Sunday, December 26, 2010

Today is Our Wedding Day . . .

Ever Ours by Enrouge

On this quiet day after Christmas with family and friends, my man and I will get married. 

It will be simple.  It will be small.  It will take only a few minutes.

Even with its simplicity and brevity, it still means that we love each other dearly.  The commitment to each other will last much longer than the words that will be spoken this day.  We'll be pledging our love to each other before friends and family.  We're looking forward to having these special people be a part of our special day.  We plan to celebrate the rest of our life together with the same happiness we'll be sharing with special people on our special day.    

Please think of us as we marry today . . .

I love this man!!

Please let your special people know how much you love and appreciate them . . .

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!!

Christmas ornament by Hammermann

How do you celebrate the holidays at this time of year?  Do you have a big gathering with lots of food and hubub?  Do you do a quiet few days?

These days we spend our Christmas pretty quietly.  We do a little decorating such as displaying a couple of Christmas quilts.  One is here:

We usually spend our Christmas holidays with family.  No one gets too carried away with decorations.  Once in a while, we get a bit out of control with gifts (last year I made out like a bandit!). We visit and eat.  Then we open gifts and have some snacks.  Then we laze around and fix a meal.  I think you detect the trend here.

Holiday stocking by rikrak

It's a great quiet time.  It's a relaxed time that give us time to think and plan.  We enjoy the winter weather (usually from inside) and the time away from everyday life. 

Christmas is a time for love.  It is a time to love the ones you value most, think of the loved ones who have already gone, spend time with family and friends, and be content.

Enjoy good company and laughter and seek out contentment and joy.  Thank you so much to those of you who have provided me with great companionship, laughter, and happiness.  I look forward to more time and enjoyment with you.

Merry Christmas Chickadee by NatureMandalas

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Soap Swap Box Arrived!!!

Here I was . . . sitting at my computer working away when I heard a knock at the door.  I could see that there was a box on the table outside our front door.  I could see that it was from Bramble Berry.
Bramble Berry is a wonderful soap making supplier in Bellingham, Washington.  I knew it must be my box of soaps!

Several weeks ago, Anne-Marie Faiola announced a soap swap using fragrances purchased from Bramble Berry.  Each of us who signed up would select a fragrance, make a dozen large bars, then send them to BB, who would then sort out the bars and send a dozen bars to each participant.  My contribution was bay rum scented soap.  I have a couple of bars left in my collection. 

My box arrived today.  When I picked up the box, the aroma was just wonderful.  Exciting and calming, all at the same time.  When I opened it up and pulled out the paper and started unwrapping the bars, this is what I pulled out! 

The scents include bonsai, sandalwood vanilla (I keep holding this one up to my nose), cherry almond, and cranberry fig.  The cranberry fig soap was made by Anne-Marie herself and the instructions for this beautiful, comforting scented soap are here.

Some of the other soap makers are Mayren;  Desert Soapstone of Prescott, Arizona; Auntie Lu's Scrubs & Suds; Bayou Liberty Soaps; Lotion Bar Cafe; Bonnie Bath; Palin's Pantry; Garden Gate Soaps; and Casco Bay Soap Co.

What a nice surpise.  I mean.  I knew it was coming.  I just forgot about it for a while.  Then I remembered it as soon as I saw the box!  I couldn't wait to get it open and see what others made.  I might share.  I might not.  Well, it IS the holidays and all.  My thanks to Anne-Marie and the nice people at Bramble Berry for organizing this.  It's a fun start to Christmas!! 

Isn't it nice when something happens to make you feel good?  I'll get to remember this each time I pass by these soaps and inhale the aromas and look upon the colors and shapes and packaging. 

Thanks to all who participated and went to the trouble to make their soaps and package them up so special to share with strangers.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Vacation Photos--Aztec Ruins, New Mexico

Aztec Ruins, New Mexico

As part of our Four Corners vacation trip, we visited many archeological sites, including Aztec Ruins National Monument in northern New Mexico.  It's a site that was inhabited by the ancestral Puebloans.  We were able to walk around and through a portion of the ruins. 
This complex had about 500 rooms. 

