Category Archives: “partying”

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

I’m Looking Over a 4 Leaf Clover

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Good luck charms come in a variety of ways. Some may have

a penny in each loafer, like I did in the sixties. Some

may pick up every penny they see on the ground. Some may

study it, as they bend down. Since, if it is facing up,

then you will have good luck. If it is facing down, the

‘omen’ may be that you won’t have any luck. Just as when

you hang a horse shoe, don’t ever hang it facing down! This

means your luck will be ‘draining out.’

Every culture that I can think of has some kind of tradition

or superstition that some members of it, follow. Now, I have

met many people who feel no fears of walking under a ladder,

opening their umbrella, in the house as they step out into

a torrent of rain or don’t worry a bit, if a black cat passes

in front of them.

I have a picture of my Dad in a little pocket of my car, by

the dashboard. I also have a Las Vegas poker chip (given to

me by a friend who has been there and won big stakes) stored

in another part of my car. I have yet to travel there, but

have a cousin, Heather, who I could stay with, when I go. I

also have a little silver ladybug, who is in my luggage, to

keep me ‘safe’ and give me ‘safe travel mercies.’ My parents

had a St. Christopher medal hanging on their rearview mirror.

I never store a purse, sell one or give one away without a

penny stuck in each one of them. I particularly save the years

of my three children’s birthdays. I suppose, for me, “Pennies

from Heaven” would explain this purse tradition.

I was very excited when someone gave me a list of talisman for

many different areas of the world. It is not the sum of all of

them, I am sure! This will, at least, get you started.

Here is the lovely list given to me:

1. Bumble Bee- for luck and prosperity.

2. Anchor- for hope and optimism.

3. Egyptian Ankh- for health, wealth and longer life.

4. Mushroom- good things to come.

Are we sure this didn’t just come from the ‘stoners’

in the sixties and seventies? Party on!

5. Pig- for wealth.

6. Owl- for wisdom and truth

Now, I understand why people collect owls and pigs!

7. Grecian key- for knowledge and opportunity.

You see on Greek sororities and fraternities, a symbol

of a key. Now, you know what the significance behind

this. We had Key Club in high school, where students who

were wishing to be prepared to become leaders, joined.

8. Horseshoe- for protection and luck.

9. Rooster- for good fortune and justice.

10. Thor’s Hammer- for success in adversity.

11. Pole Star- for guidance and safety.

12. Japanese Frog- for safe travel.

13. Four leaf clover- for luck and happiness.

This goes hand in hand, with shamrocks, which is an

Irish tradition for good luck, too. Happy St. Patrick’s

Day, to you all!

14. Buddha’s Shell- for fortune and sanctity.

15. Elephant- for luck.

I always thought this should include the trait of

memory? Like an elephant never forgets. But this was

not included in this talismans’ list of qualities.

16. Turtle- for wisdom.

17. Lion- for a long life.

18. Horse- for achievement and happiness.

This also I thought would include some kind of racing

reference… like being quick?

19. Eye of Horus- for health and wealth.

20. Sun- for awareness and enlightenment.

21. Dolphin- for friendship.

I feel we, as humans, have an affinity for animals. I

can definitely understand why we would show respect for

the creatures of the world.

Hope that this list will have given you something to

think about. If you have a special token or charm that

you carry around with you, please let us know. I would

like to hear about the significance, if there is a

culture or tradition tied to it, or any other details.

I was surprised that the list that was given to me, did

not include a rabbit. As in a rabbit’s foot used to be

put on key chains and by rubbing one, you were supposed

to get good luck. Probably the whole idea of it seems

horrifying, nowadays, since we have the prevention of

cruelty to animals. But, my uncle, who was a hunter and

a high school biology teacher, would have said,

“What’s the big deal? You have to cut the feet off and

skin it, to be able to have rabbit stew!”

Good luck and “May the Road Rise Up to Greet You!”

Last year’s post around this time, I had a nice St. Patrick’s

Day blessing included, you may wish to check out.

Friday’s Fun Day

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Happy celebrating an Early St. Patrick’s Day!

Several of my coworkers were heading out of

work, since today is our ‘half’ day, to buy

some green beer. They said, “Come on, Robin!”

