Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tis the Season.....NOT!

The holiday season is here. For those who do not celebrate Christmas, it is the holiday season. For those of us who do, it is the Christmas season. However, today I refer to the Thanksgiving season, the weeks leading up to the day we give thanks for all we have and celebrate with turkey dinners.

To the retail outlets, it is already the holiday/Christmas season. The stores are already packed with trees, presents, and Christmas music. Geez, even one of our local radio stations is playing non-stop Christmas music through the end of the year. 2 WHOLE MONTHS of Christmas music! Overkill I say! But I digress...

Thanksgiving season begins the day after Halloween. Ghosts, Draculas, and scary decorations are replaced with autumn leaves, pictures of Pilgrims, and cornucopias filled with autumn harvests; representing the plentiful bounty we are fortunate enough to have. Some have more than others. The global recession has hit the wallets of many of us and we try to do the same, with less money to do it. Sometimes it requires a bit of creativity to make ends meet. In the end, we find a way to do it.

This Thanksgiving Day, I will be spending with my husband and my kids. I will be cooking a feast of turkey, dressing, potatoes, vegetables and a fine helping of pumpkin pie. Well, maybe pumpkin pie, as my daughter has recently developed a food allergy to something, but there will be dessert. I will not think about work. I will not worry about making ends meet. I will stay in the moment. The moment will be about giving thanks for all that we do have: a house to live in, food on the table, and, most importantly, a family that I love and who loves me back. This is the season that I am in. I hope that the Thanksgiving season lasts in my heart all year round. I want to remember all of the good everyday, the things I have and not the things I don't. Right now, I have all that is most important: love, food, and shelter.

Christmas will be right around the corner after that. The Christmas season begins when Santa Claus makes his way down the parade route at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I will begin listening to some of the non-stop Christmas music myself, as I reflect on the meaning of the season. Right now, I reflect on the meaning of this season and all that I have to be grateful for in my life. That is the bright spot of my day!

Until Next Time....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's for Dinner???

If you are a mom, you've heard this dreaded question before. Summer days, school days, weekends, doesn't matter. At precisely 3pm every day, the kids ask, "What's for dinner?" Even my husband texted me at work the other day to ask that very question, like I can wave my magic wand and have a 5 course meal on the table in seconds, covering all of the food groups as recommended by the illustrious "food pyramid".

With the busy schedule that I have...and really we all have, dinner must be a planned event in order for it to take place. If not planned, then it's mac and cheese (thanks, Kraft) or frozen pizza (thanks Red Baron), etc. I have to plan dinner at 8 in the morning, before I even have enough caffeine in my veins to make me quasi-human. I know with absolute certainty that someone will ask about dinner long before dinner time, so I'd better have a plan.

Today is Sunday, the day of rest. Not in this house. I could already hear "what's for dinner?" ringing in my ears at 11am. So, I did what any working parent, with a house to run, a job, sleep deprived, adrenaline-running mom would do: I searched the internet!

I knew I had chicken breasts and thighs chilling, oh so long in the freezer, screaming to be cooked. Tired of the same 5 chicken recipes that cook themselves, I googled "crock pot chicken recipes" and found an amazing recipe. Having picky kids, I'm always a bit leery of trying new things. However, I had all of the ingredients on hand, it would only take 30 minutes to defrost the chicken and mix it all up, so I figured, "Why not?" It's worth it for a bit of sanity on what I was hoping would be a quiet Sunday. If someone didn't want to try it, they could starve.

Let me tell you: It was one of the best things I've ever made! Seriously! The kids loved it, my husband loved it, and I was ready to just lick the crock pot clean of all of the extra sauce (I resisted though). This is a keeper, so I'm sharing the BBQ/Teriyaki recipe with you.

I showed the recipe to my 13 year old daughter, prior to cooking. She is always hunting up recipes on the internet (don't know where the cooking gene came from, cuz it's surely not from me!) While she was unimpressed from the start (she watched me throw 2/3 cup ketchup into a bowl to start barbecue sauce) she saw me add other ingredients to the boring ketchup to transform it into something totally different. She was impressed. I actually impressed a 13 year old. I even modified the recipe a bit by adding a bit of honey, just because I had honey in the house. In the end, she helped me by stirring up the sauce. Her involvement gave her some pride in the final outcome and that alone was worth it.