Visitors are able to follow the trail through the West Ruin, built centuries ago. 

Part of the interior.  These people were short and hardy!

Part of the self-guided tour takes you inside some of the small rooms.  I show the photo above to give you an idea of the size of the doors.  That's my man looking through another door into another room.  The ancestral Puebloans were shorter than modern people, but they would have had to duck through these doorways, too! 

A touch of summer color amongst the ruins.  

The ancient Puebloans put windows in the corners!

The Ancient Puebloans built kivas for ceremonial and gathering purposes.  There are thousands of kivas in ruins all over the Four Corners area in the American southwest.  The kiva in Aztec has been reconstructed to resemble what the kiva might have looked like when it was in use by the Ancient Puebloans.  

Have you started thinking about your next adventure?  Will it be before the New Year?  Just into the New Year?  Not until next summer?  

For me, the ideas and the thinking and the planning are great fun.  Imagining.  Wondering.  Learning.  

What adventures are you planning?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Congratulations!!! Winner of the Giveaway!

Image from Free GIFs and Animations     

Thanks again to my wonderful, special customers at my Etsy shop, Lucinda's Nice Things for getting me to my first milestone of 100 sales!!!  It's very special to me to have you support me while I stumble and bumble along my learning way in this endeavor. 

Thanks, too, to those of you who visit my blog.  I really love it when you leave a comment, letting me know that you're out there and reading what I write.  It's very special that you visit my little spaces on the web.  I'm honored. 

To celebrate my sales milestone, I held a giveaway of a Target gift card.  And . . . now that the time for entries is passed, the winner is . . .


Thanks for playing along with my giveaway!  Thanks for visiting my little shop.  Thanks for hearting my shop and leaving nice comments.  

Very special indeed . . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Giveaway!! Thank you for 100 sales!!

Thanks to my buyers, I have finally hit 100 sales in my little Etsy shop, Lucinda's Nice Things!

It's had some fits and starts, but I'm starting to get the hang of having a little online shop and business has been good lately.  Thanks to those of you who bought from me while I'm learning along the way.  Thanks to you for buying when my pictures haven't been perfect (that's most of them!).  Thanks for buying when I have typos.  Thanks for helping me out when I let you know I don't know something about an item  And thanks for pointing out that it's impossible for that bangle bracelet to be only 4" around!

I'm celebrating this little milestone by having a giveaway here on my blog.  I thought about it a bit and I chose this $25.00 gift card from Target . . . fun stuff!

Here's hoping for plenty more sales and more milestone giveaways!

Here's how to enter the giveaway (and thanks to RikRak for the ideas!):

1.  Visit my Etsy shop called Lucinda's Nice Things
and tell us in a comment below about your favorite thing and why you love it!
One entry!

2.  Heart Lucinda's Nice Things on Etsy and tell us.
One entry!

3.  Follow me on twitter Denny1600 and tell us.  
One entry!

Please note that each entry must be its own comment.  Thanks so much!

It is possible to have a maximum of three entries total per person.

Using, one winner of the $25.00 Target gift card will be chosen on Monday, November 8th at 7 PM EST.  

Open to contestants worldwide.

Please be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you.  Thanks!!

Just to be sure you know I mean it:  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Vacation Photos--Canyon de Chelly and its "Other" Ruins

Ruins (whose name I don't remember) in Canyon de Chelly

  After we recovered a bit from our hike back up from the White House Ruins in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, we headed off to see the canyon's other sites.  Those are overlooks along the North and South Rims of Canyon de Chelly and one of its "connector" canyons, Canyon del Muerto (Canyon of Death). 

Then we heard it again!  That rattly vehicle!  Here it is with passengers . . .

We got to the point where we were searching all alcoves in the cliffs for possible ruins.  Those Ancient Ones were brave to put their homes in these nearly inaccessible alcoves!

