Deck the halls …


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‘Tis the season to do so …


27936460158294784_Q3oHrzXj_cI realise that I’ve been away for a bit, but I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with a good number of things.  Recently, my therapist asked me to explain it to her.

“Put it into words for me,” she said, “Paint me a picture.”  So, I did with these words:  Think about your worst Christmas shopping experience ever … all of the people, the hustle and bustle, the rudeness, the lack of any happiness from those around you … that’s my overwhelmed, I told her.

I haven’t been spinning out of control nor have I been unhappy, but just overwhelmed by so many things that I have -truly – no control over whatsoever.  The lack of control, for me, is a feeling of helplessness — a feeling I loathe beyond measure.

That helplessness is what overwhelms me; however, throughout my journey back to my full-time happiness, I’ve learned one thing that has helped more than all: KEEP CALM.

Of course, some of you are now rolling your eyes; however, I can tell you — that old World War II British PR campaign — truly, truly is therapy on a poster.  It did help keep London and an entire nation focused — and that’s the most important thing when you’re feeling helpless/overwhelmed – to stay focused.  That’s what, ultimately, brings you through those moments in time.

And so, my advice to everyone, everywhere overwhelmed by situations that just seem to seize control — just remember your happiness and always, always remember to:

keep calm and carry on yellow

Speaking of Christmas … it’s my favourite time of the year because I love lights, decorations and the loads of happiness it brings me.  For the longest time, I was opposed to giving gift cards, but as of late, I’ve discovered the same wide-mouthed “wows” and smiles are brought about by those little plastic, ‘use-it-once’ gifts.

Christmas Packages

So, for some I buy little presents, but for many — it’s the gift card with a note attached that says:  Please post me an email, a card to let me know how you like your present.  I thought, in the past, that there was no thought or meaning behind giving a gift card; however, my niece said to me at some point, “I can buy what I want to buy and that will make me happy.”

That set me to thinking that gift giving is about making one happy … and so, gift cards became a part of my gift giving; however, I always try to purchase at least one gift that I’ve put thought into to go along with the plastic card! 🙂

And now, I intend to shower you all with a collection of Christmas / Hanukkah pictures because ’tis the season to do so and I love pictures … So, put on some Christmas music and enjoy this barrage of happiness covered in lights and maybe even a little tinsel …

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The grandest Christmas tree ever at Rockefeller Centre. 🙂

000 - Christmas Penguins

I love Penguins anyway, but seriously — how could anyone NOT love them dressed up as Santa Claus?!?!

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This is Cartier, on 5th Avenue, all wrapped up for Christmas! One of my favourite store decorations!

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Christmas and Hanukkah … it’s that time of the year! 🙂

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Christmas decorations in NYC are always the best … you can feel Christmas everywhere you travel in the city!

Holly Jolly Christmas Candy Cake Inside

It’s official name … Holly Jolly Christmas Candy Cane Cake. 🙂 Present forks!

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Good friends make the holidays so much better …

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Ahhhhhh, a warm Mocha Latte will life the spirits of all! 🙂

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So excited for Hanukkah to start on 8 December … As Adam Sandler calls it … “Eight Crazy Nights” 🙂

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Lighting the Menorah … more than the meals and gifts – Hanukkah is a reminder of the miracles bestowed upon the Jewish people.

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Sweet treats!

And although we know that the birth of Christ didn’t happen during this time of the year, it’s a symbolic time for Christians who celebrate the greatest gift ever given to humankind …

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And that’s it at this moment in time … now that things are back to normal – whatever that is – you should expect posts — miraculous posts back on schedule! 🙂  I do hope everyone is going well at this season!  Happy Hanukkah to all as we ready ourselves for Saturday! 🙂

Shalom,

Bryce

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Reflections when you’re wide awake …


If there is a draw back to the digital age of music … it’s that we can pick and choose what tracks we want off a new album without, well – you know,  purchasing the entire album.

It doesn’t happen often, but there’s always that one song you never heard and when you hear it – it immediately becomes an instant epiphany.  And that’s the case with the song Wide Awake by Katy Perry.

