Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Well, here they are again. The Holidaze. Why are we always worrying about the Holidaze? I'll tell you why we worry about Holidaze.
EXPECTATIONS!! Expectations from ourselves, our kids, the rest of the bloomin family, friends, merchants, TV...........even the streets are decorated so we don't forget that their are expectations upon us!
We think we need to give gifts to everybody! We don't. We can't afford it, and neither can they!
We think we need to give our grown up kids what they ask for. We don't. They are GROWN UPS, for Pete's sake, and can jolly well buy the stuff they want for themselves.
We think we need to send Christmas cards to every member of the family, old neighbors, and others we haven't seen in years and years. We don't. Stamps and cards are expensive items. If you haven't seen these people in a zillion years, there must be a reason. Remember the reason!
We think we need to shop in every single store in the mall because the economy is down, and we don't want to be responsible for them going out of business. We don't. Yes, we would all love to save the economy, but the government is against that, and you "can't fight City Hall", especially when their idea is to simply borrow more money, and print all those new dollars at nano-speed.
Make a list of what you are going to shop for, where you are going to shop for it, and take your timer with you. Set it for 15 minutes each time you enter a store. You have drop whatever you are holding that you "might" buy that is on the list and head immediately to check-out when the timer goes off, and if you are not, You are over doing things. The secret?? THE LIST!! GET OUT OF THE STORE!!
We think we need to buy all that crap on TV in order for our children to be well adjusted. We don't. Remember, these people are highly paid to make you feel guilty or ugly or stupid if you don't invest in their products. You don't know these people, and you don't have to believe them! You can even turn them off!
We think we need to be politically correct. Let me assure you, WE DON'T!
Put up your lights if you want to, get the creche set up in the yard, and blare the Christmas music.
Say "Merry Christmas" to everyone you see, and don't forget the store clerks.
We think we need to make our "famous recipe for fudge" for everyone. We don't. They won't miss it. Chances are, YOU are the only one who will notice!
If you need to make the fudge, send it off to Iraq or Afghanistan to a soldier. You can bet he or she WILL notice! And if you don't have an address, call some churches and have them give it to a needy family.
Believe me, it will taste and feel better to you than that fudge ever could!
We think we need to buy presents for our grandchildren. We don't. Instead, we can take them to a store, let them pick out a toy, and then go straight to the Toys for Tots barrel run by the Marines, and let your grandchildren donate the toy(s) to a needy child who will have no Christmas otherwise. This is also a good thing to do for the kids still living with you. Take a photo of the toy being donated, and then, on Christmas day, give the framed photo to the donating child as their Christmas gift. It will mean more and more to them as the years pass, and they will look forward to giving toys to less priveledged children.
One year, before DH, it was just my daughter and I. We were very poor. There was no money for gifts. I took a piece of cloth and embroidered a clock face, then asked a friend to make me a frame for the clock. Another friend donated the clock workings, including the hands. While I was embroidering it, I pricked my finger, and a couple drops of blood spilled onto the clock face. I couldn't get it off.
The morning of Christmas, I was very worried and ashamed that that was all I could give my daughter for Christmas.
My DD opened her clock, and burst into tears. She came over and gave me the biggest hug ever. She instantly KNEW I had embrfooidered that clock face, and she also instantly saw the blood stains.
While sitting on my lap, hugging and crying, she said "Mom, this is the BEST gift I have ever gotten! You BLED to give me this."
She still has that clock, and it is still running. Neither one of us has forgotten that Christmas, and it is the best one I have ever had.
My husband and I have everything we need and then some. There is nothing left to WANT.
Each year, we individually choose a charity and then donate to it in the name of our spouse. Then we get a pretty Christmas card, and inside, it reads "This year you donated to ............charity, and they love you for it, and so do I". We keep the name of the charity secret from each other, and we only find out when we open the envelope.
These are just a few suggestions...........I am sure you all out there have many more.
