Archive for the ‘Happy New Year’ Category

Hello and happy Boxing Day! I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and that you are safe in your homes and snug as bugs in rugs. The weather has been frightful almost everywhere and I truly hope you all made it safely to your destinations. But, if not, I hope you made the best of the unexpected situation and that Santa Claus found you anyway. He’s known for that.


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January is what the folks of Vicksburg call, “the slow season.” I guess it’s probably pretty slow everywhere what with the holiday craziness settling down, kids back in school, lousy weather for traveling, tax preparation looming, and getting started on all of those awesome new year’s resolutions and all. (more…)

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So, the holidays are officially over and 2017 is underway. I’d like to say thank you to all my readers for continuing to follow me into the new year. I hope I continue to bring a smile to your Mondays.

Let’s reflect back a couple of weeks and see how this Christmas stacked up. Because there are so many aspects to consider, I’m going to narrow my focus to one thing – Santa Claus. (more…)

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There’s nothing like a good pyrotechnics show. I’m not sure where these videos were taken, but . . . wow!


Until next year – stay safe, be kind, choose happiness.

Word of the Day: Soutane

Fun fact about me: Seeing fireworks always makes me smile.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Video courtesy YouTube.

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A lot has happened this year. My family felt the pangs of a cross-country move. My life changed significantly for the better. Terrorism, radicalism, school shootings, disrespect for authority, hit all time highs. Daily news reports made us weep.

If you’re still struggling with gift ideas amid all of this chaos, I offer the following suggestions:

Image courtesy Google Images.

Image courtesy Google Images.

Merry Christmas loyal followers and best wishes for a peaceful new year. May god bless you and keep you safe in the months to come. Be kind; to yourself and others.

Word of the Day: Remarque

Fun fact about me: If I could find the right picture, I’d get a tattoo.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Image courtesy Google Images.

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Dear readers, I hope this year has been rewarding for you all, or at the very least that you’ve seen, or done, or learned something new from whatever experiences you’ve had over the past twelve months.

Whatever your plans are for ringing in the new year, I hope you stay safe and healthy.

New Year quote

I’m looking forward to an amazing 2015, to making new friends, to learning new things, and to exploring new adventures. Cheers!!

Fun fact about me: I’m usually home alone on New Years. (My hubby always has to work the holidays. But not this year!!!)

Word of the Day: Sobersides (perfect for this particular weekend!)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2014.

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That’s right folks, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s contribution to the 1964 world’s fair – his “little boat ride,” sponsored by Pepsi to benefit Unicef.

Disneyland's It's A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland’s It’s A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

“When we completed ‘It’s a Small World’ for presentation at the New York World’s Fair, we felt that we had accomplished what we’d set out to do. We wanted to foster a better understanding among the nations of the world by showing the dress, the customs, the language, the music, and a little of the culture of our neighbors around the world – – and we wanted to show it to be a very happy one. And I think it’s safe to say that having fun has universal appeal.” -Walt Disney

Who would have thought that this delightful little one minute boat ride, complete with animated dolls and a musical ditty in multiple languages would have survived the test of time? Did you know that when Mr. Disney had the ride dismantled and moved to its permanent home in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California he called upon dignitaries from more than 50 different countries to help fill the water canal for his “little boat ride?” That’s right, 50 children from 50 different countries brought water from their native countries to pour into the canal that carries millions of people annually through the magical small world of animated dolls.

Now imagine if Walt wanted to complete this project today and asked 50 little kids to bring water to California. Can you just see them trying to explain to the TSA officers at various airports around the world, “Yes, it is only water that I’m trying to bring on board with me. I’m taking it to Mr. Disney to pour into a canal for a new exhibit that’s opening in Disneyland. No, I’m not going to make explosives with it. It’s sacred water, symbolizing the united bond between all countries around the world.” Yeah right. That’ll work.

But, I digress. It’s A Small World was not Walt’s first exhibit to be featured at a world’s fair. In 1958, in conjunction with General Electric, Walt debuted his “Progressland” attraction; a revolving theater that sent audiences on an historical musical journey through the evolution of electricity. That very same attraction still exists in the form of The Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom park in Disney World Florida.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot - Disney World - Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot – Disney World – Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Also appearing at the 1964 world’s fair were the magic skyway attraction, an aerial ride narrated by Walt himself that toured Earth’s past from the dawn of time through the age of the dinosaurs, culminating in a glimpse of Walt’s vision for a futuristic space city. Does this sound familiar to you Disney buffs? That’s right, a similar time travel attraction exists in the form of Spaceship Earth at Epcot at Disney World. And a similar time-travel experience can be had riding the Disneyland railroad around the park. The skyway ride at Disneyland, however, no longer exists for various reason, all of which are too discouraging for me to mention here. Suffice it to say, the sky buckets were a popular attraction for amorous lovers and bratty “camel-like” kids, if you know what I’m saying.