I was able to dodge the "what's for dinner?" battle and have dinner cooking all day for the family to see and smell...and look forward to. That was the bright spot of my day.

Until Next Time..

Friday, July 9, 2010

LeBron: The Morning After

No surprise that I am sitting here lamenting Cleveland's loss of LeBron James to Miami. The mourning has begun. I hoped against hope that he would stay and bring the Cavs and this city a championship. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

I wish LeBron the best of success in Miami. Right now, I think the people of Miami are the only ones who like him at the moment. By selfishly prolonging this announcement, the Cavs' opportunity to sign other free agents has come and gone. He was too cowardly to let management know his decision prior to his scheduled announcement on ESPN. As usual, LeBron's ego just wouldn't let him play nicely with others. We can now look forward to a season of rebuilding. Thanks LeBron.

There were other teams left standing at the altar with us, Chicago and New York most notably. He's ticked off most of the major cities in the Eastern Conference. I can hardly wait for his 1st road games in these cities. I can already hear the "boos".

Our economy will take a hit, but we'll survive. We always do. Resilience is a wonderful thing. LeBron's image and brand have taken a hit. That might be a bit more difficult to recover. Surely he will continue to rake in millions in endorsements, but the star who has shined so brightly for so long is looking a bit dim in the light of day.

The end of this saga has been the bright spot of my day. I'm ready to move on.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All Aboard the LeBron Rumor Mill Bandwagon

I can't believe I'm actually going to join in the circus. There are too many clowns to count in this media melee. Where will LeBron James play basketball next season?

Initially, my reaction was "who cares?" However, being a Clevelander, I find that I can no longer take the backseat. The attention "The Decision" is getting continues to blow my mind. LeBron does not have the answer to world peace, nor does he have a plan to end world hunger. He is deciding where he will play his games. That's what this media circus is promoting. Again I say, who cares?

Now I can say I care. While there has been a ridiculous number of hours spent on speculating where LeBron will play, much of the speculation is that he will be leaving Cleveland to go to "greener" pastures. Ching-ching. Not only that, but it's necessary for him to have an hour long special on ESPN to publicly slap Cleveland in the face as he walks away from the city that has supported him like no other. Like Cleveland sports fans haven't suffered enough the past 100 years. That's fine, LeBron. Pour some more salt in the gaping wound. We can take it.

The final decision will be announced less than 12 hours from now. I certainly hope that LeBron chooses to stay here, with the Cavs, where he belongs, with the best fans sports has to offer. Let us bask in the glow of the national media for a bit as he lists all of the great reasons he chose to stay in Cleveland. If LeBron leaves Cleveland, well, no sour grapes here, but it's a shame that his career here would end with such a public flogging on ESPN. No amount of sugar-coating would take the sting out for the fans here, and that would be his legacy in his hometown. Stay tuned.

Speaking my piece has been the bright spot of my day. LeBron staying in Cleveland would make this fan's day even brighter:)

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Anyone See the New Twilight Movie Eclipse Yet?

As a loving grandmother I took a nap yesterday and took my granddaughter to see Eclipse at midnight. Such excitement and happiness with her bouncing at my side. We waited in a long line, me the grandmother and her mixed in with all the tweens and teens.

These movies about young love and the frustrations hold the same interest as they did when I was young for the young today. A little twist with a vampire love has made these Twilight movies the hottest thing in a long time.

When we got to the theatre parking was already scarce, police were on duty and local tv stations were there with trucks. Young people in lines that wrapped around the building. All for the opportunity to be FIRST to see Eclipse.

My granddaughter caught up in the thrill was bouncing all over and telling me how happy she was. This was a "moment" we got to share and for that I am grateful.

That was certainly the Bright Spot of my day.

