Sunday, December 27, 2009

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!

We have had flurries this winter, but nothing as fun to watch coming down as today’s little flurry of activity (pun intended)!  This is what’s happening in my neighborhood today!  What’s going on in yours?

Snow

 

 

 

 

 

Snow2

 

 

 

 

 

Snow3

 

 

 

 

 

The snow never looked so pretty coming down!

Friday, December 25, 2009

KIDS AT CHRISTMAS OR “THE SOCK MONKEYS GET ADOPTED”

The gaggle of Sock Monkeys was adopted today.  Each one looked proud to go home with his human. 

The day was merry and bright.  The food was awesome, the company not able to be topped, and the gifts selected with such care.  We had a reading from the Bible, more food than we should have eaten!  And Don and I are still eating. 

A couple of highlights in pictures.  First are Annie and Missy, the Dachshunds, who were the most excited children here!

Christmas Day

Annie had already gotten her gift, a giraffe that was as weird looking as this monkey, and dropped hers in hope of wrestling Missy’s from her!  (She did).  Monkeys seemed to be the theme this year.

Christmas Day Kids

A group of happy animals!  David, Abigail, and Kaylee.

Christmas Day Tori

Tori Moon and her pal, bonding already.

Christmas Day Abigail

I think Abigail sort of liked her doll.

THE SANTA CLAUS INTERVIEW

Click here to read my other blog, My People, with this interview and others!

MERRY CHRISTMAS MORNING TO YOU ALL!!  XXOO

WITH LOVE FROM MY HOME TO YOURS!  MAY JESUS BLESS YOU TODAY AND EVERYDAY!

LOVE,

KATHY

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CHRISTMAS EVE EVE

Christmas Eve Eve

The mantle and tree…

 

 

 

Christmas Eve Eve3

 

The Christmas cards sent to me…

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve Eve2

And the sock monkeys waiting impatiently!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Monday, December 21, 2009

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!

Frigid

This is the scene from my front porch on the Monday morning before Christmas. 

F R I G I D!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

WHAT DOES COLD LOOK LIKE?

Cold

It is difficult to describe “cold” to someone, especially if they have rarely experienced a gray, frigid day, or if it has been a long while since they had to trudge around in it, so I took my camera and decided to describe it in photos.  Yes, it is as drippy and dreary as it looks!  He is quite decked out today, in his Holiday finest!

Cold3

And here is Cold in a slightly different environment, more or less dressed in the same style, just without any playground equipment.  Note the slight tone of ugh in his eyes. 

Cold4

Here he is making a tree in my own back yard miserable.  Being naked is usually very desirable, of course, unless you are a tree…outside…in the below-freezing rainfall.  Oh, we call her “Frozen Precip.”  She’s a bitch sometimes!  Today Frozen Precip and Cold decided to combine forces and really give us a treat! 

 

Anyone who wants to join us here today for a day of gift-wrapping-in-front-of-the-fire fun just fly right on in!  I’ll meet you at the airport!  Oh, wait…Cold and Frozen Precip got together and shut down most of our airports!  Well, hop in the car and come on over!  I’ll put the Bucket O’ Margaritas in the fridge and have them ready when you get here! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

GAG GIFTS PILING UP

I went shopping tonight for the "sock-find" gifts.  I got a few:  A CD of soul music with music I've never heard of; a CD of "hits" from 1991, again, nothing I have ever heard...not only that, I don't recognize any of the acclaimed musicians; a dog that poops candy when you press on his head, and he's pretty funny.  A little trap door opens up under his tail.  I also scored two "The Simpsons" Christmas DVDs that I secretly hope to keep myself. The must be real winners at $2.50 each, huh?  AND, last but not least, a little 99-cent book called, "Heal Yourself with Herbal Teas."  Santa is on the haunt!  

Best part of this shopping trip was that my oldest granddaughter was there!  She's a huge help. Her idea of a gag gift is a Blue Ray DVD of "The Blue Seas" or whatever that National Geographic set is.  LOL.  It was quite a leap for her to go from that to a candy-pooping dog, but we got there.  

