Monday, December 23, 2013

What is your favorite Christmas ornament #5?

In a previous post I revealed my love of bird ornaments and how my hubby sometimes calls me the bird lady well he has his weaknesses too and they are airplanes.  Maybe it's because his whole life he has been involved in the aviation industry or maybe it's just because he is a man.  Whatever the case he has his share of favorite ornaments and they are always airplanes.  He has ones that are flown by reindeer and Santa and even one I made that has him as the pilot. 

Each year as we decorate the trees we have a few minor differences of opinion over where the ornaments should go.  He always wants his airplanes prominently displayed in the front and of course I have quite different ideas on which ones should take the stage.

So after we put them on the tree and we go to bed, I quietly sneak down the stairs and  I move them around.  I have a feeling he is doing the same thing or maybe the Grinch enters our house at night and is fiddling around with our tree as well as those of the Whos.

Anyway I love the man and I love his choice of women so how could I not love (at least some of them) his airplane ornaments?

Soon Santa will be making his yearly flight.  What are you asking Santa for this year?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Since it's almost Christmas and still not a flake has fallen I thought I would re-post this little story from a couple years ago.  Enjoy your holidays and as the song says I hope there's snow and mistletoe...just enough, not a ton, just some flakes and ground cover.

The week’s snowfall, although forecast to be much more, brought only a measly two inches or so.  I’m not complaining by any means. I know a lot of people got a foot or more. Even with this puny amount of snowfall I had an overwhelming desire to build a snowman.  I would just have to improvise. I know snowmen in my part of Virginia, even pygmy ones have a life span similar to a fruit fly, but I figured what the heck.   I always enjoyed scientific experiments so I figured I would document the life cycle of a Virginia snowman for posterity.

9:00 a.m. – I realize there will not be enough snow to build a regular size snow person so I settle on a miniature one.

9:18 a.m. - I look out the window at the snow and calculate where the best spot would be.  Since the snow is a bit crusty I decide to wait a few minutes for the snow to get a bit wetter.

10:00 a.m. – I check out the snow and it appears to pack well enough to get to work.  After all I only need a small amount.  In order to avoid a trip to the Chiropractor, I settle on a bench to start my experiment. 

10:05 a. m. – Bonus! I find out that a mini snowman gets created much quicker than the larger kind.  I use some peppercorns from my kitchen for his features, wrap a scarf around his neck, and put a doll hat on his head and step back to admire my creation.  Darn, he doesn’t come to life so I guess there wasn’t any magic in that hat.

10:10 a.m. – Finished!  His day begins.

11:15 a. m. – I go outside to check on my snowman and find he is sitting in a puddle.  Oh no, the melting has stated.  He looks a bit bedraggled and has lost an eye.  Note: Virginia winters are not very kind to snow people.

1:37 p.m. – The end is near.  I go outside and discover that he has fallen, and yes, he can’t get up!  His hat is upside down and filled with cold water.  It is the beginning of the end.

3:00 p.m. – Nothing left but a puddle, a hat, a few peppercorns and a very wet scarf.  Farewell, little snowman. I know, I know I won't cry,  you will be back again someday!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

What is your favorite Christmas ornament and why #3?

I love birds.  I feed them nectar in the summer, I feed them seed all year round (Sometimes my husband jokingly calls me the bird lady) so it makes sense that I would have quite a few birds roosting in the branches of my trees. 

It is said that if you find a birds nest in your tree it will bring you luck and good fortune all year.  So I take care to nestle a birds nest in the inner branches of my trees. And if you have a birds nest, then it just makes sense to have some birds there as well.  So some of my favorite ornaments that make it on the tree each and every year are birds of all colors and varieties.  Some are felt, some are china, and some are just feathered.  Olivia my cat loves the birds too.  Nope thats no present under the tree!

Bird ornaments, some of my favorites.  What are your favorite ornaments?

Monday, December 9, 2013

What is your favorite Christmas ornament and why #2

I'm really enjoying hearing about all of your favorite ornaments.  They all have stories don't they?  But you really didn't think I only had one favorite did you?  I did mention that I have two large trees and they are decorated to the max and heavy with memories.

I've collected Hallmark ornaments for years.  Every year I buy a new one, but one of my very favorite ones was one of the first ones I ever bought.  It's the Mole family Christmas and it lights up to show the mole family in their little kitchen at Christmas.  Through the years some of my other Hallmark lighted ornaments ceased to light up anymore.  Like on the island of misfit toys they one by one stopped doing what they were supposed to be doing.  The rabbit stopped popping up out of Santa's hat, the Clydesdale stopped pulling his cart and the list goes on. But the mole family still continues to have their Christmas under the snowy ground.

Last night my grown daughter came over and walked over to the Christmas tree and immediately found the Mole family Christmas ornament.  As she lovingly touched it and commented about how it's still working after all these years, I could have sworn I saw her as a tiny tot all excited for Santa's visit, drinking hot cocoa and gazing at that ornament.  She spoke and snapped me back to the present.

"I' can't believe it still lights up, gee that's my favorite ornament."

"Mine too." I replied.

So the Hallmark Mole family Christmas is one of very favorite ornaments...what is yours?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What is your favorite Christmas ornament...and why?

Every year I have two large Christmas trees that are full of ornaments to the tipping point. They are treasures that I have collected through the years.  Some are store bought, some home made and some just quirky.  I love them all and this December I will highlight many of them one at a time and reveal their history and meaning. 

One of my favorite ornaments didn't start out as one.  In fact it had a bit different use. Except for its first year, it has been on one of my trees for each and every Christmas for many, many years.  To what can I be referring? 

