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Posts Tagged With: news

Random 5 Friday ~ Christmas treats, traditions and “41”

It’s Friday and you know what that means ~ it’s time for my Random 5 Friday!  Ready?  Let’s go!

1 )  Christmas Treats: Made my first round of Christmas treats last weekend.  Background:  I bake & make Christmas treats in “rounds” to give Hubbs his “due” ~ it’s a strategy that seems to work because he gets his fill and if I make enough “rounds,” I end up with some treats left to share with others.  Case in point:  just the other night, he exclaimed, “No more fudge till Christmas!” (( Like I’m-a-gonna do this all again on Christmas Eve?  … um No!))   But I ran into a quandary I hadn’t foreseen.  See, we gave away our larger freezer a few years back so I don’t have an easy storage spot.   I put on my thinking cap and …. Bingo! Problem solved:

Chocolate covered peanuts hidden in the crisper ~ He’ll never look there!  (( Shhh don’t tell ))

2 )  Holiday traditions:  When we moved to Hubb’s home state of Michigan 18 years ago it was his idea to throw a Christmas party and bring the extended family together.  His eyes would mist over recalling the big family gatherings of his childhood.  So, we started a small family party in our home that soon grew to a hall; we continued to host it annually for a dozen years or so; others in the family took it on for a few years and now, younger cousins have the lead.   Regardless who hosts or plans, the workload to do it, during the busiest time of the year, is never  insignificant.  There are menus to plan, details to organize, a hall to book, decorations to buy or recycle, addresses to update, invitations to share and more.  Just like in life, there’s always someone quick to point out what was missed or what wasn’t done. (Those same ones typically contribute nothing).  Regardless of the snark, the tradition continues and the family comes together.  Dishes are made involving 4 important Holiday food groups:  cheese, chocolate, BBQ sauce and cool-whip.  Little kid cousins get re-acquainted and run around together, red-faced and sweaty in their Christmas outfits,  elders tell stories and for a while everyone slows down and lingers in the moment.   And that’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown!

Christmas time is here! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 ) Community: Stopped at my local (tiny) grocery store last night and, in the baking aisle, shared a conversation with Ray, the older stock boy man.  Maybe it’s because I’m not from here and still long for a sense of community, I always make time to chat with him.  I know he walks his dog in the mornings, before work, that he lost his wife years ago and alternates between tears and smiles when he speaks of her, and that his daughter makes him cookies all year-long.   This is my small neighborhood store, not a big box chain.  They don’t stock everything and yes, you pay a little more sometimes.  But I like that bath soap isn’t 2 miles from the butter.  And I love that the checkout clerks know me and I know them.  In line to pay, I let a lady with a just a few items go ahead of me. She thanked me then  commented, “I really like this store, it’s so calm here.”  I smiled and I got it.     And it hit me right then that perhaps my little community has manifested itself right before my very eyes.

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

4 )  Family Photos:   When our boys were little, it was easy to seat one on our laps and stand the other next to us for a family portrait.   But now that everyone is older and there’s far more of us, family pictures are harder to come by.  I enjoy the perfectly posed portraits on friends’ Facebook pages — the coordinating plaid, hair bows and Holly,  littlest ones in Santa hats, bow ties, Christmas dresses, black patent leather shoes and white stockings.  Somehow I know if we tried this today, we’d end up with something like this:

Truth!

5) Passing of a Giant – Like many of you, I watched the coverage of President George H.W. Bush’s funeral with rapt and tearful attention. It was stately. Poignant. Emotional.  Respectful. Moving.  Epic.  So many moments, such long, long days for the family.  So many tributes to his character, life and legacy.  This picture though …

Together again

Your turn:

  • Do you also hide holiday treats?
  • Are there any Christmas traditions you’d like to share with us?
  • Where do you get a sense of community from?
  • Does your family take annual holiday photos?
  • And .. did you watch?
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Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Snarky, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Freedom, baby

15 years ago today, we experienced an inconceivable tragedy when terrorists attacked our nation simply because of who we are and what we stand for. We will never forget.

4 years ago, we experienced this evil once again when 4 Americans were killed in a terrorist attack while serving in Benghazi, Libya. We will never forget.

We remember the heroic law enforcement officers, fireman and medical units who rushed TOWARDS danger when everyone ran from it. And our men and women in uniform who fiercely protected our freedom then and now.

So to the cowards whose jealousy and warped ideologies motivate attacks on us – I remember what happened here post 9/11: I remember people coming together NOT apart, strangers rescuing strangers and neighbors helping neighbors, people donating blood,money and food, an outpouring of love & pride for our country and renewed appreciation for our service men and women. We united this great nation as ONE. I never saw so many American Flags flying so bright and so often.

We were one nation indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Sneaky terrorist creeps will never be able to take away what is intrinsic to our nature as citizens: our desire to live a full and FREE live. Honor. Faith. Hard work. Patriotism. And FREEDOM, BABY!

We remember the people we lost…and the heroes who rose.

Freedom LIVES.

