Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve

So what are you doing New Years Eve?

This is the very last day of the year, as 2008 comes to a close, let us look back with fondness, and remember all the memories that we created. And as 2009 begins let us all be grateful that we are here to celebrate a new year with new beginnings.


A new blog will be up at midnight (est), so we can all count down to the New Year together!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Schweddy Balls

by Jodi

This is a classic holiday treat from Saturday Night Live. I thought it would be fun to relive it once more before the close of this holiday season!!! ENJOY!!!

Wishing you and your families peace, love and happiness in 2009!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mona Lisa

by Iteach

This past November, hubby and I ate at Olive Garden for our anniversary. During our delightful dinner, hubby pointed to a painting on the wall and said that it has always been his favorite one. I turned to look at it and it was the Mona Lisa. As soon as I looked at it my nose crinkled up and I had a ugly look on my face. Actually, I didn't even know I made that kind of face until my husband told me. My hubby asked why I made that kind of face. I stood their in silence for a moment, because the picture itself looked fine to me.

But why did I crinkle my nose?

I thought about it and thought about it.......

Then it came back in flash!

April of 1988, I went to Paris, France with the French Club from high school. I wasn't in the French Club, but the school still let me go. It was my graduation present from my parents. My mom highly encouraged me to go, because she said I may never get a chance like that again. Boy was she right!

During the Paris trip we went to the Louvre in Paris to see famous art. I really wasn't to excited about this trip, because I really didn't know that much about art. I secretly wanted to go back to the Wendy's fast food joint that served wine with their cheeseburgers. :) However, I knew that this Louvre must be important and that I better pay attention.

Our guide was very excited about us seeing the Mona Lisa. It was a very busy day when we went and we were crammed in front of the painting like sardines. I couldn't move, but I was a little excited. I could feel everyone's excitement and I could hear all the squeals of pleasure of people looking at the picture. Now I was excited to see it. As soon as my eyes found the picture........

My eyes started to water from the smell of rotten eggs. The elderly man in front of me tooted really loud and I thought I was going to puke. I couldn't move, because we were shoulder to shoulder. It was awful!

So that is why I crinkle my nose everytime I look at the Mona Lisa.

BTW, besides the whole Mona Lisa incident the rest of my trip was wonderful. I'm so glad and grateful that my parents let me go.

Was there ever a moment in your life that you really got excited about it and then it fizzled?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tu Recuerdo

Chosen by Tina~in_ut

Tu Recuerdo

Sung by Ricky Martin with La Mari

I grew up listening to Latin music. I didn’t understand the words but loved most of it. We listened to a lot of Mariachi music. I even had Mariachi’s at my wedding reception. Happy Birthday was always sung in Spanish. My mom still calls me on my birthday to play Las MaƱanitas over the phone. Now, when I hear contemporary music, some of it really speaks to me and that’s what this song did. I absolutely love it. It’s about a love that is lost but the memory lingers. He can’t decide whether the memories are good or bad. I love the music and the mix of their voices. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dr. Nanny is in!

by Lois Lane

Due to a comment about a planters wart making Carol's shoes not work, I thought it would be fun to talk about home remedies. I've already mentioned in the comments at some point that my grandmother in-law, Nanny, was a wise old bird. She lived for sharing and trying home remedies.

She was the kind of lady who washed her windows with newspaper rather than paper towels. She said it prevented streaking. Although her windows looked fabulous, I still had a hard time not tearing my clothes off and running around all willy nilly. Perhaps they prevented other types of streaking.

Acne doesn't need any fancy crap like proactiv, according to Nanny. Just mix some baking soda and peroxide into a paste, slather it on your face and wait until it feels like your face is going to fall off. Then rinse add a light face moisturizer and poof. Also works on backne.

She used to polish her decorative candles with old pantyhose. It took the dust off and shined them right up. And once when her old man, Papa, spilled candle wax on the tablecloth her mother gave her 50 years earlier, which had been given to her some 40 year before that, she took a brown paper bag, laid it over the wax, and ironed the paper. It came up, saving the heirloom.

It went on and on!

Eye infection = potato
Boil = potato
Sore throat = warm salt water
Yellow teeth = baking soda as paste and peroxide as rinse
Head lice = tea tree oil
Foot odor = clothes dryer sheets in shoes
Planters wart = nail polish (five days in socks - can wash not too much, if paint comes off, reapply, peel after five days, watch the "cork" stick to the polish without pain)

Oh she was something!

My son, Lane 1 was a couple years old when she finally met him. We lived in Illinois, she in California. Upon our return, Lane 1 was scheduled to get tubes put into his ears, due to repeat infection. Nanny acted as if Mr. Lane and I were insane, "Putting that damn baby under the knife for no good reason."

Somehow, this bulldog of a woman, convinced me if I put Vick's Vapor Rub in his ear on a cotton ball at first sign of discomfort, it would drain out the fluid before it could cause an infection.

