December 31, 2010

the Sum of Ten and One

On this day, the eve of a new year, I am lucky, as Mother Nature saw fit to give up a day of spring-like weather. How fortunate I feel I am for the opportunity to ready myself to begin anew. As I say goodbye, on this eve of an old year, my mind is bubbling over in dreams of rebirth for 2011.



I wish you, one and all, a Happy New Year! And may your 2011 be blessed with nuttin' but sweet sunshine!

December 29, 2010

Sun Sails the Snow

Outside my office window is an open field covered with a few waves of winter white. Today it's a beautiful view as I watch the sun sail the snow, setting the mood for Catch a Wave Wednesday!

In keeping with the Wave guidelines, the wave before me took me to visit Mommy Katie. I'll be headed back there after I finish this post, as Katie's kids are sharing a great storytime giveaway!

Followed by Living Like the Kings, I rode the Wave to meet the Kings and read Kat and Jon's sweet and spicy love story. And I also picked up the recipe for a great slow-cooker pot roast!

Next, I'm going to head back over and see what our Catch A Wave Wednesday hostess, Cindy, has been up to this week and see if I can pick up any new blogging hints.

Hop on and I'll be wavin' at ya!

December 28, 2010

Fabulous Ring In The New Year Giveaway

Sharing with you a fabulous giveaway over at Bargain Mom's blog:

RITNY: $500 Visa Gift Card + $1500 in Prizes!
U.S./Canada) and Weekly Drawings!
Ends 12/31

And just so you know, I discovered this giveaway over at PicketFenceBlogs.com! By clicking on the link, you can add your blog, find out about more giveaways, and, of course, vote for my blog on the Fence...thank you!

December 27, 2010

Fifty Dollar Giveaway

As much as I'd like to keep this one all to myself I'm still sharing this fifty dollar giveaway with you! Head on over to Real Mom Reviews for your chance(s) to win:
$50 Cash Giveaway!







And just so you know, I discovered this giveaway over at PicketFenceBlogs.com! By clicking on the link, you can add your blog, find out about more giveaways, and, of course, vote for my blog on the Fence...thank you!

December 23, 2010

Chex and Kroger Team Up to Giveaway

I'm just a hungry blogger always hunting for a great giveaway to share and I found a good one!


Chex and Kroger team up to giveaway
Chex and a $25 Kroger Gift Card!
Ends January 3, 2011
So hurry on over to enter the giveaway:

Be sure to let Owen's Mom know abitosunshine sent you!



December 22, 2010

Riding the Wave

Today has truly been a ride-the-wave kind of day for me, emotionally! It's one of those mother/son things that's troubled me, but all will be set right, eventually.

In the wake of the familial tide, I decided to surf a bit through the Catch a Wave Wednesday linky list. This began with my Swagbucks toolbar search for our hostess and I snagged 11 holiday SwagBucks, hooRAYo!

First wave was over at The Globetrotting Gamine, where I heard all about Snoopy love. Seriously, a phone call of pure sweet stuffed-animal sunshine!

Next wave: bassgiraffe's Thoughts, where I learned that BFS is Bored Fish Syndrome, oh my! Check out the Funky Fish for yourself! Perfect! I think I'll stay right here for awhile and swim the ocean blue with the friendly fishes.

Catch you next week!

December 20, 2010

Progresso Giveaway by Lori

Sharing a great giveaway!

Lori/Learning to be thrifty is hosting a great giveaway that ends on December 28th, so hop on over to her blog and enter to win this Progresso Panko Gift Pak!

December 15, 2010

Wave for Wednesday 12/15/2010

With winter here and an end of year near, I just couldn't resist riding this wave when the opportunity presented itself. So, I signed on to Catch A Wave Wednesday Blog Hop, hosted by Cindy over at Blogging Hints.

What a fabulous and fun idea! Sure, it's one way of increasing blog traffic and it's another thing added to my ToDo list, but oh, what fun it is to swim the sea of knowledge shared from one blogger to the next! I enJOY sharing myself with new friends, as well as old ... how about you?

Come, catch a wave!

