Loving Christmas Movies - Hallmark and More

I am not a big Christmas Fan in real life but I love Christmas Movies!  Watching these movies helps me like Christmas more. I posted some things about loving Christmas movies on my Facebook page and this is one of the replies I received:
"Someone needs to write new scripts for their movies. They are the same plots repeated over and over again, with the same actors.  Personally  I would like to see a real life type of story that people can relate to that doesn't include perky, bubbly, giddy females that act more like young teenagers instead of the adults they are supposed to be."  

I wonder why these movies are so popular if people can't relate to them?  As for real life, I often get tired of real life with all the negativity, pain and suffering.  Take me to a Christmas movie and I get a respite from it all.   Isn't this what movies are for? To take us away from "real life" so we can just sit back and relax?  Yes I like the glitter, the over decorating, those delicious looking Christmas cookies. What fun it would be to do carolling with them through the snow covered streets.   Community too!  Yes the Hallmark movies are filled with people who know each other and gather together with love and community. 

Sure some of these movies are cheesy without much plot and too bubbly women.  I've switched to another movie when the cheese gets too thick.  But other movies show heartbreak, loneliness,  pain, and most all the emotions we humans feel.  I watched some heart filled movies where people whose hearts have been broken and closed find love again.  What a joy to watch.  I've seen some where old lovers reunite after thirty years.  I've seen another wonderful movie where a woman finds her son she put up for adoption when he was a baby and how I cried!

Lifetime Movie club has their own Christmas movies that are different from Hallmark's but good in their own way. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime show Christmas movies too.  

Christmas movies FEEL GOOD and the more we find ways to feel good the more we raise our vibrations.  So many of us love these movies that there are facebook groups talking about what movies they like and posting the lovely decorations they put up.  There is a whole blog on how to write these movies and others why we are so addicted to them.

Yes give me these bubbly, loving, feeling characters, the glittery decorations, a glass of eggnog and some Christmas cookies and I'll put aside the negative news for awhile.

May your holidays be as blessed and happy as a Hallmark Christmas movie. 

Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay 

Image by Samad Khakpour from Pixabay 
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 

Can We Let Go as Easily As the Leaves Release From Their Branches?

I love fall.  When I was a child I dreaded it because I had a school phobia so I don't think I even noticed the beauty of the leaves changing colors. I was raised in the north, then we moved to Florida and we didn't have a real fall down there.  There were signs including hurricanes and the weather got a little cooler.  But as time went on and fall rolled around again I began wanting to experience it again as an adult.  So we took a couple of trips to Tennessee and North Carolina.  I was 50 before I saw a mountain and as we drove toward them I teared up.  "Look what God made and then she painted them," I thought.  An old hymn began playing in my mind. 

Now that we are living where there are four seasons I've been enjoying fall again.  Each time I see the leaves swirling off the branches I think about how easily they let go.  We don't see trees screaming "No I don't want to let go, I want to stay on the branch."

We don't see branches pushing reluctant leaves off.   It all seems to happen just the way it's supposed to.  Yes there are storms that make the wind blow hard and many leaves fall at the same time.  But usually the leaves have their own beautiful dances.

So why do we have such trouble letting go?  Why can't we release our hurts and fears from the past as easy as the leaves release themselves from their branches?  I know there isn't just one answer to this question.  I've read and heard through my astrology courses that it is harder for some signs to let go than others. Could that really be true?  I am an Earth sign and my moon and sun are fixed.  I have had trouble letting go and when I heard that I thought, Ah so that's why.  But is that only reason?  I'm sure psychologists would have a field day with this subject.

What do you think?  Let's discuss but with love and gentleness.
In the meantime watch this video and think about what you'd like to let go of and how might you do it?  What techniques would you use? Meditation,  Eft tapping,  therapy? What has worked for you or hasn't worked?  You can post comments here on the blog or underneath it on Facebook.

Sunday morning with the cows

This morning we went out for breakfast and picked up a newspaper. On the way home I noticed the mountains were dressed in fog.  I was too far away to take a picture so we drove over to the park.  The view wasn't the same but I photographed a couple of pictures.

Then we saw the cows.  

I read that it is not true that when cows are lying down it's going to rain.  Cows can lie down for a long time. They sleep lying down too but only when there is another cow keeping watch.  

 As you can see, there are always one or two cows standing guard while the others are relaxing.