I called my sister in-law, Claudia. She is straight off the German boat and married to my brother. She knows all about this type of stuff. I really wanted her to talk me back into the surgery, instead, for the first time in ten years, she and I had a language barrier.

Oh dear!

"Why would you put that nasty in your baby's ear? That woman is crazy! There's laws about that!!"

At first, I didn't understand why she was so incredibly upset, or how that could go against any law.

"What are you supposed to do? Tell your husband to jerk off at the kid's ear canal?"

Apparently, "vicks" in German is "cum/jizz/semen/bubblin' man goo."

Whoa! I knew right away something was amiss. After explaining what Vick's is in English, we laughed our heads off. Then she calmly said, "Try it!"

So, I did. And to my surprise, and his doctor's, it worked.

Have you heard of or tried any of Nanny's treatments? Share your home remedies.

Friday, December 26, 2008


"My Buddy"
Song sung by Turtle, Video made by Joey

by Turtle
aka Kahonugirl

Throughout my life my Mom had talked about a song. She was never able to remember the Title or the lyrics. A couple of years ago she had a brain bleed and when she got better her memory from the past had become sharper….go figure.

Last year for the holidays she made her annual migration to the Islands to spend the holidays as she had done for many years. My laptop had died and I purchased a new one, I was uploading data and music that the computer company was able to recover from my old laptop. As I was uploading music I casually asked her about the song. She then started to rattle off the lyrics. I got on Google, found the lyrics, got on iTunes found the song and hit play. My Mom started to cry. The song was “My Buddy” and my Great Grandmother used to sing this song to my Mom when she was a young girl on Sunday mornings.

So last year I asked some very good friends of mine that are Performers here in Honolulu if they could perform this little ditty. They learned the song and that was my last present to her last year. We sat at a table where my friends perform and when they began to sing the song she instantly knew. It is one of the few times I have seen my Mom cry. I wrote a blog about it on my MySpace page.

So that brings us to this year. I was wondering just how could I top that? My friends (the same ones that performed it for her last year) suggested that I record it. I, at first said NO WAY. Then my good friend said he would help me. He is a master Pianist and Producer and invited me to his home studio to record it. So……I did. I was so so nervous and the first recorded track very much showed that. But my friend has a very calm demeanor and guided me thru the process. And yes it is me, and no there was not any manipulation of my voice. Like Carol mentioned on the blog, it is the voice that She and my Father gave me.

So this is my present to my Mom this year. I have shared this already with some of the Owls, so now I share it with you all.

I am just wondering how the hell I am gonna top this next year….lol.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

It is on this day the 25th of December that we celebrate Christmas, in my Religion it is taught to us that it is the day our Christ was born. As I child attending Catholic School the days leading up to Christmas were spectacular. I remember the musicals, choir practice, church services, making ornaments, Christmas parties, exchanging gifts. I have such a strong memory of all this, that I truly think this has molded me into loving Christmas and what it represents. And as the generations in my family pass thru, each still celebrate Christmas as I did. It is a wonder how for so many years, these traditions around me have not changed. We all say "Merry Christmas" and each Christmas we have spent in the same manner. My church service has not changed, and I still believe in all the good of Christmas.

Some past times leading up to Christmas, there might have been obstacles to sustain me of being most jolly, yet on Christmas Day, I always felt the good, and of course the yellow. As much as the rush of Christmas can put one in a sour mood, its the joy of being where you are and who you are with that will bring the happiness forth.

Christmas is most definitely the most precious for the children, in their eyes it is just a magical time. With wide eyes, bedhead hair, runny nose, and Christmas PJ's on they open their gifts and squeal in delight with each one. To watch this, which I have, it is certainly a very special treat, and the best of all this, is the memory that is being made, for it will live in your heart forever.

On this day, you can spend it however you choose, it does not have to be with a certain person, or a special place, or even with family. What matters most is that you are where you want to be, and even if its alone watching a movie, that is surly ok, because its everyone's Christmas, to be spent exactly as one prefers.

Christmas is here, today is the day
a joy, a sign, a card, a gift, a smile, a memory
a hug, a kiss, a hoot!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Country Christmas Eve

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Twas the night before Christmas, and all thru the barn,
not a creature was stirring, not even mouse,
however we heard, a foot stomping mess,
low and behold its Mek, cpgem8, and JodiHo!
The three country elves

The stockings were hung all thru the barn,
for all the owlettes and their preppy friends.
As the owlettes slept all thru the night,
the three country elves, danced with delight

Up on the roof, a noise could be heard, as jolly old
St Nick arrived with his nerds.
As he called them by name and nourished
each one, the three country elves deepened their steps.
As he slid down the hayshoot with his flute,
the dancing of the country elves continued with tribute

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
filling the stockings with a smirk
as he turned to the country elves to bid them good night,
the country elves where so bright

To the country elves surprise the stockings were full
with a fistful of yellow that looked like jello
As the sleigh took flight, the country elves looked on
and boogied all thru the night....

