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Monday, December 29, 2008

12 Rules for 'regifting'

I think all of us, at one time or another, have received a gift that we'll never use, we don't like, or don't have a gift receipt for. This article has some tips to regift those items and for more on it, you can find the article here.

A dozen rules for regifters
:
1* Don't mention it, please. Post thinks "the best approach is to be upfront" when regifting, but I have to ask: Why spoil the moment? If you tell your sister-in-law, in so many words, "I have no use for this nasty vase, so I'm giving it to you," even a person in need of a vase will hate you. I say, keep your yap shut unless there's a good reason not to.

2* Do update the wrapping. The next most common regifting faux pas, after leaving the previous gift card attached, is to regift in the original, now crinkled and possibly torn (hello!?) wrapping paper or box. If the phrase "Hey, it looks almost new" crosses your desperate holiday brain, remember that the "almost" is a dead giveaway to the new giftee.

3* Do keep track of who gave it to you first.
Writing on The Dollar Stretcher, Joyce Moseley Pierce recommends creating a stash of regifting items you can always use in a pinch. I say, OK, but keep a small notebook of who gave you what. I had a harrowing experience that involved regifting a pair of earrings to a cousin -- who had given them to me two years before. I forgot. She remembered. And she let me know about it.

4* Don't EVER regift these items.
Certain items are a total, dead, instant giveaway that you not only are regifting, but you're too lame to put any effort into it: candles, soap, random books, mysterious CDs (unless your brother wants the hip-hop version of "Man of La Mancha"), obscure software, cheesy jewelry, scarves (do we not all own a scarf?), fruitcake, pens, cologne, boxed sets of extinct bath products (Jean Nate? No, no, no), videos or DVDs obviously acquired on a street corner, socks and any appliances or electronic gear the giftee would be puzzled to receive because they probably just got rid of it (including hot-air popcorn poppers and anything with a cassette deck in it).

5* Do have the courtesy to clean your regifts. I once got a rice cooker . . . with a couple of kernels of rice still clinging to it. Some hand-me-downs can be passed off as regifts if the packaging is intact, like the wine glasses you've belatedly decided to share with a loved one. Just wash the lipstick off the rim, 'kay?

6* Don't give partially used gift cards. As technology pushes the envelope of regifting possibilities, the chance of looking like a ninny only grows. Don't give a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble that has $14.56 left on it. Would you give a pie with a slice taken out of it? We hope not.

7* Do remember that regifts can be funny. A friend of mine said that when he was younger, he and his sister would jokingly regift the same two board games back and forth to each other. If you think a friend would get a good laugh out of, say, a regifted self-help book, go for it -- as long as you make the prank clear.

8* Don't give something you've owned for a while. Not only is this in violation of the hand-me-down rule above, the giftee can and will recognize that picture frame from your living room shelf. (And while you're at it, don't regift picture frames, either.)

9* Do regift champagne. You know the joke about fruitcake: There are only two fruitcakes made each year, and we just keep foisting them off on each other. The same is true of the 11 bottles of champagne that circulate during the holidays. But there are never hard feelings from regifting a bottle of bubbly, unless it's really cheap or given to a confirmed teetotaler. Eventually it will find a happy, champagne-guzzling home.

10* Don't give products from defunct companies.
Someone gave to my husband and me a lovely crystal decanter from a department store that no longer exists. The decanter is a classic. It was just a little depressing to think it had been in someone's closet for that long.

11* Do sell your gifts on eBay.
When someone first told me that, rather than regift, he sells unwanted presents on eBay and uses the proceeds to buy real gifts, I was awed. Then I realized everyone is doing it. "My father gave my brother a boxed set of Kurosawa films, which my brother promptly sold for a pretty penny on eBay," one woman told me. So THAT'S where all that stuff comes from.

12*Don't give hand-me-downs as regifts. Novice regifters (and those who are terminally tacky) often get these two categories confused. Don't. A hand-me-down is an item you've already used that you'd like to pass along to someone who will enjoy it and use it more than you will. For example, a sweater you've removed the tags from and worn twice. You could wrap it up and give it as a "gift" only if another real gift is provided. A regift should be just that: a gift you've never used that you're giving away as though it were a . . . real gift!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Child is this......

Do you remember me posting about The Mother Letter Project??It was a huge success and here is a sampling of the letters, posted by Seth, the creator of The Mother Letter Project
Grab your box of Kleenex and Enjoy!


