Friday, November 30, 2012

I Have an Idea

And since it's Friday I also have some Fragments, but first- my idea.  

The world, including and maybe especially the grand ole USA, feels like not a very nice place lately, don't you think?  So much anger and sorrow.  So much impatience and hate.  People weighed down, not just by their circumstances, but by the vague notion that we've lost the ability to treat one another with kindness.  In our part of the country so many have lost so much and in all parts of this world there are people whose hope in the goodness of humankind is chipped away a little bit more everyday.  

But...Christmas is coming!  So many people sigh when they read that, but let's not think about our undone to-dos for a minute.  Let's instead think about the fact that Christmas is coming!  The gift of Christmas is hope.  Not in a government, or an agency, or a family member, or an insurance company.  It's hope in a baby who is The Light of the World and that hope is offered to every single person on this planet we call home.  That's the thought I want to carry into the new year.   

I want to be nice this December. I actually want to be nice year round, but I've decided to do something deliberate this month and you're invited to join me. I'm going to host something we'll call  The Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness this month.  I want to invite and challenge you to perform twelve acts of deliberate kindness during the month of December.  While I'd like to think I show kindness everyday I want to make a point of looking for ways to brighten someone's day...hour...minute. Twelve acts of kindness in 25 days. That doesn't sound so hard, does it?  

I'll have my daughter make a button you can add to your blog, hopefully on Monday (Daughter1???) if you decide to participate. Beginning Thursday, December 20th there will also be a linky list posted here on This Side of the Pond.  You're invited on that day (and all the way up til Christmas) to link a blog post sharing your thoughts on your own Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness.  

So who's in?

In other news I have a few fragments to share. I'm pretty sure fragments are blogese for camera dump which is kind of what I have today.  Miscellaneous pictures from the past week that I need to show someone.  You're that lucky someone.  


Remember my girls were home for four and 3/4 whole entire days?  Here's daughter2 going for a spin in the little red car.  Here's hubs asking me why it still takes so long for me to snap a photo?  I fear I lack the photography gene.  

It was warm-ish on Thanksgiving Day, warm for November anyway, but when you're in the little car with the top down you need a ski band round your ears and a blanket across your lap and the sunshine on your face.  So fun!

Remember our landscaping project?  The one we were frantically wrapping up even while the hurricane winds were gaining speed with New Jersey in her sights? Well it's done. Miraculously every new little bit of ground cover and every barely in the ground evergreen stayed put. 


Getting those evergreens up and onto that deceptively steep hillside took the entire team plus one bulldozer operator.  I bought them donuts.  They deserved it.  


We are so happy with the end result. Essentially there is a hill that runs along one side of our driveway and we had plants removed, trees trimmed, ground cover added, pine trees planted on the steepest part of the curve, a ginormous and beautiful boulder de-dirted, cleaned, and power washed.  Yes they power washed our rock. Thanksgiving day was just gorgeous and the girls hung out on that rock. 


 Ha-Daughter1 looks like she is not entirely believing whatever Daughter2 is saying. 


They told me I could sunbathe here in the summertime which I'm certain the neighbors would love.  Right. Maybe if I looked like these two little miniature people?  

One of my favorite parts of the project is our new pillars. They went from this-


to this-


Well, there are lights on top but I took this picture before the electrician had come. He was delayed by someone named Sandy.  


Hubs added the lovely reflectors last weekend and you may be asking yourself why. If you live where it snows a lot you don't have to wonder. At some point this winter it is quite likely you will not be able to see the pillars because they'll be buried under feet of snow. The reflectors help the snow plow operator know where to plow and where not to ding brand new pillars with his machine.  ahem.  

Hubs got those reflectors in just in time because on Tuesday our new landscaping looked like this-  


It was a beautiful snowfall, the big fluffy flake kind.

 

A bright blue sky makes me ridiculously happy.

It was also good hubs got the outside lights up over the bright, sunny, warm-ish Thanksgiving weekend.  It meant that on Tuesday this little pine tree by the front porch could look like an actual Christmas tree.


We did get our trees up inside too. Sorta kinda. They need zhuzzing and one needs a topper, but they're mostly done.  I'll leave you (finally!) with this picture of my two favorite girls-


I love everything about this photo.  They're holding up the ornaments they each made in kindergarten, one in 1993 and one in 1995.  

Sigh. 
I loved those little 5-year old faces.
Love their 20-something selves too.  


Mommy's Idea

To read more Friday Fragments go here.  

32 comments:

  1. So much good stuff in your blog today. The photo at the end though warms my heart.

    I like the 12 acts of kindness idea.

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  2. The landscaping project looks great. Love the way the pillars blend with the rest of it. And your home in that winter wonderland picture is just...well...picturesque. And the thought of sunbathing on the rock. I'm pretty sure it never dawned on you till they mentioned it, right? LOL.

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  3. PS BTW, I'm in on the 12 idea!

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  4. I love your idea. Let me think about it cause I had an idea stirring in my head too. Have a good weekend!

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  5. What a great post! I too am excited about Christmas coming. I think this is truly the best time of year. And I love the 12 days of kindness. I'm in! I will post the blinkie if I can figure out how to do so in Wordpress.

    PS - Landscape looks amazing. Great job!

