Friday, November 30, 2007

12 Days of Christmas


Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829 were prohibited by law to practice their faith either in public or private. It was illegal to be Catholic until Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England in 1829.


"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith. In short, it was a coded-message, a memory aid. Since the song sounded like rhyming nonsense, young Catholics could sing the song without fear of imprisonment. The authorities would not know that it was a religious song
."The 12 Days of Christmas" is in a sense an allegory.

Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the Catholic faith.

The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith. The better acquainted one is with the Bible, the more these interpretations have significance.


The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…"


The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. i.e. the Church.


1st Day:
The partridge in a pear tree is Christ Jesus upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them. The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the Cross.


2nd Day:
The "two turtle doves" refers to the Old and New Testaments.


3rd Day:
The "three French hens" stand for faith, hope and love—the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).


4th Day:
The "four calling birds" refers to the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.


5th Day:
The "five golden rings" represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.


6th Day:
The "six geese a-laying" is the six days of creation.


7th Day:
The "seven swans a-swimming" refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.


8th Day:
The "eight maids a milking " reminded children of the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.


9th Day:
The "nine ladies dancing" were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.


10th Day:
The "ten lords a-leaping" represents the Ten Commandments.


11th Day:
The "eleven pipers piping" refers to the eleven faithful apostles.


12th Day:
The ‘twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles’ Creed: belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, made man, crucified, died and arose on the third day, that he sits at the right hand of the father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.


So the next time you hear "the Twelve Days of Christmas" consider how this otherwise non-religious sounding song had its origins in keeping alive the teaching of the Catholic faith.
information courtesy of www.appleseeds.org

Advent Calendars


My daughter has informed me that she would like to see a Christmas post every day between now and Christmas - sort of like a virtual Advent calendar.




I think that I will try and indulge her. Why stop now, right?




However, religiously speaking, Advent starts on Sunday. Calendorically (my own word), it starts tomorrow. I haven't yet decided how rigid I'm gonna be. Ok, now I have. I have a chocolate Advent calendar for my grandson which he should start tomorrow.




I always wanted one of these when I was a little girl and never got one.




When my kids were little, I made a felt banner with peppermint candies ties to it. Beginning December 1, they each got to remove one peppermint each night and voila! when the last peppermint was gone, Christmas was here!




This year, I bought an Advent calendar at World Market for lil man. He does not know about it yet so it should be a pleasant surprise tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Anyone out there in Tucscon, AZ?


Hey y'all! There is a fellow blogger, Moonshadow by name, looking for her sister. Last heard from in Tucson, AZ.


All of the details are here. If you can help, or if you can just pass this along, I sure would appreciate it.


Thanks.




Home Decor

Disclaimer: The dates on these photos is wrong. I did not reset the date when I charged the battery. My bad.

I went to a home decor party a couple of months ago.



Any guesses as to what I bought?


No? Aw, come on. You can guess. How about now?


Yep, battery operated, flameless votive candles. Evidently, they are also zombie eyes! Who knew?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmasses Past

Disclaimer: None of the following pictures are mine. Mine were lost during a divorce. The stories are mine.

I stopped to visit a friend of mine today. She is pregnant, has a 13 month old and watches another girl's 14 month old. She also has a full-size fully decorated Christmas tree in her living room. She is very good with the kids and very good at keeping her munchkins and her tree safe.

I, at the same age, was much lazier.

I was married, had a 2 year old, a 5 year old, 2 stepsons, 4 inside dogs, 2600 square feet of white wool carpet in an old constantly renovated farmhouse with 11 interior sliding glass doors.

The first year that we were in the house, I combined the following three items:






Yep, I put the tree in the playpen and decorated the playpen with garland. It worked excellently well! The tree and the presents were corralled and I did not have to spend the whole holiday yelling. (I was a yeller!)

The next year, we put the tree in the formal living room - the one with the fireplace and the cathedral ceiling.

We hung it upside down.





