December 2006 LJ Import

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2006-12-01 00:05:00
Phone Etiquette
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Phone rings.

“Hello?”

“Hi Auntie Eleanor!”

“Hi Gillian, how are you?”

“Um, how did you know it’s me?”

“Well, my other nieces and nephews never phone me themselves, and I can see your mom’s name on my call display.”

“Oh.  But you know that you’re supposed to say “who’s calling, please” when you answer the phone.”

“That’s true when I don’t know who it is right away, Gillian, but not when I know it’s you.”

“No, you’re always supposed to say it Auntie Eleanor.  I’m going to hang up now and call you again so that you can do it right.”

“Uh …”

Dial tone as call disconnects.

Seconds later the phone rings again.

“Hello?”

“Hi Auntie Eleanor!”

“Who’s calling, please?”

“Oh, you know it’s me, Auntie Eleanor!”

“Who’s me?”

“You know who I am, and now you’re supposed to say that it’s lovely to hear from me.”

“Okay, it’s lovely to hear from you.  Now what am I supposed to say?”

“I don’t know, nobody told me that part.”

“Well, can we talk about just whatever we like now?”

“I don’t know, nobody told me that part.”

“Well, how about we not worry about what you were told now, and just have a chat.”

“Is that what we’re supposed to do, though?”

“Is that what you want to do?”

“Yes, but is it what we’re supposed to do?”

Only an almost five-year-old could make a simple thing this complicated!           

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2006-12-02 23:55:00
A Bit of Lunacy
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Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is

Get your Christmas Elf Name at JokesUnlimited.com

I expected far worse. 😉

Shamelessly stolen from the lovely Elle at Domesticated Bloggage.

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2006-12-03 06:14:00
Brrrrr
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It has been another night of prowling around in the wee hours here.  But I’m not looking for sympathy as I had a long, sound sleep during the afternoon and evening yesterday and didn’t expect to get any sleep overnight.  I’ve definitely clued in now to what has turned my sleeping habits upside down lately, and shall make the necessary adjustment.  It’s just a medication side effect, and a simple dosage time adjustment will get that sorted.

As I’ve been puttering about for the past few hours,  I was wondering why I was getting chillier and chillier.  I’m not the sort who feels cold as a rule, so started out quite comfortably in pyjamas and bare feet at around midnight.  However, as the night wore on I reached for a sweater, then socks, then my very warm housecoat, then slippers, then a cup of hot tea to warm myself up from the inside out.   But flicking on the computer has solved the mystery of the sudden chill.  The weather icon in the corner of my screen tells me that it’s now -29 C.,  feels like -38 C. with the wind factored in, and said wind is blowing briskly against the side of the house at which I’m sitting.   No doubt our old house isn’t as snug as some of a newer vintage, despite our best draught-proofing efforts, but I don’t suppose that any house is going to feel unbelievably snug with the thermostat at its overnight setting on a morning like this.

Later on in the winter I won’t feel chilly, but we haven’t had a chance to adjust to winter’s cold yet.  Just ten days ago we were basking in an unusually warm spell, with a high of 12 C that day.  Last weekend brought a quick onset of winter with lots of snowing and blowing in the past week, but this is the first bitterly cold night of the season.  The first of many over the next few months, but it’s the first that feels the worst.

So, now I’m rethinking the wonderful eureka moment that  I had yesterday.  Call it a streak of lazy or whatever, but I had the brilliant idea to put the Christmas tree in a different spot this year, which wouldn’t necessitate rearranging furniture, and moving a couple of pieces out entirely.  There’s a heat vent right where I thought we could put the tree, but I couldn’t see any problem with closing it for the few weeks that the tree will be up.  There’s another not far from it, and we’d surely not miss the one.  Well, one cold night has me seriously questioning the wisdom of yesterday’s brain wave. 

