn’t grab your free copy of The Christmas Spiders when it was released I have good news. Not only do you have another chance to grab yours free but five other books are free from UnderGlassBooks on Day Five of my 31 Days campaign.

Click the photo or click here to go select one or all of these fantastic books for free on Amazon. Give someone else a gift by sharing… and give us a gift when you leave a review.

See all the 31 Days posts here.

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , | Leave a comment

31 Days: The Gift of Code

Day Four: Thanks to the Made w/ Code Project, you can decorate a lighted tree at the Whitehouse with a click of your mouse and learning a smidgeon of code. Coding is becoming an essential skill, just like reading, writing, and math. If you have a child, nephew or niece, or other kid that you know, encouraging them to learn to code can open up countless opportunities for their future.

Whether they are an athlete or an artist, love animals, or want to explore medicine, coding can help them pursue their interests now and create greater career options and job security for their future. Long story short? We can make anything with code.

Visit here to play with code and light a real Christmas Tree at the Whitehouse. I did, and mine will light up on Dec. 17 at 3:17 p.m. and I will watch it light up live at the annual tree lighting ceremoney presented by the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service on Youtube.

My first tree is pretty simple, but I’ll share it here… now go get your own gift of learning something new. See all the 31 Days posts here.

Made with Code Holiday Tree

Posted in 31 Days, 31 Days of Christmas Cheer | Tagged , | 1 Comment