Tuesday, December 31, 2019



A new year and new decade is upon us.  Hard to believe twenty years have gone by since Y2K. This is a bittersweet day as we give way to old memories and make way for the new.  Wishing all of you the best the new year and new decade has to offer - may it be a year and decade filled with health, happiness and prosperity.

Friday, December 20, 2019


I'm using the Christmas meme making the rounds of blogland.  Thank you ladies for sharing.

Wrapping or gift bags?  For me it's gift bags unless there is no way to use them.

Real tree or artificial? We always have an artificial one these days. I miss the smell of a real tree though. 

When do you put up the tree?  Usually Thanksgiving weekend.

When do you take the tree down? Usually the day after New Year's - sometimes even New Years Day.  Growing up though I remember my mom never wanted to take the tree down on January 6th (Little Christmas, she used to call it)

Do you like eggnog? I love eggnog. Not exactly on my low carb diet, but a little at Christmas won’t hurt… I hope.  Hell, it's Christmas and carbs don't count.  

Favorite gift received as a child? 
I remember two, a Toni doll and a transistor radio.  (is there anybody out there that even knows what those things are?)

Hardest person to buy for? My son-in-law followed closely by my older grandson and my husband.

Easiest person to buy for?  No one.

Do you have a nativity scene?  Yes

Mail or email Christmas cards? 
I send out very few, but I use snail mail for them.

Worst Christmas gift ever received?  I guess I'm lucky I can't remember any worst gift.

Favorite Christmas movie? I love "The Gathering".

When do you start shopping for Christmas? Early. I HATE crowds and I’m not shopping once the hordes begin.

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present to a local charity?  Yes,I just did that.  I had several board games that had never been opened and I donated them to the Firemen's Christmas Toy Drive. 

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  Christmas cookies and trifle.

Lights on the tree; colored or white?  For years it was only white but our new tree gives us a choice so we have them rotating between white and color.  I think I know love the color best.

Favorite Christmas song?  Oh, Holy Night

Travel at Christmas or stay home?  Home. Just like with shopping, I hate the crowds and spending it with family means airports and such.

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?  Dasher, Dancer, Comet, Prancer, Vixen - Rudolph, of course. Guess not

Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither

Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Always Christmas Eve for our presents. Santa's presents on Christmas morning.

Favorite ornament theme or color? I love the randomness of our tree. No theme, no rhyme or reason. 

Favorite for Christmas dinner?  Prime Rib, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, asparagus, and trifle for dessert.

What do you want for Christmas this year?  Health and happiness for my family and friends.

Who is most likely to respond to this? No longer have any idea who will stop by.

This was fun and also easy, I copied PK's post and so many of our answers were the same.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Didja know?

Do you know the meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas song?  I heard bits and pieces over the years but this seems to cover all twelve days.  I must admit by the time Christmas arrives, I hate this song.

The Partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.

The Two Turtle doves are the Old and New Testament.

Three French Hens represent Faith, Hope and Love.

Four Calling Birds are Matthew, Make Luke and John.

Five Golden Rings recalled the Torah or Law - the first five books of the Old Testament.

Six Geese a Laying - the six days of Creation

Seven Swans a Swimming - the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit - Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

Eight Maids a Milking- represent the eight Beatitudes.

Nine Ladies Dancing - the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

Ten Lords a Leaping - The Ten Commandments

Eleven Pipers Piping - stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

Twelve Drummers Drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed.

Now I know - there are still some things I'm not sure about like the eight beatitudes and the twelve points of the Apostle's Creed.  I probably knew them at one time, after all, I went to Catholic school almost my entire life but...

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas Memories

I was looking for something in my document files the other day when I came across this story.  I began reading and it was as if someone else had written it.  But then, I felt that way about so many of my stories - it was like automatic writing. Anyway, it's appropriate for the season and so here it is.


We were finally finished. 444 Shady Elm Drive was festooned in her holiday garb for the last time under our ownership.  Barry carried me over the threshold as a young bride more than forty years ago, and every Christmas since we would drape fresh pine, fairy lights, and red bows across the width and breadth of her welcoming arms.  We stood back and admired our handiwork.  Next, we would decorate the tree that stood sentinel to our front porch.  Berries, strings of popcorn, and packets of birdseed tied to its boughs would welcome our flighted friends.  Here’s where the kids would put out the reindeer food as a welcome to Santa’s friends. Every inch of this house provided a loving memory, but it was time for Barry and me to begin another chapter in our lives.
The stately Victorian lady was a beauty and the porch is what sold me on the house all those many years ago.  It was more house than we needed or could afford at the time, but we managed. The previous owners worked with Barry and held the second mortgage because they wanted to sell to people who would love the house as much as they had.  We were that couple.  We spent lots of time and money keeping her beautiful as she aged along with us.

