Saturday, December 21, 2013

Welcome To Winter... December 21st, 2013 9:11 A.M. PST

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."

~Edith Stillwell

Sigh. Reluctantly I must now say goodbye to my lovely autumn for another year. It makes me sad, like an old friend leaving on an extended journey. Oh well, for now I will focus on living in the moment, rather than longing for the past, and the beauty of winter will carry me through. But how about a brief look back at the beauty that was...

Autumn 2013...


"There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood...
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time."

~Bliss Carman

Goodnight Autumn. See you soon!

Mood: Sad

~Me :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Only Way To Re-Gift... Or... Hair Curlers And Slut Shoes For Christmas Anyone?

"Everyone wants a Christmas tree. If you had a Christmas tree Santa would bring you stuff! Like hair curlers and slut shoes."

~Janet Evanovich, Visions of Sugar Plums

It seems that a lot about the holiday season comes down to very personal choices. To decorate or not to decorate? That is the question! Or maybe the question is to gift or to regift? And then there is the whole, have family over, or shut the door, lock it, and pretend you went to Paris for the holiday! LOL. Yeah... that's where I would go, but then again, I wouldn't turn down a trip to New York City, London or Las Vegas either! One year Alan and I spent a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obisbo, California. That was one of the best times we ever spent together. We packed the car with gifts, our 4ft artificial tree, Axel, and our favorite tree ornaments, and drove 5 hours down the California coast! It's an amazingly beautiful drive, and a memory I wouldn't change for the world! But I took some flack from my family over it! Why, oh why didn't I want to spend another holiday with people, and I use the term loosely, that hate me 364 days a year, but who rise above it by tolerating me because... its... Christmas!? Blech!

The worst part was the gifts. Not that I want to sound ungreatful, I appreciate anything given in the spirit of love and friendship. I don't care if it is a funky looking candle purchased at the Dollar Tree, if it was bought with love, then I would consider it to be a treasured part of my home... PERIOD. I would never, ever dream of re-gifting it, ever! But when you know the minute you open a present, and you realize the gift just handed you was bought with contempt, well, that makes it ripe for the re-gifting, right? Well, no, that would be passing on some badness I think. But then, what can be done with gifts like that?

Gifts Like...

1. A set of weight loss tapes from the 1990's. Anyone remember Susan Powter?
2. A 6 piece set of steaks knives with Pope John Paul II's  face on the handle.
3. A copy of the movie ET: The Extraterrestrial on VHS.
4. A Book on how to give the perfect gift. Handy, but is there a bigger message there?
6. A complete set of Teletubbies... hello... I was 40!
7. A red Fedora.
8. A $10.00 book of gift certificates from McDonalds.
9. A $2 bill. (Shhh... actually... I kinda liked that one).
10. A one year subscription to the National Enquirer. No... JUST NO!

I have actually received all those gifts and more! And I never could bring myself to say how much I wish I hadn't received them, and while I have always wanted to be that person, I am just not. If the gift came from someone who was clearly digging at me in creepy manner, I always figured accepting the gift with a smile did more damage to them than I could by refusing the gift or replying in kind. If it was simply a clueless person, like in the case of the Teletubbies, how could I hurt their feelings? A gift like that, given in the spirit of love and friendship, means I should accept it graciously, and remember, they didn't have to give me a gift at all! Sigh. Then there are the people who insist on buying you gifts, eventhough you had discussed earlier in the year, speciffically NOT buying gifts. AWKWARD! Another favorite is the office DICK who goes above and beyond the office gift limit, and spends twice as much as agreed upon, just so they can feel good about themselves!But that's another story!

Clearly the problem is with me, I am too sentimental, because I simply don't have the ability to re-gift even if the possible re-gifty gift was given to me out of spite! Like the one year when my sister and brother in law bought Alan a brand new coat, and bought me a small pink desk clock they got at a swap meet! Yep, they told me where they got it! Alan was so uncomfortable. They sat feeling superior, and I was amused at their lame attempt to hurt my feelings, although I did feel bad that Alan got hurt feelings for me! That was the part that hurt... watching him feel hurt that they had treated me that way. Sigh again! It's so strange, I see families who love each other, and genuinely look forward to spending time together, and wouldn't have it any other way, but I have never had a family like that. It wasn't until Alan came along that I really even care for the holidays. 