Today, I am, of course, now signed up to follow Cindy the hostess and have gleaned quite a few blogging tips from her already. The great thing is that blog hops help in the success of a blog by adding post consistency; so hop along! And Cindy shared great tips to aid in posting consistency: Scheduling Posts Maintains Blog Consistency.

I spent too much time wavin' at A Little Bit of Everything--oh my gosh, everything is yummy in her world! So much so, that I'm now headed for the kitchen to fix myself something to eat.

Next wave, next Wednesday, if not before!

Trusting Sol

I planned as a today to-do to share a bit o' sunshine with you, but I was blinded by the light of wintry white. However, I heard the promise of golden tresses of tomorrow whispered within the wind...



December 7, 2010

Origami Santa

A friend shared this Origami Santa with me earlier and I just had to pass it forward to you! It's an adorable Christmas craft and the kid in me is planning on making one or two or more!

The main link to the website is below, with plenty more delightful things for the season and year 'round as well. Have fun!

Marcel's Kid Crafts Ideas
Take a look at the coolest selection of kid crafts ideas on the Web. You'll find here lots of craft ideas, free patterns, tips and techniques and many more...

December 3, 2010

For As Long As I Can Remember

For As Long As I Can Remember
©Ruth Cox

For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. And trust me, Tom Turkey has blessed me with many a memory.
Not one Thanksgiving has passed by in the last thirty-five years without me thinking of, and sharing with another, my last conversation with my mother. Oh, so many suns ago. In fact, a few years ago I finally put it to writing. In case I lose my memory?

Here's the link to my Thanksgiving memory of the year 1975, when my mother was still alive: Practice What Is Preached: Better yet -- practice peaches.

Fast forward with Tom Turkey and me to our Thanksgiving memories of the past decade. The year 2004 stands out in my mind as another I shall never not remember. I was temporarily living with family, trying to get my feet on the ground having recently escaped a domestic violence marriage. I'd "come home" seeking comfort in the arms of the known.

However, the holiday plans of the house didn't allow for my drug-addicted adult son to be present, so I accepted an invitation to spend this Thanksgiving with my boss and her family and friends. Cynda welcomed my son with open arms, as she would again on Christmas.

Cynda was a treasure. Here she is Thanksgiving 2005, her last Thanksgiving alive, making a round of her eggnog specialties for patrons of the bar. She owned Rafters Bar and Grill and I was her favorite bartender. I smile. For the few years I worked with Cynda, I would always bartend Thanksgiving day, and she would have me close up in time for dinner at her home, bringing any of my customers with me who had no place else to go. She was a lady with a whole lot of class and a wee bit of sass to her spirit.

Added to my memories is another Thanksgiving spent with family-by-choice. I'd met Mark and Terry at Rafters and we immediately became good friends. They fell in love with a bartender named Sunshine!

Anyway, Thanksgiving 2007, Mark's mate, Terry, had to work, so Mark invited me to tag along with him to his family get-together. We had a fabulous time! Mark's entire family is wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed the spirit of thanksgiving shared with southern Ohio style and comfort. Good food, good friend, good fun -- I couldn't have been more thankful for the day.

Last year, I discovered my Aunt Martha Bell would be alone for Thanksgiving. And my roommate would be going to his family get-together, which would have left me alone, too. Even though I was invited to go along with Scott, I chose not to let my aunt spend the day without family. She was ever so happy to have me spend half the day and half the night with her. And I was, I think, even more delighted than she, for it did my heart good to know how happy I had made her on what should be the happiest day of thanksgiving of the year.

Last week, I again spent Thanksgiving with my Aunt Martha Bell so she wouldn't be alone. This year, though, my roommate Scott joined us, as his family gathering would be in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had a wonderful time reminiscing, mostly listening to my aunt's homespun stories and looking through hundreds of old family photos, each with a story of its own.

Here are a few photos taken Thanksgiving 2010:






Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday, for as long as I can remember.

Submitted 12/05/2010
iWriteiBlogiWin


November 16, 2010

Turkey Talks

My turkey hen climbs atop the table with a bit of internal rhyme just in time for Thanksgiving...




First posted as a Yahoo! Contributor Network assignment.