Speaking of putting up the tree, some physical activity is the best way of circulating the blood and warming oneself up, so I’m off to do the decorating I told myself I’d get done before the end of the week.  Okay, yes, Sunday is technically the beginning of a new week, but in my mind it has always been the end of the old week.  I can split hairs with the best of them, you know!    I’ll get going at the general decorating first, and then consult  Richard about the tree location when he appears in a couple of hours or so.  Which will be a shock to his system, I’m sure, but not all of my decisions are arbitrary.  Just most of them. 🙂 

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2006-12-04 23:14:00
Well, La Di Da
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I somehow came upon a blog entry the other day, written by one of those head up his own backside academics, condemning blogging by “ordinary folk”. He went on and on about how nobody cares about what average people do or think on a day to day basis, and that blogging should just be for those with PhD degrees,  and for real journalists.

I was on a fast simmer when I got to the end of the rambling, hoity toity missive written by this pompous twit, as he is dead wrong. I don’t care about his egotistical, nose in the air, expostulations one bit. But I am endlessly fascinated by how my fellow real citizens of the world go about their daily lives in their own little corner of the planet. What do they think and why? How do their lives and thoughts differ from mine? How are they the same? What can I learn from their lifestyles and points of view? And on it goes.

Of course there’s room for blog snobs in the blog world, too, but it’s not their exclusive country club, nor will it ever be.  They need to get off their lofty pedestals for a bit and interact with some real people, for a change. Then they can consider themselves properly educated. 

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2006-12-07 14:59:00
And Again
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And I’m back.  Just the usual excuse for being absent for a few days, and you all know what that is by now.  See the Santa pic for a clue, if you’ve forgotten.  But the good news is that the Vitamin B12 is making a huge difference after six weeks or so.  Even with the CFS playing up these days, I feel like a new person, really, and it will only get better.  Stephanie just had her B12 checked again and it’s finally back up to a good level after six months of treatment.  So, I fully expect to have some major bounce back by spring.   It’s nice to be feeling better physically, but the best part is feeling the brain actually functioning again. Woo hoo! 

The Christmas decorating has been done, and I’ll have you know that the house looks pretty darned spiffy.  I shocked the socks off Stephanie by not only asking her if she’d like to do the tree herself this year, but also giving her total free rein with how she decorated it.  OCD, perfectionist Mommeh has left the building, folks!  Steph will adjust over time, but I can see why it’s a shock to her system.  It’s a shock to mine, if I’m honest.   But it’s a much nicer way to be, for sure.  Anyway, she did a fabulous job with the tree.  It’s far more “minimalist” than my decorating efforts tend to be, but I like it very much.  Less can be more, you know.  I said hello to all of my old memory ornaments as we sorted through the boxes, picking out the stuff she wanted to use, so that will do for this year.  The rest of the decorating was my job, and we totally changed our “theme” this year.  Out with the kitsch and in with  a combo of earthy, elegant and olde worlde stuff.  Ooh la la.  Three very different themes there, I suppose, but the components came together nicely.  Okay, I confess,  there’s a bit of kitsch in the kitchen, but I limited myself to whimsical kitsch, rather than kitschy kitsch.  Yes, there’s a difference. 😉  Oh, and if you want photos, nag Stephanie in the comments.  I could steal them off her journal, but I’d rather she do a guest post and put them up herself.  Hint, hint!! 

In other news, the weather has remained rather on the nippy side, but there’s a big change coming in the next couple of days.  This morning it was -28 with a brisk wind when I saw Richard off to work, but it has warmed up this afternoon to  -18.  Apparently we’re to get up to near 0 by the end of the weekend, which is a rarity in December in these parts.  Don’ t know if I like really mild spells in what should be the depths of winter, but it’s not likely that all of our snow will melt now, so that’s okay.  A few years ago we had a snowless landscape until Boxing Day and, while it was kind of neat for the novelty factor, it didn’t feel right and didn’t do a lot for the Christmas mood.  The ground has to be white for it to feel like Christmas.  End of story.

I could prattle on longer here, as usual, but I must see to some wrapping and parceling up of Christmas gifts.  I’ve never been this late with sending them off, and must get them ready by tomorrow.  No panic yet as they’re not going all that far.  But it’s getting close to panic stage with the one to a sister, which will also contain birthday goodies for her daughter.  We can’t have Miss Gillian thinking that Auntie Eleanor has forgotten her on her big day.

