11/29/11 Thanksgiving, Christmas Memories


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)

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Hello everyone. My last post touched on some of my favorite things about the holidays.

I’ve thought of more things to add to that list. Definitely “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” cartoon version only, please. Jim Carey did a nice enough job with the film, but it can’t match the charm of the original, for me. We watched “Shrek The Halls” last night and enjoyed that a lot. I love Donkey!  

If I were to think about food that makes my holiday season special, that would be easy. HoneyBaked Ham. Jingles cookies. Home made Buckeyes. I’ve had a variety of store-bought Buckeyes. Not even close. Jingles. I realize that I might be the only person on earth who has such a rosy fondness for Keebler Jingles, but I just love them! When I was a kid, we could get them at Charlie and Hilda’s store down the street from our house. I loved them then, and still do. Maybe they remind me of childhood, I don’t know.

It’s funny how you can write a sentence or two about your childhood and that little door opens wide, bringing in all kind of memories. Christmas Eve, waiting in the kitchen with the door to the next room closed, while Santa delivered gifts. Neighbors stopping in to visit. This is the old days in a small neighborhood in Northside, where it seemed everyone knew everyone. I loved Christmas Eve back then. I can’t remember much about the presents I got. Oh, I remember when my brother Jon got the jump rope off of the box of tooth paste and wrapped it up for me! It’s the thought that counts. 🙂 Or the time we gave my mom some gosh awful smelly “perfume” from the corner drugstore. That stuff probably REEKED in reality, but we were very proud of ourselves, saving up enough to buy it for her. 

 Thanksgiving weekend went pretty peacefully. I ate too many junk carbs which left me feeling like a lead balloon come Monday morning. Frisch’s still wins for best pumpkin pie. Oh…. someone accidentally put the frozen pumpkin pie I bought in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. When I opened it Thursday morning to bake, it had the consistency of a pumpkin smoothie. Frisch’s pie later that evening seemed heavenly in comparison. We played a few lively card and board games at my brother’s that evening. How I got seated at the end of the table with the Special People…. well….. that’s okay, because we Special People kicked butt and won the games! Never underestimate the power of a delicate mind or bull-headed doofusses. We didn’t get to watch “Planes Trains and Automobiles” until Friday evening. We laughed a lot and I liked the ending.

As was “Bridesmaids”. I will not tell you which scenes got multiple airings in my house. Suffice it to say my son and I laughed so hard we were gasping and crying at the same time. We are SUCH rednecks…. but happy, so who cares?     

I did visit a few elderly friends over the weekend. We stopped at Judson Village on Saturday to help out with bingo and to visit a few of our Little Brothers friends. My son helped a lady named Martha who took a shine to him and told him about a million times how handsome he was. I didn’t know his face could stay that red for that long! I asked one of our Little Brother friend’s what he would like for a treat and he adamantly didn’t want fast food. He wanted fresh bananas.

Something I very much take for granted.

I’ll be delivering those bananas this week. Maybe I could dress up like the Chiquita lady and do a little dance. Hmmmm. Maybe not!

              

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11/14/11 A Few of My Favorite Holiday Things. What Are Yours?


A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

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Good evening friends. I sat down to write and couldn’t come up with a topic. After visiting various sites offering writing prompts and blog prompts, I still don’t! Wow, makes you feel like investing your time in whatever comes next, doesn’t it? I enjoy poetry prompts – they’re concise and specific. But writing prompts are sort of goofy. They suggest topics I don’t want to read about, I’m guessing you may not either.

The holidays are approaching. Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. That could provide a boatload of topics to blog about. “In search of the perfect pumpkin pie.” (Frisch’s continues to win that for me.) My favorite cartoons of the year air: “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The all time best holiday movie: “Christmas Vacation” I admit that this being my favorite Christmas movie probably sets me up for: “If “Christmas Vacation” is your idea of a holiday classic… YOU might be a redneck!”

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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One might think with me being an unabashed follower of Jesus that I would love Christmas. I DO love the part of Christmas that celebrates His birth. 

I love getting a card or letter in the mail during the holidays that includes a snippet of what’s going on in someone’s life. Thinking about it, I’d relish receiving a card someone made from construction or notebook paper and a colorful pen with a few lines about how they and their family are doing. How many times have you went to the store (okay, this is only for the women reading this. I think I hear my brother Jon falling off of his chair laughing at the idea of going to the store and looking at greeting cards! Point taken.) and spent quite awhile trying to pick out the perfect card? I could retire on the pile of $$$ if I had a dollar for every time I spent an hour or more looking for the perfect card, then went home and left them in the bag, never addressed or sent, because I was just too busy with all the other pressures I put on myself during the holidays… or used to, in the past. The past few years, I don’t think I even bothered to look for cards. I happily joined the chorus of “postage is just so expensive”. Really? 44 cents to haul your sorry envelope across the country and deliver it in rain, sleet or snow is a lot of money?