Still safe from kids and dogs - but no safe place for the gifts!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Magic Cookie Bars

Things my grandson learned today while we made Magic Cookie Bars:


To read all of the directions first

That tablespoons are marked on the butter wrapper

That you can cut right through the paper

How to set the timer on the microwave (to melt the butter)

That you can use you hands to pat the crust in the bottom of the pan

That if you pour the coconut, nuts, or chips into the palm of your hand, it's easier to sprinkle them evenly

That if you hold your hand over the pan while you are sprinkling, the things you drop still end up in the cookie bars and not in the dogs' stomachs

How to set the timer

How to wait TWO HOURS for them to cool


Julie and R.J. - quit reading now


That if you eat all your dinner, Grandma will let you have 3 cookie bars and then Grandpa will cut you one more!


The Bucket People

When my daughter was about 5 years old, she was intrigued, entranced and fascinated by “The Bucket People”.



She wanted to know who they were, where they came from, what they did with the money and how much she could give them.



At the time, I was a single mom with 2 little girls, working 2 jobs and paying out a whole buttload of money for childcare. Things were a little tight - but not too tight to give our change to the Bucket People.



We were almost through Christmas shopping and Julie was bugging me and bugging me and bugging me to give money to the Bucket People.



I gave her and her older sister each $20.00 to go into Long’s Drug Store to buy a present for me. I told Julie that she could give the change to the Bucket People.



She and her sister were gone a LONG time, but she finally came skipping out of the store, ran up to the bucket and shoved what looked like a wad of money into the opening. She told the Bucket Person, “Merry Christmas.” He told her, “God Bless You and Merry Christmas.”



That was the year I got a $.98 pencil for Christmas.



God Bless Us Every One.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Evil or a Poor Choice?

When did wrong become a poor choice? When did a choice cease being wrong? Where did right go?

I posted a couple of days ago about trying to explain Hitler and swastikas (and what they symbolize) to an 8 year old. I became involved in a conversation about the same topic and said that I had told lil man that the swastika was a bad sign.

The person I was talking to, let’s call them George, said there were no bad signs, just like there were no bad people. There were just people who had made poor choices.

I waited a couple of minutes so that I would not just erupt and then asked George if he did not think that Hitler was evil. He said no, that no one was evil, that Hitler had just made some poor choices, that evil did not exist.

I was dumbstruck.

I know that philosophically, I tend to oversimplify things. I always have.

In my world, where God reigns supreme, there is good.

Having said that, there is also evil.

Whether we choose to invite that evil into our lives is indeed our choice. I do think, though, that evil needs to be identified as evil. I think that characterizing Hitler, for example, as someone who made poor choices is minimizing the evil that the man wrought. It is also, conversely then, minimizing the good that is God.

I think Hitler, and his legacy, epitomize evil in 20th century history.

I hope that, at the end, he repented of his sins and, doubt not, they were sins.

Only God is huge enough to love and forgive such darkness.

I am not. I cannot understand such evil. I cannot imagine inviting such darkness into your soul and mind. I cannot conceive of not recognizing evil as evil.

Here is how Webster defines evil:
Main Entry: 1evil
Pronunciation: \'ē-vəl, British often & US also 'ē-(ˌ)vil\ Function: adjective Inflected Form(s): evil·er or evil·ler; evil·est or evil·lest Etymology: Middle English, from Old English yfel; akin to Old High German ubil evil Date: before 12th century
1 a: morally reprehensible :
sinful, wicked b: arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct 2 aarchaic : inferior b: causing discomfort or repulsion : offensive c: disagreeable 3 a: causing harm : pernicious b: marked by misfortune : unlucky
— evil adverb archaic
— evil·ly
\-(l)ē\ adverb
— evil·ness
\-nəs\ noun

Morally reprehensible; sinful; wicked


Yep, just sounds a little more serious than “poor choices”, doesn’t it? Is that what happened?

When we, as a society, became more concerned with a child’s self-esteem than with their moral fortitude, did we just ease away from all the words that made US uncomfortable?

