Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas Memories and Clips to Delight and Ponder

I really wanted to get these clips up to share with you dear Readers!  I hope you will enjoy them, be touched and amused by them as we were.


This is so sweet, this short movie made in 1945 reminds me very much of my Italian grandparents, the Oddos.  This movie short won an academy award.

My husband watched this and loved it today.  When it was over he was teary eyed. You see, it really is the way many Italians were.  ...And we remember.  : )

A Star in The Night  (1945)  

This is a picture of me and my precious, precious Grandpa Oddo. We often shared our birthdays near New Years as pictured here.  He was one of the sweetest things ever.  He had sung in the opera when a young man in New York.  He was discovered when he was hanging his laundry on the line in the city there, a lady from the opera was walking down the street and heard him.  He later returned to our great southern state to the city here to be with his Italian mother who had arrived and then came to the waterfront where he loved it so, I guess you could call him the Great Caruso on the bay, he did what he loved most.  A shrimper with his own boat on the bay, the family had a fishing camp with boats they would rent out, and a little store attached to their home. Grandpa was happy just being there.  Precious, precious man. 

Today I was thinking of their home and the sweet simplicity as I was making a New Orleans red bean soup, faglioli style with pasta.  As I move in my kitchen doing this and that, cutting and creating the art, I thought of my Grandma Oddo. ...Oh I wish I still had her too.  : ) 

Here's another:

Dominick the Donkey   by Lou Monte

It's just not an Italian Christmas without Dominick the Donkey!

A darling blast from the past:

A Visit to Santa   (1952)

On youtube it states1963 but on Turner Classics the info states 1952. This was so neat I thought; the old cars, the way the children are dressed, such a sweet innocence.  The sweet dollies and toys.  At the end St. Nicholas has quite the wonderful reminder of the true Christmas, our Savior's birth. My husband was also fascinated with this reel wonder, it is sooo the way it was.

Meet John Doe  (1941)  -Ending-

This is just wow.  Love this... (spoiler warning)

At 3:37 you will hear some very poignant words.  This movie is one of those Frank Capra greats.  Most all of Frank Capra movies are greatness.

Frank Capra was from the same village my grandpa was from; Bisaquino, Sicily.   The Oddo family is mentioned in one of the Capra biographies.

You don't have to die to keep it alive. Someone already died for that once...The first John Doe and He's kept that idea alive for nearly 2000 years...

And last but not least, that famous speech from It's a Wonderful Life. (1946)
You tell'em George...

I tried to find the raw and emotional real prayer scene where Jimmy Stewart actually wept over mankind at the bar but I was unable to find on youtube.  I actually had Christian tracts on that scene and would place them in my Christmas cards and unfortunately was not able to find more.

This scene is a good one though...It reminds me of my husband in his real estate company, helping the common man in an old town.  We want to be George Baileys in life, not Mr. Potters.

Have a sweet Christmas week.  I'm having fun being funny at times...https://i.pinimg.com/originals/74/01/bb/7401bbb5eecdff60651937995c26870f.jpg

 Left some treats for delivery friends, so fun:  https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5a/6b/27/5a6b27d7eb8160790ee7d9c9d5e282f6.jpg

...and also having quiet Peace in my heart as I celebrate true Christmas in my heart...Jem took this the other evening when he took me out to dinner. 


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Praying for a Peaceful Christmas for all, and may we carry in our hearts and spirits the good things that those precious ones before us taught us so beautifully as they traveled this earth, their hearts meshed with ours, now more then ever...May the Holy Spirit of Christ dwell among us as we sense that Holy Presence of Christ in the stillness.


God be with you all this most wondrous Christmas season, 
  ~ Amelia

Monday, December 10, 2018

Merry Christmas KINDNESS, A Whopping This and THAT, LAUGHS and Another GrandBABY Coming in May!

As some of you saints must know, we lost our little Guiseppe last month, he died in my arms and my heart was broken.  Our family was so sweet about it as you will read below.

