Tuesday, December 25, 2007


i started saying happy holidays before it was considered the pc thing to do. i've had the priveledge of knowing people from different faith and non faith traditions all my life.

and while today is christmas i know that this is a holy time for many, even if the "holiness" of the day is secular.

i would take the time to google all the different names for this day and season, but i have to go make breakfast for the silent prince (the princess kitty is still dreaming of sugarplum fairies)and finish getting the house ready for our company today.

so happy holy-days to all of you. may they be a blessing and a joy. may sorrow and sadness fade away in your lives. may the world come to know and embrace peace. and may there be love in your hearts and in your homes.

God's peace y'all

Sunday, December 23, 2007

death takes a holiday

mike farrell, better known as bj hunnicut on M*A*S*H wrote an episode of the show that aired december 15, 1980 entitled "death take a holiday." in the episode instead of enjoying the christmas holiday party, hawkeye, bj, margaret, and father mulcahy try to keep a soldier from dying until after christmas day is over.

when they are unsuccessful, haweye changes the clock so that it reads after midnight on december 26 saying, "look, he made it."

some of you may remember me talking about my brother's friend karen who had been battling breast cancer. she almost died at halloween, but recovered and was able to go home. ever since i have been hoping that she would live through the holidays.

this morning my brother called as i was attempting to get out of the house to get to church. as soon as i heard his voice on the phone i knew why he called. why else would he call on a sunday morning right before church?

karen died last night.

as wonderful as this time of year is and all the joy that surrounds it it is also filled with so much loss for so many people.

please remember karen and her family in your thoughts and prayers as well as all those who are so touched by loss this time of year. may they all be blessed with the peace that is intended in this holy time.

God's peace y'all

Thursday, December 20, 2007

what it's really about

went to finish my christmas shopping at the mall today. everything is done, but the goodies that santa leaves in our stockings (which should find their way into a shopping cart when i do the grocery shopping for christmas dinner.)

i went into the hallmark store to find ornaments for the kids. at one point as a young child my mom started giving my brother and me ornaments every year so that when we grew up we would have things to put on our tree. decorating the tree is always a stroll down memory lane.

standing in line i let a woman go ahead of me. she was holding an ornament that was maybe 3/4" tall in the shape of a candy cane with a girl's name on it. it was a tiny little trinket, hardly anything at all. we started chatting the way people sometimes do when they are standing in a long line. it was an ornament for her daughter. she told me she tried to give her one every year for christmas. i told her that i was doing the same thing.

then she said that it was a lean christmas. she was rubbing this little ornament between her fingers and looking at it the way you look at something that you have to settle for because you can't afford anything else. i knew this look. i've looked at things that way too.

i told her there would be better christmases. i had been there too.

and then the woman behind the counter asked for the next person in line and she walked up to the register and i jumped behind her and asked the cashier if i could buy her ornament for her.

at first she refused, but i said it was only $3 and i really wanted to buy it for her and would she please let me.

see, hubby had a biopsy last week. we haven't really shared this with many people because to tell everyone seemed to make it worse. but yesterday the doctor called and said there was no malignancy. i told the woman that my christmas had come early and i just wanted to do something nice for someone else.

so the cashier rang up her ornament, put it in a bag and handed it to the woman, whose smile was totally worth every cent and then some.

at the doorway of the store she turned around and yelled merry christmas to me.

as i was finishing up my purchase the cashier said what a nice thing that was that i had done, "why did you do it?" she asked.

"she told me that she was having a lean christmas. i've been there and this is really what it's all about isn't it?"

of all the gifts that are in my house waiting to be wrapped, that was the best one i bought this holiday.

God's peace y'all

Monday, December 17, 2007

a dark christmas

we haven't gotten a tree yet; maybe tomorrow. the fact that i am hosting chritmas dinner and the dining room table is filled with christmas crap i gotta put somewhere isn't stressing me out to very much, at least not yet.

what's stressing me out is that if you pick up any box of christmas lights and read the warning on the box (yes, they have a warning on the box) it says that handling the wires on the lights can expose you to LEAD and you should wash your hands after touching them. here's the article.

i'm going back to the days when you put actual candles on your tree and just hoped you didn't burn down the house!