Friday, December 26, 2008

St. Stephen's Day or Boxing Day


A group of orphans receiving gifts in East London, 1921.

Originally, Boxing Day - the first weekday after Christmas Day - was observed as a holiday "on which postmen, errand boys, and servants of various kinds received a Christmas box of contributions from those whom they serve". (Charles Dickens)

Also, poor people carried empty boxes from door to door, and the boxes were soon filled with food, Christmas sweets, and money. Parents gave their children small gifts such as, oranges, handkerchiefs, and socks. People also placed old clothing that they didn't need anymore in boxes, and they were given to those in need.

The best clue to Boxing Day's origins can be found in the song, "Good King Wenceslas." According to the Christmas carol, Wenceslas, who was Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century, was surveying his land on St. Stephen's Day — Dec. 26 — when he saw a poor man gathering wood in the middle of a snow storm. Moved, the king gathered up surplus food and wine and carried them through the blizzard to the peasant's door. The alms-giving tradition has always been closely associated with the Christmas season — hence the canned food drives and Salvation Army Santas that pepper our neighborhoods during the winter — but King Wenceslas's good deed came the day after Christmas, when the English poor received most of their charity.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And so this is Christmas....

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY LOVED ONES!!
This is what we woke up to this morning....piles more of snow and the closest we have to a Christmas tree is this one in the lobby. But there are SO many people who are stranded at the airports or in hotels, that we are very grateful we have such a lovely room.







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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Day

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow??!!




So, here we sit in a very lovely, warm hotel room on C-mas Eve Day, with our truck in the shop waiting for a part to arrive in from Detroit Michigan only the good Lord knows when (they hope by the 31st) and no cars to rent...and even if there was, the Rental places I called cannot deliver the vehicle, since the roads and Freeway are under storm advisory. The Airports in the Southern BC and Alberta are canceling or delaying flights( 75 flights canceled so far and tomorrow may not be any better) and the entire Lower Mainland (Vancouver & area) is socked under snow. I mean....I even had a time getting a taxi to come out and the Transit system has told everyone to stay home, since they might be able to get to the destination but might not be able to get you back. Soooo....I'm chillin' and using this as a lovely vacation :)


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

10 Worst Gifts to give a Guy

You may recall me posting Top 10 Lamest Gifts You can Buy a Woman. Well in response to it, here are the 10 Worst Gifts to Give a Man...fair enough :) Go to Totally Her
for the detailed post.

1. Ties
There are only two types of men: those who hate ties, and those who grudgingly accept them as part of the job. They choke us, and make us feel like a cog in the machine.

2. Socks
Socks are lame, forgettable, and men just don’t care about them. Enough said. Next!

3. Cheap liquor
If you truly would like to give us a good Christmas present, don’t be cheap, and get the best you can afford — we’ll thank you for it!

4. The latest video game or DVD
Actually, this is not such a bad idea, it’s more of a warning. First make sure that he did not buy it already. And second, just make sure that’s the game he wanted.

5. Self-help anything
Men try to think of themselves as mature, in control, taking care of business people. Of course it doesn’t mean we are that way, but we like to think of ourselves that way. So we are generally very discrete when we pick self-help books, and generally don’t like other people doing it for us, no matter how well intentioned they are.

6. Female-oriented Spa certificates
Most men these days do like Jacuzzis and massage, no question about it. But if a girl gos and buys from the same Spa she likes — or even worse, her Yoga Spa — what men end up with is with throw away gift, and an expensive one to boot.

7. Gift cards
So you don’t know what to get, or you don’t have the time, or you don’t care, so you get a gift card! Right? Wrong! Gift cards say a lot about you, and for the most part they don’t say much good about you. Try to get something instead, make an effort — we notice!

8. Exercise gear
This is gray area, go for it if you truly know he likes it a lot, and he works out all the time. Otherwise, again, it could be seen as those gifts with a bite, it is a gift but also a big in-your-face criticism.

9. Tickets to ballet or opera
It’s a pretty good bet that this is more a gift to you than to him, so why do it?

10. Anything diet
And I am talking here books on diets, diet menus, diet food, diet DVDs, diet whatever!

A Visit from St. Nicholas



'Twas the night before Christmas
, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

by Clement Clarke Moore


Facing the Holidays with Grief

The reality of Grief is one that we really don't want to have to think about. But, it's there, staring us in the face and there is no way to escape it. Whether we are hurting ourselves or know of someone who is, we feel uncomfortable in pain and often don't have a clue what to do with it. I found this article to be helpful.