The descriptive sign explained that the ruins to the right were from structures built earlier than the structures to the left.  The structures to the left were built in the Mesa Verde "style." 

You'll get to see plenty more Mesa Verde structures later!!

So, our culture is certainly not the first to move in and remodel or upgrade pre-existing housing.  Recycling, reusing, repurposing.  It's been around for a loonngg time. 

See the little structure in the little alcove? 

There were structures in all kinds of alcoves.  We peered into all alcoves we could see.  We used our binoculars to see if there were ruins in alcoves that caught our eye.  Ummm . . . and how did they get to it?  I'm not a fan of ladders or heights or boulders that hang out into nothing, so I would not have made it in this culture, I think. 

More sandstone abstraction.

Back in the car and down the road to visit more lands of the Ancient Ones. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vacation Photos--Canyon de Chelly's White House Ruins

View near the start of the White House Ruins Trail in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona.

A small desert dweller on the sandstone next to the trail

The ancient people who lived in Canyon de Chelly (pronounced "shay") built homes in the canyon.  They used alcoves in the canyon walls for some of their structures.  The White House Ruins Trail takes you to one of these ruins.  This is the only trail that non-Navajos can take into the canyon without a guide.  It's about a mile and a quarter down into the canyon, but centuries back in time. 

Part of the trail is carved from the sandstone walls of the canyon

Before you know it, you're well down into the canyon.

Some Navajos live and farm down here in the canyon.  We passed a young Navajo couple leading a mare and her colt.

Once you work your way around a bend and cross the wash with water in it (foot bridges, thank goodness), you spot this amazing sight.
White House Ruins (photo taken by my man)

There is a structure at the base of the cliff alongside the wash.  There is also the structure in the alcove part way up the cliff.  The Ancient Puebloans lived in the canyon until the mid-1300's. 

After we looked at the ruins and took waayy more photos that I'm showing here, we picked a spot in the shade of some cottonwoods for our snack.  While we were sitting there enjoying the shady quiet, we heard a rattling vehicle approaching.  It's a vehicle used for tours in the canyon.  On this leg of its trip, it had no passengers.  You can see it has no shade.  It's called "Shake and Bake," referring to the "comfort" of its ride and its lack of shade. 

After our quiet time in the shade, we started our trip back up the trail to the canyon's rim.  As we stopped to catch our breath and to get a bit of a break from the hot sun, I took some abstract looking photographs of the canyon wall.  Here's one.

After a few switchbacks and a few more "photo" stops, we finally made it to the top of the rim!  There was a pleasant breeze that hadn't been able to make it down into the canyon.  We walked to the overlook and saw where we had been from a different perspective. 

Then we were off to the next chapter of our adventure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vacation Photos--Canyon de Chelly's Spider Rock at Sunset

What do you do when you've set up your camp in the campground, had your dinner, done your dishes, and there's still sunlight left at a beautiful canyon location?  Grab your camera and head for an overlook!

The setting is beautiful.  The light was wonderful.  It was just the two of us for most of the time.  There was another couple for a while.  The male half of the couple offered photography tips to me, clicked away, and then left!!  How could you not stay for this?! 

Turkey vulture near Spider Rock

There was another young man at the overlook.  He stayed the whole time we did.  However, he was braver than we were and climbed over the short wall and sat on the rocks that REALLY overlooked the canyon.  He enjoyed the entire spectacle in silence.  We saw him again the next day on the White House Ruins trail into the canyon. 

I'm warning you:  we took LOTS of pictures from this overlook.  I'll not share ALL of them with you, but it's such a special place . . .

According to the Navajos (Dine), Spider Rock is the home of Spider Woman, the savior of the Navajos from the monsters who were killing the people.  Spider Woman taught the ancestors of the Navajos how to weave on a loom.  Spider Woman also enforces obedience in children. 

Mother Nature cooperated beautifully.

My man took some fantastic photos!  He did some black and whites.
Then he switched to color.
What a way to start an adventure in a special part of the world . . .