Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Holiday gift shows and fairs. You either love them or hate them. I enjoy browsing if I know things are deals and worthy of gifting. However there are many that are full of high priced and trendy items that I would never gift,

Churches and schools often have great gift items under $20. That’s my type of holiday gift fair! Last year, when no one dared come into contact with anyone else, a group of crafters got together to put on a virtual craft fair. There was a variety of items that were true crafts, the handmade and homemade type. There were also a lot of large MLM companies represented. Each crafter it sales consultant was featured for one day. It was, not fun, but a practical option. They’re doing it again this year and it started this weekend. I don’t even time in when it’s a mass produced item that anyone can get from a large company. [Think cosmetics, candles, kids books, etc.]

I ordered a couple of personalized drink tumblers for a special couple in the family. I won’t order anything else, on sure. That’s about the only item that is with the price.

The most annoying item available at that fair, and so many other places, is really trendy and, to me, freaky. You’ve probably all seem one. That horrible elf that is moved from place to place to sit on kids and discourage them from misbehaving — yup, elf on the shelf. Don’t you think it’s freaky?

Freaky little guy!

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October’s End

It seems that it’s over before I got a chance to enjoy it. One day it was October first then overnight it’s the thirty-first.

Halloween piñata after the kids had their way with it.

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That’s what I have to share. In fact, too much for what must be a quick to write post but if I wait until I have time to write a longer post, that will probably never come.

I’m so busy these days that I am getting all lost in the busyness and not enjoying the holiday season. I want just a couple of days to myself to wrap gifts and make lists and maybe make some tamales to share with the family. Just a couple of days. It seems I can’t catch my breath these days and when I have time I am just so exhausted that I don’t have the energy to focus on relaxing and enjoying and doing for me.

I hope that changes. I am trying to change it. I am starting the new year with a planner/journal. I haven’t done that in a long, long time. This one is called bullet journaling and it is new to me. I got my Happy Planner (mini) and a few (very few) accessories but I won’t start until the new year. In the meantime I want to figure out what sections I will put in it. Well, I think with bullet journaling they call them “collections” not sections or topics. I know I want to have a collection for tarot, gratitude, kids’ stuff, blogging ideas, and a section for my diabetes related stuff. I need to sit and plan it out and get some more refills, although I am thinking it may be more cost effective to get myself the paper punch and put together my own refills. We’ll see.

Diabetes. Several things. First, I got my A1c results back on Thursday and I am at a 7.1 which is super! 7.0 is target range for diabetics so I am excited to have made it to that number. And my insulin is working better now that I have learned to concentrate on the carbs I consume in relation to the insulin I inject. AND a big bonus: I finally got my one on one with the dietitian this past week and she asked me if I would be willing to try something different. It seems she has read a lot of articles that show that taking 1000 to 1200 grams of alpha lupeic acid can lower blood glucose, help with weight loss, AND help the pain from nerve damage. I said I would try it. The pain from the nerve damage is getting worse and if there is a chance that this will help, I will take it. The neat thing is that I only started taking it on Friday night and already it is having an affect on my glucose levels which means less insulin that I need to take which also means less weight gain (yes, insulin makes you gain weight). I had been gaining ten pounds  a month and that has to stop! I think this really might work! Yay!

There’s cute kiddo stuff to tell you about but I have to run again. I think we’re going to a Christmas program in just a bit and I’m not ready!

I hope you are all having a great holiday season and stopping, or at least pausing long enough, to enjoy it!

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I don’t usually do any kind of gratitude posts because it all seems so artificial. Why give thanks on one day just because the calendar says to? I am, however, thankful for many things on most days. Once in awhile things get to the point where I cannot think of anything to be thankful for. Luckily, that doesn’t last too long and I am soon back to having things to list as what I am grateful for.

