Thank you to all my readers, you guys rock! You also give the little helper monkeys something to do each year. I know 2015 is going to be even better!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Hope everyone who celebrated Christmas had a wonderful, loving and full of laughter day. Or if you were like me, hope you had a quiet, peaceful, day full of memories of holidays past.
However you spent the last few days, it is now time for a little rest, relaxation and reflection.
Today’s post is a flashback to one of the first short stories I wrote for this blog two years ago. It is still one of my favorites and seems just right for after the holidays. Hope you enjoy!
She sat in her favorite rocking chair in front of the big picture window. On a small oak table near her, sat her old gramophone. Softly playing scratchy tunes from her past. She smiled as she listened to songs from so long ago.
There was no sadness in her aged eyes. Only shadows of memories past. Happy times of long ago when things were simpler. She was a young child again. Playing in her granny’s garden among the flowers and the birds. Carefree times. She saw herself pouring tea in tiny china cups from a tiny china teapot. They had small red roses on them. Granny would fill her tiny teapot with afternoon tea and she would carefully take it out to the garden for all her dolly friends to share. Sometimes granny gave her beautiful sugar cookies to have with her tea.
With a smile she sat further back in her rocking chair as memories floated back to her. The music played on and in her mind, she was a young woman again. Childhood tea parties gave way to evening dances in friends’ homes. Laughter and clinking of cocktail glasses could be heard. Chiffon dresses in soft hues of colors. Up swept hair and heels on her feet. Handsome young men vying for her attention. Soft smiles and flirting eyes. Whispers of affection and daring kisses in the dark. Love had found her.
She sighed softly as the memories, then turned to motherhood. Her husband proud of the children she gave him. Their love growing deeper as they watched those children grow. Soft baby laughter. First steps, first words uttered from smiling baby lips. Feeling once again, those small strong arms, giving her hugs and big wet smacks on her cheek. The love that withstood teenage drama, and the tears and fears of growing up. She relived those times with other baby laughter and strong hugs of affection that are her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Even as the memory of that sad day the love of her life passed, her smile dimmed but never completely left her face. Silent tears slowly trickled and filled the deep wrinkles of time, as her memories of having to say good-bye came back to her. How she missed him. His laughter would ring out and fill her heart. His way of surprising her with gifts for no reason at all. Like the gramophone that softly played onward. His gift to her one week after they were married because he knew how she loved to dance.
Her tears slowed as other memories marched forward. All good, even the bad. They were her life. Her heart. Her soul. She sighed as she smiled. Her eyes softly closed, her body relaxed. Her spirit floated upward, drifting, she felt her love catch her hand. Once again, she was in his arms, her smile brighter as she said a silent hello and a fond goodbye to the loved ones she left behind.
Merry Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, depending on which half of the world you are in. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.
Here in my world, it’s only Christmas Eve, but me and Sam and the two cats want to wish you the best holiday season!
**click on comic to enlarge**
Also, I want to say a big warm thank you to all of you who participated in The Great Christmas Card Exchange! It’s been so gratifying to see how many of you appreciate the real paper cards. I enjoyed it so much! There was only one mishap where a card was returned, but it will be straightened out after Christmas. So I call that a big WIN!
Here is a picture of my door of holiday cheer! Big Christmas hugs to all of you! I’ve had a big smile on my face for days now when I see all the outpouring of love and affection in each card I received. I do so hope you all felt the same when you got mine! Because it was in every word I wrote! Hope to see all of you and many more next year! May light and love be yours from my house to yours!
What’s the most favorite part of Christmas for you?
Yes, it’s me again! It’s that time of the week where you learn more about…..ME!
Hey! I gave you last week off! What more do you want? 😉
So this week’s questions are courtesy of Dawn over at The Day After Blog. Cee enjoyed her questions and included them in this week’s edition of Share Your World. Thanks Dawn and Cee!
Do you have a signature dish? If not, is there one in your family?
I’m famous (ha!) for my potato salad. I make the best one that I know of. I have a secret ingredient that makes it special. (NO! Not that! WTH people!) I can’t of course tell you what it is, because, well like I said, it’s a secret. It makes my potato salad taste just a bit better than most. Anytime we had a family get together I was asked to bring my potato salad.
Do you have a favorite board game?