Here is hoping you will have "moments" to share with your loved ones.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Productive At Last

What a productive day. I've renewed items on Etsy, I've tweeted, and now I'm blogging. Oh, and I also changed sheets, did a load of laundry, and vacuumed. And the day is still so young.

I think I'm going to pop in a movie and make some jewelry. Feel creative today. That's why I've been running around like a nut trying to get stuff done. Besides, if I don't walk away from the computer, I'm likely to sit here all day. Last night I tweeted for only the 2nd time. (My son usually handles that). I can easily see myself becoming a
Tweet-a-holic. It's cyberspace instant gratification. Some chatting amongst themselves and others promoting their wares...there's always something going on. Best that I leave the Tweeting to him I think. He's not nearly as fascinated by it and can just drop in for a few minutes and walk away.

In my zeal to be productive yesterday, I also created a Treasury, fondly called "Headbanger's Ball". Feel free to check it out:

No matter what else is going on, music is still one of the best escapes there is. I found a really cool Metallica chair and a David Draiman (Disturbed) painting, both of which I loved. Probably because they are 2 of my fave bands. I figured why not promote other people's love of the same thing, and thus, the treasury was born.

Well, I guess my time here is up. Now it's time to ease myself away from cyberspace and back to the land of manual labor. Being productive has been the bright spot of my day.

Until Next Time.....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Much A-Blog About Nothing

Is there such a thing as a blogger's handbook? A how-to filled with topics when writer's block creeps in? All it would need is a running list: shoes, gardening, Lindsay Lohan arrest of the week, you get the idea. If you can write and think, then you can blog. Pretty simple. Not so simple if you don't know what you want to say, lol. Trust me, I can write for days about absolutely nothing. Other people do it every single day, in what I refer to as "Much A-Blog About Nothing" (not to be confused with "Much Ado About Nothing"). But interesting nothings.

It would be simple if the format was Monday = Weather Blog, Tuesday = Family Blog, Wednesday = Crafting Blog, and so on. But my daily life does not like schedules, and the universe would therefore conspire against me. Monday would be partly cloudy (not very exciting to write about), Tuesday my family would give me no good material (though they do every other day of the week:)) and Wednesday I'd be too busy crafting to take the time to write about it. Such is my life. How disappointed readers would be to tune in for Weather Mondays, only to read that my topic was not the cloudy day, but the fact that my cat bit my aching foot in her misguided effort to comfort me after a hard day.

So, be prepared. You have been warned. Here comes another blog about nothing. I'm sure that occasionally a "theme" will crop up, but for the most part, you'll probably get glimpses of me, my family (pets included), the creative process, and occasional nuggets of both information and minutiae. Who knows? Maybe those nuggets will come in handy if you appear on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or Jeopardy:)

Blogging about nothing has been the bright spot of my day.

Until Next Time....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Colors of Life

I've taken 2 steps back but have come 2 1/2 steps forward. Used to be that it was 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Not anymore. A friend of mine always says "The faster I go, the behinder I get". Sometimes that seems so true and it used to be a mantra that spoke to me. It no longer applies. In this case, I'm looking at the proverbial cup being "half full", and I'm, therefore, no longer behind, but exactly where I need to be. My life journey continues to evolve.

Someone very dear to my family passed away two weeks ago. She was 38. While not completely unexpected, she had been ill, one is never prepared for such a thing. I have been just a coiled bundle of nerves and emotion for weeks, both before and after. I kept busy just so I wouldn't have to think too much. When I stopped running around like a nut, I was filled with sadness, so I'd run some more.

These past couple of days, the fog has begun to lift. I have begun to feel the sparkle in my life again. Yesterday, there was a happy occasion and I was all dressed up, a little less critical of myself than usual. I decided that the dress, hair, makeup were "just right for the occasion". A few hairs out of place was not such a big deal; the fit and color of the dress was "just fine". Today I sat down and finished some jewelry pieces that I had started. I'd been so distracted that I'd start something and leave it lay. Now they are complete and I feel like I've accomplished something. I've added a bit of color back into my world.

