Monday, December 31, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I am not making a big deal out of what I received for Christmas. But, As I did remark: Hb. did great shopping. But, this one is the best present.
When he and I were first married, our rings were made of solid 24 carat hand carved gold rings. Puzzle rings. They were carved, not a wax cast. From a small souk in Lebanon, Beirut. He had been in the Airforce and spent his second year there. He loved Beirut. When it exploded in to war and was literally demolished. Hb. was just devastated. He had planned to go back and show it to me. But that was quite awhile after we had been married. Anyway, when I finally agreed to marry him, he had the rings already. I waited a year, to decide.
I loved those rings. We still have them , but, well we have both gained weight and developed enlarged knuckles. So, had to take them off. They are in a box. I have been without a marriage ring for 15 years. Perhaps I kept hoping I would drop some this stuff I'm hauling around. However, not yet. So, I went without a ring.
I definitely did not want a diamond. I don't care for diamonds. They are too splashy and flashy. So, I only thought about a ring intermittently. It was not even on a wish list.
So, when I unwrapped this pretty little gift Tuesday morning. I was quite surprised. What a really pretty ring it is. The stones are Tanzanite. A very hard to find and unusual stone. They are only found where a meteorite has plowed into the earth.
They are quite small marquise cut stones and they are a sort of pale periwinkle color. Very dainty and feminine. It is nice to have marriage ring again.
Of course my poor chilblain hands do not do it justice. But, I love the ring.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Fairly simple really. Christmas Eve we left around 5:30pm, to drive to a district in town that has a tradition of decorating for Christmas since just after W.W.II . A small fir tree in each front yard lit with multicolored lights. With lights outlining the house. And as many lights, more less that the occupant may want to do.
When I first came here to go to school. The first year my two roommates and I drove around. F. had lived here longer than me. So, she was our guide.
That area was always the nicest at Christmas. But, after 2000. After we had moved. (hated that move.) Different occupants moved in, and just seemed not to be into Christmas.
Only the 'Glen Eyrie' were consistent. And some houses across the street, might try to match. I may have written about this in a blog entry last year.
Anyway it was wonderful to see how much the citizen's there were expressing and sharing their Christmas Holiday celebrations.
We then went to YUM YUM Donuts. Dale got us one raised, glazed donut. and one crusty Apple Fritter. I love apple fritters. But it has been a long time since I had one. because of my stomach situation. However! Wonder of wonders! These were completely fresh. They were crisp, and not soggy. And didn't taste of stale oil. Ooh, lovely. We slowly ate them as we drove home. Just pulling off small bites and slowly savoring them. We hadn't had something from Yum Yum since last year, when we viewed the lights.
After we were home. We just sat in the big room. I can't call it a living room, because that's not where we sit the most. I have our sitting room in what was a front bedroom.
Our bedroom is a room in the back by the patio.
Anyway, we listened to Christmas music and enjoyed the lights on four trees. Hb. just sat. Know what? I sewed for my doll! I was feeling good enough to.
This year I chose to wait until the morning for our presents. I think Hb. may have been disappointed. But, he said he wasn't.
Next morning, I got up right after he did. He gets up early. 9:ish. So I had some coffee and toast and we opened our presents then. Hb. had done some great shopping.
We had a nice little Christmas. Holidays really begin in the heart.
Late in the afternoon. I did have a stomach upset, from the donut and fritter.
Well, the fritter was really tasty anyway.
Then the headache I was expecting finally developed this afternoon. Ugh.
Not to be concerned. The headache arrived too late and didn't spoil my Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007