He gave me that gift! The gift of love, friendship and fun for the holidays! That was a re-gift, because his family had originally given it to him, and he gave it to me! Love, friendship, peace, joyfulness, happiness, spirit, fun, cuddles... THAT IS A RE-GIFT WORTH GIVING... AND RECEIVING! Of course while we are on the subject, if Santa is reading this post, I LOVE that girly girl ornament! I know, it doesn't really say Christmas as ornaments go, but it is screaming... I'm CARLY'S Style!~ On the other hand, I will joyfully accept a hug instead!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Great American Christmas Light Fight: Good Luck Mize Family Of San Rafael!

"Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year... and yet... for all that, when it speaks, it's voice has strong authority."

~W.J. Cameron

There is some special holiday magic in the air, it's making me smile from ear to ear! The magic is coming from a most unlikely source... Reality TV! That's right, REALITY TV! If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I do indeed watch my share of reality television. In fact, Alan, my husband, might say I watch more than my share, and okay, guilty. It's kind of a guilty pleasure, but to be honest, I have started to enjoy it less and less. I don't want to get in too deep about why, and what specific elements have begun to ware on me, I will save that for a different post, because right now I want to share only positive feelings, because I have finally found a reality program that truly spreads joy, and made me feel good about tuning in. If you are interested in such a show, tune into the new ABC reality show, The Great American Christmas Light Fight!

The show features different families from around America, who have such love for Christmas, and the holiday season, that they share it not just with family and loved ones, but with their neighbors and community as well, by decorating their houses and yards with twinkly lights, and holiday inflatables, and manger scenes, and every lovely decorative idea possible! Some include interactive decorations, some gather donations for charity, some share holiday heirlooms passed down for generations! Others re-purpose household items, while others feature decorations that are handmade or planet friendly! You, the viewer, are introduced to some truly joyous, loving, hardworking, creative people, and it leaves you definitely feeling the holiday spirit!

The Great American Christmas Light Fight airs on Mondays, with 2 back to back episodes, and this coming Monday night, December 23rd, it will feature the only house in the Bay Area to compete!  The Mize Family of San Rafael, in Marin County! When I heard we had some Bay Area friends to root for, I just had to pay a visit to the house, and see the artistry for myself! Let me tell you, I knew it would be lovely, but I wasn't prepared for just how amazing their holiday display was! 

Here, See For Yourself...

The Mize Family also included a wonderful old fashioned manger scene, kind of like the ones that graced lawns when I was a child. These scenes have gotten much more sophisticated over the years, but I really miss this kind. This part of their display really brought back some fond memories of the holiday decorations of yards on the street I grew up on. It was always a treat to see the decoration begin the day after Thanksgiving, and one particular yard had a manger just like this one! I miss the folks who lived there, all my old friends from the street who have grown up and moved away, so seeing this display made me quite misty eyed, in a good way, as I marveled at how many years have gone by! Sigh. :) Suddenly, while the air was a bit chilly, I was feeling really warm inside! 


The prize for winning is $50,000 and a pretty nifty Christmas light shaped trophy! I can't imagine the Mize family not being victorious come Monday night, but I will update this post after the show!

Thank You Mize Family, And Good Luck Monday Night! Alan and I will Be Cheering You On!


Mood: Inspired/Happy/Nostalgic/Christmasy

~Me :)

Note: The show is currently looking for new holiday homes to feature next season, here is the link if you would like to apply...

The Great American Christmas Light Fight... Apply Now 

Dear ABC... Please create and air more reality shows like this one!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December's Full Cold Moon

"The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished."

~Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living With Balance And Harmony

Meet The Full Cold Moon. Although according to the Farmer's Almanac, Native Americans also call December's full moon the Long Nights Moon. Both names refer to December as the month when nights become long and dark. The winter solstice, happens in less than a week, on December 21st, at 12:11 P.M. EST. 

I thought it would be a little fun and decorate the moon a little bit. Tis the season after all!

And One Of The Moon With A Few Clouds...

Spooky, like it should be accompanied by a witch or ghost. I just love a spooky moon!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Introducing The Gordon Boys... Happy Holidays Y'All!

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time."

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Introducing The Gordon Boys...


Love, Hendrix, Dylan and Joey

Happy Holidays Y'All!

Mood: Silly

~Me :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dear Santa

"Tradition: Sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all."

