Sunday, December 30, 2007

Let's celebrate!


December 31st is definitely a day for celebration. It's not only New Year's Eve but our dear friend Jean's birthday! It's not every day you get to be 70! Especially looking so good. Please drop by her place at Sweet Nothings and wish here the very best birthday ever.
Here's to you my friend.................................................................

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why men are never depressed

Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

Share this with women who can handle it and to the men who will enjoy reading it

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Christmas Mouse


A friend of mine sent me this sweet story.

By Betty LeBaron Mostert

When I was a child in the 1950s and 1960s, our Christmas traditions were not elaborate—except for the stockings. Because we children enjoyed our Christmas stockings so much, we continued the tradition when we married and had children of our own. Buying surprises and assembling dozens of Christmas stockings, however, soon became too much for my aging parents, especially my mother, who had a serious case of rheumatoid arthritis that limited her mobility and energy.

Eventually, I volunteered to take over the project. Our annual extended family home evening, in which we acted out the Christmas story and opened our stockings, found me exhausted from the demands of being the mother of several small children and juggling the events of an active life. As I watched everyone dump treasures out of the gingham Christmas stockings I had carefully prepared, I was feeling a little sorry for myself.

As expected, my stocking was empty except for the standard candy cane and Japanese orange that I had placed there earlier. But as I shook them out, I noticed a little bedraggled mouse made of a walnut and hazelnuts. One ear was much bigger than the other, and the whiskers were crooked. The tail had been cut too short, and the loop to hang it on the tree was off center. I was confused. Had someone’s kindergarten project ended up in my stocking?

I looked up and saw my mother watching me from her wheelchair across the room. With a gnarled, bent finger, she beckoned to me.

“I wanted to do something for the Christmas stockings,” she said. “They made these little mice in Relief Society, and they were so cute.”

Her tears were close to the surface, and her gentle voice shook as she continued.

“I couldn’t get my fingers to work, so I made only one. It didn’t turn out, but I knew you wouldn’t mind.”

I looked again at the little mouse in my hand. She was right. I didn’t mind. In fact, her little bedraggled mouse became the most precious treasure of all that Christmas.

For more than 20 years, I have tenderly removed the tissue paper from the misshapen mouse crafted by misshapen fingers and carefully placed it on a branch. My angel mother has been free of her crippled body for several years, but her Christmas mouse reminds me of two profound truths.

The first is that my mother honored me by believing that I could look past the mouse’s crooked ears and feel the love and sacrifice that went into its creation. The second is that if I, as an imperfect mortal, am capable of finding beauty in a humble little mouse, how much more is our Father in Heaven capable of seeing past our imperfect efforts and understanding our pure intentions.

I know that when we do our best to give to others and to Him, our gift is not just good enough—it is of incalculable worth.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wow, it's over!



This Christmas stuff is exhausting. Everybody crashed after Christmas dinner, including Bailey. We had a great time with family and I hope you did too. We did Christmas eve at my brother's house about 2 1/2 hours from here and then back to my in-laws for Christmas day. I am actually working on Wednesday and Thursday this week. We are off to Wisconsin on Friday for a surprise birthday party on Saturday and then New Year's eve. Not sure if I'll be able to post from Wisconsin. Availability to the net might be limited. Boo hoo..........................

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours. I am thankful for all my blogging friends. This will be my last post until after Christmas.
I may come visit if I have a few minutes. Hugs!

Nan

Light display for Christmas


A friend sent me this Christmas display. Check it out and turn up your volume for the music. It's very cool.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Stars and angels!

Button box stars.
Coffee filter angel. Instructions.
Tabletop angel.

I saw these on the BHG website. I think they are adorable.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Hoopla!