God's peace y'all

Sunday, December 16, 2007


ah, new england in the winter.

i cancelled church this morning. our street is a sheet of ice and on a hill which means that you have to go up and down at least once to get here. it's also not on the most well-travelled road, which means that the snow and ice from the last storm had just started to melt. i've been stressing about it since friday when i first heard the weather reports. it was a bit of a relief to get up and see all the other church's notices of cancellation on the tv screen. at least that way i knew i wasn't alone.

there have been a rash of fires in the area lately. i was on the phone with a mom from a neighboring town last night seeing what we could do to help her and her family as i was reading a report on-line about a family here in town whose house had just gone up in flames. at the same time she was telling me about another family who suffered tragedy when the dad ran back into the house to rescue his other children after having just saved one and died with the kids.

the mom i talked to has 4 kids and one of them is special needs. i remember well what it was like to be displaced at the holidays, but at least i still had all my stuff. they lost their two pets: a dog and rabbit. it's heartbreaking. i sent out emails last night at about 10:30 to see if people had stuff they would donate and one woman (who works nights) had a list of things to me in an email she sent before 4 in the morning.

i'll spend some time today digging through our things and finding boxes to pack it all in. they literally need everything.

meanwhile the prince and the princess have been sick most of the week. who knew that such small bodies could produce so much snot? the princess kitty blows her nose and i am amazed by it. as hubby says, "i am both disgusted and impressed." there will most likely be a delay for school tomorrow, but i am wondering if i shouldn't just bite the bullet and take them to the doctor's. the princess would rather not miss school. so far she has perfect attendance. oh well.

and for those of you who feel a bit stressed by the fact that christmas is just around the corner. here's this.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

when the punishment fits the crime

a month or so ago 3 teens were killed in a car accident. the driver was a young man who had just gotten his license back after driving drunk. he was underage.

one of the girls at church was friends with the girls who were killed (the driver's sister and one of her friends who were 14-15 yrs old.)

many people have been very hard on the parents who let their son drive a brand new car even though he had a dui on his record. my heart bleeds for these parents, but i agree... the princess kitty would never drive again until she lived on her own and had her own car if she ever drove drunk while under my roof.

many people blame the system that allowed a teen to drive again. i believe he shouldn't have been allowed his license back until he was at least 21.

so finding this picture and caption on my homepage tonight helps me remember that sometimes there is justice.

Members of the Maricopa County DUI chain on a work detail as deputies gurad them Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007 in Phoenix, Az.. Men convicted of drunken driving will don bright pink shirts and perform burials of people who died of alcohol abuse as part of a new chain gang in Phoenix. A sheriff's dept. spokesman said the DUI chain gang is the first ever that's dedicated to one type of crime.
(AP Photo/Matt York)

God's peace y'all

Monday, December 10, 2007

more christmas gift ideas

i've only gotten two gifts so far this year. i am way behind on shopping. this might have to do with the 2 grand we just had to spend on the cars.

please don't remind me how many shopping days we have left.

in the process of making my list for what to get for who i found this site. if you still haven't finished your shoping this year consider spending lots of money here. it will go a long way.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, December 08, 2007

the wheels on the bus go slip and slide

driving home from doing some visits yesterday the snow began to fall. it wasn't bad at first, just what the weather forecast predicted, but once i was on the highway i realized that it was starting to stick. it wasn't supposed to do that even with the unbelievably cold temperatures.

once home i ran over to work to pick a few things up from my office then walked home realizing that the road outside was turning white. inside i mentioned to hubby that i had a few things to do on the 'puter. upstairs i started to settle in when i remembered that i was going to call my brother, but in order to multitask i needed my bluetooth which was in the truck so i went out to get it.

i didn't make it past my front steps because the pickup truck that was right outside my door kept sliding all over the road. it was right in front of the driveway and the back end refused to straighten out every time it moved. for about 10 minutes i stood outside cringing as i watched it narrowly miss a parked car and the watch children sign that is posted in the grass between my house and the driveway. at one point the driver and passenger got out of the truck to peer down the steep hill they would certainly go tumbling over if they tried to continue down the street.

