Sunday, December 18, 2005

Moving: A Reason to Clean House!

I moved last Sunday and foolishly thought my home would be in order by today. Silly me! I am a sentimental grandma-wanna-be and continue to move things from pillar to post waiting to share with future generations. I am beginning to realize that everything is getting older, less attractive and sometimes, downright dirty so why am I keeping it?

When I moved, I saw boxes marked with "Children's Toys" and "Stuffed Animals." Keeping in mind that my own "baby" is 25, do I really think I will want to let a grandchild of mine actually touch one of their parent's old toys and potentially put it in their mouth? Of course not! But I cannot bear to part with these pieces of my/their past. I still have a box of "Donna's Old Doll Clothes" which holds precious items made by my grandmother for my little doll Barbara. Barbara bit the dust long ago. There is nothing more pathetic than an old rubber doll that sat in an attic too many years. She got sticky, brittle and even her little eyes looked as though they were afflicted with cataracts!

I helped my grandmother break up housekeeping almost 20 years ago and since that time I have continued to move my grandfather's old garden tools with me. Did I really think I might decorate my home with a scythe or dandelion picker? I also have his old metal hoe and an antique rake. Was I thinking I would turn my den into a Cracker Barrel motif?? I have found a place to hang my grandparent's Chinese Checker board and my uncle's small wooden bat is an heirloom I love.

There are just too many boxes to be sorted and yet I must stay the course! I have to make decisions. How many is ENOUGH candles? Do I think I will ever want to load those old computer programs again?? Why do I need How To manuals on programs that I used at jobs a decade ago? I did not keep the ex so why did I choose to keep that ceramic owl wedding gift?!

Worse yet is my fading optimism that I should keep those smaller sized clothes on the chance I will fit back into them while they are still in style. As I sorted through things this afternoon I recognized I have enough outgrown clothes to start my own thrift store, complete with coordinating shoes, purses and lingerie! Calgon, take me away!!!

There are so many things I had in storage that would have been helpful to the victims of Katrina and Rita. But I realize it is not too late to replenish the stock at any number of benevolent establishments. I am definitely in the mood to lighten my load and if I can just keep that attitude, I may soon be able to stop running the obstacle course each time to the front door. Wish me luck!! Better yet ... does anyone have a blowtorch??

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Stockings are Serious Business

As I mentioned in my last entry, one of the things that makes me happy is filling the Christmas stockings for my kids each year. I have been very fortunate that I have always been with my parents and my children at Christmas every year but one. Sometimes it has been a quick turn around trip but we always seem to be able to work things out. (It helps that the kids' dad's family do their big celebrating on Christmas Eve.)

And now, when my children are 25 and 28, I still make certain they get a specially filled stocking from Santa. In the toe of the stocking is an orange followed by a handful of nuts (in their shells of course). This is a tradition that has continued for four generations. Next I add Hershey's Kisses in the green, red and silver wrappers which have been a tradition for three generations. Absolutely nothing tastes better on Christmas morning when you are opening gifts than that simple bit of chocolate!

After the traditions, I am challenged to be as creative as possible and get as much as I can stuffed into the remaining space. My daughter typically gets a piece of jewelry and my son gets something with an Aggie theme (Texas A&M). There are giftcards from their favorite fast food places, a small book (usually with a religious theme), some form of music, the latest cleaning gadget (the Mr Clean Eraser is this years' pick), something different they would not buy themselves (like citrus flavored toothpaste), a Chick Fil A calendar and a funny stuffed critter coming out the top. I have been known to throw in staples they could use when they were in college, like makeup, contact solution, stamps and vitamins. If I go down the aisles of WalMart in the two weeks prior to Christmas, you can bet I will save my purchases for gifts. That is why I gave the kids batteries one year for their portable CD players. (I don't think they have recovered from that bit of creativity!!)

I have also given them talking picture frames, freeze dried food for camping and disposable cameras. They complained about the calendar so that's history and I have promised my son I will no longer buy Aggie crafts. Not sure why but he did not appreciate the Aggie flashlight I bought one year that was a stick with a match glued on the end. It even had spare batteries (box of matches) glued to the side. He did like the special pen I purchased made from the wood of a tree cut the year the Aggie bonfire fell. That was his sophomore year and it was an especially sentimental gift since he lost two friends in the accident. I am so pleased when I find something special like that!!

The Christmas stocking is also the place where I can place an heirloom being handed down. Like the pair of special scissors I gave my daughter that belonged to her great-grandmother.

You might think these are very large stockings but they aren't. I made them myself and they are 8" wide at the top and about 12 - 15" deep to the heel. My parents have no fireplace so the stockings always "sit" in a chair next to the tree. The calendar use to be what I used to give the stocking some body and keep it from flopping over. Hmmm ... not sure what I'll use this year. Maybe just more nuts!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

List ten things that make you happy and then tag five people to do the same.

