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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The End of 2006

I've seen several people write about this year and say it hasn't been as good as they had hoped. I think that's how I feel about it, too.



However it has been a year of some significance. Molly opened her store in 2006. My grandson, the youngest of my grandkids, started high school this year! My oldest granddaughter and Rick's grandson both turned 18 years old this year!!

I started this blog in 2006 and it has changed my life. I would recommend blogging to anyone and most especially to older people. Too many times once you hit a certain age, people think you're old and have nothing interesting to say. I love the blogging community because unless you want to divulge your age (or any other personal information) no one knows. We aren't judged on age or race or religion or sexual preferences or anything else when we are blogging. We can be anyone we want to be....real or otherwise. I choose to be the real me but no one has to do it that way.

HB and I had a few ups and downs with our house this year and I think in the long run they will turn out to be positive although at the time they sure didn't feel that way!

This year I started to get back to doing a little art and I plan to do even more next year. I challenged myself to join the Art Everyday group and was so happy that I did. I plan to continue to challenge myself in the coming year. I think that's the only way to grow and stay mentally healthy.



I put myself on a strict regimen with my eating this year and it's working for me. I plan to be very healthy in 2007. I want to have endless energy and be quite fit. I have been walking on the treadmill and I am adding some weights into the mix and I'm also doing The Five Rites but I'm only doing the ones "in preparation" and will work myself up to the others in time. Molly does the regular ones every day and she looks fantastic....of course, she looks fantastic no matter what!! I will begin posting some little tid bits of my progress each day or so. And here is my first one....



I did my morning pages, my 5 rites exercises and 1.5 miles on the treadmill this morning. I hope you can see the numbers in the photo which unfortunately is a bit blurry.

So that's just a bit of what happened to me in 2006. When I write here at the end of 2007 I expect to have so much to say that you'll get tired of reading it all!!



HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Visit to Darshana and a Tarot Card....

Since this is almost the end of the week, end of the month and end of the year I'm just about at the end of things to blog about!! Just kidding....but I don't have a lot of time today as HB and I are going "down below" to see Molly's changed over store, Darshana Books. Then we're going to spend some time with my cousin and her husband. Just a family day. I hope to have photos of the store to show you later.

In the meantime I'll leave you with a little something I saw recently on Robyn's "old" blog. You know I like to do these quiz thingies!! And I like the connection of the tarot card and Molly's store....she sells some beautiful tarot card decks.


You are The Star


Hope, expectation, Bright promises.


The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised


The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A New Set of Goals For Me....

This year is winding down and I'm rather glad to see it end. This was a stressful year for me and even though nothing really drastic happened it seemed to be a "bad" year. I'm looking forward to 2007. I feel that this will be my year to grow.

I'm starting back into some old habits....good ones! I've been walking on the treadmill again and I've been doing morning pages (from The Artist's Way). I have kept a journal for many years but this past year I barely wrote anything. I did do semi-regular entries in my online journal....I blogged about it here. But now I'm committed to writing in my journal everyday. When I do this it helps me keep my mind from getting so cluttered. Between the morning pages and my journal I can dump out a lot of junk!! My mind needs a thorough housecleaning and a fresh start.

I'm also going to be doing some art every day. I read an article in the winter issue of Cloth Paper Scissors and it inspired me to set that as one of my goals for 2007. I'm trying to decide if I want to set a particular thing to create each day or just wing it. I think the structure of having a particular item would maybe be helpful but then it might get boring if I just make the same thing over and over again.

I was also intrigued by this that Laurie blogged about earlier....Project 365. At first I thought this might be something I would like to try but on further thinking I realized that with my little camera it might be difficult to get any good photos, and with my "wild and crazy, action-packed life" it might be difficult to get photos that would be interesting! I'm still thinking about this one! I've never been much of a photographer so this would really be a challenge.