I don’t have time to catch up with all of you today, but I’ll try to get around to see everyone tomorrow.  I might even tackle some e-mail, for a change!  I know, shocking, isn’t it?!  Assuming that Richard doesn’t have plans for me on his day off, of course.  Oops, just about turned that into a risque joke,
but caught myself in time.  I wouldn’t want to traumatize the youngest member of the household, who reads this.  I was talking about shopping or jobs around the house, Steph.  Honest! 😉

Toodles.

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2006-12-10 12:53:00
Mood Enhancers
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I’m too tired to string coherent thoughts together today.  So, instead, I’ll share a favourite motif of the festive season, and a tiny sampling of the tunes that put me in the mood for all things merry and bright.  Holly has always been the Christmas visual thing for me, be it woven into a wreath, or just as it comes. It’s used very liberally in our decorating. 

Music is a necessity all year round, but especially during the Christmas season.  There aren’t many Christmas carols I don’t like, but my absolute favourite traditional one has always been In the Bleak Midwinter.  Click on the title for a listen, should you so desire.    

But if traditional isn’t your thing, a little Roy Wood and Wizzard ought to get the Christmas mood humming along in a big way.   Yes, Christmas music can be very glam.  Or, um, whatever.

If that still isn’t your thing, here’s some Cliff Richard.   And there goes my street cred right out the window, too.  I’m sorry, Stephanie, I truly am. 😉

Finally, here’s a quite recent favourite of mine, street cred restored, and a special dedication to Yorkshire Soul  – a fellow appreciator of this particular brand of lunacy.  It’s fun, it’s glam, it’s totally off the wall, it’s loud, it’s only for the brave,  it’s … The Darkness!  Whee!

Okay, now you can have a good stiff drink to settle the nerves, and get back to your peaceful Sunday.  I highly recommend egg nog with a generous splash of butterscotch schnapps.  Mmmmm.

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2006-12-12 11:37:00
Surprise!
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Have I told you that I have a serious soft spot for penguins?  Although I’m not sure that I’d want to meet this little guy today.  My sympathies lie entirely with the bear, as it looks like I feel. 

The CFS is kicking hard this week, so please excuse the lack of chatty posts.  It has been a while since it last hit this hard, but in a way I’m thankful for it now.   It held off until I got all of my most important Christmas preparations done, which helped enormously.  But the most important bit is that hitting the low spell now means that I should be hitting a peak right at Christmas, if the cycle goes according to pattern.  Finally got that timed right!   Last year I crashed right at Christmas, which wasn’t a lot of fun.  The previous Christmas I was in the acute early stages, so that definitely wasn’t fun, either.  

On to more cheerful news, the mail brought some lovely surprises today.  The Christmas cards have been trickling in slowly since the beginning of the month, but today brought a fistful from friends and family in far away places.  One of which was from the delightful rel and his lovely wife.  Thanks so much, rel, for both the beautiful card and the lovely sentiments you wrote inside.  *blushes furiously*    And a big thank you to Desiree for her very cute card, which arrived yesterday.  So that’s what your sons’ real names are!   I had always wondered.  🙂

Another big surprise today was a little something from my dear friend of many years, up in the northeast of England.  In keeping with my penguin obsession, she sent me a gorgeous calendar, full of delightful pictures of penguins at play.  I love it, Linda, and thank you so much!! 

There were also a couple of anniversary cards in the bundle, which brought the usual “oh yeah, that’s this week, isn’t it?” reaction.  Not that we’re ever going to forget our wedding day, of course, but the anniversary is never at the front of our minds in the lead up to Christmas.    No concrete plans for the day as yet, since I don’t know how I”ll be feeling on Thursday.  But we’ll mark the day somehow.  Fifteen years – where have they gone?!

My kitchen faerie is at home today and is whipping up an early lunch for us.  So, I should get off here and find my way to the kitchen table.  Can’t have him thinking I don’t appreciate his efforts, right?!  Believe me, on a day like today, I’m very appreciative of the fact that he knows how to use the stove!  I wonder if he has plans for supper, too? 🙂 

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2006-12-14 13:31:00
December 14th, 1991 …
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A day to remember, fondly. 