On Christmas eve. what do you hear?
Do you hear silver jingle bells and the
clip-clop, of horses hooves?
Or do you hear Bright brass bells, and reindeer
hooves go click, click up on the roof top?
Perhaps if you listen quietly with your heart,
You will hear the golden song of the angels
announcing Christmas Day.
As the Sun dawns in the East.
All the sounds of Christmas will
resonate all through the happy day.
All of these sounds to Christmas belong,
and are part of the Christmas song.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Here is another story about attending a one room country school. So, this is about what we did to celebrate Christmas there. I really wish I pictures for this story. But, cameras at that time were very simple and only worked, outside in the sunlight.
Everyone anticipated Christmas as soon as school started in the fall. The Annual Christmas Party was the main community event all year, not only for we kids. But, for the grown ups as well. When it was time, someone would go get the school Christmas tree. Sometimes it would come from property of my Dad's. It would have been located and tagged during good weather. Then either my Dad, Mr. L. Or my Uncle Hi would go cut it down and take it to our school, help the boys make a stand for it and set the tree up. The tree was always a fir, 8 maybe 9 Ft. Usually a silvertip. They are the prettiest and have even branch growth. The needles last longer too. Easy to decorate, All of the kids would have been cutting and making yards of paper chains in red and green, some in basic colors. It's neat because the little ones can do that too. We did have some of the lovely glass balls . Made by Shiny Brite. Shiny silvery lead icicles, ( I never ever knew anyone who ate them. Or knew someone who knew someone who had eaten the lead icicles.) Four lengths of silvery tinsel rope and a very nice star for the top. I believe we did on one occasion try to make popcorn and cranberry strings. However they were too tedious and boring. So, we demurred on that embellishment. We would make paper ornaments too, to help fill in between the glass balls. Cutouts or paper folded. Paper snowflakes are quite lovely on a tree. We hadn't electricity. So, no lights. I'm trying remember if My Dad and Hiram L. may have fixed up a battery set one year. Only used on the party night. There were always some balls broken some how. There was a cotton snow skirt to cover the base. We were up in scale from Little House Wilder books. Our families had good incomes. But, it was country. For the school room decorations, we had paper chains, in red, white and green, draped everywhere they could be hung. Cut outs of snow men, Santa Claus, Angels, Stars and a few paper snowflakes, oh, and paper candy canes. After that we would concentrate on the play that we had selected and would perform for the Christmas Program and Party, for all the parents and relatives that would attend our Christmas performance. We always began our rehearsals right after Thankgiving so we would be well practiced in our roles. The play was the main presentation. The Core part of the program. We always did a real play. Not that pseudo pageant other schools did. One's Faith was left private. So, we observed a 'separation of church and state' form.Because of course we still had our real curricula to study. Right now the only plays I am able to recall are: Dicken's Christmas Carol, an abridged version of course. The Bird's Christmas Carol and Mr. Murphy's Sunday Best Trousers. Mr. Murphy was a comedy. The first I think. But, we always chose a play that would be fun. And all of we kids liked doing a play. 'We' were 'actors'.
Besides play, which was the centerpiece of our program, we also included Chridtmas cariling and some recitations. Our party lasted about two or three hours. We began at 8:pm and it went to 10:pm. Or perhaps longer for some.
Because farmers and ranchers had chores to do. My Dad was a Lumberman. So our family didn't have those early hours to contend with. Except when school was on.
First the teacher would announce the program for the evening. There would be a recitation. Then there would be Caroling Time. Between 3 or 4 songs, I think. The entre-act would be held to allow some of the final staging for the play, to be set up.
The desks would all be shoved back against the north wall. The desk chairs lined up for seating. The adults sat in front on the chairs. Guest kids sat in back on the desks.
There were chintz or cretonne curtains on a line in front. About three feet from the front row.

Finally the teacher would call everyone to order. The program would begin. First we sang carols. Everyone liked singing and joined in with we kids as we sang.
Some of our favorites were: Hark, the Harald Angels', Silent Night, Good King Wenceslas, O' Little Town Of Bethlehem, of course: 'Jingle Bells'. A have to have. And several others. Very the likely singing began with -'bells'.
Then the play was presented. You know, it was just a school play, fairly amateur.
But, it was really enjoyed. Our relatives and friends would get into the story we were telling. And we all seem to have a good sense of timing, the reactions all came when they ought. And the laughs, wholehearted. We were just people. But, everyone liked a well told tale. Not one person ever made snide remark. Or talked to us when we were performing. There are professional road troupes out there, that are not so fortunate.
After the play was over, we had our bows to appreciative applause. Then, the stage area cleared. The curtains pulled out of the way. Food to be set up, to give time for who ever was going to be Santa Claus, could slip out and change. The Santa would usually be either: my Dad, My Uncle Hi or Mr. Lorenzen. We kids weren't sure. because several of the men had slipped out on errands. Magic.
The boys were appointed to help Santa pass out the gifts. To the Adults too. They had drawn names. Each child received one present from their family. But the boys had drawn names too, because there were more of them. There were only four girls and we all exchanged presents. Usually books. Because we all liked to read. I always asked my parents for books for my school gift. Also, that way nothing was better than anyone else's. All of the kids, no matter age, received a Christmas Stocking filled with hard Christmas candy , an apple and an orange in the toe. And nuts too. Filberts, pecans, walnuts and Brazil Nuts. Yummy.
After the presents were handed out and opened. The food all have been devoured. Boys, you know. Then the cleanup. Desks put back in their places. The fire in the furnace put out. When things seemed in order. Everyone would go home. A good time had by all.