I was never one for board games, even when I was a child. Card games were our thing. We would play Cribbage, poker, hearts, etc.
Is there a household chore that you enjoy?
Well, it’s a ‘chore’ and that usually doesn’t mean it’s something you enjoy. But, if there is something I like to do as far as household things are concerned, besides cooking, I would have to say, laundry. There is something comforting about the smell of clean clothes, towels, sheets. I love the feel and smell of clean laundry.
What is one thing you will never care about?
Now this one is a great question. Made me think. The only thing I can come up with is, I would never care about another person’s skin color, religion preferences, bank balance. It’s what a person is like inside that counts with me. I’ve known millionaires and street people. If they have good hearts, it shows, no matter what else they have going on in their world.
So there you have it. Another peek inside my mind. Whoa, scary eh?
Here it is the last Friday before Christmas. I’m sure most of you good folks are scurrying around trying to finish that last Christmas shopping. Or, maybe getting ready for the annual company Christmas party.
I’m sure you are busy and feeling rushed and worrying if this is ok, or that is all right. RELAX!! It’s not like this time of year doesn’t happen every year.
This is the time of year when you are supposed to enjoy the spirit of the holiday. Enjoy family, friends and strangers alike. It’s not suppose to be a race, or a contest. Relax, take a deep breath, slowly let it out and enjoy everything around you. Even if it’s just the little things, because sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most.
For your reading pleasure, or not, you decide, I’m taking you back to when I first started writing this blog. This is my very first short story that I wrote here. I didn’t have many followers then, in fact, I might have had 5 or 6. LOL
I’ve done a bit of editing to it. Boy, did it need it! But I enjoyed writing it the first time and enjoyed writing it this time. Hope you all will enjoy it. You can read the original here.
Handsome is as Handsome Does
As I finished my wonderful meal for one, I noticed the dining room quieted. I looked up and there in the doorway was a semi-god. Tall, stunning, black hair, blue-gray eyes, a profile of a young Adonis. No smile lit his chiseled face. To me it looked as if he was just accepting his due. Saying wordlessly, “yes, this is my world and I am king!.”
The man stood for a moment in the doorway. It was as if he was used to the attention, enjoyed quieting the room with his presence. Slowly his eyes looked around the room, perhaps to see if he knew anyone he deemed important. Obviously not seeing anyone worth note, he nodded at the maitre’d to lead him to his table.
Heads turned, eyes followed his slow walk through the restaurant. His long lashed eyes never glanced left or right. It was as if the room was empty of us other lowly diners. The man was easy to look at. His confidence a cloak around his shoulders. With effortless grace he took his seat, patiently waits while the waiters flit around him like black winged birds.
I look around the room at the faces of the men and women. Each and every one of them staring at the young man with either envy or lust in their eyes. Me, I felt neither. It was like watching a well rehearsed play. Yes, the actor was handsome, but the play was a bit too well done for my taste, too practiced.
No one left their chairs to approach the man. Some probably were tempted. But there was a ‘no trespassing’ sign, unwritten perhaps, but easily read by all. I watched the reactions of my fellow diners for a few minutes, sipping the last of my wine. Then I could stand it no more. Setting my empty wine glass down, I stood. Moving towards the stranger, I was determined and steady in my course.
As I passed tables I could feel eyes turn to me. Then soft murmurs as I never wavered in my approach. The Adonis slowly looked up from his reading of the menu, watching my approach without blinking. He never gave me a hint of his thoughts as I grew nearer. Stopping at his table, we stared at each other for a few breathless seconds. I slowly bent towards him, flashing him my deep cleavage.
One hand braced on the table and one hand gripping the back of his chair I lean my head towards his nicely curved ear. My lips almost brushing his skin, I whisper softly……..”Your fly is open!”.
In her own words, this is her explanation for the post.
*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*
So, I’m stealing her idea with wild abandon. Here is my take on it, which I called “Thankful Thursday”. Go read her post first though, I can wait. Go on now!
Back? Ok, let’s get started.
1. I’m thankful for friends. I have the best online buddies a girl could have. They are genuinely concerned for me and let me know. I appreciate that more than I can say. They keep me smiling, even when I don’t feel much like smiling. You guys are the best of the best! ❤
I have a few offline good friends too. A couple of guys that when the husband and I need help they are there, willing to give a hand. Nothing will show you who your true friends are like hard times.
