Monday, January 3, 2011

Thanks in the New Year

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year celebration and that 2011 will be a year full of good health, happiness and many new blessings!  Do you believe that I've lived my entire life in New York City but I never went to Times Square to watch the ball drop. Like many of you, I watch it on TV. When I was working as an RN I usually worked the night shift on New Year's Eve and I would walk around to wish all my patients better health in the upcoming year. Naturally, my yearly resolutions since then have always revolved around trying to keep myself healthy, by eating more vegetables and fresh fruit, and less meat and processed foods, and of course exercising more!  I also try to find gratitude in each day, to enjoy life and to keep learning new things. They are all very basic resolutions, but ones I have been keeping fairly well from year to year, except for exercising -- that one I will concentrate a little more on this year!

Eating more locally grown and in-season produce, preferably organically grown, is a goal this year, and this calender made by my friend will help me to do just that! She made all the beautiful fruit and vegetable illustrations by hand using stencils and assorted scrapbook papers, which you can see in the photo collage below. Each month lists the fruits and vegetables that are harvested locally in New York State during those months.  (All photos will enlarge by clicking on them once, and then again when they open on a new page)

Thanks Rosemary!  I love it!  If you'd like to learn more about the advantages of eating locally grown, sustainably produced food, the Sustainable Table web site is an excellent resource for more information.

I also want to thank Cynthia Nelson, of the food blog "Tastes Like Home" for the wonderful assortment of herbal teas from The Tea Spot and the "tuffy tea steeper" that I won on her blog! My husband and I like to relax with a cup of herbal tea after dinner every evening and talk about our day. The Tea Spot makes a wonderful variety of loose teas, both herbal and regular teas, and they have many different types of tea steeper's. Ten percent of their profits are donated to cancer wellness charities!

Cynthia is a gem of a person -- you can't help but feel her natural warmth and cheerfulness in everything she writes on her blogs and various publications where she is a freelance writer. She was born in Guyana, but has lived in Barbados for many years, and her recipes have African, Indian, Chinese, and Portuguese roots. All are absolutely delicious and beautifully photographed. I've learned so many new wonderful food and spice combinations by reading her blog. She has just published her first cookbook aptly called Tastes Like Home! (click on the link to learn more about it!)
If you ever visited the Caribbean and fell in love with the cuisine you tasted there, and would like to try to reproduce it at home, Cynthia's cookbook is a must have authentic reference.
Thanks so much Cynthia -- we have been enjoying our tea!

Another thank you goes out to Lisa, author of one of my favorite blogs called: "Grandma's Briefs"!  I met Lisa when she e-mailed me last year and asked if I would like to become one of her blog's "Grilled Grandmas," a delightful feature where she interviews a different grandmother every month. I've been reading her blog ever since!  Lisa is a wonderfully talented writer and I am always impressed with the variety of subjects she discourses on on her multi layered blog. Lisa became a first time, long distance grandmother in 2008, the same year that I did, and she is also expecting a new grandson in the Spring of 2011.  It will be a very happy year for both of us!  
I won the above Hallmark recordable book on her blog during the Christmas season. Hallmark makes many varieties of recordable books, both classic stories and new. This book is one for a child to record in their voice for his or her grandmother.

While my grandson just turned two, and is a little young as yet to record this alone, I will bring it with me the next time I visit him and help him say the words with me. I think my heart will melt every time I hear him say the words on this page!  Thanks, Lisa!  I could not think of a better gift to give a new grandma, or Nonna, as I'm called.

I have so much in life to be thankful for and good friends, both in real life and those I've made through blogging, are one of the things I am so grateful for this year! You have made 2010 a wonderful year and I look forward to sharing 2011 with you all! 

A few questions: 

How do you exercise every day?  What were your resolutions for 2011?

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Linda said...

Happy New Year to you too! I try and exercise every day, but right now it is cold and rainy, so my outdoor walks will have to wait...we are lucky here that so many fruits and veggies are available year round...we visit the farmer's market weekly and also grow what we can, although my poor garden is a soogy mess right now due to all the rain.

Donna said...

Happy New Year, Pat! What great gifts!