Despite a blizzard, two-thirds of our guests missing, having to rearrange the entire wedding party at the last minute, not knowing if I’d have anyone to walk me down the aisle until two minutes before it was  time to start the walk,  the photographer’s camera dying, my mother boycotting the wedding just because she felt like it, etc.   And people wonder why my knees shook through the whole ceremony!  Mind you, I relaxed considerably once we got past the “does anyone know of any reason why these two should not be joined in matrimony” bit.  With the way things had gone that day, you can’t really blame me for worrying, right? 😉  But it all came together in the end, and that’s all that matters.

Happy 15th Anniversary, dear Richard, from your Lady Eleanor xxxooo

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2006-12-15 14:11:00
The Twelve Days of Christmas … Shrew Style
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On the twelfth day of Christmas, tametheshrew sent to me…

Twelve raspberries drumming
Eleven bookstores piping
Ten chickadees a-leaping
Nine antiques gardening
Eight trees a-searching
Seven candles a-writing
Six manners a-reading
Five ca-a-a-arriage rides
Four wuthering heights
Three handwritten letters
Two old books
…and a vintage in a spirituality.

Get your own Twelve Days:

Yoinked from

, among others.

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2006-12-15 14:17:00
Thanks!
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In my next life I am going to own a home with one bathroom per person.  And that’s all I’m saying.  Well, okay one more thing.  Get the $&*# out of the tub, Stephanie!  Whimper.

Speaking of Stephanie, a big thank you to her for this gorgeous new layout.  I hadn’t realized that LiveJournal had new ones available, so this was a lovely surprise today.  It’s perfect! 😉   I can totally see why she no longer wanted to go to the trouble of designing one herself.  She just finished off her jewellery website, which was totally done from scratch, so no doubt that’s enough coding for her for quite some time.  Yesterday I asked her if she had ever considered web design as a career, since she has a knack for it.  The look she threw at me translated to a definite no.  I won’t ask again. 

Still on the thank you theme, thanks so much for all of the lovely anniversary greetings yesterday.  What a thoughtful bunch you are!  The day passed rather quietly, but was very nice all the same.  Probably we’ll go out and celebrate in style at some point, but if not, that’s okay, too.  Stephanie thought we had lost our minds when we agreed to A&W Teen Burgers for supper, picked up on Richard’s way home from work.  But she doesn’t realize that there’s a nostalgic reason behind that choice.  I won’t bore you with the story here as such things tend to only amuse those directly involved.   But suffice it to say that it goes back to our very earliest days as a couple and makes us giggle whenever we think of it.  On a much less silly note, Richard presented me with a gorgeous Christmas-themed floral arrangement, the components of which were chosen to match my bridal bouquet and those of my attendants fifteen years ago.   I love Christmas arrangements of any kind, but obviously this one is extra special because of the sentiment behind it.  What a guy!  🙂

While I’m doing the thank you bit, I should extend some gratitude to Old Man Winter for getting his temper in check over the past several days.  Daytime temps just below the freezing mark are a treat in December, especially after the cold blast that preceded this warm spell.  It’s not warm enough to melt all of the snow, but just warm enough to make being outdoors thoroughly pleasant.  Hopefully his benevolent mood extends until after Christmas.

I’m feeling more alive again today, so plan to go for a stroll around the neighbourhood this evening, taking in some of the local Christmas lights.  I saw a few last evening when I scurried to 7-Eleven to grab some milk and other necessities, but the nicest ones were off in the distance a bit and need to be examined more closely. 

On that note, I’ll be off for now and see if there’s any chance of the bathroom being vacant in the next few seconds!   Mutter, mutter.

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2006-12-18 00:05:00
Humour … The Best Medicine
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So, which would you rather read? 

1. A whiny, rambling post about how it has not been a short, true to recent pattern CFS relapse, after all, and how downright dreadful I feel at the moment.

Or …

2. A rather good joke.  Well, I think it’s good, anyway. 

You chose the joke, didn’t you?  As anyone in their right mind would.  Okay, here goes:

An Art Thief

Recently a guy in Paris nearly got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre. However, after planning the crime, getting in and out past security, he was captured only 2 blocks away when his Econoline van ran out of gas.

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied:

“I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh.”