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

And last, but not least, one of my all-time favorite attractions also got its start at the 1964 world’s fair; Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. I love this show and the similar show at Disney World – The Hall of Presidents. Very inspiring narrative and ingenious use of audio-animatronics, the first ever of its kind. If you haven’t seen Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln and have a few minutes to spare, or if you have seen it and just need to see it again, here’s a link:

So that’s my Disney history lesson and tribute to a family-favorite Disney ride (well one of mine, the hubs isn’t so keen on it), It’s A Small Word. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.

So, how about you, are you a Disney nut? Do you like to ride It’s A Small World? What’s your favorite Disney attraction? Come on, spill it. I’m dying to know.

Word of the day: Vermeil

Fun fact about me: My favorite Disney ride is the Peter Pan flight.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt January 2014. Photos courtesy Disney Parks blog, Google Images and Wikipedia. Video courtesy YouTube.

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Gypsy Vanner - photo courtesy Google Images

Gypsy Vanner – photo courtesy Google Images

I’ve just learned that 2014 is the year of the horse. Surely that means only positive things for my writing career, as I write contemporary women’s fiction and romance with a western flair, usually included a horse or two in the character line-up. Don’t believe me? Check out my Pinterest story boards http://www.pinterest.com/jansenschmidt/

If you were fortunate enough to have parents who procreated at exactly the right time to ensure your birth in a previous year of the horse, here’s what you might be like:

Image courtesy of Google Images

Image courtesy of Google Images

Strengths : People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although their endeavor cannot last indefinitely.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Weaknesses : They cannot bear too much constraint. However their interest may be only superficial and lacking real substance. They are usually impatient and hot blooded about everything other than their daily work. They are independent and rarely listen to advice. Failure may result in pessimism. They usually have strong endurance but with bad temper. Flamboyant by nature, they are wasteful since they are not good with matters of finance due to a lack of budgetary efficiency. Some of those who are born in the horse like to move in glamorous circles while pursuing high profile careers. They tend to interfere in many things and frequently fail to finish projects of their own.

Oooo – those weaknesses are doozies. I think I know a few asses horses.

And, now that I have been enlightened and know about the year of the horse, I completely understand the Mr. Ed marathon from my last post. It all makes sense now. Still disappointing, but I get it.

Are you a horse? Do you believe the Chinese zodiac characteristics are pretty spot on for your sign? What sign are you? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the Day: Usquebaugh

Fun fact about me: I am a dragon.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt January 2014. Images and photos courtesy Google Images.

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So it seems as though the end of the world year is upon us. There being only a very short amount of time left upon this earth calendar year, I feel as though I should openly express my gratitude for the wonderful things I have enjoyed since January 1st of this year.

But, before I get started, I must congratulate Pat O’Dea. She is the lucky winner of my sweet surprise from last month’s blog! Congratulations, Pat!

Now, let the gratitude begin:

First, I am grateful for my family and friends who have circled the wagons when I needed protection, smiled when I needed encouragement, scolded when I’d strayed off course, and just plain been available when necessary.

Second, I’d like to thank my cyber friends, new and not-so-new. I’ve managed to get through an entire year of blogging, albeit only once a month, but, since that was my goal, I can proudly say that I accomplished it. Next year, should there be one, my goal is to increase my blogging presence with twice-montly posts! I know you’re all dancing with glee!

2012 was a year of great expeditions, great acquisitions and great accomplishments! In March I was able to visit with treasured friends at our annual Nascar weekend in Vegas.

Nascar & Yosemite 038

In June my wonderful husband and I were able to enjoy seven amazing days in the Western Caribbean!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 091

We climbed ancient Mayan ruins, went cave-tubing in Belize, boarded a pirate ship and swam in the warm clear waters of Grand Cayman and zipped through the jungle in Roartan on 4-wheel quads!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 163

In July we moved into our new home, in September I traded in my old Subaru with 214,000+ miles on it for a brand new 2012 Nissan AWD Rogue and in October we visited one of our favorite places, Disney World!