Facing the Holidays with Grief

Article by: Rosa
Posted from: http://totallyher.com

My heart goes out to those of you who would rather crawl into your bed, curl up into a little ball, and sleep until the holiday season is over. Holidays are not a time of joy for you — at least not this time around. Instead, you are facing them with this insurmountable grief. The holiday cheer doesn’t soothe the grief, but instead emphasizes it.

I have been there, more years than I care to recall, quite frankly — years, where the holidays were pretty much non-existent for me, drowned out by grief, anger, and sadness. For me, it was a hurting and broken family that just decided not to try anymore. All of us went our own separate ways, some permanently with unforgiving bitterness, others because we weren’t sure how to handle the wounds that existed and it was just easier to withdraw from the conflict completely. What was once a family, such as it was, was no more, and the holidays were deliberately called off on an indefinite basis.

I’ll never forget the pain and I’ll never forget the double shifts I pulled at work during those years, because what else was there to do but work and stay busy on a day, that for me, mocked all I had lost?

For some of you, it’s a similar pain this year. It’s a pain that comes from a family torn apart by unforgiveness and a lack of reconciliation. Some of you have a parent (or parents) who have just walked away without looking back, like I did, others have runaway children. Still others are still trying to get over the horror of the suicide that occurred earlier this year. Some are grieving the end of their marriage and some are living the nightmare of their spouse winning custody of the children with their manipulative lies in court.

Some enter this holiday season grieving death. The death may have been an unexpected devastation that came in the form of a car accident or heart attack or brain aneurysm. Maybe it was a death that was, in some ways, a relief because of the suffering your loved one experienced for the months leading up to it, but left a huge gaping hole nonetheless.

Maybe you are grieving the loss of your job or even the loss of your home this year. Your heart is broken because there is no money for food on the table, much less Christmas gifts for your children.

Perhaps the grief is coming hand in hand with your new home in a new state, far away from family and friends.

The grief may be there this year in that empty spot on the couch where the family dog used to sit, thumping his tail, while everyone opened presents.

I wish I could write an article with this magic formula to make this time be all better, free from pain — but I can’t. There is no step-by-step process I can take you through to ease the pain. Most everything I say will seem trite and cliché. There are no easy answers. The only thing I can offer is the following:

Allow yourself to grieve. You may think that for the sake of the kids or for public appearance you need to pretend all is well. You don’t. It’s ok to admit that you are struggling with sadness and even anger. Unfortunately, many people aren’t going to want to hear about it because it throws a damper on their own holiday cheer, but right now, it doesn’t have to be about making others happy at the cost of denying your own feelings (which, by the way, will make the grieving process take even longer in the long run).

Sure, you don’t have to attempt to make others as sad as you are, or punish them because they can’t grasp your grief, but you certainly don’t owe it to anyone to deny what you are going through, all for the sake of protecting their feelings.

As far as the kids, yes, they need the holidays to have some happiness to them, but chances are, if you’re grieving a loss, so are they. Your honesty about your emotions will allow them to be honest about their emotions, which will aid in their healing process.

During this time, get healthy amounts of sleep. I say “healthy” because we tend to sleep too much sometimes when grieving, and this can contribute to severe depression as much as not getting enough sleep. A “healthy” amount is what your body normally needs to operate on. For some it may be seven hours, for others it may be nine. I can’t prove this with any research articles, but personally, I think sleep helps our hearts heal and when we deprive ourselves of sleep, our hearts stay raw and tender.

Take care of your health by eating properly as well. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar, as they will create false highs which you will eventually have to come off of. This will be hard to accomplish for those who are emotional eaters, but look at it as taking care of you, not as deprivation.

For those who are the opposite of emotional eaters, eating is a must. I know you aren’t hungry and you even feel nauseated at the mere thought of eating, but depleting your caloric intake adds to the negative feelings. As hard as it is, even toast with something high in protein like peanut butter or a high calorie protein shake has to be eaten regularly throughout your day to keep your physical (and thus your emotional) strength balanced.

As much as you can, get some form of exercise every day: a walk, a yoga session, or even a half hour of dynamic stretching. Keep the blood flowing and take deep cleansing breaths. This too, can aid in the emotional healing process because exercise will help release endorphins which can provide a sense of calm and well being.

