Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Day

The closer I come to the New Year, the happier I am. Somehow, for me, the holiday season gets me down. So with each garland and Christmas ornament that I put away, I feel more unburdened.
Our routines are returning; washing dishes and clothes, running errands, paying bills, cooking and reading. I am so thankful that all will return to normal. Friends are back in town and all is well.
I do have to say that I didn't see any of my old Christmas movie favorites like "It's a wonderful life", "A Christmas Carol", "Scrooge" , "Miracle on 42nd Street". I looked for them but no luck. Oh well, there is always next year.
God bless us all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Loss of a Special Friend

How do you handle a breakup of a relationship when you have come to love that person?
Actually, the dissolution of my daughter's relationship with her boyfriend involves my husband and I, as well. We had become close to D, as he spent quite a bit of time here at our home. Since he lives a distance away, there were many nights when he "camped out" on the sofa in our sun room. He was like a son to us in so many ways.
He was the one who would hear that Jim needed to clean out the ashes from the fireplace, so he would do it without asking. He would be the one who would make breakfast for Katie on the mornings that he was here.
He volunteered to help clean up the branches in the back yard when we had a particularly heavy storm and to help Jim split wood, on his day off from work. When I complained about getting junk mail, he promised to send some mail that would make me smile.
For D, it was all about helping others and making their lives better.
The actual descision to break up, came about a week before Christmas. I shook my head when Katie told me, because it wasn't the first time that she had broken it off. But she said that D had a gift for us, so would be coming over on Christmas Eve.
True to his word, he came, and not only came, but attended the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve with us.
When it was over, we all went home to White Pizza, a family tradition, and a fire. We gave D his presents, and Katie opened hers from D.
Then D handed us a red envelope. I dreaded opening it in a way, as I felt that it would be our last time together. Inside was a specially chosen card, that contained some sweet words together with a picture drawn of a log carrier that was late in delivery. Tears sprang to my eyes and I couldn't speak for a moment. We told him how much we cared for him and just how special he is to us. I am still grieving as I write this. Time will heal, I know. But how do you just forget a person who has become a son?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Word Paralysis

In the wee hours of the night, I mull over different thoughts that i have. I am very prolific in my own mind. LOL I do wish that I had the ability to express what i feel or am thinking about but that isn't the case. God made me a clay pot in that regard and I accept that. But it doesn't stop me from wishing that I had that gift. My Flickr friend, Hootnonny, is so expressive in her words and photography. I so enjoy reading her posts as well as others. Maybe I should set an alarm and record what is in my dreams. They are quite vivid sometimes.
So, borrowing the psychobabble of the day, I will call my malady: Word Paralysis. And that is all I have to say today.

Blessings to all who read my words,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Editing a picture

Open up a photo (this is SOOC, straight out of camera) in PSE. Make a duplicate (short cut: Ctrl J). I usually go to "Enhance">auto smart fix, then flatten. Next, duplicate. (you know, Ctrl J) and "Enhance">Adjust Lighting> Levels, hit "auto">flatten.

Now, we are going to choose an action. In this picture I am choosing Pioneer Woman's "Boost".
Here is how the photo looks so far:

Next, let's try a texture. I am using one from the Supernatural collection by Patty Brown, called Gothic Glow. My method is to use a free action to do this: called "Texture Applicator" by MCP.
I chose the Vivid Light" layer set at 24%, then with a soft black brush @100%, 170 pixels, I removed some of the texure from the wreath. Then flatten the layers.

We are not finished yet. Here we will add another texture from Patty Brown, called "Paranormal Glow", with Multiply @ 24%. Flatten the layers.

Now let's get a little bit edgy. Let find a really good texture with some TEXTURE! I think I will go to one of Jerry Jones' ShadowHouse Creations.

Of course, you know the drill by now: flatten your layers.