Happy Christmas to all and enjoy the "yellow" sunlight!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

♪♪ Sing-a-Long ♪♪

by Sacbarb

I was feeling a little blue because it doesn't look like my son will make it down from Seattle for Christmas due to the snow. Then I saw a commercial with this song playing. This song comes from my other favorite movie, Auntie Mame, and it gave me a little hope. This is a really feel-good song, and I chose this version because it has the words and you all can sing along. I'll be listening for all those dulcet Owl tones.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Menorah, latkes, doughnuts and dreidels!

by Maureen

This year, on December 21st at sundown begins the 8 days of Hanukkah (or Chanukah)...the Festival of Lights. Commonly, people think of Hanukkah as the Jewish Christmas. It is only per chance that Hanukkah falls in the general vicinity of Christmas. Just as Passover usually falls near Easter. And like Passover has no correlation to Easter, Hanukkah has no correlation to Christmas.

The story of Hanukkah, in a nutshell is that the Jews, led by Judah Maccabiah, tried to reclaim a Temple that had been taken over by the ancient Syrians. When they arrived, the eternal light only had enough oil to have lasted one night. As the Maccabian soldiers went to search for more consecrated oil, the oil burned for 8 nights. That is the reason Hanukkah is celebrated for 8 days. Hanukkah is a truly festive holiday.

The traditional symbols of Hanukkah are the Menorah, potato latkes and the Dreidel.

The Menorah has space for 9 candles. The center candle is lit each day and used to light the additional one per night. In Hebrew, we read right to left and the candles are lit right to left each night as well. On the first night, the center candle and the one on the far right will be lit. On the second night, the center and the 2 on the farthest on and so forth.

The most infamous Hanukkah food is the potato latke (pancake)... and the doughnut. Yes, doughnuts! As the history of the holiday is based upon the oil in the lamp, the food is based upon the oil in the fryer! The modern day baked latkes just don’t stack up! Fry ‘em in lots of oil! And then top them with either applesauce or sour cream. I, being the piggy I am, prefer BOTH applesauce and sour cream ;)~ And then the fried cakes or as we call them doughnuts!

Children play a game with a four sided top which is the dreidel. (Ya know the one that was made out of clay!). Traditionally, kids were given Hanukkah gelt (coins) and then we gambled it away with the dreidel game!

Our Hanukkahs were pretty traditional growing up. We were a typical family. Each evening at sundown, we lit the Menorah, had our latkes and then got our present. We never were over-indulged. We would get one or two real presents...usually the first night and the last. In between we got our gelt...a silver dollar or a half-dollar. And little net bags of gold foiled candy coins! It seems now that kids are spoiled rotten...major gifts each night. I liked the simplicity when I was growing up. And I certainly appreciated each there were fewer, they were so much more special.

Now, as an adult (ok, old bag!)the family has a large gathering of cousins. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations of families. The kids will run wild thru the house! Us old fogies will sit around the multiple tables set up and eat! My cousin Elaine, who hosts the party will generally go thru about 25 pounds of potatoes! Latkes will be frying for hours! And there will be sugar cookies in the shapes of Stars of David, Menorahs and dreidels...all decorated in blue and white. And gold candy coins strewn about the tables. We are more cosmopolitan, so there will be doughnut holes!

I can’t really recall a “favorite” Hanukkah, but I would venture to say my most special was when I was 8, as it was the last one my father was alive for. But, every year is special that I get to celebrate with my family.

And yes, it is kewl to get a little gift each night for 8 nights, but it’s the latkes I really REALLY look forward to!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Chosen by Just_Lin

The other day I forgot to include this as one of my favorite Christmas songs when responding to Bonnie's wonderful blog. It conveys the perfect sentiment for what I wish all of my owl friends this holiday season.

The singer is, of course, Mr. Frank Sinatra. The movie clips star the wonderful Cary Grant in the movies The Bishop's Wife, Room For One More, Indiscreet, In Name Only, Penny Serenade, and Night and Day.

Sometimes we get so busy with all the things we have to do during this time, that we forget to slow down and really enjoy the company of our friends and loved ones. This song reminds me to do that.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Forever Grateful

by VIG

Josh Groban with the children choir from Africa, singing You Raise Me Up

My dear Owls, as you read this I am on a plane heading away from memories of this day last year. Many of you were there last November and December as I wrote about my brother’s illness and you prayed for him as he began to lose his fight with cancer. If you remember he went into hospice and came out a few days later and had three more weeks at home. I am still convinced that it was your prayers that gave him more time with his kids and brought him closer to Christmas. And you were so there for me when I wrote about being with him as he took his last breathe on December 20th, 2007.
This blog is partly a tribute to him, but even more it is a tribute to you, my dear Owl friends. You have been my shoulders to lean on over the past year as I worked through the grief process. You never complained as I wrote over and over again what I needed to write in order to make sense of the loss. You just listened and cried with me and let me talk about it whenever I needed to. And I know that this blog and the people who come here, are the reason that I have been able to come out the other side of grief. And for that I will be forever grateful.
You are my earth angels! You truly have raised me up and I am so thankful that you are all in my life.