My world seemed to come to a standstill 2 weeks ago, but the rest of the world was still moving. I am now moving with it, in stride, no longer running. Each day brings a bit more sunshine into my heart. I can think again and allow my emotions to be whatever they are. It is OK. There is no right or wrong here. I am where I am supposed to be. No more black and white here. I have color; the blues of sadness in contrast to the reds of fire and life, the greens of peace and calm, and the yellows of warmth. I am red. I am full of life, passion, and spirit. Let the colors of your life be the bright spot of your day.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No Regrets

Geez, has it really been a month since I've blogged? Time sure flies.

I've been at my new job now for a month. The novelty hasn't worn off. That's a good thing:) I'm working harder than I ever did at a desk job. My feet hurt every day. I smile at my customers even if I feel like they are on my last nerve. Some nights I'm not home til after 10 pm, the day is gone. My commute is 30 minutes when it used to be 10. But, it is so worth it. I was afraid that regret would come creeping in since I quit my other job, but I can honestly say that I have no regrets. A little bit of peace has come into my brain and into my life because of the change. I am no longer consumed by work. When I come home, I am here for my family and my spirit is here too. They have noticed.

In addition to my "regular" job, I still do the jewelry making. I used to have specific days that I devoted to it. Not anymore. My schedule doesn't allow that. Now, it's whenever the mood strikes. When it does, I am a jewelry making machine. I'm inspired again because I'm more content. No pressure allowed here. Besides, spring is here and it has awakened new things; new styles, new colors, and more warmth.

This blog is not supposed to be "all about me", but it has helped me take a new direction that I may have otherwise not gone. I didn't expect that. I am, though, so grateful that I have taken what is probably a "road less traveled" and revel in the fact that I am now on a journey that has allowed me to find both peace and confidence.

Enjoying the view on the road less traveled is the bright spot of my day. I hope you are inspired to take a step or two on your road. Until next time..

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Out With the Old

The subconscious is a wonderful thing. It doesn't just slap you upside the head and say "WTF are you doing?" It's much more subtle than that, more like leaving crumbs on a trail, in hopes that you will follow. I followed... and was surprised where it led me. I re-read some of the past postings on this blog and started seeing a common thread: while I found a bright spot in all my days, I had to look for it. Most of my days were the same; work, the rat race, not taking the time to really stop and relax. So, on this grand journey we call life, I did the most logical thing. I quit my job. Seriously. That wasn't my plan initially, but it came to a point where it was just necessary. I came to the realization that my job was like a vampire, sucking me dry. Even at night I couldn't let it go; the stress was with me 24/7... and it showed in every aspect of my life. A few think me a bit crazy, but this is about what I need in order to move forward. My brain plain and simply needs to rest. I have found myself a nice little job in retail (I still need to help support my family). I work with people I know and whose company I enjoy. It's an opportunity to meet and interact with all kinds of different people. In order to make change, I have to take risks. The payoff has been worth it to me, in ways that really matter. I choose to surround myself with people whose energy feeds me. I have the time to focus on making jewelry and spending quality time with my family, just enjoying the moments. Geez, I even spent my Saturday afternoon cleaning out my closet (and enjoying it), a symbolic way of de-clutterfying my life. Let the whisper of your subconscious mind be the bright spot of your day. Listen to what you hear... you may want to follow.

Until next time,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Little Bit of Sunshine

There is a John Denver song (raise your hand if you know who he is??) in which he sings "Sunshine...on my shoulders....makes me happy". I think he wrote that song for me. Well, maybe not because I may not have been born yet. But, he could have written it for me. Winter here is sort of like solitary confinement; minimal light, bitter cold, and little human contact. Geez, with all the germs going around, I don't want any people around me anyway. BUT, I digress. I leave for work, it's dark. I come home from work, it's dark. I haven't seen my neighbors in months, except for the occasional vision of them in fluffy down coats and woolly scarves covering their faces, venturing into the blowing snow. Since November 15th, we've had approximately 14 days of mostly sunny skies. That's 2 weeks in 4 months. Ouch! Then, one day... I leave for work, step out into the cold...and have to squint. No more darkness. I need my sunglasses. The clouds part, the birds start to sing, I have a smile on my face...and I,too, start to sing, "Sunshine... on my shoulders... makes me happy". While not necessarily a pleasant voice (imagine fingernails on a chalk board to music), my voice is joyous. I don't need a groundhog to tell me spring is coming. I only need the warmth of the sun on my face, and my shoulders, to tell me that brighter days are ahead. Let the warmth of the sun be the bright spot of your day.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The World Around Me