Here is the before, SOOC:

And our finished photo:

Thanks for looking. This is my first tutorial and hope it won't be my last!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In this hustle and bustle of what is referred to as the Holiday Season, are we not missing the opportunity to really prepare for the coming of the Lord. I mean, in our hearts. The four weeks preceeding Christmas, our church has a litergy that focuses on scripture that announces over and over that a Saviour will be born. Instead of being stressed out at not being able to cross all of our errands from our list, stop and meditate on what His coming to earth means to us. He came as a helpless infant, not a mighty King, as the Jews were looking for. Since he became like one of us, He knew what it was to be human. And we can relate to Him as a man, not some cold, distant force. Thank you, my Lord. I don't need any Christmas presents. You are all that I need.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowy Day

Beautiful fine flakes of snow are falling here in Kennesaw. Although it is not appearing to stick to the ground, it is still lovely. Especially since I am inside and warm by the fire. My Jimmy is busy as ever, never seeming to be able to stay still, putting up new blinds in the bathroom and seeing to the fire in the fire place. Here is my photo from last years' snow. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

December Day

Here is my friend, Hootnonny's blog. She is an excellent photographer, expecially of flowers. She has an excellent tutorial on making greeting cards with your photos using Microsoft Publisher 7.

Here is my latest attempt to make a Christmas card:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This is tough!

Did you ever spend a lot of time on something, only to find out that it was in vain? I have been playing around with this blog (and I mean playing) for a good while. Now it is time to get serious. After attempting to design one myself, I decided to let a professional do it for me. Rita did a wonderful job designing a respectable site for me. But i feel like I have been dropped off on another planet where I definitely don't know the language. Soooo, I downloaded the instructions that she sent me a few weeks ago. And I am just now getting down to business. After struggling between a help site that she recommended and the settings on my blog, for about an hour, I am reeling in confusion. I thought I had followed all of the instructions, there was no change in the appearance of my home page. Actually, I was trying to add  a new font, that's all. But apparently if you get one dot of of place, it won't work. Well, tomorrow is another day. LOL

Monday, November 22, 2010

Contrasting Lives

November 22, 2010

This last week i happened to be watching the telly. Since I don't enjoy commercials, I was switching between two channels. One was running an old black and white movie, made in 1951, called "Westward the Women". The only actor i recognized was Robert Taylor. The other is called House Hunters on HGTV.

The movie was a depiction of mail order brides in the 1860's (?) making the move from east to west. These women were really taking a chance, going through trials and tribulations. Looked to be about 60 of them with two men leading the caravan. Some of the scenes made me realize that I could never endured what they did. Even in a conestoga wagon, it was difficult to go over mountains and they didn't have brakes on going downhill. The women had ropes that they held (connected to the wagons, of course) to make sure that the wagon didn't "run away".

Then I switched over to House Hunters where this women was making comments on the house she was looking over. "Well, I would just have to change these countertops to granite and I have to have stainless steel appliances." How we have changed and become so spoiled. We  have it too easy here in this life. We have so much to be thankful for.

Peace and joy of Jesus,

charlotte wilson

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Katie is home!

Katie has been gone for about 6 days visiting her father, stepmother and sister in Santa Fe, NM. Since Nick has been sick, they have stepped up their plans for building his dream house at the foot of the mountains. Right now they are staying in a rental adobe style house. Building is slow out there.
Katie had a ball! She even ran a road race with her little sister, Giovanna! And she came in second in her class!
She loves the land almost as much as I do. The vast open spaces with mountains beyond and blue sky that seems to go on forever, always spoke to me. But at her age, she would not be happy to be there for long...she is too social for that!
Need to help a friend out with her son's rehearsal dinner friday night. I am only making brocolli salad but it is for 75 people! Paula, bless her heart, is making the desserts, the napkin rings, the decorations, the chicken dish, the filet of beef and who knows what else. She has so many friends that are also taking part. Thank God for friends!
Jimmy is coming home tomorrow! I sometimes feel lost without him. Actually, I do feel lost
when he is not here.
Have good day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Weekend at Savannah

