Colour of the Year 2012 Part II

The Pantone Colour of the Year 2012

According to Pantone, “Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”    Pantone certainly knows how to talk about “colour”.  They also suggest  mixing vivid with soft pastels for a pleasing palette. Perhaps this is what Benjamin Moore Paints is thinking with their “colour of the year” being Wythe Blue – what do you think?


Fresh Start…

As of last Friday the Christmas decorations are officially packed away!  I am not sure why this is such a dreaded job – tearing them down is never as much fun as putting them up – but I can say it is a whole lot easier!

I have mixed feelings about it – I love the colour and the twinkling lights – it brings a whole bunch of life to the house.  Putting them away is like stripping the house naked – it feels bare and exposed.  However, once the initial shock of such a drastic change has soaked in, there is a freshness that comes with cleaning away the noise.

Just like a new year is a fresh start so the cleaning up after Christmas is a fresh start.  And I am convinced that we need to have a fresh start often – every day in fact.  Clean the slate and start over!

I know so often I feel bogged down with stuff – stuff that plays on my mind – things on the to do list that need to be done – or relationship issues that need to be cleared up!  We can let a lot of clutter get into our lives – and a fresh start can give a new perspective – a freeing perspective!

It is important to clear it up – and clean it out and put it away.

I think of forgiveness in this way – sometimes we hold resentment because we have been hurt – but I can tell you from experience the act of forgiveness – even just in your own heart – is a clearing out of the clutter of anger that can turn to bitterness.  And by giving forgiveness we are taking down that which we have let decorate the walls of our heart – and when we put it away – what we have left is a fresh start.  It might seem bare – but it is clean and fresh.  It is freedom of the soul.

And so just as the tearing down and cleaning up of the Christmas decorations is freeing – so can cleaning out the clutter of hurt in our lives be freeing.  It is hard to do – but there is a fresh perspective that comes with clearing it out.

I look around the house now – and see the house – not the Christmas decor – and I see the simplicity of what is here now – the very simple evergreen branches on my living room bench and the simple candle that I light at night.

I need to remind myself on a regular basis to keep clearing up all that should be cleared up.

Here’s to a fresh start every day !

Winter White

Snow …. finally here!

It sure does make everything look beautiful  – white and clean – and soft!

  I know it sounds like I say that with great joy. What brings joy is the changing of the seasons – and the snow is just all part of that.  Plus – winter is just very dull looking without snow – snow brightens the landscape! (We won’t talk about driving in the snow, or boots or clearing walks and driveways – no we will just keep a positive spin on this!)

It looks like winter!

We all have stories….

Stories, we all have stories.  

Nature does not tell stories, we do.  

We find ourselves in them, make ourselves in them, choose ourselves in them.

 If we are the stories we tell ourselves, we better choose them well.”

James Orbinski, M.D.

Over the Christmas holiday I visited with my dad in Niagara Falls.  I noticed that he had pulled out a quilt to use for extra warmth now that the colder weather is here.  This quilt was hand made by my Grandma Buffam many years ago.  I remember when it arrived in the mail – I remember when so many packages arrived in the mail from Grandma – usually quilts, or dresses – matching for us girls – sewn with loving care.

This particular quilt was made up of the scraps of material that my mom had sent to her – leftovers from the many dresses mom had made for us and for herself.  Back in those days everything was sewn – very little bought ready made.  In fact I have many memories of new Easter dresses every year, and Christmas dresses.  I have memories of  learning to use the sewing machine to make our own clothes – mom just let us experiment and have fun.  I started out by making clothes for my Barbie dolls – actually they were Tammy dolls – the Barbie-like dolls whose  hair you could pull out of a strategically placed hole in the head giving you the ability to create a beautiful hairstyle -either long or short. I thought this was so very “cool” – I could twist the hair into a pony tail or a beehive – yes – those were the days.

But I digress – back to the quilt.

As I looked at the quilt on the bed, I recognized material from dresses that my mom had and I remembered what she looked like in those dresses, and where she wore them.  So many memories came back – all from the quilt on the bed.  The quilt told a story – a story about history and a story about our lives.    The threads that were all woven together  represented so many years of living in different homes and different cities.

Our lives do tell a story – in fact we are creating a new chapter of that story every day.  We create it by the choices we make and the direction we choose at every cross road.

Our story also includes many chapters where we don’t have a choice – where the story line takes a turn that is out of  our control.  Sometimes life hands us circumstances that are not expected, anticipated and perhaps not appreciated.  Life can be very tough in these chapters but I can tell you that even in the difficult chapters – the thread of the story’s outcome  is dependent on how we choose to react to those circumstances.We can choose hope over bitterness, joy over despair, and love over anger.

Even now, I can look back at the chapters of my life, the chapters of my parent’s lives and see how the thread of history has created  and continues to create a story rich and full – not perfect – but perfectly imperfect – with a purpose and plan.

And I can also see how the very different aspects of these chapters when sewn together in a mixture of patterns and textures and colours, has created a beautiful life – just as these quilts are beautiful – perfectly imperfect.

And so each new day is a new chapter – a new part of the story – the happy joyful days and the very tough days all make the story fit together in a quilt that one day will be the story of our lives.  The fabrics used will be the perfect balance of bright and cheerful and deep and strong – all making the story not only interesting, but a work of art.  Because you see our life is just that – a work of art – a creation that is perfectly imperfect with a story that has impact and purpose and when the tale is told – my hope is that the story will be full of lessons learned, wisdom gained and insights shared and an example left behind.  And most of all I hope the story will be one that glorifies the creator who works to make the story meaningful and beautiful.

A New Year

Happy New Year!

It seems hard to believe that we are in a new year  – 2012 – it has a nice ring to it!  I find the years are passing by quickly – they seem to do so the older you get!  It seems like yesterday that we rang the year 2000 and here we are 12 years later!  I realize that time is precious – it comes and goes quickly!

I have made no resolutions as yet – like everyone it seems I make a resolution and then quickly forget what I have resolved to do!

I thought about what I might want to resolve this year – what goals I want to set – and of course they are similar each year.  I want to get fit – exercise – eat better – work at balancing my life – entertain more – connect with friends more – and on and on – these seem to be the same thoughts I have each year – and although I do make progress in different areas – it seems that I am always striving to do better in the areas that I set before me as specific goals.

We come to a new year and we see it as a clean slate – a new leaf – a chance for a fresh start.  All good  – there is no doubt about it – but I find myself the next year setting the same goals again – and so this year I have made a decision.  Rather than to live year by year I will choose to live day by day.  Each new day will be a clean slate – a fresh start – a opportunity to set a goal and a new resolution.

And so I have at this point in time – early on New Year’s Day – only one goal for the year!

Instead of making a list of resolutions for the year – I will rise every morning and take time to pray and ask for guidance  for that day.  I will take time to listen to God and ask His direction for each day as it comes.  I will resolve to focus on what plans are necessary for that day – what words need to be spoken – what actions need to be taken  – just for that day.  I will ask God to give me wisdom – just for that day.  I will listen carefully – and I will be present in that specific day.  I will resolve to live each day to the fullest – give my attention to what is present in front of me right here and now- and not think about what might happen a year from now – or five years from now.  I will take the time to care about the people in my life right now and not let my worries about tomorrow distract me from what I should be seeing right now – in front of me.

I will ask God to use me each day – I will not let thoughts of the future rob me of being present in the today.

That is my resolve – to make each day a new day – a day of blessing – a day of growth – a day of reflection – a day of action – a day of service – a day of giving and a day of receiving.

I wish all of you a blessed 2012 – a year in which you will grow in wisdom, understanding and grace!