Who has raised you up when you were down? Who is/are your earth angels? Maybe they reside in this very nest!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Par-Tay! Hoot, Hoot

Hosted by Whabby

Owl Manor Entrance Hall

Main Christmas Tree to left of the stairs

Put on your Christmas best, Owls, because we’re about ready to enjoy an all-day bash the likes of which you’ve never experienced before! Starting at 12 noon Eastern, we’ll be throwing open the doors and welcoming all owls and their guests to the first annual Owl Manor Christmas party!

JodiHo and TinaHo, in their Christmas best!

Main dining room, picture on the wall to the left,
our very own Custard and Just_Lin

Slaving in the Manor’s kitchens all week long, Shirley and Goldie have prepared a mouth-watering treasure-trove of menu items to satisfy even the most demanding food lovers, while Whabbear has stocked the bar with a wide variety of holiday treats and libations.
Shirley and Goldie, slaving in the kitchen? I think not!

Whabby making the drinks, he looks so handsome, I wonder if he will jump on the couch!

As we saw last weekend, the Manor is already decorated inside and out with lights and baubles galore, and the ever-attentive Manor staff is ready to cater to your every whim and desire. On the main floor, pit your skills against other owls in the game room, take a dip in the deliciously heated indoor pool, or relax in the hot tub.

Birdee in the hot tub with her pal's, in all their nekkidness, I think Mo ate their heads, as ya know she is a "piggy"!

Upstairs, your bedroom is all set to accommodate you, so no drinking and driving is necessary. Enjoy a mid-afternoon nap, or a full body massage if you are in need of some serious relaxation. In the basement, Shirley has stockpiled all sorts of Christmas favors and pranks to keep things interesting.

One of the Owl Manor bedrooms, necessary items located in the chest of drawers ;O)

In the midst of celebrating, take a minute to venture outside and stroll along the oversized Manor porch. Inhale a mildly illegal herbal substance with a fellow owl, look out over the beautiful snow-covered Manor grounds, and reflect on the meaning of Christmastime.

Owl Manor Porch, Zona, Mek, LynnD, smokin the "herbs"
not pictured, Sacbarb and Iteach waiting their turn

Keep us up to date in the comments section on what you’re doing, what adventures you’re having, what gossip you’ve just overheard (or supplied), and what pranks you’ve just experienced (or carried out). Above all, savor the company, enjoy Owl Manor, and have a virtually wonderful time!

As you leave the Par-Tay, please grab one of these on the dining hall table, the heart is what is most important, as it beats for you all

Thursday, December 18, 2008

That Perfect Christmas

by Tinka

My 43 year old son just stopped by with presents he had bought for me to give his wife for Christmas. He knows her tastes so much better than I do. I was surprised to see him traveling in this snowy weather. He looked like Santa Claus as he came through the door.

It appears we may have a white Christmas this year as we have already had 6 inches of snow with more expected tonight. As it is only one week until The Big Day, there is a good chance we may be having snow on the ground Christmas morning. My mind wandered back to the last time we had a White Christmas. I think that was “A Perfect Christmas”.

It was Christmas Eve 1972. My children were just over 2, 3 and 5 and Christmas excitement was high that year. I wanted it to be extra special because my son would be going into grade one the next year. Being a grade one teacher I knew that this might be the last year that all three of them would truly believe that Santa Claus would come down the chimney. Now I have always believed in Santa Claus and always will (don’t tell me any differently) but I knew that some children at 6 stopped “hearing the bell” as explained in Chris Van Allsburg’s book, “The Polar Express".

It was 7:00 in the evening, all the preparations were finished. The baking was done, presents wrapped, children were sparkling clean in sparkling new matching p.j’s. Clothes were laid out for the annual Christmas dinner at the grandparents - tiny red velvet dresses with lace sleeves for the girls and a blue (big boy) suit for Kevin.

For the first time we had TWO trees freshly cut and brought in from our trout farm at Sooke. The upstairs’ tree was decorated beautifully because that was the tree visitors would see. The downstairs' one was decorated with ornaments made by the children. You can imagine which tree was my favourite.

The children and I were sitting by the fire recording Christmas stories and songs into a large tape recorder. We recorded “Old Toy Trains“ with Glen Campbell’s help. In the background we could hear the tapping of a hammer. It sounded like elves but it was my husband putting the finishing touches on the big mountain with tracks for the electric train Santa had promised to bring. Christmas spirit was definitely permeating the air.

After a letter was written to Santa and cookies left out, three little children were tucked into bed. My husband and I, pleased with ourselves, stood looking out the window. With God as my witness it began to snow. We looked at each other and almost at the same time said, “It doesn’t get any better than this”. It was the first white Christmas Victoria had since 1945.