Also, for those who would like to keep up with my November gratitude list, you may read and comment on my blog post -- Giving Thanks Challenge

November 12, 2010

Swagbucks Spoof Surprise

Blogger,

I recently ran a search for your name--Blogger Friend--on Swagbucks.com, the search engine which rewards users with free stuff, like Amazon Gift Cards. You should check out the results, I never knew you were so well known! Be sure to read all the results, it's very impressive!
 
http://swagbucks.com/?cmd=co-sf&t=w&p=28762&q=Blogger+Friends
 
Disclaimer: This Swagbucks Spoof created for entertainment and referral purposes. Follow abitosunshine to Join the Swagbucks search and earn fun by clicking the banner below:

Search & Win

November 9, 2010

Giving Thanks Challenge

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I can always find something to be thankful for, no matter the life storms I or my loved ones may be experiencing. It is also one of the few holidays that hasn't been bitten by total commercialization. Best of all, it is a time of family and friends gathering together to share their life blessings one with another, face-to-face or from afar. It is in this spirit that I accept the Giving Thanks Challenge.

The Challenge is an opportunity for me to show my gratitude for living and for me there is no better time to do that than during the season of Thanksgiving. Leah from South Breeze Farm is hosting this challenge, but I actually learned of this challenge from Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea.

The challenge is quite simple...There are (30) days in November, (30) reasons to feel thankful--add (1) to the list each day of the month. If you decide to join a few days into the month like I have, just catch up. And be sure to add the 2010 Giving Thanks Challenge Button to your blog so others can join in our sharing of thankfulness.

What things tug at your gratitude heartstrings? I do hope you'll share that which you are thankful for this November in a Giving Thanks Challenge post of your own.

http://southbreezefarm.blogspot.com/2010/10/2010-giving-thanks-challenge.html
 
GIVING THANKS:

1...I GIVE THANKS for the dawn of each new day, each new sunrise that opens up my eyes.

2...I GIVE THANKS for a special friend and roommate who has kept a roof over my head while I've been unemployed and while doing so has encouraged me to write and build my online businesses, Poetic Creations by abitosunshine! and abitosunshine Hosting and Design.

3...I GIVE THANKS for the love and devotion from my dog, Tidbit. She is my canine companion and soulmate, has been for a decade now.

4...I GIVE THANKS for the 9 years of silly sunshine my dog Scratch (Tidbit's daughter) gave me. Even though I lost her this past year, I carry her JOY within my spirit.

5...I GIVE THANKS for those family members who care to share their lives with me, even if only occasionally.

6...I GIVE THANKS for each day of life my son is granted, for each step he takes in the wake of his battle over addiction.

7...I GIVE THANKS for a few good friends who have stood by me through life trials and tumbles. Without them I would surely have crumbled.

8...I GIVE THANKS for those who inspire me to reach higher, for those who aMUSE and challenge me to attain my writing goals and share the gift I've been given.

9...I GIVE THANKS for each good memory of the past I can pull out of the rumble of my life storms.

10...I GIVE THANKS for Diane, her Giving Thanks Challenge post, which inspired me to want to do same. I awoke this morning with the sun shining and immediately whispered, "Thank you," and my next thought was of the many things a new day brings, beginning with my morning coffee at the computer with my writing ToDo List--first thing first ... Giving Thanks.

11...I GIVE THANKS for the military men and women of this nation, and for their families, all of whom sacrifice their very lives for me and mine.

12...I GIVE THANKS for afternoons such as yesterday's--spending time with my son and grandson, holding JOY in my arms; moments that will ever be held in my heart. Can you tell I am a first-time Grandmother?

13...I GIVE THANKS for the strength of hope found in my faith; sight unseen, yet known to me, the God of the heavens and of the earth shines bright, even in the darkest hour of the night. The power is held in the belief of Goodness, for I believe there is plenty good that grows in the earth beneath the sun in the sky.

14...I GIVE THANKS for the quiet of a Sunday morning--Serenity. Even though I live in a rural area, the road out front is the main road into town and is a highly traveled road.  But on Sunday mornings there is very little traffic as I sit at my computer sipping my coffee. Perfect peace is the feeling I get as I surf the net and glance out the window at the busy birds, scurrying squirrels, and country kitty cats. For the moment, all is well with my world.