I grabbed that from somewhere in my travels in the past couple of days, but can’t remember where exactly.   Hey, I’m doing well  to remember my own name right now, so go easy on me.   Brain fog is a reasonable defence for not crediting where due, you know.  Honest, it is.  Just ask any judge and they’ll tell you.  Okay, maybe not, but it should be listed as a reasonable defence, and I’ll start lobbying to that effect, if I don’t forget about it in the next fifteen seconds.  Which is entirely likely.

‘Nighty night, all.  Whoever you are. 😉

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2006-12-24 08:16:00
Christmas Came Early This Year
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Oops, it has been a few days, hasn’t it?  I just had to back away for a bit to try to recharge the batteries, and to head off an impending case of Christmas overload.  I like Christmas as much as the next person, but there can be too much of a good thing, you know?  As with most things, our approach to Christmas is pretty low key and simple, which definitely goes against the norm.  But that’s the way it has always been, and that’s the way we like it.  So, if I have too much exposure to all things Christmassy, I start to feel rather overwhelmed.  Then comes the feeling of wondering if we’re doing it all wrong and missing out on something.  Which we’re not, I know, but it’s easy to get swept up in the Christmas tidal wave, isn’t it?

We’ve actually already had our Christmas, kinda sorta. 

It wasn’t planned that way, it just happened.  It was never going to be a “normal” Christmas anyway, with Richard working this weekend and tomorrow.  Which is no big deal as it happens at least every other year, and we easily adapt everything  to fit around his work schedule.   At one time I worked almost every Christmas, so this has been a way of life since I was seventeen.  I was in nursing school then and didn’t make it home for Christmas as we were needed to cover shortages on the wards.  At eighteen I was a fully qualified nurse, and the working Christmas thing became the norm.  Then I married a nurse, and the pattern continued. 

But this time the made in advance plans went totally out the window a few days ago, when Richard’s work schedule over the holidays became totally messed up.  There has been a nasty stomach virus going through the facility, and the staff are dropping like flies.  Add in some elective surgery inconveniently scheduled by a couple of nurses due to work Christmas, and emergency hospitalization of another a few days ago, and the already skeleton staffing levels have been whittled down to severe shortage.  Nobody scheduled to be off stepped up to volunteer to work the holidays, so it has fallen to those left to try to work out adequate coverage between them.  Which is rough anyway, but worsened by the fact that they’ve all had the stomach bug themselves this week.  Richard is just back to work today after a couple of days off with it.  He really wasn’t fit to go back, especially to face overtime hours, but what can you do?  He was scheduled for a double yesterday, too, and absolutely had to call in sick, so he got in there today to relieve those who had slogged so many extra hours in his place yesterday.  So, he really doesn’t know when he’ll be home this evening, or how late he’ll be working tomorrow.  Besides running his own unit, he’s in charge of the entire facility over the holiday period.  So, if there’s a shortfall on any unit, for which he can’t find a replacement, he stays.   He’s supposed to be off on Boxing Day, but that’s looking pretty tentative now. 

But like I said, we’ve sort of already had Christmas, without realizing that we were having it at the time.  Stephanie celebrates Yule/Winter Solstice, and prepared a magnificent feast for us on Thursday.   At the time it was meant to just be an “extra”, but yesterday we all agreed that it had felt like “the real thing”. The only problem was that Richard was starting to feel the effects of the bug just when the food hit the table that night and couldn’t enjoy it with us. So, we’ll still fit in a traditional Christmas feast somewhere in the next week or so, whenever Richard gets a day off and his stomach is up to feasting again. 

Given Richard’s work situation, it only made sense to do everything else early, too. Including the gifts and all, of course!  Suffice it to say that I was spoiled rotten by my nearest and dearest.  It’s in somewhat poor taste to show off the loot, I suppose, but here are some photos of a good portion of it, mainly for my own future reference.  

