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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Signs You Are Grown Up

6: AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

You hear your favorite song on an elevator.

You watch the Weather Channel.

You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.

Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."

You're the one calling the police because those damn kids next door won't turn down the stereo.

You don't know what time Taco Bell closes any more.

Your car insurance goes down and your payments go up.

You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.

Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

You no longer take naps from noon to 6 PM.

Dinner and a movie is the whole date -- instead of the beginning of one.

Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
"I'll be the designated driver," replaces, "I'm never going to drink that much again."

90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for 'real work.'

You no longer drink at home to save money before going to a bar.

And the NUMBER ONE sign that you've grown up...

You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in My Back Yard

The house has been ready for Christmas for weeks, now it's time to prepare the back yard for all the littles who come around. While there are no sheep or cattle or camels in my yard, such as those who appeared on the original Christmas Day, there is plenty of wildlife showing up. Squirrels and birds appear on the deck and go into begging mode. I toss chopped walnuts out for them and watch them dive for the morsels.

I've stocked up on bird seed, sunflower seeds and cracked corn and have filled the feeders, so even when I'm not at the kitchen window there will be plenty of food for all. Some birds prefer suet, so I've hung some hot-pepper suet from the branch of a tree. The squirrels don't like hot pepper, so they leave the suet alone--otherwise they would devour it just for a few sunflower seeds embedded in it! I put the sunflower seeds on the back fence and the rail of the deck, so they have plenty to eat.

The water dish on the back rail is popular. It has been unusually dry here for December, so it is not uncommon to see two or even three birds waiting in line for a drink! Sometimes one will decide the water dish is perfect for his bath, which is fine, but it means I need to refill it, because all the splashing quickly sends the water overboard. The squirrels love the water dish, too.

Sometimes I hear a noise on the deck in the evening, and I will look out and see a raccoon at the water dish. The raccoons can be a bit clumsy, however, and often as not the dish ends up on the ground and I have to retrieve and refill it. Even the occasional opposum comes looking for a drink or a few sunflower seeds.

The deer still prefer whatever plants I have that are blooming (and, amazingly, there are still some flowers in my yard!). Maybe I should leave carrots out for them!

The creatures who come around may not know why there are extra treats for them at this time of year, but I do. It's all part of the joy and celebration.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The first novel ever written on a typewriter...

...and other interesting trivia:

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work:

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven:

$ 16,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour:


Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair..

And finally:
The first novel ever written on a typewriter, Tom Sawyer.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Love in Special Christmas Boxes

Most people are stocking up on wrapping paper, ribbons and tape to wrap their Christmas gifts, but I head for a storage closet where I keep old boxes, beautiful Christmas boxes from my childhood.

My father's mother and sister loved to create beautiful packages, and each year our family looked forward to the day the big box from West Virginia arrived in the mail. All the package were decorated. One had a styrofoam Christmas tree heavily embedded with glitter and tiny ornaments. Another had a felt Christmas tree with tiny toys as decorations. There was a silver box with red felt candles. A gold box with miniature ornaments.

I remember being as excited about the boxes as I was about the gifts they held. One year the package from West Virginia still hadn't arrived on Christmas Eve day, which was a Sunday, and I was so disappointed. Then there was a phone call. It was a worker at the post office in our small town in Connecticut. A package had arrived, he said, and we could come to the post office to pick it up! Disappointment quickly turned to joy!

I have saved those boxes. They are getting worn and a bit tattered now. One got so frail that my mother's mother took the felt tree off the remnants of the box and put it on a stocking that she made for my then baby daughter. That is still my grown, married daughter's stocking to this day.

So think about the gifts you give, but also think about the boxes they come in. Maybe you can wrap your gifts in boxes that will hold a lifetime of love.