Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Of-Monday, December 31st

Welcome to the last day of 2012 on Chief 187™Chatter.

I have been spending a lovely and relaxing time with my family enjoying the holidays.

Thank you all most sincerely for another amazing year that saw a surge of new followers, readers, sharers, and commentors. When I began this project in September 2010 I had no idea what path it would take – and still don’t – but have enjoyed the growth, the camaraderie, and the shared community Chief 187™Chatter has provided.

For the first time since I started I have taken some much needed time off. Before I return with all new, fresh, and original blogs I wanted to do a “Best Of” Chief 187™Chatter to share with you all some of my favorite posts in the last few years. I hope you enjoy my selections, share with those you love, and stay with me throughout the weeks until I return to new first-run blogs soon.

I hope you take a few moments to think of your blessings of this past year, the passings, and the best of times. As the ball drops in Times Square I will be thinking of all of you and counting my blessings I have been gifted through writing Chief 187™Chatter.

You are all my Simple Joys!

Cheers and Happy 2013 to you and yours. May this year be filled with more great blessings, good health, myriad surprises, a plethora of Simple Joys and much love.

Please enjoy this blog from December 28, 2010.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Music Blog-World Angels Edition

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

This week my mind has a dual focus.

We have been hearing for years that the end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar, is today. I do not believe that at all, but others do and businesses like the History Channel, survivalist equipment stores, and the like are profiting from the societal hysteria and/or interest in the topic.

My other thoughts revolve around the Christmas/holiday season as well the events that are now a week old. These things make me think of Angels.

So, today’s topics are taken directly from these ideas and thoughts swirling in my head.

First, list any and all songs that have the word “world” or “end” in the title, lyrics, or artist’s name.

Then, please list any and all songs that have the word “Angel” in the title, lyrics, or artist’s name.

For many it has seemed like the world is self-destructing based on monumental weather events, individuals committing heinous crimes, and a society that appears lost.

I don’t subscribe to that. Without hope, faith, and fearless empowerment to make our lives, both individually and as a community, infinitely better, we cannot spring out of our state of stagnation and depression. And I know we can.

I believe we will and a brighter dawn is on the horizon.

We are putting 2012 behind us and are ready to embrace 2013 with hope, good will, and a renewed sense of urgency to right the wrongs.

It has been well over two years and three and ½ months since I began Chief 187™Chatter. I’ve written and published every single weekday since I began, 640 posts in all.

For the first time I am taking some time off to truly enjoy the Christmas week with my family.

My sincere hope is that you all enjoy time with your loved ones.

Chief 187™Chatter will return in January with new blogs daily. I hope each and every one of you will join me.

In the meantime, starting the week of December 31st, I will be posting my favorite blogs of the last two plus years to share with you all.

If you like what I do, my positive message, and my free works, please share them with those you think would enjoy. The goal in 2013 is continue to expand the readership and reach of this site.

My personal goal was to reach 120,000 all-time pageviews by December 25, 2012. At this printing we have achieved 121,000! What a most wonderful feeling to know that you all join me daily to read, comment, and share my work. Thank you a thousand times over!

Wishing you all a fabulous Christmas/Holiday Season, a bright and Happy New Year 2013, and on-going Simple Joys!

Please join me on Monday for the Best of Chief 187™Chatter.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Recipe for Love

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

This week I wanted to share a recipe that will hopefully stay in the recipe box of your heart. It’s not about appetizers, main courses, or desserts, but something far more enriching. Not only do I hope you enjoy, but I encourage you to tweak the recipe to fit your family.

Recipe for Love
By: Candice Smith “Chief 187™”

A boatload of Trust
An endless supply of Patience
A large dose of Compromise
A bottomless Faith
A sea of Respect
A battalion of Smiles
An arsenal of Gentle Touch
A heap of Compassion
Kisses galore
The savvy for Silence (when necessary)
The gift of gab (when necessary)
A ton of Laughter

These simple ingredients combine effortlessly to form a long-lasting LOVE.

By varying ingredients – intense Passion for example – the recipe becomes suited for all kinds of love, Romantic, Familial, Friend, etc.

By keeping this recipe on hand for all times Love will stay with you and prosper.

Share this recipe with your loved ones and those who need it this Christmas and beyond.

Remember, what the world needs now truly is Love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift Guide for You

Welcome to the Gift Guide for You on Freestyle Wednesday on Chief

We are in the final stretch as Christmas is less than a week away. Some are still scrambling to finish their Christmas gift lists while others have yet to begin.

In light of recent events coupled with the stresses this time of year can bring for many, I thought posting a Gift Guide for You would be appropriate. And by “You” I mean me. Feel free to partake if it sounds pleasant.