I worked all day yesterday in the studio. No, not creating. Cleaning! I took a bunch of stuff to the attic because I'm trying to make room for my computer to be moved up there to the studio! The new wireless router that we got from Santa was for that very thing. I would like to have my computer where my art stuff is so that I could switch easily from one to the other. The biggest problem is getting the space to set up the computer! My space is so limited as it is but I really want the computer up there so I'm trying to re-organize the room....for the eleventeenth hundred time!

I'm also trying to watch either the full-length version of "The Secret" each day or at least the short clips on YouTube to keep myself going in a positive direction. Training my mind will be another challenge!

So all in all I have a full year planned for myself. I have some other goals planned too but those will come in a few more days. I hope that some of these things will be of interest to you and that you will enjoy what I have to share this coming year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Help....and a Meme

I want to jazz up my blog just a little and I need your help.

I would love to have an interesting background on my blog. I know it can be done because I see them on blogger all the time....I just don't know how to do it. If anyone reading this can help me please email me (email is in my profile) and let me know the process. I'm not a computer whiz but HB knows a bit more than me so between the two of us we should be able to do it.

I have the info on the banner changes and plan to do something with that before too much longer.

And now here's a meme I got from DebR.

Do you own a gun?
Yes, we have a gun. That’s an odd question to start off with.

What do you think of hot dogs?
I eat SmartDogs which are made from soy.



What’s your favorite Christmas song?
Oh Holy Night

What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Gin, tequila, vodka, whiskey, rum....I'M KIDDING!! I prefer to drink coffee in the mornings but it doesn't like me anymore! Now it’s either water or a cup of hot apple juice with a cinnamon stick. Like this only without the lemon slice....



Can you do push-ups?
Sure! I just did 150 right before I started this post! Are you kidding me!! I’m 63 years young….I do good to stand up straight and walk around!!

What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
I’m not really a jewelry person anymore. I mostly wear earrings and that’s it. I have several pairs I like. I also love rings but seldom wear them anymore either.

What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex?
I think it must be my wrinkles and the way my boobs touch my knees!!! Just kidding! Actually I did lure them with my big boobs, and I had a pretty good figure when I was younger.

Middle name?
Kay

Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
1. I wonder if it’s going to rain.
2. What am I going to have for my dinner tonight….
3. How did I get paint all over my fingers?

Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:
1. water
2. water
3. water

What time did you wake up today?
I slept in today and didn’t get up until almost 8 AM!! That’s very unusual for me.



Current hate?
That’s so negative! I’d rather tell you my current love….HB and “The Secret”

Favorite place to be?
At home in my studio.

Least favorite place to be?
A shopping mall,…or maybe a snake pit!

Where would you like to go?
Well, as soon as that darned bridge gets built I would love to go to England, France, Russia, China…..there are lots of places that I would like to visit. I’m just waiting on the bridge. My car doesn’t float too good!



Do you own slippers?
Yes. I have huge purple fuzzy slippers that Molly gave me several years ago and a pair of moccasin type slippers.

What shirt are you wearing?
A burgundy sweatshirt. Isn’t that just fascinating!!



Do you burn or tan?
Burn….big time!

Favorite color(s)?
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time I’m sure you already know this. All together now....everyone say "purple."

Would you be a pirate?
I don’t think so. I'm not really into pillaging and I get sea sick on a ship. Plus having to always wear that eye patch would get annoying, and the peg leg would slow me down, and having that darn parrot yakking in my ear all day would drive me nuts.



What is your favorite holiday?
I guess it would be Christmas.

What songs do you sing in the shower?
I guess whatever song comes into my head at the time. I don’t always sing in the shower. I try to spare HB the pain of hearing me sing!! When I was a kid I can remember singing "Davy Crockett" and then later "Whatever Lola Wants"

What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
Monsters or a big lion.

What’s in your pockets right now?
Nothing.

