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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Louisa would have loved our toys

     So many of you have been so kind in your words and suggestions for how to get rid of aches and pains and I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help.  Today was another sleeping day.  Maybe I should be thankful for these pain-filled times because it seems to be almost the only time that I dream.  Sometimes my dreams find their way into my writing.  'Course, I have been very fortunate in being able to write almost anytime I want to, so it wouldn't hurt my feelings if all the pain left and I never dreamed again.  I'm sure I would find a way to adjust.

     Still, I'm not one to look a gift-horse in the mouth.  I used to dream quite a lot.  As a result, I have a good many stories and several books that are in various stages of completion.  I work steadily on each of them, switching from one to another as my creativity wanes with any given project.  I don't know how other writers work, but I seem to need that kind of variety in my life.  It keeps me out of trouble.  Rather, it keeps me from thinking up any NEW kind of trouble.

     Do you aspire to be a published writer?  Is this a method you use?  I often think of some of the writers who paved the way for people like me.  Can't you just imagine how thrilled someone like Louisa May Alcott would have been with the toys we have today?

     In some of the High Schools I attended, one of the required subjects was Typing.  Picture, if you can, the frustration of a 90-something pound student, sitting on the floor, her legs wrapped loosely around the typewriter and her tongue held just exactly SO!  In those days, there was no room for error.  When a mistake was made, I ripped the paper from my machine and started over, again.  Never mind that I typed perfectly until the last word.  Riiiiiip!  Tears flowed freely in those days.

     For those of you who have never had to use a typewriter, be thankful.  It is an experience that I am very grateful to have replaced with my wonderful computer.  I can make all the mistakes I want to, without having to rip any pages out.  In fact, I sometimes make mistakes and correct them just to prove to my computer that I can.  We live in a good time. 

     Still, I worry a little about what I will say to those writers who did so well before computers if I don't, in fact, succeed in getting published.  Oh, well.  I'll think about that when I meet them, I guess.  Have a wonderful New Year and until I see you next year, keep a hug on.

Yaya

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Being sick is good for me?

     Today, I slept. I don't often have that luxury, as I have a great deal of difficulty sleeping. Apparently, though, feeling ill is good for me and lets me sleep. Go figure. Blessings come in strange characters, I guess.

     I am reminded of my little gramma' and how we used to  get such a chuckle frrom her sleeping difficulties.  She had a sleep disorder to the point that we never knew when she would fall asleep.  Many times, she would have a forkful of food lifted to her mouth and her mouth wide open, when without warning, the need to doze would overtake her.  My poor gramma'.  There she would be with her mouth open wide, eyes closed and gently snoring.  It must have been awful for her.  She could never plan because she never could set a proper schedule.

     I wonder if, in the hereafter, she has managed to regulate her waking hours and her sleep time?  I hope so.  She was always so tired that I sincerely hope she has been able to catch up on her rest.

     Are you plagued by difficulty in your sleep pattern?  If you are one of those fortunate people who lives by some sort of a schedule, be thankful.  There is more to that than meets the eye.  Keep a hug on.

Yaya

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The right side of the dirt

     It is 11:37 PM and I just woke up.  Yes, woke up.  At six-o-clock this evening, I found myself with that old familiar feeling of headache and queesiness that comes on at the most inopportune times.  By 8:00, I took to my bed and lay trembling with chills.

     I cannot tell you what happened.  I truly don't know.  I'm not completely up to snuff, now, but at least I can sit upright without fearing the floor will come up and meet me in the face, thank goodness.  This has been something of an interesting season; blizzard, snow in the house, blankets at windows, headaches and struggles of the medical variety.  Still, what would life be without challenges?  When I stop and think about it, I'm glad for what I have; I'm on the right side of the dirt, as my little brother is fond of saying.  I'm not quite ready for the alternative, yet.  Or, rather, I'm still too interested in what might happen next to give-in to the alternative.  For the most part, I love life and hope to continue exploring its possibilities for a long time.

     I truly hope you and yours are doing well and finding yourselves in good health.  I'm so glad that we've had the opportunity to meet and get to know each other.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  Until we meet again, here or somewhere else, keep a hug on. 

Yaya

Monday, December 28, 2009

Watching the weather go by

     What a thrill it has been to sit indoors and watch the weather go by!  Of course, I might have enjoyed it juuuuuuust a little more if the weather hadn't chosen to live inside with me, but who am I to complain?  A little snow in the house, using the doors and windows as coolers and even freezers... it builds character, right?  Yes, we had so much snow inside that we were able to use those pockets of frozen areas to keep our sodas really, really COOOOOLLLLLDDDD.

     On the plus side, we now know that, as much as we love our new house, this is probably not where we will choose to settle down for the rest of our lives... hopefully.  Several friends are keeping their eyes open for something a little more cozy.  We still love our beautiful house.  Ourtwardly, it is everything we ever wanted.  That is, if you don't count the fact that we want more land than we have here.  Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, you can't judge a book by its cover and the book we are living in is filled with stories, untold.