When I started blogging, I remember thinking how easy it would be. I always have something to say, a story to tell, or an opinion to share. Sometimes I sit down and feel so inspired. A topic comes to mind and I effortlessly sit here and put it all down. A little tweak here and there, an edit to grammar, and I'm done. Other times (like now) I feel like blogging and simply don't have any one thing to say. People who know me would say that they don't believe it because I ALWAYS have something to say. But, I guess I don't. I think that is a good thing. If I'm always talking, I'm not listening. Today, my ear is to the ground, listening to the world around me. I hear the chatter of my family and learn what they are thinking. I hear my pets (a needy dog, a curious cat, and chirpy birds) all making their presences known. I hear my brain thinking how nice it is to just be "in the moment" and not everywhere else. Last, but certainly not least, I hear my heart saying that it loves all of these things. I would not change a thing. Listening to those I love, in the world around me, is the bright spot of my day.

Until next time,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the games begin...

Moguls, luge, curling (what the heck is that??), speed skating. Where else do you get to see these sports but in the Winter Olympics? Athletes train for years, in sports that don't have a lot of media attention, to compete on the world stage once every four years. Why do they do it? While I'm sure the medals are nice, especially the gold ones, I like to believe that it's all about the "spirit" of the games, the uniting of nations and people from all different walks of life to share an experience; the desire to be the best that they can be; the pride of representing their countries, whether big or small. They enjoy what they do and have a passion for it. The Olympics allow them to share their sports and their spirits. They do it because they love it and they want us to love it too. It's time for us to get in the spirit too. Share the moments with those who work so hard to get where they are today. Let's cheer for both the underdog and the favorite. Let the Olympians be the bright spot of our day. Let the games begin!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

Another football season is coming to an end. Tonight is the game of all games, the pinnacle of the football season, the Super Bowl. To the men in my family, Super Bowl Sunday is like a national holiday. The whole world stops and it's all football all day. I just don't see the excitement or glory in a bunch of grown men running around slamming into eachother trying to get a ball over a chalk line. But, that's me. I think I'm the minority here. I am planning on spending my day making jewelry, away from the TV and the droning voices of sportscasters re-living Super Bowl moments of years past. However, come kick-off time... I'll probably watch the game anyway. Why you ask? Because I bought a "square", an opportunity to win some money based on the quarter ending scores. That's as good a reason as any I think to watch. So, to all who read this and watch the game, whether to root for your team or because you have a square... or just because you love the sport, let the Super Bowl be the bright spot of your day too. Go Colts and go Saints!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Treasure Map

My mother, my sister, and I embarked on an interesting journey this week. We've gone on a treasure hunt. Not for buried chests hidden deep underground or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but a journey of finding things in life that matter to us; finding them and making them our own. Whether it's love, success, money, healing, or just some peace, we all have something that we want, some things more tangible then others. We got together and decided to create treasure maps for ourselves. All of us brought magazines to the table, everything from golf magazines (none of us golf, but there were a lot of interesting things) to the supermarket tabloids (we read a lot of those). In a nutshell (feel free to ask for the unabridged version if you'd like to start your own),the purpose was to cut out words and pictures that represented what we were looking for, our treasures, and gluing them together on paper. In theory, it sounds simple enough, but it forces you to really identify what is truly most important. Each of us then hung our own where we'd see it daily and be able to focus on it and visualize having these things and how good it feels. The individual maps are personal, but I will share one little affirmation I cut out that speaks volumes. "Happy Energy". I see my treasure map every morning as I'm starting my day. Happy energy is the center of all things good that I want from any day. Happy energy is the armor that keeps the negativity at bay and reminds me to stay focused on what is good. Happy energy is the bright spot of my day.
Happy hunting...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday, Monday