Last thing that made you laugh?
David Letterman

Best bed sheets as a child?
This is a little weird! But since I grew up in the Dark Ages I only had plain white sheets. Now everyone say “Oh, you poor baby!!”



Worst injury you’ve ever had?
I broke my wrist while roller skating at Venice Beach.

Are your parents still together?
They’re both dead now but they were divorced.

Do you wish on shooting stars?
Of course!



What is your favorite book(s)?
I don’t have a favorite….I like them all!

What is your favorite candy?
I always loved Turtles. Mostly if it has caramel and pecans then I like it. For just a plain candy bar I always liked Butterfingers. But I don’t eat any of it now.



What song did you have played at your wedding?
My first marriage was the only one in a church and they played Ave Maria.

How is the weather outside right now?
A bit cloudy, windy, and very chilly.

What was your first thought this morning when you woke up?
Actually I woke up and wondered where LuLu was....Harley was sleeping on the foot of the bed.

NOTE: These questions were answered on Wednesday night.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Little of This and a Little of That....

I'm sure you've noticed I took down my Christmas decorations....here on the blog. I'm ready to get movin', on the upcoming year. I have lots of things I want to start incorporating into my life and many of them will also be part of this blog. I'll tell you more about that soon.

Several people were interested in my new grill. I used it for the first time Tuesday evening. So far I love it!! I did some grilled marinated tofu! I can just hear some of you out there groaning but it was very tasty. This is what I had for my dinner....



There's the grilled tofu, a small golden potato (baked) and green beans steamed with chayote squash and mushrooms.

The grill was easy to use, cooked very evenly and was also easy to clean. You also wanted to know what you can cook on it....well, since this one comes with the extra grilling plates (George Foreman G5) for baking and waffles it seems there's no limit to what you can use it for. The recipe book that was included has things like scrambled eggs, sour cream blackberry waffles, several panini recipes, focaccia, quesadillas, grilled veggies, beef, lamb, pork, chicken....you name it. I'm sure HB will be trying some steak or chicken before too long. I would have to say that for a kitchen appliance this one is excellent!

I received another wonderful Christmas ornament in the mail. This one is from a friend of mine, Debbi in Montana....she said she made 50 of these to send out this year!! It's simply adorable....and measures about 4-5" tall....



I listened to some of my new music and HB and I watched "The Secret" again. You can see small bits of it on YouTube. I tried to put the video on here but don't think I did it right. I'll try again later. It may show up in some strange place on my blog!! So watch out for incoming videos!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All the Good Stuff

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day. I can tell you I sure did. HB and I woke up early to see if Santa had left us anything and sure enough there were presents. I guess we were good 'cause there wasn't even a tiny bit of coal to be seen anywhere!

We had a delicious breakfast of Peach French Toast....the recipe is here except I used Hawaiian bread. I had to cheat just a little but it was worth it. And besides, I still haven't had any cookies!!

We ate our breakfast and then we opened a couple of things that Santa had brought for both of us. Here is a shot of the gifts all wrapped up and under our tree (another photo will explain that!!)



Here is the first thing we opened....



It's one of those George Foreman grills with extra grilling plates so I can grill, griddle, bake and make waffles. Being the Kitchen Wizard that I am (hahaha) this should make things a bit easier for me. Well, a gal can hope!!

We opened another gift for both of us....a new wireless routing system so that I can move my computer to whatever room I choose.

Then we decided to get busy on the dinner. HB did the cooking, as usual. He did a nice ham with potatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli as side dishes. I made Molly's favorite cranberry-pineapple jello (I posted the recipe at Thanksgiving) and I had baked three kinds of cookies. We don't usually have a huge dinner on Christmas Day and this was just enough.

Molly and Don arrived with two pies and more gifts. We had beautiful weather and at one point when Molly and I were outside we looked up and saw this rainbow effect in the sky. HB said it was ice crystals in the clouds....



After dinner we sat down to open gifts. Here is what I called our Christmas tree!!