     Take, for instance, the many places where Old Man Winter seems quite comfortable in making himself at home... inside our house.  Personally, I wouldn't mind so much, but he does insist on bringing that cold, cold air and snow inside with him.  Makes it very difficult to heat the old place.  Of course, I shall always have a special place in my heart for this dear old house.  It is beautiful and, with enough money, I would so love to make the repairs that would allow us to live out our days here.

     Still, to all things there is a season and this home is not the thing for the winter season.  Thus, when the weather warms up, we shall spend some serious time searching for something more cozy and warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Stay tuned for futher updates, but don't hold your breath; its still pretty frigid outdoors and I am not quite ready to venture out.  Until we do, keep a hug on.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On The Eleventh Day of Christmas - A Shortcut In Winter

     Quick message tonight.  We've been without electricity, so I wasn't able to post, except at Red Wagon Flights, last night.  Shortly after writing over there, the lights started flickering and I thought it best not to push the issue.  If I don't get to see you before Christmas, I do hope you have a Merry Christmas and that the big guy in the red suit is good to you.

     One more idea before I go.  This is an idea that saves many hours, if you happen to heat your home, using wood.  I made firestarters today, just in time before we lost power, again.  Filling cupcake papers with sawdust, I then poured paraffin over the sawdust.  After letting that set-up, you can use these to start a fire, if you have a woodstove.  We have two of them and getting the wood to catch can be quite tedious, at times.  Just put the firestarter into your woodstove, stack the wood as you normally would (heheh, that sounds funny), above the firestarter, and light the cupcake paper.  The wax will let it burn long enough so your firewood can get a good fire going.

     If you don't have a woodstove, but you know someone who does, believe me, this gift will be very appreciated .  I hope to see you tomorrow.  Stay warm, be happy and keep a hug on.     Yaya

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On The Tenth Day of Christmas

     Do you have a favorite book that you have told others about more than once?  I have one.  Its an old, old book that I have read more times than I could begin to count.  In fact, I read most of my books more than once.  My good husband suggested that I get rid of some of my books, once.  Then, he changed his mind when he realized I sometimes read my books as many as twenty times.  Imagine if he had to buy me a new book each time I wanted to read it?

     My little brother and I have always been quite close.  He's three and a half years younger than I am.  That is, he used to be three and a half years younger than me, until he chose to continue getting older and I opted for never reaching the age of accountability.  But that's a story for another time.

     Little brother was always in the same boat as I was when we were kids.  Broke.  For allowance, we got 25¢ a week.  Once.  It was hard to learn to budget on such income.  Still, we were creative and managed to exchange gifts.  A favorite was always books, since both of us enjoyed losing ourselves in the worlds created by that elusive group, Writers.  In fact, I think one book in particular changed ownership between us at least six times.  That was the first book in the Childcraft series.  When Mama said they were our books, we believed her.

     On The Tenth Day of Christmas, may I suggest giving a favorite book you already own to someone you love?  Now, don't fudge and give them the book that you regretted buying.  Its the Christmas season and your gift should be filled with love.  But you would never do something such as I have been tempted to do.

     By the way, that favorite book I mentioned at the beginning of this post is none other than Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott.  If you haven't read it, yet, you are missing out on a marvelous story.  Project Gutenburg is a great place to find it.  Here's the link:  http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2786

     Keep a hug on.  Yaya

Monday, December 21, 2009

On The Second Part of The Ninth Day of Christmas

     What fun we have been having!  Were you able to guess what my good husband and I have been up to?  In this season of love and giving, we so enjoy thinking up new ideas or new approaches to vintage ideas.  Such was the case over the weekend when we wanted to give gifts to many people whom we care for.


     You've probably heard about some of the creative ways that people give inexpensive gifts; coal, Elf Pillows, Snowman Soup and so many others.  Well, we decided to add our own twist to one of these.  When looking around for a unique idea, try this:  Snowman Poop!  No, No!  Not just ANY Snowman Poop.  This has a particular Eeeeeeewww! factor. Wanna' know the secret?

     A couple of things.  One is Blueberry-flavored Yogurt Bites.  They look especially gross for being Snowman Poop, therefore quite appealing to little boys.  Also, we packaged them a little differently than someone else might have.  Starting with a brown-paper lunch sack, we... wait!  Let's do this right.

     Supplies Needed:
          Brown-paper Lunch Sack
          One sheet of toilet paper
          Zip-shut Bags (ours were found in the craft section and measure 4 1/2" tall by 2 3/4" wide)
          Curl Ribbon
          Hole Punch
          Half a dozen Blueberry-flavored Yogurt Bites (found in the candy aisle of most large grocery stores - ours were packaged in containers much like you would find regular blueberries packaged in)
          Printouts of the following:

               T-P Your Snowman          and          the following poem:

                 Eeewww! Its snowman poop!
               But here's the scoop,
               And this you might not know:
               You can eat this tasty treat,
               This lumpy, bumpy, dirty snow.

     First, place about half a dozen blueberry bites into zip-shut bag along with printout of poem.  If you let all the air out of the bag after placing the poem inside, the pressure will hold the poem in the position you want it to stay.