15...I GIVE THANKS for the many friends I have met over the internet in the past decade. Many have been saviors of my sanity, in more ways than one. I am thankful for those social networks wherein I share my poetry, my writings, my thoughts, and my life.

16...I GIVE THANKS for having good sense--sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. And for the sixth sense--the hunch, the gut instinct, the intuition, the feeling--that innate instinct of right and wrong.

17...I GIVE THANKS for the houseplants that have survived my lack of a green thumb. I am at my computer surrounded in greenery ... Life!

18...I GIVE THANKS for Making $$$ Online! I've made enough this week to keep my car on the road for another month, hooRAYo!

19...I GIVE THANKS for chatting on the phone with a loved one. Now, you need to understand, I am NOT a phone person - send me an email! But, that occasional phone call, hearing a friend's voice, catching up, chatting about our lives, sharing a bit o' gossip - I do love it. Last night, I chatted with my brother Randy for an hour and right at this moment - I'm on the phone with my friend Karen. I am filled with glee and gratitude for the phone.

20...I GIVE THANKS for a good night of sleep, which I had last night! I have suffered insomnia most of my life, generally sleeping only four or fives hours a night, some night's not at all. So when I get in a good eight hours like last night, I'm floating on cloud nine.

21...I GIVE THANKS for my faith in God and my faith in the power of the Sun. I'm thankful for my beliefs and I am also thankful for my unbridled acceptance of the beliefs of others. Through my God and the Sun I have learned lessons of love.

22...I GIVE THANKS for my Aunt Martha Bell and the stories she tells. Tales of her past, my mother's past, my grandparents' past - my past, from whence we all came. I do hope to get her to record them so the stories live on, in her own voice, long after she is gone. I'm thinking we better get it done, for as she said last night, "I'm tired, Ruthi." And I know that she is and has every right to be so.

23...I GIVE THANKS for the lessons I've learned along my life pathway. Some of these life lessons were learned in a hard way; some were learned while I was hard at play; either way, I'm grateful for them all for they have made me the person I am today.

24...I GIVE THANKS for all net friends, near and far, who take the time and effort to share themselves online through the sharing of personalized emails, comments, stories, writings, talents -- the internet is a true blessing of friendship for me!

25...I GIVE THANKS for yet another day to just "be" -- HAPPY THANKSGIVING

26...I GIVE THANKS for the blessing of spending (yesterday) Thanksgiving with my Aunt Martha Bell and my roommate, Scott, who joined us. It was another special day of sharing memories and creating new ones to be remembered. I love my Aunt Martha Bell.

Now, if I can just figure out how to use this camera my friend Renda gave me, I'd be even more thankful, hahaha! I do thank you, Renda!

27...I GIVE THANKS for having known unconditional love here on earth. Of the canine kind with my dogs, Scratch and Tidbit, and of the human kind with my friends, Scott, Joe, Mark, and Terry. How I wish all relationships, whether romantic, family, friends, were all of this special quality of loving each other just the way that we are.

28...I GIVE THANKS for jigsaw puzzles. I always have one on the table being worked upon. Putting puzzles together reminds me a lot of living life, with each piece a part of the whole. Sometimes I glue them together to be framed for hanging on a wall; other times, back into the box the pieces go.

29...I GIVE THANKS for second chances; a third chance; and more. As the sun rises each day to start life anew, I, too, am given another chance at life renewal. Rebirthed each day--what a thing to be thankful for!

30...I GIVE THANKS for the Giving Thanks Challenge of 2010's month of November and all the things I am thankful for; I will remember.

http://southbreezefarm.blogspot.com/2010/10/2010-giving-thanks-challenge.html

October 20, 2010

I'm A Grandmother!

Thirty-eight suns ago, life chose to give me a bundle of sunshine when I birthed my only child, my son William -- Billy, to me, to this day. (Unless I'm in the official Mother role, and then it's William!) Nothing could have prepared me for the instant love I would hold in my arms, in every ounce of my being. It is a forever love, a no matter what kind of love.

Yesterday, life chose to give my son a bundle of sunshine when his gal birthed him a son, Liam. As Billy says, "He's the second half of William." Billy and Christina did good, life blessed them with a healthy bundle of boy joy.
Today on the phone with my son, he described how he felt when his child was born: It's instant love. He got it right!