It's a crappy fake tree that I put some twinkle lights on and said "that's it!"

We always have fun when we are together so that's all that counts. Here are some of my gifts....



From HB, the two magazines Art Doll Quarterly and Somerset Studio Gallery, the book "Moving On" by Sarah Ban Breathnach, two cds...."Siempre" by Il Divo and "Ugly Day" by Mamou (I have very eclectic taste in music!)and my usual Mary Engelbreit calendar, a new kitchen timer and more ink cartridges for my printer. I had asked for the timer and ink cartridges and the book. From Molly, another copy of "The Artist's Way" (I have read it but couldn't find my copy), "Autumn Gospel", "The Love and Power Journal", a copy of "Greatest Hits" from Kali Yuga and a fantastic purse. The adorable stocking card is from Don....he donated money to Darfur in my name and also in HB's name. (We also did our donations.)

We ended the day by playing Texas hold 'em poker and laughing and eating again. It was a wonderful, quiet, easy, fun-filled day....one of the best Christmas Days ever.

P.S. Molly gave HB the dvd of "The Secret"....you can learn about it here. We love it!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve....

I'm not blogging much today and I'm sure not many other people will either. The only thing I have to do today is bake another batch of cookies and run to the pet store for a little "surprise" for Harley and LuLu!!

I wanted to give you this very famous poem but still a favorite of mine....and to wish each and every person who reads my blog a very Merry Christmas. I do so appreciate everyone who makes my blog one of their stops in blogland.

A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS
By Clement Clark Moore

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 hope 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 our brains for a long winter's nap,---
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my 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 a lustre of midday 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 a sleigh full of toys, ---and Saint 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 head and was turning around,
Down the chimney Saint 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 pedlr 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 on 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, whe he laughed, like a bowl full 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:
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Almost But Not Quite.....

It's almost but not quite time. The big rush is on! I'm sure there are many people out there trying frantically to finish their Christmas shopping. I will be staying home! I might bake some cookies or some quick bread, then I'll wrap the few gifts I've purchased or made. I think it will be a quiet day at Chez Bee-cause.



Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about Christmas. I used to wrap most of the gifts in our family when I was younger. I've even wrapped some of my own gifts! By that I mean gifts that other people gave to me....one year I was dating a guy (this was after I was divorced from my kid's dad) who had a fairly big family. He was lamenting the fact that he had a bunch of gifts that needed to be wrapped so I offered to wrap them for him. He already had most things in a box so he would just hand me a box, tell me whether it was going to a man or a woman and then I would wrap it and put a big bow on top. I didn't bother to look inside the boxes at what I was wrapping.

On Christmas, when the guy presented me with my gift I recognized it as one I had wrapped!! So I wrapped my own gift! But even if I had known I wouldn't have peeked. I told you....I like surprises. I never peeked, and still don't, at gifts that might be hidden around the house.



Which brings me to this little tidbit that just happened at Molly's house. Ryder wanted some special pants that had to be ordered online. So Molly ordered the pants and several other things for him....shoes, shirts, etc. It was to be the bulk of his Christmas from her. She came home from the store last week to find an open box and packing materials scattered around the living room....and Ryder wearing the new pants!! He had opened the box....addressed clearly to his mom!! She was really not happy about this. And also disappointed because it ruined her chances of watching him open the gifts on Christmas morning.



Ryder is lucky to have such a sweet mom because when Molly and Buck were little kids I always told them that if they opened or sneaked a peek at a gift before Christmas, and I found out about it, I would give that gift to charity for some other kid to enjoy!

On that note, I'm off to the kitchen. I hear chocolate and butter and flour calling out to me to make them into cookies!! But alas!....they will all be for other people. I'm still being good. I haven't had one cookie or any other kind of yummy since I started my healthier eating plan.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Some Wild and Crazy Christmas Fun....