     Seal and place that bag inside brown bag.  Next, fold top of brown bag down until you can lay the bag somewhat flat.  Tape it shut and tape the message, "T-P Your Snowman" on the outside, slightly above where you taped the bag shut.  Over that message, tape the toilet paper sheet so it covers the message.  We used one thin layer so the message could be seen through the toilet paper.  Finally, punch a hole through the top of the brown bag and, having already curled your ribbon, run it through the hole.  Give the ribbon a bit of a twist and you're done.  One gift with a sufficiently Eeeeeeewwwww! factor to please any daring recipient.

     Now, I'd like to ask you how you feel about this kind of a gift?  As a giver?  And if you were on the receiving end?  As always, keep a hug on.

Yaya

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the Ninth Day of Christmas

     Today I'm zipping through.  I've just finished preparing many, many gifts.  As I have not been able to stop long enough to take pictures, I will give you a hint as to what those gifts are.  Tomorrow, I will post pictures and share more information with you about how you, too, can have as much fun as my good husband and I have been having.  With gifts!  Tsk, tsk.

     Okay, here's your hint:  this lumpy, bumpy, dirty...

     Have you guessed what we've been doing?  Well, hurry on back over here tomorrow and find out, then.  I so look forward to seeing you.  Until then, keep a hug on.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On The Ninth Day of Christmas

     I love Christmas.  Part of the reason I love Christmas so much is because Christmas is all about giving and I love giving.  One of the people whom I especially love getting creative for is my good husband.  Let me tell you, at the risk of sounding like I am gloating, I feel sorry for all of you who are not married to my good husband.  I know you must have wonderful hubbies, but I also know that I got the pick of the litter.  heheh


     I could go on and tell you all the wonderful reasons why I'm so glad he married me, but that's actually not what this post is supposed to be about.  Instead, I will tell you about a marvelous toy I found online to make a gift that he seemed to really enjoy.  Have you ever Wordled?  haha.  No, I did not just make a major spelling error.  That is actually a word and a fun one, at that.


     Here's what I did for my good husband's Halloween birthday:  I wrote a story especially for him.  Then, I typed each of our kids' and grandies' names into a word document.  From there, I copy/pasted the story and all of the names (I used full names because the more words you have, the more fun your Wordle is) into the Wordle page.  Oh, wait!  I didn't tell you where it was, did I?


     Well, just go to http://www.wordle.net/ and follow the instructions.  I chose to use a white background so I wouldn't use too much ink.  I also printed the finished Wordle on card-stock paper so my good husband could frame it if he wanted to, which he did.  By clicking on Create and copy/pasting your word list into the open window, you can choose from a number of layouts and colors.  After copy/pasting your word list, click Go.  Next, you'll see a window filled with a jumble of words.  Near the bottom of the page, click on Open In Window.  From there, you can experiment with all kinds of colors, backgrounds and layouts.


     I do hope you will go over to the Wordle board and create your own Wordle.  Besides having a great gift, you'll have loads of fun.

Friday, December 18, 2009

On The Eighth Day of Christmas

     Imagination!  What a wonderful invention imagination is.  You know, if I were going to invent something, I think that's what I would go with.  Why, with imagination, one can go places where pure logic just won't take you.  Aren't we lucky as humans to have been blessed with the ability to imagine ourselves creative?  Did you know that a Bumble Bee cannot fly?  Its true.  The Bumble Bee's body is much too large for his tiny little wings to carry him.  Fortunately, no one has apparently spoiled the fun by informing the clever Bumble Bee, so he flies, anyway.



     We are like that.  Humans have the wonderful ability to see things for what they can be, not necessarily for what they are.  Take, for instance, logs.  Let's say you have three log pieces of different widths, but close to the same size.  Paint each of those three log pieces white.  Let dry.  Then, on the bottom one, use a softened blue color to paint the effect of snow.  Paint a black spot, as if it were coal, right in the center.


  For the next, slightly smaller log, paint something akin to the neck and hanging scarf and another chunk of coal.  The smallest log, being the head, will have a hat and a face.  Use your imagination and give your snowman a totally unique personality.


     I don't know who made this, but someone gave me a gift years ago that I adore.  I hope its okay to post a picture, as it was not made by me.  Mine are done with three different-sized round boxes and I believe they were a product of one of the candy manufacturers.


As you can see in the pictures, the last process is to stack your snowman so he looks properly put together.  Can't you just see how charming this would look under the Christmas tree?
Keep a hug on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On The Seventh Day of Christmas and An Award

     A present!  For MEEEEEEE?!?  Before moving on to The Seventh Day of Christmas, I'd just like to thank Kristi Faith at R. A. W. for making me feel soooooo lovely by presenting me with this LOVELY AWARD.  Now, I'd like to share this good feeling with fifteen others, as per instructions.



     And now, The Seventh Day of Christmas:



     Don't you just hate it when someone repeats themselves?  Don't you just hate repetition?  And yet, that is exactly what I am gonna' do; repeat myself... somewhat.  Yesterday, I told you a really cute way to make a Christmas gift and I smuggly went my merry way, thinking that I had six more gifts nearly prepared.  Just a matter of taking care of the details, so to speak.


