Category Archives: Christmas

The Blessed Project

The Blessed Project  hosted by none other than the QUEEN of Wild Rides Susie Lindau, could not have come at a better time this season.

It’s not that I don’t recognize my blessings, I do, I really do. It’s just that sometimes life sweeps in to rattle me in another direction. No doubt I am part squirrel. 

This is why we need to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented. So a big round of applause to Susie for providing us with the chance to be still. Even if it’s just for a moment feel the peace.

BLESSINGS:

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90 Years Young

 

Recently I was Blessed to witness my mother’s joy, as she watched her whole family sing in unison the old classic “Happy Birthday” before she cast her 90th wish.

If joy had a face … this my friends would be what it looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

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#oncloudcullen

 

In September I was Blessed to celebrate the wedding of my nephew, and to gain this beautiful woman as my niece. Their wedding was spectacular!

The love for this couple was explosive throughout the entire celebration. 

It’s been unanimous within the family that we all want to go back for a few more hours on Cloud Cullen. 

 

 

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Santa, we have officially replaced the kids. Bring bones.

 

Every damn day I am Blessed to come home to these two snowflakes. 

No matter what went on in the day, these little lumps of love are there to remind me that I am indeed the best thing that ever happened to their world. 

 

 

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Outgrowing the table

 

On Thanksgiving, I was especially Blessed to have everyone I love under one roof. My sisters who are always generous with their time and efforts. My brother-in-laws for being loving and caring men. My nieces with their intelligence, baking talents and beauty. My nephews who are passionate about everything from world affairs to Harambe the gorilla. The significant others that slip right into place with the craziness. My children for being such loving beings and my husband for always helping to make my day a little easier. 

 

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Mangia!

Blessings included were enjoying each others company, eating delicious food and laughing together. Playing Cards Against Humanity until our ab muscles hurt. Finding humor in every conversation on the table and most of all NOT TALKING POLITICS FOR A SECOND. (There were rumors of some quiet texting on this subject, but nothing was proven)

 

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The ladies

 

 

I’m Blessed to have good friends who recognized that a night of Running Through The Lights is exactly what I needed. 

I’m Blessed that they are persistent in their efforts to get me to workout, sweat, laugh, pee and cry. 

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My version of Blogosphere

I’m Blessed to have virtual friends that are loving caring beings in and outside of the blogosphere.

I’m Blessed that they continue to show me love. Send virtual hugs. Make me laugh. Pray for me. Provide free therapy and genuinely care.

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My Family Squad

I am truly BLESSED for this photo that speaks for itself.

Enjoy the Ride! 

Don’t forget to pack your blessings!

That’s All Folks!

IMG_1773January 

It snowed. It was freezing. It snowed. It was freezing; and just when we thought we couldn’t stand to see another flake falling from the sky, Mother Nature decided to get medicated and provide us with this glorious bright sky to show off her handy work.

Hopefully this year she just jumps right to the medication.

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This is always a busy month for me, but 2014 was exceptionally busy with me turning the BIG 50. It was a month long celebration with family and friends that I will always cherish.

In between all of that I celebrated my Anniversary along with my son’s 19th birthday.

Nothing like jamming everything into 28 days!

IMG_1913March

According to my photos March was uneventful except for this interesting encounter at the post office. I swear the post office is just one long Seinfeld episode. I’m no sooner in the door when I noticed this woman sitting behind the glass display case and immediately thought the following:

  • OMG! It’s Grumpy Cat’s natural mother!
  • Is she for sale or just on display?
  • Where am I?

Seriously now …. 

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April

Let’s just say April had it’s ups and downs. My daughter turned 21 and my hair turned a lovely shade of stark white for many reasons.

Later in the month I had the pleasure of participating, and more importantly finishing, my first real 5k. Our finish time was 45:30! We lived to talk about it.

IMG_2083May

I was grateful for the 31 days this month had to offer, because it was jam packed with activities. I participated in the Urban Race, which was a scavenger hunt around Philadelphia and a Foam Race, which I think speaks for itself.

2896048_race_0.7387159274601882.displayIn between the races we had to move my daughter back from school and then prepare for the festivities of a prom, holy communion, a couple birthdays and a graduation party.