<img width="320" heig
ht=”240″ border=”0″ src=”http://pics.livejournal.com/tametheshrew/pic/0000zskq/s320x240″ alt=”” />

There were lovely things from those I don’t live with, too.  My “real” mom, Mary, gave me a very pretty necklace, which I’ll always treasure.  That’s real mom as in the wonderful lady who has shown me what maternal love feels like, and who treats Stephanie like a real grandmother should.  Unlike the one who has the genetic Mom/Grandma link to us, sadly.  The other treasures were from little nieces.  I don’t have a photo of Miss Gillian’s penguin socks and uber-cute journal, but the adorable little penguin below came from my youngest sister’s three girls, Madeline, Rachel and Hanna.  This is my first personalized “auntie” gift, so it choked me up in a big way.   Oh, and seeing the cards with their own childish printing on them is pretty special, too.  Yes, I’m a sap and proud of it. 🙂 

 

So, with the official celebration over and done with so early, I’m a bit disoriented for today and tomorrow.   I don’t mean that negatively at all as what we did already was great.  It’s just kind of strange to have it all over and done with already.  There’s no way that I’m ready to get back to business as usual yet, though. 🙂  Perhaps I’ll make a few yummy nibbles for this evening and we can have a Christmas movie night.  Stephanie can call the shots for tomorrow.  Which she’ll love, no doubt. 😉 

Now, before I go, I must say thank you for some lovely cards that arrived in the mail while I was absent from here.  Donna, Maria, Elle, Leigh, Wosser – you’re all wonderful! 😀  I won’t link to everyone as I’m too lazy, and you know who you are anyway. 🙂

Alright, that’s it from Shrew Towers for this session.  Hope you’re all having a warm, wonderful Christmas Eve.  🙂

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2006-12-24 10:43:00
Merry Christmas!
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Love, peace, happiness, and a very, very Merry Christmas to all of my friends I’ve known for so long via pen and paper, those I’ve come to know in Blogland in more recent years, and to the newer ones here at LJ.  You’re a wonderful bunch of people, and my life is ever so much richer for knowing you!
 xxxooo




Christmas                  Bells
                
By                  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
                                 

                                   
I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
  With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

 


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2006-12-27 15:11:00
That’s That
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Well, that’s Christmas over and done with for another year, and thank goodness for it.  No, I’m just joking. 🙂  It was kind of an unusual one, but nice all the same.  Now I need a week or two to recover, but who doesn’t?!

Things at Richard’s workplace sorted themselves out, so he had his scheduled day off yesterday.  Yay!  His stomach had recovered sufficiently for our belated Christmas feast, so the bird hit the oven in the morning, and the rest of the usual preparations ensued.  All month long I had been sort of dreading the experience, given how tough it was the previous two years.  But I made it through this time,  with only a slight wobble mid-way through the preparations.  A short sit down with a strong cup of coffee, a couple of Advil, followed by some serious dance around the kitchen tunes, gave me my second wind, and it was plain sailing from that point on.  I’m not half tired today, but that’s perfectly fine.  Nothing left to do now but bask in the glow of the memories, and that doesn’t take a lot of energy.

Our meal was the standard Christmas fare, except that I substituted a plump, farm raised, free range chicken for the usual turkey.  More than sufficient for the three of us, and far better than any supermarket turkeys we’ve had in recent years.  Traditional sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, brussel sprouts, a baked yam/squash/beet medley, cranberry sauce, etc. were nice accompaniments, and we finished off with an apple and cranberry pie, with scrummy all natural vanilla ice cream.  Well, actually I finished off with a glass of egg nog, laced with Frangelico liqueur, which sort of pushed me from full to ohmygawdIthinkI’mgoingtoburst.   But I worked that off doing the cleaning up.  Usually my live in two-legged dishwasher does the washing up for me, but I give him a break on special occasions.  Just an extra little gift, you see. 

Alrighty,  I’ll let this do for now.  Much as I love chatting to all of you, the urge for an afternoon nap is becoming irresistable.  Yawn!   See you later … or tomorrow.

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2006-12-30 08:22:00
Nieces on Christmas Morning
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My youngest sister e-mailed me this photo of her three girls, after they opened their presents from Auntie Eleanor and Uncle Richard.  As you can see, clothing isn’t necessarily a hit with toddlers!    Actually little Hanna is just tired, after a short night following the Christmas Eve Mass and festivities with her dad’s family, which stretched into the wee hours of the morning.   The older two grasp the concept of Christmas excitement overriding the need for sleep, but Hanna isn’t quite there yet.  Give her another year or so and she’ll be the one hauling the family out of bed on Christmas morning. 😉  Anyway, left to right here we have Rachel (6), Madeline (8), and Hanna (almost 3).  They’re truly lovely girls, even the grumpy one!  My sister is one of the most laid back people I’ve ever encountered and it rubbed off on her children. 

