Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Discovering Myself

2016 was a year of discovering more about myself in several different ways. My friend MH who was a nurse and later a psych analyst is a member of our Tuesday morning Bible Study and often we expand on topics to which she has great input. Before Christmas we talked about the hustle and bustle of shopping at malls, the crowds etc. and I said how much it negatively affected me. We went on  with MH's help to examine if we were each an introvert or extrovert.
FB on-line source
It wasn't hard to realize why I feel how I do out in crowds vs sitting alone with a good book and a cup of tea. Yes, I'm quite happy by myself creating cards, reading or baking among other things. 
Earlier in the year a gardening associate admitted she had lots of acquaintances but few people she would call an actual friend. I've thought about that statement many times and have concluded that also describes me. Blogging however introduces a different concept of friend, one who is more like a 'penpal' whom you can visit at your leisure and expand the visit via email. I've met a number of women I consider good friends through this method and when I look at who they are - why we're cut from the same cloth of being Christian women with the same family values and other aspects in common. Hmm, birds of a feather...
Blogging parties can also be a way to meet new people but I've found many linking are not interested in 'mingling' as is the true sense of a party. I'll leave this observation at that.
I mentioned the Journalling Bible I purchased in 2016 and I was waiting to use it for the daily Bible reading program started January 1. Two years ago I utilized the Old and New Testament plan and this year I'm using the chronological plan from Blue Letter Bible. The link is here.
Above is the inside cover with the colouring finished and I can attest that no two pencil crayon brands are alike. I have several artist brands and even the old standby Crayola that I use for my cards and they're perfect for the tissue paper thin pages. Highlighter can be seen on the page behind and some markers will bleed. Yikes, I'll figure it out and hope for any recommendations! One thing a fellow blogger suggested and I'm doing is highlighting any text to do with plants, gardening etc. with green.
My hands tend to shake a bit (maybe more so after morning coffee) which affects colouring within the lines in small places. I keep thinking that years from now when grandchildren or great grandchildren look at (and hopefully admire) this work of art that comments like "Holy smokes, Grandma sure wasn't very good at staying in the lines!" are not spoken aloud. 😁
I received lots of tea samples over the holiday from two card exchange groups and a gift that really surprised me. Don't get me wrong, I received many nice gifts of clothing, perfume etc. but as my daughter said, "this one will be foremost in your mind, won't it?" Having two girls, our first grandchild was a boy, and became the boy we never had. He's close to his grandpa in all 'guy things' but will still enjoy a cup of tea with his grandma. I have the book 'A Cup of Christmas Tea' and although it is about a young man and his great aunt, the story could serve as a relationship between a grandma and grandson too. It is gratifying to know that I have touched the heart of this young man with my love for tea and that he would find this perfect gift for me.
It's no surprise as most of us know that a smart phone can take stunning photos. Through the window, as close as I could get and then cropping, above is a red bellied woodpecker making a first appearance at one of my feeders.

The male and female cardinals are regular visitors and although at this time of year my Canon is usually set up on the tripod waiting for good photo opportunities, I've discovered just how amazing my phone is.
A cross stitched gift of flowers in a teacup and enhanced with Imikimi photo frames. They have delightful ones to choose from, it's free to sign up and brought to my attention by a beautiful red hat tea friend Rose, who uses them on her FB.
My journey continues in discovering more about myself and how I may change what I blog about. Nothing drastic, but a couple of bloggers have influenced me with their content and it will be fun to step outside of my comfort zone. For example Deborah at The Beautiful Matters started a discussion on whether or not to wear foundation. She doesn't always blog about makeup and such but it was an interesting topic and as I become an 'official' senior next month, I was interested in the responses. 
How about you? Looking for new ways or ideas to spark your blogging mojo or are you comfortable with where you're at? 
I'm closing this post with appreciation for the friends I've made since blogging and also to the casual acquaintances who drop in every so often to catch up and say hello.  I wasn't on my computer a lot from before Christmas until now so I hope to drop by and do some catching up myself.
As always, take time for tea.

