Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Stress Reliever

The kids are all here, and Sweetie Pie is keeping us all very busy. I'm getting ready for Christmas, as I'm sure you are as well.

I came across this video, and if you haven't seen it, well, it's quite funny! If you need a little stress-break, take a few minutes for a good laugh!

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cartoon Blog Hop!

I had to put on my thinking cap to come with my favorite cartoons of my childhood. I know some of my choices will show a generation gap, but here goes, in no particular order:

Those are my picks. Head over to Cheap Therapy and join the fun.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decking the halls...but not with holly

My Christimas shopping is done, which is nothing short of a miracle! My house is somewhat, sorta, kinda decorated. And, by decorated, I mean that I have my Santa collection out in public.

I collected Santas for about 15 years, and then I decided that I had more than enough. I might still be tempted to add some new Santas, but they will have to be pretty darn unique.

My Santas have been in storage for about two years, while Hubby and I try to decide where and when we are going to settle. Two years ago, we were busy driving from North Carolina to Indiana, doing some work for our brother-in-law. We spent Christmas "house sitting" for our niece in Ohio. Then, after we sold our house (in NC) a mere year after we bought it, we moved back to Ohio, and rented from Hubby's sister. She had planned to sell her house, so we knew we would not be staying very long, so we didn't unpack "unnecessary" items. 

But, here we are, still here. The house has been taken off the market for now, and we have somewhat settled in. And, since we're somewhat settled, I decided to unpack the Christmas stuff.

Did you know that the American version of Santa Claus is due to Clement C. Moore, and Coca-Cola? Clement C. Moore, author of        " 'Twas the Night before Christmas" described Santa as being jolly and round, with twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks. But,it was Haddon Sundblom, a commercial illustrator for Coke, who gave Santa his red clothes. Before 1931, Santa could be tall, thin, short, or fat, and wearing a variety of colors. From 1931 to 1964, Sundblom gave us the Santa that we know today. And, aren't we glad he did?

Coca-Cola Santa, 1943
So here are some of my Santas.

My pretty plate toppled over and broke into a million pieces. 
It made me sad.

The one that started it all!

Some favorites

My blue Santa

"Rover" (named by our granddaughter) is also joining
 the festivities!
The Christmas tree will be coming once our granddaughter, Sweetie Pie, arrives. After that, we should be all set for Santa to arrive.
This has been a staple since 1983!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Face it Friday

Today is the day we are to face up to how we are doing with our goals. You can check over at Jennee and Karen and see how they are doing. 

I have never been one to make goals--because I lack follow-through, but this year Jennee forced me encouraged me to make some goals. So, I reluctantly happily made a list of goals I thought I could attain.

Actually, I have surprised myself on what I have accomplished. I guess there is something to writing down goals and having to face them. So, thanks to Jennee and Karen for Face it Fridays.

One goal that I have failed miserably at is Goal #5 - Lose 10 pounds. I didn't really have a plan. Just thought I would "cut down" on portions. (I gave up pop and junk food years ago, but never experienced having weight just fall off because I was no longer eating bad stuff.) If I cut down enough, and lost only one pound a month, I would reach my goal by now. However, that did not happen. No, no, no. I have actually gained 10 pounds this year! CURSES!

I have alternately been in denial or blamed it on menopause. But, I was slapped into reality recently. I'm in a Community Choral Union, and we had our Christmas concert. Our standard costume is "black pants, white shirt, tucked in!"  An hour before the concert, I started getting ready. I put on my black pants. Whoa! What has happened? Did these pants shrink? It was all I could do to get them zipped up...without the added bulk of the white shirt! And, then I put on my white blouse. Yikes! Pull and stretch and pull some more. I could barely get it buttoned. The "girls" are growing as well. I fear that  my blouse looked as if it would explode open at any minute. I was afraid  "the girls" would "bust" out singing a duet at any moment. I did not have a  very comfortable concert.

And so, because I detest counting calories, I found a website that will count my calories for me.

The only thing more depressing than counting calories through the holiday season, is being squeezed like a sausage into your clothes for the holidays. YEESH!

The weight on my driver's license is 30 pounds less (how did that happen?) than reality. So, my new goal is to get down to that weight before I have to renew my license in 2012. (Which will be a month before the supposed end of the world. Hmmmm. Maybe I shouldn't be so concerned. Just kidding.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daughter

The year was 1982. I was expecting my third bundle of joy. Bundle Number 1 and Number 2 were both boys, born in 1980 and 1981. (Yes, it is possible, and yes, they were all planned. Well, Number 1 came a little earlier than we had planned, but, he got the ball rolling.)

My plan was to have two boys, and a girl. So far, so good. All my pregnancies went quite well, and most days I felt so good that I would have to remind myself that I was expecting.

Back then, ultra sounds were not common practice. We had other scientific ways of determining the baby's sex. Like, the Drano test. Mix Drano and urine, and it would turn blue for a boy, but, maybe black, for a girl. (I can't quite remember the actual color, but, I don't think it was pink. That would be ridiculous.)

And, comparing the heartbeats. A slow heartbeat meant a boy, a fast heartbeat meant a girl. Also, the way they were carried, high for a boy, low for a girl. 

My due date was December 6. I was very happy with that date because it was also my sister's birthday, and my Grandma's birthday. How cool would it be to have three generations born on the same day?

If I remember correctly, we were having a relatively warm December. I don't think we had had any snow yet.

Everything was progressing quite well.  But, December 6 came and went, and no baby. I went to the doctor on December 7. He said, "When do you want to have this baby?" I truthfully said, "Yesterday." He said, "How about tomorrow?"
Yep, that was fine with me. Then he said, "When can you be here?" 