Oh yea and go to work … phew!

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June

We kicked off  this month by attending the graduation party for my son’s beautiful girlfriend. She was surrounded with love from the endless sea of guests to the delicious home made food!

Once again I participated in a 5k. It was a Super Hero theme, because sometimes wearing a cape just makes you feel better about everything.

Never underestimate the power of a cape!

IMG_2127July

The dust of the festivities settled, while the dust of our new porch was in full construction mode. I forgot to mention that since April the hubby was beautifying our front porch, lawn and wall. Oh and by beautifying, I mean tearing everything down to the bone to change the entire design because he always has to be different.IMG_2334

On July 17th I had the honor of celebrating the receipt of a Historic Marker for a building on the property of my Quaker Meeting. The Hall that was honored was built by ab­ol­i­tion­ist Robert Pur­vis and oth­ers to serve as a com­munity meet­ing place and safe ven­ue for anti-slavery act­iv­ists to gath­er. One of the highlights of the day was meeting the descendants of Robert Purvis including his 5th generation grandson, who is all of 8 years old!

IMG_2360Happy Birthday Peanut!

As if July would be complete without celebrating my little guy.

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August

We finally had a breather to enjoy some down time and used some gift cards that had been collecting dust for too long. We enjoyed an amazing meal at the Joseph Ambler Inn. The outside patio was just glorious! 

I took a day off from the salt mines to spend what seemed like the entire day at the Spa being pampered from head to toe…literally. This was a birthday gift from my sister that was perfect!

August was filled with all things beautiful!

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September

The porch and front of the house are looking fabulous! The kids were settled in school and we had some time to attend our first Farm to Table Dinner at the Blue Moon Farm in Pennington, NJ. The food was off the hook, prepared by local chef Max Hansen and the company was even better with the hubby, his cousin and a friend.

10629757_10202712250271144_2461215329894181257_nIMG_2547September in NYC was a blast as I celebrated my dear friends’ birthday and the Feast of Gennaro in Little Italy. We spent the day touring around, eating, laughing, shopping and celebrating our friendship.

The month of fabulous food, friends & family.

IMG_2586October

Let’s see … I participated with Peanut, Susanne & Valentine in the Mutt Strutt here in Philly to raise money for PAWS.

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I celebrated my 10th anniversary at work. Oh, and by “celebrated” I mean went to work like every other day without acknowledgement.

1528457_10203690212160520_3812044167382557132_nBut the best thing E V A H that happened was we welcomed Landon into our family where he is loved beyond measure!

Landon .. Landermander .. Landon Bandon Boo… hehehe!

November

IMG_2559The porch is finished and beautiful!IMG_2710

The Rocky Run was a blast!

IMG_2740Thanksgiving was a filled with a bounty of food, family & friends!

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December

Shopped, cooked, baked, wrapped and did all things Christmas including spending time with family & friends. 

Finally took some much needed time off from work to prepare myself for entering the new year with a sense of openness that will hopefully lead me to where I need to be both mentally and physically.IMG_2828

Took a trip into the city with the hubby for a fabulous day that ended with a couples massage which left us both rejuvenated and ready for 2015!

That’s All Folks !

The best is yet to come!

Happy New Year … Enjoy the Ride!

You’re Clear For Take Off

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Is that a candy cane in your pocket or are you just happy to see me…

Ah the day after Christmas. The day we all take a moment to sit back to ponder on what the hell went down over the last couple days. Wait … what?

We think about conversations we had with family and friends, that suddenly don’t seem as merry & bright without our Christmas goggles. What the hell was she/he trying to say?

As we put our jeans on today we’ll wonder just how many cookies were taste tested over the past few days. Suddenly our math skills are super sharp as the consumption count hits a record high. Wait! How many times did I say  … “just one more.” YIKES!

We will sort through our gifts, now that we are down from our Christmas high and wonder what exactly the giver might have been thinking at the time of purchase. Um …. yea …. I guess that makes sense … sort of. 

Let’s stay on this point for a moment while I share with you all the gift I received from my loving husband. Do I have your attention? 

Nightstand Necessities

Nightstand Necessities

You’re probably imagining me on silk sheets surrounded by chocolates, diamonds and champagne right about now, just basking in the luxuries I deserve for being such an amazing wife and mother that you know I am. Dream on.