I've been trying to eat healthy too, lots of fruits and veggies. Walking the dogs, I find, is good exercise and of course gardening. It will be easier to exercise more when the weather warms up.

Looking forward to another year of your wonderful blog!


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I love all of your winnings, and I can't think of anyone who deserves them more than YOU! :-)

I also adore those champagne flutes. Are they Waterford? They are glorious!

Wishing you all that is best, my friend, with blessings from the Lord for 2011.

Love you...


Sheila :-)

Maria M. Boyer said...

Pat, I don't exercise EVERY day, but I do spin on Tuesdays and want to add yoga on Fridays. I have enjoyed eating healthier foods in my midlife ... and hope to continue to try new and interesting veggies, fruits, and grains as the years continue on. My resolutions? To eat healthier, exercise more, and be more present for my children on a daily basis ... which is why I am logging off the computer RIGHT NOW! HNY, my blog friend.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Happy New Year, Pat!! That calendar is so very special, and just geared to where you live! You have had lots of blogging adventures this year, that's for sure! I love the tea things and the recordable book, how cool to have your grandson's voice on it! You'll have to let us know how that turned out, maybe post a video of you opening it. Well, by now you know what my resolutions are. I don't exercise because I have a torn rotator cuff and need knee surgery, plus other health problems. But I was thinking of Richard Simmons "Dancing to the Oldies" for seniors, if I could do it. I tried to Hula Hoop, but I somehow lost the wiggle in my jiggle, it fell flat!! And I used to be queen of the hoop, even spinning it around my neck!! My mom was always yelling that I would break my neck.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

happy new year! we actually got a treadmill for christmas and plan on becoming very healthy this year....i have to wait until me shoulder heals though....maybe by march :-(

Kris said...

No, I do not exercise daily. But I did before I began to babysit my grandson. 3 yrs ago, I was beginning my day with a 2-3 mile jog through the park m-f. That was 40 pounds and 3 yrs ago.
: ( said...

Nice post Pat! & A very happy new year to you too.
I can't wait to check out some of your links.
I like to go to the gym everyday &
my resolution is to get more sleep, at least 7 hours a night no less than 6.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You have a lovely blog. Happy New Year from Sicily.

Claudia said...

Happy 2011, Pat. You have certainly had a beautiful start to the New Year. And I imagine the snow is melting. I started my resolutions in November and so far so good. We've been eating as locally as possibe for 2 years and I like the change. The MN winter brings challenges as to produce but our meats are local and organic. I never went to Times Square and I never intend to! In fact, I used to always go to the theatre or Lincoln Center New Year's Eve and left as quickly as possible!

Old Kitty said...

Goodness Pat!! What a lovely blog piece, thank you!! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO!!!

When I was younger (and saying that really ages me!! ) my friends and I would have no qualms about making our very crowded way into central London to watch the fireworks. These days it's watching it on the telly! LOL!! I get a better view and I'm warm!! LOL!

Anyway!! I love your calendar!! It's so unique and so practical and a great reminder of what's seasonal to eat!! Lovely!! And those teas look amazing! I have no idea what a tuffy tea steeper does but by jingo I like it!!! Congratulations to Cynthia with her book!!!

Awww that Hallmark recordable book is so so super sweet!!! Wow!! I hope you and your adorable grandson have lots of fun times recording these lovely words!

Exercise regime? I choose the ever so lovely Rosemary Conley DVDs. She's devised one where you do half hour exercises on alternate days - so one day it's aerobics, next day it's toning. It works for me cos realistically I only have 1/2 hour to spare each night!! And it's a long term thing so 8 months of this regime has produced fab results for me!! I mean I'm not super skinny but I'm able to climb a staircase and not get out of breath!! And none of this jumping around until you drop type of attitude too! I love her!!! LOL!!

GOOD LUCK with your resolutions!!!
Take care

Donnie said...

Loved your post on thankfulness today. I try to walk most days and when the weather is warmer we go to the pool. Hope you have a wonderful 2011.

La said...

Happy New Year, Pat!

I work on the third floor of my office building and I always take the stairs....and call it exercise. I really need to do better.

Have a great week! La

Vee said...