     Remember how I said I don't sew for things that grow?  Oh, wait!  That was posted on my other site, here, in case you'd like to read the post.  Well, evidently I have other restrictions, as well.  Some time ago, I bought a new sewing machine.  In fact, I bought two, thinking that I would be... well... I actually don't have any idea what I was thinking; perhaps that I would be the proud owner of two lovely, brand new sewing machines.  A friend helped me put them both to use... once... whereupon we promptly returned the new toy that did not function properly.  From time to time, I took the working machine out and inspected the various buttons and knobs to see if I had magically learned how to make them function. I hadn't.



     Now, I ask you, was my brain somehow covered in Forget-me-Nots?  Did I honestly think that pulling a sewing machine out and firing-her-up would create knowledge that wasn't there before?  For the record, it does not.  In fact, it took me two hours to figure out how to get the presser-foot lowered!  Whew! And I don't even want to tell you how I had to wake my good husband up to thread the silly needle!


     So there I was with six capes to make and no way to sew them.  Oh, yeah!  And doll blankets, as well.  I hurriedly put on my Thinking Cap and got to work.  As it happened, I had a fitted sheet that  I was going to use to practice my sewing. Sewing?  Hmmmm.  I wonder?  Soon, I pulled out all the stops in my 6' x 7', High-tech, modern new sewing room and got to work.  To put it another way, I sat on a stool near my writing desk and eyeballed that sheet so I would be able to cut out four somewhat equal sections.  Still on my stool and with the material in my lap, I began snipping away.  As you can see, its very important to measure precisely when sewing... or, not sewing, in my case.


     Did you know that if you cut away the little corners of a fitted sheet, you can come up with some reasonably impressive capes for children?  Yup!  Just hand-stitch the elastic to form a circle and a cape is made.  With the elastic circle, said child can slip the cape over his/her head and prepare to save the world.  No ties, buckles, buttons or snaps to bother an adult about redoing, every five seconds.  Here's a picture:  Please lay on your side to look at this picture, as my computer absolutely refuses to let me flip it, except on its head.



     Next, gathering bits of iron-on patches, I cut four shapes and labeled each cape on the inside for whom each was intended.  The first letter of each their names only, of course.  Bomp! Bomp! Bomp! Bomp! And we're done! And this time, I mean it.


     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

The Sixth Day of Christmas

     As promised, tonight we'll do something for the boys.  Just as little girls love dolls, so do little boys have certain things that come naturally to them, as well.  Of course, they collect treasures; rocks, sticks and shiny objects to be turned into something more interesting later on.  But what I have witnessed in my grandies, most especially the boys, is their love for leaping from tall buildings in a single bound.  The tall building may only be the kitchen stool, but where the imagination goes, I like to encourage it.  Therefore, it wasn't too much of a stretch for me to come up with the perfect gift for a little boy.


     Do you sew?  Do you sew well or, just enough to get by?  The nice thing about this gift is you don't have to be an assistant to Martha Stewart in order to make a child happy.  Depending on the size of the child, scrounge around for a piece of material.  Medium-size children would probably use about a yard square or thereabouts.  Solid colors are perfect, but don't discount the ability of a child to overcome all kinds of obstacles with the help of their imaginations.


     Now, hem all four sides of the material and at one end, leave the ends open for a string to run through.  If you have a hand machine for creating snaps, that's even better.  Next, simply run a string or a long strip of material through the opening and its all ready.  A cape.  Add imagination and one more child takes to the air.


     And from me... keep a hug on.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Fifth Day of Christmas

     Children love gifts made especially for them.  Most of the gifts I've suggested can be given to either a boy or a girl.  Today, I have something that just about anyone can make.  And almost any girl, of any age, is going to fall in love with it.


     Are you someone who saves old pillow socks, even when they no longer match anything?  You are?  Oh, good!  Then, you are gonna' love making this gift.  The nice thing about this is that you can make these, even if you only have pillow socks for those very small travel pillows.  In fact, if you have two pillow socks of different sizes, you may wish to make a pair.


     Here are the supplies you'll need:
          One clean, used Pillow Sock
          Two clean, used Washcloths
          One clean, used Towel
          One clean, used Ankle Sock
          Twine or yarn, in colors, if possible


     Begin by folding your pillow sock in half, length-wise to establish the center.  Now, open one of the washcloths and lay it flat.  Starting at one corner, roll the washcloth somewhat loosely until it is one long length.  Then, fold the washcloth in half and center it inside the pillow sock, at the closed end.


     Next, using the twine or yarn, close the pillow sock around the outside of what is now the doll's head.  Roll the second washcloth the same way you did the first and place it from one corner of the pillow sock to the other corner.  Again using the string, secure the arms at the shoulders.
     After securing the arms, fold the towel in half, as if you were going to begin folding it and putting it away.  Then, fold it about two-thirds up, the same direction, until you feel that it is a good size for a doll's body.  Insert, lengthwise, into the pillow sock.  Below the chest area, tie the string around the body to create the effect of a buxom.  Lift the skirt and secure the lower part of the towel with the string so it won't come loose.




     If you choose, you may also tie a loop about three inches from the bottom of the pillow sock, as though the doll were wearing a babys' nightgown.  Otherwise, leave it to hang loose, like a dress.  Finally, turn your clean sock inside-out and place it on the head of the doll, making sure to put the heal over the crown of the head.  Fold the open part of the sock up, over the forehead to create something that looks like a scarf.  I've chosen not to give my doll a face, although if you wish to, a permanent marker or stitches would certainly work well.