2. I’m thankful for Mother Nature. Yes, I know she can be a real wild woman on PMS sometimes. Even when she’s bad she’s awe-inspiring. I’m in the middle of winter in the Great White North. I hate winter. With a passion. But, I can still appreciate the beauty in this cold, frigid season.
3. I’m thankful for the generosity of others. The husband and I receive food from one of the local food banks every month. During December they have special ‘baskets’ that they give out that has almost everything in it to make a Christmas feast. Without the kindness of strangers, we would be having a really hard time putting food on the table every month. (we are hoping this is a temporary thing) I’m not too proud to take it, as one has to eat. I’m also not too proud to say ‘thank you’.
So if you can, next time you go grocery shopping, buy a few extra cans of something. Or a treat for a kid, hell, even adults like treats. Give to your local food bank (most grocery stores have a way of giving food items to food banks, ask!) And not just during the holidays. The food banks need donations every month. It’s not just for families with kids that are struggling. It’s families like the husband and I. Who, through no fault of our own have fallen on hard times. We appreciate everything we get. Lot’s of older people are trying to live on very limited income and the only way they might have food on the table is through a food bank. The elderly go to them as much, if not more, than the younger families. Remember that.
4. Last but certainly not least, I am thankful for the internet. My life would be so much less without the internet and everything I am able to do on it. From blogging to finding resources for the husband. I am grateful I can start-up the computer each morning and find that one new thing to learn every day.
What’s one thing you are most thankful for this Thursday? (Friday for my advanced friends in the world.)
Today I thought I would go shopping and take you with me! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Well, it is! Until you find out we won’t be spending any money. Ha!
I went virtual shopping my friends. I’ve been seeing Christmas gift lists popping up all over the blog world. So I thought I would go on the hunt for strange and unique gifts you could give. There are still 10 days till Christmas, so you might have time to buy some of these truly unique gifts for someone you love! Or, someone you don’t care for all that much. LOL You decide!
(Admit it, we all have that ONE relative that annoys us.)
Let’s see what I found, shall we?
How about some candy canes? Now Jackie, you’re thinking, what’s so unique or strange about candy canes?? Ah, my friends! These aren’t just any old candy canes! These are bacon flavored!!
For just $5.99 USD, you can have some of these tasty tidbits to give out. The fun part is, don’t tell anyone they are bacon flavored! Let them find out on their own. 😉
Then we have Cat Butt Gum!
At $1.49 USD, it’s a steal!
For the beer lovers on your list.
For $2.59 USD, they can have their beer and sweets all in one!
As for me, I went shopping at Neiman Marcus for Christmas. A girl can dream, right??
100th Anniversary limited-edition Maserati Ghibli S Q4
It’s a bargain at only $95,000! I can see me in it, cruising around.
And, now for the coupe de grace! Whoever buys this for me gets to come along for the fun!
A fragrance journey Everything from your clothing to the decor in your home suits you perfectly. Isn’t it time you had a signature scent that does the same? Your quest to fragrance utopia begins with two first-class tickets to Paris, close to the Fontainebleau, where you’ll meet with sixth-generation Master Perfumer Olivier Creed to create the ultimate custom scent. While in The City of Light, you and a guest will dine with Creed, enjoy five-star accommodations, white-glove car service, private tours and other experiences befitting the royally amazing you. A few short months later, a fragrance nonpareil will arrive at your doorstep in 24 14-karat gold-gilded six-liter flacons and 12 14-karat gold-accented leather atomizers featuring your bespoke scent.
What’s the strangest gift you ever received for Christmas??
My story starts this past Thursday afternoon. I went into the extra bedroom, which is called the ‘Cats Room’, as they have taken it over, to clean the cat box for the day. As soon as I walked in, I heard running water. Oh crap!
The hot water heater is also in the room in a tiny little closet made just for it. I looked inside and what did my wondering eyes see? A water fountain! The pipe leading from the outside source of fresh water had sprung a leak and water was literally pouring in!
The carpet was soaked a good ways into the room, who knows how long it had been leaking. Oh crap!
I yelled out to the husband, “We got a leak!”
He jumped from his bed, to see what was the matter! (Well, ok, not really, as he can’t jump from anywhere and he can barely walk, much less run.)