As a matter of fact I could give you 10 clues and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE would be able to guess what was waiting for me inside that big box under the tree. Including myself!

No ladies it’s nothing sparkly or silky. Not a single animal was sacrificed for this beauty. It’s definitely bigger than a bread box. The color is a beautiful shade of teal. It has duel engines simmer down gentleman, but no tires. Proceed to scratch your scalp. It can go from 700 watts to 3600 watts with the flick of a switch. It’s something that can be used every day. Hmmm It weighs approximately 25 plus pounds and wouldn’t travel very well. Any one?

0f6d50ca34ee0700371d7fabec43055eWhen I opened the box lord only knows WTF my face said, because the first words I read were PetClubLLC. Then the lightbulb went off in my head and I was suddenly elated to THINK that it was some sort of mini dog washer/dryer that would make grooming Peanut & Landon much easier. Could someone hit the switch on that lightbulb please … thanks.

I could barely contain my excitement when I squealed “Wow! This will save a ton of money on grooming!”

Let’s just say that excitement was very short lived. When from across the room came the words “No, it’s a blow dryer for YOU, you’re always complaining that your blow dryer isn’t strong enough.” 

Me:  A blow dryer? This says it has duel engines and there is a wind capacity listed on the box!

Loving Husband:  Well, it will dry your hair fast.

Me: It might blow the hair right off my head! At this point I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even contain myself.

Loving Husband: Yea but you’re always complaining how long it takes for your hair to dry. Again with this justification … lol!

Me: This is for animals …. I’m trying to imagine packing this for vacation …. Are we going to need a bigger bathroom?

Everyone:  Laughing hysterically!

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Presenting: My Duel Engined Beauty. It also has attachments just in case you were wondering …

Did I mention I was married to Tim the Tool Man?

My son carried my new badass blow dryer to the bathroom, where later that morning I put it to the test. I fired up both engines, put the heat on high and suddenly felt like I was standing on a launchpad waiting for take off. You’re clear for take off!

I took out my styling brush, which was blown right out of my hand with some of my skin. Again the laughter ensued! I began styling, but really couldn’t see what I was doing. The wind was so powerful I had to squint during the process. Suddenly having compassion for leaves. 

My hair was certainly dry … styled? I”m not sure, unless of course you’re going for that just stepped out of a wind tunnel look. 

The jury is still out on wether or not my gift will be staying or if it will be heading back to the industrial tool warehouse. I’ll give it another chance today at a lower speed to save some scalp & skin.

Enjoy the Ride!

Sleigh Ride

Twas the morning of Christmas and all through the house NOTHING was stirring other than me in this house.

Stockings were placed on the chair with great care, because Mrs. Clause LOADED them to the point of despair.

The children, including those with fur and gray hair, were nestled all snug in their beds, while I IMPATIENTLY waited downstairs seeing red.

1476011_10203929533463403_2855339703732128880_nFinally I heard what I thought was a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter. Into the living room I ran in flash, I sprinted the stairs grabbed Landon and dashed.

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The sun, who’s been missing for weeks here in Philly, came through the window making this seem more than just silly. I grabbed a broom from the closet to poke on the ceiling, making some noise might get this sleeping family squealing! When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, an updated Facebook status from my son with a jeer!

More rapid than a teenager I typed with such fury “Get down these steps now without giving me a story!”

Now Gregory! Now Emily! Now Zachary! Now P! I’ve been up for ages waiting doing laundry and such, it’s Christmas for god sakes and that work is too much!

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Finally they woke filled with nothing but glee, bustled down the steps to open presents with Landon and me!

This Christmas I was surrounded with family, love and some joy, which gave each passing minute just more to enjoy.

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G-Mom with the G-Kids

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G-Mom with the G-Dogs

Peanut and Landon were bombarded with new bones, balls and toys, running around all day like two happy boys!

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Peanut enjoying his loot

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Landon exhausted from the festivities

Now that the family has gone and the festivities have ended, I’m off to my bed, which will feel more than just splendid!

Hope you spent this holiday surrounded by everything bright, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Cloud 9

Is it over yet?

Is it over yet?