When I first moved to CA in 1979, I had the good fortune to meet a woman who made a big impression on my life. We worked together and she began talking with me, and then she invited me to her home. She had a roommate, a guy, and between them I was launched into a very eclectic group of people. Many of them were engineers and worked in the aviation field, a couple of them worked at JPL, there was a paralegal, and some other varied careers in the bunch. They were all single, never married, very intelligent, and fun-loving....and there were several hang-glider enthusiasts in the group. They thought it was cool that I had a daughter....at that time my son was not living with me. He had gone back to Illinois. Molly was about 12 years old when I met this group of people. They took her under their wing. She had a crush on the main guy for quite some time!

We spent most weekends together usually going out to eat en masse at least one night a week. I'm sure it must have been a bit daunting to have all of us show up at a restaurant....we usually numbered about a dozen. Many times we would choose some small, out-of-the-way restaurant that had been written up in the LA Weekly or one of the other newspapers. Rarely did we stay within our own neighborhood.

We always had fun. There were very lively and interesting conversations and everyone got along. No one in the group dated anyone in the group so it was a nice relaxed atmosphere of guys and gals with different backgrounds, different sexual preferences, different just-about-everything.

One year at Christmastime, the one guy who was usually the "leader" of our group decided we should all have Christmas together at his home. He went out and got a live tree and set it in his living room. Everyone was instructed to bring paper, glue, scissors, and any other crafty things we wanted plus something to be used for baking.



We all showed up at his place on the appointed day and he told us we were going to make all the decorations for the tree....and we were also going to bake Christmas cookies. Just like one big family.

That was one of the best Christmas celebrations I ever had! We made paper chains and snowflakes and all kinds of little paper ornaments. We cut and glued and glittered and laughed and had fun. The little tree looked beautiful when we finished.



Then we began the baking. Oh, boy! Was that something! We had all kinds of ingredients and more helpers then could fit in the kitchen. We decided to make gingerbread men....but not just ordinary gingerbread men. We were going along just fine until someone made a goof-up on the icing....it looked rather risque! That was all it took. From then on we made X-rated gingerbread men and women! Anatomically correct!! We laughed and played and baked....and Molly was completely appalled at the behavior of all of us!! Adults! Yuk!!

Then someone decided we should make rum balls. Only problem....we didn't have any rum. Not to worry! The host had a bottle of Wild Turkey someone had given to him as a gift! That was it....we made Wild Turkey Balls!! You can just imagine all the jokes that were made about Wild Turkey balls!! We laughed so much my face hurt.



Needless to say it was a crazy, fun day and we all felt as if we were part of a huge family. We continued to celebrate holidays together for many more years. But somehow the group drifted apart....some people got married, others moved away. I haven't seen any of them for a long, long time but I still remember all those fun times we had together.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa visits again....

Once again the mailbox held a surprise for me....poor HB!! He goes down to get the mail and always comes back with some package or cards for me. We don't usually get as many cards as we once did. I think more and more people are just not sending cards anymore.

This mailbox surprise was from Beth!! She is such a sweetie. Look at this....



I now have 2 (!!) ATCs. And isn't that moose/reindeer card cute? And the little snowman ornament, too. Now I guess I have to get busy....Beth sent me this fantastic crochet book for my collection and it has some really neat patterns in it. It was all such a nice surprise.

And then I also received this beautiful handmade card and an ornament from by best friend Gail.

Here is a photo of what she sent....



And here is the inside of the card....



Isn't that just the cutest!! Just in case, when you click on the photo you can't read it, here is a scan of the inside. Sorry about the odd coloration but it's all due to the scanner....



I hope you can read the little story on the left side....it's about Harley and LuLu.
Thank you, Gail....you're the best!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Stockings....

When my kids were small they always looked forward to their Christmas stockings. I didn't put the usual oranges and candies in them....my kids both loved olives (!) so each stocking always had a jar of olives in the toe!



They got crayons or markers, fun little toys, and things that were personal for them. Many times their gifts for the stockings cost more than some of their other gifts.