First I am gifting myself a “mulligan” button to be used as many times as humanly possible over the holidays. In golf mulligan means a shot that doesn’t count in unofficial play, a “do-over” of sorts. I’m taking this idea and using it for when my day goes the wrong direction. I’m going to allow myself a reset button so I can start the day over again, as many times as necessary, to salvage it and enjoy.

The next gift is selective hearing which my husband is certain I have anyway. But this selective hearing will be used to not hear criticism. I picture the “ideal Christmas” for my family in my mind for the entire year. No matter that beast does not exist as nothing is perfect, but I still work myself up to that notion. When I hear “suggestions” from my loved ones on how I can clean this better, prepare that more tastefully, or the like I typically fall to pieces inwardly. This year I will only hear the positive that comes out and not fixate on the perceived negative.

Another gift I am giving myself is the patience to get through the holidays. With so many family members milling around, I cannot expect things to happen in my timetable. I wait all year to celebrate these few precious days with my extended family; I don’t want to squander them because I could not let go and just let time be.

My presence is a gift I will give myself this year. All too often fun events unfold while I am cooking, picking up, or planning the next situation. This time I’ll let the dinner hold for an extra few minutes, leave the wrapping paper in the family room, and be more present in the middle of the action.

And the last gift I want to give myself is realization. I want to be acutely aware that the things that frustrate me are the blessings I have. I know how so very blessed I am to have both of my parents living, healthy, and spry who traveled hundreds of miles by car to be with me and my family. I know I am equally blessed my husband’s parents did the same. My children’s grandparents came to share in this most special of holidays, again.

I know that having my brother and my niece in my home is a bonus. He now lives out-of-state due to divorce a few years back, but we are able to still share our Christmas and our children (cousins) delight in one another’s company.

And I am achingly aware that even if (when) my children misbehave this Christmas; throw a tantrum because they are hungry, or over-tired, or over-stimulated and I start to get frustrated, I am overwhelmingly blessed that they are here - pink, warm, breathing, and full of potential for a long, happy future ahead.

I don’t take any of the above for granted.

My gifts to myself are not just for this year’s Christmas celebration, but gifts I can give myself throughout the New Year as well.

Feel free to share this Gift Guide for You with anybody you feel would benefit. I know I already have - me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

The news in recent days has all but depleted my zest for life and the holiday season. The wickedness that exists in the world is palpable.

Try as I might I have tried to figure out the why behind the actions of others in these devastating situations yet cannot.

Bad things happen to good people sometimes. It’s not fair, right, decent, or explainable. The world is twisted, turning, and unfeeling in how it cycles. The only thing that can soothe those left behind is faith.

Faith is “an unshakable belief in something especially without proof or evidence.” It can be “complete confidence or trust in a person and/or a belief in something even when it is not based in reason.”

Braving each new day is an act of faith. But surviving and enduring is not living. To live fully one must also accept and embrace the Simple Joys this world has to offer.

If we as a society allow evil to dictate, fear to reign and anger and hate to dominate, then the world truly is over for us. By experiencing and sharing our Simple Joys we keep evil in check. We block it from spreading and counteract it with happiness, friendship, laughter, and love.

Many of us wrote about going home to hug our children after the heart-wrenching events on Friday, December 14th in Newton, Connecticut. But we must continue to do so as the days and months unfold. We must be ever-vigilant to never take our lives for granted.

As a parent and human being with a huge capacity to love I was horribly wounded by the recent tragedies. But I cannot allow this to define me, my holiday season, or my life.

The only way to combat evil is with love, joy, and friendship, and peace.

So, although I was conflicted about writing Simple Joys at first, I realized it was exactly what I needed to do for me.

So now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Virtual classroom. Last week I was honored to be a guest at William Paterson University for a third year Sports Journalism class. The professor asked me to attend in person for my question/answer session, but with a three-year-old daughter as my charge I respectfully declined that offer and countered with a virtual one – I would Skype in my role.

It took some time and logistics, but the day finally came to fruition and it was fabulous!

Before I was a writer and stay-at-home mom I was a teacher. Being in an educational setting was exciting and exhilarating! The fact that I was the person being interviewed was super fun, too! The students were all well-prepared with questions based on their research of me and their own interests and curiosities.

Being asked to speak to the upper level college class, doing so using modern technology, and spending time with respectful and delightful students was a full blown Simple Joy!

Meeting Santa Claus. My daughter and I had errands to run last week that kept us out at lunch time. We ran into the local fast food restaurant, got our food, and started to eat when my daughter kept repeating “There’s Santa, there’s Santa!” I looked around and sure enough a man with long white hair and beard wearing a red button down shirt was bringing food to his wife at a table.

I tried to quiet my daughter’s excited voice but it was impossible. He overheard, of course, and smiled at her. Then he walked over to our table and engaged my wide-eyed daughter in conversation. He asked her if she’d been good to which she responded “yes” without hesitation. This made me chuckle and counter with “she’s three, she’s as good as she can be for three!”