One cow that was closest to the gate seemed like he was looking at me.  I said hi to him but got no response.  Not that I expected him to wave or say, "Hi Jean".   Then I remembered those videos where people played music for the cows and they all walked over to the fence to listen. So I looked for the video and found a couple. But the sun was shining so bright on the phone that I really didn't find a good one.  Next time I will be more prepared and try something like this.

Do cows respond more to live music more than music played from a phone? I don't know.

Did you know that the latest fad is to cuddle with cows at $300 an hour?

So that's Sunday morning with the cows and a couple of pretty mountain pictures too.

Prayer For Protection

I need this prayer today.  I don't know who GOD is.  I know it is not a man sitting on a cloud judging us.  I know people who are really really mad at him for letting things happen.  Who is God?  How to make God feel more personal?  I think of my angels and guides when I think of God.  I know, people write that we shouldn't pray to angels, only to God.  I don't feel like when I talk to my angels I'm excluding God.  Thinking God as the Universe is almost too big.  But God is not a man either.  What about Goddess?  I don't know for sure but I like this prayer. It was written by James Dillet Freeman and Buzz Aldrin carried this prayer for protection in his pocket when he went to the moon.  

Wonderful 4th of July as a child

Besides Christmas and my birthday, 4th of July was my 3rd favorite holiday.   I was raised in a small town who celebrated the day in all kinds of wonderful ways.

First we had the parade.  I marched in it when I was a Brownie. 

Another time I was in the parade with my bicycle advertising my father's gas station. 

Advertising my father's gas station is open now

Jack's gas station is open now

After the parade we went up to the park for games and races. 

Later in the afternoon we got to go to the lake where we participated in swimming races. I won once for the back crawl. 

The single men and married ones played a baseball game.  I don't know if they still do.

One of my favorite memories was the street dance.  I was a child then. It was in the 1940s and I loved hanging out near the band.  They played Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman music and I loved watching the piano and bass players.   

My father was a fireman in town and one year I got to ride in the firetruck with him and ring the bell. Boy did I think I was hot stuff.  Ha ha.   Back then they let children ride around town in a fire truck.  It was fun.

We moved a couple years after Dad died and the Fourth of July was never the same.   I always wished I was back in my hometown on that special day.

In 1989 we went back for mother's funeral and we were there on July 4th staying at an aunt's house.  Waiting and watching the parade was so nostalgic.  It felt like nothing had changed except the people.   I was quite emotional for many reasons.

Today I watched a live Facebook video of the parade and many emotions came up again. I remembered the good times, my friends, parents, and what fun we had on this special holiday in my old home town.   It was both fun and bittersweet.   As someone told me, the children today are making the same memories because the town itself hasn't changed all that much.  

The Joys of Summer

Hubby said, "Let's do something different today."
"Like what?"  I asked.

We talked about different things, then I suggested the Farmer's Market for one.  He liked that, especially for the juicy peaches.  So off we went.

I love this time of year seeing all the fields being planted and watching vegetables already growing in others.

The Farmer's Market is a nice drive from our house and the morning was cool so we drove with the windows open.  Later it got too hot and we had to fire up the air conditioner.

We always shop at one place as we've gotten to know the Jarvis family. 

Bernie goes right for the peaches.  
Juicy peaches

 While I head for the squash. 

Yellow Summer Squash

Zucchini squash
I make a lot of stir fry meals with squash, onions, garlic, red peppers, button mushrooms a dollop of low sodium soy sauce, garlic powder, chicken broth and lots of cheese. We eat them with Quinoa.  Rice or pasta would be delicious too.
I love the yellow summer squash cooked with butter, salt and pepper. I remember eating that for the first time at my aunt's house in Bryn Mawr, Pa.  I was a child and loved this ever since.

Another way I love to use squash is making soup in my Instant Pot.  I saute onions and garlic, then add cut up squash, seasonings, and sometimes cabbage or bagged spinach.  I've even put beans in at times.  Depends what I have in my refrigerator.  I then add a whole big box of chicken broth and push the manual for 6 minutes. I let the pressure go down on it's own for a few minutes, then I release it manually.  When the little silver pin goes down I open the pot, and use my immersion blender until the soup is smooth. Then I add a big handful of cheese and half and half.  We eat it with crackers.  It goes so good with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

The tomatoes are big and oh so good. They are grown locally too. 

Lake Lure, NC


I used to say there was nothing like a Jersey tomato but since I've been away from that state for quite awhile I can say I love these gorgeous, juicy North Carolina tomatoes.  What's better than sliced tomatoes on bread with mayonnaise? Or a BLT?  Even a slice or two of a sweet onion and salt and pepper too.