45 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful way to bond with your grandson ver a cup of tea.

    Such beautiful cross stitch too. Love it!

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  2. I always think of what I can change when the new year comes...to see what I can tweak. I love the friendships I've made through blogging too and always learn so much. And with you...I gained a Lavender Sis! Love the Bible you're using this year. I have a couple of devotional books to share later this week. Sweet hugs, Diane

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  3. Judith, you have stated it so well. Discovering I was an introvert a few years ago was validating and completely changed my world. It opened the door to contentment and the path to interacting with people in a whole new way.

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  4. What a lovely and thought provoking post, Judith! I'm taking a little time for tea and blogging this morning. Something I didn't do very much of in December. Your post is just what I needed. My life has been enriched by the delightful bloggers I have met through my own blog. The pressure to blog something or anything does not create the joy blogging should. Sometimes I just have to take a step away to have a little time for me.

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  5. It's always interesting to take a good look at yourself and discover new things about yourself. I often think that I knew myself better when I was very young. I knew what I liked, and I knew what friends suited me. I think as you age you are exposed to so many outside influences it becomes more difficult to hang on to your own identity. Through our card exchange I feel I have gained some really good friends who, like you say, are cut from the same cloth (you among them). This past year has been a real pleasure in the blogging sphere.
    I love the tea gift your grandson gave you. I often think of that line you told me when he rushes into your home with "no time for tea Grandma!". It sounds very much like my son ... who since a very young age has joined me for a cup of tea. We are the only tea drinkers in my family.
    I really enjoyed this gentle post Judith. I like reading musings of my friends.
    Wendy

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  6. Hello Judith, what a lovely post. Hubby and I tend to go off and enjoy nature, a great alone time for the both of us. I am happy to follow your blog, read your post and enjoy your photos. I love the bird images. Will you be coming to Florida this winter? I wish you all the best in 2017, a happy healthy New Year.

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  7. Happy New Year Judith. I am so very like you in the way I avoid crowds and prefer to be by myself. I didn't know where I was headed when I started blogging, but now I understand that it is a wonderful type of friendship. As when I started, I'm not sure where it is headed either. I'll allow it to evolve, and I am influenced by the contents of other bloggers as well. They encourage me to be myself, and even more than that, to find myself. I really loved this post, thank you for sharing.

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  8. What a lovely gift from your grandson. I tend to be fairly introverted myself although I am blessed with several really close girlfriends. Your coloring is beautiful and I doubt anyone will ever comment about staying in the lines (or not). Have a New Year filled with blessings!

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  9. Love your red mug Judith......and words,and with internet shopping we don't even have to go to the book shop....although I do miss that!

    Wishing you a creative and fun year ahead!
    Ruby

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  10. As I got older, I came to realize I didn't need other people to make me happy. As long as there is tea to drink, books to read, sewing and knitting at hand (add spinning once I learn how to work this wheel!) - well, I'm happy. Freezing rain my way today. No need to go out and fuss about it.

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  11. I'm an introvert too! I enjoy socializing with others, but afterwards, I like to retreat to my "fortress of solitude". I would rather have a small number of true friends over hundreds of casual friends.

    Starting a blog was one of the best things I've ever done. Gotta love the power of the internet to bring people with similar values and interests together. I prefer the smaller blogging parties as I find it more manageable for me to visit the participants.

    Your Journalling Bible is neat! I have some tea-themed colouring books (surprise, surprise) and hope to do more mindful colouring this year.

    How sweet of your grandson to gift you the lovely red tea set. It matches your red Le Creuset teapot perfectly! I hope to introduce my 15-month-old godson to tea (neither parents are tea drinkers). How old was your grandson when you introduced tea to him?

    Lavender Cottage was one of the first blogs that I started following so I look forward to seeing it evolve over time!

