Monday, November 30, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 29 & 30

Well, I fell quite short of posting every day this month and completing the NaBloPoMo challenge, but I still counted a lot of blessings! I may try this challenge again, but certainly not for December.  Posting every day for a month was a lot more difficult than I expected.  To wrap up the month here are my Thanksgivings for yesterday and today.

Yesterday I was thankful for:
  • A clean house (or at least downstairs)
  • Christmas decorations
  • Christmas music
  • Help from my hubbie cleaning and rearranging things for Christmas
  • Dinner out at a great Agriturismo with new friends
Today I am thankful for:
  • A better id card picture than I expected (still not great, but better than my last one!)
  • A nap to make up for having to get up early
  • More boxes in the mail!  One of them I only ordered a week ago, AMAZING!
  • A yummy dinner of Trail Camp Beans and potatoes, tastes like home!
  • Root Beer Floats for dessert

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 28

I did it again :) I forgot to post about yesterday's blessings! Here they are, just a little late.

Yesterday I was thankful for:
  • Time hanging out with friends at a birthday party
  • More Thanksgiving leftovers (they are almost gone!)
  • Relaxation time

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 27

I'm a little late posting this one, but better late than never, right?

Yesterday I was thankful for:
  • Thanksgiving leftovers - reheats AND turkey tacos, YUM!
  • A new wireless router so that we now have wi-fi downstairs
  • The crisp air of Fall
I will post again later on today with today's Thanksgivings. I just woke up a little while ago so I don't have any idea what today will bring.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 26

On this Thanksgiving holiday I have much to be grateful for!  It has been a fabulous day, complete with a lot of time in the kitchen preparing a feast and time spent with dear friends at a table filled with fantastic food.

Today I am thankful for:
  • The roof over my head and the comfortable furnishings inside my home
  • A wonderful husband who is a great provider
  • The best family anyone could ask for
  • An heartwarming email from my Daddy (not a forward!!) :)
  • Wonderful friends both here and scattered throughout the world - I have been truly blessed to know so many awesome people
  • A bounty of food on our Thanksgiving table
  • Great friends to spend Thanksgiving with
  • Telephones that bridge the miles and cross oceans - after I write this I'm calling my family to with them a Happy Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving to all who read my blog!  I'm also grateful for you, my readers!  I hope you have much in your life to be grateful for too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 25

Today I am thankful for:
  • The weekly market and the wonderful foods that I find there at really reasonable prices
  • Fresh bread
  • The smile of an old Sicilian gentleman, he had deeply etched smile lines, I've never seen a more beautiful face!  It was easy to see that he has had a fulfilling life.
  • My husband coming home from work early
  • The time, energy and know-how to bake Thanksgiving treats from scratch
  • Pizza for dinner and the new pizzeria we finally got around to trying - delicious!
  • An evening relaxing with my husband, watching TV, sipping wine, and playing with our iPods

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 24

Today I am thankful for:
  • My husband's commitment to our country and the military, and his continued employment (he reenlisted today for another four years)
  • Time spent with a good friend this afternoon
  • Errands that I can now cross off of my list
  • Having all of the necessary ingredients to make my dishes for Thanksgiving (really, this is HUGE having an overseas military commissary to shop in, rarely do they have what i need!)
  • More boxes in the mail and all of the fun stuff they contained
  • My awesome mom who sends me the best care packages ever (seriously, Summer Sausage and Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend Coffee, who could ask for more!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Days 18-23

All it took was one little missed day to completely mess up my developing habit of blogging every day. Today I'm going to try and catch up and hopefully be able to stick with my daily routine of counting my blessings for the rest of November.

On Day 18 I was thankful for:
  • The market and all of the wonderful fresh foods I was able to purchase
  • Clean clothes and a clean bathroom (it was a cleaning day)
On Day 19 I was thankful for:
  • Having the necessary info to prepare more in advance than usual for my card class
  • The energy to be productive around the house
  • A tidied garden and driveway
  • Time spent with a close friend who will be moving soon
On Day 20 I was thankful for:
  • A clean comfortable home to welcome friends into
  • An awesome card class with much fun, laughter, and wonderful women
  • Time to make homemade goodies to share with my friends
On Day 21 I was thankful for:
  • My husband who washed the car without me having to ask
  • A party at a friend's house and fun people to hang out with
On Day 22 I was thankful for:
  • A down day where nothing really had to be done except relax
  • A "job" (if you could call what I do with Stampin' Up! work) that I love, where I get to meet and hang out with awesome people and be creative
Today I am thankful for:
  • Bible Study and the wonderful women that I've met and become friends with
  • Napping with my cat
  • Talking with my mom on the phone
  • My LONG Christmas card list which represents all of the wonderful people who I care about and who care about me.
That catches me up through today. I have every intention of posting tomorrow and each day until the end of the month.  If I miss a day don't be afraid to call me on it! I put this challenge out to others and I need to keep up with it myself.  It does me good to think about the blessings in my life, to dwell on those things and not the negative things that could bring me down.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 17

