Thursday, December 31, 2009

Purge Update

I thought I would give an update on my progress of purging. Thanks to 12 pack of Diet Cherry Dr Pepper, and a box of tissues, I am about 1/2 way through. I currently have 4 rooms torn apart. It looks like a bomb exploded. All I can say about that is "good thing no one was injured in the blast" I told Art I will have a truck load for the auction by the time I am done.

We did rearrange my office in the mist of all the mess. Art got me a nice color laser printer. So in the process of hooking it up, we ended up rearranging the rest of the room. Art hates and I mean hates to rearrange furniture but he cheerfully moved things around a couple of times before we found the right fit. It wasn't something planned so Art dropped everything he was doing to do it. I really like it now. Thanks bunches Art.

I don't think I will get done this week but I am confident that by this time next week I will be purged. And yes it will be noticeable.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Change Change Change

I love change when it doesn't require me to get rid of anything. You see I have discovered I am a horder at heart. A couple of weeks ago I watched a show about a horder. Now this horder was extreme. But waching it I realized oh my goodness I am a horder. I hate to get rid of stuff.

My darling Art purchased a recliner couch so that meant rearranging furniture. I thought I came up with a good plan but my darling Art had another plan. He wanted to move the exercise equipment upstairs so he could use it. Art's dr told him he needed thirty minutes of exercise at least three times a week. The equipment has been downstairs and I regularly use it but it doesn't matter where it is to me. We got rid of the bedroom furniture in the upstairs bedroom (yes the one I redid) and put the hide a bed and the exercise equipment in there. Thanks goes to Brent for coming and helping Art move the heavy stuff. Anyway, doing that meant cleaning out stuff and either getting rid of it or finding a new home for it. It has snowballed and I am having to get rid of a lot of stuff. Oh dear not good for a hoarder. My darling Art told me to just get over it.........not so easy but.... that was his way of letting me know it's ok. I really need the urge to purge so I can happily get rid of this stuff or at least get over it. Art is off this week so I hope I can get everything cleaned out this week................I may need therapy before the week is over. Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!! This a good thing..............right?...........right??

Friday, December 25, 2009


...and this is why we celebrate Christmas. We hear stories about Christmas miracles all the time but to me........this is the miracle. Merry Christmas to all.
Luke 2
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

This is a true story per Wikipedia.

**True Story of Rudolph**

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing.

Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.

Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined a make one - a storybook! Bob had created a character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling.

Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print,_ Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer_ and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn't end there either.

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas.."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out and slowed down when he thought he saw something.
As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.
The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"
The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister..please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."
With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.
"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message:
"Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!" God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen and he has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

Thought for the Day:
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning.
Face it, friend - He is crazy about you!
How do you show your love for him?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

I am not sure who the author of this is but it is a great story.

The "W" in Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending..

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old.

For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's Winter Pageant.

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher, she assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation.

All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then.
Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row - center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message,
"Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, as she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

Monday, December 21, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

Christmas Prayer

by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake, Amen!"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

12 Day od Christmas Day 7

Christmas Gifts - Jesus Would Have Approved
Christmas Gift Suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Day 6

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
A famous letter from Virgina O'Hanlon to the editorial of The New York Sun, first printed in 1897.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor---

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 18, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 5

What did the reindeer say before launching into his comedy routine?
This will sleigh you.

What do lions sing at Christmas?
Jungle bells!

When is a boat like a pile of snow?
When it's adrift.

What do you call the fear of getting stuck in a chimney?

How do snowmen get around?
On their icicles.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4

Heavenly Peace

A little boy and girl were singing their favorite Christmas carol in church the Sunday before Christmas. The boy concluded "Silent Night" with the words, "Sleep in heavenly beans." "No," his sister corrected, "not beans, peas."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

“Upon the Midnight Clear,”

He hath said, which heard the words of God … : there shall come a Star out of Jacob (Num. 24:16–17).

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels, bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold …

I knew the song well. At twelve years old, I knew all the familiar Christmas carols. But I wasn’t impressed. I preferred our own Navaho chants, although of course they meant entirely different things.

While I was willing to put up with all the nonsense about Christmas—the carols, the gifts, the parties, even the Christmas tree I was now looking for—I couldn’t see any angels. I couldn’t hear any “glorious song,” nor any “harps of gold.” What I was hearing was the monotonous clip-clop of my horses’ hooves on the mountain trail. And what I was seeing were ominous clouds looming in the east, the direction in which I was headed.

It was my mom’s doing, of course. “Billy, your sisters want a Christmas tree,” she’d said. “We can’t afford to buy one in town this year, so I want you to go up in the hills on our land and find a nice pine and bring it home.” When I’d let a disgusted look spread over my face, she’d pleaded, “Please, Red Eagle.”