Happy Friday night!!  

THE CHRISTMAS SOCKS

There are quite a few people in my Christmas World.  The babies just keep popping up.  One year there were just my own two children and Don’s son on Christmas morning.  Breakfast was a snap, I realize now.  This coming Christmas morning there will be my own two children and Don’s son…two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, two aging Dachshunds, four young grandchildren, a brother, and a fabulous boyfriend in the pear tree!  At my house…wanting breakfast, wine, beer, mixed drinks, snacks, gifts, and ultimately dinner. 

Whew. 

And I’m loving every second of preparing for that onslaught! 

At first I got a little panicky because my own mother set the “gift precedence.”  It was way out there, but, God rest her beautiful soul, she had nothing growing up and wanted us to have everything, and I loved her so much for that.  She and my dad, sadly, will not be with us to love Christmas this year, and it is impossible to tell you how missed they are going to be. 

I should never have tried to copy the “gift precedence,” but I had this thought in my head that I had to give BIG gifts.  This year, though, a lot of things have changed, the most obvious one being that I lost my comfortable-paying job and am now employed for about $10,000.00 less per year.  The gift situation was going to have to change.

After shopping for the little kids, I had to tell the big “kids” that there were not going to be big-money items under the tree this year, and my kids, being the awesome young people they are, were unfazed.  So in order to make it a fun, meaningful holiday, I came up with the following:

I went to Big Lots.  Yes, the store of one-of-a-kind discontinued items.  I bought five pairs of Christmas-themed socks.  I stuffed the ones for the children, but the others are hidden all around the house.  Let me take a moment here to assure the people who know me best that yes, I did write down where they are.  Anyone who finds a sock will bring it to me, and when there is a “pair”, the people with the two socks will pick a gift from under the tree to present to one another.  They are going to be gag gifts.

Here’s hoping that even in the midst of our economic crisis, loss of people, and loss of jobs, our Christmases will be memorable and worshipful!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!  ONE WEEK TILL CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

GOODBYE SUN

IMG_8668

Goodbye, Sun!  I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!  Please come back.  I miss you so much when you’re gone!  But if you can’t make it back to heat the earth above freezing, could you please talk to Mother Nature and make it snow? 

Love, Me

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A GAGGLE OF SOCK MONKEYS

IMG_8669

Patiently waiting for our little kids to come and take us to our new homes.  The 3rd Day of Christmas…

Sunday, December 13, 2009

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS…

The Hallmark Channel is notorious for their Christmas movies around this time of year, and here’s a sampling of just what happens when I find myself at home alone on a Sunday afternoon just before Christmas, the weather outside being frightful, and the fire being so delightful.

I went to the kitchen and made a cup of hot spicy Holiday tea, ignored the unmade bed, the dishes, the laundry, and the work, and covered up on the loveseat with one of my mom’s made-with-love quilts.  When I got settled, I turned on The Hallmark Channel and settled in for a day’s worth of feel-good movies. 

The tree is up, the gifts are wrapped, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my house. 

I hopped up and hurried to the kitchen to grab a box of Ritz fudge-covered crackers and a pint of coffee-flavored ice cream and caught myself talking to some imaginary person while I was in there.

I said, “Oh, is this not just the best day ever for this sort of thing??”

Nobody answered, so I went on, “Hurry, hurry, get back to the movie!  Oh, I hope Santa rescued them!”

Again, nobody answered, but the conversation was ongoing, especially when, miracle of Christmas miracles, Santa DID rescue the family and get them home safely with gifts to boot!

What a wickedly wonderful day this is turning out to be!  “My friend” and I are loving it!  “Oh, could you pass the cookies, please?”  Nobody answered, so I got up and got them myself.  I don’t know how they got at the other end of the sofa…

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CALLING ALL YOU ANGELS

I love angels, as we all know by now.  I collect them, stone or wooden ones, or real ones, if they will have me.  


Today I received an e-mail that I thought was just adorable and inspirational to the max!  Children telling us all about those angels.  Enjoy!