Today I am thankful for:
  • A kitty who loves to sprawl across my lap whenever and wherever I sit down
  • Les' leave, its been nice to have him home for a few days and see his stress level go down
  • A freshly cut lawn (thanks, honey!)
  • Capers preserved in salt (not brine)
  • My new iPod
  • Time to chat with my mom
  • Friends who, even when super busy and stressed, remain upbeat. They inspire me.
Overall its been a quiet day. Got a few things done around the house, but also had some time to relax.  Tomorrow starts real life again.  Les goes back to work and I have a lot to do, too.  The rest of the week will be busy for me, but I'm glad.  Too much time sitting and doing nothing isn't good for me!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mt. Etna Getaway

For our 6th anniversary Les and I decided a little getaway would be nice.  We decided to go up to an agriturismo on Mt. Etna for two nights, just to relax.  We planned to take books, our ipods, and possibly not even the leave the agriturismo property.

We drove up yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the drive, however, about halfway there I realized that I'd forgotten my books.  I was peeved at myself but got over it.  At least I still had my camera and ipod.  We arrived about two hours later and checked into our bed and breakfast, Etna Wine. The owner showed us to our room which was actually a three bedroom apartment!  It was quite lovely.

As the owner was heading out the door we asked what time dinner was.  Here is where things got really interesting...they don't serve dinner, only lunch.  One of the reasons we chose this place was so we could eat and not have to worry about who would drive after consuming copious amounts of wine with dinner.  We even asked about dinner when we made the reservation and were given a price.

Slightly perturbed, but not wanting it to ruin our vacation we decided to try another recommended agriturismo down the road for dinner.  Turns out they only serve lunch, too.  Bonus? they were closed Mondays so eating there the next day wasn't an option either.

We ended up having dinner at a very nice pizzeria.  The food was good, but not quite the long drawn out meal we had hoped for.  Again, oh well.  We figured we would go for lunch at the place we were staying the next day and just have a light dinner.

This morning we went to breakfast and asked the manager about getting a table at lunch...surprise surprise, their restaurant is also closed on Mondays! She also informed us that pretty much everything in that area of the world is also closed Mondays, that maybe one restaurant in the next town would be open.  Great, right?  So much for a romantic anniversary dinner!

Over breakfast we talked over our dilemma and decided to check out a day early and come back home. Before we left I did take a few minutes to walk around the agriturismo grounds and take a few pictures. It was truly a lovely place and I would stay there again, but plan accordingly to have lunch at the restaurant, not stay on a Monday, and bring food to cook in the apartment for dinners (it had a cute little kitchen).

After checking out we took a long drive around Etna.  It was a gorgeous day.  At one point we stopped and took a short hike for about a half hour.

After our hike we started getting hungry for some lunch.  We drove down the mountain and ended up in Giarre where we found a bar with yummy calzones.  From there we drove the coast a bit and then headed back towards home.  Tonight, for our anniversary dinner we are going to Borgo Antico Agriturismo, which is just up the hill from where we live.

Our anniversary weekend getaway didn't work out at all like we had planned but we still had a lovely time together, and really that is what counts!

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 15 and 16

So, I've officially fallen off of the NaBloPoMo wagon, sigh.  I had a feeling doing a post a day for a month would be hard.  I missed yesterday because we took off for vacation and I forgot to post before we left, and then I didn't have internet up on the mountain.  Oh well!  I will still continue on with my exercise of finding things to be thankful for daily.

Yesterday I was thankful for:
  • Leaving for a mini vacation
  • A lovely drive up into the mountains
  • The lovely bed and breakfast that we stayed at
  • Delicious pizza for dinner
  • A much needed getaway with my hubbie
Today I am thankful for:
  • Staying married for six years and counting (today is our anniversary!)
  • My husband
  • A beautiful drive on Mt. Etna
  • A lovely mini-hike on Mt. Etna
  • Another reason to go to Borgo Antico (Anniversary dinner!)
Details of our mini vacation and pictures are coming soon in another post!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 14

What a GREAT day, its been a fantastic start to our anniversary weekend.