White Feather, my mom, didn’t call me by my Indian name often, so I knew that she was serious.

Now here I was, riding my pony, Jubilee, and leading Old Buck, our packhorse, who would carry the tree home. But my heart wasn’t in it. Why did my silly sisters have to have a Christmas tree?

We were out of school for the holidays, and that part of Christmas I liked. On the other hand, it would take a full day out of my vacation to ride to where I could cut a tree, then return home with it. I could have gotten in a lot of basketball practice in that time. So it wasn’t any glorious song I was hearing.

I’d started out early this morning, and by noon I’d reached the edge of the timber where I hoped to find a just-right tree for the family celebration. Only I didn’t intend to participate. I couldn’t see anything to get excited about. I did, however, remember the third verse* of the carol that kept running through my mind.

O ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

I could relate to that “crushing load” bit, all right. Lately that’s all my life seemed to hold—study, work, work, study. And the “climbing way with painful steps” figured in, too—I could feel Jubilee’s muscles strain as we scrambled higher up the timbered mountainside.

But I couldn’t sense any “glad” or “golden hours,” not out here in the middle of nowhere. And I couldn’t very well “rest beside the weary road” until I’d at least cut a tree, loaded it on Buck, and begun the lonesome journey home. I sure didn’t hear angels singing yet, either.

I did want to get a proper tree, so I tethered the horses and sat down to eat the lunch Mom had packed for me. That way, I could look around and spot the best-shaped Christmas tree—not too large, not too small, just one that looked like it was meant for our family.

I guess I was tireder than I thought, for I dozed off. Maybe it was “angel voices” that brought me sharply awake. Or maybe it was only Jubilee and Buck, shuffling to turn their backs to the cold wind that suddenly whistled through the pines. It was getting dark, even though it was only midday. I shuddered. Then the carol’s second verse popped into my head.

Still thru the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heav’nly music floats
O’er all the weary world. …

Angles again! If they were there, they certainly weren’t making their presence known now. Not, that is, unless they’d turned into the massive, wet snowflakes that were floating over my own “weary world.” I’d have to cut my tree and head toward home fast.

I’d already picked out one I liked, but since the air was churning with soft, white, wet feathers, I had to stop and figure exactly where I’d seen it. I led the horses to the spot, sawed the tree off at its base, and tied it onto Buck’s packsaddle. By then, there was no way to find the trail we’d followed up the mountainside. There was only that vast white wall of nothingness closing in on us. It was cold, too—a chill that penetrated right through my sheepskin jacket.

I remembered seeing a fallen evergreen not far from the Christmas tree I’d chosen. Its horizontal trunk would offer more protection than the upright pines around me, so I led the horses to it and again tethered them where they could stand with their backs to the wind. Then I hunkered down beside the lifeless log to wait out the storm.

How long it took, I’m not sure. But even though it was cold and the wet gathered in great blotches on the horses’ backs, on my sheltering tree trunk, and even on me, I knew that we would survive. By the time it stopped snowing, my watch showed 4:15, and it was now getting naturally dark.

“We’d better start home,” I told the horses, and I began to lead them to where I thought I’d find the trail down the mountainside. I’d ride later. I didn’t want to chance Jubilee slipping and falling on me.

Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hov’ring wing,
And ever o’er its babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

As we started down the beautiful snow-covered mountainside, I was filled with peace. I could almost imagine the angels watching over us, could almost hear them singing. At home, Mom would be worried, but I’d been trained to take care of myself, so I knew that she wouldn’t panic when I failed to show up on time.

It wasn’t long till a sliver of dim light began to peep over the rim of the tree-lined mountain behind me, and I realized that the moon, almost full, was coming up. It would light my way home, glistening on the snow as we plodded along. And now, instead of the humdrum clip-clop of the horses’ hooves on the trial, the rhythm of their subdued tracking through the snow did, indeed, somehow remind me of angels singing.

“Peace on earth, good will to men
From heav’n’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

My sisters would have their Christmas tree. Maybe Christmas had a place in the world, after all. If the world could lie “in solemn stillness … to hear the angels sing,” then I would help them with their song. Jubilee and Buck never even flicked an ear when I started singing: “It came upon the midnight clear, …”

by Robert L. McGrath

Sunday, December 13, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

The Legend of the Candy Cane

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who's sinless and pure!
"J" is for Jesus, My Lord, that's for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

Many years ago, a candy maker wanted to make a candy at Christmas time that would serve as a witness to his Christian faith. He wanted to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry and death of Jesus. He began with a stick of pure white hard candy; white to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; hard to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church; firmness to represent the promise of God. The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. He thought it could also represent the staff of the Good Shepherd, with which he reached down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received, by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life. Unfortunately, the candy became known as a candy cane - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the true meaning is still there for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Author Unknown