I don't want to forget the luscious corn and green beans.  We cook our corn in the Instant Pot for 3 to 4 minutes, quick release the pressure and the corn is sooo good.  I have yet to try cooking the green beans in the IP but I'm looking forward to it.

Fresh corn

Half Runner Beans

There are all kinds of pickled foods in jars too.  Here are some of them which I haven't tasted yet.

Just writing this and seeing the delicious produce has made me hungry.  I think I'll go in the kitchen and start prepping for a yummy stir fry dinner.

Awesome Low-Hanging Clouds

Rain and possible flooding is our weather forecast for the weekend.

On our way home from hubby's birthday lunch I saw some awesome clouds hanging over the mountains and of course had to take pictures of them. 

I hope it's not too bad for the farmers who have their crops planted. 

Evening in our hood

June 4th sitting on our porch enjoying the cool breezy evening.  The sunset kissed the day goodbye

and the birds sang their goodnight songs while the firefly's flashed their mating luminaries.

Enlarge to full screen to see the fireflies. 

Bears in Hendersonville, NC

Every May the new bears are revealed in downtown Hendersonville, N.C.   It is a yearly event and in October they are auctioned off and the proceeds go to charity.  One year they tried apples but it didn't go over very well.  It is fun to go downtown and see these adorable decorated bears.

Bearfootin' 2019 | Downtown Hendersonville, NC from Taylor Heery on Vimeo.
I hope you enjoy the video and the cute bears.

I can't wait until ....

How many times I've said, "I can't wait until school is out."  Or "I can't wait until I lose 20 lbs", "I can't wait until Friday, then I can have fun."

There are so many things we tell ourselves that when this or that is over we will be happier.  Or when this or that comes life will be better.

I spent my whole life telling myself I can't wait until....  I guess one has to get old to really realize what this means.  I saw this meme on Facebook this morning and it spoke to me. 

I kept thinking that if I got my house cleaned, the laundry done and bills paid I'd have time to read, write, play with art stuff, go to the movies ...

What if I hadn't waited until? What if I'd written more, painted more, played more? What if I had stopped waiting until... ?  Who was I trying to make happy? 


What are you putting off? What are you telling yourself? Are you going to dust instead of painting a picture? And if you do something you enjoy and feel guilty about it are you going to beat yourself up???

Lightning Bugs Are Back !

Last night I stepped out onto the porch and looked up, hoping.  Was it too early? Are they here yet?  Then I saw lights blinking up in the tree.  Yay, I thought excitedly, the lightening bugs are back!

For a moment I felt like a little girl again.  I grew up in New Jersey and every summer we enjoyed the lightning bug show.  Then, when I was a teenager we moved to Florida.  For awhile we saw them down there too but all too soon the fireflies disappeared.  Even so I would still look.

When we went back in 1989 for mother's funeral we stayed with an aunt and uncle next door to where I grew up.  We were sitting on the porch talking when suddenly lights began blinking outside.  My brother and sister in law were with us and we all leaped up to grab our cameras and ran outside.  Lightening Bugs!  "The tourists are here," our uncle exclaimed with a laugh.  

After moving to Western North Carolina we enjoyed the summer light show again.  Now I get to enjoy another summer watching the lights blinking at night.

Here is an interesting article about fireflies/lightening bugs.

I've been wanting to film a video of the lightening bugs.  Maybe this year I will.  


The west wall was glowing red.  I opened the door and saw this amazing sunset.   I grabbed my iPad and took these beautiful pictures.  

I Love sunsets. These were breathtaking.

I hope you enjoy them too. 


Stir fry vegetables with cheese is one of our favorite meals and It is so healthy.  

I chop zucchini squash, mushrooms, onions, red pepper and put them in a non stick skillet with olive oil.   Sometimes I put in cabbage or eggplant.  Or even yellow summer squash.  It all depends on what I have and what sounds good at the time.  I saute these vegetables for about ten minutes, then I add chopped garlic and some garlic powder and other spices.  While the vegetables are finishing cooking I open a can of chicken stock (you can of course use vegetable stock) and a bottle of low sodium soy sauce.  I drizzle the soy sauce around once or twice and add about the same amount of broth.  Then I throw in a big handful of cheese. We like the taco blend cheese or mexican blend.