No, I just could not do it! Now, I would have

said, “Yes!” to green eggs and bacon, or green

pancakes!

Anyway, while we are on the subject of drinking,

I thought I would share one of those humorous

forwards that land in my emails! I am actually

going to type it in, since you never know what

may be attached to this! I changed a few words

so no plagiarism lawsuits will ensue! Ha Ha!

Also, this will help us all…

IMPORTANT HEALTH INFORMATION:

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

Do you suffer from shyness?

Do you sometimes wish you were more

assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you

may wish to find a physician or pharmacist about…

Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cabernet is the safe, natural way to feel better and

more confident about yourself and your actions. It

can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell

the world that you’re ready and willing to do just

about anything!

You will notice the benefits of Cab, as those who are

familiar with this beverage call it. Almost immediately,

with a regimen of regular does, you can overcome any

obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want

to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and

you will discover many talents you never knew you had.

Stop hiding and start living.

Cabernet Sauvignon may not be right for everyone. Women

who are pregnant or nursing should never use it.

However, women who wouldn’t mind nursing or becoming

pregnant are encouraged to try it.

SIDE EFFECTS:

Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting

incarceration, loss of motor control, loss of clothing,

loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur

and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all night rounds

of Strip Poker, Truth or Dare and Naked Twister.

WARNINGS:

The consumption of Cab or other wine or alcohol choices

may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

The consumption of Cab may cause you to tell your friends

over and over again that you love them.

The consumption of Cab may cause you to think you can

sing (or other talents you do not have in your ‘wheel

house.’)

The consumption of Cab may create the illusion you are

tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most

people.

Now, just imagine what you could achieve with a decent

Shiraz, Pinot Noir or Merlot!

No matter what- Enjoy your weekend!!

Losing Oneself

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These words make me pensive.

They make me delve deeper into myself.

There are many ways to interpret them:

Losing oneself…

in writing,

in one’s work,

in another’s arms,

in daydreams,

in tasks,

in crafts,

in creating,

in music,

in art,

in church,

in Nature,

in a Higher Being,

God/Buddha/Allah…

in a book,

on your path in life,

in space and time,

on the waters, drifting…

in addictions,

gambling,

drinking,

drugs,

food,

shopping,

losing your mind,

in depression,

and in countless ways.

It is important not to ‘lose yourself.’

It is meaningful to go~ beyond yourself.

It makes a stronger relationship, if

you are you, and they are they.

Don’t go off the deep end, please!

I’d place my ‘bet’ on you being a

winner, in whatever ways you choose

to contribute to this world.

Take comfort, reach out if you need

a shoulder to lean on.

Three songs that cheer me up when I am

thinking of sad times,

1. “Go Your Own Way” by Lindsey Buckingham,

Fleetwood Mac album, “Rumours,” released

in 1977.

2. “I’ll Be There,” sung by the Jackson Five,

featuring Michael Jackson. This song was

written by a team known as the Corporation,

including Berry Gordy, Bob West, Hal Davis

and Willie Hutch. This was their third album,

released in 1970.

3. “With a Little Help From My Friends,”

(Written for “The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely

Hearts Club Band” album with Ringo as

the singer, in the character of “Billy

Shears.”) Released in 1967. Joe Cocker

sang this at Woodstock in 1969. Someone

at work had thought Joe wrote it, but it

was written as a collaboration between

Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Oh, and

I had to look up this fact, now you know

too that the Beatles came BEFORE the

legendary Woodstock!)

Try not to lose yourself in a negative

way and keep your chin up,.

I hope, mainly, you will find yourself.

Here in the colder part of the country,

I feel for the even more frigid areas,

those up North and East of us!

Abundant Gifts

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This title suits the enormous pile of gifts that

I received, along with the tremendous feelings of

love and admiration for my family’s varied gifts.

We are definitely blessed with a wonderful family

and hope that you had many moments where tears

were close to springing forth, for either your

‘laughing till the tears came’ or because you feel

this also, about your family being so meaningful.

You want to be like Norman Rockwell, but sometimes

your family is like the one in “Christmas Vacation.”

Much of the joy flowing at my brother, Rich, and

sister in law, Susan’s house was due to the one and

only grandchild present when Mom, youngest daughter,

Felicia, and I arrived late on Christmas Eve.