This song … I’m not even sure I can even translate what I’m thinking, feeling, understanding …

I’m wide awake
Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard
With an open heart
I’m wide awake
How did I read the stars so wrong?
I’m wide awake
And now it’s clear to me
That everything you see
Ain’t always what it seems
I’m wide awake
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

I’m wide awake
Not losing any sleep
I picked up every piece
And landed on my feet
I’m wide awake
Need nothing to complete myself, no

I’m wide awake
Yeah, I am born again
Out of the lion’s den
I don’t have to pretend
And it’s too late
The story’s over now, the end

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
‘Til I woke up on
On the concrete

Falling from cloud 9 (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud 9

I’m wide awake
Thunder rumbling
Castles crumbling
I’m wide awake
I am trying to hold on
I’m wide awake
God knows that I tried
Seeing the bright side
I’m wide awake
But I’m not blind anymore…

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake

Yeah, I’m falling from cloud 9 (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
You know I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud 9

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake

And of course, if just reading the lyrics weren’t enough … try listening to it here:

Of course my connection with this song is the entire premise of what it’s like to wake up and finally begin to realise where you have been and where you want to go. 🙂

Part of this journey has been dealing with the past where people used me in various ways and I think I actually carry scars from being asked to be the alibi for people I thought were my friends — and ultimately when the chips fell and I needed support — they were no longer there for me.

I’m with Carrie Bradshaw on the “can you truly forgive if you can’t forget” train for situations like that!  No matter what, I am in a better place now and know who to give my love, trust and loyalty to in my life!

The journey to happiness continues and it gets better and better every single day … because I’m getting better with understanding that not everyone has to go on the journey with me! 🙂

This past weekend, I flew to NY for the weekend and had the chance to have a great time with my friends there, but also witnessing the damage to many parts of the city and its Burroughs.

I never went to Staten Island but did make it to Rockaway Beach in Queens and was overwhelmed by what I saw.  It is truly amazing – and not in a good way – to view the power of nature and its effect upon communities. 😦

I had the chance to visit, again, the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan and this time … it wasn’t crowded and it – even now – still seems surreal to me that the Twin Towers are forever gone.

I don’t think anyone who ever visited NY pre-9/11 could ever truly understand what is no longer there.  😦   I will never grow tired with NY as there are and will always be new adventures there when I return. 🙂

The Nole Nation had dreams at the start of marching, unstopped, into the BCS National Championship game; however, some beyond frustrating and RIDICULOUS play calling against N.C. State flung the Seminoles out of the race.  I could go on and on about Jimbo Fisher; however, I’m not wasting anymore time complaining about his bi-polar play calling in games that MATTER.

What I am happy about and I know the players are happy about … a 9-1 record.  That record is a true testament to the fact that FSU has experienced and seemingly (hopefully) understand adversity and how to take it by the horns and sling it to the wayside.

That’s just what happened at Virginia Tech on a cold Thursday night.  And yes, for the record let me state just how much I detest and HATE Thursday night games — FSU has never fared well … until recently. 🙂 Down 22-20 with 2.19 left to go, EJ Manuel orchestrated a 52-yard game winning drive.

A drive not punctuated with one RUNNING PLAY  – that had failed ALL BLOODY NIGHT LONG and yet, Jimbo Fisher just couldn’t seem to get it.  Perhaps that’s his problem — he comes in with one plan and one plan only … I’ve never coached, but I’m smart enough to know if you’ve got -15 yards in total rushing (and you’ve had a pretty phenomenal running game all season UNTIL this game) that you don’t keep going to it … over and over and over and over again. Note my frustration.

So, I credit the win over Virginia Tech solely to EJ Manuel who simply did what he knows how to do: lead his team down the field.  Of course, now, the media is calling Maryland’s defense one that should not be overlooked and well, it is a road game.

So, let’s hope Jimbo has more than one game plan just in case FSU’s running game is put on ice and of course, let’s all take note — listen up Jimbo … gotta win this one to make to Charlotte on 1 December for the ACC Championship and of course, there’s the little rivalry game coming to Tallahassee … although they think (the Gators) they’re going to come in and just and I quote, “demolish FSU” … LOL. 😛

And in the Middle East, Israel has finally had enough of the daily Hamas rocket bombardment and has struck hard at the heart of Hamas.  Many people shy away from this topic; however, I’m not one them.   If a line is to be drawn in the sand, then it’s quite easy for me to choose a side … the loss of any human life in this conflict is tragic; however, Israel has a right to defend themselves from the daily assaults of Hamas. Period.

President Anwar Sadat’s words, in 1979, to the new found peace between Egypt and Israel still carry great value even today:

“Let there be no more wars or bloodshed between Arabs and Israelis—let there be no more wars or bloodshed between Arabs and Israelis. Let there be no more suffering or denial of rights. Let there be no more despair or loss of faith. Let no mother lament the loss of her child. Let no young man waste his life on a conflict from which no one benefits. Let us work together until the day comes when they beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And God does call to the abode of peace. He does guide whom He pleases to His way.”
I’ve been so busy that I’ve really not been watching any telly; however, it’s all waiting for me on TiVO and of course, I’ve a week to catch up, up, up! 🙂  I hope everyone has a great weekend … I know I’ll have a great weekend because I’m going to do absolutely NOTHING. 🙂  I’m sure I’ll be posting more this week as I’ll not be “working” … No jealousy, please! 🙂
Shalom,

Godspeed to all those on the Eastern Seaboard


Two whole weeks without a post. At least that’s what I’m thinking … anyway!  I’ve been extremely busy with many projects — the majority personal and well, a couple that are “work-related” and I made it a point to slow down today.

