Friday, December 31, 2010

Charlie Brown's Advice . . .

Charlie Brown's Rules for living in the new year:

"Keep the ball low, don't leave your crayons in the sun, use dental floss every day, don't spill the shoe polish, always knock before entering, don't let the ants get in the sugar, never volunteer to be a program chairman, always get your first serve in, and feed your dog whenever he's hungry."

Follow this advice and Charlie advises you'll have "a better life and a fat dog."

Whatever "rules" you choose to follow in the New Year, make it a safe and happy adventure.

Here's hoping you are ringing in the New Year tonight with folks you love and having a terrific and safe night.

Happy New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

And then, the bills came.

***This is adapted from a piece that ran on the Humor Matters - Therapeutic Humor with Dr. Steve website published by Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D. I do not know when it originally ran and I have seen it copied a number of times. It always makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it, too.


Twas a few days after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurtin' even the mouse.

The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor,
While upstairs the family continued to snore.

And I in my T shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.

The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox.
Then quickly he stuffed them in our mailbox.

Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting, he called them by name;

"Now Dillard's, now Macy's, now Penny's and Sears -
Here's Robinson's, Levitz's, Target's and Bonwit's.

To the tip of your limit, every store, every mall,
Now charge away - charge away - charge away all."

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.

He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thank you for the gift of patience.

To my readers who are still here, "Thank you for your patience." I think I am finally ready to make a comeback here. (I know, I've said that several times in the last few weeks.)

It seems the busy holiday season, some quirky twists in my normal daily routine and an inability to go 'round the clock without sleep and still be productive (a recent development in my old age!), caused some things to simply drop by the wayside. Blogging was a good ways down on the priority list. Here's to hoping I'm now back on track and back in control of my time. I've really missed our daily chats!

We're lucky to have a full and loving circle of family and friends with whom we gather throughout the holiday season. At this point we're still in the midst of those get-togethers and I'm loving every minute of them. I'm sad to have missed a few due to scheduling conflicts but I haven't quite accomplished being in two places at once yet.

There's still a small pile of presents yet to be dispensed but we hope to see those folks within the next week or two. We used to have a big family party on Christmas Eve but it became harder and harder for those with young children to squeeze that one into their busy schedules so we moved it to the weekend after Christmas for several years. Gradually, it slid into January and has now settled into the mid-January time slot and the size of the event has also gotten smaller. It now seems to serve the purpose of a wrap-up party to the season and those last few gifts finally slide into the hands of their recipients. So, we'll still be Christmas-oriented for a little while longer.

Don't get me wrong. We do see most of the family multiple times throughout the season including our "Round Robin Trek" on Christmas Day! We generally make 5 stops, beginning at about 9:30 a.m. and we don't get home until at least 10 p.m., covering about 140 miles round-trip! We've talked about cutting back on this but who could we eliminate?

Ultimately, we, personally, would miss it. The rushed journey has become tradition and it just wouldn't be Christmas without it! After all, isn't it the traditions we all look forward to?

I hope your holiday was filled with fun, laughter, love and lots of hugs. I hope you spent time with those who matter most in your life and I hope you celebrated those time-worn traditions that make your family's celebration unique!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A week closer to the big day!

Wow! Another week has slipped past between posts. I've been so busy it seems almost impossible a whole week has rolled on by. Then, in going over all I've done, it seems it must've taken more time than a week!Oh yeah, winter snuck in this week, too, although it's not official until tomorrow.