I've been tagged by Karen to participate in the Christmas Hoopla. You just tell 12 random things about yourself having to do with Christmas.
  1. When we were kids, Mom would take us with her to take things to a needy family. Really made us appreciate what we had.
  2. We always "adopt" a child at the local woman's shelter at Christmas.
  3. I like to cook and bake cookies with my friends or family at Christmas.
  4. I love to decorate for Christmas. It's my favorite holiday.
  5. When I was a kid I always wanted one of those long ribbons of suckers. Why, I don't know.
  6. My husband isn't a stocking filler. Wish he was. He might buy some smallish items but doesn't use the stocking. ????
  7. My Dad passed away a few days after Christmas a few years ago. I miss him so much. I try not to be depressed at Christmas as he had a full happy life. I think of the good times.
  8. I can't wait to go "home" for Christmas. We all get along so well.
  9. My husband and I always wait until Christmas morning to open our gifts to each other.
  10. I love to have snow on Christmas eve and Christmas day.
1. List 12 random things about yourself that has to do with Christmas.2. Please refer to it as hoopla and not the dreaded m-word.3 According the the creator, Andrea, you must specifically tag your people. There's none of this saying, "if you reading this consider yourself tagged.4. Hurry, Christmas is coming and Andrea would like as many people to get involved in this as possible so it can make the rounds and we can read 12 things about everyone and Christmas.

I tag these friends for the "Christmas Hoopla":

Rose
Susie
Terri

Christmas Golf

Four old-timers were playing their weekly game of golf, and one remarked
> how nice it would be
> to wake up on Christmas morning, roll out of bed and without an argument
> go directly to the golf
> course, meet his buddies and play a round. His buddies all chimed in and
> said, 'Let's do it! We'll
> make it a priority to figure out a way and meet here early Christmas
> morning.' Months later, that
> special morning arrives, and there they are on the golf course.
>
> The first guy says, 'Boy this game cost me a fortune! I bought my wife
> such a diamond ring that
> she can't take her eyes off it.'
>
> The second guy says, 'I spent a ton, too. My wife is at home planning the
> cruise I gave her.. She
> was up to her eyeballs in brochures.'
>
> The third guy says 'Well my wife is at home admiring her new car, reading
> the manual.'
>
> They all turned to the last guy in the group who is staring at them like
> they have lost their minds.
> ' I can 't believe you all went to such expense for this golf game. I
> slapped my wife on the butt
> and said, 'Well babe, Merry Christmas! It's a great morning for either sex
> or golf.' . . . and she
> said........'Take a sweater.'
>

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Whew..........Day One!



Day one at work was exhausting. So much to learn, so little time. I sure hope this old dog will be able to catch on to some new tricks. I had to go to bed early last night, which I never do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Our Christmas Open House!

Twas an Open House ………

Twas a few days before Christmas, at our Open House,

Not a space was undecorated, not even the couch.

The stockings were hung, including the dogs,

In the hope we would be visited by many other blogs.

The egg nog was made and spiked with some rum,

And put in nice cups for the people that come.

With me in my red sweater and my husband in black,

We hoped many people would stop for a snack.

When out on the porch I heard a bell ring,

So I jumped from my chair to hear my friends sing.

Away to the door I ran like a deer.

To greet a few guests and wish them good cheer.

The candlelight glistened as they walked in the door,

This was just the beginning of my Christmas d├ęcor.

When what to their wondering eyes should appear,

but a reflection of crimson and gold in the mirror.

With a cute little tree, all decked in white lights,

They knew they would enjoy my other delights.

With eager excitement, they ran through my home,

Finding red birds and Santas placed under a dome.

More rapid than Helio, the bloggers they came,

And I greeted and shouted and called them by name!

Hi BJ, hi Karen, hi Janet, hi Pat. There’s Boo mama and

Terri and Alice and Matt. Hi Penny, Manuela, Sherry and Julie.

Hi Rose and Dena and Robin and Millie.

To the office, to the great room, to the kitchen, and hall,

They wouldn’t stop looking until they saw it all.

As they ate and they drank, they noticed there was more,

A village of houses with a church and a store.

So away to the village they flew like a flash,

Like kids in a candy store they did a quick dash.

And then in a twinkling, I heard someone say,

We have more blogs to visit so we must be on our way.

They sprang to their keyboards and entered more sites,

And I heard them exclaim as they took their last bites.