Today I am thankful for:
  • Breakfast in bed
  • Being able to curl back up in bed after breakfast and take a snooze
  • Having a bit of time to craft
  • Shopping
  • Chinese Food for dinner
  • Early Anniversary Presents (gorgeous black pearl earrings and necklace with a very cool and unusual setting)
  • My husband, who has put up with me for just a couple days short of six years

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 13

Wow, I thought that the more I did something it was supposed to be ingrained as habit...why is that not happening? I nearly crawled into bed and almost forgot to post today!  So, here it is:

Today I am thankful for:
  • Doctors appointments with no bad news 
  • Fridays and weekends
  • My husband taking a few days of much needed leave
  • Finally making reservations for our anniversary
  • A good book to read when I crawl into bed (not that I'll get to far, I'm pretty tired)
Good night. Ci vediamo a domani! (See you tomorrow!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 12

Today I am thankful for:
  • Pumpkin Pie Blended Lattes
  • My new iPod Touch, wi-fi and free games!
  • Time to craft and play with new supplies that came in the mail a couple of days ago
  • A chance to chat with my dad for awhile, we always have a good laugh together, he brightens my day

Photo Club Trip - Veterans' Day in Siracusa

Yesterday my photography club went to a World War II Cemetery in Siracusa.  We spent about an hour meandering around the graves of allied soldiers and contemplating the sacrifice they made. The fact that impacted my heart the most was that the oldest soldier in this cemetery (that I noticed) was only 36.  Most were in their twenties.

After paying our respects to those who fell in World War II we went into Siracusa and out to the island of Ortygia.  We enjoyed yummy snacks and took in the beauty of the island for a little while before we had to go home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 11

Today  is Veterans' Day. A time set aside to thank those who serve and who have served honorably in the United States Military.  I am very grateful for all those who serve our country in both peace time and war.  I especially want to thank my husband for his service. I am proud to be  Navy wife.

Today, in addition to our veterans, I am thankful for:
  • Photo Club Trips
  • Like-minded friends who share my hobbies
  • A chance to get out of the house and take pictures
  • A great dinner out with friends
  • A cozy bed that I will soon be crawling into
To honor Veterans' Day the Photo Club went to a WWII cemetary near Siracusa today.  I will post more pictures in the next day or two, but I will leave you with one image that will hopefully move you to consider the brave men and women who serve our country and the sacrifices they made and continue to make today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 10

Almost forgot to post today!  I'm so glad I remembered.  Today is my 10th day of posting every day and it hasn't quite become a habit.

Today I am thankful for:
  • Packages in the mail
  • New Stampin' Up! toys
  • A great class this evening, it was a awesome group, lots of laughter
  • A busy and productive day
  • Having everything ready for my class three hours before it started (yay for time to relax!)
  • Time to unwind after the class with my hubbie and a glass of vino

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 9

Today has been quite ordinary, but when I really stop to think about it, so full of blessings!

Today I am thankful for:
  • My Bible study group & the wonderful women in it
  • The time to share and fellowship with those women each week
  • Having a comfortable home to welcome them into (today I hosted Bible study)
  • A drive that my hubbie and I took this evening which gave us the opportunity to talk though and work out an issue we'd been having
  • My husband noticing that I'd picked up the house and showing appreciation for it
  • Yummy kebab panini and french fries for dinner
  • Not having to clean up the kitchen because we ate out
  • Finishing up the last project for tomorrow's craft class
  • Christmas music (Yep, I'm listening to it right now!  But only when I'm working on Christmas projects for my craft classes, that makes it ok, right?)

I hope whoever reads this has a wonderful day! Take a moment to consider how your life has been blessed, and share in the comments if you'd like. I also challenge you to take a moment to make someone else's day special, even if its just something simple such as smiling at a random person you pass by on the street.  Who knows, that may be the best part of their day!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 8

Today I am thankful for:
  • A quiet day at home by myself
  • Clean laundry (got a few loads done today)
  • The smell of cookies in the oven
  • A long talk on the phone with my mom (my best friend and the most awesome mom anyone could ever ask for!)
The timer for the cookies is going off,  I must go!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 7

Today was craft fair day, and it went really well! I always enjoy sharing what I make and seeing what other artists in my community come up with. There are so many talented people out there!

Craft Fair Display

Today I am thankful for:
  • A productive craft fair
  • The help of my hubbie at the craft fair (he got me lunch, coffee, watched the table when I needed a break, helped sell my stuff when I was occupied helping other people, and helped me cart all my stuff in and out of the building)
  • All of my friends here who came out to support me and the other community artists
  • All of the compliments that I received about my photographs
  • Having the time to work on my hobbies/passions
  • A comfortable home to relax in after a long day
  • A delicious dinner of beef stir fry

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 6

Today has been quite stressful. I got up this morning to a sick kitty, and since he is like my child, my constant companion, I was worried sick.  To make matters worse Les had the car today so I was stuck at home, at least until he came home from work.

After making several phone calls I found out that a friend would drive me to the vet, that the vet on base was closed, and that I could get in to see an Italian vet at 6pm in Caltagirone. Throughout the day he seemed to get better, but I didn't want to take any chances with it being Friday and his condition worsening over the weekend.