     The reason I didn't create a face is two-fold.  One, I believe in encouraging imagination whenever possible and two, when the doll gets dirty, she can be taken apart, washed and rebuilt without worrying about making sure the face is in the right place.


     A poem, a story and some games,
     Day four, give glory when you pray.
     But for Day Five your Christmas gift
     Will hold a treasure with a kiss.


     Even a child can assemble this doll for someone and that was my reason for not sewing any of the parts.  I have used rubber bands on this doll because the twine is in the garage... outside... in the scary dark.  Tomorrow, I will replace the rubber bands with twine, kiss the doll and send this Yaya Gift to one of my girls, along with a very short story.  Do you have a special little girl who would love such a treasure?

Monday, December 14, 2009

On The Fourth Day of Christmas

     Do you like to collect something special?  Have you ever noticed what kids like to collect?  Rocks.  Unh, huh.  Its true.  Walk outside with a child for five minutes and you'll have a collection of rocks to rival any Hummel or Precious Moments assortment you can buy.  The difference, of course, is the price.


     On the Fourth Day of Christmas, borrow from a favorite child's natural tendency to collect rocks and put it to something useful.  Find a rock about the size of the palm of your hand or whatever is comfortable.  Using markers or modeling paints, draw a face on one side of the rock and set it aside to dry.  Next, surf the the internet for a poem titled, Prayer Rock.  I posted a link, but there are other versions of this poem, so choose the one you like best.


     Follow the directions on this site, wrap it nicely and you have a very nice gift for the Fourth day of Christmas.


     Day one, a poem.
     Day two, a story.
     Day three, some games.
     Day four, give glory.


     We're on the right track for giving without a lot of spending for Christmas.  Come back tomorrow for more fun.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Game Time Saturday #2

     You thought I forgot, didn't you?  Nope!  I didn't forget to post a game for Game Time Saturday.  My hours of posting tend to be much later in the evening than most of you, I think.  Besides, (and don't tell anyone else), I couldn't remember how I managed to upload my game last week.  I do hope you understand.  And without further ado, I'll post a different kind of game for you.  Hope you like it.    



On the third day of Christmas

     What a wonderful tool the internet is!  Did you know that you can go online and find numerous pictures to print and color, as well as word games, stories and poetry?  Of course, you don't want to take anything that has copywrite limitations, but so many online sites allow for printing and coloring or playing later.  Here's one site that allows you to print for later:  ABC Teach.  Another is here:  http://printables.caboose.com/.


     My grandies love it when I personalize a booklet of games and coloring pages for them.  Choose the games and coloring pages you want to use and print them out.  Next, print a cover page for your booklet, using card stock and cut to the desired size.  Then, having printed and cut each of the activity pages to the size you desire, paste or sew the pages together and giftwrap. If you have a little extra change lying around, buy the smallest package of crayons or colored pencils you can find and you're all set.  Oh, in case you wonder why you have chosen the smallest box of crayons, I'll tell you.  There's a certain magic that goes with the smallest boxes; magic that simply is not included with the larger boxes.  Besides, with fewer crayons, there are fewer demands for decision-making and more time for imagination.


     A poem, a story and some games
     Are first three days of gifts galore.
     These gifts, you know, are not the same
     As other gifts.  Let's do some more.


     So tomorrow's gift will bring you even closer to your goal of twelve gifts for Christmas.  I hope you'll join me so we can keep going.  Hmmmm.  I wonder where our next thoughts will lead us?

Friday, December 11, 2009

On the Second Day of Christmas



     A poem for the first day of Christmas was my natural path.  As one who has often thought in rhyme, poetry has given me many opportunities to share my love with others.  And just as peotry can speak from the heart, so can stories bring messages of love.

     Be sure to give your computer the full benefit of letting you create something nice.  For the cost of a little bit of time, some ink and a few sheets of paper, you can write a story for a child in your life that will bring many hours of delight.  By learning to make tables or graphs on your computer, you can divide normal-size sheets of paper into large or small sections and type either a very long story or a very short one for that special child or children in your life.  Color, cut, paste or sew the sections together or, go with the color provided by your printer and you have the makings of a personalized gift.  Add some stickers and you're all set to be a child's hero.  And did I mention that cardstock makes a great book cover, along with colored pages for the inserts?

     You write a story just because
     You want to show how much you love.
     With that in mind, you will agree,
     A story on day two, must be.

     Join me tomorrow for another labor of love with limited funds.  We still have a couple of weeks before that jolly old elf appears.  That should give us plenty of time to make gifts for everyone on the list, right?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On The First Day of Christmas

     I was thinking about the song The Twelve Days of Christmas and I began wondering how a person would survive as a gift-giver under such stress.  I don't know about you, but my purse strings would be gravely  strained by having to come up with enough ideas for multiple Christmas gifts.  In fact, with the economy being what it is, my purse already gives off only a very faint sound of Jing, instead of Jingle. 


     Fortunately, as a child, I took this song to heart.  I thought there was some kind of unwritten law that said I had to be prepared in case the need for a dozen gifts should ever arise.  Naturally, my economic situation was pretty much the same then as it has always been, so I very wisely created a full dozen gifts that could comfortably be given without causing undue pain to the pocketbook.  :-)  Now, don't you just think I was such a clever child?