I’m an auntie eight times over, by the way, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on here before.  The sister right behind me has Gillian (5).  The one behind her has Keegan (9) and Tess (6).  Then comes youngest sister with her three girls, followed by my brother, the baby of we siblings, who has two boys, Dylan (6) and Brady (2).  Sadly, I really only know the three nieces above, and Gillian, but hopefully  that will change in future. 

Meanwhile, the four delightful young ladies I do know well, make me very, very happy to be an auntie! 🙂

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2006-12-30 08:44:00
Shiny Pretty Things
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Bah!  A mother is supposed to be her daughter’s biggest cheerleader, but I’ve let the side down a bit of late.  Totally unintentional, and all down to brain fog, but shame on me anyway.  Sorry, Steph!

A few months ago I mentioned that Daughter was in the process of starting up her own business.  Life had thrown her a few curve balls, which put many of her plans and dreams on hold, but there are always other options, aren’t there?  Like taking a favourite lifelong hobby a few steps further.  Naturally it took a bit of time to get supplies in hand, inventory built up, and her website designed.  But she has had it all up and running properly for a few weeks now, and has had the excitement of her first sales. 🙂

So, somewhat belatedly, I take great pleasure in pointing you in the direction of  Iris Gems

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2006-12-31 14:08:00
Happy New Year!
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Recipe For A Happy New Year  

To leave the old with a burst of song 
To recall the right and forgive the wrong; 
To forget the thing that binds you fast 
To the vain regrets of the year that’s past; 
To have the strength to let go your hold 
Of the not worthwhile of the days grown old, 
To dare to go forth with a purpose true, 
To the unknown task of the year that’s new; 
To help your brother along the road 
To do his work and lift his load; 
To add your gift to the world’s good cheer, 
Is to have and to give a Happy New Year.


My plan was to get around to wish everyone on my blog and journal lists a personal Happy New Year, as well as firing off some e-mails to pen pals and such.  But, between the constant ringing of the phone with greetings from far and near, and the need to get on with preparations for our New Year’s Eve meal, I’ve run out of time.  So, here’s a greeting for all of you, which is just as heartfelt as individual ones would be.  May 2007 bring you all of the love, happiness, good health, prosperity, etc. that you could possibly wish for! 
<br /
>No big plans for tonight.  Richard is off, which is great timing as we had a foot of snow dumped on us overnight.  But he’s working tomorrow, so it will be an early night for him.  He put a sirloin tip roast in the oven a short while ago, and I’ll be doing up some Cajun shrimp and various veggie dishes to go with it.  Then I guess it will just be a quiet evening, doing whatever we feel like doing when evening arrives.  Last of the big time party animals here, I tell you! 🙂

Other than that, I’m just doing my usual New Year’s Eve reflections on the year that was, and rubbing my hands in anticipation of what 2007 might bring.  Ever the optimist, you know!  🙂  2006 really wasn’t a bad year, taking everything into consideration, but I have the feeling that 2007 is going to bring far bigger and better things.  Mostly, I hope that my new treatment regime is going to make the anticipated huge difference.  So far so good over the past couple of months, but these things take time and it will probably be spring before I feel the “wow” effect.  Nothing can cure CFS, but getting the B12 deficiency and other stuff totally sorted out is going to make a huge difference to my general state of being.    Onward and upward!! 😀

Thank you so very much for your friendship this year.  You’re a great bunch of people and I value each and every one of you more than you know!!   Thanks to the lurkers who stop by quietly, too.  Regular readers and commenters are fabulous, but the quiet, now and then visitors are appreciated, too. 🙂  Oh, and speaking of the comments, I do fall behind with responding to them sometimes, but just be patient and I’ll get to them eventually!! 

Right, off the kitchen I go now.  Enjoy the last few hours of 2006 everyone!

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