Maybe it’s time for us to say, “What you did was wrong. That was bad. That is a sin.” instead of ,"You could have made a better choice.”

I don’t have the answers.

I just know that, as sure as I am that there is good, there is evil.
As sure as I am that there is God, there is Satan.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Irish politician Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fun Monday - You Want To See What?


This week's Fun Monday is brought to us by Blue Momma. I signed up for this last week and almost unsigned way more than once. This should tell you why -


I want you to show me your......projects. More to the point, I want to see your unfinished projects. I have so many that I really need some reassurance that I'm not the only one. Home improvement projects are what I have in mind, but it you don't have any of those show me any kind of project - needlework, cooking, scrapbooking, etc. You can even show me your spouse if they qualify as a work in process.

I did not realize until I started looking at ALL of the unfinsihed crapola in my house what a lazy, laptop-addicted, procrastinating slacker I am. But enough - I did sign up so here you go.
My husband, when I said I was going to paint the living room, said that he would handle the trim. It is now a matter of principle...lol. The pictures in the frame are still the ones that came in it from the factory, also. I just haven't picked the right ones of ours to put inside!
Absolutely nothing to say.

The unfinished painting of the hallway.

I am now thoroughly embarassed. Maybe this is the impetus I need to get it done. Pushing publish before I change my mind - and these pics were taken today. I forgot to reprogram the camera's date when I charged the battery. Sorry.

Our Family Shrub


I was watching Grey’s Anatomy the other night and lil man was in and out of the room. I was not paying close enough attention (I generally do not let him watch that at my house) and he was watching it, too.


One of the storylines involved a patient who had a swastika tattooed on his stomach and only wanted a male, white doctor.


Lil man said that he didn’t understand.


I explained that the Nazis had used that symbol during WWII. He asked who the Nazis were and I gave the short version of Hitler and that he hated blacks and Jews and Catholics, among others.


He looked at me in amazement and said “That’s stupid. We’re all the same.”


I agreed and asked him why.


He said, “Because we’re all God’s kids.”


I agreed.


He sat there for a minute and then started making that goofy noise he makes when he wants to laugh and can’t quite find the right sound.


I asked him what was so funny and he told me that if God was his father and God was Grandpa’s father, then he was his own grandpa‘s brother!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas Candy



Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away I made 37 different kinds of Christmas cookies, square danced, taught Sunday school and otherwise channelled the Stepford wives.

I wish I had had this list. It is not cookies - Sayre posted that one earlier. It is candy! Just click on the name and - voila! - the recipe!

Have fun and feel free to send samples!