     In case you wish to actually give gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas, I will post one idea each day until Christms Eve.  There are more than twelve days until Christmas, so this should help you to have different ideas for different people on your list.  After all, you wouldn't want to give the same gifts to everyone, now, would you?


     With that in mind, here is the first gift: 


A poem is where you'll want to start
To give a gift that's from the heart.


     I do hope that this will help with the love you show this year and many years to come.  See you tomorrow?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do Not Do This!

     You may notice that my blog looks different.  That's because I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to move the blog furniture around.  Evidently, I stubbed my virtual toe, bounced off the end of my virtual couch and landed with a thud where I was unable to recover my virtual senses, properly.  If only I had been awake enough to make changes during the day (when, of course, I might have been awake), my blog would not have the sad, sad look that it has now.  Do not do this!


     I have decided that when the blizzard stops and we are able to go do our Christmas shopping, I will be sure to buy several mouse traps, particularly for protecting my computer from middle-of-the-night intruders, namely ME.  Stay tuned for the further adventures of the midnight lurker and see how she manages to repair the damage she has done.  Until then, stay indoors 'cause its {{{{{ C O O O O O  O L L L D }}}}} outside.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas

     On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... seven swans a swimming.  Have you ever thought about the meaning of that song?  Do you know when the seventh day of Christmas is?  According to legend, the seventh day of Christmas falls on January 1st.  Here's how it works:  the first day of Christmas begins on the evening of Christmas day and continues through until the 26th.  Day two is the 27th and so on. 


     Epiphany, or the 6th of January, is the twelvth day of Christmas.  That is, unless you go by the Eastern Orthodox Calendar, in which case, gifts are given on January 7th and Epiphany, or Theophany, is observed on January 19th.  Its actually very interesting the way it works out, but far more complicated than I could ever begin to explain.  If you'd like to read up on it yourself, go to this link and you may be quite surprised at what you learn.


     So the next time you hear the The Twelve Days of Christmas playing, consider how much history is actually involved.  For myself, I always thought that the Twelve Days of Christmas started either December 1st or twelve days before Christmas Day.  How 'bout you?

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Answer To A Word Search

     I have to apologize for the lateness of my post.  Although I had intended to post the answer to the word search last night, I'm afraid that my odd sleeping habits set me to snoozing at the computer by 7:00 PM.  Strangely, its difficult to type and snore at the same time, so I went with the ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz's.


     Now, I am back and I shall give you the answers in the form of circled words.  What did you think?  Was this a fun way to share a bit of the Christmas season?  For myself, I feel that it was something I'd like to do again.  Judging by the responses I received, it would seem that you feel the same way.  So, until and unless you give me word that we should go a different route, I'm for it.


     Here's another question.  Would you rather I stay with the Word Search pattern for awhile or, shall I try other types of puzzles, as well?  You help me decide.  And with that, here's the answer key:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Game Time Saturday

     Did you happen to see the post about our December Visitor?  Have you had any December Visitors?


     Game time!  Now, let's see if I can do this.  Below is a Christmas Word Search.  Looking backwards, forwards, up, down and diagonally, circle the words from the Word List.  I don't know, yet, how to make this game playable online, but if you copy/paste it into your Word document, you should be able to play it on a printout.  If not, come back next Saturday and we'll try again.  In fact, I will try to grow in my ability to upload games every Saturday, so I hope you'll come back each week to watch my progress.


     Tomorrow, I'll post the answer to tonight's wordsearch.  I'd love to know your feelings about Game Time Saturday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A HUGE Giveaway!

     April Showers Blog Design is having a HUGE giveaway and celebrating her OPEN waiting list that starts January 1st! April not only does blogs - but also invitations, announcements, calendars, cards, business cards, custom illustrations, and so much more! Just by pasting this paragraph on my blog I'm a winner! http://www.aprilshowersblogdesign.com/.


     Do you see that?  This is BIG!  We've gotta' get over there and be a part of the big giveaway.  Let's hurry.  HURRY!

A December Visitor


     As a rule, we like visitors.  A new spirit with whom we can share periods of chit-chat and cocoa, that's our idea of the perfect guest.  Imagine our surprise, then, when we were greeted by the high-pitched, blood-curdling screams that announced the return of one who had popped his head in previously.  After dining on food fit for a king then, staying for the night, our caller very rudely began knocking things around and creating a disturbance such as no host should have to put up with.


     We were initially stymied by the noise and carryings-on of such unprovoked (we thought) behaviour.  That is, until we realized that our companion had encountered troubles beyond his ability to overcome.  There, caught firmly in the grips of a trap of our making, was the guest we had not invited, but whom we had hosted.  On the floor, several feet below his original place of abode, lay our visitor, on his stomach.  He had fallen, his feet trapped, and probably had a broken back.  With his hands, he clambored to rescue himself by dragging his broken body painstakingly towards a hidden area, where he knew he would probably go unnoticed.  Alas, it was not to be, though.