My sweet husband booked a stay for us at the Hilton de Soto at Savannah for 3 days. We had a lovely time despite the heat. It was bearable because we got out early in the morning and after one hour of walking around, he suggested that we drive up and down the street of the city in air conditioned comfort. A man after my own heart.
This was a new situation for Jim since I had given him my old DSLR to learn on. I was in the role of a teacher. It was interesting to see what he took photos of, everyone has their own vision. That is what makes Flickr so interesting.
We noticed that the architecture is unique in Savannah...very ornate, filigreed wrought iron fencing, railing and gates. There were farmers' markets, craft stalls, parks, cafes and horse drawn carriages galore.
We drove to Tybee Island one day and explored the old fort with its prison, cannons and moats. Although there is a lighthouse on the island, we couldn't bear the heat to make the 1.6 mile round trip walk.
Lunch was fun in a place called Six Pence Pub. What else...English fare. We both had a Harp's lager. Jim ordered Shepard's Pie and I had the Bangers and Mash. It was a very charming place right across from where we were staying.
One of the highlights of the trip was going to Mass at St. John the Baptist Cathedral. What a beautiful old church, complete with ornamental ceilings and stained glass depicting Jesus, Mary and many saints.

More later. I am going to Keegan's, an Irish pub in Marietta, with Jim for a late lunch.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Serve on toasted sour dough
Ingredients: chopped tomatoes,
fresh chopped parsley and basil,
olive oil, salt and pepper
Prepared topping

Last night I made a wonderful bruschetta from the fresh tomatoes and basil in my garden. Here are the ingredients and final product.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

K has graduated!

My daughter, Katie, graduated with a BS in Exercise Science. They never had this degree, to my Knowledge, when I went to college. But that was in the Stone Age, according to Katie. :o)

The ceremony was rather long for us in the bleacher seats but it was worth it to see how happy all the students were.

Afterwards we met up outside the Convocation Center for some photographs. And then on to Penang for a little celebration.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Graduation Day!

Today is Katie's graduation day after 5 long years of college. She is thrilled of course as we are.
Her degree is in Health and Physical Science. She hopes to be attending graduate school if she can just get a good GRE grade.
I am fighting a sucking down of depression, the kind that is really hard to put words to. I read something this morning that touched on what I mean: "The soul's love (for God) is still not such as God would have it. The soul suddenly loses the tangible perception of God's presence. Various defects and imperfections rise up within it, and it must fight them furiously. All her faults life up their heads, but the soul's vigilance is great. The former awareness of the presence of God gives place to coldness and spiritual dryness; the soul has no taste for spiritual exercises; it cannot pray, either in the old way or in the manner in which it had just begun to pray. It struggles this way and that, but can find no satisfaction. God has hidden himself from it, and it can find no consolation in creatures, nor can any of these creatures find a way of consoling it. The soul craves passionately for God, but sees its own misery; it begins to sense God's justice; it seems to it that it has lost all the gifts that God had given it; its mind is dimmed, and darkness fills it; unspeakable torment begins. The soul tries to explain its state to the confessor, but it is not understood and is assailed by an even greater unrest. Satan begins his work. "
excerpt from The Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska
Well I need to buck up and not let anyone see how i am really feeling or i will spoil the day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hot July Day

The days are just getting hotter around here and no relief in sight. The tomatoes seem to like the heat but I don't think too many others do.

K is graduating tomorrow night. She was on the 5 year plan...a lot of people seem to be doing that. I am told that it is because the public schools are not doing their job. But who knows.

