2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Staying in the Moment

time-machine-retro-style-illustration-34241376In trying to reinvigorate my blogging for This and That With Calandra, I have been following WordPress’ “Daily Post,” which provides starter prompts for new posts. Today’s prompt was this:

“Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?”

My answer is NEITHER! Time took a different turn for me when I first became a mother in 2006. Many people said, “Enjoy them while they’re young!” Others said, “It’ll get easier as they get older.” Well I decided that I wanted to stay in the moment. Why dwell on the past, and why rush the future? Every stage of my children’s development has been a joy to watch – trying and frustrating at times – but enjoyable nonetheless. Every brain cell I spend thinking about the past or future is energy wasted, energy I could have used in the present moment.

Staying in the moment doesn’t just apply to my children. As you can tell from many of my posts on TTWC, I love to reminisce. There’s nothing wrong with remembering, but wishing to revisit days gone by is non-productive for me. Planning for the future is fine, but I’ll see it when it gets here. So I have no use for time machines. I prefer to stay in the moment!

Autumn Saturdays

It is a rainy and raw Saturday in New York; the kind of day that reminds me of why Autumn is my favorite season. My mind immediately rolls back to Autumn Saturdays of my youth.

My mother and I rose early to do the weekly chores. My father went out to run errands. Momma had a pot of Great Northerns (beans) on the stove and cornbread in the oven. Storm clouds dimmed the sunlight that usually lit up the living room, which was now colored a muted gray. The raindrops tapped out a melody on the windows, and the growing wind later joined in harmony.

By the time our work was done, Daddy was back home so we sat and ate our beans and cornbread.  We watched television – flipping between the news reports of the Nor’Easter that was blowing through the area, and bowling matches (hey, don’t judge – we were a bowling family!).

Quiet afternoons led to quiet nights, preparing for church the next day. I miss days like this…the smells and sounds of Autumn Saturdays.

It’s My Season!

Autumn Leaves

Some of you know that Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. The changing landscape paints a beautiful nature canvas of leaves turning rich shades of red, yellow and gold. The temperature shifts from hot and steamy to crisp and chilly. It’s the time of year that prompts long afternoons drinking tea while snuggling under a throw and catching up on some reading.

Ok…who am I kidding? I have a 6- and 8-year old. There’s no time for the at-home luxuries of Autumn! But it is still the time I love most. There is a quietness broken only by rustling trees and the crunch of fallen leaves under the sole of those brand new leather boots you bought on sale ;-).

So for you Summer Sun Worshippers, don’t fret. Embrace ‘Snuggle Season’ and enjoy nature’s beauty. Find a reason to love the Fall!



Growing up in church, I often heard preachers begin their sermons with a joke, saying their wives told them before service to remember to KISS when delivering their sermon. “Keep It Short, Stupid.”

I want to first say a special “Thank you” to a few of my fellow bloggers for telling me to KISS. They didn’t verbally tell me this, but their brief but effective and engaging posts have encouraged me to tell myself to KISS.

I haven’t posted in This and That With Calandra for a little while very long time! Several posts ago I vowed not to get wrapped up in the (in)frequency of my posts. I wouldn’t write if I didn’t have anything to say. Well now I’m tackling the issue of brevity. Sometimes I have something to say, but I feel like it’s not enough content for a post. But as Cochise said to Preach in Cooley High, “You ain’t got to make no speech brotha…Go!”

Having said that, look for more posts to come!

Shout out to my “brief bloggers” Lisa Stanton (I Am A New Lis) and DK Wyatt (My Love For Music)


What Time is It?

TimeMy children have known how to tell time for a few years now, but it seems that lately, if there is no clock in their immediate view, they constantly ask, “What time is it?”  They do it all…the…time… I asked them why they want to know and their answer is, “Because we like knowing what time it is.” Duh.

It made me think about how aware we are (or are NOT) about time. Time is something that can be managed, wasted or well-spent, but it cannot be borrowed, changed or given back. When my children were born, time took a different spin – feeding and sleep schedules were monitored, and I had to be aware of how the timing of my activities fit into their timing (something that has not changed!). Effective time management is crucial – whether it is personal, professional, parental, or a combination of all three. Many of you know that I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Why wait until January 1 to start something you can start TODAY? In terms of time, the 24 hours on December 31 are the same 24 hours that occur on January 1. As a young child, I remember excitedly counting down the minutes until midnight. If we weren’t in church, we were at home and we would make sure to give everyone a Happy New Year greeting. And then 12:01 became just another minute.

Let’s be clear – I DO value the changing from one year to the next. We should be grateful any time we cross from 11:59 to 12 midnight. I have learned of at least 10 deaths over the last two weeks. Old wives’ tales often speak of more deaths at the end of the year/beginning of the new year, so every day we open our eyes is a gift. Having said that, let’s pay attention to the time. What time is it? Is it time to stop wasting time and start using it more wisely? YES! It’s time to stop talking about ‘it’ and start BEING about ‘it.’ Don’t wait for tomorrow – EVERY day is New Year’s Day!