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  12. What a great way to spend some time making wonderful memories with your grandson. This made me smile! I have truly made some sweet friends blogging. It is crazy too because just today I was thinking of those that I have truly felt really close too and how the Lord has had His hand in this. Blogging honestly, is my time to just be me! It is my way of expressing myself and sharing my life. I have made new friends and have some old acquaintances that I love. So glad that I am getting to know you more my friend. Happy New Year! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  13. You are a great friend; I SO enjoyed meeting you and Glenn and your hospitality! I often think about our time together and how we seemed to already know each other, just through blogland. Thank you for your friendship. :)
    I love your journaling Bible. May God bless you and your family with health, love, and good fortune.
    Hugs, Beth

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  14. Judith, your post made me smile! I believe there are a lot of introverts out there; including myself. My hubby is the complete opposite which makes us a great team. You have a wonderful grandson there and how sweet of him to gift you the cute tea set. Love the red! Your journal is lovely and you will have fun colouring its pages. Like many of our blogging sisters, I have enjoyed the perks of blogging. I have so many lovely and like-minded friends, you included. Thank you for your friendship, Judith, and I pray 2017 will be a year of overflowing blessings and many lovely cups of tea.

    Hugs,
    Sandi

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  15. Great post . I have always been a loner or as they call it an introvert as I grew up on a farm and my siblings were much older then me and already had left home so I was left to my own devises something I appreciate even now . My hubs and I love spending time together and cups of tea and also spending time on our own with cups of tea lol so it works well for us both . I do like the blogging for the benefit of friends when I want to poke about their worlds and vise versa , the comments and the odd email here and there with them it all is on my terms and that's what I like , I don't like the pressure of having to do things just because a friend does it if you know what I mean , I have been there done that and no good came out of any of it as they turned on me so I prefer my own time and space and to enjoy others company if and when I want . I find as I am getting older I seem more at ease with things now a days to I find myself using the phrase more of it is what it is these days to lol ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  16. I think that there are a lot of us introverts out there, Judith. I'm not a total one, as I do love being with my friends, but I'm also so very happy being at home, and doing my own thing. Your grandson's gift just made me smile at his thoughtfulness. I know that tea mug will always be treasured by you.
    I consider you one of my dear friends, Judith, even though we've never met. Somehow, we just gravitate towards like-minded friends, in the blogging world, too. I love your journal! One of my friends here gave me a beautiful coloring book, called "O Holy Night".
    Happy New Year, dear Judith, and I hope you continue learning about yourself.

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  17. A great post, Judith, full of thought-provoking items. I, too, am an introvert - in fact, it's surprising how many of the teachers in my school are, too. Sometimes the lunch room is a very quiet place as we recharge before heading back into the classroom.
    Your grandson's gift is so very sweet. Love the journaling Bible.
    Happy New Year, Judith, and I look forward to more posts, and more interaction with the CATE group.

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  18. What a lovely post Judith and so much to comment on. My husband is an introvert and crowds drain him where I am energized. Yet I savor time to myself and am content with my own company. Love that your grandson enjoys a cup of tea with you--my boys used to when they were young. Your Bible journal coloring is gorgeous and I can't see any outside the lines. I have to keep my pencils pretty sharp for some of the fine detail. I haven't done any coloring like that but I'm sure it helps you to ponder what you've read. I've been seeing advertised an over 50 makeup--maybe it has people talking. No foundation and barely any make up at all. I do know that what we see in the mirror indoors can look far different outside. I also was away from the computer quite a lot over the holidays and enjoyed the break but I am now anxious to catch up with my blogging friends. Have a good rest of the week!

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  19. Hi Judith, what a great post. I really found it interesting how you and MH were analyzing your personalities. I fit right in there with you. Although I have acquaintances I feel that I am an introvert, I love my alone time - crafting, decorating, dreaming, etc. My husband also loves his alone time (we enjoy this alone time together which is nice). We both find that too much socializing drains your energy where we find such peace at home. I had to laugh about possible future comments on Grandma not staying in the lines - how cute! I'm sure they will love it because it was done by you. I love how you can share tea time with your Grandson. How precious! As far as blogging is concerned, my blog hasn't quite gone where I had originally planned. I'm hoping to get more on track with that but at the same time I'm good with whatever comes to mind - experiences, interests, etc. Have a great week, Kelly.

