Happy New Year’s Eve, West Seattle!

My great nephew, Cooper. His first New Year!

Here we are, counting down the hours until another new year begins. There is no denying that this has been a challenging year in many ways for many people. The promise of a new beginning provides hope and often, relief, which is probably why most of us are so ready to celebrate the occasion.

This blog, Wonders in Alice Land, is a new beginning for me. For the past 5 years I have published a West Seattle real estate blog under the title “Alice is the Key,” but the scope was very limited. I decided to start fresh with a new, more inclusive format that allows me to include posts and pages about other facets of life that are important to me. That’s why the subtitle of this blog is “Living Single, Living Green and Living the Law of Attraction.”

I’ve been using the last few days of 2011 to work on making this blog and website match the vision I have for it. It is a daunting task and I’m far from completing it. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions. What do you think of it so far? What else would you like to see included in this blog/website? Do you have any other blogs and/or websites you like that address similar themes?

If you’d like to follow me, the address to add to your RSS reader is www.WondersInAliceLand.com/feed/

I am working on adding easy/easier ways for you to follow via e-mail, but my technical knowledge — though increasing daily — is limited.

Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year, Happy New Beginnings!

From collecting to sorting to distributing

The toys have all been donated and collected, now come the tasks of sorting and distributing.

I am humbled by the thought of 3 Marines taking on this staggering responsibility. So many boys and girls will benefit from their generous spirits, having very little idea of all that is involved in helping them find some joy this holiday season.

Here are some photos I took at the Toys for Tots distribution warehouse a few days ago. This only shows a portion of what was already there and many more truck loads have come in since then.

The two Marines pictured are Staff Sgt. Chris Apgar and Cpl. Stephanie Coverdale.

Single during the holidays? Good for you!

Pets put up with so much 🙂

Once upon a time, as a single adult, I found it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. As with so many holidays, it seemed that our society favored couples, and particularly couples with young children. Taking pictures with Santa, baking Christmas cookies, buying and decorating a Christmas tree, etc. All are activities one can do alone, but are more fun with others. I dreaded that big day, December 25th, when I thought I was supposed to wake up excited about all the presents and loved ones around my tree. It seemed the best I could do was avoid attending my own self-pity party as a single adult during the Christmas holidays.

Then, one year, I had an epiphany (which was appropriate enough for the season). I realized I had been creating my own misery by trying to re-create the feelings I had as a child on Christmas morning — a nearly impossible goal to attain. So I shifted my focus from Christmas day to the Christmas season, and that made all the difference.

I also began to appreciate the advantages of being single during the holidays. It’s certainly less expensive in terms of gift-giving, I don’t have to attend a spouse’s office party, I can decorate according to my own taste, and I can moderate my stress by participating in as many or as few holiday activities as I wish. And if I really want to be around children to experience their joy and enthusiasm, there are plenty of community pageants and parades I can go to. Or, I can just “borrow” my sister’s kids and give them back at the end of the day!

I also found a great little book, titled, “The Little Book of Christmas Joys: 432 things to do for yourself & others that just might make this the best Christmas ever.” One of the 432 things is a reminder that the best way to overcome the blues is to do something kind for someone else. Or, if you want to start with baby steps, another is to dangle a favorite ornament from your rear-view mirror.

If you are single at Christmas, with or without kids, how do you feel about the holidays and what are your tips for having a happy holiday season?

An easy way to give Toys For Tots

Prudential Northwest Realty and I are proud to participate in the annual Marine Corps Toys for Tots toy drive. This worthwhile cause sponsored by the United States Marine Corps has a long and successful history. The drive is run by volunteers and depends on folks like you and me to provide toys for them to distribute to local children who might not otherwise have much to celebrate on Christmas.

My office is a collection site for new, unwrapped toys to benefit Toys for Tots. If you have toys to donate you can drop them off at my Prudential Northwest Realty office in Jefferson Square, West Seattle. The address is 4700 42nd Ave SW, 98116.

If you can’t make it to the Prudential office, call me at 206-708-9800 and I will arrange to pick up your donation at your home or office.

All donations of NEW, UNWRAPPED TOYS are gratefully accepted.

For more information, visit www.ToysForTots.org. (Sorry this isn’t a clickable link, but my blog editor is acting up and won’t allow me to insert links or photos at the moment.)

McLendon Hardware hosts “How to” clinics

As a single woman homeowner, I’m always looking for resources to help me learn how to maintain my home. I’m a big fan of McLendon Hardware because I find their staff to be knowledgeable, courteous and helpful. They may not have quite as big a selection of merchandise as the big box stores, and their prices are not quite as low, but I am always amazed by how much they DO have in stock and I find their prices to be moderate/reasonable. Living in West Seattle, I frequent McLendon’s White Center location, but I have had equally good experiences at McLendon’s in Renton and Puyallup.

I recently became aware of the free “How To” clinics McLendon’s offers on Saturdays at their Renton and Puyallup locations. The latest is happening this weekend (Sat. Dec. 3rd). Learn how to fix a leaky roof and how to weatherize your home.

What is your favorite place to get help with home maintenance?

McLendon Hardware "How To" clinics are Free!

Give free food to the hungry!

The Hunger Site

One of life’s greatest pleasures is helping those in need, so I love it when I find easy, effective ways to accomplish just that. It’s even better when I can share that with others.

Here’s how you can help feed the hungry with just a few clicks of your mouse and without spending a penny of your own money.

Just go to the website www.thehungersite.com and click on the big gold “button” that says, “Click here to give — it’s free!” That’s it! Charity sponsors who advertise on the site pledge to donate based on how many clicks come through the site each day. The more people who click, the more people who get fed.

This site is totally legit and has been around for years now. Even better, the folks who run it have expanded to include other causes, which you will find listed on the tabs that run across the top of The Hunger Site website. They are: breast cancer, animals, veterans, autism, child health, literacy and rainforest.

PLEASE take a minute to check this out. You’ll be glad you did.

The Breast Cancer Site
The Animal Rescue Site
Help Veterans! The Veterans Site
Help Children! The Autism Site
The Child Health Site
The Literacy Site
The Rainforest Site
The Hunger Site