Now that the holy grail of holidays is over, it’s time for me to get back to the business of reading and writing.  I’ve missed all my blogging peeps!  Over the next few days I hope to fill you in on my very busy December. Let the games begin! 

Whether you follow this Blog or have the pleasure of knowing the up close and personal me, you are already aware of my overzealous “need to know” everything all of the time.  The holidays are like a month-long opening day for this curious people loving gal! 

With Thanksgiving practically running right into December, there was an awful lot of action jammed into the few weeks leading up to Christmas. This meant adding decorating, partying, cooking and shopping onto an already full plate, but this time it felt so good. Like a fork full of lemon curd cake good!

December started off with a HUGE burst of energy. We hit D.C. for an all expense2bc6c1761baa4f7b45370efcf62233bb
paid Christmas party hosted by um, who really cares all expenses were paid, ok .. ok .. it was actually a sales company associated with the big corporation that employs my hubby. They were celebrating the holidays, along with the fact that they broke a record by brining in a whopping ONE .. HUNDRED ..  MILLION .. DOLLARS in sales for 2013! That must be said in the voice of Dr. Evil, otherwise it’s just a number.

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MRS. BRADY!

We were shacking up at the Mandarin Hotel, which is incredible all by itself, but when I walked through the door and saw Mrs. Brady a/k./a Florence Henderson standing right in front of me, it escalated into euphoria for this gal. I stalked her while the hubby was checking in. This left him in charge of “listening” to important information about breakfast and what not … *sigh* probably not one of my better decisions, but MRS.BRADY WAS IN THE HOUSE!

Cityzen Restaurant

Cityzen Restaurant

The 7 course dinner was superb, along with the continuous flow of wine and spirits. The wait staff were hovering like seagulls waiting for a Cheeto to hit the beach!  If you took so much as a sip of your wine they flew in to replace it before your glass had a chance to rest back on the table. God only knows how much I actually consumed. To be honest, I was so high in the moment the wine was an added bonus.

As you all probably know, The Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals each year who have spent their lives bringing joy to so many with their commitment to the performing arts. Oh, the reason I’m mentioning this is because we were all sharing the same hotel. It was like hitting the freaking lottery for this star struck crazed fan!

I really had my work cut out for me though, so I got right down to business by  getting all sorts of chummy with the Concierge. I’m still somewhat surprised to know he was married to a woman. Once I had my “in” on when this amazing group of entertainers would be heading back to the hotel I was able to get my “crazed fan face” under control, which was not easy, as I impatiently waited for their return.

Look real close...it's Carlos.

Look real close…it’s Carlos.

First through the door … Mr. Carlos Santana. I was in awe and chose to leave him enjoy the company of his lovely wife and sisters who accompanied him for the evening. They were all quietly gracious as they headed for the elevators, where he did stop to take a photo with a young family. 

Next up was Garth Brooks, who was not nominated, but was there for some reason. He came through the door like the big ole cowboy that he is wearing his trademark black hat. He could not get enough of the crowd and took photos with anyone with a pulse. I did not partake in these shenanigans because frankly I’m just not a fan. I have stalking standards folks. 

As I was gazing on at Garth taking over the lobby, I didn’t realize that Shirley IMG_1603MacLaine was standing right next to me. She was a nominee for her nearly 60-year career on stage and screen. Her entourage was surrounding her as they were trying to figure out where they could go to continue celebrating the evening. Just then I turned to face her and quietly professed my love. She thanked me; gave me a K I S S and snapped her fingers to declare “We’ll all fit in my suite…let’s go!” I hope you all understand how hard it was for me not to follow them into the elevator…. seriously!

WTF!

WTF!

Let me just say that I could not even sleep that night! I was exploding with excitement as I sat on Cloud 9 from the events of evening. 

The next morning while we enjoyed an incredible breakfast snow started to fall outside. It was the perfect ending to an amazing weekend. Until we hit Virginia that is ..when our 3 hour trip turned into a 6 and a half hour white knuckle ride from hell!  Oh it was going to take more than some snow and ice to drag me down from Cloud 9!

It was time to scream loud or Enjoy the Ride! 

Crumpet the Elf Lives On

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Please enjoy this little piece of Christmas merriment compliments of David Sedaris and NPR.  It’s sure to put a smile on your face this morning.

Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Is A State of Mind or Madness

Christmas Decoration Design Team

Christmas Decoration Design Team

This time of year neighborhoods everywhere are beaming with Christmas displays, that are for the most part, entertaining for their beauty. Then there are those that provide a heavy dose of unintentional comedy. But, no one truly prepares us for those that leave us silently shaking our heads, as we ask ourselves some very pressing questions. Who came up with the idea of the hideous enormous inflatable holiday decorations that make absolutely no sense? Who are these creative geniuses that continue to test our level of Christmas tackiness? What happens behind that closed-door as the design team presents some of these brilliant ideas? 

Shut the door Kringle!

Shut the door Kringle!

Oh how I wish I were a fly on the wall when the Santa in an Outhouse idea hit the table. Did everyone gasp at the horror or did they ponder the thought “it’s so bad it might be good” idea? Considering this exhibit of Santa’s stenchivities is resting on lawns across the land, I think we know the answer.  I couldn’t help but wonder if this is where Santa reads through all those letters?  It’s probably best if we don’t discuss the Elf, his action speaks louder than my words.

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Frosty, please get that stupid grin off your face.

This next one is by far the most senseless display of the season The Hunting Snowman. Christmas is supposed to be about joy, not intimidationWhere do we even begin? Should we start off with the lack of a trigger finger. Snowmen have mitten hands. Perhaps we could mention the look on the deer’s face. If that doesn’t just scream WTF, I don’t know what does. Maybe, just maybe, we could discuss the fact that HUNTING has NOTHING to do with CHRISTMAS! Nothing says Happy Birthday Jesus like a rifle toting snowman…said no one EVER!

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Why?

At this point it’s clear nothing is off the table. There is a market for anything.

If there is an interest out there, you can surly bet that there is a Christmas lawn ornament to match it. I’m sure you’ve all seen the I LOVE Homer Simpson monstrosity that has creeped its way into Christmas. It’s not always a good thing to display your interests by way of a ginormouse inflatable Christmas decoration. Now, if you already have one of these beauties it’s ok, because I’m sure you’re already aware of your “that neighbor” status. If not…you are now. 

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Jurassic Park Reject

This next little masterpiece was spotted in broad daylight. I had to make a u-turn to verify what my eyes just registered with my brain. Oh, how I wish I were wrong. There it stood, clear as day The Christmas Dinosaur. What? You never heard the magically Christmas tale of the Christmas dinosaur? Just because the santa hat fits, doesn’t mean you have to display it! 

I actually felt a tug at the ole heart-strings for this little fella. I know, I know but I couldn’t help it. I started to imagine at one point he was probably an understudy for that famous long neck featured in Jurassic Park. Once all the hoopla ended, he couldn’t get work and this was his last hope for a steady gig. Excuse me while I blow my nose..sniff, sniff. 

I would like you all to know that these photos were taken very close to my home. Please don’t judge. Around my parts the front lawns have the square footage of a postage stamp, which makes seeing these immense structures more horrifying. It’s a Christmas miracle in itself that they’re still standing.

Do penguins need lifejackets?

Do penguins need life
jackets?

Of course this piece was written in jest…sort of…in order to spread a little Christmas cheer. So please take some time to Enjoy the Ride  this holiday season. Even if it’s in a 7 ft. inflatable speed boat driven by Santa with a penguin sidekick, that makes no sense whatsoever. 

Merry Christmas!

Mission Over Accomplished

IMG_0923I’m finally reporting in on my Random Acts of Kindness mission. Never in my life has it taken me this long to spend $50.00! One haircut a *Poof* it’s gone.

First things first, I had to cash the check. I decided on one dollar bills for easier distribution. Just for the record, if I won the $500,000,000 there is a very good chance that I would at least ask to see it in ones…maybe roll around in it…naked….because that’s what the rich & famous do. Ok, back to reality. 

Next task at hand was reading through all of the brilliant suggestions that poured in from my faithful followers. I must say these readers had some great suggestions. That’s a clear sign there are some good eggs in this world!