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  20. What a thoughtful blog post, Judith! I greatly enjoyed this ... but then I would, because I have identified as an introvert practically from the moment I learned what the term meant! It's not that I don't like being around other people, but they can drain the life out of me if I don't have time to recharge my batteries. One way I've done that in the past is by regularly visiting my blogging sisters like you (and you are spot on with your "birds of a feather" comment). So another reason I reduced my blogging schedule by one day this year is that I need time to "recharge" by reading others' blogs. Yours has provided much beauty and contemplation for me over the years, and I look forward to absorbing even more in 2017. So thank you in advance, and Happy New Year!

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  21. I don't think you discuss this kind of thing often, but I found myself nodding in agreement. There is something very special about Blogdom where the likeminded tend to find one another. On that note, it was lovely finding you home just now. ☕️

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  22. Yes Judith, this was a different kind of post for you but I really, really enjoyed it! And I love how you used the facebook post graphic we shared! It really spoke to me as well. When I read posts like this, it makes me want to meet you and others face to face one day. Isn't it nice to be able to still learn new
    things about ourselves even in our...umm...more mature years! Thank you for sharing and I will be looking forward to what you will be posting in 2017. Happy New Year, Judith! ♥

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  23. I love finding like minding blogging friends and acquaintances! I am contemplating some blogging changes too. I am extroverted, but am not unhappy to find myself with alone time! :) I have an introverted husband several introverted kids! I love how God made us all unique!

    A friend gave me a coloring book this year - a tea time one. I haven't colored in years but I like this book and will be doing some coloring this year. Maybe while spending sometime with my granddaughter, age 6!

    Happy New Year, Judith!

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  24. Very timely...I have been doing a lot of reflecting and pin pointing what is important as well. My husband's health problems this year greatly helped to focus the mind on priorities. Blogging and parties have changed too...but you are always a joy or visit and read although I haven't always had time to respond. Like minds....thanks for sharing your heart and talents.
    Ruth

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  25. I, too, am an introvert. That said, I'm finding I'm spending too much time alone for my liking. I enjoyed your post, Judith, and will look forward to seeing where the new year takes you and your blog.

    Karen

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  26. Isn't it interesting - and great - that we continue learning about ourselves also when we are not very young any more! Blogging is a little bit like writing a diary, it helps in this process.
    Your Journalling Bible looks beautiful and I love (of course) the colours you have used. :)
    The tea set you received is beautiful... and Christmassy, and it's lovely to hear there's a book like you mentioned.
    I'm already a little bit bored with the snow, darkness and cold weather, so I will be posting more gardening stuff, even if the photos are not recent.
    Have a blessed day! xx

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  27. Judith, it's not surprising to me to hear you are, like me, an introvert. You should take the Myers-Briggs type indicator test (I think there are 70 questions) and further narrow down your type (I'm an INFJ). Love that red mug and its message. And what a sweet way to bond with your grandson!

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  28. I love your bird pictures! I have one on my blog a few weeks ago that I also took with my phone. Who would've thought that we would eventually have phones that could do so much?? ...I LOVE your journal. I'm looking at a Bible study on 1 Samuel, so I might dive into that. I also just started reading "The War Room", which I heard is really good. As for my blog, it will remain the same. And I'll be popping in when I have 5 seconds to spare with all these crazy kids. ha, ha. Happy New Year!