Our visit to the vet went very well. Pumpkin is going to be fine.  He essentially has a kitty cold, but it isn't life threatening - PRAISE GOD!

So, today I have much to be thankful for:
  • My kitty is going to be ok!
  • My friend who was ready to drop everything if I needed help to get Pumpkin to the vet (Thanks, K!)
  • The prayers from my friends and family for my kitty
  • My husband who was a great help in taking the cat to the vet in Caltagirone
  • An Italian vet who was able to see Pumpkin the same day that I called
  • An Italian vet who was great with my cat AND whose manner put me at ease
  • The fact that I was able to speak enough Italian to take my cat to an Italian vet who spoke very little English
  • An awesome kitty who, even though he was stuck in a carrier, taken to the vet, poked and prodded, still loves me and curled up on my lap after we got home. (A layer of cat hair on my clothes was never so welcome!)

My Fuzzy Buddy

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 5

Today I am thankful for:
  • New, plush, soft, comfy PJ's that my hubbie bought me (he knows how much I adore PJ's!)
  • My hubbie who bought me the PJ's
  • Not having to make dinner tonight (yep, we ate out! YUM!)
  • A busy, productive day
  • A friend who is helping me by loaning me a few things to display my stuff at this weekend's craft fair (Thank you, B!)
  • Zappos return policy (free shipping both ways!)
  • Having a house to clean (even though I'm not a fan of the actual cleaning)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 4

Today I am thankful for:
  • Photography club - the things I learn each time we meet and the friendships that have developed from the club
  • My lovely view of Mt. Etna as I was driving to base this evening (pictured above)
  • A productive day
  • A safe drive home after photo club
What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 3

Today I am thankful for:
  • A friend who sent her son over with a plate of breakfast for me this morning (Thank you, A!)
  • A glass of wine at the end of the day
  • A divinely comfortable bed covered with soft sheets and feathery pillows and comforters
  • The luxury of being able to stay in my PJs all day if I want to (though I try not to do this every day!)
Just a short post today, but I'm thankful that I have things to be thankful for!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving, Day 2 and NaBloPoMo

Since I have committed to myself to post each day this month about the things I am thankful for I decided also to join NaBloPoMo which is short for National Blog Posting Month. Basically this means that if I post every day this month I might win a prize!

While prizes are great, that is not why I'm posting every day.  Like I said yesterday, my goal is to focus on the positive things in my life.  I'd also like to encourage others to do the same.  One of my dear friends is joining me in this challenge, check out her blog at to see what she is thankful for. Hopefully more people will join me on this journey!

Normally I'd like to post what I am thankful for a bit later in the day, but it looks like I'll be running errands this evening so I figured I should post now so I don't forget later.

Today I am thankful for:
  • Cappuccinos
  • Great friends to drink cappuccinos with
  • Photography challenges
  • My camera
  • Packages in the mail
Verbalizing the blessings in my life helps me see past the day-to-day problems and keep my eyes on the bigger picture.

Photo Club Challenge: Shadows

This month's challenge for Photo Club is shadows. This Wednesday is our monthly meeting so I figured today would be a good day to take some shadow pictures. Yep, I procrastinate just a bit (and I'm never sarcastic).

I decided to stage a photograph using a beautiful crystal bowl that Les and I received as a wedding present and a few cute little pumpkins and gourds that I've been displaying as a centerpiece on my dining room table. My four favorite shots are below.

Which do you like best? Please comment and let me know!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Lately life hasn't been ideal.  Nothing major is wrong, but I've easily fallen into pity party mode too often.  I've been lonely, and that has been really hard.  Les has been working long hours and I've spent too many of those hours at home, by myself, talking to my cat. Combine that with the sadness of good friends who have recently moved away and being half a world away from my family.  Needless to say its been rough.

Even though I've had a hard time with these things I don't want to live in pity party mode!  This is why I'm going to start a new feature on my blog for the month of November, in honor of Thanksgiving - Thirty Days of Thanksgiving.  Each day I will post at least one thing that I am thankful for.  My goal is to refocus my energy in a positive direction and show myself in a tangible way that life isn't that bad, in fact it is pretty good!

Today I am thankful for:
  • A friend who sent her daughter over with an ice blended pumpkin pie latte, it made me feel so special that she thought to share her treat with me!
  • My cat, pumpkin, my buddy who hangs out with me every day, and is always ready to make me feel better with a cuddle and a purr
  • Dinners made on the BBQ
  • My husband who works so hard to support us
  • My creative outlets - photography and stamping
Please join me in this project!  Use your blog, Facebook page, etc. to share what you are thankful for.  If you decide to participate please comment with the URL of your blog. I would love to follow your journey.