Friday, November 27, 2009

so i lied ....

u know a couple of posts ago i said that i wasn't going to put up a tree this year because no one was going to be around and that it was this pitiful little 4' charlie brown type tree that was 27 years old. well, i lied. someone on the freecycle board published that they had a tree to give away -- so i went to get it and i thought it was going to be little like my 4' -- but its as tall as i am (5 something) -- and its in better shape than my old one and so we decided to go ahead and put it up and one box of ornaments later, i have my tree and my little victorian village up. we put up the tree the day before thanksgiving but didn't decorate it until thanksgiving evening when my son was here. then i finished it up today and put the little village up. the little village has so many pieces now that i can't put the road in and i guess next year i'll have to come up with a more clever idea. and to think -- i'm only missing 3 years' worth of pieces.
well, at least my daughter and son and i and anyone else who happens by, can enjoy it now. and it won't be so awfully hard to taken down because we only got out one box of ornaments. although that's like a jigsaw puzzle (without the picture) trying to fit them all back in the box.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Holiday Sale


Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

gifts from the heart

back in the late 50's or early 60's my dad sat down with my then very elderly grandfather and recorded him reciting poetry. i couldn't have been very old since i was born in '56 and i'm pretty sure my grandfather had to be nearing 80. the recordings were done over several sessions because my grandfather, who was a perfectionist, didn't work from notes, but from memory and got easily frustrated when he made a mistake. some of the poems r repeated several times on the tape -- since it was done over several sittings -- and it was originally taped on a reel-to-reel tape deck. eventually, that got transferred to a cassette tape with my dad adding a narrative of explanation at the beginning. my dad had a copy and my brother had a copy, but i never did and idk who of my dad's family had copies -- i suspect at least one of my uncles did.

at any rate, when we went to visit my dad this summer, the tape came up in discussion and dad dragged out his copy and we attempted to listen to it. nadda -- nothing -- zip -- zilch .... cassettes over time go bad, just like CDs do and so there was nothing left. my brother said his copy was fine and i asked if he could make me a copy because i had a plan.

earlier this year, i managed to discover that with a simple $10 cord, i could put cassette recordings into my computer using garageband and make mp3s from them. i had done it with some other recordings on cassette (mostly prophetic words that ppl had spoken over me) and it worked great. so with the copy of my brother's tape, i went to work.

now i have to preface this a bit because my old tape player had died before i completed my project with the prophetic words and when i went shopping for another one i found they were high priced and few and far between. i had looked in several second hand stores on a continuing basis to only come away empty handed and disappointed. here's where a god moment comes in. while at a second hand store with a friend i happened to look down and there was a small hand-held sony one for $4. so i bought it knowing i could bring it back if it didn't work. however, it worked perfectly. now if i hadn't gone to the second hand store with the friend that day i would not have found it. it was such a god moment to be at that store at that time, standing in that exact spot and then looking down to see it. i love when papa god helps me with a problem.

i set about downloading the cassette recording into the computer and all the while listening to the poems and making notes. listening to my grandfather's voice and hearing him chuckle at certain humorous parts. i went searching for some of the lines to the poems using google because there were only a few that i knew the names to in order to find them. i found all but one of the poems. it took me an entire day and my arm was really sore from using the mouse, but i wanted to make cds for my dad and uncles and brother with not only the recordings on it, but the poetry as well.

when i do things like this -- which in reality cost me very little money since i already have the cds -- i tend to go at it full force -- nothing done halfway and we have my dad to thank for that ethic. and i can see -- by listening to the poems -- where his work ethic was formed. several of the poems spoke to a job well done and living right. if my grandfather knew them by heart -- they meant enough to him to carry them there and model his life after them. i'm sure all of his many children learned from his values.

i'm still holding out hope that i'll find the words to the last poem before christmas rolls around. i was hoping to give them as presents. very inexpensive -- but given with lots of love and lots of meaning. sometimes it isn't about what u buy when u present someone -- sometimes its about the thought that goes into it that really matters.