Don't let the DAZE happen to you. Drop the expectations. Take your voice, whether you can sing or not, and head to a retirement home. Sing with the seniors! Play a game with them!
Leave a plate of cookies for someone who can't afford them on their door step.
If you live in snow country, go to a poor neighbor, and ask them to make a snow man with you. Leave them some cocoa to make hot chocolate.
If you see a stray animal that obviously is hungry, feed and shelter it.
Walk in the snow sticking out your tongue and see how many flakes you can catch with your mouth. It doesn't cost anything to be a kid again! You can even make snow angels. AND count points for the exercise!!
Find simple, old fashioned ways to celebrate the season, and spread your LOVE around. It is something that you cannot buy, but means the very most!
Expect to do Christmas YOUR way, and get to planning the fun.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Here is the solution:
While discussing the upcoming Universal Health Care Program with my sister-in-law the other day, I think we have found the solution. I am sure you have heard the ideas that if you're a senior you need to suck it up and give up the idea that you need any health care. A new hip? Unheard of. We simply can't afford to take care of you anymore. You don't need any medications for your high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, etc. Let's take care of the young people. After all, they will be ruling the world very soon.
So here is the solution. When you turn 70, you get a gun and 3 bullets You are allowed to shoot one senator and 2 representatives. Of course, you will be sent to prison where you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over your head and all the health care you need! And we hear as a prisoner, you will also get a Swine Flu vaccination!! New teeth, great! Need glasses, no problem! New hip, knee, kidney,lung, heart? Well bring it on. And who will be paying for all of this. The same government that just told you that you are too old for health care. And, since you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income tax.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Today is a very sad, sad day for me.
Nick is on the right. Gone, but never forgotten!
It is with great sadness that I write this. Nickolas died today, Tuesday, November 17, 2009 around 10:00 a.m. at Texas Childrens Hosptial at age 16. His family and grandparents were with him when he died. Nick fought the most courageous battle any of us could imagine and his spirit will live in all of us.
Thank all of you who have prayed. Nick knew his quilt had arrived, and stated many times he could feel the love and hugs it contained.
Nick requested to be buried with his quilt.
Please do not let this discourage you from making quilts for kids who are fighting cancer. Yes, we do lose some of them, but there are also many who recover.
When your heart gets heavy, remember Ally. She has now begun her third year of remission!
Yesterday another quilt went out to NY.
With love and appreciation for all you do,
Krackers and Ally
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Well, here are the photos. Actually, you have to go to my page and click photos to see what I am talking about.
I thought it easier to answer quilters' questions as to how I store my stash by posting photos. You know the old saying....one picture is worth a thousand words.
I also posted three of the Christmas Stockings that I finished for the troops. There are more to make, and they are coming along nicely.
Note that DH got my Elna all up and running again.......bless his heart!
I will be posting more photos of Ally Cat Quilts that are nearly ready to ship, too.
Anyway, I am very busy, quilting, quilting, quilting!
I did manage to get a mile walk in today, though. That is a great way to stretch after quilting for hours!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Yesterday my overworked Elan sewing machine started making s whiney kind of noise I have never heard before. It needs to be serviced.
DH does my machine service, which is a good thing, and a bad thing.
Good thing because he knows what he is doing, and it is much less costly.
Bad thing because he frequently gets distracted and hops from one "job" to another, not really finishing any of them.
But he WILL finish the Elna, if only to shut me up. I will nag him like a Fishwife until it is ready to sew again.
After all, there are quilts that must be stitched, right?! And Stockings that must be made for the deployed soldiers, right?! And Christmas gifts to be made, right?!
Ah, yes, I will harangue in my best Fishmonger's way and get my Elna back.
"She" and I have spent many long hours together over the past 12 years, and we are good friends. Together we have made over a thousand quilts, mended clothing, put together placemats and wall hangings, stitched up passport holders, pot holders, table runners and curtains. The list could go on and on.