Life isn't always perfect, but a new baby feeling is as close to perfect as it gets. And I'm blessed to have shared this day with my son -- a day of perfection, as close as a day can be.

Holding my son's child for the first time was pure joy. It also reminded me of something my mother had said when my Billy, her first grandchild, was born: I hope he gives you back tenfold what you've given me!

I have to tell you that this nagged me from the moment she said it, right up until yesterday. You see, I was far from the perfect daughter and I really thought in her statement she was wishing a whole lot of pain on me, as I know I'd done a lot of things which had caused my mother pain.

My mother also referred to my Billy as her Miracle Baby and she made sure to shout it to the world. I never fully understood -- until yesterday, when I held my first grandchild.

Yesterday, as I held this new bundle of joy, I received the miracle of life and love, tenfold. Life has blessed me with a whole lot of sunshine. And I could wish for nothing more at this moment in time.

I welcome Liam Anthony to my world!







September 25, 2010

Cocktail Time

I just had to have my own cocktails since I used to be a bartendress...


abitosunshine
You Are Made Of Intuition, Aspiration, and Class





3 parts Intuition
2 parts Aspiration
1 part Class

And a Splash of Love

Finish off with whipped cream!



How to make a Sunshine
Ingredients:

3 parts intelligence
5 parts humour
3 parts joy
Method:
Add to a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously. Add caring to taste! Do not overindulge!


How to make a Ruthi
Ingredients:

1 part competetiveness
5 parts humour
5 parts energy
Method:
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Add a little cocktail umbrella and a dash of curiosity

September 23, 2010

Swagbucks -- Site Problem Update 0 9/23/10 1:30 pm PT

Site Problem Update 0 9/23/10 1:30 pm PT

(taken from rhe Swagbucks Blog just in case we can't access it)

Dear Loyal Swaggernauts-

We are aware the Swagbucks site continues to cycle up and down. We are working to resolve this problem but it may take longer than first anticipated, it could be up to 72 hours before we are sure. First and foremost, your accounts are safe! You will not lose any SBs from your account. We will make it up to you when we can be sure the site is stable again.

We really appreciate your patience during this time. We WILL have normal service again and are not going away. Please help TSG and repost this blog so those just joining the fun know that we are working on a solution.

We will inform you all through facebook, twitter and this blog when the site is stable again.

-TSG

August 27, 2010

Swagbucks Search and Win

I Search and Win with Swagbucks and wanted to share today's winnings with you! Yes, I even get extra swagbucks for sending this prize-winning photo in to be posted on Flickr. You, too, can join the fun of winning prizes! Just sign up now, using my referral link, of course, so that I earn swagbucks when you earn swagbucks -- http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/abitosunshine

And here's my swag search and win photo...



August 5, 2010

How to Deal With Bad News on a Good Mood Day




Thursday Writing Essential Prompt: Today's theme is open, but I'll give special preference to poetry submissions and any writing that features a photo around which you've based your theme.

July 17, 2010

Uninvited Guest

Sitting at my computer, enJOYing a cup of morning coffee, I hear an odd sounding shuffling across the room, so I figured my dog, Tidbit, was settling in for a mornin' nap, doing a bit of preening or something beforehand. The noise was surely odd, though not alarming, so I didn't bother to glance her way.

A few moments later, I hear my housemate, Scott, say from the other room, "Where the hell did that alligator come from?" I think, Yeah, right, now what's he tryin' to fool me into believing? I admit I'm quite gullible and fall for many things. But the more I thought about it his voice was loud and matter of fact so I decided to go into the livingroom to see what was up.

I was in shock to see a 3-foot alligator waddling across the room, right into Scott's bedroom! Thankfully Scott had grabbed Tidbit, who'd been napping at his feet, and had her choker pulled tight, so while I put her out in the back yard, Scott closed his bedroom door, trapping the critter.

I called Ohio Wildlife, who contacted a fellow who called me back to make arrangements to rid us of our unwanted guest. Yes, gator wrangler, Chris Law, of the Ohio Reptile Service, rescued us from the jaws of our uninvited guest.

We're in the habit of leaving the back door open on occasion, so the dog can get out into the yard, sort of a doggie door. No more! This gator had waltzed in the back door, through the kitchen and dining room, and right past me at the computer, on into the livingroom!