Christmases would come and go. Some were very good and others not but I will always have the recording of “That Perfect Christmas”.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time to Make the Donuts

by MEK

As the Nest gets ready for the Holiday Celebration – there are several things that have been attended to:

Christmas cards – CHECK – thank you, Iteach

Christmas Music – CHECK – thank you, Bono

Christmas Party – CHECK - thank you, Shirley, Whabby, and Goldie

Christmas tree – CHECK – thank you Cpgem….

Now – we need to get down to the BAKING…….

Last week, I made fudge for Mr. MEK to take to work and baked chocolate chip cookies – (that is a story for another day). But – I found myself reflecting on the memories of all the goodies that we had growing up during the Holidays. My mom would bake chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, drop sugar cookies, fudge and the homemade donuts. She did it all by herself – she did not ask for help, nor did she want it when it was offered. There was a special medal tin for each kind of cookie, and every year the same cookie was always in the same tin. She still owns each and every one of those tins. The fudge never had nuts in it, because my father did not like it that way. We always had a huge plate of homemade donuts and donut holes on Christmas morning (and a plate was frozen for New Year’s Day). There were plain ones and the ones with powdered sugar; dad (again) liked the plain ones. It was just a given that donuts would be served. Oh and Santa would get a donut to go along with his cookies and milk on Christmas Eve.

Several years ago, I asked my mom if she would teach me how to make the donuts. I didn’t want that tradition to be lost in years to come. Her health makes it impossible for her to do all the things she used to do and that really bothers her. The making of the donuts is a J O B and I never realized how much work went into it. She still wanted to “do it all herself” – but I insisted on doing most of the work. They were just as I remembered them!! AMAZING!! We made most of them WITH the powdered sugar (dad wouldn’t mind)– we made quite a mess, but it was fun for me to spend the day in the kitchen with her.

Is there something special that you make every year? A special memory to go along with it?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Grown up Christmas List

by Zona

Funny, I'm not a big Amy Grant fan..but I do love this song. I realize I may be naive, but I wish for same things she does in this song. Just look at the faces of the children in the video..think of your family and friends...don't you wish for these things too? What's on your Grown Up Christmas List?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Christmas Trees are just so very special
they remind us our childhood and
its magical existence
when the Christmas Tree is decorated
with all its sparkly lights
and the ornaments that mean so much
it comes alive

When we see our Christmas Tree
all decorated we now know that
Christmas has begun

The Christmas Tree in all its decor
brings us hope, it humbles you, and allows you to dream
but most importantly, it adorns you the memories
of Christmas Trees past

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Christmas Song Memory

Chosen by IBB

White Christmas, Sung by The Drifters

The other day when BonO wrote the blog about Christmas music. It inspired me to find the video clip of this video that I had seen a couple of years ago.

This song is one of my Favorites that I shared with one of my Favorite Dialysis patients (I used to be a dialysis tech) This lady was very special to me, and I to her. Our birthdays are 6 days apart, mine is the 20th and hers is the 14th of December. People who have birthdays close to Christmas kinda stick together I miss her very much.

We used to play this song at least 3 times while she had her treatment and we would just sing along and have the best time. I still over play this song every year, I love it, as it makes me think of Miss Etta. God rest her soul.
She and I held hands during the 911 ceremonies on TV and wiped away each others tears, she by far was so very special.

That is why I still think of her every time I hear this song.
So for Miss Etta, please play this video a couple times... At least!!!!!

Happy Birthday Miss Etta....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Owl Nest Christmas Party

by Whabby

Front Gates of Owl Manor

Our Owl Manor

The Owl Manor Entrance Hall

Owls! Shirley and I cordially invite you all to drop in to Owl Manor for the first annual Owl's Nest Christmas Party! The not-to-be-missed event will take place this coming Friday, December 19, starting at 12 noon EST. You don't have to bring a thing; Shirley will be handling the food, I'll supply the drinks, and Goldie has graciously offered to whip up a batch of "special" Shortbread Cookies, "Magic" Christmas Fudge, and, of course, her ubiquitous Brownies.

Just 6 days before Christmas
All through the manse
Winged creatures will be stirring
Joey and Whabbear will prance

Owl stockings will hang by the chimney with care
In hopes that Ross Mathews will not soon be there

SacBarb and MEK will get snockered on Owl Manor meds
Then visions of orgasms will dance in their heads

Now iteach! now, Zona! now, Bon'O and Bebbi!
On Lois! On Lynn D! On Tina and Mary!

To the top of the Hill! To the Manor on high!
Come One and Cum All ! To the party, HoDi!