Kate over at coffeekatblog shared that if she won the big lottery she would put a wing on her favorite pet shelter. Well Kate, I only won 50 bucks but I hope you’ll be happy with my decision. I was at the pet store to purchase food for the king of the house when I noticed a table set up at the front of the store. I inquired and was informed they were selling little bundles that consisted of a can of food with a toy that would be donated to local pet shelters. BINGO!  Thanks to Kate’s inspiration one dog & one cat at the shelter will have a Merry Christmas this year! $4.00 down $46.00 to go.

Next I took 5 one dollar bills, placed them into envelopes with a message and some smiles. DAF over at dearanonymousfriend and Benz over at benzeknees both suggested treating someone to a cup of coffee. This gave me the great idea to strategically place these envelopes at the Java IMG_0925Joe’s coffee cart in our building. Employees, patients and visitors stop by the cart during the day, many times for a much-needed break.

The other day when I stopped for a chai, the young girl at the cart told me about the “secret envelopes.” She took a picture of them with her phone and was clearly excited about the whole experience. She did share that one woman came down from visiting her mom in the hospital. Her mom was craving a “good” cup of coffee, but the daughter didn’t have any cash on her and the cart doesn’t take plastic. The woman used one of the “secret envelopes” and the young girl picked up the balance. Smiles all around on that note! $9.00 down $41.00 to go.

IMG_0939The idea of leaving a cheery note along with the cash came from Lynne over at Free Penny Press. So, in the spirit of surprises I took 6 more one dollar bills, placed them in envelopes with some smiles and taped them on the vending machines in the lobby. Sweets & Drinks on me. $15.00 down $35.00 to go. I also made 5 more random envelopes with happy messages and left them on the windshields of some battered looking cars in the parking lot. $20.00 down $30.00 to go.

My next idea came after noticing a frazzled young mother on my street. I remember those days all too well. This time of year the little ones are on a Christmas high that usually leave parents begging for 5 minutes of quiet time.

I took $10.00 to the Dollar Store and picked up Christmas coloring IMG_0943books & crayons and left them on the doorstep of homes with small children on my block. I included a note from Jingle, one of Santa’s elves, instructing them to color a picture and leave it for Santa. Hopefully that gave those parents at least 30 minutes of peace. $30.00 down $20.00 to go. My daughter was happy to play the part of Jingle for the delivery.

My husband and I stopped for lunch at a Panera. While we were there I noticed a young girl cleaning tables and organizing dishes. She was working hard to ensure that her area was spotless. Kathy over at fridaynight family suggested over tipping a server. Although this young girl was not a server, she was very friendly and hardworking. I left her an envelope on the table with $2.00 thanking her for efforts. $32.00 down $18.00 to go.

Next up was Dave over at Blog of Funny Names who suggested tipping someone who makes minimum wage. As I was loading my groceries into my car, a young man came over to get my cart. He and his co-workers were gathered in the parking lot heading to retrieve ALL the carts that were left far away from the store. Honestly, it takes 5 seconds to walk the cart back  people. I gave them each $2.00 for their hard work out in the cold. $38.00 down $12.00 to go.

IMG_0972Another fine idea came from Julia over at Julia B Whitmore’s Blog Schrodinger’s Cat is Alive. Julia suggested spreading some kindness to those holiday opportunities that we see on the street every day. I see a young woman on my way to work holding a battered sign stating “Newly homeless and hungry.” I don’t know if she’s legit or not, but I’m not her judge.  I gave her $5.00 and she gave me a heartfelt thank you. $43.00 down $7.00 to go. Julia also suggested a donation to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. Oddly enough I hadn’t come across one until Friday. $2.00 in the bucket! $45.00 down $5.00 to go.

The last $5.00 was put into envelopes with a simple message “Random Act of Kindness Pass It On.” I was trying to put these in just the right places. Hence the delay in finishing the mission. Then I thought there really isn’t a right or wrong place, so I went with my gut. One was left in a ‘Thank you” card at the Hallmark store. One was left on the counter at the post office. That decision was made after standing in line for over 45 minutes with a crew of  Bah Humbugers. Next up an envelope strategically left in a magazine at the check-out, one inside a news paper and the last one amongst the toys at the Dollar Store.

Mission over accomplished with 32 Random acts completed! Heart refilled with joy and ready to Enjoy the Ride! 