not being able to take it anymore i ran to my truck, now somewhat certain that the pickup was not going to come careening into me, but rather down the hill instead, and got my bluetooth. brother never answered my phone call.

hubby was now outside waiting for the buses to drop off the prince and princess. the princess usually goes right over to the day care next door, but when she got off the bus and saw daddy she decided to come straight home.

the prince usually gets off the bus at about 4:05pm. i knew that the bus would be late because of the weather, but when the phone rang at 4:05pm and the caller id said it was the school district i knew there was an issue.

it was the school social worker. the buses still hadn't arrived at the school to pick up the kids. (i found out today that they were trying to match drivers up with routes that they were more familiar with so that they would be better able to navigate the icy hills.) all the kids were watching a movie inside and would be on the road as soon as they could.

i asked if i should come pick him up. we have 4-wheel drive and pretty good brakes, but the social worker convinced me that it was safer to just let the buses come when they could.

that was my first mistake.

at 5pm i called the school and the buses had just left. they were going to take their time and i was just fine with that. i wondered how they would maneuver up my street and called my mom.

that was my second mistake.

"i don't want you to be worried mom, i just wanted for me to be less worried." she laughed that little laugh that told me it was too late... now she was worried and then she informed me that my dad was trying to get up their driveway and had just narrowly missed slipping into the wall. their driveway is the only thing steeper than my street.

at 5:30 i had started dinner. i knew the prince would be really hungry by the time he finally got home and then the phone rang again. this time it was the aide on the bus. they were stuck and waiting for a sand truck to unstick them. hubby started insisting that he was going to go get him, the princess kitty started to freak out, and i began to regret the fact that the only booze in the house was beer.

15 minutes later i called the bus back. they were still stuck, but much closer than i had originally thought. i got directions to their location and hubby got into the truck and went in search of him. now i was worried about both of them. i had already talked to my mom again and this time my dad called. i was on the phone with him when it occurred to me that i should have asked hubby to call me once he had the prince. i began to wonder how soon i should give up on the worried and concerned about their safety feeling i had to the worried and scared feeling i was verging on.
2 seconds after hanging up with my dad hubby called, "i have the package." he told me, but he didn't want to drive back up the hill to our house so instead he was going to park at the grocery store at the bottom of the hill and walk up with the prince.

and dinner wasn't too over done by the time we finally sat down to eat it.

dad called hubby today and told him that there were kids in the next town over who were stuck on a bus until 11pm last night. the d.o.t. claims they had no idea the bus was stuck.

God's peace y'all

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

still here

honestly, i haven't forgotten about you all out there in blogland. i've been crazy busy now that we are in advent and getting ready for christmas. for many of you the stress of this time is about holiday shopping and decorating and partying. for me it's work on top of all those other stresses.

especially because this time is so commercial and i have to remind people that ultimately that's not what this time is about. not that i don't love the commercial, i do. i spent 2 hours downloading christmas songs onto my ipod so that i could listen to them before christmas and get into the holiday mood.

the weather has gotten very cold and we have been getting tastes (nasty at that) of winter weather. my truck, which i just had worked on to the tune of $600+ no longer has heat. ok, i can bundle up to drive, but this also means no defrost, which can make it difficult to see while driving. now i have to bite the bullet and find more time to put it in the shop. i have a GREAT mechanic, but he takes his time getting the work done.

hubby and i could share his car, but his seat doesn't move back and forwards (we don't know why). hubby is 6'3" i am 5'2". my feet don't reach the pedals unless i put a pillow behind my back. this is fine when i have to run to the store a few blocks away, but to go any distance... forget it!

i've also been working on the church's website: http://www.salemlutheran.blogspot.com/. i posted this there:

Don't know what to get that person who has everything? In doing your Christmas shopping this year consider giving gifts that continue giving.

At Heifer International you can make a donation in another person's name that will help purchase livestock from a hive of bees to a cow that will support others who depend upon such things for their livelihood.

Know someone who loves coffee, or chocolate, or handcrafted items? LWR (Lutheran World Relief ensures that when you make a purchase from their coffee, chocolate, and craft projects that the people who grow and make these things are given a fair price for their work ensuring that they too can have a Merry Christmas!

God's peace y'all

"and vivian followed."

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