I made it to Seattle. Last year I was sick and had to abort plans to come up so I stayed home alone, and sick, for Thanksgiving. Not this year! And this year I have a new grandbaby, Mati. Of course, I am also thankful for the other two grandboys! In fact, I would have to say that my three grandchildren and the one on the way are my blessings. They make life livable. On the days that I can’t think of a thing to be grateful for, they are what keep me going.

I am also thankful for my health. I still have a lot of health issues but after the major surgery in 2015, much has been resolved and I don’t take that at all lightly. I’m very thankful that things worked out as they did and I ended up at a top rate hospital that was finally able to diagnose and fix a lot of what was wrong.

My friends, family, and each of my blog readers, also have to be on that list. Even though many are “virtual friends,” you couldn’t be anymore true if you were standing right here next to me. You keep my eyes open and focused on things outside of my world. You keep me on my toes.

It is important to remember, daily, that, while our own world may not perfect, we each have something in our world that others don’t have. There are so many that have nothing, or very little at all. Be thankful for what you have and remember that you have far more than many, many people.

I guess that will do it for my Thanksgiving post this year. I am off to join everyone else upstairs and have a second cup of coffee and some much needed water! For now, I hope you enjoy your day, whether it is officially a Thanksgiving Day or not, remember to be thankful even for the smallest of things!

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If we were having coffee, I’m afraid you would have to listen to me vent. I’ll try to be short.

Today is Easter Sunday. I grew up Catholic so it’s a big deal for me. Or at least it used to be. Now I just try to keep it alive by observing it…by not letting the day go by unnoticed. Usually that means an egg hunt for the boys, a lunch or dinner out, and maybe the park. Well, the boys’ dad was also raised Christian but has decided he doesn’t want anything religious in his life (of course, Christmas is different because it means gifts for him). He has gone along with things for the past six years. Now, he is very reluctant but he hasn’t said anything…he’s just been rude (to me) and has put up a bunch of obstacles. It’s almost 7:30 PM and we haven’t had our egg hunt or baskets yet. Chris is brooding because he wanted dim sum for lunch but the restaurant was crowded, over an hour wait, so we left. But he wanted dim sum and has made the day unbearable for us all because he didn’t get it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would not force a holiday on anyone if they said they preferred to not observe it. That’s fine. But say something! Don’t just go along with everything then change the rules in the middle of the game! That’s confusing for all of us, especially the boys.

There’s more but this is enough. For now.

I’m currently reading and greatly enjoying The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd (at least I think that’s the name of it) by Holly Kerr. Review to follow this week. That’s about it. No movies or shows. How about you? Have you had the problem/experience of one person in a family not wanting to observe a holiday? How have you dealt with it? Are you reading anything yu can recommend?


Check out Part Time Monster for a link to more coffee share posts!

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We’re in the middle of what I call “the lull”…the time between Thanksgiving being over and the Christmas season getting a hold of me.  Usually it’s only a day or two.  This year, I’m not in the holiday spirit yet.  I haven’t bought any gifts yet.  Usually I’m all done by now.  I’m more absorbed by the getting there (we’ll all be going up to Seattle for the holiday) and getting everyone situated and happy.  I tend to fret over not causing too much work or trouble for others and not letting any of the “kids” make waves for anyone.  I want people to be happy and to have the time go by so smoothly that we all say “let’s do it again soon” when it’s all over.

The only problem with this lull is that if I don’t get moving and get into the spirit, I run the risk of becoming depressed and I don’t want to go there.  That won’t be fun for anyone.  So I wait.  I’ve tried putting on some Christmas carols and plugging in the Christmas Santa lights in the window and letting my grandson plug in the tiny twinkling lights in the dining room (although he likes to have them on all the time, not just Christmas, I don’t usually let him do it too often).  So far no luck.  I guess I’ll give myself a couple of days to focus on the holidays and then get a move on!

Hopefully the lull will be over in just a few more posts.