We had seen said California Theo valiantly portraying

a solemn shepherd at the Bay Village located, St. Barnabas’

Episcopal Church.

Theo, his grandparents, Rich and Susan, along with his Cali.

parents, Dorothy and Jon stood up in front, by joining the

adults singing in the choir. Theo and Grandpa Rich had

practiced with the children’s choir for the Nativity portion

of the program,during the week Theo had been there.

Why was Theo valiant? Because his mother and he had had

a horrible bout with either food poisoning or a strong

and fast flu, along with half of Jon’s side of the

family. They were queasy and pale, but stalwart along

with some joy and jubilation once they got through the

sweet children’s “early Christmas Eve service.”

Theo tooted on a long and unusually decorated South

African horn, while we ate and savored turkey, homemade

corn bread stuffing with mushrooms, cranberries and nuts

along with grilled asparagus and other side dishes. We

are much more ‘mindful’ now of our health since Randy’s

quadruple bi-pass surgery and Felicia’s health and

wellness accreditation added to her marketing and

communication degree from UD. She is trying ‘gluten-

free’ due to her aggravated RA which started as a

pre-teen as JRA.

Now, there is never a reason to ‘brag’ about actual

gifts, but I am so pleased with the variety and scope

of the gifts, I hope you will just skip down to the

comments area and add your own favorite gifts you

received. I will be including some my family received

to add some ‘unselfishness’ to my listing gifts!

My friends at work and I exchanged gifts at work on

Monday, along with bringing a snack to share, too. I

am always amazed that I would never have met these

hard working and more manual labor workers than I may

have met through teaching. They are definitely the

light that keeps me going when I am exhausted while

lifting repetitively 30-50 pound hampers!

My friends from the Philippines shared food, of course.

I had given Kridia a Mary Poppins Madame Alexander older

doll right in her precious box. I was happy with Felda’s

gift of saying that not only had they watched the old

“Mary Poppins” movie, they had enjoyed the older version

of “Sound of Music,” but Kridia “votes” for the newer one

with Carrie Underwood. They are planning on taking her to

see, or maybe due to little restless ‘Zachie Poo,’ may

wait to see “Saving Mr. Banks.” That movie is the one

based on the “real” Mary Poppins and “real” Banks Family.

I am anxious to get a chance to see that one, too!

Tammy brought a red, green and white swirled cake with

vanilla cream frosting with coconut and it was in the

triangular shape of a tree! It had red and green M & M’s

on it, too.

Melvin caught me in the parking lot, giving me a German

wine that had spices and tasted like a hard mulled cider,

but was 10 % alcoholic content. I drank this with my family

up in Cleveland, warmed and yummy. He said when he had

heard me talking about my immigrant grandparents, he had

thought of me, then while at the Rickenbacker Air Force

Base commissary, had purchased it to give to me. I cannot

pronounce nor write the name of the wine, but you may

look up holiday German wines and find it! Melvin was once

stationed there, so he says that carolers travel around

the small towns, shops have tables outside their doors,

enticing shoppers by some of their wares and little cups

of this heated wine. I kept the bottle, but did am not so

great at reading the ornate lettering on it, so am not

totally sure of the name of that wine!

Susan had put the South African gifts unwrapped under the

tree, we opened them, since Felicia and I would be leaving

on Christmas day to travel almost 2 and 1/2 hours back to

my son’s ‘party’ and family gathering with the 6 grandies.

I took Trista the giraffe printed purse that was a cloth

tapestry material with a sling kind of strap. It will be

a great “Mommy” purse. I took Jamie a polar bear mug and

its little goodies from Mom, along with hot Cheetos. He

used to get tins of sardines, herrings and tuna fish from

my Dad, my Mom tried to continue this tradition for

several years, but had decided to downsize her gifts, more

out of having to haul them from the bus to her apartment,

than a budgeting issue. My daughter got a snowman mug with

dark chocolates from Mom, I received a card with $10 and

a big hug, along with her little saved cookies from the

dining room to take home. She also ‘re-gifted’ for Jamie

and Trista, a big box of Fannie Mae chocolates. Felicia

and I had both given her boxes of dark chocolates, and

Randy had gone to the Cleveland Malley’s chocolate shoppe,

where he had given us all yummy and great quality candy.