It wasn’t always easy, but Barry held my feet to the fire (or should I say lit my bottom on fire) many times over the years when I overspent our very carefully crafted budget.  Once our son came along and I was a stay at home mom I had to economize even further, and Christmas time was always a red-bottomed time for me.  It was very difficult not to overspend our budget, not only on presents but on making the house a beautiful tribute to Christmas.

All of those memories came flooding back as we worked.  This year, when the Christmas decorations came down from the attic, they wouldn’t be packed up and stored for the following year. This year, our children and grandchildren would be urged to pick out their favorite items and take them as they left for their own homes.   There were very few exceptions – things I couldn’t part with no matter what the consequences, then or now.

Things like the twelve-piece Dresden Nativity set I purchased our second Christmas.  I was still working and planned on having it paid off before Barry knew the true cost.  Unfortunately, our son came along before that happened.  When Barry saw the bill and what was still left to pay, there was hell to pay.  I not only received the very first belt spanking that had me sitting on a welted bruised bottom for days but somewhere in our memory box is an essay on trust among husband and wife.  That was as difficult to write as the spanking was to bear.  The pages became tear-stained as the lesson became clearer as the words filled the page.

The first year we were married, Barry purchased this God-awful angel as a tree topper.  Gaudy doesn’t even begin to describe it but Barry loved it and for years it adorned the treetop.  He would lovingly gaze at its gaudy beauty and hang it in its place of honor.  It reigned supreme for ten years before I couldn’t stand looking at her any longer.  I found an angel to take her place and replaced his angel while he was at work.  He may never have noticed until our daughter, bless her heart, commented on how beautiful was our new angel.  A battle ensued, ending with the warning that the old angel better be back in place or my ass would be toast.  Since I’d burned the old angel, my ass was, indeed, toasted to a crisp. That essay on respecting your mate’s desires and personal possessions is also in the memory box.

We came inside as the day began its journey into night. Barry lit a fire, put on the old Christmas albums, and we started the task of decorating our inside tree.  Years before, Barry finally convinced me that it would be much more convenient to have an artificial tree. And here’s the reason for the next Christmas bottom warming memory. After much searching, I found one that I thought would make me happy.  It was a seven-foot beauty, with over a thousand pre-strung lights and the price tag was in the range of the lights.  My reasoning was that we would have the tree for years and if we amortized the cost of what we would spend on a real tree yearly, it was a bargain.  Barry didn’t agree – I was over his knee getting my backside warmed before the first ornament was placed.  We still have the tree and for years Barry reminded me of how expensive it was by giving me the number of spanks amortized through the years.  Another essay on how we were never to spend more than $200 without first consulting the other partner is boxed along with the others. 

The box with the Santa Claus suit was set aside for our oldest son.  Obviously, it hadn’t been used in years, and when we pulled it out, Barry and I both laughed.  He found the suit in a used clothing store and as a lark decided to buy it to play Santa Claus for our kids.  That long-ago night, when the kids were in bed, Barry tried on the suit.  We were teasing and playing around, and he was telling me what a naughty girl I was and how naughty girls were spanked.  There I was, sprawled over Santa’s lap, getting my bottom spanked when our son walked into the room.  He came over and started pummeling Santa with his little fist telling him to leave his mommy alone.   What a snow job Barry thought he did as he tried convincing our little one that he must have been dreaming.  It wasn’t until years later that our son confessed that he knew it was Barry all along and said he’d learned a valuable lesson that he carried forth into his own marriage. 

Then there were the ornaments we purchased each year, reminding us of a special vacation or events in our life – ballet slippers, ice skates, a Hawaiian beach shirt, a cap and gown and the infamous cheese board (paddle) Barry purchased the same time he bought the infamous Christmas Angel.

Once the tree decorations had all been placed, the lights lit, the Nativity Scene arranged under the tree, Barry and I sat back to admire our hard work.  We were exhausted, but there was one thing left to do.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

“Yes, let’s get it done.”

He bared my bottom and placed me across his lap.  “Now let’s get this bottom in the Christmas spirit,” and he began to spank so that I too was decorated in red for the holidays.

Do you have any Christmas memories tucked away?  Like the couple in this story we gave most of ours to our daughter when we moved to the motor home.  I still get to see them when we visit them at Christmas.