December 31, 2011
1. Great food
2. Games with good friends
3. Going downtown at midnight to stand outside in the freezing cold to watch the fireworks!
Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Alaska?
Yes, because it doesn't get dark in Alaska in the summer, so pyrotechnics on July 4th just don't fly. Well, they may fly, but you can't see 'em!
Too bad the guy who built the NEVER-used Drive-In Theater in Anchorage didn't think about that important little fact before he invested thousands of dollars: Alaskan summers bring 24-hour daylight, so when it's warm enough to go to the drive-in, you can't see the screen, and when it's dark enough to see the screen, it's way too frigid to sit outside in your car.
Just a fun little reminder that, as you make resolutions and set goals for 2012, be sure you think through the ways you plan to accomplish your goals.
Happy New Year.
187 articles of clothing
2 "mother of the bride" outfits
12 pairs of shoes
36 votive candles
3 styrofoam balls
1 old briefcase
1 decorative plate
1 bag of silk flowers
1 decorative lantern
1 wooden letter "R"
6 Rubbermaid containers
3 baby blankets
26 pairs of earrings
1 vanity case
4 Spaghetti Factory glasses
26 Christmas ornaments
13 Christmas decorations
4 kitchen towels
2 aluminum pans
1 divided party platter
1 kitchen timer
1 small mixing bowl
6 green glass bottles
1 decorative greenery
1 scrapbooker's drink holder
2 leaf prints
1 box of stamping up items
7 stuffed animals
2 sets of twin sheets
1 set of queen sheets
48 books (which I forgot to photograph)
1 zebra backpack
22 computer games
2 scarf/earmuff/glove sets
1 tv antenna
1 old camcorder
1 erector set
2 soap dispensers
9 decorative balls
3 bath towels
1 large vase
1 lap desk
...and numerous cardboard boxes :)
December 19, 2011
My friend Debbie (who lives in Great Britain) says I should blog about: Chocolate, Love, Sex and Money. So here goes: Chocolate has never disappointed me. EV.ER. The End.
(Unless you count the time Mom burned a batch of chocolate pudding and it tasted like ashes and dirt, but that was really more Mom disappointing me than the chocolate). The End Again.
My friend Bernie (who lives in British Columbia, which is nowhere NEAR Great Britain, despite its name) says I should blog about: Toeless Socks. Now back in my marching band days, we woodwinds cut our gloves to make them fingerless to enable us to play, so why not toeless socks to enable my toes to play? If you know me at ALL, you know my claustrophobic feet HATE socks. So, as I'm sitting here contemplating the joy of free toes (not to be confused with Fritos, which are great with chili and onions), I googled "toeless socks". OH MY GOODNESS! They exist! Not only do they exist, but there is a myriad of manufacturers and a plethora of patterns! DID YOU KNOW THIS??? If you did, you are now on my "You OWE me one!" list for allowing my toes to sweat and suffer in silence all these years.
This blog is over. I have to go make a call now.
"Hello, Sockdreams? I NEED to place an order..."
December 11, 2011
The weird and the broken. That's what we jokingly call ourselves. The church of the weird and the broken. I could not love a group of people more than I love this group I call my "church family". For the last two years I have been one of the 'broken'. I have struggled deeply in my relationship with God. There, I said it out loud. Not struggled with believing IN Him, mind you, just BELIEVING Him. I have continued to pray every day, though I quit praying for myself, because I reached the point where I don't think He listens to me or cares. I know in my head this isn't true, but I can't convince my heart otherwise. Despite that, I'm not sure what I would do without these people in my life ... they make me better.
I grew up with a very legalistic view of church. "Going to church" was a requirement. "Being good". "Earning salvation" by being in a perfect church filled with fake people who pretended to be perfect as well. We sat in our pristine buildings, based our belief system on a handful of verses taken out of context, and patted ourselves on the back for being God's favorites. If only everyone else would open their eyes and see "the right way" as we saw it...
It took a while for that twisted view to morph into something much different, for me and for the church I call my family. We stopped seeing the Bible as an instruction manual, and started reading it as the story of God's presence in the lives of His people. We gave up pretending to be perfect, and are much more open with our flaws, our struggles, our humanity. We stopped sitting in a building up on a hill waiting for the world to come to us to find God, and have become a group of people who get outside our four walls and try to BE Jesus to the people around us.
We also happen to love each other. And pray for each other. And annoy each other. And laugh with each other. And cry with each other. And hurt each other's feelings. And forgive each other. And take care of each other. It's a perfect imperfect church.
As I work through my own junk and struggle to find hope again, I'm blessed to have this group of weird and broken people in my life every week.
December 07, 2011
And that, boys and girls, was the beginning of my good fortune. I have gone on to win tickets and gift certificates to nice restaurants and books and videos and essay competitions and savings bonds and a vhs player and $200 in a photo contest and numerous cds and a weekend trip to Memphis, and if you have EVER been to a "sales party" with me, be it Pampered Chef or Creative Memories or Tupperware or whatever, you know my name is ALWAYS the one that gets drawn for the door prize. Always.
Some decades later, only a few petals remain from my wallflower days. I have since learned to love Jules Verne and the SyFy channel offerings, no thanks to that stupid boy board game. And since I just won a new flatscreen tv, I guess my lucky streak still holds.
*The little dude next to me was my first "boyfriend" despite the ugly plaid shirt and buzz cut. He gave me a bracelet. Gotta love a guy who gives you jewelry. And it's quite possible the girl next to me is Cindy Brady. Just sayin'.
December 05, 2011
December 03, 2011
December kicks off my switch from mild recycler to Serious Green Freak. Or maybe I'm just returning to my Earth Mother roots from the late 80's when I ate all organic and gave birth at home and climbed a lot of stairs. (The stairs don't really have anything to do with being "earthy", we just happened to live in a 3-story condo in Alaska at the time.) But really, my only goal for December is to limit my "throw-away" garbage to one bag per week. I have recycle containers for plastics, glass, aluminum (which I would love to eliminate altogether), and of course, paper and cardboard. I even bought a shredder to make the process easier.
Today I spent the day being Squeegie Beckenheim and successfully unsubscribing from about two dozen catalogs that serve no purpose but to kill 10 minutes of my day every day as I sort through the mail and toss the junk.
It's not that I don't like the catalogs, it's just that I can shop online for all the same things. Besides, my arms aren't long enough to catalog shop anymore.
December 02, 2011
A little Christmas movie-quotes game! To make this more fun for everybody, PLEASE comment, BUT only answer ONE - doesn't matter which one! (So your comment would look something like this: #12 - White Christmas. No, there is no #12 and as you may have guessed, "White Christmas" is NOT one of the answers.) No googling (on your honor!).
Okay, here we go!
1. "Toys are hereby declared illegal, immoral, unlawful AND anyone found with a toy in his possession will be placed under arrest and thrown in the dungeon."
2. "Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man."
3. "There are more important things than comfort: Self Respect!"
4. "You call this a happy family? Who do we have to have all these kids?"
5. "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."
6. "If you're really Santa Claus, you can get it for me. And if you can't, you're only a nice man with a white beard like mother says."
7. "Dear Santa Claus, How have you been? Did you have a nice summer? How is your wife? I've been extra good this year, so I have a long list of presents that I want. Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible."
8. "I love smiling. Smiling's my favorite!"
9. "He got stuck only once for a minute or two, then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue."
10. "Say, isn't it true that French babes don't shave their pits?"
Alrighty, choose your quote and then leave a comment with the name of the corresponding Christmas movie. And for bonus points, name my two personal favorite movies from this list!