Bring presents to open, and make like a goof
Dianne in Denver could jump off the roof

Who knows at what time, all will spring to their feet
Away they will fly to their homes, through the sleet

But I know they'll exclaim, as they wheel out of sight
Merry Christmas, dear Owls, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A wish from you to me~

in times of confusion i find myself focusing on the worst of the disarray, so much that it consumes me, instead of trying to reason it out and take one muddle at a time, my focus stays put.

that is until something comes my way, and i am jolted out of the muddle by one simple yet profound blessing.

when this blog started it was truly and wholeheartedly to keep us all together, as we were misplaced and needed a home, friendships had started, a camaraderie had begun, a new journey was ahead, and I was more then happy to be there and watch it grow

and in my confusion i will be the first to admit i forgot that, i wondered if this is to be, as at times anger takes center stage, and i for one don't want front row seats.

i am old enough and smart enough to know not all will like me, as i can't please all, and if one does not like me, that is really ok, fore the world revolves around likes and dislikes. what i most try to do is keep peace, so the journey will continue, and the friendships prosper.

my blessing came in the mail, a christmas card from Bon, an unexpected delight, when i opened it and read the front cover i had to stop and read it again, on the second read, the confusion cleared, and the yellow appeared.

it truly was very simply stated, and it was bought for me, i then imagined her in the store looking for a card that would suit me, which i know can be a daunting task, she must have took her time, because right in front me in the form of a card was a Christmas Wish for me, with words that formed my name. So simply, So profound. I love words then can mean so much, especially when one can't touch.

and it reads

My Christmas Wishes for you:

May every day of your life bring you sweet smiles, kind words and warm hugs.

May you realize how important you are in the lives of all who know you and care about you.

May you take time each day to see the beauty and joy that's all around you..


And may you always know the love of friends and family who mean the most to you.

Merry Christmas!

I am done with confusion
cause i am me
for I now have a Christmas Wish
a blessing so true
and with these wishes
the sun shines through
as I so believe in wishes
and I know you do to

Thank you ~Bon~

Thursday, December 11, 2008


by Tina~in_ut

Sarah McLachlan singing In The Arm Of The Angel with Josh Groban

Alex’s childhood was troubled from the beginning. His parents divorced when he was very young. When he was in 7th grade, his dad committed suicide. By the time he finished high school, both of his male role models, his grandfather and beloved uncle, had also passed. He and his younger brother were raised by a single mother who did her best.

In grade school, Alex was always in some sort of trouble and his grades were less than stellar. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do the school work. He was just lazy. There was something about him though that drew me to him. Maybe it was his smile or that twinkle in his eye. His Principal did everything in his power to keep him in the school, no matter what he did. He too saw something special in him. The Lady who supervised the lunch room, fondly(?) known as the Lunch Nazi, was always stern with him, but he sure could melt her heart. Okay… the Lunch Nazi was me~

I remember one day in particular, he was in so much trouble it was possible that he could be suspended or expelled. I found myself passing him in the hallway in between classes. I got in his way so he couldn’t pass. He was very polite and just stood there waiting for me to move. I looked him straight in the eye and told him that he was a smart boy and I knew he was a good boy and that one day he would grow up to be a good man. All he needed to do was behave now and get good grades. I had faith in him. He smiled that smile of his and went on his way.

Alex made it to 8th grade graduation. Other than my own child, his is the only other 8th grade graduation I have ever attended. I was very proud of him and excited for his future. He went on to High School, but was kicked out after his sophomore year and ended up in a public high school. I remember feeling sick to my stomach when I heard what had happened. All I could do was pray for him.

He managed to graduate in 2006 and even went on to a local University. He got a job at Market Street Grill, one of my favorite restaurants. He had a girlfriend and many, many friends. He moved out of his mom’s house to share a house with a friend. Life was good. He had plans. He was getting good grades, applying himself at school, and even thought about getting his Masters degree later on down the road. December 27th would be his 21st birthday and he was going to Mesquite with his mother and grandmother to celebrate.

Last Monday was a gorgeous day. The sun was out, not a cloud in the sky, and it was in the 50’s. It was a perfect day for Alex to ride his motorcycle to school. Like he always did, Alex put on his full face helmet, long pants, jacket, and gloves. He was riding toward school when a woman in a van made a left hand turn in front of him. She didn’t see him coming and Alex didn’t even have time to hit his brakes. He ran right into her and was killed instantly. Bright, beautiful, smiling Alex was gone.

I had heard about the accident, but I didn’t know it was Alex who died. I came home from work, ate dinner, and was putting the kids’ school pictures in frames when my daughter came up to me and said, “Mom, guess what? Alex died in a car accident!” I am hard of hearing, so I just knew I didn’t hear her right. I asked her to say what she said again. She did. I heard right. It was like a kick in the stomach. I looked at my husband for confirmation. He was nodding his head. He had forgotten to tell me. I couldn’t believe it. I went downstairs to search on the computer for confirmation. There wasn’t any yet. So I sent an email to my friend to tell her about it and cried while I did. This whole week, I think I cried every time I told someone new.

Today was his funeral. My husband and I went together. The church was packed. One of my favorite priests said the mass. His homily was beautiful and comforting. I think half of the people there weren’t even Catholic, but everyone could understand the message that Fr. John was trying to convey: “Look around you at the number of people that Alex touched in some way in such a short time.” He truly was loved by many. After the service, I went to help in the Hall. There were several people there helping to set up for the luncheon after the burial. Everyone pretty much had the same story to tell about Alex. It was always about his beautiful smile and that twinkle in his eye. Like Fr. Tom said, our lives have been changed forever, but Alex’s is just beginning, and we can find comfort in that.

