Saturday, December 28, 2013



Christmas is magic. The crowning of the year with the shortest day and the reversal of the sun’s journey gives life to our planet. We come through the time of the ultimate darkness and turn back to the light. The joy of the season is the recognition that the darkness is once more moving from us.

With the internet, the preparation for Christmas is awesomely simple. I don’t even wait for Cyber-Monday, I just get out there and get with it. I ordered more things than usual this year and threw my credit card company into a panic. “Please call us and verify that no one else has your card, you have some unusual activity occurring.” Just doing my part to promote economic prosperity for all I was able to touch electronically.

The magic is in my grandchildren’s faces when they see the wrapped things of mystery. They are too young to be at that greedy stage and still just wonder where all the wrapped things come from. Too young to even acknowledge the Santa myth, but not too young to know that Grandma is really fun, and there is some really fun stuff at her house.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013



I used to go all out in the decoration department. ‘All out’ involved getting ready for Christmas by what you did. So when my daughter was little, I crocheted about twenty five snowflakes that decorated our tree for years.

My personal favorite was the ‘Jesus Set’ my daughter punched out and set up for several years. It was fun to read the Christmas story, punch out the cardboard figures, and set them up on the window sill.

I won’t argue that those were the good old days, but I will stand up for our traditions. We had a bunch of them. We painted wooden ornaments with my sisters in law. We baked those plastic ornaments that filled your kitchen with the toxic smell and made your eyes burn. We painted cork ornaments one year. We made the flour dough ornaments and painted them one year. All of this activity was to make the point that it was what you did to get ready for Christmas, not what you bought that made Christmas preparations special and meaningful.

When my daughter was about ten years old, she looked at me and said, “This year I want a ‘Jesus Set’ you don’t punch out.” So the tradition of the cardboard ‘Jesus Set’ you punched out bit the dust.

When my daughter married and left home, I sent all of the ornaments with her from her childhood. When she left home, my son was two and we created a whole new set of traditions. I have since passed onto his wife most of the ornaments we made while he was growing up. My grandchildren are busy creating now their own traditions. I say Merry Christmas and carry on.

Thursday, December 12, 2013



My son loved the shiny crystal beads. We made beaded icicles when he was little. He did not like to color or paint, but he could string beads with the best of them. He made a beaded garland that was several feet of beads. He probably created twenty five beaded icicles all together. His trees looked completely different from my daughters.

We found lights that played carols one year. They were red bells that blinked with the music like strobe lights. They looked awesome on the tree, red and shiny. If you didn’t get the two strings timed in sync, they would raise a cacophony that you can’t imagine. One of the group of carols would be slightly behind the other, like an echo. My husband swore that the ‘blinking lights would cause seizures’ for anyone who looked at them.

Well, okay, they were fun for awhile. Finally, they squeaked their last carol, and were sent to the dust bin where Christmas lights go when they are no longer useful. I have to admit I was recently tempted by a group of shiny pine cone lights that advertised ‘plays five carols’, but that would mean I would have to commit to putting up a Christmas tree. So I resisted the tempting and beautifully shiny little things. I haven’t reached that stage of Christmas fever yet.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013



I have been wrestling with health issues the past couple of years. Often the problems I am having will be the result of a drug that I am taking that I have a sensitivity too. I will take it awhile and then suddenly I will have some problem that I haven’t experienced before. A terrible red rash on my arms that itches. Diarrhea that keeps me in the house and stops my routine. Dizziness, nausea, the list goes on and on.

I had a bad drug reaction when I was young. I was hospitalized briefly while they tried to figure out what was wrong. I found out I was allergic to a chemical bond. Imagine, an entire chemical drug group. They found it because they had prescribed three drugs out of the group for asthma. An experience I don’t want to repeat.

Today I used all the tools at my disposal. WebMD, the pharmacy function of my drug plan. The pharmacist was very helpful. I would not hesitate to use them if you need them. I at least eliminated the possibility of drug interactions from prescribed drugs. The pharmacist suggested the drug that might be causing me problems. I have an appointment with my doctor to talk to him about this possibility.

What’s the lesson here? Be vigilant. Use all of your tools. Assume responsibility for your health by being sensitive to your body and its needs. Take care of yourself.