2 Minute Microwave Fudge
5 Minute Fudge
7 Layer Bars
Aaron's Buttery Cashew Brittle
Almond Bark
Amanda's Peppermint Creams
Ann's Cream Nut Candy
Bavarian Inn Peanut Bars
Beth's Delicious Fudge
Brownie Fudge Dessert
Buckeyes
Buckeyes
Butter Toffee
Candied Yams
Candy Bar Brownies
Candy Cane Brittle
Candy Cane Fudge
Caramel Krispie Treats
Caramels
Carmel Corn
Carol's Christmas Treats
Chocolate Almond Bars
Chocolate Balls
Chocolate Billionaires
Chocolate Chow Mein Candy
Chocolate Covered Cherries
Chocolate Covered Nuts
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Nut Caramels
Chocolate Popcorn
Chocolate Silk Bon Bons
Chocolate Truffels
Christmas Candied Walnuts
Christmas Crackle Candy
Christmas Mice
Chunky Mallow Candy
Cinnamon Hard Candy
Cinnamon Popcorn
Cranberry Nut Fudge
Cream Cheese Candy
Creamy Chocolate Truffles
Creamy Microwave Pralines (Texas Stye)
Crispy peanutbutter balls
Dark Chocolate Fudge
Deborahe's Holiday Chocolates
Disappearing Marshmallow Brownies
Dish of Dirt
Divinty
Dorothy's Peanut Butter/Butterscotch Noodle Cookie
Dreamcicle Fudge
Easy Candy
Easy Divinity
Easy Divinity Easy Divinity Candy
Easy Fudge
Easy Granola Candy
Easy Microwave Carmel
Easy Microwave Fudge
Easy Pecan Logs
English Toffee
English Toffee
English Toffee Bars
Fabulous Fudge
Fake Brittle
Fantasy Fudge
Festive Chocolate Truffles
Five Minute Fudge
Fool-Proof Fudge
Frosted Pecans
Fudge
Fudge
Fudge Brownies
Fudge for One
Fudge Puddles
Georgia Nuggets
Grandma Donna's Nummies
Grandma F's Delicious Fudge
Grandmother's Holiday Fudge
Hard Candy
Hard Tack Candy
Hazelnut Fantasy Fudge
Ho-Ho Hash
Holly Confection
Honey Comb
J & D's Peanut Butter Balls
Jeanne's Tiger Butter
Jen's Chocolate Meringues
J's Cream Fudge
Kim's Famous Cashew Brittle
Magic Marshmallow Fudge
Mama's Fudge
Maple Rum Balls
Margie's Best Candy
Martha Washington Candy
Martha Washington Mounds
Marzipan
Melting Moments
Melting Moments
Memaw's Reese's
Meme's Best Ever Peanut Butter Fudge
Meringues
Micky's Mints
Microwave Peanutbutter fudge
Microwave Pralines
Milk Fudge
Milky Way Bars
Million Dollar Fudge
Mimi's Famous Fudge
Mocha Truffles
Mom's Mints
Mr. Monroe's Famous Fudge
Mrs. Eisenhower's Fudge
Never Fail Fudge
Never Fail Fudge
No Bake Rum Balls
No Cook Peanut Butter Fudge
No Fail Fudge
Novia Scotia Treats
Nut Mallow Goodies
Nutty North Pole Fudge
Orange Balls
Orange Glazed Pecans
Out Of This World Fudge
Oven Carmel Corn
Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle (Microwave)
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Bars-An Elve's Favorite Treat
Peanut Butter Candy
Peanut Butter Candy
Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Fruit Squares
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Snowballs
Peanut Clusters (mircrowavable)
Peanut Krispies
Peanut Patties
Pecan Candy
Pecan Kisses
Penuche
Penut Butter Buckeyes
Peppermint Bonbons
Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Wands
Popcorn Cake
Popcorn Cake
Potato Candy
Potato Candy
Potato Candy
Potato Candy
Praline Kisses
Pralines
Pralines
Puppy Chow
Puppy Chow
Puppy Chow
Puppy Chow (for Humans)
Quick and Easy Mini Marshmallow Sandwiches
Quick and E-Z Fudge
Raspberry Fudge Balls
Reindeer Chow
Reindeer Chow
Reindeer Chow
Reindeer Chow
Reindeer Droppings
Reindeer Food
Reindeer Food
Rocky Road
Rocky Road
Rocky Road Bark
Rudolph's Favorite Pecans
Rum Balls
Salt Water Taffy
Sea Foam Candy
Skor Fudge
Snowballs
Snowballs
Snowballs
Snowballs
Snowy Day Brownies
Snowy Divinity
Snowy Pretzels
Spiced Pumpkin Fudge
Stained Glass Candy
Sugared Nuts
Super Peanut Clusters
Treacel Fudge
Triple Layer Bars
TripleLayer Chocolate Bars
Truffles
Truffles
Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight
Turtles
Uncle Ferd's Butter Crisp Cracker Candy
Uncle Jack Hallwood's Peanut Butter Fudge
Very Easy Fudge
White Christmas
Willy Wonka Bars
Winter Strawberries

Thanksgiving Dinner

Normally, we go out for Thanksgiving dinner. I know this sounds peculiar but my husband and I were cross-country truck drivers for a whole lot of years. During those years, if we were not able to be with family, we ate in truck stops.



When we quit driving truck, my husband decided (with my full concurrence) that eating out was a good thing. I did not have to cook all day and no one had to do the dishes. We usually went to a cafeteria style restaurant and that way EVERYONE got what they wanted.

