Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Decor Around the House

 Hello again friends. I hope all of my U.S. readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I sure did. I made tons of food as usual and invited some people over AND as usual no one showed up to eat. My mom did make an appearance but only stayed about 10 minutes. I am okay with that as I have decided to not let others' actions get me down. The only people who truly matter in my life right now are my kids, my husband, and God. 


We are completely ready for the holidays around here. My kiddos convinced begged me to put up our Christmas decorations a little early this year. We usually wait until Thanksgiving evening or even the day after but the outside was done last weekend since we had a wonderfully sunny and warm day. The inside was done earlier this week. Wanna see?

Here we have the front of my house. Above the steps are snowflake lights and of course we have blue (my favorite color )icicle lights around my porch. We also have 2 blow up decorations on my porch this year. Last year we had a blow up of Santa playing golf and someone decided to take a razor knife to it and killed poor Santa so we decided they would be safer on our porch.

You can see a different Santa here. Santa is popping up out of the chimney. I Love him!

Just look at his jolly ole face!!!

Moving on to the side of our house. We have a lovely front porch that wraps around one side of my house (one of my favorite features). Here we have the continuance of the blue icicle lights and we have our other blow up decoration of Eeyore pulling Tigger and Pooh Bear on a wooden sleigh.

Here is a shot of the entire side of my house. Lights on the wrap-around front porch. Lights on the little overhang on my back deck and lights lighting up my absolute favorite spot in my gazebo.

Here is a shot of the gazebo from the side. I love to crochet in my gazebo, read in my gazebo and take breaks from my gardening in my gazebo. Also, if the kiddos are being rather naughty, I will take a breather in my gazebo. They know if I am out there doing nothing, I am in a self-imposed time out and need to stay away for a bit.

Oh bother (in my best Pooh Bear voice) I have forgotten to show you the Eeyore, Tigger, and Pooh blow up. Well here it is from the front. They look like they are having so much fun!

Here they are from the side! A little side story about an adventure they had: I didn't tether them to the porch since we rarely get winds down this side of the porch. If we do it usually blows from the front to the back. Well a couple days ago it was particularly windy and I saw Eeyore, Tigger, and Pooh slide forward. Luckily I am pretty fast when I need to be and was able to run out my door and catch them before they made it all the way out in the road!!!! Eeyore moved pretty fast that day and now they are safely secured to the porch.

Here is an artsy fartsy shot of the front porch from the left side.

Another neat shot (a sneak peak really) of my dining room from the outside.

Here is one of my most favoritest decorations. Poor Santa went skiing and he ran right into one of our trees! (Although some of the kids who walk by from the school says he is (sorry vulgar) humping the tree).

This one isn't really a decoration but I had to take a picture of my wonderful little kitty Daisy watching me. She loves to sit in our bay window and watch all of the goings on outside.

So...are you ready to move inside? 

Okay our first stop will be in my living room. Here we have the top of my electric fireplace. I have 2 beautifully blooming :) Christmas Cacti in the center on my lovely red runner. On either side are metal Christmas Trees. In the back we have my tart warmer and a tea light snow man. 

A wider angle view shows our stockings cautiously pinned to the wall above our fire place.

I also have a little table decorated. I just love the little church and the little people outside. In the back we have some snowmen and a wonderful old (and heavy) Santa tin.

See this GORGEOUS tin? Oh how I love it. It was given to me in a box of Christmas decorations. It has some spots on it..wonder if I could buff them out ....hmmmm....

The top of my movie/book cabinet. I just love this awesome reindeer made of logs and sticks.

The decor above the door leading into the kitchen.

Our Christmas tree. 

Again with the flash off so you can see the lights. We have those multi-function lights that fade, chase, flicker, all kinds of things. Here they were fading into green. 

And Mrs. Teresa here is the lovely ornament you sent to me displayed proudly in the front of my tree!

Here is a picture of the decorations in my kitchen above my sink. (and me in a very dirty window. Wish I would have caught that sooner.....OH

Looking from my kitchen to the dining room. Do you see that spot of messed up ceiling? We had a water leak when we first bought the house and needed to replace the dry wall there. While we were fixing it my hubby painted I love you on the dry wall. I just can't make myself paint over that memory!

The entrance from my kitchen to my dining room.

Dining room window.

Our Table from above!

Here is the little centerpiece.

I think this little sleigh is too cute! Had to get it up close for you all.

Finally, a pic of one of the bedroom doors. My sons decorated it.