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  29. I love everything about this post! Such a nice glimpse into your personality. I was admiring (ok, maybe a little envy) your gorgeous red mug as I was reading the story behind it, not realizing you were talking about the cup until I was done. What a sweet and special gift from your grandson! In the past few years I really dropped off blogging as much as I used to. Just seems like so much other in life has taken captive of my time and energy. I'm hoping to visit a little more regularly this year. I wish my phone took better photos. They seems to always have a grainy look to them. I love coloring and also have trouble staying in the lines when they thin down. I purchased some super thin tipped markers and they work pretty well. We're bracing for a winter storm and a possible 7 inches of snow! :-)
    Have a great weekend!

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  30. Judith, I have become interested in coloring also. I bought a small book for meditation and will see how that goes. Wishing you a Happy New Year in 2017! Sylvia D.

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  31. Happy New Year to you and your family, Judith! Your post was very interesting and thought provoking, and I enjoyed reading all the comments too. It seems many of us are making changes in our blogging habits this year. Effective Jan. 1st I began reading Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life" - just one chapter a day to allow it to sink in. The Question to Consider on Day three was "What would my family and friends say is the driving force of my life? I'm sure everyone who knows me would say family, tea, blogging, and maybe a few other interests, but that's not what I want to be the driving force of my life. Since this life is a dress rehearsal for the next, I want my driving force to be my relationship with God, and sharing His love with others. That's what I'll be striving for in 2017. In the end, it's all that will really count.

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  32. Time on your own to gather thoughts, to think about what you may like to think about, to read or just sit quietly with a cup of tea is simply bliss. Some enjoy it, I know I do, while others may wonder why she is doing that and enjoying quiet time ... perhaps over the years we each discover what suits us best.

    I think your grandson's gift is just great and to be treasured.

    I find time just slips by so quickly and moments should be cherished.

    I do hope 2017 will be a good one for you and yours.
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    All the best Jan

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  33. How nice to see my name pop up in your blog post! I just posted this evening, and you will see a teacup of yours in the pictures. All my blog photos have always been taken with my phone only. They really do seem to take good pictures. And then of course I can use PicMonkey to correct them a little if I need to.
    I'm an introvert, too. Love and enjoy my quiet time. I've thought about how blogging is perfect for introverts -- we can visit when we want and unplug when we need a break -- haha!
    What a special gift from your grandson! He knows and appreciates you.
    Looking forward to visiting with you in 2017 and praying for a good year for all my friends here in blogland. xo Deborah

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  34. A very interesting post for me. I have always loved writing letters and long ago decided blogging was more like having a pen-pal relationship with others. I really believe I've made some good friends through blogging and their friendship ( yours included ) has enriched my life deeply even though we've not met in person. Don't get me wrong though, I'd welcome any of my blogging friends into my home any time, but often in this busy crowded life we live the people we find to be more "kindred spirits" don't live close to us or employment and life situations don't enable meeting in person.

    For all I've written here though, I still prefer much solitude surrounded by my books , family pets, and close to my husband with a few social gatherings every so often. Wow, that seems like too much personal info, yet I appreciate what you've shared friend, thank-you !

    What a sweet grandson , he knows and cares for his grandma.

    I am looking forward to seeing a bit of your journaling Bible. I saw these listed in a catalog and was intrigued.

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  35. It was nice to see and read your blog
    Hope to see you soon
    Laura

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  36. This post really hit home for me. I have know for a long time that those whom I hold so dear as friends do not share the same views as I hold, so we don't talk politics or religion or a lot things of substance and should I say something that they disagree with on Face Book, "Kaite, bar the door," because they generally let me have it. So my blog friends are such dear friends because we don't cross any of those lines and there is a gentleness and kindness in the garden blogging community. As writers and bloggers, we are always finding ways to improve or punch up our blogs when really, we just need to be us. I do enjoy our little conversations and look forward to the new year. Have a happy one, Judith.

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  37. Hello, dear Judith! Ah, what a delight to find myself at your blog after being away on my break. I hope you enjoyed the holidays and I trust your New Year is off to a beautiful start.