Even if you aren’t a person who normally writes, journal, journal, journal! A journal doesn’t necessarily have to be writing. It can be paintings, it can be charcoal drawings, it can be magazine words and pictures cut out and pasted on paper. As exhausting and time consuming as it may sound, getting your thoughts and emotions out on paper, in whatever form, can help release intense grief.

Set aside time each day to have an intense time of grieving. If you are a Mama or have a job that keeps you busy, it’s easy to stuff your feelings in order to keep on with life, but those emotions need to be released somehow, someway. Some people like to set a timer of sorts, and just let go completely during that time. It might be punching a pillow while screaming out your grief or it may be laying in a bathtub sobbing. When the timer goes off the grief isn’t gone, but many times people will find the edge has been taken off so that they can keep going. (Note: this exercise can also be physically exhausting, so it is best done at the end of the day when you can go to bed a short time later).

Find a counselor, minister, or therapist to walk with you through this holiday season. Talking to someone can be an amazing source of strength to help you make it through this time, especially on days the sadness overwhelms you.

This year you may not feel like decorating for the holidays, though if you have children, I would encourage you to do so for their sake. If you don’t have children, then this may be a year you can skip the holiday decorations. The time will come, as it did for me, that though your loss is still there, you will find yourself decorating again.

Finally, as the holidays come to a close, give yourself the gift of vision and hope. Take a piece of paper and turn it horizontally. On the left-hand side, write where you are currently, including your emotions, your opinion on the holiday season, etc. Then, on the right-hand side, write down where you hope to be a year from now.

In the middle, plot your path of how you plan on moving from the left-hand side of the paper to the right-hand side. It might be, “Buy a grief workbook and work through it this coming year,” or “Go see a therapist for the next six months.” Or maybe it will be, “I’m going to take up painting,” or, “I’m going to take a trip to my favorite vacation spot.” The pathway from raw grief to healed sadness will be unique for each person.

In a year, the pain isn’t going to be gone — not at all. But the pain won’t be as incapacitating as it is now. The hole in your heart will still exist, and always will, but it will be surrounded by blessings that fill your heart.

Memories will still be there but they will carry with them a sacredness, not breath-catching pain. This year the holidays are painful and unbearable, but as someone who has come through the other side, Christmas will come to your heart again. It will always be different and it may always carry a dimension of sadness with it, but it will come back.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sign of the Times


Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's our age defying us girls.....


10 Years Ago.....



Colin in Sea Cadets in 1997


Colin at Horseshoe Bay Marina in 2007

I cannot believe the change in our son in just the 10 years. Look at the thin face and bigger glasses in 1997...wow!! Colin was tagged in one of the Cadet's albums. I've never seen those pics before now, so it's cool to come across them on Facebook :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Ten Lamest Gifts You Can Buy for a Woman

As I was reading this I thought it would be a great thing to post, since we all know men leave gift buying to the very last minute. So....you may want to go directly to Totally Her for the details. Sometimes the lameness of holiday gifts is obvious. A litter box? Granny underwear? Obvious no-nos.
But I can’t believe the junk I see in stores featured as “thoughtful gifts” for women. I’m telling you, now — this stuff is crap. Don’t believe the hype — every single one of these presents screams “I didn’t put one thought into buying your gifts this year, I just bought the first thing I saw at the store.”
Here is the "Reader's Digest Condensed Version" to give you an idea of how helpful this might be :)

1. Cleaning Appliances
I know the Dyson vacuum is a sexy machine, and steam cleaners are very nice to have around the house. But this isn’t a Christmas present.

2. Auto Accessories
You may think we like pink seat covers or handy cell phone holders. We don’t. This gift screams “I bought you what I wanted, not what you wanted.”

3. Poinsettias
Christmas foliage is only appropriate as a gift for your mother or mother in law, and then only as an add-on gift. Take it as a general rule of thumb that anything you can find in the front of a grocery store or a hardware store is probably not something that oozes ‘romance’ when we receive it.

4. Lotion Gift Sets
These are the most annoying gifts of all. We are picky about what we put on our skin. And the cheap crap that goes into these packages makes us smell like a cheap date.

5. Christmas Sweaters
Don’t. Go. There.
What do you think of when you think of Christmas sweaters? Old women? Weird aunts? Crazy cat ladies? That’s what I think of.