December 27, 1987 ~ December 1, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


by East Bay J

I had no idea how small the earth was compared to other planets. I was going to email Whab and ask him if this was really the scale of things. Then decided to just post it and see what his comments are.

When you see the vast space, do you wonder if we are alone? Are there other planets like earth out there, beyond what is known? Are there humans, or other type of life on those planets?

How far can a space ship or space shuttle travel to find what is beyond? Will anyone ever make that trip? Would any bloggers want to take a trip, if it were offered, to explore the solar system, or a visit to the space station?

Now, THIS is really fascinating - it's rather dazzling to see it presented
this way

I Certianly thought this was elightening. Beyond our sun, Its a big Universe
Antares is the 15th Brightest Star Known in the sky, it is more than 1000 Light Years Away.
Now how small are you?

NOW TRY TO WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND THIS......... Here are Billions of Galaxies, located billion of Light Years away from us. Each Galaxy contains billions of Stars. Stars are surrounded by billions of planets. So far, we only know of only one planet that nurtures intelligent life. What if we were not alone? Impossible? And yet, as smart as we think we are, we never found evidence of other intelligent life out there.

Below is a close up of one of the darkest regions of the photo above

Humbling isn't it

And yet, Someone up there knows how many hairs are on your head
Now how big are you?
And how big are the things that upset you today?
Keep Life in Perspective

And Don't Sweat Small the Small Stuff!
It's All Under Control

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


by Iteach

As of yet, I have not met an appetizer that I don't like!

spicy meatballs
cucumber sandwiches
wings of all sorts
dips of all kinds
anything with cream cheese

You name it, I love it.

I rather cook appetizers then a main dish. My mouth is just watering right now with the thought of making them. It is heavy on my mind right due to the holiday season. We have numerous Christmas parties to attend and with some of them I need to bring a snack.

This year I'm in a Martha Stewartish mood and I want to bring something new. So what do you think everyone? What is your favorite and do you have any recipe's to share?

P.S. I am secretly hoping Shirley will pop by with an appetizer menu for us. :) If you do, Shirley, I promise to clean up later.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Music and The Gap

There are some commercial's that once I see them, they stay with me forever.

I always wished I can see them again when their run was over. Well my wish came true by way of You Tube. These two commercial's are my favorite by The Gap. The whole dynamic of the commercial works for me, the music, the
clothes, the actors. I just think they are so upbeat, and definitely capture the audiences attention. I am sure many clothes were bought because of these commercial's. This is truly, Advertising at its finest with Songs that draw you in.

Sarah Jessica Parker, singing some of the lyrics from the song "I Enjoy Being A Girl". Commercial aired in 2005.

Claire Danes dances with Patrick Wilson to the Ethel Merman hit "Anything You Can Do." Commercial aired in 2007.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

♪♪ Softly As I Leave You ♪♪

Chosen by East Bay J

It was written in 1960 (lyrics were in Italian originally) and has been recorded by quite a few different artists. I first heard it right after Frank Sinatra died. A friend of mine and I were talking about Frank, and my friend played a CD with this song on it, it is called "Softly As I Leave You". It seemed fitting at the time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We all have a journey!

Just a moment, that is all it takes
like a flash, blink, blink....

And in these moments
life begins, the journey I so
often talk about, its still
about that one day....

Watch you will see....
never tire, never give up,
always resilient, for if you
believe, the strength becomes

And then to the ends of the earth
because of that one moment...

Forever be....

Friday, December 5, 2008


by Bon'O

Those of you who've come to 'know' me here, know I love me some music! In the spirit of "The Season", my thoughts for an interesting blog topic of course turned to what I thought would be a fun Mini-Survey for us to share. But, given the state of the world, I've also been a bit haunted by a particular song and wanted to share...but how?

So...First a Tribute: CHRISTMAS IN THE TRENCHES........and then A FUN LITTLE OWL SURVEY~~~

There's one song, which tells of a true moment in history~~Christmas, 1914~~that touches me to the core each time I hear it. I added it to my Christmas playlist, and find myself all goosebumps and tears whenever it plays. Yet somehow, I'm encouraged by it.....hoping someday we will realize that "on each end of the rifle, we're the same", and wars WILL be over. This is, IMO, a beautiful video. If you care to watch, please think of your loved ones and mine who have fought, and are still fighting, so that we at home can be blessed with holiday cheer.

NOW, PUT AWAY THE TISSUES, AND TELL US ABOUT YOUR HOLIDAY SONGS......I can't wait to see what you have to say!

1) My absolute favorite traditional holiday song is__________________ as done by ______________________.

2) My favorite 'hip' holiday song is ________________________ performed by __________________________.

3) The holiday song I absolutely CANNOT stand is _____________________________________!!