Well my friends that is pretty much my whole house decorated. My sons and daughters have their rooms decorated but I feel they should be off limits to the world. I hope you have enjoyed the journey through my home all decorated for the holiday. 

Until we meet again....Be Blessed.

P.S. All the trees look so sad. I love the way this one looks at night though..Spooky.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Overcoming Anxiety and Around the House

Hello again my dear friends!!!! I have a little down time today between cleaning and rushing to the grocery to get the last bit of items for my Thanksgiving dinner so I decided I would pop in for a little blog time.

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post. Some of you asked me how I overcame my anxiety so I thought I would let everyone know what I did. As I stated before, I had severe anxiety and panic attacks. Depression also hit me due to my panic attacks and anxiety. For 6 years I didn't leave my house much and for 1 year of those 6 I spent in my bedroom. If I did leave I had severe overwhelming anxiety and panic symptoms. I would get shaky, my heart would race, I would feel like I was about to vomit, pass out and have a heart attack all at once. It really was a debilitating time in my life. 

For the last 2 years of the 6 I was able to go around my little town a bit. I could make quick trips to convenient stores and to my mom's house (she did live in town at the time). I could also pick my children up from school. However I still couldn't leave my small town and I could not go to a grocery store without hyperventilating. I really felt as though I would live that way forever and there was no way out of my own head.

During this time I kept a journal of all of my feelings and the #1 thing I would write was......" I HAVE to overcome this anxiety" I knew I wasn't living. I was missing out on school programs because I couldn't sit through them. I was missing out on shopping and all the joys of being alive and doing not only what one wants to do but what one has to do.

So I decided to take charge. I began by leaving town even if it was only 5 miles. I would make sure to steady my breathing and concentrating on breathing slowly to keep my heart rate at bay and the anxiety feelings low. If I did start with a panic, I would blatantly tell myself, out loud, that I was being silly. There wasn't anything that was going to hurt me, to just go and get over it. I would also write about my feelings, ponder over why those feelings came to me. I just decided to live my life and not let life live me. I pushed through! 

So what exactly is anxiety and panic attacks? Well I have learned a lot about them. First, they are more likely to strike when one is super stressed. When I had my first one in December 2003 we had moved from Florida to Ohio, my hubby had already lost one job due to cutbacks and we were behind on bills and we had just found out that the company my hubby worked for at the time was closing its door a week before Christmas. We had 3 kids at the time and we didn't know how we were going to get by. Super Stressed right?

Second I learned that anxiety and panic attacks are usually the adrenaline filled fight or flight feelings we get when we are in danger BUT usually one with anxiety and panic attacks have these feelings when there isn't any danger OR that person is having an irrational fear of "WHAT IF" something bad happens and the most notable WHAT IF is "What if I have ANOTHER panic attack". If you are prone to anxiety the "What if" thoughts are your worst enemy. They will keep you in your house for 6 years and in your room for 1 of those years.

Third I learned that NO ONE has ever died from a panic attack. The best thing to do is to feel the symptoms. Don't fight them. Let yourself feel them and analyze them. What caused these feelings? Why at this moment? Is it rational or irrational? You will be amazed about what you learn about yourself and your symptoms.

Fourth I learned that with a little work and a little bit of pushing yourself, YOU CAN OVERCOME YOUR PANIC ATTACKS!!!! You just have to turn the negative, get your heart racing feelings and self-talk into positive self talk. Instead of saying "Oh no I am going to have a panic attack, what if I pass out, what if I crash my car, what if, what if," you can say "Wow I am really excited about going to the mall, I can't wait to get there and catch some good deals, This is going to be fun." 

I also learned that panic/anxiety disorders are hereditary. My maternal grandmother and my mother has dealt with them. My daughters also have panic/anxiety moments. The best thing I can do is to teach them the things I have learned and help them find their way to cope and ease the symptoms. They are just symptoms and will go away.


Now for some pictures....

My African Violet I keep by my sink in front of my big ole window is blooming so beautifully. Doesn't it look so happy? My mom kept an African Violet in her kitchen window. I always remembered it as I grew up. I thought it would be nice to have one of my own and share those memories with my kids.

I have lots of house plants this year! I had to bring them in to keep them alive but didn't really have a spot for them all! My lovely neighbor had this wonderful baker's rack and she gave it to me just today for my plants. On the top I have my basil and mint plants. Behind the rack, going down my stairs I have Lavender and Rosemary. On the second shelf I have my mom's spider plant which I blogged about here. It is thriving and putting off babies which I think I will root and give to teachers! The last shelf is a nice storage spot for now.