Gloria Vanderbilt’s Pet Horse

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Don’t let these faces fool you….

I spent my weekend putting the finishing touches on the Christmas decorations. As I was strategically placing the Santa’s around the house I couldn’t help but laugh.

Christmas time is filled with stories. They rest between the decorations, the ornaments and our families just waiting to be told each year. Some things never get old, especially when they make us laugh.

I was remembering the day when I told my son, who was 4 at the time, he better be on his best behavior because Santa was watching him. Mothers around the world wait all year for this moment. Well, when I came back in the room he had all the Santa’s facing the wall so that they couldn’t “see” what he was doing. Brilliant!

That memory really made me pause and realize how quickly these moments pass through our lives. Wasn’t it just yesterday that Santa was bringing me my Madame Alexander baby doll? I remember it like it was yesterday!  

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We will believe everything you tell us.

My sister and I woke up at the crack of dawn that Christmas, just as Mr. & Mrs. Clause went to bed, to examine our loot. I quickly picked up one of the dolls and ran into my parents room to display my treasure. I was filled with excitement!

I’ll never forget my mother slightly raising her very tired head while stating “that is your sister’s doll yours has the light hair.” No questions were asked as to how she received such highly classified information before heading back downstairs to retrieve what was rightfully mine. My own children would never have been this easy on me! 

Who really knows what went on in our gullible little heads, but we seemed to be extremely accepting of the fact that Santa ditched the elves for special projects and periodically shopped at Sears. This according to the neck of my guitar anyway. 

I do remember asking about it and happily accepting whatever I was told. No interrogation, hot lights & saltines for my parents, just pure acceptance of whatever they were selling. This included the illusion that Santa himself made the executive decision to distribute matching gifts to my sister and I. This lack of effort tradition went on for YEARS.

Sadly during the Christmas of approximately 1977, Mrs. Clause was under the misguided notion that it would somehow remain acceptable to continue the duel gifts, separated by color method this particular year. Poor thing never saw the uprising of the female teenager in our home.

Unbeknownst to anyone present, my sister was at her breaking point with the lack of surprises as we opened our gifts. I had just opened a box containing a blue bathrobe, that I was thrilled to receive, as my sister was holding an unwrapped box that mirrored mine. The last thing I remember saying was “I bet that’s a robe.”  

Gloria riding her pet horse a/k/a G. Photo courtesy of Everything Anderson

Gloria riding her pet horse a/k/a G.
Photo courtesy of Everything Anderson

Years of pent-up disappointment surfaced as we all watched her explode, ranting something about colors, before running upstairs to slam the bedroom door.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like a teenage hissy fit. Mrs. Clause just looked at me and said “I don’t know who your sister thinks she is, but she’s NOT Gloria Vanderbilt’s pet horse.”  What?

The confrontation was still going on, which really put a damper on my present opening. It probably wasn’t a good idea to inform my sibling that “I just opened blue slippers yours are probably pink” during the mayhem. Honestly though, little sisters around the globe live for these moments. We must embrace these opportunities when they fall upon us, we just do. 

My mother/Mrs. Clause had enough as she yelled up the stairs to my ungrateful sister. Again letting her know that she was not “Gloria Vanderbilt’s pet horse.” At that moment my sister came down the steps prancing and neighing like, you guess it, a HORSE.  I believe my sister thought “if being Gloria Vanderbilt’s pet horse meant getting individual gifts, so be it!” Laughter ensued, Christmas continued and my sister perfected her imitation of a well-bred horse by the day’s end. Meanwhile I was still wondering “Who the hell is Gloria Vanderbilt?”

Often times when we think about Christmas, the first thing that comes to mind is a great laugh. Christmas and laughing go hand in hand, whether it be Santa’s deep belly “Ho Ho Ho – Merry Christmas!” laugh, the giggle of excited children ripping apart the wrapping on their Christmas presents, or the doubled over gasping for air reaction to the well orchestrated imitation of an entitled horse from your ungrateful teenage sister. It’s all good!

If you celebrate Christmas I’m sure you can recall at least one thing that has happened which made you laugh so hard your belly hurt! Take time this season to share your funny stories, connect your hearts with those you care about and of course … Enjoy the Ride!

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