~Betsy Canas Garmon

It's just Alan and me. All our family has either passed away, or moved away, and while we have some really great friends, when all the shopping, and cooking, and decorating, and wrapping of presents is done, we settle down, wrap our arms around each other, and our little furbaby boys, and cuddle. Of course this comes after we track Santa At Norad. We have to watch the jolly fellow make his way around the world on Christmas Eve! This year we are especially blessed to have our newest furbaby, Joey, come into our lives. As much as we love the little guy, it was a surprise financially speaking, to have a little addition come along, So far, to get him healthy, we have put out in excess of $300! But when you look into his eyes, and see his unstoppable energy, and feel him cuddle up next to you, with a purr that would shake a room, we both know we did the right thing, and we also know what a blessing little Joey's love is.

This year, with the new addition to the family, Alan and I have scaled back our respective Christmas Wish Lists! We have set a $75 limit each, which is just perfect! I swear, the older I get, the more I understand why my mother and father always said they didn't need or particularly want anything for Christmas! One... I am getting to the point where I don't want to have to dust, put batteries in, wash & dry, or find a place for, another damn thing! Two... SEE NUMBER ONE! LOL. It just is what it is! I am happy with little things, and practical things. iTunes Gift Cards. (I know, those last two words should not have been capitalized, but they look good that way, don't they?) I also enjoy socks more now than I used to! Socks! The most boring present possible! LOL. You know you are old when the thought of a pair of socks for Christmas turns you on! Some sandpaper would be nice also, my back itches occasionally! LOL. 

Well, anyway, here is my practical Christmas wish list... 

1. 1 Hamilton Beach Panini Maker
2. 1 set of Mainstay Standard Pillows (Medium)
3. 1 set of Cost Plus World Market Floral Measuring Spoons
4. 1 set of Corelle Impressions 16-piece Dinner set
5. 1 RCA 7" Tablet with 4GB Memory
6. 1 set Cambridge Silversmiths Blossom Sand 20 Piece Flatware Set
7. 1 Presto Pizza Oven
8. 1 Panera Bread Cookbook
9. 1 Vera Wang Princess perfume
10. 1 Oscar de la Renta perfume
11. 1 Philadelphia Eagles Jersey
12. 1 Cal Bears Teddy Bear
13. 1 Pier 1 Imports Cranberry Balsam Filled Candle
14. 1 Pier 1 Imports Silver Snow Sizzlewick Candle
15. 1 Pier 1 Imports Sugared Cinnamon Candle

Any combination, not to exceed $75.00. Although I would be really happy with a long back rub! :) Also, if Santa wants to give me the gift of the Philadelphia Eagles making it to the Super Bowl, I would be VERY happy!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Many Reindeer Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

"Money's scarce, times are hard, here's your fucking Christmas card"

~Phyllis Diller

I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit by lightening the mood of my blog a bit! We are getting closer and closer to Christmas, and I am really beginning to feel the holiday spirit! Everything is lovely outside, well, except for the lack of autumn leaves, but I did find some pretty wonderful trees, not too far from where I live, and I am going to do some photography outside later today!

I might even do some photography in my rose garden this afternoon, as I got a lovely surprise as I found one small yellow and pink rosebud on one of the newer roses in my garden! It is about to bloom, and I can't believe that the frost didn't damage it! It is so delicate! If the weather holds as it is another few days, I will have a lovely rose to bring in for the bud vase! Is there anything quite as lovely as roses in winter? I am a happy girl! :)

 Now, how about some fun...

Christmas Humor...

Q: What do you call an elf wearing ear muffs?
A: Anything you want, he can't hear you!

Q: What goes "oh, oh, oh?"
A. Santa Walking backwards

Q. What do you call an obnoxious reindeer?
A. RUDEolph.

The Four Stages Of Life...

1. You believe in Santa Claus
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus
3. You dress up like Santa Claus
4. You look like Santa Claus

Christmas Mondegreens...

The Christmas Song

Jeff's nuts roasting on an open fire, check for snipping at your nose; You'll tide carols being sung by the fire, and folks dressed like Eskimos.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose; Yuletide carols being sung by the fire, and folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Good King Wenceslas...

Good King Wences' car backed out, on the feet of heathens. When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even."

Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen. When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even."

 Christmas Time Is Here...


And Now The Answer To The Question Asked In The Post Title...

A: Eight! One to screw in the light bulb and seven to hold Rudolph down!

Just Remember Boys And Girls...

"A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer!"
~Mitch Hedberg

Happy Holidays!

Mood: Festive

~Me :)