Friday, December 25, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, in a land far away, Christmas dawned bright and clear. The snow on the tree branches glistened in the morning sun and the sky was so blue there could be no description for it. The fluffy white clouds hung in sight waiting for a breeze to move them along.

Briiing, BRiiing, BRIIING!!! Time to get up. (I really don't have an alarm clock--the "briing" is just literary license to make a point)

The dream went up in a poof of reality. Upstate NY. Christmas morning. The normal: gray skies, fog, dirty snow on the roadsides. Oh well.

Christmas is CHRISTMAS no matter what the weather--it's what's in our hearts that really counts. It's loving the LORD for sending His Son to earth for us. Awesome!

So I got out of bed and did all the morning chores: get dressed, make coffee, stoke the fire in the wood furnace, feed the animals, walk the dogs, hauling along my camera to document this less-than-stellar Christmas weather, get a last minute Christmas gift out of the car trunk and hide it, check my email, put the potatoes in the oven to bake so I can make potato skins later, print out a photo gift certificate that I was supposed to give to a client days ago. Okay, okay, so some of those things are not ordinary morning chores, but I did them anyway.

So MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all.

this is an early morning post. I may post another later tonight. Check back just in case I do.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Was Really Clever

It is Christmas Eve, 2009. Another year has passed and is almost over. Wonder how that happened? I seem to be saying that a lot lately. Many years have passed since I graduated from college. How did that happen? My oldest child is that old but what's puzzling is that my youngest child is this old. HOW did that happen? Even more confounding is that my oldest grandchild is almost in high school. Good grief--there can't even be an answer as to HOW that happened? I swear I didn't blink, but it sure seems like I had my eyes closed a lot. Sigh.

Anyway, back to Christmas eve. It's also my daughter's birthday. I was really clever, having her born on Christmas eve, don't you think? We always celebrated her birthday as a separate entity (unlike those I've heard of who say on Christmas morning, "Oh, here's your gift--it's for your birthday and Christmas"), but there were times when it was really a stretch to fit a separate party into the holiday preparations.

Once she was older and married, it became a really pleasant situation, at least for me, even if she doesn't agree. We would all go to Christmas Eve service, then back to my house for her birthday cake and presents. It added a little pizazz to the evening.

This year we decided to do things just a little differently. We met for an early dinner at Ruby Tuesday's and had a wee birthday celebration there. Very nice--no cooking, no cleaning, no stress.

After dinner we all went to Christmas Eve service.


The day Jesus was born to die

The day Jesus was born to die a horrific death

The day God sent His Son into the world to atone for our sins

Thank God for Christmas

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas as you enjoy your families and contemplate the amazing sacrifice that God made when He sent His Son to earth, and a Blessed New Year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not Much Motivation

I haven't posted much lately. This lapse, following on the heels of a year of daily posts , is discouraging (but if truth be told, I missed a few days during that year). For those who may be new to this blog, several friends and I committed to taking and posting at least one photo a day for a year. Several of them were so faithful they never missed a day, the others of us missed a few--mostly due to work constraints or computer issues. The challenge began on Oct. 1, and ended on this past Sept. 30, one year later.

One of my other friends, bless her heart, tells me that she still comes to my blog daily, only to see the same post for weeks at a time. She says it as a casual statement, not as an accusation. But I'm convicted, nonetheless.

I just don't have much motivation. Maybe I need to challenge myself to another year of daily photos--even if I use photos I've already taken. Maybe I have to stop playing Bejeweled on facebook. That's probably more the issue.

Anyway, I went shopping with a couple of friends the other day. It was one of those "desperation" shopping days. You know the kind--"I haven't done any Christmas shopping YET, and there's only 10 days until Christmas, so if I don't do it now, it will never get done. Let's get going! " We were on a mission, that's for sure.

Well, the mall wasn't very crowded, and by golly, we got it done! Whew. The first thing we saw when we entered the mall was this beautiful Christmas Tree. The photo doesn't do it justice.

After our marathon shopping spree, which only took us a few hours, we treated ourselves to lunch at the Olive Garden. Everything there is very, very delicious, so the decision was almost more nerve-wracking than the shopping.

Alice was done deciding, Jean was still thinking.