Thanksgiving followed and I got through that, our loving family was comforting.  Now Christmas is on our heels and the Holy Spirit of Christmas is wafting through the Forest here and through our home, and yes, I still miss our dear little Guiseppe dearly.  Thoughts also of my dad who has been gone for a year and a half.  Every now and then a cardinal will appear.  I miss my dad dearly as well this time of year...Oh my gosh, it can be painful.

When we go through loss and pain I often think of kindness and love, we remember those who show those things, I think of what the Bible says on Love.  I think we all know what (churched) people are like without Love?   It truly is like clanging cymbals.  I wonder sometimes what has happened to love and kindness?   It seems so very fundamental but is so often missed.  Strange to me.  It's like having hospitality.  We can invite people into our homes or maybe lunch but if we have not hospitality in our hearts, then people will not be ministered to, if not in our hearts then we are checking off boxes and people will feel it.  Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of that?  Being new to many communities and circles I have.   God uses those experiences throughout life to tweak our own lives and allow God to tenderize our hearts to be sensitive and tender to others as agents for Jesus. 

My son in law was sharing to my husband the lack of authenticity in the church.  He is acquainted with many homeschooling families, he too was homeschooled, has been a pastor himself and Chief of Staff at the Capitol among conservatives.  He too has noticed that many professing Christians do not seem to have that personal relationship with the Father but know Him more in a textbook way, just going through the motions of church etc. but missing what is the most important thing, talking and walking with God on their own, in their own hearts, spending time with Him.  Knowing Him.

Out of that personal relationship with the Father flows the springs of living waters to others!

It should be second nature, whether an introvert or extrovert.  Let's not let our reputations as a Christian be marred by a lack of care or kindness. I'm very big on this myself;  I've seen things so very abused and neglected.  I've seen churched people diss others because of a different pet doctrine!  How's that for the enemy to come in?   Don't let him!  That is the attitude that hung Jesus on the cross!  Can you believe I have to write this even?  I know those who subscribe or comment here are not like that.  If you were, you would not be a subscriber or commenter here.  ; ) 

Christianity should not be an inner social country club as I'm sure you would agree, it should be an everyday walk with Jesus, we should be those Light bearers to the checker at the store, the man who fixes our motors etc. I have found these to be the treasures!  The true friends in life!  True church?  Yes. And those precious angels often minister to ME.

I remember going into the prisons with my husband who was a chaplain, we both were in that ministry through Prison Fellowship.  We  became very close to those young and older men.  One Christmas we were invited in as family to two of the prisoners and brought our little girls.  We mingled with the wives and other children of these prisoners.  It brings tears to me eyes as I write this.  Later my birthday was to come and my phone rang.  It was those prisoners in the chaplain's office singing 'Happy Birthday' to me.  They sounded like a Marine band choir.  I'll never forget it.  

As the late David Wilkerson's sister, Ruth told me one day on the phone after my step daddy had suddenly passed away.... Something to this effect:  Every day I ask God what adventure we are to go on.  I walk my dog and talk with God and it may be going to the Christian bookstore and he tells me what book to get or whatever, but God is with me and it's a new adventure every day.

I'll never forget her voice.  She had said the word, God just like her brother, David Wilkerson.

I read this little story in my Streams in the Desert devotional and thought it was so sweet and just so wonderful.  It's about an elderly man who many thought eccentric.  Everywhere he went he carried an oil can and oiled any door or hinge that would creak.   May I be like the little man with the oil of kindness!

Do you carry your own can of oil with you?  Are you ready with your oil of helpfulness each morning?  If you offer your oil to the person nearest you, it may just lubricate the entire day for him.  Your oil of cheerfulness will mean more than you know to someone who is downhearted.  Or the oil may be a word of encouragement to a person who is full of despair.  Never fail to speak it, for our lives may touch others only once on the road of life, and then our paths may diverge, never to meet again.  

The oil of kindness has worn the sharp, hard edges off many a sin-hardened life and left it soft and pliable, ready to receive the redeeming grace of the Savior.  A pleasant word is a bright ray of sunshine on a saddened heart.  Therefore give others the sunshine and tell Jesus the rest.  