Santa didn’t stay long, but his visit was wondrous and exciting and quite frankly a Simple Joy not only for my little girl, but for the little girl who lives in me as well.

Ornament making. Each year the Cub Scouts come together in December to make handmade ornaments with their respective dens to hand out to different people – a family in need who is being donated a fresh-cut tree, decorated with the Scout’s ornaments, members of a nursing home, and even one for their own families.

This is the last year for my oldest son who will be crossing over to Boy Scouts in February and the first year for my first grader who just started Scouting.

Working with the children, singing Christmas carols, and creating miniature works of art to hang on several Christmas trees was the highlight of the season to date.

Bringing home two handmade ornaments to hang on our tree was a glorious Simple Joy this season.

Clean bill of health. I had to take my eldest son to the doctor to check out something. I had faith he’d be alright, but there is always that nagging worry that the doctor will find something wrong.

Fortunately our fears were allayed almost immediately upon meeting the doctor. The situation was totally fine and normal and my boy was given a clean bill of health.

Navigating parenthood is always difficult when a child’s health is in question. Finding out he was fine was a huge relief of a Simple Joy.

Dinner at home. On Saturday night my middle boy received his purple belt in Karate that he earned earlier last week. It was a short yet well-run ceremony that was fun to attend.

We have dear friends that attend the same dojo whose daughter earned her first degree brown belt. We usually go out to the local diner to celebrate but this time we planned to eat at our home.

We had a delicious dinner, a relaxed time, the children played while we talked, and the night was chock full of Simple Joys.

Never were my thoughts far from those parents who suffered life’s most heinous. But I have to continue to live, love, laugh, and lift my children to the light.

We are a compassionate and caring society. We are charitable and supportive. And we rally around those who are too weak to stand on their own.

In the meantime, we must be ever vigilant to keep our children safe, valued, disciplined, and, most of all, happy and loved.

To do so requires Simple Joys in every day.

Wishing you all another week of Simple Joys to lift you and yours to the light.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Media Blog-Gifts of Video Games

Welcome to the Monday Media Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

The holiday season is in full swing and gift-buying is, too.

For decades video games have been hot gifts, but I must admit I am not well versed in this genre.

My children are huge fans of the Wii Lego games like Bat Man, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and this year The Lord of the Rings. But beyond Lego games, I have no clue about what is out there, what is hot, and what is fun for different ages.

So I’m imploring you all to leave your significantly larger knowledge of video games to enlighten me and my other readers who may be out of the loop like I.

List your favorite video games, why you love them, and what ages they are appropriate.

Teach me the difference between Tetris and Call of Duty.

Let me hear from you, Gamers!

Please join me tomorrow for the uplifting and ever-popular Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Fun Christmas!

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Last week we explored the Christmas songs and carols that inspire us and our faith deeply. I adore those songs.

This week I want to examine the songs of the season that are fun, whimsical, and evoke a playful, fantastical mood.

Please leave your selections below of the Christmas season’s most fun and festive songs that make your toes tap, bring a broad smile to your face, and even a chuckle.

I ask you to continue checking back with this blog throughout the day and weekend as new selections are continuously added.

Weekends are a terrific time to read and re-read posts at Chief 187™Chatter. The site can be used as a resource to find delicious and accessible recipes to fit the season or a mood on Tantalizing Thursday blogs. Finding a movie, television program, and/or video game to try is streamlined by reading the Monday Media Blogs. And if you are looking for an uplifting read to break you out of a funk, try Simple Joys and the Freestyle Wednesday posts that run the gamut from Gift Guides to musings on a variety of topics.

When doing online shopping, please remember to use my Amazon link located on the right hand sidebar of this page. Enter through the link, browse, add to your cart, and check out in one transaction and at no extra cost to you whatsoever I benefit from the purchases. It is truly just one extra step that helps me immensely. Thank you for your help!

For unique gifts for the fan of Chief 187™ please visit my online store located at There are over 60 items featuring a unique design, my image, and/or my website. From quality apparel to charming housewares, electronic sheaths to cute paper products and more there is truly something for everyone at differing price points. Cafepress offers myriad coupon codes so check daily to see what sales are running by typing “cafepress coupon code” into a search engine. Huge savings can be had! I appreciate all of your support here as well.

As the Christmas/Holiday Season continues to unfold and reveal great treasures, I am reminded daily of the blessings I have in Chief 187™Chatter’s readership. There are always pageviews that delight and encourage me. The numbers – to me- are staggering and I am most proud. To my long-time readers, the casual visitors, and the new fans, thank you so much for spending a few minutes of your day with me at this site. I am most humbled and amazed by your readership and thank you all for reading, sharing, commenting, and just being here. Thank you.

Please join me on Monday as I began another week of all new, fresh, and original works on Chief 187™Chatter.