I told him that Hubby didn't get home from work until about noon. I think he may have asked how close we lived to the hospital. "Oh, we just live about 15 minutes outside of town", I told him non-chalantly.

I think he may have been a little nervous, because Bundles 1 and 2 came pretty quickly. My longest labor was 6 hours.

When I got home, I told Hubby that "Tomorrow is the day".  

We had finally decided that her name would be Jennifer Darlene. Hubby really liked Jolene, but I told him it would sound silly with Darlene. He would always go around singing Jo-lene, Jo-lene. I don't know who sings it, and that's the only part he knew. I also went through a phase when I thought I liked the names "Bobbie Jean" and "Laura Louise". I was influenced by General Hospital for those names. (Jennee has told me that she is soooooo glad we did not give her one of those names!)

So, on that December 8, 1982 (also a Wednesday), Hubby and I took Bundles 1 and 2 to Aunt Sue's house, then we were on our way to the hospital. The doctor met us there, we did all the prep stuff, then took me to my room. At 1:00, they broke my water. As the nurses came in to listen to the heartbeat, they would say, "It sounds like a boy to me." I told them, "No, it's a girl."  They didn't argue with me, but they doubted me.

Not much was happening, so at 2:00, they checked me again. It turns out, I had a double bag of water, so they broke the second one. After that, things started happening right quick!

At 3:05, our daughter entered the world. The doctor let Hubby cut the umbilical cord, which he thought was pretty neat. 

She has been a blessing in our lives. Our lives would be truly dull without her, and I can't imagine life without her! She is quite amazing, and if you hop over to her blog, she will tell you! (In a nice way, of course.) She has also informed me that she is glad she wasn't born on the 6th. She wanted her day all to herself. She is a little upset that she had to be born in December, but, maybe someday, she'll accept it!

Happy Birthday, Jennee! We love you! 

And, tomorrow, I can decorate for Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yay for Me!

There are few words that I enjoy hearing more than when Hubby says "You're right!" It doesn't happen all that often, so I truly relish those words when I hear them. I usually make him say it twice!

Saturday was just such an occasion. Hubby is extremely hard on work shoes. If he gets more than six months out of them, he's happy. If more than a year, he's ecstatic. The time had finally come for him to replace his work shoes. They had a hole in sole, for crying out loud.

I went with him to the local Tractor Supply Store. He found the shoes he wanted, and bought them. As we were leaving the store, I said, "Didn't you buy some kind of warranty on your original shoes? Like, they had to last so long, or you'd get a free pair?"

He said, "You know, I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT!"  (Emphasis mine!) So, as soon as  we got home, he started searching through his warranty folder. (He's so organized, it's a bit annoying.) "Look! Here it is! Right here. If they don't last two years, I get a free pair. Now, how long have I had these?" 

With our luck, we expected that we would be one week over.

We checked the dates, and, he had those shoes for 14 months! So, he packed up the old shoes and the warranty, and while he was at it, he also took the receipt for the new shoes so he could sign up again. 

It wasn't long until he was back home with a second pair of new work shoes. Unfortunately, the program was discontinued. Guys that are really hard on their shoes were signing up for the warranty left and right. It didn't take the shoe company long to realize that if they didn't stop it, they would soon go broke.

It doesn't take long to lose that "new shoe" look!

You're welcome, honey. You can say those three little words that I love to hear anytime you want to.  You. Are. Right.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas is coming, but the decorations are not going up yet!

December has finally arrived. We received our first snowfall of the season--and it is still too early for me! The skies are gray, and the wind is blowing the snow helter-skelter everywhere. I would much prefer blue skies, sunshine, and warm weather, but, that's not happening in northeastern Ohio at this time of year.

We have a very out-spoken rule at our house: No displays of Christmas, not even Christmas music, until after December 8.  The reason? Amazing Daughter's birthday is December 8, and she does not want to see anything Christmas-y, until after her birthday. She was quite young when she announced that this would be the new rule. Apparently, December babies feel like they've been gypped somehow, by being born in December. Sometimes, certain December babies can get quite cranky about it.

I mentioned something to her yesterday that I needed to locate all the Christmas stuff. She gave me the Evil Eye. (I was just messin' with her, and I wanted to see if the "rule" still applies.  It does!) So, we will be waiting until December 9 to put up our decorations.

However, one thing that she does not have control over, is my Christmas Cactus.  I'm very excited to see the buds forming, and I hope to have lots of blooms by Christmas.

My Christmas Cactus was given to me four years ago by a friend. She was moving to Florida, and did not want to take it with her. But, since I've had it, we have lived in five different places, from Ohio to North Carolina to Ohio. At one point, I wasn't sure if my Christmas Cactus would survive--it was touch and go for a while.

But, I've learned that it is a pretty hardy plant, and it seems to be thriving in its new spot.

I did a little checking to see what makes Christmas Cactus happy.
They don't like to be over-watered. When the soil feels dry, water throughly, but make sure there is good drainage. They also like to be hydrated. I have mine sitting in two pots, one that is shorter than the other. That way, the water drains out, but can evaporate back up into it. They also do not like direct sunlight. And, to get the most abundant blooms, they like to have total darkness for 12-14 hours everynight, starting in October. They also like cooler temperatures, around 50 degrees F. Mine seems to be doing OK at about 63 degrees.

I'm glad I discovered this information, because I was doing everything wrong!  Now, I hope to have lots of beautiful blooms at Christmas. 

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