     My good hubby is a kind and a tolerant man.  In this case, he was both.  Though he considered freeing the visitor from the trap, he realized that to do so would create considerably more agony, so he instead put our friend out of his misery.  Then, releasing the trap, he lay the guest gently near the porch and walked away.  The next time we walked outside, we noticed that the body had disappeared and we were both relieved to be finished with yet another episode of uninvited guests.  Oh, and the cat seemed most appreciative for the extra snack, too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We Have CHRISTMAS!



     I can't believe it.  Not only is it the season of love and giving, but I am in a house designed to decorate.  I love my new home.  I've always wanted to have the kind of stairs that lent themselves to being decorated for Christmas.  And guess what?  Here it is!

     But that's not all.  Lookie!  My good hubby-buddy came up with this idea.  Isn't that just the cutest thing you ever saw?  A whole stack of teddybears.  Well, two teddybears, a puppy and a very large mouse.  I'm sitting here with my jaw wide open, amazed that hubby-buddy thought up something so special just for me.  Isn't he a cutie?  I'm seriously considering keeping him around for awhile.  What a dude!

     Wanna' see more?  Not a problem.  Take a gander at this.  Do you like it?  Isn't the backdrop of the tree just perfect?  I am just giddy over having it in a Bay Window area with a beautifully cut-glass window behind it.  And guess what else?  Houses!!!  They have little blinking lights in the windows.  How cool is that?  I'll have a picture of those, tomorrow.

     Now, don't go 'way, yet.  There's still more.  Do you like the velvet bow on the front door?  You should have seen it yesterday when the wind fought hard to take her away from me.  But my pretty bow hung on as if her life depended on it.  Bless her little heart.  And we ain't done, yet.  Give us a couple of days and we'll have even more sparkle and shine; not a lot, but I'll be ready to show it off.  Will I see you then?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red Wagon Flights Has News

     Usually, I try not to post in one of my blogs about the other one, but I did find some interesting information that I would love to share with you.  In lieu of a full post here, I have chosen to link to something that I shared at Red Wagon Flights.  I hope that you will take the time to cruise on over there and check it out.

     I always love it when you come to visit and hope you know that I am ready to sit down with you and chat.  Thank you so much for all of your support and kindness.  My life is better by knowing you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Its Coming! Its Coming!

     I can't believe it.  Its finally Almost Here.  I've waited Aaaaalllll year.  Now, I can finally say its almost here.  This is my absolute favorite time of the year.  Tomorrow we will begin to decorate for the wonderful event that the whooooole world will help me celebrate.

     Don't you just love this time of year?  Everyone seems so friendly and kind.  Pretty lights are everywhere.  People think Snow, no matter if they are at the equator.  Okay, okay.  Maybe no one else does really, but I do and as long as I am thinking snow, well, I just know that everyone else is helping me to think it.  After all, doesn't everyone want snow for Christmas?  Surely, Christmas can't come without snow, can it?

     When I was about 14 years old, we took a trip from South Carolina to Florida and then, Maine.  I don't recall where we were on any of the other days, but I remember that we were in Florida on Christmas day and Maine on New Year's Day.  In Florida it was hot and humid and I was not impressed.  Of course, at 14, I'm sure that I didn't think I was supposed to be impressed by anything.

     We stayed at a Holiday Inn and there was a pool.  My little brother, 3 years younger than I, were very close.  That is, until he broke the cardinal rule.  On Christmas day, he had the audacity to go swimming.  Swimming!  What was he thinking?  Christmas is not for swimming.  Christmas is for snow skiing and sledding, snowmen and forts.  I was crushed!  Betrayed by my own partner in crime.  By afternoon, I managed to work my way through my little attitude, thanks to the continuing heat and discomfort, and joined him for a nice cool dip in the pool.  And naturally, we are still very close.

     Isn't it funny, some of the ideas we grasp onto?  Do you ever wonder where some of them come from?  It seems there are superstitions and wild-hairs about everything; black cats, ladders, salt, spiders and the list goes on.  Do you have memories of unique ideas that caused you to change the ways you've done things?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The tortured child

      Grown-ups always like to say things to confuse kids.  Have you ever noticed that?
     “If you think you’re going to get away with this, young lady, you’ve got another think coming!"

     “Another think coming” - - - just what do adults mean by that?  Grown-ups always say things like that. Like, “Behave yourself.” Did you ever wonder about that one? I mean, it’s so hard to concentrate on anything else she's saying because I’m still working on "Behave yourself."  And I'm being as 'Have' as I know how to be. (Please note the long 'A' on that word)
     I just hate it when grown-ups think up all these confusing phrases. Everybody knows they only do that to confuse kids. It works, too.  I'm still pondering the cruelty of the phrase, "Behave yourself."

     What kinds of things did the adults in your life use to make your life miserable?  I'm just really anxious to learn if Behave was a word created just for torture purposes or if it really has a purpose.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Today, I cried

     I haven't been blogging for very long, perhaps two or three months, once I actually understood a little of how to find my way around.  I enjoy it so much and I now understand the emotion that so many others express.  You see, I did not expect to care.  I thought that blogging was a world of anonymity.  A one-on-one relationship with my computer.