Fast forward to this year.

There was a news story that the average Thanksgiving dinner for 10, cooked at home, this year, cost an average of $42.76


Now, we are not poor. We are currently, however, a little cash impaired. To go out entails driving 50 miles, plus or minus, and then paying for the 4 of us. The weatherman was predicting snow and bitter cold.


We (that would be the royal we) started thinking.


DO NOT EVER DO THIS!



The menu: Butterball turkey breast (we only like white meat)
Mashed potatoes (this recipe from Ree)
Green bean casserole
Dressing
Turkey gravy (bottled, of course)
Cranberry sauce
Baby Gherkins
Black Olives
Celery stuffed with cheese(s)
Pie(s) (Pumpkin, Pecan, and Cherry)
Cool Whip
Clementines







We had a wonderful day. We spent most of the day in our pajamas. Lil man learned how to spread cheese in celery sticks.





Gas expended?


Zip.


Grocery bill?



WAY MORE THAN $42.76 and there were not 10 of us.


Will I do it again next year? I’m pretty sure I heard lil man utter the word “tradition”. I am doomed.

Or blessed!

Friday, November 23, 2007

With thanks

I was browsing blogs today and Sayre's Smile reminded me of this - one of my new favorite songs. I hope you enjoy the song and the rest of the ordinary miracles!

"The Most Exciting Day Ever"

We got up this morning and there was no snow. We snuggled back into bed to stay warm because it was cold, cold, cold - 30 degrees.

Lil man went to let the dogs out and "IT SNEWED DURING THE NIGHT!"

I told him that it had not snowed during the night. It must have just snowed. I got up and, as we looked out the window, got to say "It is snowing now!"

I went to make some coffee, leaving him at the dining room window. and heard him talking to the little dog, "This could be the most exciting day ever!"

And it could!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thanksgiving Side Dishes - the New Age Way

This morning, on Good Morning America, Diane and crowd were chuckling at the "Side Dish According to Zodiac" method of choosing your dishes for Thanksgiving dinner.


I had to check.


Feel free to invite me.

Aquarius Side Dishes (January 20 - February 18)You will want to have at least one Aquarius at any gathering. These unique, futuristic creatures are one of the friendliest, most social signs. Water Bearers are open-minded, unprejudiced and mix well with all kinds of people. Be sure you maintain the discerning eye of the well-organized host, as Aquarians can become so caught up in the social side of the affair, they forget to eat all together. Serving Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Baked Acorn Squash will bring them back to earth.See Garlic Mashed Potato Recipes

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

History Buff



Our hot water heater went out the other day. It is located in an interior closet in the back bedroom with no outside access. While cleaning out the closet, I found a box of my husband's books that had been stored there the year that lil man was born.

They are "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare" published by Columbia House in 1967 in 20 volumes.

Lil man, in 2nd grade, is fascinated. He finds an interesting picture, asks about it, we read about it and we all learn. Granted, this is not state of the art weaponry, but the pictures from D-Day are exceptional.

His favorite thing to do is to find a "cool" picture and make a tracing of it. That would explain the lamp (yes, it is askew and no, it is not usually positioned there) over the bar separating our kitchen and living room (dining room to the left). It is such a joy to see him so interested.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pensieve's Poetic License the First

Mid-month Every Month at PENSIEVE
Want this button?
Robin, the Pensieve genius, invited us all to participate in the once a month poetry blog. Once a month? I may actually stand a chance of making it.
Her first assignment was a Thanksgiving limerick.
Here are mine:

There once was a November holiday
That always fell on a Thursday
A rehearsal of sorts
Trifles, puddings, and torts
All to prepare for His birthday


A day to give thanks for our blessings
With turkey and yams and dressings
Kith and kin gather round
Special food does abound
Thanksgiving, with nobody stressing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fun Monday - Do You Have to Tell That Story Again?