Susan gave my oldest daughter a Cape Town calendar. (These

gifts for son, oldest daughter and daughter in law were

taken to them. Son and family had gone up for Thanksgiving,

daughter more than once had brought the two boys up, too.)

I received, in the mail, a wonderful book that I have been

reading and studying about writing. It is called, “On

Writing Well,” by William Zinsser. It is a 30th Anniversary

Edition, given by my friend, Gary, who is the man I kept of

the match.com group of men, who writes for the sports section

of the Columbus Dispatch. I was thrilled with the UPS package

on a few days before Christmas. I have read and recommend the

forefather of this book, “Elements of Style,” written by E.B.

White with his English Professor friend and colleague, William

Strunk. Strunk and White’s book was one I read in college about

writing.

Bill had taken me to eat, twice in December, although both times

I offer and he accepts money for a hefty tip or the whole meal,

in the case of the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays. His gift is always

a big dose of philosophy, analyzing our lives so far, cheerful

talks about his Heather and my current ‘love,’ at the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed and reveled in the Christmas concert and

meal with that special friend. I loved the fact we walked from

my apartment, across one of the three bridges and up the steep

and slippery hill and steps to Gray Chapel, Ohio Wesleyan Campus.

Although there was a constant attempt to keep the salted sidewalks

from getting slippery, the walk was a little treacherous, as I

wore a nice pair of heels! I wore an attractive “ensemble” and my

old, herringbone woolen long coat and gray cashmere (previous year’s

gift from youngest daughter) scarf. This was what I had worn when

I met up with my ex-husband on First Friday of Delaware with a green

cashmere sweater, that gift from a friend, and jeans, that night.

There was Chaos! upon arrival at my son’s but the children were

overall very well behaved. There is always a long table set up with

the munchies that I adore, pineapple slices, veggie tray with ranch

dressing, a relish tray with my sweet gherkin pickles, along with

my bringing two balls of the chipped beef cream cheese ‘logs’ with

100% whole wheat crackers and Triscuits. My youngest daughter

ignored the beef part of the logs and ate it anyway, since the

cream cheese and chives interior is basically healthy and gluten-

free. She ate all the veggies, the pineapple and watched herself

by eating a bite of the famous 3 cheese mac n’ cheese, Trista

makes for all family gatherings.

I was able to get photographs of most of the children with

their opening the gifts (I gave school and play clothes)

while my brother’s gifts of toys were a welcome relief!

Too bad he could not have seen the hour long play with the

two girl cousins (Jade and Makyah) with the wooden painted

and unusually shaped beads and strings. Randy gave some

awesome gifts of coffees to my girls and also, Mod Podge

in two big jars, to my oldest artistic daughter. He got

a great Crock Pot for the main meal planners, Jamie and

Trista, along with some candies to share at the party.

You see, at Jamie and Trista’s house, they have two

rooms, the play room and the kitchen set up with food!

The revelry and comraderie, includes Trista’s father,

Jerry.

He seemed, understandably, lost and saddened by his

wife, Chris’ passing, her son and his wife, Jerry’s

son and wife, friend, Alan, Theresa and Hailey, Zena,

Emily and Jason, along with my three children and six

grands.

There is always an atmosphere of joviality with the

men sometimes imbiding some ales or beers, the women

having a glass of wine, too. The children ‘munch and

run,’ or grab and take on the go snacks but they are

required to stay with food in the kitchen or playroom

areas. The little girls, Kyah and Jade, were using

water in their tea cups and using the play tea pot

in the living room, before being scolded and sent

back to the playroom. The boys were having fun with

their tablets or DSL’s? is that what they are called?

Nana never looks at those games nor tries to play

them, unlike Wii games of bowling or other fun things

on the big screen television in the family room. I

was once a Donkey Kong “Queen” amongst my son’s

group of Nintendo friends. That is the last time I

attempted that sort of game!

Children everywhere, the tree lights glowing and the

atmosphere was warm and toasty, filled with the

abundance of love flowing all around us. Such a gift

that is beyond words…

A final quotation that pertains to “abundance” by

Thomas Kinkade:

“Perceptions of beauty vary. We should delight in the

diversity of taste, just as we rejoice in the

abundance of experiences that life has to offer.”

