Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Tree Memories - December 10, 2010

When I was growing up my family didn't have money for a Christmas tree. However, we had a tree each and every year. I don't know where a few of them came from, and I don't know how my mom managed to make sure we had a tree. Our Christmas trees were always a surprise and beautiful to us.

In the 60's people were getting into a lot of flash. Silver trees for Christmas. I shudder to think about it now. But, when I was 10 years old that is what our tree was. It was an aluminum tree with a color wheel of the basic colors. The wheel plugged in and turned so that a different color shined on the tree. Sounds hideous right? To me that tree was the best ever, remember that is a 10 year old's taste. It was a modern tree. Oh how beauteous that tree was!

I remember one year mom told us that there would not be a tree because she just could not afford one. No way, no how, period. There wouldn't be many gifts that year either. That year we walked to church for midnight mass as was our tradition. We loved the magic of mass at midnight and a quietly falling snow. We could feel the love as our Savior was born in to this world. That year when we got home there in our living room was a beautifully decorated tree with presents underneath it. My mom to her dying day denied knowing where the tree or the gifts came from. Back then we didn't lock our doors so it could have been anyone leaving us this wondrous gift. Ours neighbors were like that.

One year we had a Charlie Brown tree. We waited until the last moment to get a tree and all the really good ones had been chosen. The tree had brownish limbs on the bottom already and the needles fell of if the tree was moved too suddenly. The part that we put toward the room was not too bad. Fortunately we always put our tree in the corner so the bald part of the tree went there and no one knew but us that we had a poor left over tree. And we didn't care.

I picked us up a tree one time from a lot that was already closed. It was Christmas Eve and they had closed early. It was dark. I went into the business next door to pay for it and they told me that the people in charge of the trees were gone. I asked what I should do and it was recommended to me to take the tree and have a happy Christmas. I took the tree and the wheel stand.

A Christmas tree other than these already mentioned that stand out in my mind is the tree that came with food. It was about a week before Christmas. There was a knock at the front door, my mom answered it. There wasn't anyone there, but what was there was a big box of food and a wonderful tree. Again the work of generous neighbors or possible the church. That was a nice surprise.

Now days I still put up a tree, but none of my trees even come close to those of my childhood. It seems that every year was a surprise to what kind of tree we would be having. Would it be silver, or spindly, or full and beautiful? We really didn't care because we still had the love of each other and of the season.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Monday Mahem - December 6, 2010

Welcome to Monday Mayhem.
Today our meme is based upon several reader's poll's including the current issue of InStyle Magazine. Have fun answering the prompts and be sure to visit the other participants.
Thanks for playing!

1. Do you RSVP to all of your invites over the holidays?
I don't get many invites. But yes I do RSVP because I would want the same courtesy shown me.

2. What's your best excuse for not attending a holiday function?
I guess I would just tell the truth and say I have no interest. Well , maybe I would soften it a bit, that sounded kind of harsh.

3. Have you ever had 'a little too much' of anything in front of your boss at a holiday celebration or done anything else that may come back at you to haunt you in the future ?
My boss and I are really good friends. She is actually my former boss from my last job which ended in 1991. However, we were friends even before I left the company. We often had "car trouble" at lunch and never made it back to work. It was easy for me to tell my boss,but she had to call her boss and tell him she wouldn't be back for the afternoon. We had great times. That was before I knew better and drank. I don't participate now.

4. How many cards do you send via 'snail mail' (regular mail)?
Maybe 5 or 6 to very special people.

5. How many cards do you send via email?

6.What is your exercise routine during the holiday season?
Same as during the year...not too much of anything.

7. What is your least favorite thing about the holiday season?
I love the decorating part of the season, but I feel the let down when I have to put it all away. One year some of the decorations stayed up until April because the shed was covered in snow and I could not get to it. That was kind of over doing it and I was ready for my house to be totally normal again.

8. Tell us what is your regifting policy?
I figure that once I give a gift what the recipient wants to do with it is their business. Give it away, throw it away, or anything , it isn't my concern because the item doesn't belong to me it is theirs to do with what they want. So yes, I would also regift.

9. Ever been the recipient of a re-gift?
I have no idea, but probably.

10. What is your basic 'fat outfit' to wear after you have been sampling too much of the holiday festivities?
Comfy clothes are the order for any time of the year when food is going to be served. And loose fitting tops.

Join us next week as we play the annoyances of the Holiday Season.

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

Friday, December 3, 2010

The name of the Blog says it All.

It has been so long since I blogged about anything that I am going to do a little bit quick catch -up.

On October 1, 2010 after 45 years being a heavy smoker, I quit smoking. It has been 2 months now and I feel better than I ever imagined I could. I guess what they say is really true...that when the time is right the quitting is easy. I smoked my last cigarette the night of September 30 and never looked back. That is not to say I have not had a craving or two, but not bad enough to go buy any. Yea me!

I became mom to baby kitties in July. We ended up keeping 2 of them. It is like having 3 year old twins around. What one doesn't think of the other does. They are adorable and sweet and fun, and affectionate. The yellow is named Butter Bean and the gray one in Lentil.