This week’s Fun Monday is hosted by Karisma. She wants to hear “The Story”. You know, the story that gets told and retold and embellished and told some more - at every family gathering.


The story that gets told and retold about me at my family’s holiday dinners is “The Gravy Story”. I was not really a child, I was 15 when this happened and it was not during the holidays, but there you have it.

My sisters are 10 and 13 years older than I am. When I turned into an obnoxious child, back in the day when preteen was not yet a word, my parents would send me to my sister’s house for the summer, or at least a good portion of it.

My sister was an uber-housewife. Her house was clean, her child was clean and his clothes were pressed, as were her tablecloths. She actually, and I kid you not, trimmed her lawn with manicure scissors. She ran a perfect household.

When my brother-in-law got home from work, his home was his castle. His queen had fresh makeup, her hair was perfect, dinner was cooking and there were NO problems.

So, the year I was 15, my nephew was 2 and my sister was pregnant. I was spending the summer there to help with my nephew and because my parents did not trust me at home. I truly was a horrible person at that age.

My sister went to the hospital and had a beautiful baby girl. I was at home with the 2 year old and my brother-in-law went to work.

I set out to be my sister. The grocery store was within walking distance of their house, so shopping was not a problem.

I decided to cook a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings. No problem. I cooked the roast, peeled and cooked the potatoes, mashed them, made a salad, and heated up some green beans. I washed up the kitchen, set the dining room table, washed and changed and ironed my nephew and made sure that everything was perfect.

The problem arose when I decided to make gravy. My mother is an EXCELLENT cook. She just doesn’t like people in her kitchen and, to be honest with you, by the time I came along her patience and desire to teach another person to cook were nil. But I HAD watched.
So I took the plastic container thingy and mixed the water and the flour and shook it just right and stirred some into the pan drippings. It looked OK, but a little thick. I added some more. Still a little thick. I added just a scoche more and decided to quit while I was ahead. I put the gravy into the then traditional gravy boat and served dinner.

My brother-in-law is a very kind man. He tried. He honestly tried. When the spoon stood in the middle of the gravy straight up, he told me as kindly as he could that he just couldn’t eat it. He carried it out to the kitchen and turned the cup over.
The gravy slid out in one piece, landed in the sink, and stood there quivering exactly like a jello mold.

We went out to eat.


And I still do NOT make gravy!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Door Shopping for Dummies

The other day my daughter’s dog, Bug - oh, ok, my dog Bug who is living at my daughter’s house because my job relocated me and I could not leave her at my old job site and I could not bring her home because Duck would eat her and my daughter said she would keep her - ate the door between my daughter’s garage and kitchen.


Knowing that we needed to replace the door, we drove the 50 some miles to the big town. There are two major home improvement stores, several large chain hardware stores, and a “liquidation and recyclers” store. We figured we could find an affordable door at one of these places.


Then I remembered that I had seen an ad on the local TV station for a “Re-store”. It is a store run by the Habitat for Humanity. They have items donated by local companies, items removed from homes under renovations and items donated by private parties.


I mentioned it to my daughter and she said that her husband had been telling her about this same store. He said they had everything and at amazingly low prices.


We went first to Jo-Ann’s to pick up supplies to make a rosary for a seminarian who is being ordained on the 8th of December (5th grade CFC project), World Market for gingersnaps (Pepparkakor) and pannetone, Once Upon a Child to leave some of the jeans the lil man has outgrown already (6 slim to 10 slim since September, all in height), and Hallmark for a card.

We then drove to where I thought the store was. Then we drove to where I thought the store was. Then we drove to where I thought the store must be.

I called information and got a number for Habitat for Humanity. It was the wrong number but they gave me the right number. I called the right number. There was no answer. I left a message on the right number and then called the wrong number to see if they could just give me an address. There was no answer.

My phone rang.

It was the right number and the nice man gave me directions. We still got lost (actually, you’re only really lost if you care where you are) but finally found the place.

Oh, my gosh!

It was like finding Aladdin’s cave - if Aladdin had been the child of Bob the Builder and Rosie the Riveter.

