Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have a Very Merry Merry!



I just wanted to stop by and wish all of my online friends a very Merry Santa Day! I will be trying to get around to your Journals/blogs today to drop off a message... but, well, there is stuff to do, I know you all understand! LOL!

I spent part of last night with Norad's Santa Clause Tracker up in a tab of my firefox browser... occasionally checking to see where the man in red had gotten too. This has become an annual tradition for us. I would occasionally tell G that "Santa is in England", or "Santa is in Puerta Rico", and finally the all important "Santa has arrived at the Cape!" That would be Cape Canaveral for all of you non-Floridians. This is always the important one for us for a couple of reasons. One, it is usually Santa's first stop in the U.S.; two, it is usually Santa's first stop in our state; and three, it will usually have a video ;p 

See below for the video of Santa visiting us in Florida!


I usually also keep my eye out for a couple of other favorite stops.... when Santa hits St. Louis (near my Grandson, Son and DIL), Kentucky for near my Mom, Grandmother and some other extended family, Texas because G's family is mostly there and finally, one of my favorites... Roswell! LOL!

I'm hoping that all of you are having a wonderful day full of family and cheer no matter which Winter Holiday you are celebrating!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Celebrations of Light and Hope

It has become tradition that on Dec 21 I repost this entry from my first year of blogging. It originally appeared on my AOL Journal in 2004. This is the fifth year that I have 'reprinted' it. It still says what I want to remember about this time of year, so I am repeating it again this year. Some of the circumstances have changed...  Our little family is one smaller with the passing of D.K. We have changed jobs and moved a couple of times. G and I are now married... Things change and yet some things remain the same. I hope you enjoy my annual Celebration of Light and Hope.

Today is the shortest day of the year... and the longest night. It is the first day of Winter. It is the celebration of Yule. It is an acknowledgement of Hope. That Light and Warmth and other good things will always return after the darkness. It is the day that G. and I celebrate as our personal Winter Holiday. In ancient times, this was the festival of the rebirth of the new god and a promise that after today the days would get longer, the nights would get shorter, and warmth and Spring WOULD come.

Yes, secularly we, like so many others, celebrate Christmas. In the United States, Christmas is no longer just a religious holiday. With the gift giving, and Santa, and the decorations... Christmas has become more, and less, than what was originally intended. Everyone takes the pieces and parts of the holiday that works for them. Some embrace the religious parts, and try to ignore how secular it has become... others embrace the secular with it's parties, lights, Santa, and presents and ignore any religious beginnings of the holiday. But, at it's heart, it is still a Winter Holiday.. A celebration of Hope. And every religion/belief system seems to have a celebration of some type that embraces this.

I grew up in the States, and therefore my memories of a Winter Holiday include all of the above. And Christmas itself is as much a melting pot as the United States itself. The Christmas tree is German, and Santa is the culmination of a blend of traditions from many countries. Mistletoe? Druid. Christmas Cards? England. You see what I mean. G. and I will be celebrating with my brother and his family on Christmas Eve at his house. That's the day we all have off together. Christmas Day G. is working so a co-worker can be home with his small children for the all important Santa Claus ritual <g>.

I think what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter who you are, or what your core beliefs are... There is a place in the Winter Holidays  for all. But, please, take a moment this season, whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Yule, or Christmas, to remember that the REAL reason for all of these celebrations is to celebrate HOPE in all of its forms

                                              Christmas Candles
graphics by useless graphics

Monday, December 08, 2008

This Amuses Me...




Go here and check out the story of Otto the octopus. It amuses me that they had to do a stake out of his enclosure to figure out how he was doing it. He also periodically rearranges his tank to better suit his taste. People often do not give creatures such as these enough credit. They are much more intelligent than most people think. I did find the website for the aquarium where Otto lives, but it wasn't in English, so I didn't link to it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

An Award.. For Me?

marieantoinetteawardpic I've seen this award making the rounds, and was shocked (and pleased!) when Melissa of Just Another Day in Paradise nominated me for it. There are rules and the rules are to link back to the person who nominated you, then pass the award on to 7 more deserving people. Hmmmm.. I'm never very good at the picking out of people, and a lot of the people I would nominate have already received this award... however, I will try to pick out 7 that you may not be reading!

My first pick is one a lot of you probably already read... if not, you should pop over and meet Dorn and the Oompas! Dorn juggles her husband, Dickidoo, several children still at home (affectionately called Oompas), her concern for her oldest son who is serving in the military and a job. If any blog is about real people Dustbunny Club of North America is one of them!

Over at Dock Lines Sam tells us about his life. He's always fascinated us with stories of the boats and activities at his job, and now we are looking forward to hearing about his newest adventure--his grandson. His grandson is living with Sam and his wife and they are enjoying seeing the world thru his eyes.

Coy at Dancing in the Rain always has something interesting to tell us about. She lives in a beautiful part of Florida and often gifts us with pictures of her scenic surroundings.

If you read Donna at Just Me, you shouldn't miss the adventures of her daughter Rachel and her family at Life 'n Stuff. Rachel works hard and loves her family. With 2 girls at home, a dog, a husband, and two boys out on their own Rachel usually has something to say.... and maybe a hotel picture or two!

Celeste of My Day and Thoughts has a small farm and a bunch of critters to help entertain us. She also has a granddaughter that she adores and loves to spend time with and a husband to keep life interesting.

Kathy at Flamingo Feathers has a very full life, but still finds time to let us share it. One of the brightest spots in her blog is her daughter Emily. Any entry about Emily is sure to be one that will brighten your day.

Kas of Hestia Homeschool is one of my favorite bloggers. She and her family have a wide variety of critters AND they do some wildlife rehab which is always interesting. Kas and her family recently got a new place with a lot more land recently... this is great for them, but not so good for those of us who follow their adventures. Kas has been having a little bit of trouble with connection issues so we haven't heard a lot lately, but I hope that this will soon be fixed!

I was right, this was really hard... there are still a bunch more people I think deserve this award--basically everyone over there on my sidebar in the ever growing list of blogs that I follow!