I am just glad that she is finished and can begin a new chapter in her life.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today started out peacefully enough. After coffee and quiet time I headed off to take Elmo to the groomer's ...he was long overdue..poor little guy. At least he stays pretty cool in the house.
Then dropped back to St. Catherine's for morning mass. Very nice service in the chapel this morning as there was to be a funeral taking place in the main church.
Back home I needed to take care of some insurance business and contact consumer affairs advocate Clark Howard to get some advice on how to handle fraud in an internet order that I never received and how to contact the Casablanca Fan Co. to replace a defective fan. I don't deal well with stress like this. Does anyone? It takes so long to get to the right person and it is such a waste of time. But that is life, I guess.
K is taking her final exam in Chemistry this morning. Passing it is very important as she needs it to graduate on Thursday! Help her please, Lord!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Prayer for today

Learning Christ
Teach me, my Lord, to be sweet and gentle in all the events of life, in disappointments, in the thoughtlessness of those I trusted, in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied. Let me put myself aside, to think of the happiness of others, to hide my little pains and heartaches, so that I may be the only one to suffer from them. Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes from them. Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes across my path. Let me so use it that it may mellow me, not harden nor embitter me; that it may make me patient, not irritable. That it may make me broad in my forgiveness, not narrow, haughty and overbearing. May no one be less good for having come within my influence. No one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble for having been a fellow traveler in our journey toward Eternal Life. As I go my rounds from one distraction to another, let me whisper from time to time, a word of love to Thee. May my life be lived in the supernatural, full of power for good and strong in its purpose of sanctity. Amen.
Author Unknown, from The Gold Book of Prayers
In typing out this prayer, in this time of disappointment in someone, I feel a peace and serenity. I hope that it will help someone reading it today.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Days

With the bright sun overhead, we walked between the produce laden stands of our local farmer's market. Samples of freshly baked breads, tartlets, cakes, preserves, salsas were offered by many of the tables. My favorite dipping sauce for bread is "Southern Spicy Salsa". It was so good and full of sliced pickled jalepenos, sliced carrots, sliced okra, onion and oregano in a garlicky olive oil. I bought a jar and went home to experiment on my own version and it turned out great. I gave a jar to my neighbor, Jan and to our local priest who is Hispanic and is not a sissy when it comes to spicy food. It is great on slices of crusty french bread.
Here is my version:

1 Lb. of large size fresh jalepenos
1 medium white onion
2 medium carrots peeled
5 okra (optional)
2 stalks celery
1 32oz. bottle of white vinegar
olive oil
Mexican Oregano
3 cloves of garlic


I use a mandolin to slice all the vegetables, except for the okra. Wear rubber gloves when slicing and handling the will burn your skin if you don't.

Place all of the sliced vegetables in a large container and cover with vinegar. Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Prepare your Mason jars by washing with hot soapy water or do them in the dishwasher.

Drain the vegetables and pack into the clean jars , leaving about an inch from the top. In another container, put your olive oil, garlic (chopped) and the oregano ( about 2-3 TBS) Mix well and pour into the jars of peppers and vegetables. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving with slices of french bread or pita chips. See photo at bottom of page to see the jars of salsa...I couldn't seem to get it to load on this post.

Enjoy, my friends!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


To all my friends who have asked for my website to see my photos, click on the word, Flickr on the menu. I add new photos almost daily to that site. Thanks for looking. This blog is still under construction.

Happy Wednesday!

Hi Everyone! Hope you are all enjoying this hot summer day. Although I love the summer and all of the bounty of fruits and vegetables, I will not miss the heat when fall comes around. Thank God for air conditioning! I like to go out and pick my tomatoes and other vegetables but run right back into the comfort of my house

Monday, July 19, 2010

My thanks go to Rita at Coffeeshop for my new blog design. She has done so many gorgeous ones and I happen to think that mine is one of her best.

Here is her link if you want her to design a blog for you:

I hope that I can figure out how to upload my photos today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hello again

This has been a trying day with my computer. It seems that someone stole my contact list on Yahoo email and has been sending all my friends these ghastly email spam. Who know what all content is there. Oh well, these things happen. It is just that you have to spend umpteen hours just getting things back to normal. My whole blog is on my desktop and I don't know how to get it back here where it belongs. Ha. I will prevail.
© Charlotte Wilson
CoffeeShop Designs