Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gafanha da Nazare - Aveiro

A vida e bela e feita de recordacoes...........Obrigado Rogerio por estas fotografias maravilhosas da nossa terra !

Friday, December 22, 2006

* Feliz Navidad *

Monday, December 18, 2006

St. Thomas,Virgin Islands

"Você pode não ser ninguém no mundo, mas pode ser o mundo de alguém."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Quote

To love oneself is the beginning
of a lifelong romance.
-Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 08, 2006

8 de Dezembro Dia da Familia

Ainda que os pais falassem a língua dos anjos, se não tiverem coragem, firmeza e amor, nada ensinariam a seus filhos.
Ainda que os pais trabalhassem noite e dia, ensinassem todos os saberes e virtudes, mostrassem todos os caminhos, partilhassem toda sua história de vida e toda sua fé, se não tiverem a paciência, a sabedoria e o amor, nada deixariam a seus filhos.
Porque só o amor ensina, convence, amadurece, une, perdoa, cura, respeita, cria uma família.

An Old Christmas Story

PS ... This fun story was just FWD to me from a dear friend, and I just have to share with you!

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "World-Famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were World-Famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything.
She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" She snorted... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second World-Famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.
"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's second grade class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; what he didn't have was a good coat.
I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.
"Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible.) Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.
Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.
Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes.
That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
May you always have LOVE to share. And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus.
Expect a Miracle!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Josh Groban - You Raise Me Up
The Gift of Giving
By Hope Saxton

Gram and Gramps lived on the other side of the country, and although we called and wrote often, it had been twenty years since I'd seen them in person. Their health was failing, and age kept them close to home. My responsibilities at home with a husband, two young children and a part-time job, kept me from visiting. I did make a point of going in March one year. I'd spoken to Gram and realized that, in their eighties now, they weren't going to be around forever - as much as I would like them to be. I made the arrangements and flew there for a week. The moment I walked in the door, I was home again. The memories from a childhood long past, immediately returned. The cookies baking in the warm oven, watching Gram ice the fairy-tale cake and letting me dig in the bowl of icing when she was done. The beautiful clothes she'd sewed, smocked dresses and shorts with pop-tops to match. As she often did in her letters, she told stories of what I was like as a little girl and how she'd given me Muriel as my middle name. I never told her how much I was teased as a child because of that name - suddenly, it was prettier somehow and its very uniqueness was so like Gram. Gramps talked of the two wars he lived through, and I told him how proud I was to know he'd served his country so well. He made me laugh, and I believe I made him feel young again, if only for awhile. In turn, he made me cry. He told me that he and Gram had given up on celebrating Christmas about ten years back. They were just too old. How can one let Christmas pass by unnoticed? I remembered best the Christmas as a child, when they lived with us. They loved the season and always went to midnight Mass. Gramps took my brothers, sisters and me to cut down the tree, while Gram baked every Christmas cookie imaginable, then decorated the tree just so. Our house had been filled with the love and togetherness I had always associated with Christmas. I couldn't believe they had stopped celebrating it. Gramps explained that they were too old to bother with a tree and their friends too old to travel to see it. Even shopping, now, was too difficult, and they had all of the necessities delivered. I wanted to cry for the joy they'd once had - and lost. That week remains one of the most joyous of my life. Knowing that it might be the last time I saw either of them saddened me, but I was determined to make it a happy visit. I took the two of them out to dinner - something they hadn't done in well over two years, since Gram had her hip surgery. I know they had a good time. Saying good-bye was difficult. Gramps, the brave, strong hero of mine, cried and Gram did her best not to. She never succeeded. I cried on the plane all the way home. As Christmas approached, I thought of them more than ever. I wanted to do something so they would know I was thinking of them. The idea came to give them back Christmas, and I set about to do just that. First, I found a small artificial tree and decorated it with miniature bulbs and fine gold ribbon. With this, I added colorfully wrapped presents for each of them; slippers, chocolates, a hand-knit scarf for Gramps and a pretty bed jacket for Gram. I made up a box of cookies and bars; many of the recipes were from Gram's cookbooks. Then I filled stockings for each of them with toiletries wrapped and tied with ribbons. In the card, I wrote that they had given me so many wonderful memories throughout the years that I wanted to give them some new ones. I asked both of them to promise to set the tree up in the living room and stack the gifts around it. My last instruction was, "Do not open 'til Christmas!" I mailed the parcel, barely able to contain my excitement. Gram called as soon as it arrived. She was crying and, this time, not even attempting to hide it. We spoke for a long time, reminiscing about Christmas past, and when I knew for certain they had the tree up, I promised to call Christmas morning. When my boys had opened every gift and were digging through their stockings, I made the long-awaited call. Gramps answered on the first ring. I thought he sounded strange, and we only spoke briefly, then Gram took the phone. "We were like two kids," she told me. "Neither of us got any sleep last night. I even caught Harry in the living room, shaking one of the packages and had to make him go back to bed. Honey, this is the first time in years we've been so excited. Don't tell your grandfather, but after he went to bed, I just had to rattle a few of the gifts myself." I laughed, imagining the two of them sneaking out to guess at the presents I'd sent. I wished there was more money to send more expensive gifts, and told Gram that maybe next year they would be better. "Your grandfather can't talk right now because he's too busy crying. He keeps saying, 'That's one heck of a granddaughter we have there, Muriel.'"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Something to think about.......

Too many people spend money they haven't earned ,to buy things they don't want,to impress people they don't like. ---Will Rogers---