And we kids had two marvelous weeks off.
The picture on top is the books I received as 'Santa' gifts at the school Christmas. I show eight. Four from my parents. Two are from girls ,I traded gifts with.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


In my Wishbook post, I realized I wrote in such a way, that it seemed we kids only got one thing for Christmas. Not so. Actually we received two presents from each family member. So, that makes 6 each. There were 'Santa' presents and there were personal presents. But, the 'big' presents came from 'Santa'. The splurge presents were the special ones. Like my dolls and later my dollhouse and Bud's Lionel train set. So we weren't skimped at all.
Really though, it was difficult for our parents to not spoil us. They really had to hold themselves back. Because both of them as far as I know, grew up without Christmas. They only had Christmas together, after they were married and the first child born. Our Mother insisted on it. She wanted Christmas very much.
When I was older and asked Mom and Dad what Christmas was like when they were kids, I was stunned when they told me they hadn't any Christmas. The day was just another day. I eventually learned such a thing was not that unusual. Christmas is a real privilege and a fantastic joy to all who can celebrate it.
This a picture of Marie now. She is wearing a real baby dress. The elastic is gone in the sleeves, and needs replaced.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007



Christmas Shopping was easy when my brothers and I still believed in Santa Claus.
Because each year we would receive the Wards and Sears catalogs in the mail. THE WISHBOOK! YES! My older brother always claimed dibbsies first, because he was oldest and firstborn. Are we in Europe? I thought we lived in the USA. To him, same thing, as our forbears came from there. (oh, for pete's sake.) Mom let him have it to keep the peace.
So, Bud would spend the day reading and intense perusing, taking his time. This was a serious decision after all. We could only choose two things for Santa To bring us. Mustn't let Santa think we were greedy or spoiled. I would finally get to look through the book for a short while before bed. But, I would get it for most of the next day. I would spend most of the time dreaming over the dolls. I could only have one. After that it was Mom and Dad's turn.
Bud and I would show Mom and Dad what we would like. But, the choices had to have Mom and Dad's approval. Price and practicality, suitability and play quality. Then they would write the letter, (make out the order) and send it off. Very clever explanation, the letter was sent to Ward's or Sears , they would forward the request to Santa.
Dad would tell the Post Office to hold any packages. To let him know. He would pick them up when we kids wouldn't know.
Somehow Mom and Dad had a way of getting us out the way while Mom wrapped the presents.
We ended up opening our presents on Christmas eve. Because Mom and Dad had been married on that day. Dad always gave Mom an Anniversary gift. Bud and I would get mixed up and start to open ours. They had a time trying to get us to understand. When we were little, we could open one gift. When it was too hard to wait 'til morning. so, Mom and Dad said, oh, to heck with it. And that's how we came to open the presents on Christmas eve.
Bud and I and much later, my kid brother always got at least one of our chosen toys from the Wish Book.
This a catalog picture of my Eff and Bee Baby doll, I named Marie. She is twenty inches tall. I still have her. She no longer has that dress. But, she can wear 'newborn' size baby clothes.
I know I said I don't go much for baby dolls. But, Marie has always been very special. She came from a Wards catalog .