My knee is still touchy about walking very far, so heading out for the wonderful nature/health walks is out.
The walks are very important to me. I love being outdoors, and love the meditative release the walking gives me. I solve all kinds of supposed problems during those walks, and Winsten and I appreciate nature's surprises found along the way.
Sometimes I have even caught myself humming as the road passes under my feet.
Let me tell you about my humming. Actually, I will tell you about my singing.
A long time ago (not long enough, because I still remember!), I was married to a different man. We will call him Durwood. Durwood is a very good description of what was in his head.
Anyway, Durwood and his family loved to go camping. Of course, they would take the women and kids so they would have someone to do all the work while they enjoyed the great outdoors, fish and do music.
We women and children set up the tents, unloaded the vehicles, cooked all the food, cleaned up afterward, gathered wood and made sure the campfire was appropriately rock and stone walled in.
We did all this AFTER we had done all the grocery shopping, pre-cooking and baking, got all the gear together and packed up, made sure the medicine chest was hauled into the car, selected His Majesty's clothing and packed that, and then loaded up the car, making sure all the kids were accounted for.
We would be stuffed in the car among all the baggage and supplies, while HM always did the driving, which was the least crowded place in the vehicle.
Anyway, about my singing.
One night they got out their guitars, sent the kids out Snipe Hunting, and proceeded to play music. It was very nice to listen to music under the sighing of the wind through the trees while the stars twinkled in amusement.
It was his brother, David's, birthday. I made the stupid cake for it before we left, and everyone gulped it down without comment.
While we were all sitting round the campfire, they started to sing "Happy Birthday" to David. I joined in.
I am singing away with gusto (which is the way Happy Birthday should be sung) when I realized I was singing alone. The music had stopped. They were all looking at me, and not in an admiring way, either!
Then Durwood lowered the bomb. He sarcastically said "Sandy, just MOUTH the words. Your singing is driving us off key."
NO, I did NOT bury his face in the campfire, although I must admit I thought of it!
That ended me singing for a very long time.......years, in fact.
By now you have probably also figured out why I am not married to Durwood any more. Which is a good thing! Since dumping HIM, my life has improved thousands fold.
Anyway, I am pouty today because my quilting has to be put off, and I can't go walking to gather my meandering thoughts.
What to DO??? I mean, is there really LIFE without Elna and walking???
Huh? Did I just hear Ms. Smarmy say "clean house"? Did Miss Goodytwoshoes just chime her nasty little comment "there's LOTS of housework to get caught up with!"?
Housework? HOUSEWORK??? Is that as far as their pebble sized brains can take them??
Haven't I tried to teach them "Quilting Forever, Housework Whenever"? They are slow learners, those two.
I happen to be very emotionally close ot my dust bunnies. they all have their own names and resting places. They are not loud or boisterous, and do not interrupt with any needs of their own. And they don't eat much either.
Ms. Smarmy points to what SHE calls "cobwebs". Stupid person! Those are NOT cobwebs!!! They are DREAMCATCHERS, for Pete's sake! They do a great service in separating the good dreams from the bad. They add character to otherwise boring ceilings. They are gossamere stalacmites!
Then Ms. Goodytwoshoes points to the furniture. She calls it dust. Moron!
That is NOT dust! It is simply message pads for those who cannot find paper and pencil.
I mean, honestly! these two just don't get it. They think life is all about cleanliness and orderliness. It isn't.
Life is all about breaking all the rules, trying scary things at least once, laughing till I pee and snort. Grabbing challenges I don't believe I can accomplish only to find that I am my own hero! Life is taking a different path, just because it is there and I haven't been on it yet. It doesn't matter if I color outside the lines or match my outfits. It doesn't matter if I don't put on make-up or change clothes before I run into town for some groceries. It only matters that I GO!
So now I can sing as well as Barbra Strisand, dance as well as Cyd Charrise, and am as beautiful as Audrey Hepburn.
Is there anything else?
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