Although, I attempted, really tried to shorten this!

Expressions and Vocabulary

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There are a few words that are ‘thrown around’ this time of year that

I was not completely sure of and wanted to know more about them. I hope

you will put up with another post about Christmas! I just love this time

of year and all the festivities and wonder!

These are words or phrases that I thought I knew but ‘missed the mark’

and learned more about the complete definitions and explanations.

1.) Did you know in the original “Twelve Days of Christmas” that the

Four _________ Birds were not “Calling Birds?” The original English

version calls these birds, “colly birds!” In 1780, this song was

included in a book, entitled, “Mirth without Mischief.” The birds

can be interchangeable in their names. So, we now sing the more

common and the other name is long out of practice.

2.) wassail- noun. 1. An early English toast to someone’s health.

2. A liquor made of ale or wine, spices and often baked apples

served in a large punch bowl, usually at Christmas. 3. Riotous

drinking.

I wondered why people could go “wassailing” when it was all about

toasting, drinking and having a riot of a celebration? The word

eventually meant to go caroling.

3.) When they say, “We will bring some ‘figgy pudding’ I wondered

what this entailed, also.

By using the definition of “fig” you will find the word “trifle”

within it. A trifle can be a cake or treat…

fig- noun. 1. Usually edible oblong or pear-shaped fruit of a tree

of the mulberry family. Also: A tree bearing figs. 2. Trifle.

(Cake layered dessert.) I also could see that when you say, “I don’t

give a fig about it!” that is a trifle amount. So, there!

4.) myrrh- noun. A brown, slightly bitter aromatic gum resin obtained

from African and Arabian trees and used especially in perfumes or

formerly, in incense. (This is one of the Gifts of the Magi, the

Three Wise Men, who by the way, are not really numerated as “three”

in the Bible!)

5.) I know this is silly but I wondered if people ‘boxed’ on Boxing

Day, this is celebrated in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada

on December 26th! I mean I wrote it on my December calendar but did

not know the meaning of “Boxing Day!” It is a postal holiday that

is observed as a ‘legal holiday’ in parts of the British Commonwealth,

coming from a historical point of view, when they would give the

postmen Christmas boxes for their service as gifts.

6.) In ancient England, kisses were given under the mistletoe as a

ceremonial act of ending grievances! I looked up the definition

and this is not included in my Brittanica-Webster Dictionary!

mistletoe- noun. A green plant with yellowish flowers and waxy,

white berries that grows on the branches and trunks of trees.

In another book, I found out that the word “toe = twig.”

Sprigs over doors were symbolizing Peace to guests; not exactly

the romantic way that we picture it in today’s customs!

7.) Someone at work asked me to look up “partridge” and explain

why this is used as the First day of Christmas. I could not find

why it is the type of bird used, but here is the definition that

did have a pleasant, sweet looking drawing accompanied with it.

partridge- noun. Any of several stout-bodied Old World game birds

related to the common domestic fowl. In North America, a similar

looking bird is called the ‘bob-white’ or ruffed grouse.

8.) turtledove- noun. Any of several small wild pigeons especially

of an Old World genus, noted for cooing.

Both the partridge and turtledove are acknowledged as “Old World”

birds, so interesting to me!

9.) courser- noun. A swift or spirited horse.

No mention of a reindeer but this was the question that my 9 year

old grandson asked, “What are coursers?” while I was reading the

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” book.

10.) frankincense- noun. A fragrant gum resin from African or Arabian

trees that is burned as incense.

This definition sounds familiar, hmmm! the same as “myrrh” in most of

the words chosen to define these.

Last but not numbered, I learned a fascinating tradition about the

Yule Log:

Once this was a popular tradition, but rarely continued among the

‘regular’ people these days. It originated in medieval days, when

Yule logs were chosen on a specific date: February 2nd. This log

would be held in a location until New Year’s Eve of that same year.

So, once the log was chosen, it was protected and kept in a special

place of honor. It was dried outside from winter, through all the

seasons, until December 31st. This was a family custom that has

gone by the wayside. I think it would be a wonderful one to start

again, because it has a purpose! It becomes a forgiving force of

nature!