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Today is our anniversary. Can't have imagined. No, don't ask. Since I am ill most of the time. Kind of takes the fun out of it. To add on that. Hb. had to go get a root canal. Isn't that a present!? But, late afternoon, Hb. took me out for a ride to look at Christmas lights and a chocolate coffee from Starbuck's. He mixes it, not one of those silly latte things. Puleeeze. I really would have liked to have gone to Barnes and Noble. However, I quite likely would have contracted something nasty and then have been sick from now , until after New Year's.
Hb. bought us a very nice card. Oh, yeah, back about the late 1980's or early 90's. I had us begin to use only one card. Since I was working odd hours all the time, Hb. was the only one of us who had time to shop. Works out quite well. Besides, a card costs as much as a book. And only has one page of writing. Maybe two. I am not cheap, really. Just practical. Besides, he finds the cards that say the sweetest, nicest things. He brought us our traditional Poinsettia, a pink one. Hooray. There doesn't seem to be the selection of colors there used to be. Last year was red. Varigated poinsettias used to be available. But, I guess they didn't catch on. I loved them. I like unusual plants. In the past, I've sort of grown, or tried to grow several different kinds. Hum. Maybe I ought to talk about that sometime. Next year.
Here is a fairly good pic of our annual poinsettia. You know what we found out. They are no longer grown to continue. They are considered to be like a cut flower. They are only rooted stems. That's why they don't last much past after Jan. 1st.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I've been tagged by endment.
You know I did a blog last year, objecting to the mis-use of the word: weird. I think I will put it up again. When someone is deemed weird' they become, through no fault of their own, as objects of derision and redicule. To be denigrated and/or bullied. Not nice. Look up the word; weird in the dictionary. You will see what I am talking about.
1-However, I do have a thing that I feel defines me. I was born at home. Nearly killing my Mother. although, she said I was the easiest of the three.
2-On a hot August night.
3-At 1:AM
4-on a Sunday morning
5-So, I'm a Leo.
6-I don't care for cats.
7-I lived in that same home, Had as my bedroom,
the one I was born in. until I left at age 21.
'Nuff said.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I said that I had not made a Christmas doll when I was still making my dolls. There were so many out there at that time, I just felt I didn't need to. I looked at a lot of angels. There were all kinds of all kinds of mediums. To me they were either too much or not enough.
I used to get the catalogs from Franklin Mint. I have serveral of their dolls. They are quite beautiful.
They had a number of angels in their line. I finally decided on NOEL. She has a very real face. With a lovely expression. Very calm and serene. So, I ended up bringing her to my house to live with me. However, she ended up staying in her box for a very long time, before I had time and space to put her out on display. She is so beautiful. Understated, not flashy or exaggerated in her costume. But, still Christmas.
9/11/01 destroyed the collecting field. Which is way too bad. People are being frugal as times changed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Here is a picture of our trees again. As usual we have three small ones. They are rather fun. My Hb. got a great shot in front of the window. No reflection. All they have on them are lights. And five angels between them. the two trees on the left have two angels each. The little tree on the right has just one angel. They are made by me. I made them out of various extravagant ribbons. Satins and brocades. They are between 4" to 6" tall. I made and sold most of them at a shop in the 90's. This all I have left. I kept them for myself.
Back to our trees. We decided to go for this size, as we just have the energy to do an 8" footer anymore. And we sold it. I'm selling as many of the ornaments as I can.
These trees are more fairy tale like with just lights too.
There is another tree in the corner by the un-usable fireplace. The room seems cozy though anyway, with just the trees on.
Oh, yes, we leave them out all year. This next year though, they will need to be taken apart and dusted. The tallest tree is about four feet tall.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Holiday Treats- Fudge candy

During the Winter a lot of people like to make their own holiday sweets. My Uncle Hi was one, and Mrs. Schnieder another. We were quite glad about that. Because you see, Candy was not one of the culinary arts my family was able to obtain.
My Uncle made: divinity, fudge, penuche and caramel turtles.
Mrs. S made the greatest penuche. Better than my uncle's. But, uncle's divinity was better. It didn't matter. We gratefully and with much appreciation received their gifts of Holiday treats. Since we knew they wouldn't eat anything made by my Mother. (spiteful. oh, that's another story.) Dad would buy small gift packages of cheese and assorted nuts, maybe hard candies, to give in return. It was a real loss when times changed and they no longer made the candy.
We tried divinity, what we ended up with, was a batch of seven minute frosting. We used it on graham crackers.
As for penuche, don't even go there. The dogs liked it.
Now fudge. Where do I begin?
We had always tried to make our own fudge. And in a way, we did. Make our 'own' fudge. It was like no one else's, ever. No matter what we did, it never came out really the same way twice. It was always an adventure to try fudge. Hah. And a lot of fun too. It was something all of us would paticipate in.
Uncle Hi gave us some advice. I don't why we couldn't make it work. And Mrs.S. also had some suggestions. We even bought a thermometer. Maybe we just were in too much of a hurry.
Mostly, we ended up with sugared fudge. Hard as a rock, we had to chip it out of the pan. What's more, we became so used to having that sort of fudge, when we bought some real fudge, it just didn't seem to taste right. Isn't that one of the funniest thing you have ever heard of?
Absolutely hillarious!! We thought so. Real fudge was much too rich for our palate.
What a hoot.
The reason we used cooking as recreation, we lived in the country and there wasn't any TV. It was brfore Tv. We did have radio though. Sometimes we would make cookies. I will tell that at another time.
Once I left home, I never tried candy again. Besides, I lived in a city, I could find whatever I wanted.
But, homemade candy does taste much different than commercial made. Much better.
Sorry, no picture for this either.

Monday, December 3, 2007


You know, for some reason, when I was making my big original dolls, I never did get around to making a " Christmas doll". I never thought about this before. That is so strange. I began to think about it. To figure out why. The only thing I can come up with, is that I had collections of: Angels and fairies. I had a beautiful Franklin Mint angel. I also had purchased one of Marie Osmond's dolls. She is a special doll. Serafina Snowflake. A really lovely doll. Haven't found her since we moved here. I thought I had put her in her box. Nope. Guess I will spend this December trying to locate her.
But, then I saw I had Merrie Christmas sitting out, and I said, oh, right, I had made 'a' Christmas doll. Merry is 20" tall. But she is from a commercial pattern, not one of my originals. So, she doesn't quite count. She is a very nice doll. Quite companionable. But here she is, to wish you 'Merry'.

Saturday, December 1, 2007