Presents. I like buying things for my husband and son, some treats for the cats and dwarf hamster (I would love to find Chow a stripper costume since she loves to cavort in her cage like a pole dancer, but that’s another story for another time!) I like to bake and create things. Unfortunately, I only know one crochet stitch, so if you want a handmade item, I’m up for a scarf or afghan. Anything fancier than that and I’m lost! The present I’m seeking to give this year is of myself. My time. Maybe phone friends here and there, write a few notes, visit folks who don’t get much company.

There’s one present I ask for and no one ever buys it for me. Yellow legal pads. Why do people find that so odd? I love to write on yellow legal pads. I don’t know why. The specific color and bold lines on the paper appeal to my eye and writing pen. I can almost bet I’ll get a candle or some good smelling object from Bath and Body this year, but no yellow legal pad will make it into my Christmas stocking. 😦    Maybe I’m missing the point that I’ve been a rotten brat and Santa has no intention of putting the desired legal pad in my stocking? I’ll have to ponder that! Maybe point number two is that I’ve gotten rather odoriferous and don’t know it, hence the constant receiving of sweetly perfumed objects. Oh dear! 🙂

Sometimes my husband and son are notorious “present shakers”. I am equally notorious for putting decoy tags on their gifts or no tags at all (writing in code on the box). It is truly entertaining to see them try to figure out what the gift is and think they’ve narrowed it down, only to have me switch the tags to their rightful presents on Christmas Eve!

My favorite New Year’s Eve tradition for some time was to telephone a friend of mine in England at 7:00 p.m. my time.

She would open her back door and I could hear Big Ben chiming in the New Year.

@big ben
Image by shashish via Flickr

Ah, the simple things that make me giddy!

 I would like to hear about favorite holiday things of yours, whether it’s memories or traditions.

Or when the holidays are over!

Blessings!

11/05/11 Coffee, Halloween, Spooky Socks and Poetry


Cover of "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions...

Cover via Amazon

Spooky Socks from my VWS Secret Sister - Halloween 2011

Good morning blog friends. When I started this blog, I wrote at the top what it was about:   Life, Serving Others, Inner Joy, Humor and Coffee 🙂

This morning, I’ve got the coffee, and I’m open to all the others. I’ve been working on something for a few weeks that requires all of my free time and leaves my wrists a hopeless mess of tendonitis. My back chose to go out on me two days ago, so between the wrist guards and the crab walk I adopt when I stand up and try to move…. finding my inner joy this morning might be a bit of a challenge. It’s there, I think it just moved into a cave and put out a ‘do not disturb’ sign!
Humor, it’s been a week of humor here and there. I posted last time about writing poetry. One of the things that happens at a poetry website is contests that give you a prompt and then you create a poem around it (the prompt will be a picture, a word, an idea, etc.). It’s been great fun to see what my brain can come up with. I won a wee gold cup for my first effort: my take on the modern-day fairytale life.
I seem to like spiritual writing as well. The challenge for me is to try and write something different from all of the poems I already see on the site. The reward is receiving feedback and comments from other people who enjoy writing poetry.  What I have found aurprising is how many young people are on the site and how blessedly talented some of them are. Kids as young as 10. A lot of teens from India, they have a profound talent for simplicity and letting you inside their world. What is inspiring to me is seeing poets in their 80’s connect with the teens or younger, and when it comes to poetry, everyone is on a level playing field. Mutual respect is given and your soul is invited to express and create beautiful things.
How was your Halloween? We had a fair amount of trick or treaters. Whatever candy they didn’t take, my son was happy to munch away on. He gave the candy out this year. That’s another of those bittersweet moments. When your child has decided they’re too old to trick or treat and take over your former duty of giving out the treats. In my mind I see that window that was opened to “eighteen years” the day he was born, and with each birthday and each passing of the duties from me to him, the window closes just a fraction. It’s closed 14 years worth right now. He can handle the window getting smaller. I struggle with it some days.
At church, we have a program called Secret Sisters. My secret sister gave me a pair of socks for a Halloween present. Of course I wore them to work with my Birkenstocks on Monday. My feet froze, but they were certainly colorful!
It’s been a week of books. I’m currently reading “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. In the wings, I have “Hunger Games” and “Little Bee” waiting. Not to mention a few from the library. “Little Bee” is for the library book club. “The Alchemist” is coming up for my other book club. Book clubs are fun. I almost wrote for nerdy types like me, but I’m the only nerd in the group. The rest of them seem quite normal. 🙂
I think that’s it for this week. If any of you like to write poetry, let me know. It would be nice to share our pieces.
Blessings,
Sue 🙂