    I must confess that I, too, am quite content on my own with a book, playing the piano, or tucked away in my craft room. My husband calls me "his little wall flower." On my blog I feel as though I can truly express myself and the deepest parts of my heart that I don't always reveal to people in person - only the select few. Your post reminded and encouraged me to, in a sense, be free and allow the Lord to use you me in the lives of others. This is my prayer and desire for 2017. Oh, I will always be a "wall flower" as I have always been shy, but as I get older I see that there are many ways I can reach out to people around me. Time is short and I want to be an instrument for the Lord. And now I shall stop rambling.... :)

    Your post was simply delightful, my friend, and it made me stop and think - thank you. And thank you for your blogging friendship. I have thoroughly enjoyed this last year of getting to know you better.

    Love and hugs!

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  38. Happy New Year Judith!
    First of all, I say what a lovely tea gift your grandson gave you!
    I repeatedly read your post line by line to understand your words. Frankly it was not easy for me to read all, but now I am happy to understand your thoughtful ideas and positive ideas of blogging. I do not think I am an introvert person. However sometimes I need to be alone when reading and facing my piano notes. I like people but get away from crowds making me tired.
    I am pretty happy with my blogging now, and I am not sure if I change my blogging style or I will continue same as before. I will go with the flow. My winter break will be over soon. I hope to see you again!

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  39. Lovely post, and I found myself nodding in agreement as I read through it. I'm enjoying a cup of tea, catching up with blog friends and watching the snow drift down.

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  40. I also found myself nodding in agreement as I read this post. Even though I enjoy spending time with friends, I'm mostly an introvert and have to have my alone time. I'm really glad you wrote this as its good to know that we're not alone in how we feel.

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  41. Happy and Healthy New Year Judith! I was away from my computer quite a bit during Christmas and then hit with a stomach virus for New Years followed by some eye trouble, but all is well now, thankfully. I am very much like you in that I enjoy my quiet time. My mother always said I was the child who could easily occupy myself, and I'm the same way now. Little everyday things excite me, although I do like to go to new places and see new things, but mainly with my husband--we are each other's best friend and feel fortunate about that.
    Your grandson's gift is lovely. I am partial to red and have red tea cups that make me happy.

    I wear foundation every day that has SPF in it. I'm very fair and my skin is somewhat blotchy, so the foundation evens it out and protects me from the sun. I wear the Revlon brand which is moderately priced--a small amount goes a long way.

    Your journalling bible is very pretty! I think you colored these pages so beautifully. I look forward to seeing more of it in the future.

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  42. Although I thoroughly enjoy belonging to several large groups of women (Ladies Choir and Quilters' Guild) I too am very happy and content alone with my hobbies. I think that comes with maturity doesn't it, being comfortable with ourselves alone?
    How lovely that you and your grandson share a closeness over tea! Sweet!
    Love your bird photos! I too am very thankful for the wonderful blogging friends I have made. Not sure if I'll head off in a different direction with my blog this year... No doubt there'll be more grandchildren photos, for one thing.... :)
    Happy New Year Judith!

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  43. Oops, also meant to mention you are doing a beautiful job with the pencil crayons on your Journalling Bible. I always preferred pencil crayons to regular crayons, I used to have a very large collection. For some reason, a few years ago, hubby who loves to "tidy up" threw them out. I was not happy...
    I don't wear any foundation, never have. My makeup is pretty simple, and minimal... Take me as I am! Haha

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  44. Wow your winter pics are a true wonderland... love the sweet birdies:-)
    as I have discovered in the dating world which is on-line now, people like to take personality tests to determine their introvert to extrovert tendencies. I am 78% introvert! I guess I'm not surprised but in dating that's pretty rough. I have gone on a lot of not great dates and thought "wish I had just stayed home and _____". oh well, I am expanding my horizons and that is growth!
    as always its a pleasure to visit!
    Hugs,
    Bella

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  45. I enjoyed your thoughtful post and the comments. I've changed directions on my blog and it is nice to see those who I consider true friends in blogging are taking it in their stride. I'm an introverts and my plan this year is to be true to myself.

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Judith

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