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Today I drove home from my son’s house where we had gone for Thanksgiving.  It should only take about 3 1/4 hours but it took over 4 1/2 hours this morning.  Rain. Rain. Rain.  Oh, and then the wind.  The rain was coming down not in sheets but in blankets!  Although the speed limit was 70, no one, not even the proverbial hot rodders that think they are Mario Andretti, was driving above 45.  Luckily, everyone was leaving a lot of room between their car and the others.  That part was good.

I’m getting too old to make this drive without a lot of rest between the drive up and back home.  I think I need a few days to recuperate between the drives.  I’m not only tired when I begin the trip home, I’m exhausted when I arrive.  And then there is the stress.  The stress of the drive knocks me out.  Today, I got home, sat on the couch and the next thing I knew, it was three hours later.  I had fallen asleep.  Then I had to go out to unload the car but it was raining so hard that I had to come back in and wait til it let up a bit.

I know I’m complainig. I shouldn’t.  It was wonderful to be included in my son and daughter-in-law’s Thanksgiving celebration and also that my daughter and grandsons were also included.  That was a bonus.  I’m also glad we took two cars. They still aren’t back yet as they stopped to see her in-laws along the route back.

Now I wait for Christmas when I’ll do it all over again.  For Christmas, the bonus will be that my youngest daughter will also be coming so we will all be together.  That makes the drive worthwhile.  And I’m not doing it one day up and the next day back down.  I’ll have three days between the up and down!  Of course it will also mean that I will be a year older as I will have a birthday on Christmas so yes, I’ll probably feel a lot older!

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This year Thanksgiving will be very different. Usually, the three kids and I are all together. I don’t think we’ve missed any years of being together until now. My son will be with his girlfriend and her family in the SF bay area (700 miles from me) and my daughter will be with her boyfriend and his family also in the SF bay area. My older daughter and I will be in our new homes in the Portland area. I was supposed to cook for the two of us and for my daughter’s friends but at the last minute she decided to come and get everything from me and take it to her apartment where she and her friend will do all the cooking. I just have to show up. Well, I am making an apple pie and candied yams at home then taking them to her apartment across town. I’m not sure which I would rather do, all the cooking or driving across town.

When she and her friend were here to pick up all the food so they could fix it tomorrow, I was thinking about how our traditions have changed to accommodate our changing family over the years. When I was growing up, we just had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, yams, rolls, and pumpkin pie. When I married my husband’s family had all the same things but added green beans, peas, olives, a second version of candied yams, coleslaw, corn, apple pie, and sometimes mince meat pie. When I divorced and the kids became pickier, we added macaroni and cheese to the mix. When my daughter was here, she kept pulling out more and more stuff from the pantry. I asked who was going to eat it and she said, “But we always have it.” True, but we normally have a couple of other people. So we cut a few things that that the three and possibly four of us won’t eat tomorrow. Still, we will have an awful lot of food.

This year we won’t have to fix a tofurkey (yes, you read that right; it’s a tofu turkey). My younger daughter is vegetarian so we usually have turkey and tofurkey. We usually have ham, too because my older daughter loves ham. We’re doing without this year. We’ll save it for Christmas dinner. And this year there aren’t any minors to drink the six bottles of Martinelli’s that I bought, forgetting we didn’t really need all that. I’m set for the next three Christmases and by then my youngest will be 21 and will drink wine with us.

I guess I’m feeling a bit down. I’m missing the two that won’t be with us. I think I’ll miss them even more tomorrow. I’m starting not to like being so far away from them. At least if the economy weren’t so bad, there’d be more money and they could fly up here for the holiday but not this year.

Who and what are YOU missing this holiday?

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When my kids were little, we used to drive around looking at Christmas decorations. We lived in Glendale in southern California, near Pasadena. Before the kids were born, my husband and I would drive around looking at the decorations and taking his niece or other friends and relatives with us. Our regular route included the Balian mansion (the Balian family owns a creamery and a well known local brand of ice cream), Christmas Tree Lane, and points in between. We went every single year. When the kids were born, we continued the same route, not missing a year until we moved away four Christmases ago. (more…)

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