We cannot know the grief 
That men may borrow;
We cannot see the souls
Storm-swept by sorrow;
But love can shine upon the way
Today, tomorrow;
Let us be kind.
Upon the wheel of pain so many weary lives are broken,
So may our love with tender words be spoken.
Let us be kind.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.   Romans 12:10

Here's some photos of the past month I thought you might like to see, so I will share:

 James, Marianna, Josh, Michelle, Lea, Jem and Me the  day after Thanksgiving. We have the two bestest son in loves ever.  They both can take one look at me and get what I'm thinking.  Kind?  Yes! : )  Jem and I have been married for over 38 years and he calls me Gi-Gi.  We have a lot of fun together and yes, he is very kind to me. We had our times as young ones knocking each other's rough edges off, smoothing each other but we have tumbled in the rock-gem tumbler pretty well over the years!  lol  We have such pleasant outings and peaceful suppers together in our middle years.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ca/72/1d/ca721d503429a44c06104d175c97a381.jpg  https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ea/c8/f6/eac8f6511dcf83a3afee284abf5809e3.jpg

A jolly good time!   James, Marianna, Josh, Michelle, Lea, Jem and me.  Rebecca wasn't able to attend this day.


James and Marianna, and ....Another new Grand-baby Blessing coming this May!   Oh my goodness, a double Mi Mi I will be!  (Hands clapping with a smile)



Lea and I had a blast picking out a whole bunch of toys for children who don't have much.  Many went to Lea's church for their Christmas program where parents who are in need can 'shop' for their children and some of the stuffed animals went to the local police department to give to children the police see have a need for Christmas.  I really enjoy picking out toys at the local Dollar General.  They have very good values, and adorable toys. We also found some cuties at the little Walmart in smalltown.  We just had a ball getting the stuff.  When we dropped the ones off at the police department the darling young receptionist came out to get them from us and her eyes melted.  She gently stroked the fur of the sweet stuffed animals and said...  Oh they are going to like these... It blessed my heart.

Nicholas, our Christmas tree.  He is very glad to get out of the attic!

Nicholas is all dressed now.  

When Lea and I were at Dollar General I spied a little ornament kit. The package made 5 foam ornaments!  For only one dollar, an entire kit that makes 5 ornaments!   They were darling ornaments and easy to do and....Fun!

We want fun, not frustration right?!  

My mom (almost 89!) got a kick out of the little ornaments too, she doesn't care for complicated so these were perfect!  No glue needed, everything stuck together with it's own adhesive backing!  Michelle had an appointment so we'll have to catch up!

Who wouldn't want to have one of these cuties on their tree?  

Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses!   See the Art!


Our girls love to make Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses, so Rebecca, our youngest decided to host a little Gingerbread House night.  Fun for sisters, husbands and special friends.


 Everyone had their own style, Shay was making his with the precision of a surgeon, Shay tries to help others with his knowledge and has a servant's heart, even in the kitchen. : )

Shay made the city skyline, so sleek!  He made this with the mental preparation of General Doolittle of the WWII Doolittle Raid!  We are talking exact.  The photo just doesn't do it justice. 

Rebeccca made this whimsical little cottage with pets, a horse with a little saddle and a camel and squirrel with Santa hats.   Her trees are fascinating upon fluffy coconut snow.


 Lea made a classic Gingerbread cottage, sweet tart walkway!  I want to eat the berries!


Marianna made a classic cottage with a little kitty-cat!   How adorable, whiskers and everything!

James made the Alamo!  Look at the little bears crawling up the ladder and some running the door with a huge pretzel 'log'!  lol

A cannon too at the top.

The horse has white tipped hooves, so sweet. James' grandfather trained Tennessee Walking horses.

These guys...  they have quite the imagination!
 Josh and Michelle were unable to join us this evening. (next time kids?)

Our Nativity overlooked everyone.  Sweet Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the precious animals that Holy Night along with the solemn Wisemen.  Beautiful I think.

Gracie.   This is sooooo Gracie.