Because I have the 2 rambunctious kittens in the house I am not doing up the Christmas decorations like I normally do. But, I have to do some decorating. I have been haunting the thrift stores lately looking for additions to what I already have, that which will make a new and different arrangement on top of the entertainment center. I will post a picture when I get something figured out.

Every winter I wonder why I put myself through another Minnesota winter. I really don't like the cold, and I loath snow. We have already had winter for a month now and I am crying for April. We had a snow storm over Thanksgiving weekend, one last weekend, and another one is blowing in tonight. We have roughly 20 inches of the ugly white stuff on the ground already.

This is what I did yesterday. Can you guess?

I think you all are now up to date with life in my world.
I would like to post more often. Everyday I find myself thinking, "Oh that would be a good blog post." But do I post? Not so much.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunday Stealing - November 7, 2010

< style="font-style: italic; ">We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go

1. What do you consider your hometown to be?
The town where I grew up and went to school. It is a suburb of Minneapolis, but it has a small town feel to it. Even today. I would still feel safe walking there at night.

2. What’s the hardest part of your average day?
Deciding what to make for dinner. I am bored with everything that easily comes to mind. Anyone with new recipe ideas?

3. The easiest? Why?
Getting up in the morning. I love the early part of the day. It is full of possibilities. With my first cup of coffee I spend my time reading in my Bible each morning. It is nice to have this as my quiet time with God.

4. What beverage do you reach for to quench your thirst?
Cold, cold Water. If I am really really thirsty I want a small amount of pop. Or sweet tea.

5. What is one not-so-secret goal you have for your life? I’ll let you keep your secret ones to yourself.
There are two goals into one (sort of), I want to go back to San Fransisco and spend some quality time there, and when I leave there I want to go to Maine and spend time there too.

6. What physical pain do you fear most? For example, I’m trying to decide how bad my jaw pain needs to get before I risk a potential needle from my dentist. So, for me, throbbing is preferable to jabbing.
It will have to be either the lower back pain I get when I stand for more than 10 minutes or the pain I get in my hands and left arm when I have done too much crocheting. Either one limits me on what I can do.

7. Where do you find solace?
In the morning with my Bible. Or with my cats on my lap.

8. What makes you the saddest when you read/see the news?
I hate to see the abuse/neglect (isn't neglect really abuse?) of children. It makes my blood boil when I see what people do to the precious gift that they have been given.

9. What do you eat for a favorite snack?
Cookies. Chocolate. Chocolate cookies would be divine.

10. What movie could you/would you watch more than two or three times and still enjoy just as much as the first time?
For a newer movie it would be "Sahara" with Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn. It is a fun movie to watch. I could watch The Sound of Music over and over. And do. My all time favorite movie is "Now Voyager".

11. What boy/girl first made you cry?
Oh my! I am not sure I can remember back that far. But I would guess it was 9th grade because I was the new kid in the school.

12. What brand of coffee/tea do you drink most often?
If I have to I drink Folger's Breakfast Blend. I prefer McGarvey coffee, but is hard to find here. I have to go to the city to buy it.

13. Dig in the dirt with or without garden gloves?
EWWW. Do I really have to put my hands in dirt? I don't like my hands and nails to get dirty. If I have to dig in dirt I will take 3 pairs of gloves please.

14. James Taylor or Carly Simon?
James Taylor all the way.

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Feel free to stop back and visit other player’s posts. Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Saying good-bye to one and Welcome to two.

I have not posted this summer. It has been a summer of mixed emotions. Many things have happened that have given me worry and heartache. I am not going to write about all of them, but I will mention 2 right now.

I mentioned in a post about my loving boy cat,Randy, packing his little bag and leaving home. He has returned, but not in the same condition as he left. He doesn't seem to remember us. It is like he wants to remember, and yet he is aloof and withdrawn. So while we thankful to see him again, healthy and in one piece we are a bit confused as to what happened to him while he was travelling.

I had to say good-bye and farewell to my big ol' Tubby cat. He was 12 and weighed about 20 pounds. I don't know why he went to the Rainbow Bridge. He was fine on Sunday. His favorite neighbor came for a visit, and he jumped right up into her lap. He loved her so much. He liked to stick his nose up the sleeve of her shirt, right up to her arm pit. That was Sunday. Monday he was fine. Tuesday good. Wednesday morning he was in a coma. He passed over that afternoon.

I help him in my arms all day. Praying for a different outcome than the one I knew was coming. He took one last deep breath, I looked into his eyes and could tell he was gone. He was the best.

He is truly missed.

On May 25 one of the feral cats had babies. I knew where she was hiding her babies, but left them alone. The mommies are really protective as you can imagine. On July 12 I put food out for the ferals and saw her come to eat. That was at 7:15 AM, at 8:00 AM my husband found her dead in the road. There wasn't any blood on her, no broken bones, she looked as if she had just went to sleep in the road.

I went and got her babies. There were 3 of them. I called the vet and asked what to do. He gave me a recipe for milk replacement,and instructions to feed them every 2 hours. So began my sojourn into mothering 3 orphans. There were quite a few sleepless nights. The poor little dears just didn't know what to make of this strange looking mommy.