Friday, November 13, 2009

here we go ...

the holidays r always pretty much of a blur for me. usually we stay put for thanksgiving and go away for christmas. this year we're staying put for both and i'll be alone for christmas. my daughter is going to be with her dad this year. she likes going to my dad's for christmas because his church always does a very sweet candle-light service late in the evening. we would go and afterwards come back to the house (where it would now be past midnight and technically christmas day) and open presents. its been a tradition for several years now. this being her last year of high school, its kind of sad that we don't get to do this, but its the price we pay for being divorced and having to "share".

last year we went to my dad's but my son wasn't able to go. its been a couple of years since i was able to spend christmas with him since he lives with his dad. so much for "sharing".

this year i'm probably going to be helping out a friend, which on one hand is a good thing (i won't be alone) but on the other is a bummer since i won't have a christmas dinner or a church service or family to come home to. some years r just like that.

i am going to get to spend turkey day (well at least the latter part of it) with my kids, so i'll make a turkey and all the fixing and we'll get to visit for a while. money is tight and i'm praying that somehow i can come up with the cash to purchase what i need. truly for just the three of us we wouldn't need a turkey -- but i like having the leftovers to freeze and make soups, etc. with after -- its cheap meat.

i've been doing a lot of crocheting lately -- learning new techniques -- but mostly making scarves and hats and hooded scarves for an upcoming crafts fair. i'm praying that i'll sell a good deal of what i have and perhaps that will take care of turkey day's fixings and maybe even christmas presents as well. last year i made almost all of the gifts i gave away -- idk what i'd make this year. sometimes ideas rn't free flowing when it comes to gift giving.

i told my daughter last night that i probably won't put up a tree this year since no one will be here. its a 4' pitiful looking (truly it drops more "needles" than a real one now) thing that my ex and i got the first year we were married (27 years ago). he got to keep the 7' one that looks more real. i walked away with almost all of the ornaments since its been a tradition in my family to give ornaments every year and most of them were either mine or given to us both by my parents. i kept this tradition going with both my kids and they each have a big box of ornaments now -- so if they go out on their own, they will have something to decorate their trees that have meaning to them. some of them were hand made by me.

i have these little victorian village pieces that hallmark makes for ornaments. my mother started giving them to me back in the 80's. i think i'm only missing one or two from the time period right after she passed away and before i started buying them for myself. we always set them up -- even if we never do a tree. i used to put them on the tree -- but after a while of collecting them there wasn't room for them and the other ornaments on that 4' tree. so now i set them up on a shelf on the bookcase and lay it all out like a little village. i think the tallest one is like 4.5 inches -- so they really don't take up a lot of space height-wise, but the last two or three years i really had to get creative with how i laid them out because they take up the entire shelf. i haven't gotten this year's yet -- its a police station. i look forward to at least setting them up again this year.

the holidays were always a big deal for my mom. she was an amazing cook -- which in itself was amazing because her mother was a really lousy cook -- and my mom would make these elaborate meals that would gather her chicks and their families around her. after she passed away -- holidays were never the same. i certainly couldn't make the elaborate meals she did (i inherited half of the lousy cook gene). but i've learned how to make some of the things over the years that she used to make -- so they r somewhat reminiscent of hers. but still, not having her around somehow just made things seem more somber and less celebratory.

i think once my baby goes off to college next year, things will be even more somber. i loved the days when the kids were small and christmas was really fun. seems like that won't happen again until maybe there r grandchildren in the picture. until then i'll just have to be content finding something else to do on those christmases when no one is around to share it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?? that is the question

my daughter and i got our annual flu shots again this year. she got hers at school and i had to wait in line for 45 minutes several weeks later to get mine. at any rate, her school recently sent home a permission slip to sign for her to get the H1N1 (here after called by its truly improper name of the swine flu only coz its easier to type than H1N1). i sat her down and we discussed the pros and cons because we've been getting this barrage of "information" (which i put in quotes because honestly, how much of this stuff can we believe -- most of it, from either side of the fence, has been manipulated to suit a purpose -- ie, support their side of the fence).

the real problem, though, is that there is a shortage of the vaccine and even if i sign the form she may not get the vaccine in a timely fashion (it takes at least two weeks to build up an immunity after having the vaccine). ppl r already dropping around her at school (90 in the junior high alone) -- and i don't mean dying, i mean just coming down with it (or symptoms similar to it). several ppl in her math class have already come down with it -- one of whom is a good friend. and i've been coughing for two days straight (even though i think this is my asthma idk for sure that it isn't the beginning of the swine flu) after taking care of two boys last friday and this monday and finding out yesterday that the dad has it -- he works at a nearby college where its been rampant.

so i'm inclined to think she should have the vaccine (and i should too), but then u hear all these horror stories of ppl who had terrible side effects from other flu vaccines (not the swine flu yet) and u wonder which is worse -- the side effects from the vaccine (which could be life-altering) or the flu itself. i mean ppl have already and still r dying from it -- and many of those ppl r young adults and children. and who's to know which information is accurate and not being distorted to the point of non-recognition of the actual facts. its just so confusing...

to vaccinate or not to vaccinate -- that is truly the question.