 I thought this was sooooooo funny!  It's true, we don't need to over-do right?  I'm trying to keep it simple and let the girls do their thing. Edit: 12.11.18  I asked Jem if I should've posted this video with  some of the more sobering things on this blog. He said.  Why not?  People *need* to laugh at Christmas!    He is so correct...

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b3/71/ca/b371cabd713bc9c28796cc283315bc1e.jpg  This is my little elfkin.  I like to take him places for that fun whimsical never- going-to-grow-up feel.  And yes, I do take pics but don't go through trouble. Perfectionism is yuck.  It's got to be serendipidity or it's not fun to me. : )

Oh...And one more thing.  Let's not be Heelots this Christmas season.

Following is one of my favorite Christmas movies.  Meet John Doe.  (1941).   This is a Capra GREAT.

The ending of this movie speaks of something very important, that man, the first John Doe who died 2000 years ago as Barbara Stanwyck puts it.   This is a wowee movie.  Highly recommend.  Gary Cooper is totally the bomb in this movie. How can ya go wrong, Cooper directed by Capra?   Wow.

   I have little reminders of Guiseppe around, I miss that little guy, our fur angel, dearly.  I still have this on my wipeboard on my fridge.  It is from the morning of the evening he passed away in my arms.  I just cannot bring myself to erase this.  I just can't. 


Lea brought this home to me...

Missing my dad too this Christmas season...

Take care, Loves.   Thanks for bearing with me on kindness. I felt the recuring nudge of the Holy Spirit to put something up on that.

I just really appreciate you all.  I really do.  Love to sweet Readers and Friends,   ~Amelia
Let's be Christmas as in Jesus with skin on to others.  : )   

I saw this in a shop...  Loved it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Oh My Sweet Guiseppe, I Will Miss You my Baby.

Saturday before last, the seventeenth, Guiseppe was barking off and on...it was an odd little bark.  Rebecca, our youngest was at the kitchen table and said with concern...That doesn't sound right.  I think you should bring him in.

He had been feeling under the weather that week, but we were not too alarmed as this little fur baby has had so many close calls and periods of just not doing well.  I would nurture him and care for him, we always had our girls pet sit when we had to leave, he was never left alone for the past year and a half.  Edit.Tue.5:44pm:  Guiseppe was blind and lame.

Jem and I wrapped him up in his blanket, I put his dress-onesie on him, the one I saved for company.  Why?  He had lost so much fur in old age, his little tail looked like a possum and his lame hind legs were literally fur-less.  Lately, we have diligently kept a onesie on him so he wouldn't be chilled.

Dr. Hester looked at him, and thought for sure it was a pinched nerve or his arthritis because of the specific little bark.  Dr. Hester gave him a shot, a mixture of B12, prednisone, and an antibiotic since a bug was going around and little Guiseppe had thrown up that morning.

We talked of how God's timing is so important and His will in things.  I had shared that it must only be God's hand, not mine.  Dr. Hester is a precious, precious Christian man and wholeheartedly agreed.

We went on home, prednisone pills in hand.  If you were to see my bag for Guiseppe you would think I had a baby with me...I did.

When we arrived home we lay him on one of our little pet beds by a window and I placed a warm heating pad under his pad, he looked very happy to be home, Dr. Hester said his heartbeat was strong.  His eye?  This particular eye had come out of socket several years ago and Dr. Hester had operated to put it back in place, it never properly set straight so little Guiseppe would look up at me with this one seeing eye, it was the sweetest thing.   His other eye was blind.

We saw after him, as usual, this day, tending to him.  That evening his little bark would increase and we would hold him, he would look up at me with his little partially seeing eye.  I put him on my chest falling asleep with him on my chest on the couch.   Finally, he barked a little and shook a little and I suspect that is when he passed away, I didn't even realize it at the time I was so exhausted, it was around 11:17p.m and all I knew to do was hold him and comfort him.  Lea had texted Jem and me to see how Guiseppe was, she was spending the night with a friend.  Jem unknowingly texted her all was well, Guiseppe had fallen asleep and had quit barking...