WDW 2012 036

While there, I thoroughly enjoyed my very first trick-or-treating experience! Having been denied such “normal” childhood activities, I was overjoyed when I learned that Disney encouraged kids of ALL ages to trick-or-treat. Here’s my husband and I getting ready to embark on our redneck tourist trick-or-treating journey:

WDW 2012 071

WDW 2012 072

Aren’t we OMG hideous! We looked ridiculous, but we had a lot of fun.

All in all it’s been a pretty awesome year. When it’s all said and done, I have no regrets, lasting memories, more friends than I started the year with, and positive goals for the new life year ahead.

Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for your support throughout this year. I hope to see you all again in the upcoming months should we all survive the prophesied apocolypse! Have happy and safe holidays and feel free to share your accomplishments and gratitude in the comments below! I’d love to celebrate with you!

Word of the day:  Moppet

Fun fact about me: I totaled my very first brand new car before I even got my license plates! (That’s not really such a FUN fact is it?)

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So here it is – 2012!

Happy new year to my loyal followers and welcome to newcomers. I hope your winter holidays were safe and enjoyable. Now let’s get down to some serious business and start the new year right.

New year, new resolutions.  Today we start our diets, we are resolved that we will lose those 10, 20, 30 pounds of holiday reveling. We will go to the gym more often, we will condition our bodies for that marathon we’ve always said we would run. We are done shopping, we will save money. We will volunteer more at our children’s youth activities, in their classrooms, at the homeless shelter. We will finally clean out the garage, our junk drawers, the attic. We will, we will, we will!  But the real question is – for how long?

My resolution has been the same for the past three years – I will not make any resolutions. That way I’m not letting myself down when I stop dieting, stop going to the gym, stop training for the marathon, take one box of old junk from the overstuffed garage to goodwill and call it quits. I know, that’s a cop out. But the reality of it is, several years ago I decided to make more “realistic” resolutions, ones I could actually achieve and therefore feel good about myself. Well, I realized in July or August of that year, that I wasn’t really sticking to my resolutions, I was simply enforcing my habits. If something is a habit, you don’t need to remind yourself to do it. Habits are not resolutions.

So what is a resolution? According to Webster’s New Lexicon Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, a resolution is: The quality of not allowing difficulties or opposition to affect one’s purpose. Hmm. Okay. That said, why do people really give up on or forget about their resolutions? My answer – I become lazy. There are no difficulties preventing me from not stuffing that chocolate bar into my mouth, unless it’s a two pounder that I’m trying to eat all in one mouthful. No one prevents me from going to the gym. There is no opposition to me sitting down in the chair and writing 1,000 words a day. So why is it so hard to stick to the resolutions?

It’s psychological. We psych ourselves out about it. We are so overly adamant that we will do heroic things, that endorphines actually race through our body and pumps us up. We feel fantastic! Nothing will deter us. Then along comes January 15th and we slip a little bit, but we make excuses, like we just need a day off. Then February 1st rolls around and we have to think long and hard about what it is we were supposed to be doing better this year. When we can’t remember, the same adrenaline gushes around in our bodies, frantically looking for justification as to why we quit running, dieting, writing. That adrenaline spikes our nervous system to extreme stress levels and now we feel like horrid lazy bums so we might as well just eat what we want in front of the t.v. and be happy.

Hey, I understand. I’m not here to judge. It’s too dark and cold to be running anyway. It’s not safe and we’ll probably catch pneumonia. We can’t let that one lonely slice of chocolate cake go to waste, after all there’s children starving in India. Sure, we maybe didn’t write 1,000 words today, but hey, we sure thought about the plot and character arcs a lot, that counts for something.

Here’s my advice folks. Slow down, breathe. Enjoy the little things along the way. Have dessert once in a while. So you don’t run a marathon, or lose 20 pounds. Are you healthy and happy? Are you spending quality time with your family? Make a resolution to enjoy life a little more this year. Smell the flowers. Savor the flavor of your food. Hug your kids one extra time every day. Don’t stress on the resolutions. If you’re happy, life is good and you don’t need them anyway.

So those are my sage words of advice for this month. Now tell me, do you, or do you not make resolutions? Are they attainable? Do you feel good or bad if you do or do not attain them?

Word of the day:  Coarctate

Fun fact about me:   I am allergic to salmon.

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