6. Food Gift Baskets
We know these are the first thing you see when you walk into the store. That’s because the stores know that lazy gift givers will buy the first thing they see. As irrational as it may seem, if we think that you were lazy about buying gifts for us, we take that to mean that you care less about us. I know. In your world that is ridiculous. We get that. But it doesn’t change the way we feel about it. We’d like to, because it would make life easier for all of us. But we can’t. So work with us on this one, will you please?

7. Anything from a Drug Store Chain
I know they are convenient. There’s a Walgreen’s or CVS on nearly every street corner in the suburbs. But that doesn’t make it a gift-shopping destination.

8. Bedroom or Bathroom Linens
Towels, sheets, bed pillows, and shower curtains are just plain not allowed to be on your list. We can get excited about a lot of really dorky domestic things. Things that you will never, ever care about. But towels are just not exciting no matter what.

9. Diet or Fitness Products
Buying us anything that implies we need to lose weight is a serious situation. Even if we don’t have to lose weight, if we get even a hint that you think we do, it could be a couch-sleeping night for you. To put it in perspective, it would be like us buying you Rogaine for a present. Or Viagra. Or Hair Club for Men.

10. Lingerie
Let’s not kid each other here. Who exactly are you buying lingerie for?



Ice


My day seems to be all about ice.
FIRST: Hubby hits a patch of ice at the intersection of a road and Highway....slides right thru to the opposite side of the highway, where running board broadsides the snow in the ditch, leaving a crease just under the running board (which totals the stupid thing - did I say it's on the passenger side and I'll need a ladder to climb into the truck???)sooooooooo, after a visit to our Insurance carrier (ICBC) Hubby discovers that the soonest the truck can get in for repairs is the 19th of January. Now we apparently should be jumping for joy because the other shop can't take the truck until April!!!! ACK!!!

SECOND: I am at traffic lights and I proceed on the green light, only to discover that the car coming from my left couldn't stop when her light turned red and is coming right at me...I floored it...not that it gave me much more speed, but enough to get out of her way.Thank God!

THIRD: I turn into my street and the front tires keep going, but the rear end decides it wants to sway and dance before coming in behind and following. In the meantime a van is approaching but thankfully slows until my car behaves itself. EEK!

YES....it's winter in the snowy North East British Columbia :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Slackin'


I have totally been slackin'!! I mean....I've been puttering around doing this, that and the other thing, but have been struggling with aching muscles and fatigue the past few days.
But....I have only a couple more gifts to wrap and then I'm finished and can relax until C-mas....wahoo!!! I SO dislike crowded stores at this time of year and avoid them at all costs. It's just far more fun to get a call that a parcel of ordered gifts needs picking up OR is delivered right to my door.
Don't get me wrong....I love to snoop around unique shops and I also love to spend time browsing or shopping with someone...my girlfriends or sisters in particular :)
What are the top 5 reasons you dislike about Christmas and the top 5 reasons you love Christmas???

DISLIKE:
1) Crowded malls and stores
2) Scrooge...Bah Humbug!!
3) How cheap commercialism has made this time of year.
4) snuffly noses
5) buying a gift for someone I either don't know or for someone I don't know at all!

LOVE:
1) the sheer glee of kids ripping open their gifts
2) Eggnog and Mulled Cider.
3) The pretty lights all over the place...it makes me SO happy!
4) Seeing as many loved ones as possible
5) Opening gifts...duh :P

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Walk Down the Snowy Crabby Road.....

....I'm feeling a little Crabby today, so Maxine came to visit....

Twas A Maxine Christmas
(Author Unknown )


