Monday, December 22, 2014

"My Favorite Christmas Memory" Bloghop!!

Benjamin Bunny

It was a cold December that I remember. I was very young and stood on the stairs, watching my Mom. She was coming home after being in the hospital for four days! Behind her, through the door, snow was falling. It was so pretty. It was  Christmas! I really wasn't sure what Christmas was, but it didn't matter, my Mom was back. Then I noticed she was carrying something in a little pink satin bundle. Hmm? Once in a while a little hand would poke out, and she'd put it back. What did she have? Grandmother held the little bundle. Then Aunt Grace held the little bundle. Everyone was oohing and ahhing over this bundle. I had to see. (Hello, I'm only four years old - will somebody please pick me up or lower the bundle?) I wanted to have a look. Finally my Mom bent down and said, "Dixie, you have a new baby................

DOLL!! Oh my goodness... she got me a real doll for Christmas! I was so elated. I screamed and danced, ran up and down the stairs, jumped up and down, clapped my hands. I guess you could call it the, "Thank-you-Lord-happy-doll-dance!" But then Mom let me know he wasn't just for me. What?! I've got to share him? Why? He was so cute. Such a sweet smile. (And I had plans for him!)

I went and got my old doll stroller and really worked hard to convince them (Grandmother, Aunt Grace and my Mom), that I wouldn't hurt him. How could I hurt him? Look that at face!! And he had big blue eyes - just like me. Oh, what's his name? Mom said, his name is Benjamin, but we'll call him.............

BENJAMIN BUNNY!! Perfect, just like a favorite story Aunt Annette told me. What? We're calling him Benjie? Why? He doesn't look like a Benjie! Hey! Benjamin Bunny is perfect... I'm telling you. (No one listens to a four year old.)

Well the stroller ride went well, I thought. Yes, I almost dumped him twice but he giggled... so I didn't hurt him. I know I probably shouldn't have given him the candy cane. He really began to screech when Mom had to pry his tight-fisted little hand from around it... oops... yes ma'am... no more handing him anything. I promise. (Oh yes, he had a nice set of lungs. That's something that has never changed, even to this day.)

I showed him the pink flocked tree that Aunt Grace decorated. She was from New York. I figured they didn't have green trees up there. In fact she decorated Grandmother's entire beauty shop in pink, pastels, and snowy stuff. I guess they didn't have red and green Christmas stuff there either. The beauty shop looked like something from the nutcracker suite. It was lovely and the main focus of my attention, until Benjamin Bunny arrived.

They took turns taking me out in the snow. There must have been a total of three tea parties. I got to hang the star on the tree again. I don't know why they were all so concerned about me. What? I'm tired. I'm four years old. I like the baby - I'm not jealous... (and I really need a nap.)

Finally I climbed those stairs, two flights, separated by the landing. Of course I usually stopped at the stained-glass window with the window seat but...(I was dragging). Granddaddy scooped me up and placed me in the bed. That's all I remember. Christmas Eve was a blur.

Christmas morning, I got a doll but she was cold to the touch. It felt awful. Where was Benjamin Bunny? Mom laid out a blanket on the floor for me to sit on. Then she laid the pink bundle on my lap. My older brother was outside in the snow, but I didn't want to go. (Imagine that - the snow queen staying inside.) Slowly his little eyes opened and he looked right at me, and barfed. I laughed so hard, I wet myself. (I knew right then we'd be friends forever.) And that's my favorite Christmas memory!

 Thanks to Cherdo and Janie Junebug for this happy, happy blog hop!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Three weeks before Christmas

Three weeks before Christmas, I stood at the road,
Surveying the house lights and checking the load.
Most strands lit up brightly, one hung down too far.
I stepped in the road, was struck down by a car.

The driver was nice and he wore a red suit.
I glanced in his car and saw tons of loot.
He had everything, from mixers to trolleys
And bags full of toys, including small dollies.

The stars that I saw, when he hit me, were fading.
Though I dreaded the task of my home's light upgrading.
But he had me sit down while he went to work.
The strand hung too far, he fixed with a jerk.

From a bag he retrieved, in the back of his car,
He presented the most brilliantly lit golden star.
On the top of the house he moved like an adder.
I looked all around, but where was his ladder?

