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Monthly Archives: December 2010

What do Japan and the New year have in common?

Ever since the first time I went to Japan, I have wanted to start a New Year’s tradition for myself.

This is the first year, (ten years later), that I have done it.

I was told that in Japan, it is customary to clean out all your closets and cabinets before the New Year. That way you don’t bring anything unwanted from the old year with you.

This is my most used kitchen cabinet.

Before

After

Not so much different. I wanted dramatic change. (sigh)

Now, I’m off to tackle the under the stairs closet. It has big sliding doors where I hide, sew.

Before

After

And the other side:

Before

After

A lady I know who does feng shui said my energy would rise as I cleaned. It is true. I accomplished so much yesterday.

Have your best year ever!

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in How to, Japan, Uncategorized

 

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Book Review – A TIME TO GRIEVE by Carol Staudacher.

A few days ago I woke in the wee hours with a lot of anxiety, think terror. I realized it was about not wanting to lose my loved ones and have to go through the pain of grieving. My ego tries to protect me, by suggesting that I not love anyone and save myself that pain. I did try that, when I was young and it didn’t work. I think our nature at it’s most basic, is loving.

A psychology professor sent me a book, after my second brother died. It’s called A TIME TO GRIEVE -Meditations for healing after the death of a loved one, by Carol Staudacher.

TITLE: A TIME TO GRIEVE -Meditations for healing after the death of a loved one.

AUTHOR: Carol Staudacher

PUBLISHER: HarperOne; 1 edition (July 8, 1994)

Paperback: 256 pages

PRICE: $14.99

In it she states many common feelings people grieving have and then a quote. She continues the page with a meditation about that issue.

Here are two quotes that stood out to me.

Grief itself is a medicine. by William Cowper.

He had ceased to meet us in particular places, in order to meet us everywhere. by C.S. Lewis.

I like to think that my departed loved ones are with me in my heart. It helps me to think that when they die they become omnipresent to me.

Anyway, the book is a blessing to anyone grieving. It was and is to me.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2010 in Book Review, Uncategorized

 

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FEEL GOOD FRIDAY — Christmas Creche


The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday meme. Pick one of her prompts and write about it on your blog!

*

When my mother was alive, she asked me what I wanted of hers. I asked for the Christmas creche. It belonged to my grandmother.

When I was a child I spent many happy hours playing with baby Jesus and the Holy family and the other figures.

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When I got married and didn’t have a nativity scene, I made one out of fabric. The good news was my children could play with it and not break it.

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About 15 years ago, my mother mailed me the creche and the statues. They were so beat up and chipped. There were about 5 or 6 wise men, because over the years we had gotten replacement sets.

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I laughed when I saw the figures and I bought a new set made out of resin. I still have a wise man with a broken hand, but the rest are intact.

Over the years I collected a nativity scenes. Once, I brought a set to a workshop as decoration. A school age girl was there. She was drawn to the nativity scene. Like me at that age, she had a real baby brother. I asked her if she had a nativity scene at home. She said no, so I gave the one she admired to her and her family. I imagined her having fun playing with them like I did.

*

Last year, I met a lady who collects nativity scenes, and she had the same creche. She said it was from 1905 or 1910. That’s about when my grandmother got married.

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It’s the only one I have now. When I moved I didn’t bring the others with me. I treasure it and my memories of my family.

Have your best Christmas ever!

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Abundance, Uncategorized

 

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Gifts

Lately, I’ve read a few blog posts about the crappy gifts people have received.

It makes me nervous. The only thing worse than getting a crappy gift is being the one who gave one.

I have been that one sometimes.

I love gifts – giving and receiving. I love thinking about what a person wants and trying to provide it.

One of my favorite gifts ever was a blue plastic child’s ring. I was a divorced adult when I received it.

I wanted very much to be married again and was not finding THE ONE for me.

I believe I know the person who got the gift for me. She was charged with buying gifts for about ten people on a very limited amount of money – think dollar store shopping.

She was hovering around when I opened it. It might have cost under a dollar. She added a Chinese yo-yo with it. I didn’t care about the yo-yo but that ring was the perfect gift for me.

I have small fingers and the ring would only fit on my left hand. I took that to mean, it was a precursor to a wedding ring. It was heart shaped and the blue plastic was beautiful. I have long preferred a colored stone to a clear diamond.

Photo by Evil Erin

I wore that ring until the plastic band cracked and pinched me.