“Happy Christmas to all my blogging friends

and to all a good night!”

Welcome to our home.
The lights are on.
A peak at the window.

A decorated sled greets you at the door.
Bubble lights in the windows.
Candlelight.
Candles on the curio.
Stockings, including Bailey the beagle's.
The crimson and gold tree. Small but shining.


I like this poinsettia gift wrap.
Close up of the poinsettias on my tree.
A new ornament from a friend. It plays silent night too. I love it.
Lots of crimson and gold balls on the tree.
I've been adding picture ornaments of the nieces and nephews.
These balls are red and green but look like pink and green.
My round little wooden Santa.
Santas under my cloche in the kitchen.
Would you care for a cookie?



My Santa Chef!
Would you like a cup of tea? It's not exactly Chritmas but the colors worked.
New kitchen dishes on the plate rack.
These are my cardinals under my cloche on the coffee table.
Santas, Santas everywhere. I love all kinds of them.

This one has a great beard.
This one too!
I like this one's curly beard and eye brows.

A night picture.

I like how the red awning in my picture kinda frames Santa. He looks like he's had a hard night.
This one is by the baker's rack.
This is my little red chair from when I was a child. I'm sitting in it on my sidebar photo. Wouldn't get my butt in it now, I don't think.



These are my vintage skiers, skaters and sledders. All the ones displayed are actual 1950's ones that were under my husbands Christmas tree when he was a kid. My MIL was sweet enough to give them to me. A couple of years ago, I was lucky to find some reproduction ones to add to it. You can see the boxes in the background.

Please bring your bags and stop at the hotel for the night. Then you can spend an evening at the theater on the left. We'll bring a horse drawn carriage to escort you through the rest of the village. So grab a blanket and hot chocolate and enjoy the ride.
Here is the hotel during the day.
Here is my baker's rack filled with my village houses. I have been collecting them for years and I actually have about 60 houses but only a third are out right now. I try to combine some of my early ones with a few newer ones. I am a Dickens purist, you might say. I actually have a train, train station and all of that as well but we didn't get it all out this year.
The house on the left was a new purchase this year. It's the university. You can see the graduates on the bridge. Off to the right is the solarium with all the people that actually move and dance around.
The left house is the brewery. Every town has to have it's local brew pub. And, of course, stop by the poulterer's for a chicken for dinner.
Make a stop by the coal merchant to stock up on fuel for the winter.
These are a couple of my early houses. The one on the left is a toy shop and on the right an antique shop. The early houses were much smaller and less detailed than the houses today.
This is the East Indies trading company.
Of course, a doctors office, on the left, is important to any town.
My vintage tree in the office with ornaments from Mom and some vintage looking postcards.



My Barbie and Ginny doll and a toy I bought to represent my beagle, Bailey.
I just love the movie/book "Scrooge" or "A Christmas Carol". I had to have Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge himself. A couple of carolers also stand in front of my Christmas Carol book in the office.
This is my husband's Indianapolis Colts Nutcracker in our home office.

This is the Santa in my hallway. I think I like his face the best of all my Santas. This is about the only wallpaper I have left in my house. I always kinda liked the books.

This is my dress form in the guest room with red lights. I know they look pink in the picture.

The little stocking is hanging on the armoire in the guest room. It's the one I made from my sweater. You may have seen it in my previous post.

These are a couple of Santas in my guest bath. I like the picture the best since it's a little more old fashioned looking. But I've never met a Santa I don't like

This is a hand-painted ornament from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. We went there last year on a vacation. Our friends live down there and this reminds me of them.


This is my little blue tree in our bedroom. It's one of the few places where I actually have snowmen. Our bedroom is mocha colored with blue and turquoise accents. I love snowmen, but I have a passion for Santas. I just love all their facial expressions.
Most importantly, the reason for the season!
I love my hand-painted nativity. I have it displayed on my dresser.
While religion is not part of everyone's Christmas, hopefully peace on earth and good will toward men will be. Have a blessed Christmas and be thankful for family and friends. I'm thankful for you.

Your friend Nan from "On my Porch".