I stayed put all weekend – no trips anywhere – albeit my regular 9.30 AM standing appointment on Saturdays and little-to-no communication with the “outside” world.  I decided that I needed a break and staying away … well, that provided much needed clarity.  I’ve three weeks until a much needed week-long holiday!

Flood Zone A evacuations for NYC.

However, it’s not all good — I’m worried for the Eastern US and especially for those on the coast and of course, those in NYC.

After Irene last year, New Yorkers laughed about all the warnings; however, Hurricane Sandy is nothing to laugh at – she’s one big storm and she’s going to hook-up with a cousin coming in from the west — the areas of the city you’d expect to be evacuated are not optional, but now mandatory.

Whole Foods in Manhattan filled to capacity because of Hurricane Sandy.

In Manhattan, the mandatory evacuations are:  Battery Park City, Chelsea, Clinton, East Village, Financial District, Governors Island, Kips Bay, Lincoln Square, Lower East Side, West Village waterfront and Yorkville.  Unlike Irene, those areas are already — according to my friends  — beginning to get water incursions.

I am worried about my friends there and when I first started hearing about the storm heading that way back on late Tuesday, I called and told all of them to go buy water, storm supplies and food.  There aren’t massive grocery stores in NYC … and those shelves probably are empty now or close to it.  Many people will probably be heading to the subway stations as the MTA halts all public transit – subways, trains and buses in the city by 7.00 PM EST.

The storm off the coast of New York approaching Coney Island.

So, needless to say, my prayers and thoughts are with all those being affected by this massive storm and especially to those in NYC who will be greatly impacted if the full force of Sandy hits them. 😦

Chief Osceola begins the traditional pre-game with a ride around the field with the flaming spear. It was Homecoming weekend and the boys in Garnet & Gold didn’t disappoint!

With that depressing news aside, the best news of the weekend was that FSU took control of the ACC with their 48-7 romp over Duke and UNC’s last second victory over NC State!  Although the boys in Garnet & Gold won handily, it was sloppy with some turnovers that will cost us in the future if we don’t get it fixed!

And of course, I must talk about the Gator’s loss to Georgia.  I’m sure there are a lot of FSU fans — well, okay – SEC fans, too — cheering for the fact that Florida lost to Georgia in their annual rivalry in Jacksonville (FL). I, for one, am not one of those cheering.  You see, I have two sets of Gator friends — those who know better than to talk smack and well, those who just don’t get that you shouldn’t smack talk until your little Gators hatchlings … well, hatch.

I’d much rather Florida have been undefeated coming into Doak Campbell.  What makes me laugh is all the talk about how “we’re back” and “we’re coming to Tallahassee to get the Seminoles” — you know the typical smack talk from many – not all – Gator fans.

Doak Campbell has never been kind to Florida – ever.  In fact, it was really only kind for a short while in the last decade when Tim Tebow was at the helm.

I warned my Gator friends then that once he was gone – along with Percy Harvin — well, things would change dramatically.  And they did … the smug Urban Meyer abandoned the Gators with a “serious illness” and well, as I predicted, mysteriously became cured a year later and is now at Ohio State.

The Gators played a fresh out of the gate Texas A&M at the start of the season — I have a serious feeling that game wouldn’t go their way if they played the Aggies now;  played a less-than-stellar LSU at the Swamp and their only real “challenge” came in the form of South Carolina – on paper – because the old ball coach, Steve Spurrier,  has a way of not winning games that matter (even when he was at Florida).

Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell dashes 45-yards with the game winning TD in their 17-9 win over the unbeaten Florida Gators.

And then came, Georgia.  The under-DAWG showed they still had fight in them and took it to that — what did the ESPN analysts call Florida’s Defence … one of the “elite in the nation”?  Uhmmm, not exactly.  Is this smack talk?  Not in the least.  The Gators could come to Tallahassee at the end of November and beat my Seminoles, but it won’t happen. This loss for the Gators is just as tough as FSU’s 17-16 loss to NC State — I even hate typing it!

This, unfortunately ( 😉 ), won’t be a long post … as I still have an entire list of things to accomplish today! I hope everyone has a good week and Godspeed to all those on the Eastern Seaboard — especially to all my friends in NYC … please stay safe!

Hugs,