'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house...
Not a creature was stirring
since the cat ate the mouse.
My support hose were hung
By the chimney with care.
(I hung them last Christmas
And just left them there.)
My dog, Floyd, was nestled
All snug in his bed,
After watching the cat rip
The presents to shreds.
And I in my long johns
And ratty night cap
Had just settled my butt
For a long winter's nap.
When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter,
I swore at the window,
"What the (blank) is the matter?"
I tore open the window,
Not a second to tarry,
All ready to throw
The noisemaker a berry.
A bright moon was lighting
The new-fallen snow...
And I had a moon of my own
Set to show.
Floyd was beside me,
Paw pointing the way
Toward eight tiny reindeer
Hitched up to a sleigh...
And a little old driver
So cheery and quick,
I thought for a moment
That I would be sick.
Like a bat out of...you know,
His reindeer they came,
And I whistled and shouted
And called them some names--
"Hey, Hornhead! Hey, Furface!
Hey, Weiner and Turkey!
Yo, Klutzy and Mangy
And Venison Jerky!
Stay off of my porch!
Get away from my wall!
Now hit the road, hit the road,
Hit the road, all!
But as pedestrians before
My old Buick , they fly
And head for high ground
With great fear in their eyes,
So up to my rooftop
The fleabags they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys
And old Fruitcake - Breath too.
And then, in a twinkling,
I heard on the roof
Holes in my new shingles
Made by each tiny hoof.
As I reached for my slingshot
And a marble as well,
Down the chimney Ssst. Nicholas
Tumbled and fell.
He had a huge sack of
Cheap junk on his back
And I whispered to Floyd,
"Be prepared to attack."
His eyes they were squinting,
His toy bag was draggin',
And I felt for a moment
Like I'd soon be gaggin'.
He was dressed all in red.
With a bell on his hat.
And a belt of black leather
To hold back the fat.
A billowing pipe
He clenched tight in his smile,
And the smell was like something
Had been dead for awhile.
He had a broad face
And a little round belly
That shook when I nailed him
With a handful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump,
Well, actually porky,
And I laughed when I tripped him
(He looked pretty dorky).
He was like a beached whale
Unable to budge.
And he tasted good , too,
If the dog was a judge.
I spoke not a word
But went straight to my work--
A noogie, a wedgie,
A cry of "You jerk!"
Until laying a finger
Aside of his nose,
With a loud cry of "Uncle!"
Up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to the sleigh
And dragged in the toys,
Then he cried to the reindeer,
"Get me out of here, Boys!"
And I had to exclaim
As a slushball I tossed,
"Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a Get Lost!"
But then, as I turned,
I saw 'neath the tree
Two gaily wrapped presents--
One for Floyd, one for me.
A big bag of jerky
Turned Floyd mighty chipper,
While for me was a pair
Of brand-new bunny slippers.
I looked out the window,
And hovering there,
Old Santa was winking
>From his sleigh in midair...
"Merry Christmas, Maxine!"
He cried, full of cheer,
"Same to you, Pal!" I answered,
("I'll get you next year!")



Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Yesterday I decided I needed a home-baked dessert. I totally forgot that my fav 9"x13" glass cake pan had broken until I had everything pulled out, so I decided to use my lasagna pan instead and just doubled the recipe. This cake is called Dump cake because you literally just dump all the ingredients into the pan and bake. I chose the chocolate variation(which tastes similar to Black Forest cake), but the yellow or white cake one is equally delish :)

Dump Cake
1 large can cherry pie filling, dumped into a 9"x13" pan
1 19oz. can of pineapple chunks with juice poured on top of pie filling.
1 box yellow, white or chocolate cake mix sprinkled on top of pineapple
1 cup melted butter poured over all layers
top with 1 cup coconut and 1 cup walnuts.

Bake in 350F oven for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
This dessert is delicious warm with icecream or cold with whipped cream.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas....

....and that dream is coming true. I'm up to my axle in snow today. It has snowed a lot last night. We have a deal worked out with our neighbors....he gets to play with his quad that has a blade up front and we get our driveway plowed out...that certainly helps me out a ton!! I don't mind keeping the porch, steps and walkway clear, but the two-car wide driveway is a lot of work!!
I'm ready for C-mas. I have only one more parcel mail-order to arrive and then I have all the gifts. I've made and sent off the gifts for my sisters. I am finished the oil paintings for my sons and friend. I have PJ's and other "practical" gifts for the grandkids. It's a good feeling!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In Loving Memory...



I am sad to say that my Mom's best friend, Minnie and my girlfriends' Mom passed away suddenly today of a massive stroke. I am not sad for Minnie for she is in a far happier place, but I am sad for those who will miss her dearly.
I have known Minnie my entire life and grew up and went to school with her two oldest daughters. Minnie has been the best of friends to my Mom and my Mom will miss talking on the phone, going for long walks with and having Minnie to laugh and giggle with.
My heart is with Minnie's family during this time of grieving.

Goodbye Minnie...say hi to David for me and dance with him...he loves to dance. Give him a hug for me, like you hugged me when David left us.

'Tis the Season


I don't usually read News clips online, but this article really struck a cord with me. Human nature, when demonstrated like this, is a blatant show of greed, selfishness and materialistic impulses, at the expense of those around us.