Chris found the gator curled up in a big box in Scott's closet, settled in quite comfortably. Chris bare-handedly grabbed it's jaws, taping them shut, and stood in the livingroom chatting with us like it was an everyday occurrence. Not!

Chris assured us this alligator would soon be on its way to a reptile sanctuary in Florida and would grow up to be a big gator one day. Chris also said this is the first in-the-house rescue he's ever been called to do.

We took a few photos, but unfortunately Scott's new camera did a horrible job (or the photographers did) ... Anyway, I think you can get an idea of the size of our uninvited guest as we head him out the door with a See ya later, alligator!






Submitted January 2011:

July 4, 2010

Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July USA!

I Stand Alone
©Ruth Cox
 
I see myself standing in the shadows of the Ohio Buckeye and family tree.

On this night, the eve of the anniversary of my country's, "Declaration of Independence," I stood alone.

Under the cover of the thundering red, white and blue display, I contemplated what the bell of freedom rang to my forefathers. I contemplated the peal of peace heard by those who cried the "Trail of Tears." I contemplated how the toll of liberty echoed through plantation fields, reverberant in the pleas of the immigrants who sought harbour under "Lady Liberty."

As the grand finale unveils its true color over the valley below, I am jolted back to reality by a drunken throng shouting "God bless America!" and "Let freedom ring!"

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? With utter contempt, I reflect upon the woeful plight of those who are not free, those bound by obligatory restraints imposed upon them by the powers that be. I reflect upon the wretched condition of citizens in my community shackled by the drive to survive.

On this night, the eve of the anniversary of my country's, "Declaration of Independence," I stand alone.

I am standing in the shadows of the Ohio Buckeye and family tree.




June 30, 2010

Pillow Fight for a Cause

First, my Creative Bio:

Born and bred unto the pain of poverty and abuse, Ruth Cox (aka abitosunshine) often shares the darkest days of her life in her poetry and prose. Her poetic creations are inspired by her desire to be a voice for the victims of such demons and hopes that in so doing, the cries of the victims shall be heard.

Cox believes "a bit o' sunshine can always be found peekin' out o' the clouds" and has spent a lifetime spreading "nuttin' but sunshine" with her "sun-bespeckled ink." She now does same with her poetic creations which can be purchased at CafePress abitosunshine!

Announcing:



This, one of many decorator pillows to be created and offered by CafePress abitosunshine, is dedicated to my friend, Kevin and to the creation of his Gather Group, Windmill Fighters United. Here is Kevin's group description:

"For anyone who has the courage to fight for lost causes even when no one else will join them. For those who fight battles they know are lost before they fight them not because they have a chance to win them but because it's the right thing to do. This is a support group to encourage the windmill fighters to keep fighting because the world needs windmill fighters so badly. This is a group to give a shoulder and an ear for those brave enough to wear the mantle of windmill fighter."

I trust that you will Join Gather.com, Befriend Kevin, and immediately Join Windmill Fighters United, in support and encouragement of all windmills worth fighting.














This pillow is designed with matching mugs personalized with your name. So be sure to let me know before you place an order what name you wish placed on your mug.


I will be adding an array of designs to my Pillow Fight for a Cause collection and all will be available for purchase at CafePress abitosunshine! If you have a cause that is near and dear to your heart and would like me to design a decorator pillow & poem to reflect that cause, please let me know, and I'll be happy to attempt to do so.

Now, let's fight with all our might -- I've tossed the first pillow!


May 23, 2010

Heartsease

Due to my brother's death, (cancer took its toll on May 19th), I've been in hibernation for awhile, and so has my writing and creativity. Today, I finally feel like workin' my way back into the light.

Pansy, also known as Heartsease or Viola Tricolor ... poetry and design combined ... also available for purchase as a greeting card, individually or in a 10 pak, at my shop ...
CafePress abitosunshine!




April 10, 2010

Night Watchman

Today' dose o' sunshine is for all who fear the dark, for those who cannot bear to close their eyes for fear of what comes in the night... let there be light.





photo used in this creation courtesy of morgueFile
photographer can be found here at Photo Daisy

April 5, 2010