We wandered, like members of the lost tribe, for a while and finally asked for help. We told the nice man what size door we needed and he went to the door cave and found what we needed. Now, some of the doors that we had seen were marked with prices - $75, $100, $60. Not horrible but not as great as we had been led to believe either.


The door the nice man pulled was not marked. Julie asked the price. The nice man mentioned that it was a solid door - not hollow core. He pointed out the hinges and the door knob. He pointed out what great shape it was in - and it was. He asked us if $10 would be all right.

$10.00?

Julie pressed $30.00 into his hand, told him to please just count the change as a donation, and we were ready to leave with Julie’s already painted and hardwared solid core door.

So, if you need paint or countertops or doors or windows or shingles or cabinets or cabinet hardware or light bulbs or lighting fixtures or appliances or…
PLEASE CHECK THESE FOLKS OUT!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Template Giveaway!



Hop on over to Lindsay's for a chance to win one of several prizes, including a free blogger template!

I do not currently have one of her designs but they are just gorgeous. So go on over and enter. You can't win if you don't try and it is absolutely, positively free!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Housewarmings!

Happy Happy Housewarming!

JulieBug at AnotherChanceRanch and Tiggerlane the Neophyte Blogger are both having their houses warmed today, courtesy of Swampy and her friends.

Swampy asked us some time ago to virtually gift these two lovely ladies with a gift we thought they would like or, if we did not know them that well yet, a gift we would like.

This will come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog.

My gift - the one thing I think every house needs to become a home (assuming of course you already have significant people (husbands, wives, s/os, kids, whatever)) or even if you don’t - is:
DRUM ROLL, PLEASE



I could not decide for you which color dog would best match your décor, so go ahead and pick. These beautiful babies are
Labradoodles. They are a cross between a poodle and a lab. They are genetically predisposed to be gentle, smart, good with kids, and best of all - hypoallergenic! That’s right! Hypoallergenic.

I personally love Boxers. I was not aware until I received one as a gift, though, that they replace their entire coat twice (yes, twice!) a year and they have that sharp, spiky, pointy, little hair that sticks in EVERYTHING! Having said that, I will probably get another Boxer when one of my babies dies.

But, for someone or sometwo who have new homes, I thought I’d be nice and give you something a little more environmentally friendly.


Enjoy!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall into Reading 2007 - Update 1


A little over a month into it and with a little over a month left, these were my original choices:


Playing for Pizza..........................John Grisham
Play Dirty....................................Sandra Brown
Free Fall ....................................Fern Michaels
High Noon...................................Nora Roberts
Shoot Him if He Runs....................Stuart Woods
Justice Denied............................. J.A. Jance
Double Take............................... Catherine Coulter
Knit Together.............................. Debbie Macomber
Mad Dash.................................... Patricia Gaffney
What Matters Most........................ Luanne Rice
Lean Mean 13............................... Janet Evanovich
6th Target.................................... James Patterson
Wuthering Heights........................ Emily Bronte
Rebels of Ireland:
The Dublin Saga........................... Edward Rutherfurd
Lord John and the Brotherhood
of the Blade............................Diana Gabaldon



Out of these, so far, in no particular order, I have finished; Rebels of Ireland by Rutherfurd (and corrrected the spelling of his last name), Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Gabaldon, Lean Mean 13 by Evanovich, Shoot Him if He Runs by Woods, Free Fall by Michaels, and Playing for Pizza by Grisham.


I have learned that; potatoes are not native to Ireland, that as long as there is one person living who depends on your for their safety, you are not free, that I do not want to be a bounty hunter, that quite possibly the CIA/NSA/FBI is as scary as it is funny (at least in fiction), that I read books I do not remember a month later, and that Grisham is as good at writing American ex-pats in Italy as he is at writing lawyers.


I have also read Miss Julia Strikes Back by Ann. B. Ross, Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson, and The Quilter's Homecoming by Jennifer Chiaverini. The first two of these books are the latest in series that I have been reading for years. The last is also part of a series - one about which I have read great reviews.