I serve this with either quinoa or brown rice. I've even eaten it over whole wheat pasta.  I haven't tried pesto but I bet that would be good too.

Yes one can add tomato sauce or alfredo too.

What would you add to this dish?


Birthdays, Shoulds and Mother's Day

My birthday and Mother's day are usually a week apart or so.  This year my birthday was on a Monday and Mother's Day was the next Sunday.  

"What did you do on your birthday?" 

"Tried to buy a door."

An Asian buffet restaurant gives free meals for people on their birthdays.  I felt like I "should" go. After all it's free.   But my taster wasn't for Asian this year.   What did my taster want?  Oh I so dislike the pressure of feeling like I needed to celebrate something just because it was my birthday. I like myself and want to celebrate every day I'm alive and well.  So I relaxed and know that I can go out to eat any time I want.  Yes that felt better.  We ended up getting hubby a new pair of glasses and eating butter burgers at Culver's.  I really like them and it was just what my taster wanted.  Hubby got onion rings and I got french fries. A birthday party in my mouth!

I had some coupons from other restaurants offering desserts for my birthday.  But I had an A1C test coming up two days later and really didn't want to do desserts.  I know, french fries, buns and onion rings are carbs.  I'm getting real tired of worrying or even thinking about this stuff.  After all I just turned 83. 

My test came out too high and it's got me thinking.  I can get my blood sugar down if I work on it and count carbs, cut out things I like to eat and be careful.  But I'm thinking be careful for why?  I'm not real interested in living until 90 and having to be cared for. Yes I know there are people who live past 90 and are healthy and active.  I'm happy for them.  It doesn't "light me up".  Maybe in a few years I might change my mind. 

A part of me would really like to know how long I'm going to live. I know, many say they wouldn't.   Death is a scary subject. I'm not afraid to be dead, it's just how.  I think the right to die should be passed in every state.  For people who have terminal illnesses and are in pain not just for ordinary old people although ...

Financially I'd like to know how long I have to live.  What's special about having a good credit score when you die?  They aren't going to ask me that at the "Pearly Gates".  

At 83 I don't have the ability to answer how I'd like to see myself in 3 years, much less 5.   I can only think about a week at the most.  I don't say, "I can't wait until"  anymore. 

I'm not depressed, just thinking.  I got over 200 wonderful birthday greetings on Facebook. That made me feel wrapped in a sweet blanket of love. 

As for Mother's Day.  I'd rather have a Smiley balloon rather than flowers.  

I'm glad I have a goofy sense of humor.  It helps and as long as I can find things to laugh about, including our crazy lives I'm ok. 

Magazine Addiction Online

I am Jean Maurie and I am a magazine addict.  There, I said it.  I'm not trying to heal it either because I enjoy my curiosity and it keeps me off the streets. As a blogger and writer I'm in magazine heaven.

I can borrow magazines from our public library through an app called Libby.  These are free with my library card. 

I had a subscription to Texture but Apple bought them out.  I like the magazines but I don't like the Apple News + format.  The Texture App worked much better.   I've read complaints from people who feel the same way I do about the Apple format.   Yes this one costs $10 a month.   I used to buy a lot of printed magazines so actually I'm saving money with the subscription.  If I continued buying print magazines it would cost me a lot more.  Of course I could stop buying printed magazines but I probably wouldn't.  Now I have the apps so I don't need to buy print magazines.  I used to have stacks of magazines all over my room.  When we moved I got rid of many boxes of them.  Now my room is uncluttered and  I'm sticking to the online apps.  If the Apple one doesn't get any better I might cancel.

Today I explored a magazine app that is fascinating.  It's from Stockholm, Sweden filled with magazines from all over the world.  Plus one can read them in many languages.  The app is called Readly. I found Guideposts and their Angel magazines on there plus a lot of art and watercolors magazines.  They even had crossword puzzle magazines that I can actually work once I learn how to use it.  I found The Writer magazine that I was thinking about subscribing to. 

You know those big glossy how to magazines that cost almost $20 that teach us how to use the Ipad pro,  Google for Seniors, Using the Iphone, how to use the Android, how to use Instagram and much more? There are a bunch of these I can read on Readly.  I got a trial subscription for 99 cents for a month so I'll see how it goes.  I think I'll drop CBS all access because I really don't like it or watch it.  These magazine apps are so much more interesting.

Ok, I'm going back to exploring my Readly App now. It might take awhile, so if you don't see me online you'll know why.