Jackie, aka upseted, aka has tagged me. I'm in the middle of moving this weekend, but while the computer is still hooked up, I cannot pass up a good meme!

1. Rainbows. I will almost wreck the car if I see one when I am driving.
2. Massage therapy. I do not care what kind... Shiatsu, Swedish, Reflexology ... I love it all.
3. Filling my kids' Christmas stockings. Yes, I know they are grown but Santa still finds us and leaves goodies for Christmas morning.
4. A cold Dr. Pepper.
5. Looking at the stars on a clear night out in the country.
6. Someone playing the piano for me. (This is the one reason I miss the ex. Okay, there is also #2. LOL)
7. Holding hands.
8. Listening to water. A waterfall, crashing ocean waves, a rushing brook, a rainstorm, or even the shower.
9. My crafts. I am really happy when I actually finish a project!
10. The feel of a soft, fleece blanket on a cold night.

Now I am tagging Vivian, Robin (AOL's Guest Editor this week), Jody/dornbrau, Judith and one guy for good measure ... Jon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Do I hear $1 million? Anyone? Anyone?

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The weather is nasty here in the Dallas area so when ice formed on the cars in the parking lot, our boss decided to close the office and we all headed home. Nice to have a little journal time. I was visiting moltenhalo's The Corner and found he had been able to get a personal value on himself showing he was worth over $2.2 million.

I had once been able to determine the value of my old journal but when the bids were finalized on eBay, I found I could not bear to part with it. Little did I know my journal would soon be vandalized and then the property values in my neighborhood went down dramatically. In the end, I had to take the loss and ulitmately I moved to my new "home."

So, running the risk of a repeat devaluation, I still looked into it and learned I am worth $1,964,780 on I guess that is not too bad for this old gal. It is not too late for me to post myself on eBay. I would be a great stocking stuffer, exchange gift at a company party or a Secret Santa goodie . Wadda ya think?? Is there a market for an imitation Mrs. Claus?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Saturday Six - Episode 86

From Patrick's Weekender

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Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! Enjoy!

1. Is it a "Christmas Tree" or a "Holiday Tree?"

It is a Christmas tree! It's decorated with Christmas ornaments, Christmas lights, and hugged by Christmas gifts.

2. When you purchase a DVD, what of the following are you most interested in watching first: the movie itself, the director's commentary, the deleted scenes, the bloopers or the behind-the-scenes documentary, and why?

The behind-the-scenes documentary is what piques my curiosity first. Why? Because it is so much fun to feel you like you have the "inside track" on what was happening during the filming. A close second is the director's commentary. One of the best was for The Sixth Sense. The director pointed out so many little things I would never have caught myself.

3. What would you most like to accomplish before the year is over?

To move. It happens next week - wheeeee!

4. Take this quiz: After you enter your birthday, you'll be given a lot of facts about your age and astrology: How old are you in dog years?

I took this quiz and learned, among other things, that I am a little over 7 years old in dog years. One thing I learned which I would rather not have known was the on/or about date of my conception. LOL!!! Did I really need to know that? I don't think so.

5. From the same quiz, what does it say your "Life Path Number" is, and do you agree with its description?

My Life Path Number is 9. Much like astrology readings, some fits, some does not.

6. Do you have a piece of jewelry with your birthstone in it? If so, how often do you wear it?

Yes, I have a pair of aquamarine and diamond earrings that I usually only wear in the spring.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

First Annual Dallas Bloggers Holiday Extravaganza!

For the second month in a row the Dallas Bloggers (formerly known as J-landers) got together for fun, food and festivities. This time we gathered at the home of Vivian, Nwanyioma's Journal. Even though our little AOL community has been dealt a blow, we did not let it deter us from coming together and having a wonderful time. I'd say six hours for brunch is more than sufficient, wouldn't you?!

The last time we were gathered Julie, twin sister of Judith at
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, was out of town and unable to join us. This time, Julie was present but Judi, emmapeeldallas, was under the weather and did not make it. We missed you, Judi! It was great to meet you, Julie!!

The food we enjoyed was as eclectic as the participants. Everything was delicious! To avoid indigestion, we kept our grumblings of the AOL ad dibacle to a minimum but all agreed, it was poorly handled and has damaged what was a peaceful, happy little community. We each have handled the situation in our own way and were pleased to know we shall remain friends regardless of where we blog! I suspect we will learn of more bloggers in the Dallas area in our new and various journal homes and our numbers may grow. Vivian was the only one who took pictures this time and, even though she has shared, I'll let her post those on her journal. She has a lovely home which reflects her warm and friendly personality.

I can tell V has been very busy since we were all together yesterday. Check out her
latest journal entry. I am a bit behind but have every intention of catching up soon.