My daughter's first Christmas baby sock is one of favorite ornaments.  She was born in October (quite a few years ago now) and on her first Christmas I dressed her in red and white and put on some candy cane striped socks.  I don't know what happened to its mate but as an orphan it commands a place of honor on the tree. You can usually find the Christmas sock (washed of course) next to the baby's first Christmas ornament ball. 

What are some of your favorite ornaments? 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving wishes and my favorite Thanksgiving tale...

May your stuffing be tasty,

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!

- Anonymous

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rushing it?

All the big box stores are talking about opening on Thanksgiving around these parts, rushing it do ya think?  It is barely past Halloween and I already see Santa’s at pumpkin patches!!  How long before we start seeing black Fridays in July?

It seems that every year Christmas shopping is getting earlier and earlier and honestly it’s all about greed.  Which big box will get the most sales…Wal-Mart, Target, or another?  But just for a minute let us think about the poor souls who have to forego Thanksgiving and work just to make the stockholders richer. 

The mom and pop stores of the world are shuttering their doors more and more and we, the consumers, are to blame.

If no one went to these sales on the morning of Thanksgiving, they might just wait.  If people didn’t camp out with tents in front of he big box doors, they might just wait.  If our kids didn’t demand toys and electronics that are available in small quantities (just to make the demand larger) they might just wait.  If Christmas wasn’t so much about things and instant gratification, they might just wait. 

I know I am steadily sounding like I am the Grinch who discovered what Christmas was all about, but I didn’t need to steal all the present in Whoville to come to this revelation.  I’ve always known it and there is no way I will get up from the table, tell my guests ta-ta and hit the stores on Thanksgiving.  And if others would do the same, they might just wait!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Q is for Quinoa.

ABC…and on to Q

You thought I forgot about the ABC book didn’t you?  Actually I’ve been having a bit of time with back issues and I have been a bit lax in keeping up with my blogs.  I’m a little better so on to Q!

What in the heck is Quinoa –which is pronounced keen-wah.  I love just saying it.  It’s such a cool word.  As for eating it well, I’ve had it and it’s not bad but I am married to a man who will not really try anything new so I haven’t had the opportunity to try many recipes with the stuff.

Quinoa is an extremely healthy protein rich grain (in actuality a seed) and it’s packed with so many essential nutrients that I won’t even begin to name them all here.  It’ resembles cous-cous (which my hubby also won’t eat) but is pretty versatile and is great for baking, side dishes, salads, and a substitute for rice.

Quinoa has a outer bitter coating to deter the birds and most likely if you buy it from the grocery store this coating will be removed, but check to be sure.  If not you will have to soak your quinoa.

Recipes are all over the Internet but here is a good one from the food channel…

Quinoa…it’s for Q.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

No text messages from iphone to android? No problem

While this blog is not usually about technical advice, every once in a while a piece of information reveals itself to me and I just have to share it. 

I have an IPhone and my son, like most young people is never satisfied with the technology that they are currently holding in their hands, so after about 6 months he sold his IPhone and got an android.

Now let me say that my son is serving in the Air force many, many miles away. Due to his work schedule, sometimes the only contact we have is through short text messages. 

IPhone recently upgraded to a new IOS after which I could receive text messages from him, but I couldn’t send any in return.  I’d just get the red flag stating “message failure.” 

Well I finally figured it out.  All the IPhone user needs to do if they are experiencing this problem is to go into their settings and disable IMessage.  Simple!  He got the message and then promptly texted me to ask,

“What did you do?”

“I’m a magician and it’s magic.” I answered.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tiger burning bright

In case you are wondering I am suffering from spinal stenosis or a slipped/herniated disc, so I haven’t been around much lately.  Today is the first day I am able to get on a computer.  Unfortunately, the pain meds made me sicker than the illness!  Go figure right.  So now I’m back to plain old ibuprofen and muscle relaxers.  Please forgive me If I haven’t visited or commented in a while.  I’ll be up and about soon, because nothing keeps me down for long!

Halloween is right around the corner and sometimes its fun to dress up as a favorite animal.  Tigers have got to be one of the top choices.  I’ve done a lot of face-painting and I found that Snazaroo face paint works the best.  No, I wasn’t given anything to say that, I’m just speaking from experience.  I really don’t like the greasy face paints and this kind is soft, dries on the skin and stays on till you wash it off.

Did you know that the stripes on a tiger are like fingerprints and no two are exactly alike?  I painted this tiger from one at the national zoo. 

Hopefully tigers will be around for a long time but as you can see from the list below tigers are very endangered:

Bengal tiger: Less than 2,000

Indochinese tiger: 750-1,300
Siberian tiger: Around 450

Sumatran tiger: 400-500
Malayan tiger: 600-800
South Chinese tiger: Extinct in the wild

Caspian tiger: Extinct
Javan tiger: Extinct
Bali tiger: Extinct

If you sporting a tiger costume this year, why not educate others about tigers and give to a wildlife preservation organization?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Where comes the sun?

I have to admit I’m not a fan of rain.  I know that we need rain but if I could, I would just have it rain when I am sound asleep in bed.  Waking up to rain is the pits.  It has rained almost every day this week and this morning as I got out of bed I peeked through the blinds hoping to see the sun, but no such luck.  It was raining, again.

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  There is no humidity and many times the weather is cool and comfortable with a light jacket.  There is football and festivals, apple picking and craft shows.  Fall is fun.  Rain is not. 

So lately I’ve been seeing these sausage commercials on TV featuring the sun—and these days it seems it’s the only sun I HAVE been seeing.  Here is hoping that tomorrow the gray will stay away and let the sun reappear with or without sausage!
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