On Christmas morning they could get their stocking and open all those gifts inside whenever they got up. They had to wait to open their other gifts because my mom had to come over, and after I was divorced their dad always came over for Christmas morning, too. So they usually got up early and then had to wait to open their gifts. The stockings were to keep them busy and happy until everyone arrived.



One year, when Molly was just a baby and her brother (Buck) was about 5 years old, their dad was working a rotating shift and it just so happened that he had to work the night shift on Christmas Eve. This meant he wouldn't get home until about 8:00 AM on Christmas morning!

We lived in an odd little house that had been added on to, so some of the rooms were in an odd order. To get from my son's room to the living room you had to pass through the master bedroom. So on that particular Christmas morning, I knew my son would wake up long before his dad could get home. I didn't want Buck to see his presents until his dad was there to share in the fun. Santa had brought Buck one of those springy horses that were so popular back in the 60's....and it was sitting right there under the tree. (Photo below is not mine. Just looks like the horse he got.)



When I heard Buck get up, I told him I didn't think Santa had made it around to all the houses yet and that maybe we should just wait in my bedroom until Santa had a chance to do his work. I told Buck I would sneak a quick peek to see what was going on but that he should stay in my bed and wait for me.



I pretended to peek out into the living room and then I said I thought Santa had gone back to his sleigh to get some more presents but he had already filled the stocking so I would slip out real quick and grab it and bring it back to the bed.

Buck was thrilled to have the stocking and we played with all his little toys right there in my bed until we heard his dad come home. Of course, by that time Santa had finished his work and we were able to venture out to the living room and discover the horse.



I always remember that particular Christmas because not too many little 5 year olds would have waited patiently with only their stocking to keep them happy. But Buck did that year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Santa Has Been Busy!!

The mailman is becoming quite confused. Normally he has very little to bring to our house....and at Christmas time it's a few cards and that's about it. The past few weeks it seems that I'm getting something exciting in the mail every week.

Yesterday evening I was up in my studio and HB tapped on the door and said "Special delivery for you"....and he brought in a box. It was from Sheila!!

And what a surprise box it was! Here are the goodies it held....



A wonderful handmade Santa card, a cute Santa tea towel, a beautiful address book (I love the flower on the cover), a little date book that Sheila embellished, a little Mary Engelbreit card that contains some chai tea (which I will cheat and have tonight!) and a lovely little tag made by Sheila....and in purple and mauve! Does she have my number, or what??!

Here is a close-up of the tag....I think it is just beautiful....



Isn't that fantastic? Thank you sooooo much, Sheila. I love everything and I know you put a lot of thought into these gifts. They are all so "me"....

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Christmas Game

Sioux over at Sioux's Zest posted a game/challenge and I decided to give it a try. You are to google Christmas and the year of your birth. Then add the photos that you find.

I had so much fun looking back over photos from 1985 that I couldn't decide which ones to use. Wait a minute!! What do you mean that's not my birth year?? You mean I'm not 21? Oh, darn! I just can't fool you people!

Ok, Ok....so the year of my birth is actually 1943! For some of you that probably sounds like ancient times. But believe me it was only yesterday!

So here are some photos I discovered....mostly war related. Some things never change!

This one was described as Christmas in the Solomons....



A magazine cover....



Soldiers again....



And this is the last one....Glenn Miller....

The Things I Like About Christmas

Remember a couple of days ago I mentioned getting the book "Simplify Your Christmas"....well, I sat down yesterday and read through it and it sure made a lot of sense. The first thing it said to do is to think about what you like about Christmas. So I'm going to do that right here....not in any particular order....