     Not too long ago, I met someone who was taken to the depths of despair by a loss that I have come too close to experiencing in my own life.  Twice.  When my new bloggie friend shared her own experiences, her description was such that I. Was. There.  I felt every emotion she felt.  The tree she leaned on also left marks on the side of my face as my tears joined hers in silent, heart-wrenching sobs.

     Though I have not met this lady in person and I have only known her for a very short time through Bloglandia, she is now in my heart to stay.  Are there things you were surprised by in becoming a blogger?  What experiences have you had?
   

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Baby's First Thanksgiving

     It was my first son's first Thanksgiving and we wanted it to be special.  He was only five months old and couldn't possibly remember anything about it, but we really wanted to make it something we could tell him about as he grew.  How could we make this Thanksgiving Day memorable for him?

     Then, it happened.  We got word that we would be moving and we had all of one day to get 'er done.  The landlord didn't want us to leave, but something about living in a mouse-infested trailer house just failed to make me wanna' stay.  Go figure, huh?  When we got the word that we had another option, we jumped on it.

     So, on Thanksgiving Day, we woke up early and stayed up late.  We hadn't learned of the mice until too late in our previous dwelling.  (I was never quite able to think of that place as home.)  This time, we had made sure there were no extra occupants and we were SO. READY. to. go.

     Finally, at 11:45 that night, we sat down to my baby's first Thanksgiving Dinner, one which he was also able to participate in, in spite of nursing.  I can say with all honesty that, after living for two months with the pitter-patter of little mouse feet, it was one of the best meals of Oyster Stew I have ever made.  And I no longer had to worry that something would capture one of us while we slept.

     Oh, and did I mention that we managed to make it a memorable day?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun in the sun, sand or sink... or, wherever you like to write

     Do you write?  I mean, are you a writer of, say, children's stories?  Or, maybe you like to write romance?  Are you a Cruciverbalist?  Perhaps there's a hidden Harry Potter in your heart?

      Well, I like to do it all.  Don't hold me back!  If it can be written, I'm a' gonna' try it.  Oh, wait!  I take that back.  When it comes to scary, I can get pretty creative in how many ways there are to hide out.  Blood and guts?  Nope!  Don't want any part of it.  And the 'S_ x' word?  Well, ya' know.

      But give me a good Golden Book to read and I'm off!  Look out, Pooh!  I'm gonna' read you.  Junie B. Jones?  You bet your sweet bones!  And of course, I try to read all the new ones that I can;  Bubble Homes and Fish Farts, Don't Let the Pigeon... (whatever the pigeon is trying to do at the time), Crocodaddy, Janoose the Goose and sooooooo many others.


     Now, here's the big question; how fast can you think?  I was just made aware of a really cooooool challenge and if you are into writing picture books , you might like to head on over there, too.  Its called PiBoIdMo.  Now, you understand completely, don't you?  hahahahaha.

     It means Picture Book Idea Month and Tara Lazar has come up with the greatest idea for those who aspire to writing picture books.  Come up with a new idea every day in the month of November.  I can't explain it all here, but if you head on over there, you can check it out.  Then, think fast.  Think really, really fast 'cause the end of the month is just a blink and a puff away.

     So, HURRY, already!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We Danced ~ ~ ~



     Every once in awhile, something happens that says, "You are still on the right path."  Last night, my good hubby-buddy had his moment to remind him that continuous effort is still the best way to achieve continuous success.
     Years ago, I was working many hours every day and night, as was my good husband and doing all we could to still spend time with our children and know the happiness that comes from love in the home.  At one point, my hubby decided to enter a Chilli Cook-Off.  He enjoys cooking and it was his hope to take one of the three winning ribbons.

      His preparations were extensive and we were all excited about the coming event.  I don't recall what the prize was; something small, I believe.  A theater ticket or a ribbon.  It wasn't the prize that inspired him, anyway.  He wanted to show our children that they could do anything they set their minds to do.
 
     The big day arrived and all was ready.  I left the house to collect the papers at the newspaper office so I could deliver them for the kids to sell and deliver to various offices.  They had built up quite a large number of repeat customers.
     But this day was different.  Instead of collecting the papers when I arrived at the office, I was informed that one of my sons had been hit by a car and I was to go directly to the hospital.  I cannot describe how devastating it was to watch my son suffer from so many broken bones and hooked up to wires and tubes.
     Needless to say, the Chilli Cook-Off was forgotten and we were flown with our son to a bigger hospital several hundred miles away.  Fortunately, our son recovered and I can honestly say I believe in miracles.
 
    My good husband is such a nice person.  When we moved into our new home, he sent me right to my new office and said, "Write.  You have supported me all the years we've been married.  Now, its your turn to do what you want, so Write!"
 
     And that is all I do... Write, all day or all night long.  My hubby-buddy takes care of everything.  Well, we recently heard that our new town would be hosting a Chilli Cook-Off, so my good hubby decided to enter. He was so excited to finally be getting another chance.
 
     And now, I am proud to announce that last night, my wonderful husband was declared the Winner.  I knew he was a great cook and now, others know it, too.  Today, we took the extra chilli to Church and enjoyed visiting with friends while sharing my hubby's Award-Winning Chilli.  Tonight, we celebrated in our own way when, in our kitchen... We Danced.







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