Angels Explained By Children

> I only know the names of two angels,
> Hark and Harold.
>
> -Gregory, age 5

 
> Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it.
>
> -Olive, age 9

 
> It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die.
> Then you go to Heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go
> through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
>
> -Matthew, age 9


> Angels work for God and watch over kids when God
> has to go do something else.
> -Mitchell, age 7

> My guardian angel helps me with math,
> but he's not much good for science.
>
> -Henry, age 8
>
> Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!! 
>
> -Jack, age 6
>
> Angels talk all the way while they're flying
> you up to heaven.
> The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead.
>
> -Daniel, age 9


> When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath
> and counts to ten.
>
> And when he lets out his breath again,
> somewhere there's a tornado.
>
> -Reagan, age 10


> Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose
> a tooth, an angel comes in through your window 
> and leaves money under your pillow.
>
> Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.
>
> -Sara, age 6


> Angels live in cloud houses made by God and His 
> son, who's a very good carpenter.
> -Jared, age 8

 
> All angels are girls because they gotta wear 
> dresses and boys didn't go for it.
>
> -Antonio, age 9
>
> My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on
> helping me while she was still down here on earth.
>
> -Ashley, age 9
  
> Some of the angels are in charge of helping
> heal sick animals and pets.
> And if they don't make the animals get better,
> they help the child get over it.

 
>  -Vicki, age 8





What I don't get about angels is why,  when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them. 

-Nancy, age 7
 

Friday, December 11, 2009

ANGELS IN THE NIGHT SKY

Night sky angels

I stepped out on the porch, feverish, uncomfortable, flu-ish, and saw angels dancing around in the sunset.  If being feverish means you see like this, then heck, I’ll take it! 

Actually, as you all know, I didn’t feel like setting up the tripod or adjusting the shutter.  But I love angels!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

OH, CHRISTMAS TREE, OH, CHRISTMAS TREE – TAKE TWO

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Okay, tomorrow I won’t remember how I did this, but here is my Christmas tree!  Finally!  Can’t you almost just hear the snow falling, the fire crackling, the kids laughing, and angels sighing?

OH, CHRISTMAS TREE, OH, CHRISTMAS TREE, AND STINGING HARVESTER ANTS

The Thomas Kinkade Christmas tree is now nestled snuggly in front of the French doors of my house!  You might ask, “Was that pop-up tree easy to put up?”  I would have to say, “I don’t really know, my daughter had it up when I got home from Illinois Tuesday night – but she said it was a snap!”

While the Christmas tree is sure to be a real bright spot for celebrating the season, the gel colony ant farm is not a pretty sight.  I was going to take a picture of that, but it is a bit depressing. 

First ant farm snafu was when the ants arrived in their little tube and the package was marked, “Caution, ants sting!”  However, after 10 minutes in the fridge, the little buggers were all lying calmly at the bottom of the tube, and the transfer to their fantastic new home was accomplished quickly and relatively easily. But somehow, instead of burrowing through the green gel that serves as their feeding grounds, they have all managed to get UNDER the gel and have what I assume are very small brains and cannot quite understand how to get back up.  This morning, two of them were standing up against the plastic walls, actually begging me to let them out. 

Sooooo, I have to Christmas shop again, because I really do not think I can hand a 4-year-old a plastic container of green gel and dead stinging harvester ants on Christmas morning.  The Trauma That Lasts A Lifetime. 

Here’s the tree! 

Nope, no tree picture.  I don’t know what has happened, but for some reason I can no longer insert photos on my blog, something that is not likely to be fixed until Tracy comes to visit.  :-)  It’s pretty, though!  :-)

Monday, December 07, 2009

IT’S THE LIGHT, IT’S THE LIGHT!

This morning I woke up slowly, rolled over in bed and thought, “Something looks different in here, but oddly familiar.”

I stretched and yawned, snuggled down under the electric blanket a bit further but peeked out and sprung up in bed and it struck me!  “IT’S THE LIGHT!” 

There was no snow in the forecast last night, but I spent yesterday wishing for it.  I sort of even said a little prayer about it.

