Monday, December 31, 2012

Ruby Tuesday ~ Season of giving

I recently wrote a story about our local Salvation Army's Christmas distribution of food and gifts to the needy.

These figurines garbed in old-fashioned Salvation Army uniforms that were on a table in the sanctuary caught my eye while I was there.
I imagine they're singing Christmas carols and ringing the bell to get folks to put a donation in the red Christmas kettle.


One of my New Year's resolutions is to participate in Ruby Tuesday as I once did! So here I am. 

Join in the fun and find photos featuring a little or a lot of the color red at RubyTuesday2.  

I wish a Happy and Healthy 2013 to all my blog friends! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Birthday was a snow day, but that's OK

It's always good to warm up before you blow out your candles. Cameron caught me in mid-warmup.

We almost did a do-over, but it is what it is.

Cameron and Ralph made us a delicious birthday dinner. We appreciate all their planning and hard work!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

On birthdays and new beginnings

Since today is my birthday (shared with beautiful daughter Allegra) I thought I'd re-post what I posted on my newspaper blog.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A new year ahead brings hope for us all

As 2012 comes to a close and I celebrate another birthday in a few short days I'm really not feeling nostalgic about the passage of time.

On the contrary. I'm looking forward to 2013 and a new start.

Soon I'll be marking my second anniversary as a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with the disease in February 2011.

The past two years have been an educational experience, to say the least.
From hearing my doctor give me the news of my diagnosis on Feb. 11, to two surgeries, to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, to losing my hair, I've learned a lot.

One thing I learned is that keeping oneself healthy is a full-time job. Appointments abound!  

I've also learned to appreciate the little things in life more than ever before.

Soon after I was diagnosed I joined a support group.
I'm part of the Circle of Friends, which is based at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby. The ladies certainly live up to the group's name. They are friendly! I've never been in a support group before. New members are always welcome. 

I consider myself a private person but a year ago I wrote a revealing (for me) story about the American Cancer Society's "Look Good...Feel Better" session I attended at Griffin Hospital.

And I've participated in three fund-raising walks - two sponsored by Griffin and one coordinated this October by a dedicated Naugatuck mother of four whose own mother is a cancer survivor. The walks benefited the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital.

This year I formed a team. It was a lot of fun.

I'm looking forward to getting an even bigger team together next October. New members are always welcome. {grin}

This fall Griffin Hospital launched a survivorship program and I've been taking advantage of what the program offers. Last week I was one of only three patients who took part in a helpful workshop run by licensed clinical social worker Donna Hayes.

My takeaway from that session was I need to make time for moi, something with which many women seem to have trouble.
Women of a certain generation (myself included) have been raised to take care of everyone, which leaves little time or energy for much else.

Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, getting physical rehab, socializing, participating in fund-raising activities, and writing about all of the above. It's all a part of kicking cancer to the curb.

If you have gone through a bout with cancer as millions of us have you know whereof I speak.

And so...what about those New Year's Resolutions?

I haven't made a list yet, but mostly likely I'll jot a few resolutions down on a piece of paper.

And what about you?

Shadow Shot Sunday

Since we are expecting snow to fall later today I thought I'd re-post an oldie but goodie I captured a few winters ago.

I love gnomes! It says Gnome for the Holidays on the bottom of the ornament.

I also love snow people!

Wishing a Happy New Year 2013 to all ~ May this year be your best ever.

Join the shadowy fun and see shadows from across the globe at Shadow Shot Sunday 2.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ on the Green

This is part of the Green in Derby, Ct.
I took this on Thursday, a beautiful sunny day, as I stood in front of the stately Sterling Opera House on Elizabeth Street.

Immanuel-St. James Episcopal Church, built in 1843, is one of three historic churches that surround the Green. The other two are the Methodist Church, and the Second Congregational Church.
They are all beautiful in their own ways. 

Join the fun and see lots of shadows captured around the world at Shadow Shot Sunday 2.

P.S. Here's a poem that popped out of my keyboard this morning. Let's just say it's a true story.

The tree isn't up.
The gifts aren't bought.

Going shopping today?
I'm giving it a thought.

The cards they're not sent.
Don't know where the time went.

But I have time today 

for what needs to be.

To the stores I will go

And won't think 'poor me'
As I join the crowd
No whining allowed!

For it's the Yuletide season 

And that's the reason
I'm sending this today.
And may Santa to your house find his way! 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vigil honors victims of unspeakable tragedy

Re-posting this ~ I wrote it Monday for my View from the Valley blog for the New Haven Register. 

Last night I covered the Valley's candlelight vigil in memory of those lost in the school slayings in Sandy Hook.
It was held on the Derby Green, and I was struck by the large number of people - hundreds - who attended.

Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe said, "It's a tremendous turnout for a night like this. People are looking for an outlet," he said, and want to be with others in the community.

State Rep. Linda M. Gentile commented, "It's great to see such a big crowd here. It shows how big our hearts are in our small community of Derby."

People huddled under umbrellas waiting for the vigil to start. The festive Christmas lights seemed out of place at first, but I soon saw them as symbolizing hope for a brighter future for our community and our nation.

At the start of the service, Pablo Barriga, campus facilitator, New Life Community Church in Derby, told the crowd, "We have seen the devil at his worst. Let us now believe we shall see God at His best."  

Norwich resident Swaranghit Singh holds a sign showing support of the victims of Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. About 50 members of the Sikh community attended the vigil Sunday night.

Singh said the shootings reminded him of the August slayings of six Sikhs at a temple in Wisconsin. He said the Sikh community will hold a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Friday at its temple, Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, 1610 West St., Southington.

 Angela Descheen, 3, of Derby, shows us there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday

This week daughter Allegra and I decided to be "edgy" and go out for ice cream on a cold December afternoon. It was indeed a good idea.

I wrote a blog post about our visit to the farm. Please stop by and give me a page view.

Thanking you in advance!

~ ~ ~

Join the fun and see lots more shadowy photos from around the world at Shadow Shot Sunday 2.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cameron is a grad-uit

... even though he still has classes and final exams ahead in the next two weeks.

Sunday's commencement ceremony at the University of Hartford made me and Ralph proud. Our son is a graduate and ready to move on to a career working in the computer science field. 
We were pretty far back in the audience. I wish I had a telephoto lens and a better camera, but I did catch Cam shaking hands with one of the Deans or somebody important!

He will get his diploma in the mail next month.

 Allegra is proud of her "little brother." 

And here are the three of us after the ceremony.

Ralph and I have already shared photos on Facebook, but I wanted to write a short blog post as well to let Cameron know how proud we all are of him. ;-)