Here is how it goes… A piece of this log becomes the way to light

the “yule fire.” The directions say to use this piece of the saved

log as a “foundation of the Yule fire.” Nowadays, to continue this

or renew this meaning as a family tradition, it would include any

log could be used along with decorating it with ribbons or using

chemicals to produce colored flames.

Burning this to “ash” all the bad feeling or hard times of the

past year away. This previous year could also be considered by

writing notes on pieces of paper, folding them, with the content

meant to be the bad feelings, illnesses or hard times family

members experienced. By writing them, then folding them up

and throwing them upon the fire, any problems, quarrels or

grudges may be forgotten.

In France, the bakers in bakeries make delicious cakes that

are called, buche de Noel.” The cakes are in the shape of a

Yule log. Knowing how I love French pastries, I am sure this

would be scrumptious! I would like to have this on New Year’s

Day!

Not So Innocent!

Standard

Britney Spears went through a big upheaval when she became an

adult and no longer was “Mickey Mouse Club material.” I have several

random thoughts on this, also other major and famous actresses,

movie stars and musicians becoming adults and the public’s high

expectations of them. I would like to also mention how I feel about

the different approaches the media have to covering stories of famed

young women’s personal activities versus young men’s choices. I

feel there is some sexism in the way the stories are sensationalized

and reported.

I was once “innocent,” too. I would go to theatre or Thespians’

after theatre parties, where marijuana joints were passed over my

head. I was also known, according to a nice young man who told

me at my fifth high school reunion, as a “Virgin who would not go

past second base.” Thanks for that, Jack! (I still love you, anyway!)

I went to Science Club parties, where I am sure the popular kids

and the “jocks,” cheerleaders and the “stoners” thought we were

solely playing chess and behaving ourselves! Heck no! There were

cans of beer to be bagged up and also those silly, sickeningly sweet

Boone’s Farm wine bottles, too!

I laugh at the avid papparazzi, entertainment reporters and the social

media going crazy over poor Miley Cyrus’ reaching “maturity.” She is

just deciding to go the way of say, Madonna, (please tell me you don’t

forget her sacrilegious acts with a cross and other religious symbols!),

Cher (hey, there are a lot of you who knew about her wild days), and

Bette Midler, attired in solely a bustier and flimsy underwear going

onstage to burst into great songs with acccompanying raunchy and raw

behavior.

Let’s look at how Cher became a serious actress in “Silkwood.”

Let’s look at how much we respect Madonna for her work in say,”Evita”

along with her charity causes and major donations, too.

Let’s look at how Bette Midler became a sweet crooner in “The Wind

Beneath My Wings” and her Disney movies with Danny DeVito.

We allowed them to be “grown ups” and then, we still scorn their past

behaviors? Let’s get real! I think that there have been several insightful

entertainment reporters that say that if these women had been men,

like Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, along

with numerous men who have crossed over from druggies, jailbirds

and other dangerous behaviors to respected “artists.” Men can get

away with bawdy and “bad” behavior, just a little bit easier, I agree!

Robert Downey, Jr. is now popular with his “Ironman” movie series,

not that long ago, he was a major drug addict and lawbreaker.

I love Tim Allen’s sense of humor, he was an excellent “father role

model” in “Home Improvement” for my children growing up. He

was not afraid to be goofy and made us laugh! He is also funny in

his newer comedy, “Last Man Standing.” I enjoy his take on parenting

with Nancy Allen, teenager and young adult girls! He still wants to put

a “bag over their heads” and protect them! But, you know he was a

drug dealer and served time in jail, right?

Just going to say, I am “not so innocent!” I still get away with a little

bit more, with my wide eyed freshly cleaned face that looks like the

girl next door. I think the shame is that the media takes the ball and

runs with the escapades of the young women, especially, and they are

not going to see it this way, are actually exploiting them!

As far as Britney Spears goes, her song, “Baby One More Time” was

recorded when she was 18 years old, in 1999. She also that year won

a Grammy Award and Best Female Pop Vocal performance of the year.

She sang the words, “I’m not that innocent” in the song, “Oops, I Did It

Again,” (2000), broke international records.

That is my “take” on the recent situations with Miley Cyrus and the

past ones that I admire their body of work, overlook their mishaps,

and am so glad that my mistakes are not covering magazines and

news shows!