Lala...lalalala... come on, sing along:) What is it about Mondays that make it the toughest day of the week? Maybe it's just me? I think not. Considering that there are plenty of songs about it (consider the aforementioned Monday, Monday), Manic Monday, and the Carpenters famous "rainy days and Mondays always get me down" lyrics. I think it's because Monday signifies the start of busy days and the usual "rat race", whatever your race happens to be... work... school... It is ingrained in us to believe that the weekends are the only time to stop and smell the roses and the rest of the week is meant to be spent running as fast as we can trying to stay ahead of the game. Maybe we have been wrong all this time. Maybe it's time to stop, take a deep breath, and smell a rose everyday, even Monday. My rose today was having a leisurely dinner with my family and catching up on the day's news. That was, indeed, the bright spot of my day.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Weekend Ends....

As excited as we are when its Friday, we start to dread Monday about 7:00 or so Sunday evening. Weekends hold such promise of time off from the normal daily grind (usually) and getting some QT with the family!!! My husband and I had a date night last night and we had BIG plans...until we stopped home after dinner and questioned why would we want to go back out in single digit weather?
I love checking out the jewelry web sites in the morning and in the evening to see what is new and how many people have checked the pieces out!! Its so exciting to see a piece that you like be so many other people's favorites too!!!
Until next time.....................

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Plan

My day started on a high note... we had another sale. Sales are always good for morale. They inspire me to create more. Sales motivate me to make new things. I enjoy making jewelry. It's sort of like therapy, only without the couch and the doctor going, "hmmm...". So I planned on watching old movies and being a jewelry making machine. Why, I had all day! *sigh* The best laid plans.
There were no old movies on and I could not find a DVD that would hold my interest. The Food Network, while very inspiring to chefs, not so much for those of us who are in the midst of stringing beads. The creative juices were flowing, but not for crystals and pearls, but for stuffed mushrooms and beef brisket. Those chefs make it look effortless and have a 4 course meal done in an hour (TV time of course)Yet, I was a warrior, pressing on, ignoring the rumbling in my tummy and the food I can almost taste.
While I was not the "machine" that I had hoped to be, I was productive and did get a necklace done. My day didn't go according to my plan and I didn't mass produce 100 items, or 10 items, but I did create something for which I am proud and that is the bright spot of my day.

Until next time,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Woohoo, it's Friday!

The alarm went off about 6am. I rolled over to snooze it. It's one of the new, high tech ones that you just wave your hand at and it shuts up. Much better than having to press some itty bitty button, potentially hitting the wrong itty bitty button and shutting it up all together. That's always bad. As I was dozing off, I remembered, "Woohoo, it's Friday!" I jumped out of bed and started doing my Friday "Happy Dance". It looks a little like this:

Friday means then end of the long work week. Friday means no alarm clock tomorrow. Friday means staying up until dawn if I feel like it (will never happen, but I can dream) and sleeping til noon on Saturday (like that will ever happen either). Friday means that the next two days are mine to do what my heart desires and having to answer to no one... except my family when they ask "What's for dinner?" Other than that, the time is my own. Today, I celebrate Friday, the bright spot of my day.

Until next time,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pardon our dust...

Welcome to the Bright Spot of the Day blog. Today is day 1. Again, excuse our dust, as this is still a work in progress.
My bright spot today was bringing this blog to life. Along with my mother, Terry, and my sister, Jennifer, we are Bright Spot Designs. We design and create jewelry (a little bit of sparkle goes a long way) and you can find us at
The purpose of this blog is to just put ourselves "out there", wherever "there" may be. Sometimes we'll find ourselves in the world of business (woohoo, sales!)... and other times we'll find ourselves lost in the twists and turns of day to day life (yikes...the dog just ate... uh...well, nevermind). Regardless, this is a place to just be ourselves. The good with the good, and yes, the bad with the bad. But at the end of the day.... we are always looking for the bright spot.
Until next time,