Up I jumped, grabbed my slippers, grabbed my camera, threw open the door and there it was!  SNOW!  The first snow of the season!  And it was a total surprise.  It was a much needed miracle.  Thank you God and Mother Nature! 

And another miracle would be if suddenly I was able to upload the photos here to my blog as that has stopped working for some mysterious reason.  If it works, well, let’s all clap our hands and laugh with the pure joy of the miracles of the Christmas season, and if it does not work, well, I’ll try describing it in enough detail that ya’all will actually be able to SEE it!

IMG_8648

Wow, it’s a day of miracle and wonder!  This shot is across the street from my house. This past summer there was still a block-long deteriorating vacant school building sitting there.  Now there is a blank spot in the landscape growing new grass and obviously now growing its own snow! 

Merry Monday, everyone!

Friday, December 04, 2009

SNOW

Today it is cold here.  Really cold.  It has finally struggled to make it to about 30 degrees.  There is a pretty brisk breeze blowing, too, so the "feels-like" temp is about 25 degrees.  Even the dogs stop just before going outside to do their biz, take deep breaths, then dart out, pee really fast, and dash back to the door.  It must be really chilly to be a short-haired little Dachshund with that wind blowing!  

Some of my friends are complaining because the snow season has begun in their worlds.  I used to get tired of snow, too, but thanks to Al Gore (just give me this, I have to blame SOMEONE) we don't get much snow anymore.  What we get is freezing rain.  If you live in Arizona or some other relatively warm climate you probably will not understand what I mean when I tell you that that freezing rain, especially if it lasts for longer than an hour or so, can drive you insane!  Without even looking outside you know that the tree branches are getting heavier and heavier, and with the lights flickering off and on, you know it is just a matter of time before the weight of that frozen precip begins to take down the power lines, leaving you in the dark, which is a really fun situation when the temperature is about 75 degrees.  In the wintertime, it does not take long for the house to cool to an uncomfortable temperature, and of course, the electric blanket is not going to work.  As that situation stretches on past 24 hours, there is a sense of dread every time the clouds build back up.  

It is beautiful, though.  The rain starts freezing on impact, wrapping all the tree branches in crystal sheaths that clatter when the wind blows.  The outside handrails look like glass sculptures, and the sidewalks and yards remind me of ice skating rinks.  

But snow...ahhhh...snow.  The excitement in the air when snow is forecast, is palpable.  People run to the nearest grocery store to stock up on comfort foods.  I always check to make sure there is wood for the fireplace, and I check the snow shovel for cracks.  The night it is forecast, I will go crawl in bed early, watch all the weather radars, wiggle with excitement like a school kid while watching the school closing reports scroll across the bottom of the TV screen.  Here where I live, we know when to start getting that school closing ball rolling and when the forecast is going to be a bust.  We just feel it in the air.  We just know.  

The cold dawn light will start creeping in, and I will start to wake up, having slept away the memories of the promises of snow, but as morning breaks, I can tell by the way the light looks in the bedroom, through the blinds, without even getting up to peek outside, that it snowed a lot.  There is an almost white glow in the room, and if it is still snowing, it is a gray color, but bright, and already I will hear snow plows scraping down the streets, driven by people who began that process before the first inch accumulated.  People looking forward to giving up their snow play to go home to a cup of hot coffee and a hot breakfast.

I will slip on my bunny slippers, my warm fuzzy robe, and on my way to the coffeemaker, open the front door and look out at the crystal white, shiny, cold, prism-like covering.  If I cannot push open the storm door, I know there are drifts, and I rush to drink my coffee while watching all the birds bouncing around outside, hoping to find a bite to eat on top of the frozen winter wonderland, so I can get out there and sink deep into the drifts while sprinkling bird seed, clearing my steps, and checking to make sure heavy snow is not weighing down the big tree out back.  

"Good morning, world," I yell, hearing the bright white echo of my own voice bouncing back to me off the church across the street.  

I hope for you, a Snow Day, even if you live in the desert, this winter!  Grab your coffee and your quilt and bundle up for the show!