Categories: Determination, Faith, fear, Grief, Life, News, Patriotic, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Fearless Radicalism

I’ve never been radical but I’ve always been fearless.

Fearless enough to venture far, far away from the nest and find my way.

Fearless enough to study for and pass my U.S. citizenship test with flying colors.

Appreciating the privilege, I’ve never not voted.

Never.

Yes the phone calls and flyers, negative ads and people at the door can get annoying.

And yes, there are items on the ballot I don’t care much about  — like who serves on the Board of Regents for various public colleges.

But most things I do.

And I’m so grateful to have a say.

So today, I’ll be late for work because I am stopping to vote first.  I’ll chat with the poll workers who know me by name and just that experience right there will put a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

As a citizen of this country for only six years, maybe I am a little bit radical.

fearless radicalism_womens vote

“Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.” – Susan B. Anthony. Google.images.com

God Bless America, Land that I love || Stand beside her,  and guide her || Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies || To the oceans..White with foam || God Bless America! ||   My Home Sweet Home

You voting today?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Patriot’s Day

Yesterday was “Patriots’ Day” here in the United States.  In Massachusetts, a state holiday.  The running of the Boston Marathon.  You know the rest.

And today, just like after so many other similar days, we’re reeling.

Newtown. Aurora. Oklahoma City. 9/11. Boston.

What can you do?

What can I do?

Today you can know this: in the face of unimaginable horror, there were still more who tried to help than did not.

There were still more who rushed to the scene than ran away.

There were still more offering tips than the phones could handle.

There were still more who watched in sadness and wondered what can I do?

And that’s when the anger came. Anger that someone – identity unknown – wants us all to live in fear.  To be afraid to run.

Not happening, coward.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • The Red Cross says the best way to help right now is to get in touch with loved ones through its Safe And Well Listings. The organization is not asking for blood donations at this time.
  • The Salvation Army is offering food, beverages and crisis counseling to survivors and first responders. Find out how you can get involved here.
  • Some marathon runners are stranded in Boston and in need of places to stay. Find out how you can offer housing here.
  • Anyone with info about the incident can call 1-800-494-TIPS.

This Patriot stands with Boston and I am not afraid to run.

 

Categories: Faith, fear, Grief, Life, News, Patriotic, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

Back to the days of Pooh

photo source: freeextras.com

Last night our baby boy (17 next week) received his first armed services recruitment letter.

 Don’t they know he’s just a boy?

 Don’t they know he’s our baby?

 Don’t they know that while he’s smart and brave and strong and tall … when we look at him we see that little wistful face, the boy who tilts his head to the side to sing and closes his eyes when he passionately makes a point? Don’t they know that this letter surely was meant for someone else? Someone … older?

 I want to find my way back .. back to the days of Christopher Robin.  Back to the days of .. Pooh.

Categories: Family, Life, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It’s all about the numbers…

895 days ago, I became a U.S. citizen.  🙂

This morning, I was the 89th voter in my precinct.  

It was my 4th opportunity to vote! 

We don’t expect our elected leaders to give us half an effort. We don’t hire them to serve half the people. 

Yet about half of us are expected to skip today’s elections in Michigan, content to let the other half do the hiring that we all will have to live with.

I showed up. I hope you will, too.

Why Election Day matters … read more here: http://www.freep.com/article/20101102/NEWS15/311020001/1322/Why-Election-Day-matters

Categories: Attitude, Elections, Gratitude, Life, Life Lessons, Patriotic, Quotes, Random observations, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Donate Halloween Candy to our Troops!

If your house is like mine, you’ve got leftover Halloween candy. Candy we don’t need. Candy we don’t want.  Candy that probably will end up at the office or thrown away. 

Did you know there’s an organization that would be HAPPY to get your  leftover (wrapped) Halloween candy?  And that this candy is shipped to our military personnel around the world?

Called “Operation Gratitude” (www.opgratitude.comtheir most urgent need is for:

  • personal letters,
  • candy, 
  • hand-made cool-ties /scarves,
  • Beanie Babies/WebKinz/Trolls
  • and financial donations to pay for postage. 

(On the website is an excerpt from a Marine’s letter:  “I live with 17 Marines and Sailors in one room. Everyone got a package and everyone loved it especially the cookies and beanie babies. The cookies are excellent and the beanie babies help us out a lot with the local kids. We give them candy and toys and they give us the location for IED’s. Once again, thank you for everything and for all the hard work that you put into the package. LCPL ND” 

Today’s Election Day.  

I’m thrilled to vote.  I’m honored I can do something that might put a smile on a soldier’s face.

* * *

Wrapped Halloween candy can be delivered/shipped by December 3 to:

 Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Charlie Othold:  818.437.6201
 
 For more information please visit:  http://www.opgratitude.com/howtohelp.php?page=individual 
 

 

Categories: Elections, Gratitude, Holidays, Life, Patriotic, Politics, Random observations, Seasons, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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Makeup Connection

The best cosmetics on the web

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

3bones

Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

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RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...