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  6. Well, that wasn't fragmented at al! :).
    I have the same phone color as Daughter? Ha
    I'm in!
    Love the landscaping!
    I thought the reflector was for the benefit of whoever was backing down the drive. Ha
    Wish my tree was up
    We like to take the Mini Cooper convertible out to see Xmas lights. Brrrr
    Now this was fragmented. :)

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  7. Well, that wasn't fragmented at al! :).
    I have the same phone color as Daughter? Ha
    I'm in!
    Love the landscaping!
    I thought the reflector was for the benefit of whoever was backing down the drive. Ha
    Wish my tree was up
    We like to take the Mini Cooper convertible out to see Xmas lights. Brrrr
    Now this was fragmented. :)

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  8. Oh, how lovely! We only received rain on Tuesday, so these pictures make me inordinately happy. :)

    I would love to be part of the 12 Days of Kindness...I'm looking forward to what everyone shares, too. :) What a wonderful idea for a time of year when we can be weighed down by so much else.

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  9. Your blog post was exactly what I needed to read today! It's been one of those weeks, and I certainly need something positive to concentrate on! I'm determined NOT to let "the Grinch" steal my Christmas Spirit. Count me in on the twelve days of kindness, it's a lovely idea.

    As for your photos, I enjoyed every one of them. You are so blessed to have such a variety of scenes to photograph--especially your fall colors and beautiful snowfall, and two lovely daughters, too.

    I laughed when I read about your hubby asking why it was taking you so long to take the photo...I ask Ed that every time he takes one, too :)

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  10. I'm in! Lately I need lots of prompts or questions to write anything ;)

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  11. I am a snow lover, so the blue sky, snow covered ground photo made me happy too!

    In the convertible photo, your hubs looks just like Ted Danson - - - the glasses, the headband probably did the trick.

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  12. Your new landscaping is gorgeous and I love the new pillars too. The snowscape with blue skies is probably my favorite of your pictures.

    Have a great weekend.

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  13. I think your "The Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness: is a great idea. I'll try to play along.

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  14. I like the 12 Days of Christmas Kindness! I'm in. Actually, my hubby sent an email to our daughters and his sisters just a week or so ago asking them to do something good/helpful/outside themselves for his Chrsitmas gift - and then write a note about it and wrap the note and put it under the tree. He's a man that "needs" nothing but he will totally beam reading the notes of the wonderful things the women in his life did.

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  15. Love the 12 days of kindness....seems easy to do 365 days a year I say that because today I'm feeling kind! lol! Love the new landscape and those reflectors are big here. Girls and their old ornaments are too cute, love the homemade ones! Happy Weekend!

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  16. Love your idea for sure! And, I love your pics, they brought a big smile to my face this afternoon.

    Yes, Christmas is coming!

    Happy weekend my friend!

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  17. Count me in! I love the idea of purposeful kindness. I so enjoyed your fragments and your landscaping project turned out amazing. My, what a boulder! And that snow! What can I say? Love it!! I am hoping to get my fill this next month as we will be in Indiana. I must agree, you have two lovely daughters and I do enjoy hearing how you all enjoy each other so much. Happy weekend.

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  18. Great pictures....especially the last one of your girls. I love those ornaments kids made with their school pics.
    The landscaping really looks great.

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  19. What a lovely idea on 12 acts of deliberate kindness! I guess I got an early start this afternoon when I stopped at Walgreens with the Ts. In addition to the gum we intended to buy, we also bought a bottle of water that we gave the bell ringer when we left. ;-)

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  20. I have been sensing that my country has changed exactly in that direction. It is so strange to think we will be (one day) moving back to a US that has changed much since we left in 2010. A little Rip Van Winkly :)

    Your house and landscaping look so warm, cozy, and inviting. We are about to pull out the children's Christmas tree (2' high) where we put all those handmade ornaments. It's one of my kids favorite things about Christmas :)

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  21. You need to stop watching the news. I did that this year and ignorance is bliss. I have no inkling of the negativity you're talking about and it feels good. I just know what goes on in my bubble. I know - it's irresponsible and I'll have to venture out soon but I think I'll stay here at least until the new year.

    Living under rocks is more comfortable than you'd imagine. ;)

    I love the look of coordinated trees but can never do one myself because those ornaments with five year old faces and three year old handprints are my very favorite.

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    1. I have watched very little news since the election. The feeling I describe is all around me though...stay in your bubble for a while : )

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  22. Much as I don't like it, snow sure is pretty, handicapping all of its own! The photo of the girls with the ornaments trey made at 5 is precious! I saved and dated a lot of the art from my nieces growing up.

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  23. Love blue skies, too. They always make me smile and grab my camera. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Love the picture of your house with the snow and that beautiful blue sky. Your hillside looks great and I love the pillars. I like you idea of The 12 Days of Christmas Kindness. I will try to join in.

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  25. I'm in. Love the idea. Not that I am not nice any other time lol.

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  26. Love your idea -I am in. Just this week #2 daughter asked me when I was going to make grandson do what I made them do when younger. I had no clue what she was talking about-then she said you know Mom-pick an angel from the angel tree and choose presents for the child. Then she went on to say how she remembered crying because the presents weren't hers, but how she loves shopping for someone else now! :)

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  27. Love the end results of the landscaping project! You know you are going to have to show us a picture of you sunbathing on the rock!

    I love those kind of ornaments, they are precious.

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  28. Ok, I'm IN! The lovelies were showing off their ornaments from way back while decorating the tree too. How quickly the time went by and how much I, too, miss those days. You're so lucky to have had a dusting of snow! Please send some down this way the next time it comes!

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  29. I LOVE the picture of the girls at the end. You can tell they were enjoying reminiscing about ornaments from past years. My kids do it every year.

    The landscape looks amazing!

    OK, the 12 days of kindness. I need a little more info about it, maybe some examples. I am excited about participating. I hope I am on top of things enough to do it. :)

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  30. I'm a little late to the party, but count me in on the 12 days of kindness. :)

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