The next two pictures are of my new Christmas Cacti! On my friend Mrs. Teresa Kasner's blog she shows us her beautiful Christmas Cacti blooms. I just love the one which I believe was her mom's. So when my hubby said Lowe's got an order in I told him I needed one. Well he brought me two!!!! I can't wait until they bloom!

Finally, I wanted to show you all my fireplace. I have it decorated a bit. I just love those little pumpkins I bought from the Amish store! I also have my Christmas Cacti, my scented wax warmer, my lamp, and the pic of my our Tinkerbell and our little Short whom we miss very badly. 

Well my friends that is going to be all for now. I hope you have all enjoyed this post and have found it very inspiring and informational. If anyone out there has any questions or wants more info about anxiety and panic disorders or if you just need to talk I will be willing to be in contact if you leave your email.

Be Blessed Everyone.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Day With My Hubby

Hello my friends. Today has been a marvelous day! My hubby had a day off today so we decided to take a nice drive. I know that most of you who have been following my blog know this but for those who don't......A drive like this wouldn't have been possible for me even just a year ago. I suffered from debilitating anxiety and panic attacks for several years. Those years I couldn't leave my home and sometimes I couldn't even leave my bedroom without having a panic episode. Lately my hubby and I have been going on little outings while our kiddos are in school and if he has a day off. Today we decided we were going to go to Cincinnati. Better yet, we decided we were going to cross over into Kentucky!!!! I know that doesn't seem like much to some but to me....well I cried like a baby because while I was going through those trying times with the panic attacks and anxiety, I thought I would never be able to go any where ever again, especially out of state :) 

The cool thing about today is I took my camera and well lets just get on with it.


This is a nice representation of the day and the area we are from. We had a chilly but gloriously sunny day today. I took this picture because these tractors were all lined up in this field. We live in an area that have tons of fields and farmers and this photo reminded me of the tractors on the Disney movie Cars. They made me giggle a little bit.

Another photo of the gloriously blue sky with the happy white clouds.

I felt this was kind of funny. The school bus was in front of Putter's Tavern and Grill...I have a weird sense of humor.

Traveling down I-275 the clouds got a little angry but it didn't last long.

By the time we made it to Kentucky the sun was back and the blue skies showed themselves again.

A view of the Ohio River as we crossed the bridge.

Newport Kentucky was absolutely beautiful! See that gorgeous church up on that hill?

Here is a view of the Downtown Cincinnati skyline from Newport on the Levee in Kentucky.

See the tiara on top of the tall building. The city lights that up different colors. It is gorgeous at night.

Christmas tree in the middle of Newport on the Levee

The big marlin in front of Mitchell's Fish Market in Newport on the Levee.

Another picture of downtown Cincinnati. This was taken from a bridge on you can walk across the Ohio River. You can also see the US Bank Arena where a lot of the big performances are held.

Taken from the same walking bridge. This was the view to our left.

This was the view to our right.

Here is a nice shot from the same bridge of Newport on the Levee. There are so many great stores and restaurants there.

Another looking back at Newport on the Levee. Here you can see the HUGE Barns N Noble book store and the swoopy shaped building is the Newport Aquarium. 

A view of the Barnes N Noble ( I LOVE that store) and an airplane on it's takeoff from the airport.

Here we were crossing the Ohio River and we could see the seats in The Great American Ballpark where the Cincinnati Reds play. Left of the stadium is Paul Brown Stadium where the Cincinnati Bengals play and to the right is the US Bank Arena again.

We got a little lost in downtown Cincy due to all the one way streets and such and since I was help navigate  I didn't get any pictures of downtown. However once we did make it out of downtown I did snap this shot of the skyline.

Here is a neat castle facade we passed by.

Once we got on I-71 there wasn't too much to photograph until this.

Those things in the distance are roller coasters!!! 

Lots and lots of roller coasters and summer fun!

Yup we passed right by Paramount's Kings Island. One of my favorite places to go when I spent summers here in Ohio with my dad.

Just up the road from Kings Island is this fabulous water park named The Beach! That red slide looks intimidating.

One last photo. The day remained glorious and my hubby and I enjoyed the time together! I love how the clouds seem to be all lined up in  a row. Sure was a great day.

Until next time...Be Blessed.