Christmas Shopping

Shopping! Today that is the subject on 99% of our minds. Less than a month before Christmas! Can we find what we want, what we need? And the big question—can we get it before anyone else does!

On Thanksgiving we give thanks for all that we have. The day after we turn our minds to greed for all we might get. And yet, there is a midpoint. We can be thankful that we are able to give gifts to others. We live in affluent country and our children tend provide detail lists of what they want to find under the tree.

Online is the easiest way to shop. Just sit back and click around until you find just what you want. No muddy streets or parking blocks and blocks away from the stores. But right there in front of the fire with a hot cocoa beside you.

And you have our link right on this page!
#holiday #givingtuesday #christmas #presents

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Giving Thanks

Giving thanks. We live in a time and nation where we, in general, have more than anyone else ever has. Heat in our homes, food on our tables, reasonably stable lives, medicine and doctors to keep us well.


The pilgrims left Europe for freedom of worship. They came to a new world, ready to build a new town or county; I wonder if they knew what that meant when so far from home?

What we consider everyday things took so much work, prayer, and sheer will power for the early settlers in this country. Over half of them died, others had been terribly sick. Out in the heat and cold to find animals they could shoot (with blunderbusses! Just try that!), tilling soil that had never been tilled to plant vegetables and fruits never grown in this country before, having and raising children in such harsh conditions while starving.

Their struggle prompted Thanksgiving Day. One day to give thanks to God who had bought them safely though all of this and made their work prosper. They also invited the Native Americans who had helped them, and shown then how to do so many new things, they needed to know in this new world; Native Americans and Pilgrims sharing the meal together.

Today, we can add so many other things to our list! Electricity, quick modes of transportation, shopping centers and grocery stores. Those early pilgrims would be astounded to see such things!

We are all thankful for our health, our food, our shelter. Many of us are thankful for our loved ones living through fires, wars, and violence; for better economic conditions (while many still look forward to better days), opportunities to work; to worship freely, and to live freely. As a country and a people, we also set aside one day to give thanks for all the good things we have.

What are you thankful for this year?

We add that we are thankful for all of you who have liked, shared, and followed our Volcano Alley Creative Group and bought our designed products this year. Have a great thanksgiving everyone!

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Rainy Day View

It’s a cloudy day but you decide to talk a walk. On goes your sweater, your iPhone, your rain coat and your boots, and perhaps you grab the umbrella as you head out the door. Good thinking: it starts to rain, then pour. You look down at your feet watching the puddles, but that is so boring. You look up and you find a wonderland of interesting things.

The drops make fractal designs in the water. There are shimmering colors in the puddles from the neon street signs and traffic lights. Shapes come in and out of view. Cars go past like so many colorfully striped zebras. Out in the rain there is an entire new world opening to you: one of beauty and creative thinking.

As you ponder this new world, wondering why you haven’t noticed it before and why does it seem so strange and yet so familiar, you realize that this is a muted world of solitude. The rain is loud enough to drown out the sounds, voices seem distant; the bright colors are grayed out. Even with the beating rain, the world is calm and you breathe in and out with ease, slowing you pace, after all you’re out for a walk, not in a hurry. You have time to stoop down and see the small leaves dancing in the damp, twisting this way and that, bobbing up and down.

A quiet interlude is just the thing before a busy season arrives.

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