My choice: Chicken Parmigiana. It was as good as it looks, especially since I didn't have to cook it.

So all in all, it was a very productive day. So thank you, my friends, for the company and the laughs.

Monday, December 07, 2009

So Who Does It?

So we live in upstate NY. It gets cold and it snows in the winter.

It snowed yesterday. Not much, but enough that there's still snow on the ground and trees.

My question is: when you live in upstate NY and it's winter and it's finally time to put the snow tires on the car, and your husband is still recovering from a back injury, who gets to change the tires, Who Does It?

The answer is: Me!

Okay. Now I've changed tires before. I learned to do that a long, long time ago because I never wanted to be stranded on the road, or dependent on calling home and waiting to be rescued. Back in those days I couldn't afford Road Service.

But, multiply that by 5--yeah, I know a car only has four wheels, but my husband needed one of his truck tires changed too, and add to it that there was snow on the ground and that it was cold (but mercifully not windy).

Frank made it a little easier by giving me pointers on how to do things more efficiently.

I decided that I'd make the chore as tolerable as I could. I found my "Blue Crush" cd, put it in the car cd player, opened the car windows, turned up the volume and danced my way through the job. (okay, it might be a little pathetic that I love "Blue Crush", the movie, but I do)

Okay, the job's done and now I won't have to hyperventilate the next time I have to drive in the snow. I still won't like it, but I'll feel safer.

Check out the post below. It's a new one too.

Beauty From Boredom

Last Friday I attended a dinner with my husband. I didn't really want to go, but he wanted me to, and he still needs a little company on his jaunts while recovering from his back injury.

I didn't expect that there would be anyone there I knew. All the stars lined up that night because in walked the one person, in a room of about 80 people, that I knew at all, with her husband.

Whoo hoo.

So we chatted, then dinner was served. Then one of the members of the group began playing some music which was actually pretty nice. But I started yawning and wondering what I could do to occupy my mind.

Back up a bit.

When we left the house, my mind had a discussion with itself. "Are you going to take your purse?"
"Nah, Frank's driving, I won't need anything in it or any identification."
"But you always need identification--you never know what might happen."
"But dang it, I don't want to haul that thing around."
"Hey, don't forget, your point and shoot is in it, and you might want that."
"Oh, all right, I'll take it!"

Back to the dinner. Sitting there, wondering what to, I remembered that I had my camera. So I got it out and started fooling around with some items that were still on the table. I didn't want to use the flash, and even at a high iso it was at a very slow shutter speed.

"Guess I'll have to take all the pictures with the camera flat on the table," I thought.

Within a few minutes my friend and I were moving dishes around, rearranging ice cubes, laughing (very quietly I might add), and making everyone else at the table shake their heads in wonderment.

The following images are a few of the results. No one is going to knock down my door to get their hands on them, but I consider them beauty from boredom. My camera saved the day (or evening in this case) once again.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

It Started Out Okay....

Today dawned (if that's what you want to call it), grey and dreary--no surprise for upstate NY--but around 34 degrees, which is really quite tolerable for winter. I had to go join some other folks at church this morning to help decorate the sanctuary for the winter/Christmas season. I left the house wearing only an extra sweater, carrying along another layer just in case it got colder later in the day. So it started out okay.

After decorating, I had to do some shopping. I had all afternoon to browse, so I took my time wandering throughout the store. But when I reached the cashier at the front of the store, all I could do was stare and I began, mentally, to count the days until my plane leaves for Hawaii.

It was SNOWING!!!!!!!!!! Aaaargh. Fortunately it wasn't sticking to the roads at that point--obviously we don't have the snow tires on the car yet, that would be too sensible. So I finished my errands and returned home.

It kept snowing, hmmmmm.

As I was getting ready to write this post, it occurred to me that snow is kind of like art. Remember I mentioned that one man's art is another man's junk and vica versa? Well, one man's (or woman's in this case) dreaded weather is another's joy. I know people who actually like the snow and count the days all summer until they can ride their snowmobiles or go snow skiing again. And I'm sure the ski resorts are rejoicing too.

So, go ahead and smile, those of you who have been waiting for this. I'll just keep counting the days...