4)The holiday song that most brings back happy memories is ____________________ because :

(Go ahead! We LOVE long stories!!) _____________________________________.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Cards

by Iteach

Have you ever had a passion for something and you have no idea where it came from?

Well, I do and it is with Christmas cards. In the beginning I would splurge and go to Hallmark to buy my cards. I always thought they had the prettiest cards and I had so much fun picking them out. Then I would fill each card with fun Christmas confetti. Finally, I would go to the post office and buy Christmas stamps for the envelopes. I had always mailed my cards out on Dec. 1st and I did that for about seven years.

After seven years I tried my hand at making cards and I did that for about three years. I would make about 60 cards, fill with confetti, and post with a Christmas stamp. It was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed making them.

Now with all the little ones it is hard to find the time to make the cards. Also, it is impossible to pay for Hallmark at this time. Therefore, I do the cheesy picture ones. I order them from either Wal-Mart or Walgreens and they are very cheap. One of the drawbacks with the picture cards is you can't do confetti. I do miss that.

My mother-in-law always keeps the cards that she gets every year. Last year for Christmas cards she reused the ones that people have sent her. She jazzed them up a little bit and they turned out really nice.

Can you believe that someone just wrote a blog about their passion for Christmas cards? lol

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

by Jodi

I love my job for many reasons. Let me count the ways:

1. I only live 4 blocks from the store

2. I get to work with the public. Let's face it I'm a social butterfly and a "chatty kathy"!!!

3. I don't have to drive to Madison, especially after last winter with our record breaking 100 inches of snow.

4. And while most people might not like wearing a uniform, I love it!!!

5. Did I mention that I live only 4 blocks from the store?!!?

It is about #4 that I am writing this blog. I have to wear a uniform top along with black docker style pants every day. This saves so much time. The only decision I have to make is which top to wear, because we have our choice of about 4 different styles. I can order my tops from Kwik Trip, but I purchase my own pants. I have learned over the years that I usually have to replace them about once a year. Off I go to my favorite Shopko store. I know exactly what size and style that I need. Easy!!! I purchased a new pair of work pants just this past spring and low and behold I already have to replace them. Just last Monday I discovered that the knees were getting rather thin, then BAM.....after the next washing, there was the hole!!! Short of getting out a Sharpie pen and coloring my knee black, or better yet, getting out some black electrical tape to repair the damage.....I best get my butt to the store.

I know some of you (TINA) are laughing your fool head off right now, but my job does involve quite a bit of time on my knees. I do the books at the store and that involves getting into our safe, which is under the countertop. I also do my fair share of inventory control. Stocking shelves, updating price tags, and counting inventory.

I seriously wish I could find work pants with double knees. I remember when I was a kid, my Mom bought my brothers blue jeans with double knees. If anyone knows of such a thing, I sure wish you would clue me in.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Smiles :O)

What is it with a smile? Just a simple gesture, a facial expression, and the whole dynamic of someones day can change.

I love to smile, and I love to include them in all my doings. I feel a smile can say a thousand words, and at times no words are needed, just a simple smile will do.

I have come to realize that smiling is part of my personality, it fits me best. It gives me that cheery feeling, and I am in hopes when I smile at someone, I bring them that cheery feeling as well.

Smiling does not harm, it only shows the kindness in yourself and others. It does not take that much time to do, perhaps a second, perhaps less. The only effort one must bring forth, is the thoughtfulness of a smile, its a easy task.

The best smile one can have is between friends or lovers, because when that smile occurs, and the eyes are met, the smile tells it all. I love that I don't have to tell what my smile means, they just know. Its like the unspoken word.

And when a child smiles, the world lights up, the beauty of the smile is so innocent and pure. This smile of all the smiles can certainly clear the storms, so the sun shines its brightest.

Smiles are just good for the soul, they tell a story, a happy one, with a rainbow as its ending.

Smiles, Always!


Monday, December 1, 2008 or not?

by Shirley

Winter brings the anticipation of this for some...

and the fear of this for others.

It is amazing to me how one season can mean so many different things to so many different people. Winter is the season of snow and Christmas. The anticipation of that first snowfall and how beautiful it is. The first snow day from school or work. Putting lights up for the holidays and trying to out do the nieghbor's lights. Shopping for that perfect gift. Baking that perfect christamas cake or cookie. Skating on an outdoor pond or playing hockey at the local rink. Going skiing and sliding or even trying snowboarding. Just a simple walk in the woods on a bright, crisp winter day. So many things to enjoy for young and old.

However some of us hate this time of year. The stress of the holidays can be unbearable for some. With winter weather comes high heating bills. Family loss is particularly difficult during holidays. Icy sidewalks and driveways cause particular concerns for those of us afraid of falling. While some are watching Christmas classics on TV, others are glued to the weather channel looking for a break in the icy conditions just to go grocery shopping.

I use to like winter and hated summer. As I have grown older and more paranoid I now prefer summer over winter.

How about you?