He danced and he pranced as he sang out with laud.
Dumbfounded I sat there, and could only applaud.
In the blink of an eye he stood on the ground.
The leaves were all dry, but he made not a sound.

It was then that I noticed the white beard and hair.
My eyes must have widened, he laughed at my stare.
This couldn't be 'him', he didn't exist,
But I just had to ask; I couldn't resist.

I turned to say something and found he was gone.
Had I merely passed out right here on the lawn?
Later that evening my family came out.
I flipped on the switch and heard a great shout!

The tiny lights twinkled with nothing to mar.
The biggest surprise was the golden lit star.
The years pass by quickly, and the star's always bright.
There's no cord connected, no batteries for light!

Yet every December the cheers always jar,
And I think of the “'dream” when hit by that car.
The words he exclaimed when he left with his load
"Merry Christmas to you, and stay out of the road!"

seasonal bargains

Finding seasonal bargains is wonderful. Still the price was definitely too much for "grapeless grapes." In fact, I'm not really sure what that means. Shouldn't that bag be empty if it's truly representative of "grapeless"?

Or maybe something like this...? Who couldn't use an extra pack of hot dog buns?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Airplanes- moving stars-The gift

Normally in warmer weather, Friday evening would find me at the overlook point at the airport. I have fond memories of going out there when I was younger - it was a family thing. Kind of a mini Christmas without the hoopla.

Thursday night I stood in my driveway and watched airplanes fly overhead. My home seems to be on an outer edge of two flight paths. One travels a southern to northern direction. The other criss-crosses in an eastern to western direction. At times it looked as if two planes would meet in the middle, directly over the street. I know there's supposed to be at least a thousand feet in height between the two planes, but it didn't look like that to me.

This criss-crossing seemed to be ongoing, and after a while I had to abandon the watching. It really spooked me. It's quite dark and the sky puts on it's own show. It wasn't long before I was studying constellations instead. That's when I noticed the cold night air, the breeze moving leftover leaves in the drive, and why did I think I could do anything about those planes? I might as well try to move a star! And that's when I saw the shooting star. Did I do that?(smile)No.

Once inside the house, the aroma of an almost-done roast, greeted me. Now there's a focal point - roast beef sandwiches for the weekend! Forget the stars. Forget the planes. As soon as the cook timer went off I removed the roast.

I don't mind being a small part of the picture. More and more I'm thankful when I experience peace no matter what else is going on. I'm thankful for the Creator, who has provided me with the one gift to bring into fruition, in my life - Faith, Hope and Love.  May you find this gift and it bless your life as well.

I'm always grateful to those who visit, and the light you share!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

There's a monkey wrench in the works!

Oh, I'm sick - really. (Cough, cough, ache, blah, blah, etc.) The main concern is the shelter - I can't cook for people while I'm contagious. My back up person will take over for this week. I hate that, but I would want someone to be responsible in the same way. Actually the back up person is all excited!

My neighbor will be going to Pennsylvania for Christmas. He asked me to babysit his Tropical Love Bird. I used to have three birds and they were so sweet and trained! This little bird, named "Brisbane" has no idea who the boss is - and I'm not sure I'm up for it. I'd hate for him to spend a whole week in his little house, but the last time we were around each other, he landed on my shoulder and bit me on the cheek! In fact - the scab just dropped off last week(sigh). Not to worry, I haven't given a answer yet. Maybe I should ask for votes on this? But the neighbor has a little two year old grandson that he rarely sees, (thank you heart strings - beat me up!!)

Meanwhile here's some stuff I'm making. I can't post everything or "the sweet God-daughter" will know what she's getting for Christmas!(smile)(I know you're here.)

Chocolate dipped candy canes...

Leg warmers made from sweater sleeves...

Gingerbread cake with stenciled design in powdered sugar...

Christmas gifts for the neighbors...

Copied this for my front railings - it's gorgeous!
It's also, probably the reason I am sick - outside too long...

Normally, you know this as "Thursday Wrapping it up," but I've got a moment and I feel okay - so why not make it happen?
Meanwhile... Happy Birthday, Mom - I miss you!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A wish

It's a town most anywhere,
where the snow has fallen deep,
and the people never sleep.