What nice wins! I love the idea of the book...will you be able to wait that long (until you see your grandson next)? I haven't thought much about my own health sad to say, but I see many bloggers have. Perhaps you'll all serve as a good example.

Pondside said...

Hi Pat - what a lovely calendar! You have a talented friend.
No resolutions here - just goals that are pretty open-ended.
I exercise every day, as soon as I've put the kettle on in the morning, whether it's a 0530 or 0730 - I have to do it for my back. I walk whenever I can. I've tried gym memberships and they are just sources of guilt to me - much better at putting on my runners and going for a good walk several times a week, taking the stairs always and parking far away from where I need to be. I battle the weight demon, but then with age has come a slower metabolism (it's a good excuse!)

Lovella ♥ said...

HI Pat. . .oh and I watched for you too at the square. Quite frankly. .at our age some things seem better from tv.
I have turkey bean and kale soup on the stove now so I am doing my best to begin the new year with a good handful of veggies. I had considered making turkey noodle soup and congratulated myself while I was purchasing the kale.

I have a treadmill. I walk three times a week. I walk on an elevation and walk fast enough to huff and puff during a speaker phone conversation. ;)

Michelle said...

I walk or use my eliptical machine each day. When the weather is good I try to take advantage of that and get outdoors. No resolutions this year. Just trying to be more conscience of what I eat/do/think.

Carol said...

Great gifts, Pat, very nice!
My son and his friends went to see the ball drop for the first time. They had a blast! I'm sure celebrating on the train home was fun, too! I've only seen it on TV, way too crowded for me!

Good luck with the healthy eating!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Wonderful thoughts for the new year, Pat and great gifts you've received! I hope to follow those same goals and try to get more fruits and veggies in the daily diet. My normal exercise routine is walking - on the treadmill during the winter and hot, humid days of summer along with some weights here and there too.

I'd love to share a little of the bubbly with you ;)

~Cheryl said...

Ahh... I, too, wonder if those are Waterford flutes! They are gorgeous and the perfect introduction for this post!

Carole Burant said...

Happy New Year, dear Pat! Wishing you and yours all the very best that 2011 has to offer.

Congratulations on all of your winnings, I need to go rub your arm for luck! lol

That calendar your friend made for you is so delightful. I love fresh fruit and veggies as well and try to eat some every day. I miss not having our veggie garden during the winter months, though.

As for exercise...well that just sounds too much like exercise!! lol I use to go to the gym all the time but these last few years I've gotten lazy where exercising is concerned. Really need to get back into it!! xoxo

Unknown said...

Hi Pat,
I thought about you when I watched the Times Square celebration on New Years Eve!

I love NYC, but don't think I want to be in the middle of that event. LOL

I am thinking of joining Weight Watchers again...they've changed it, and fruits are totally free!

I need to get back into my exercise routine....went to aerobics 3 times last week, but I'm going to need to do more.

Hope you have a wonderful New Year-I enjoy your blog, and need to get back into mine!
:) Diane

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Happy New Year to you, Pat, and to your family. I think you made the best choice by not going to Time does look very exciting, but there are way too many people. We watched it here too, 9:00 our time, and lifted a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year. It's a tradition in my house.

I am looking forward to many visits here at your world in the year ahead. Thanks for the inspiration!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Pat, Happy 2011 to you... Sounds like you are on the right track for a fabulous year... I don't make resolutions --but I am very aware (as I grow older) how important it is to stay healthy.. SO---I try to eat healthy, exercise, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep....


Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Thank you for the kind, kind words, Pat. I'm flattered ... and so thankful you and I have become bloggy friends. Bloggy friends at the same point in grandparenting, which is a wonderful thing to share with you! 2011 will indeed be a special one for us both, considering the new grandbabies on the way. I look forward to more of your amazing photos in 2011. Love the new header! Happy, HAPPY new year to you!

Regina said...

Happy New Year Pat. Best wishes.
I miss being here.


Jessica B said...

Thanks for the kind words. We're glad that you love your new Tuffy Steeper and teas. Best wishes to you in the New Year! - Jessica, from The Tea Spot

Tanna said...

Happy New Year, Pat! In my pre-menopausal life, I was an avid exerciser. Now, well... I get myself going... and then, I stop... get myeself going... and then, I stop. I am at a stop right now and need to get up and get after it! LOL!