Since I last posted, I finished several orders, sadly turned down a few as there just wasn't time to produce and ship those items in time for the big day, cleaned my whole house, began decorating (Yes, "began"), made a ton of candy (O.K., maybe just about 7 pounds or so - but it seemed like a ton!), entertained house guests (who, incidentally, got snowed in here with us for an extra night), traveled 200 miles (one way) for a 90th birthday party for a special man in our lives,, made three large stuffed toys for three special kids in our lives, made more candy, worked on another gift - ripped that one out (several times), worked on it some more, still working on it, bought our tree, and so much more.
Our trip to the birthday party took us into the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. The roads were clear but it definitely looked like a winter wonderland. I'd love to say it looked very different than it did at home, but we actually went a day later than planned because of the weather on the home front.
These are three pillow-pal type critters I made this week. These won't appear in the shop as they are licensed characters but they were what these little ones wanted. In case you don't recognize them, we're looking at Thomas the Tank, Babar and Queen Celeste. Since I had to create my own patterns, work out all the kinks and paint on the details, they did take some time. They open out flat to use as large pillows to watch T.V. or such.
Now, I need to get back to that other project or there's going to be one unhappy little 5-year-old come Christmas morning. Hopefully, I'll have a pic or two to share of that one by tomorrow. (Or, maybe of the bonfire when I really get totally fed up with all the mistakes I keep making and ripping out!)

In between stitches, I hope to make more candy (we give lots of gifts of homemade candy) and decorate the tree.

Hope your holiday preps are going smoother than mine!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Everywhere you look, Christmas has taken over the scenery. Yep, drive down the road and you'll see Christmas decorations in most every yard. Billboards feature Santa and reindeer and such. Everyone is busy hanging tinsel and colored lights. Yes, it IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas - everywhere except in my house!Oh, there are a few touches (VERY FEW!!!). I have these great sparkly wreaths for the door and front windows that just require reaching in behind the curtains and hanging them. I have managed that.

As usual, I'm running behind. I KNOW there is still plenty of time before the big day - BUT... I have houseguests arriving in two days and I wanted to look festive. (Okay, in all fairness, we didn't get a lot of lead time on this one.) Oh, and then there's the fact that we'll be away for the weekend so there's no time then to decorate. We still use a real tree so I can't put it up too early. That will happen toward the end of the week.I've been trying to throw a bit of greenery and such around as I go about all the other daily activities. The other day, I worked with my houseplants to freshen them up with trims and new potting soil. This poor old guy in the living room needed quite a trim (He is old, I've had him for about 12 years now.) When all was said and done, he looked really bare. I doctored him up with some fake poinsettias and holly. I think he turned out well. (The fish? Well, he's a permanent resident on that table. I have mentioned before that our decor is "Early Aquarium", haven't I?)

Yes, that IS a reindeer nosing his way into the pic. I collect reindeer and now have about 500 or so of the antlered crew. (Yeah, I said 500!) A few more have worked their way into that corner, too. Well, when you have that many, you do look for any little space to put one!

Death of a Modem

Forgive me, Dear Readers, for I have not blogged in several weeks. I've tried. I really have, but the powers that be have thrown obstacle after obstacle in my way.

First, it was deluge of orders that kept me very busy (not a bad thing!), then The Big Guy was home, underfoot again, for a week, etc. etc. The final straw last week was the death of our beloved modem. We lived without internet access for several days. It was hard - so very, very hard. I began paging through the Yellow Pages looking for a 12-step program but was forced to make do with just finding other "offline" activities. It's amazing what you can get done when the computer is not beckoning with its glitzy connection to the outside world.

The Big Guy was in even more crisis. He returned to work last week for the "on" cycle of his rotating schedule only to find he'd lost all network capabilities there, too. He felt like a marked man. It had been a gradual process. A few cycles back, he'd returned to the office to find his e-mail not functioning. Then, the last time some of his apps had not worked. Now, nothing. (That'll teach him to spend so much time at home with me!) Did I mention he's an Instrument Tech and that a large portion of those duties are computer related?

He spent the week getting everything back online in the office and, finally, on Friday, got our new modem installed and up and running here at home. My hero!! We were, once again, reconnected. (He was truly motivated at that point as he was out of Sodoku puzzles! )

Isn't it attractive?

I've been making little memo notes for myself about things I wanted to blog about. Some are now simply outdated and will be tossed. Some, I'll get to in the next few days. If time permits, I may be posting several small posts per day here and there. In any case, I plan to be present - daily- once again.

Hello again, Blogworld!!