Wuthering Heights is next but today I am dealing with a broken hot water heater line (read no water) and 40 mph winds out of the north!

Friends


"They color my life with the beautiful hues of friendship. Although we come from different backgrounds and cultures we share the same spirit of friendship."

I received this wonderful award from one of my new friends, Junebug.

I have not been blogging long and it simply amazes me how generous everyone is - with their thoughts, their support, their comments - oh, wait, I guess that would be with their friendship

So, thanks to Junebug for making what was shaping up to be a stressful day be a wonderful day.

And hoping to share some of that same wonderfulness, I would like to share this with Pensieve for actually making me think some of the time, with Swampy just for being Swampy, and with Anglophile Football Fanatic for helping to restore my faith.

Have a great day, y'all!

PS: Just thought I'd share that I now have Vanessa Williams sing "The Colors of the Wind" stuck in my head!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fun Monday - Mother, May I?

This Fun Monday is brought to you by......Hootin'Anni. Details are at her website but here is my version of "Anni, May I?"

30 steps from my favorite place to blog is this.


It is a one of a kind, custom made bird hotel. We have owned this hotel for upwards of 2 years and it has lived on top of the dog crate in my living room. Yes, I have an eclectic decorating style.

I took 30 steps in an easterly direction and ran smack dab into the railroad tie/fence post in the middle of my yard. I thought that would be boring, so I stuck the birdhouse on top. Actually, my husband stuck the birdhouse on top.

Thank you, dear.



I turned around, took 15 baby steps, turned south, and this
is what I saw. I had intended to take pictures of the oak tree but took this of the protector of the oak tree instead. This is what Holly looks like without the Christmas collar.


There you have it. Have fun, everyone, and I'll see you in your comments section!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Traditions - Non-holiday

Sunday evening, after dinner (which I did NOT cook), my husband became ill. He blamed it on food poisoning.

Monday morning, my grandson's school called to tell me they had a sick child. I foreswore asking them, "Whose?" and went to pick up the lil man. He had a slight fever and a "tummy ache."

My daughter, who works nights, was sleeping so I brought the munchkin to my house.

We got home and I sent him to change into his jammies and get into bed. It is tradition, in my house and in my daughter's, that if you come home sick from school, you go to bed. You do not watch TV or play games or bake cookies. You are sick.

It was almost lunchtime and lil man said he was hungry. I decided to make him - you guessed it - chicken soup
.
Normally, when I make chicken soup from scratch, this is the recipe I use.
When my husband makes chicken soup, this is the recipe he uses.

When there is a sicko involved, this is the soup I make.
It is the soup my mom used to make when we were sick and the soup I made for my kids when they were sick. We only got it when we were sick. Period. I don't know why. I just know.
Now, if there is a sore throat involved, or (insert your own word for vomitting, yakking, puking, etc.) involved, Mom gave us this.




We did not get the sugar free variety (I couldn't find the right picture) and we usually got strawberry. We got it warm. Yep, warm jello. It slid down without hurting and well, you just can't beat technicolor puke. Once again, we only got this when were sick. Period. I don't know why. I just know.

And last but not least - for colds:

Mom would rub it on our chests and then give us one of Dad's white cotton (J.C.Penney pima cotton) T-shirts to wear to bed.

She would also smear it under our noses and occasionally stick it up a nostril. Sometimes, even though she was a nurse and I am sure that she loved us, she would roll some into a little ball and have us swallow it! Do not do this at home. It specifically says not to do this at home.

The smell of Vick's still makes me feel loved when I am sick, though.

So there you have it - winter supplies for the sickroom at my house. Lipton's chicken soup, warm jello, Vick's VapoRub, and an extra large man's white cotton T-shirt.

UPDATE

Little man, this afternoon, asked if he could have "sick noodle soup" even when he's not sick. I think a new name for Lipton's has been born.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Say What?

I found this test on Deb's site. Evidently the two of us have nothing in common except that we do not necessarily agree with the results of this test!
 
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