When a gift is chosen with heart, you can’t go wrong. Something magical happens.

Have your best Christmas ever!

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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3 A.M. Thoughts

Photo by smoorenburg

Do you ever wake up in the wee hours, and you have fully formed thoughts about something? I woke up this morning thinking of a woman who commissioned me to do a portrait of her son. She commissioned me many years ago in the 80’s. I was doing portraits in various media. I have a knack for getting a likeness.

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This woman came to me and handed me a few snapshots of a boy with a baseball cap on and his face was in shadow. She told me these were the only recent pictures she had of her son and now he was dead. He died in a car accident. She thought if I could do a portrait of him, she would like to have it to look at.

*

She came back to see how it was going. No she said,

it doesn’t look like him.

She carefully explained how he looked.  I redid it a few times. I would have given a lot to be able to satisfy her. My heart went out to her. But, I seemed unable to do so.

*

Finally, in desperation, one night I said,

Okay _____(Her son’s name), please help me. Your mother wants this and I’d like to oblige.

*

Next time she came by, she exclaimed,

That’s him! That’s his eyes and he’s looking at me.

We both cried.

*

I do believe I had help and I am grateful.

<p> © 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved. </p>

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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FEEL GOOD FRIDAY


The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday meme. Pick one of her prompts and write about it on your blog!

My sister sent me this Christmas card. She made it herself; she silk screened it with 10 colors.

Image Copyright 2010 by HieroGraphix

 

I love my sister’s cards and I think this is my new favorite. Nearly every year she has created a Christmas card.

Image Copyright 2010 by HieroGraphix

When I was young I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. My sister has done that among other things. I admire the care and effort she puts in and shares with us. You can buy her cards at Etsy. You can place a custom order too.

I got some frames to hang her cards in a grouping at my staircase. For the holidays, I will replace my usual artwork with these, in the living areas near my Christmas tree.

Image Copyright 2010 by HieroGraphix

Image Copyright 2010 by Hierograpix

Image Copyright 2010 by Hierograpix

Image copyright 2010 by Hierographix

Image coryright by Hierographix

Image copyright by Hierographix

Image copyright by Hierographix

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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TRAVEL JAPAN- Flea Market

The next place I went, on my second day in Japan was to the Toji flea market at Tenryuji Temple.

My camera battery died, so I am grateful for the photographers at Flikr who allow use of their photos.

Don’t you love the search for a bargain?

Photo by MShades

It’s a joy to me to quickly scan the offerings, looking for ‘gold’. I was not prepared for the size of this market. It was huge. First off, I found a stand with fabrics. Fabric, stationery and art all turn me on.

Much of the fabric offered, is similar to what is available in the US. So, I headed for used kimonos and Japanese fabrics. It’s a good place for that and used kimonos are duty free.

Photo by MShades

I loved looking at Japanese pottery and antique items.

Photo by MShades

I wish I saw these little lanterns. My husband collects them for the garden.

Having to transport purchases home rules out getting any heavy items. At many business establishments, they will ship your purchases to either the airport or back to the states; but they don’t ship here from the flea market.

It is a good place to get tea. When I went to France, it seemed to me that even the cheapest red wine tasted great. My experience has been that green tea in Japan all tastes excellent to me. I bring home lots of loose tea. At one stand, I asked if they had any decaffeinated tea, (for evening drinking). No one at the stand spoke English. One man with twinkling eyes, pointed to a green package and popped his eyes open, extra wide. Then he pointed to an orange colored bag and folded his hands under his cheek and closed his eyes as if asleep.

I laughed and took one of each package.

The orange colored bag contains a twig tea and I love it. I’ll be sorry to see it all go.

I found an old wooden abacus, but the seller was asleep. I told myself IF it cost 500 yen or less and IF the item was still there when I was leaving I would buy it.

Here it is. It came home with me. I like these for the grandchildren.

 

There are many food vendors too. I bought some chicken on a stick.

Photo by np&djjewell

It was fun to try on some clothes. I found a knitted shawl I liked. Most Japanese clothes are small for me.

Photo by np&djjewell

Last trip to Japan, I wanted a wooden covered circular box that they have in the ryokans. It holds everything you need to make your tea except the hot water. The rooms have a water heater of some type or they give you a vacuum pot of hot water.

I was so happy to find this one.

What is your favorite bargain that you’ve found?

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Abundance, Japan

 

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