A New Year and my 300th post!

Happy New Year!

I can't believe this will be my 300th post. I'm sure there are many of you that have far more posts on your blogs because you blog daily. However, I'm not a daily poster. I post whenever the mood strikes me or when I want to share something. So to have 300 of these "brainstorms" under my belt is a major accomplishment for someone who has been the queen of "Mr. Toad mania's" most of her life (me).

What is a "Mr. Toad mania", you ask? Well, the reference is from the Disney animated film based on the Wind in the Willows books. In the Disney version, Mr. Toad's eyes begin to spin in bright Technicolor every time he is overcome by a new mania (a new obsession-driven hobby or interest). His mania's come on strong, take over his life, and then eventually wane. The mania portrayed in the film is his mania with motor cars. When Mr. Toad's eyes begin spinning, he holds his hands out in front of him as if holding an imaginary steering wheel. Then he makes sputtering sounds like a old Model-T Ford. This is the classic "Mr. Toad mania" stance that became well-known in our home when I was growing up. If one of us was showing signs of launching into a new mania, it was appropriate to take on the "Mr. Toad mania" stance and then offer a few sputtering sounds for good measure.

I've been known to indulge in some "Mr. Toad manias" in my life. I won't bore you with details. But let me just say that when I launched my blog simultaneously with my newfound creative pursuits the summer of 2007, there were some family members that just chalked it all up to being another "Mr. Toad mania" for Cindy. Deep in my heart, I knew it wasn't. I knew I was on the horizon of a new season of my life that was much more permanent and rewarding than any old mania. But when one has a history of being Mr. Toad-ish, one has to expect to have naysayers. I can happily say that I believe 300 posts de-bunks any vestiges of this blogging thing being simply a "Mr. Toad mania".

It seems fitting that this milestone of 300 posts comes on New Year's Day. It also seems fitting that I have nothing truly profound to write about the close of one year and the beginning of a new one.

I used to be the type of person that was focused on sketching out my "5 year plan". When I got a new calendar, I was all over it marking everything I could think of all the way to the end of the year. The older I get, the more I realize that living in the moment is how I can best release the extra drops of joy out of my experiences. The richness of my "now" is far more vivid and delicious than daydreaming about or trying to calender the future.

As I pulled some mandarins off the tree today to bring them inside as a treat for Hubby and me, the oil from the rind rubbed onto my fingertips. Even hours and a number of handwashings later, there's a faint tang of the citrus oil left as I press my fingertips to my nose. It's so yummy. I stopped typing right now just to sniff. That glorious essence of fresh mandarins will eventually slip away. Whether I stop to breathe it in before it fades is all up to me. How sad would it be if I were too busy to stop and take a whiff?

So here's to a brand new year full of new mandarins to sniff. And while I'm doing the sniffing, if I happen to feel like writing about it... I will. Happy New Year everyone!!!!!
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  1. Now I have to go and get me a mandarin orange tree! You are so inspiring!

  2. Happy New Year, Cindy! I am glad you are continuing with the blog. I've always sensed this was a long term thing for you; you sound 'very settled' in to your posts.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your photos this new year!

  3. Congratulations on your 300th post, and Happy New Year!

  4. I know what you mean about posting when you feel like it. I would probably be the post-a-day type if I didn't have to toddle along behind small chickens all the time (as manifest by the many blogs I have posted since school got out). But we have loves, it's okay. And I love it that you do take time to "stop and smell." We all enjoy the insights that accompanmy your journey. Thank you cute cousin!

  5. Happy New Year Cindy and congrats on your 300th milestone! What a feat! :)

  6. Congratulations, Happy Anniversary, and Happy New Year, Cindy!

    I'm fast approaching my 300th post, as well, although it will likely slip by along with all the other marker dates.

    Thank for illuminating the source of my obsessive personality....I had no idea I had been afflicted with Mr. Toad Mania, all these years. It explains soo much. :o)

  7. Ah the simple and complex joy of being able to pick fruit in winter.

    Congrats on your blogaversary, mine was 200 posts on Christmas Day. Funny how that works out.

    Happy New Year.


  8. Wow, you have mandarins to stop and smell along with gorgeous roses! You are indeed blessed.
    I loved this post! So creative and fun!
    Congratulations on reaching this milestone! I look forward to many more.

  9. My dear Cindy,

    This just confirms why we have become fast friends. We are truly kindred spirits. You live your life much as I live mine. I don't make big plans, but keep my eyes open for any new opportunities that may come along. I'm not afraid to do most anything, if there's no logical reason I shouldn't. And I totally understand the mania thing. My aunt has never missed an opportunity to remind me of how I go "whole hog" whenever I do anything (and I too, have done many things). But why not give it your all? If it's something you love, even if it's for the moment, it deserves nothing less!

    Here's to our manias - both ephemeral and lasting!


  10. Hi Cindy, Congrats on your 300th post. You post far more often than I do. If I posted daily, I wouldn't have time to paint. I'm so glad to have found your blog a while back and feel honored to chat with you from time to time!
    Happy New Year,

  11. I love the Mr Toad story......being a wind in the willows fan, it brought childhood memories back.....
    I noticed you post randomly, and I think that is the best way....I try to follow your example......

    The smell of mandarins is quite lovely....and you are so right we must take time to smell the flowers (or mandarins in this case)

  12. Oh, my dear Cindy, what a wonderful post! And congratulations on your 300th posting. As you say, so long to any residue remaining of the 'Toady Mania' stigma. (BTW, I love watching those Wind in the Willows movies...thought it fun to have you regaling about Toady's 'obsessions')..... Ohhhhh, Toady!

    Not to mention the fact that you can go out into your very own backyard and pick mandarins! What a treat. And good thing you are now 'wise' enough to recognize and enjoy its bliss!

    Looking forward to blogging along in '09 with you!

  13. Happy 300th post Cindy and may you have many more in the new year. I have my own Mr. Toad mania at times. I've learned to temper it most of the time, but every once in awhile . . . .

    Also, wanted to tell you, I love your etsy cards, so much that I don't want to send them away to my friends. Still, I must.~~Dee

  14. Stop and smell the mandarins, I always say! I love the smell of citrus... makes me want an orange RIGHT NOW! I've enjoyed your blog so much... and you know you are the one who made me think about a blog.

    I mentioned to someone (you, Sarah, Ann... someone) that when I was saying my prayers recently I prayed with gratitude about our blogs. We get to share little stories and vignettes that would never get shared otherwise... but just be lost. I feel a much closer "connectedness".S

    So thank you for being my muse!!

    Love you so much,

  15. Cindy my friend I cannot believe also! Congratulations, and all the best to you in the new year 2009. Anna :)

  16. Happy New Year Cindy! Congratulations on making it to 300 posts too.

    I knew exactly what you meant when you mentioned Mr Toad mania. I wanted to be all deep and meaningful like Ratty but I long knew there lurked a lot of Toad's enthusiasm for the "new" in life. I think I also had Mole's love of home yet yearning for adventure in different places. I could never have the respect Badger engendered. I love the way EH Shepherd drew them. Toad Hall was based on Mapledurham House.


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