We knew we had to find homes for them, and one did go to my cousin. This was before Tub died. Even without talking about it the other two were here to stay. They had made this their home and into our hearts. The little Yellow one is named Butter Bean and the grey one we kept is Lentil.
I still miss Tub, and my heart is sore, but these little imps have helped to ease the hurt.
That is all I will write about them tonight, but one of the days soon I would like to tell you about Lentil's brave and miraculous fight of his life. I will have more pictures to post also.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to be posting more often now that my life has settled down some.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Dozen - September 15, 2010

1. Do you do garage sales? If so, tell me about one great find. If not, tell me why not.
Yes, I love to garage sale. The best find I ever got was a mink coat. I got it and a bunch of other things for $10.00. Yes you read that right $10.00. I wore that coat for years. It was beautiful. The pelts were a little worn but still in really good condition.
2. Name the last thing you fixed.
I don't really fix anything. I don't know how. I mean I can't even pound in a nail so that it stays in the wall. My husband is the mender, I can't sew. I can't even sew on buttons that will stay put.
3. Name your A) Favorite item of makeup OR B) Favorite tool
Favorite make up item is mascara. I can't leave home without it in place. My favorite tool, since I don't fix things is my bronzing powder and puffy brush.
4. Which room in your home needs organizing more than any other?
My bedroom. It is the household catch all. I think I saw tax statements from 1986 the other day. Seriously, it is bad.
5. Which room could use re-decorating?
As bad as the bedroom is, I would have to say the kitchen needs redecorating the most. I have a 1970 avocado green stove. The floor is kind of avocado green with yellow and is peeling in most places. The cupboards are nasty fake wood brown, and the sinks are the same avocado green.
6. Share something unique about your town.
On September 1, 1894 a fire swept through the town. It burned 420 square miles. It is now referred to as "The Great Hinckley Fire." It is listed in Wiki-pedia if you are interested. There were some amazing survival skills demonstrated that day.
7. If you could send a one-sentence message to your great-grandchild, what would it be?
I love you even now, I wish you everything in life that is good, and chocolate makes everything all better.
8. Do you Facebook?
Yes, I do. I don't write a lot. I play a lot of games. I share with family and I talk (IM).
9. Describe your favorite shoes.
My first pair of Birkenstocks. I love them. I have several pairs but keep the old ones by the door for a quick slip on. I even have Birkenstock shoes. That way I can wear them all year long.
10. Do you listen to more talk radio or more music radio? What kind of station is it?
No talk radio for me. If I can't get the local country station then I listen to the oldies station from the city.
11. How far would you travel for a really good (favorite) meal?
Well, I am 22 miles from town so at least that far.
12. If you were totally honest with yourself (and us) what should you probably be doing right now instead of blogging?
This time of night is just for me. I can do whatever I want and I choose to blog. The day is for work and stuff, but not the nights.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Random Dozen - September 8, 2020

It has been a long time since I posted anything. For any of you who were/are faithful followers I am sorry. It has been a weird summer. I will try to post more about that in the days to come, but for now I am doing Random Dozen.

1. Describe the best sandwich in the world, according to you.
This is by far THE best sandwich. You can use any kind of bread (except white), Hellman's Mayo ( or whatever is the best in your part of the country), hard salami, colby cheese, lettuce, and sliced tomato. Oh my do I have a craving now.
2. Which inspires you more: a good conversation, a song, a book or movie?
Oh by far a good conversation. So much more to be gained by conversing. You can share ideas, opinions, goals. You might even learn a thing or two.
3. What is your favorite board game?
Is backgammon considered a board game? I love backgammon. If it is not then I guess Scrabble.
4. As you grow older, are you more or less patient with small children?
As a rule I don't like children. I mean I love my son and those children that are in my life, but other kids? Naw, I don't like them. So I have less patience.
5. Name one item you never let yourself run out of.
Toothpaste. I can not even imagine starting my day without a clean mouth. EWWW!
6. Do you agree with Tennyson's assertion, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?"
Yes. How could a person survive in this world not having experienced love. Even if that love didn't work out for the best you would still have known the heights of happiness.
7. Name one national treasure or monument that you have visited.
I don't know if this counts as a national treasure, but I like to say that I have walked across the Mississippi River. We have the head waters of the Mississippi in Minnesota located in the Bemidji Forest. It is a beautiful place full of walking trails and the wonderful head waters. It even boasts to having the tallest pine tree on record.
8. Which is more painful, to be disappointed in someone else or to be disappointed in yourself?
To be disappointed in myself, because only I can control what I do.
9. What makes your kitchen uniquely yours?
The mess? No really it would be the table cloth I embroidered for my table and a bowl of things on the table.
10. Are you a crafty person?
I like to think I am. I can knit, crochet, embroider, scrapbook, cook, but none of those things with the exception of cooking very expertly.
11. What is your favorite traditional picnic or bbq (cookout) food?
If it is BBQ at home it is hamburgers, potato salad, pickles and pie.
12. Name one leisurely activity you enjoyed over Labor Day Weekend.
I went garage saling Saturday. I left at 7:20 am and got back home at 3:30 pm. I had a great very relaxing day finding treasures everywhere.