"With only minutes to spare before the discount store opened, the crazed crowd pushed through the doors, knocking Jdimytai Damour down and breaking the doors off their hinges. As the crowd surged, people stepped on Damour and knocked over other employees who struggled to help him. Two thousand ravenous shoppers, many of whom had no idea what was going on, shoved and pushed each other in a mad rush. The selfishness is clearly seen by one employee's experience: "When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling 'I've been [in] line since yesterday morning'... They kept shopping."

We can sit in our homes, reading all about this incident and piously say that "I'd never act like that". I wonder how many of those shoppers would have dreamed that they would behave like that. If asked if they would be a part of a mob, trampling employees, a pregnant woman, the one standing in front or behind them, I highly doubt they would have thought that was a behavior they could be caught up in.

"Jesus warned us, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV) Jesus' words were a repudiation of materialism and an exhortation to value those things that endure throughout eternity. In our consumer-driven age, we would do well to heed his words." (by Ken Connor)

I want to go into this Christmas season, with these thoughts foremost on my mind. I want to go through this special time of year "living my life on Purpose"



"True Patriot Love"??....

I received this article, e-mailed to me from an Aunt. How very true....how very sad!!

Let me see if I have this all straight.

The NDP had already hatched a plan for a bloodless coup d'etat prior to the
economic statement by Mr. Flaherty.

It apparently didn't matter that Canadians just voted and elected Mr.
Harper. Mr. Layton doesn't care that we just had a $300 million election.

Mr. Dion announced his intention to step down, but the coup will put him
into the Prime Minister's office even though he got the fewest votes of any
Liberal since Confederation.

The Bloc Quebecois holds the balance of power and the key to government
stability. Hang on, do I have this right? Mr. Duceppe is the defacto
Prime Minister in this game of political monopoly?

So, to recap:

Mr. Harper won, but really lost the election. Mr. Layton lost, but
actually won. Mr. Dion quit but is going to be Prime Minister. And Mr.
Duceppe is laughing his backside off because he is the one who is really in
charge of the stability of Canadian government while being committed
breaking up the country.

Hmmm. I just wanted to make sure I understood all of it. Welcome to our
new banana republic – land of the political wing-nuts.
Author unknown

Friday, December 5, 2008

Giveaway

GIVEAWAY!

The very talented Catherine Holman is having a giveaway of one of her delightful paintings. For details click the photo of the cupcake, at the top of my sidebar.


Generation Y

I saw this over at Celebrating Women for the Real World and just had to post it too.

The Silent Generation…

People born between
1925 - 1945

The Baby Boomers…

People born between
1946 - 1964

Generation X…

People born between

1965 - 1982

Generation Y…

People born between

1983 - 1997

Why do we call the last group of people
Generation Y?

I had no idea until I saw this cartoon explanation!

A picture is worth a thousand words....Now I know....


Thursday, December 4, 2008

All I Want for Christmas (A Mom’s Wishlist)

All I Want for Christmas (A Mom’s Wishlist)

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I read this and immediately knew I had to share this with you. It's an AWESOME Wish List and one I'm sure you'll hope Santa brings every single one of, under your tree :)

Laugh a Little

It's been kinda dreary this week. The sun has come out but only in small doses. We're supposed to get snow today and for the next while actually. Add this to the short daylight hours and it makes for long "nights". Only 17 more days until the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year.
So, with that said, I want to include this little laugh I found here:

*2 Requests*

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.

"Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?"

The woman replied, "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Topsy-Turvy

I have my Christmas bins out and right now everything is in a big jumbles mess!! We aren't putting up a big C-mas tree this year, since we found the one we have is just too big for this place. It's not the height but the width of it. It can be done(we've had it up in here), but I hate the crowded feeling....so, I just put a tiny one up and we'll buy a slim one after C-mas when they go on sale. I'm decorating the mantle and around the house, keeping it simple this year. I LOVE C-mas, but we'll be going over to my son & daughter-in-law's place for gift opening and turkey dinner, so this is the year to simplify :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

December

"Before going to bed
After a fall of snow
I look out on the field
Shining there in the moonlight
So calm, untouched and white
Snow silence fills my head
After I leave the window.

Hours later near dawn
When I look down again
The whole landscape has changed
The perfect surface gone
Criss-crossed and written on
where the wild creatures ranged
while the moon rose and shone.

why did my dog not bark?
Why did I hear no sound
There on the snow-locked ground
In the tumultuous dark?

How much can come, how much can go
When the December moon is bright,
What worlds of play we'll never know
Sleeping away the cold white night
After a fall of snow."
- May Sarton, December Moon