I was moving things away from the large space of wet carpet, when the husband finally made it down the hall to the cat’s room. Thank goodness there is nothing much in that room. The husband peeked at the leak, looked at me, and said, “Oh F***!
As I’m moving the few things, we’re like, ‘what do we do now?!’
The husband went to find a set of pliers to see if he could do something with them. Me, I’m thinking, this can’t be happening now! We have no money for a plumber! The husband can barely walk, he can’t fix a leak and I have no idea what to do. Oh crap!
He shuffles into the room with his trusty pair of pliers and s l o w l y kneels down in this tiny room and with me shining a flashlight he tries to tighten the joint that is leaking. The poor man is in terrible pain, but he does still try to do what he can. He gets it as tight as he can, it has slowed the leak from a waterfall to a trickle. But, it’s not going to be enough to stop it altogether. We need to find someone who can fix it. With no money, that is going to be a major problem.
Our friend, Bill, who usually helps us around the house was at work, besides, he knows nothing of plumbing. So we think, I worry, the husband offers another name, Mark. Yes! Of course. Mark is a good friend too, he used to own a company that installed furnaces, water heaters and the such. If he couldn’t do it, maybe he knew someone who could and maybe we could work out a deal on payment. It’s worth a phone call.
The husband gets on the phone, it’s now about 4:30pm on Thursday afternoon. He talks to Mark while I try to move a dresser that’s in the cat’s room, the wet carpet goes underneath it and I need to see how bad it is. Oof! I am almost past my prime when I could move full dressers with ease. But I eventually do it, my bad knee screaming at me by then. Oh, crap!
As I try to assess the damage done to the carpet, husband shuffles in and tells me that Mark knows a plumber he will call. If that guy can’t come out that night, Mark will come out on Friday after he gets off work. Yay! We got help coming. Now to just figure out how to pay for it.
So we wait Thursday night. No plumber. Ok, he was probably busy, so Mark will be out Friday night. We’ll just have to let it trickle leak till then as we need water during the night. What’s a little more in the carpet, right? Oh, crap!
Friday night comes around and Mark shows up. Yay for friends! He takes a look and figures it just needs a little more tightening. He gets down there, tightens it just a tad more and …..crack! The pipe cracks and water is spraying everywhere! Now we have to figure out how to turn the water off! There are a couple of valves tied into the mishmash of pipes in the water heater closet. Nope, none of those turn the water off. It is the main line from outside, the main line needs to be shut off.
We 3 scramble to find the shut off for the main line inside the place. We search in all the obvious spots. Under all the sinks. Nope, no shut off valve. Oh, crap!
I get on the phone to the manager of the trailer park. I tell him my tale of woe, he chuckles and says he’ll be right over to turn the water off. This is now 8pm. He shows up and tries to turn the water off and……crack! The pipe breaks. Now, the manager needs to fix the pipe before the main water supply can be turned off. So we have a leak going on the inside and the outside. Oh, crap!
The manager has to run back to his place to get the supplies he needs to fix the break. We wait. Water going everywhere. We hear the manager come back and in a few minutes the water is turned off. Mark goes back into the room and tries to fix the leak. The pipes need to be replaced. He’s not sure how to do it, but knows someone he can call. His nephew. Who’s a plumber. Mark gets on the phone, talks his nephew into coming over to help him. It’s now 8:30pm. We wait for the nephew.
I’m thinking, oh my god, how am I going to pay for this?? Oh, crap!
The nephew shows up and within 15 minutes has the pipe replaced and no leaks! Yay!! The water gets turned back on outside by our good manager, who incidentally has to unscrew our skirting, crawl half way under the trailer, just to turn the main water off and on. And he does this. Twice. And screws the skirting back on!
We thank our friend Mark and his nephew profusely. I ask how much do we owe you guys and can we pay you a little every month till its paid off? I mean their time is valuable, they provided the new pipe and fittings and did the labor. They deserved to be paid!
They look at me and say, don’t worry about it. No payment needed nor wanted. Merry Christmas!
Those three men, Mark, his nephew and our manager are my heroes! They did the work, at night, after their regular jobs and never even charged us. There are good people out there! I got my Christmas present.
Now I have to clean the carpet in the cat’s room. Oh, crap!