1. The excitement of finding the perfect gift for someone. In my case I don't think I manage to do that very often but I sure do try!
2. Making things....gifts, ornaments, wreaths, all kinds of decorations and little vignettes to have around the house.
3. "It's a Wonderful Life"....I love that movie and watch it every year
4. The lights and candles and fireplaces all aglow
5. Having my family around me
6. Good cheer and happiness on everyone's faces everywhere you go
7. Listening to Christmas music on Christmas Eve
8. The peacefulness that seems to be missing lately
9. Laughter and fun with friends and family (I guess that's almost the same as #5)
10. Seeing all of it through the eyes of a child
11. The smell of pine trees
12. Wrapping gifts and knowing that I'm going to surprise someone




Then the book said to look back over the list and see how many things you've been doing year after year that aren't on the list. We get caught up in "traditions" that we think we must continue at all costs. But that really isn't true.

I can still enjoy all of the above even if I don't have a Christmas tree filling my living room. I can still enjoy all of those things without driving myself insane with shopping, wrapping, and trying to make everything perfect.

One of the things in the book is "Let Go of What You Think Are Other People's Expectations"....now that one really struck a chord with me. I always tried to give my kids the kind of Christmas I thought they expected....or the kind I thought they wanted. Now my son doesn't even celebrate Christmas....he does the winter solstice instead. And My daughter isn't into all the usual trappings so what did I accomplish for all those years?? I don't feel bad about it but just accept it for what it is....we all need to celebrate things in our own way no matter what Madison Avenue says!



I like all the decorations but I don't like all the mess of dragging everything out, sorting through it, doing the tree (which usually takes HB and me two days to do!!) and then all I can think about during the holiday is that I'll have to turn around and un-do all of it when it's over!! So I think a few well-placed items will just have to do it for me.

The other thing I found astounding in this book was that each year Americans spend $800 million in stamps to send $4 billion in holiday cards!!! And this book was written in 1998 so I'm sure it's even more now. That seems disgusting and completely insane when you think about all that could be done with that kind of money to help people in need.

This year I made all my cards but I think this will be the last year I do Christmas cards. After reading that statistic it just seems ridiculous when most of the time the cards sit on someone's mantel for a week or two and then end up in the trash.



So for everyone out there who has given me encouragement to find my Christmas spirit, I don't think it was ever lost....it was just hidden by a lot of unnecessary stuff that over the years became what I thought I "had" to do. I feel much better now that I've read this book! I can look forward to doing the things I want to do and decorating in the way I want without thinking I've committed some "crime" against "tradition"....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign....

Sorry I haven't been on here, or visited anyone the last day or so....just busy. Now don't go getting all excited on me....it didn't have anything to do with Christmas!! Still no tree.

And since I'm kinda busy I'm going to grab a couple of cute quizzes from Deb and do those today.

I've always been interested in astrology and I think the Chinese astrology is fun too. So here is the first one:

You Were Born Under:

Your most comfortable inside your head - and often daydream the day away.
You have an artistic temperament that makes you seem creative to some, eccentric to others.
You avoid conflict at all costs, and you have a difficult time with relationships.
Attractive and with good manners, you tend to shine in social situations.

You are most compatible with a Pig or Rabbit.



Most of this is me although I wouldn't say I shine in social situations. But I do spend a lot of time inside my head!! I also avoid conflicts as much as possible, and I'm sure no one ever thinks I'm eccentric....wink, wink!



Now the next one....

You Should Have Been Born Under:

You are solid, methodical, and you do things right the first time.
Even when no one else does, you always believe in yourself.
You tend to see the world in black and white, right or wrong.
A good memory and eye for details means you tend to thrive at near impossible tasks.

You are most compatible with a Snake or Rooster.



Both of these are rather plodding, heavy animals!! I think it's interesting that HB is an Aries, the sign of the ram.

I do tend to be methodical and have an eye for details. As for the part about thriving at near impossible tasks....maybe that means I'll finally get the studio organized!

The second one obviously doesn't realize my strong dislike for SNAKES as it thought I would be most compatible with one!! Actually my first husband was born the year of the snake. Maybe that was our problem!!