I can't wait to go visit Lisa's grandmother blog! Another 2008 long distance grandmother with another coming in 2011! Love finding you other Nonnas! Have a great day.

Snap said...

Happy New Year, Pat! Glad we were all at home watching the ball drop and not out in the *millions* catching a virus! :D :D :D Congratulations on your gifts and wonderful resolutions. I try to visit my little farmers market each week to see what goodies they have.

Tracy said...

Happy New Year, Pat! Your goals for 2011 are great ones. My own guideline for the New Year is Live Slow--Live Well... with health, food and body as big part of that. I practice yoga daily. I also like to walk, and would like to add more walks to my week. BEAUTIFUL champagne & flutes at the top--love the sense of celebrating just the image conjures. Looking forward to being with you here again another year. Wishing you & yours all the very best of health, happiness, peace & joy in the New Year! :o) ((HUGS))

Flavia Galasso said...

When I read your profile blog.... I decided I HAD TO BE A FOLLOWER OF YOURS!!!...I love USA and New York city!!!

HAppy new year to you..... and now I run to put your blog in my blogroll.... I'm from Italy but on my blog I translate italian post in English version....mille baci speciali a te!!! Ciao Flavia

Sheila said...

Hello Pat - good thoughts about eating right and exercising. I was going to a Wellness program twice a week through the summer but find it harder to get to town through the winter. There is a new exercise program starting though and I hope to plan to go twice a week. Otherwise, I have the exercise bike and plan to make a Google maps route that I can highlight as I complete it. I will start with a shorter route and visit the destinations I travel to on the internet and then go on to something more ambitious. Hopefully I'll get started today. We eat healthy food for the most part and try to cook most meals from scratch rather than use prepared foods. Good luck to all of us on this journey to a healthy lifestyle!

GailO said...

Happy New Year to you dear Pat! Did I tell you that Mr O and I spent a day in Manhattan last Thursday? We thought about going to Eataly but will save that for a less hectic was shoulder to shoulder at MOMA and on 5th Ave. Still it is always fun and we never do it enough.

Love that calendar! I hope she is selling them...the collages are beautiful.

I didn't make any resolutions this year other than choosing the focus word of EMBRACE...Maybe I will try to embrace exercising more too:)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - I wouldn't even want to be in Times Square on NY Eve. It's a zoo. My office building was right next to where the ball dropped. I could see if from my window, and on those days when I worked on NY eve, it was a mess just to get out at the subway stop there. That Hallmark book is so perfect for you. I am going to get some of those for all the grandmothers that I know. What a wonderful idea. I wish you and your family a happy new year too. It has been a joy to know sweet blogging friends like you. I hope we get to meet face to face in the new year. Don't even ask me about exercise - I've been bad the last six months, so it has to improve from here.

annie said...

Thank you for your wonderful photographs and stories. Love them!
You have given me hours of enjoyment.

I am trying to eat healthier too and trying to use small weights to exercise with.
Have a lovely evening!:)

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I gained almost 10 pounds this year so I'm the last person to ask, lol. I got sidelined by a knee injury (the bike thing) but am determined to get back on the horse. Or the bike. :-) And I know from experience that slow and steady wins the race.

I really made a point of shopping from farmers this year more than ever and I feel good in so many ways for doing it. Definitely more for me this year, too (though the winter months are slim pickins'!). Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? I think you would really like it. And it's got recipes, too!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Walking is still my favorite form of exercise. On the treadmill while I read a book, on days that I cannot be outside. I am trying to cut way down on red meat, white flour and sugar this year. That is a lovely calendar case I forgot to tell you, happy New Year to you and your family.
♥, Susan

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the mention Pat. So glad that you are enjoying the tea :)


Beth said...

Hello Pat, and Happy New Year to You! I am perusing your lovely blog and I see you mentioned that you used to work as an RN. I am an RN too, and just wondered what type of work you do now. Also I noticed my picture (as a follower) of your blog is different than the profile photo I recently changed to on my blog. It's the photo I had on my profile when I became a follower. Interesting. My goals for the New Year are to get more fit and to find a new job.
Blessings and hugs, Beth