It's a town that has no name,
where people watch the stars a-glow,
that shed their light upon the snow.

It's a town not far away,
where people celebrate and cheer,
the love that's true and clear.

Help! What color ribbon?

Help! It's crazy - I do this for people all the time, but right now I'm blank when it comes to my own tree. I like to wrap the tree with lights around the inside trunk. It looks like it's illuminated from the inside. Then a second wrap of lights on the outer edges of the limbs. A few silver icicles... maybe... always adds a shimmer to the lights. Or maybe not(smile). Help.

A neighbor had a huge hydrangea with dried blossoms - did I want them? I'm not sure I even hung up the phone, before running out the door to get them! I really didn't want to deal with ornaments this year. Maybe one or two placed in baskets or as stand alone focal point/arrangements... but not on the tree. But I'd like your help with one final element and then the tree will (finally) be done. What color ribbon should I use? I love making bows or using it for garland. Solid, plaid, stripe, I'm game!

Dried Hydrangea blossoms

Red geraniums                                                          

Pine scented pine cones

My camera is not working so this is the closet visual I can get you...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Better not pout

You are an elf.
You make toys for Santa to deliver on Christmas Eve.
You have fallen asleep at your tinkering bench...

You sleep peacefully.
Your job is well done.

You awaken!
Oh no...
What to do?

Better not pout!

Melanie Thornton - Wonderful Dream

Melanie Janene Thornton collaborated with The Coke Company to make a special Christmas commercial in 2001. Coke wanted a song that incorporated their signature phrase, "it's the real thing," with a Christmas-time jingle. Melanie delivered one of the most beautiful songs. Packed with lyrics of peace and love - it promised to be a hit... and no one was disappointed with the results.

(On the heels of the World Trade Center events - we might not remember this. Indeed it took some research for me to realize, I did catch the commercial, but not the events surrounding this young woman's musical contribution, or her untimely death.)

Melanie held a dual American/German  citizenship. She toured Europe and went on to stardom as a solo artist in 2000. On November 24, 2001, Melanie was in Germany for a last concert before Christmas break. The singer was traveling from Berlin, Germany, to Zurich as part of a tour to promote her first (and only) solo album "Ready to Fly." (How ironic)

A plane was standing by to take her on the last leg of the tour. From Zurich she planned a "German Christmas" in Atlanta with her family. But on that cold, snowy night Crossair’s Jumbolino jet, flight 3597, went down just after 10 p.m. local time. Out of the thirty-three passengers aboard, nine people survived the crash. Thirty-four year old Melanie Thornton was among those who did not.

Ironically at the last minute, 24 people had canceled boarding the flight, due to weather conditions. There would have 57 people on board.

The following from Associated Press:

"Her latest single, “Wonderful Dream,” went on sale Monday (November 26), its scheduled release date, at the request of Thornton’s family. The song is also being used in a new Coca-Cola commercial."

I don't know that Melanie's dreams came true, but the line in the song says, "Celebrate a life where dreams come true, " and so I'm going to celebrate her life with this post. Listening to her last interview really made me think - what a message. Thanks Melanie. Rest in peace.

Remember: "Love is a reason - it's always the real thing." ~Melanie Thornton.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday - wrapping it up

It could be time for a new mouse! Though I have a laptop - I need my mouse! Lately the old copy/paste function is well... not functioning as usual. Or maybe my fingers don't dance like in olden days (no!) So here I sit in blogger-town writing this. I removed two previous posts - oh boo-boos abound!

Tonight is Men's shelter night. I was asked to make macaroni and cheese. Two beautiful pans are ready to pop into the oven. The hard part will be getting them out of the door without a little sample, (to make sure they taste right... right?), but I'll succeed.

A neighbor wants help with her door decoration. This is a photo she found and that's the one! It's just a partial piece of berry garland with a tiny house. She wants the heart shape a little more pronounced. It's taking longer to type this in, than the time it will take to make her door wreath! Isn't it sweet?!

From here I'm headed to Goodwill - I'm sure they have a mouse for me. Surely none of you are experiencing Holiday boo-boos, right?!