It's been soooo incredibly difficult, so hard and so painful, I have cried, I have wailed.  The day Jem buried him, I took his little green striped shirt off and put a clean white one on him, placing him in a new aqua colored flannel blanket fabric I had intended on making him extra blankets with...  I wrapped his little box in snowman paper that reminded me of Guiseppe's innocence and a precious little spirit.  Lea and Rebecca were home and came in and just stood as I wailed pathetically, Lea touching my arm, touching Guiseppe's little head. Rebecca stood at a distance, that is her quiet little way.

It's one of those crazy things when you've taken such care of a little being and suddenly they are gone.  I guess you could say...Guiseppe and I took care of each other.

I miss my little Guiseppe dearly.  Dearly.

Around ten years ago...

The first day I saw Guiseppe was in the suburbs when our neighbor across the street who lived on the golf course brought Guiseppe to me, she thought he was Muffie wondering around on the golf course.  I took him gladly though and cared for him, his brother showed up at another home two doors down where a little boy would dutifully walk the precious dog.  It's always been a mystery as to where these precious fur angels came from.  I've often wondered if the owner didn't pass away, and relatives released them into our neighborhood?  (I do not condone) I know most reading here would never do that.  But it is so odd what had happened back then, I'm thinking over ten years ago.  It is sobering on how time goes so fast on this green earth.


Allow me to share these recent shots of little Guiseppe with Jem. Lea took these.

This was his favorite part of the day ever...Sitting with Jem in the evening as we watched Turner Classics black and white movies.

Just a couple of weeks ago, our kitty, Monkey came to sit with Guiseppe.  One of our other kitties, Howdy had done the same too recently.

Guiseppe had been lame in his back legs since July.

Some of our other fur angels seemed upset the next morning, they had sniffed Guiseppe's little lifeless body and later rested.  I captured some of their expressions here...





Mo Mo

Animals are such sensitive, sentient beings.  I had the blessing of sitting next to Governor Abbot's mother-in-law at a banquet, such a saintly lady, by the way, one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met...She and her equally kind and precious husband were telling us of their little pet dog who would lay on the grave of their other little dog who had passed away.

This was a year or so ago, Guissepe after one of his baths... so sweet.

This is classic Guiseppe.  He had such a sweet little smile...

We loved and still love Guiseppe.

This is Rebecca, our youngest daughter, she encouraged us to go ahead and bring him in to the vet that very day.  I'm so glad, I would have been blaming myself if I hadn't, thinking I could have done more.  Rebecca just turned 25. It's hard to believe she is my baby girl.
My Photo

When we were first building our home here in the Forest, probably around eight years ago.  Michelle, our third born holding Guiseppe.  She's married now with a baby on the way, she always noticed if Guiseppe seemed cold or uncomfortable.  She herself has fought some serious health issues and it has made her very perceptive to others' needs.


 Beautiful flowers Lea brought to me.

Rebecca brought this precious penguin to me with a sweet Guiseppe face .

Jem brought me this lovely bouquet.

Marianna brought me this sweet snowman, she said it reminded her of the little snowmen on Guiseppe's little burial box, sweet faces like Guiseppe.  Marianna will be having a little one this spring.  More to come on that.

The little snowman paper on Guiseppe's little box.

My bookcase in my room, this is Guiseppe's little green and white onesie I have carefully placed there.


A rainbow peeking through the sky a few days after Guiseppe passed away.   God is with us.

Thanks, Friends for your prayers, I appreciate you all.

We have really enjoyed our family this Thanksgiving, they have been so sweet about Guiseppe.  My son in law, James had always made a place in his and Marianna's home for Guiseppe when they had us over...How sweet is that?  My son in law, Josh and our daughter Michelle offered to come over the next evening after Guiseppe passed away as I was home alone briefly.  What a blessing these kids are...

In the mornings I am reminded of this song and the verse to Be still and know that He is God.

Another song in my mind a LOT, ...Faith of Our Fathers by Bing Crosby.

There is something about Bing Crosby's soothing voice that I just love.   I am very comforted by it...

I have recently posted both of these songs, please oblige.

Thanking God for sweet saints who understand these things.  Thanking God for old-fashioned things and people who also enjoy them who make us feel as if we're not alone.

God is with us.