Monday, November 30, 2009

Episode 11/29: In Which my Kitchen Table Becomes an Ornament Infirmary

We put the Christmas decorations up yesterday. Well, I put everything out except the ornaments, which I left for the kiddos. This is the part they like best, going through the box of ornaments, finding the ones with their names and dates, the tissue paper wreaths they've made for me, we even have a requisite macaroni ornament that Matt made. You know the drill. This year, though, we had a little emergency. The ornament box took a tumble in the garage sometime around June and although most ornaments were guarded by the heavy plastic box, some "shifting" must have occured. Well, a little more than "shifting", there were a few decapitations (Simba and the sweet bunny Mom from Ana's Baby's First Christmas ornament), a broken Starbucks ornament (gasp!), Tramp is missing an ear, and Snow White had been knocked off her swing. Lucy left the Peanuts gang and spent some time traveling the ornament box, until I performed "Ornament Surgery".

We set up a triage unit on the table, covered with the Michael's sales paper (seemed fitting), I pulled out my trusty Aleene's Clear Glue Gel and got to work restoring the little plastic and porcelain memories.

Being the expert that I am at repairing things (I am a single mom, you know - I'm the only repair elf in the house), I made quick work of it.

Success!!! Simba reigns proudly, Lucy skates with the rest of the Peanuts gang (photo not shown), Tramp can hear, and Snow White innocently swings once again (we have to put her far from the carmel apple ornaments on the tree...she likes apples, you know). As for the Starbucks cup, well, I wouldn't trust it to hold any liquid because a few little pieces weren't recovered, but at least it holds its shape again.

I'm the Mom, I have glue and I know how to use it!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grateful: The Musical

I've been listening to this song by John Bucchino for years. It's on his album, Grateful: The Songs of John Bucchino and is appropriately called, "Grateful". Here are the lyrics, and a link to listen to the song. Have a blessed week!

I've got a roof over my head
I've got a warm place to sleep
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep

I've got a heart that can hold love
I've got a mind that can think
There may be times when I lose the light
And let my spirits sink

But I can't stay depressed
When I remeber how I'm blessed

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed
And duly grateful

In a city of strangers
I've got a family of friends
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
I know that they will stay in the end

I feel a hand holding my hand
It's not a hand you can see
But on the road to the promised land
This hand will shepherd me

Through delight and despair
Holding tight and always there

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed
And duly grateful

It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me so much happier than keeping score

In a world that can bring pain
I will still take each chance
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance

Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed
And duly grateful

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Christmas Wish List.....a first draft

Yes, it's the middle of November, but I'm following the trend of "Early Christmas" that all the stores seem to follow. Think of it as a way to be ahead of the game and to take advantage of all the fabulous sales, though, I don't think that will really be an issue with this list. I've been accused of a Scrooge already this year, so is

My Christmas Wish List
1. I would like a red, fuzzy, V-neck sweater that fits well and makes me look 2 sizes smaller.
2. Peace on Earth
3. I would like the gal who serves me my coffee to take the metal out of her face before she goes to work. It grosses me out.
4. I would like "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" to be universally banned this year. Better yet, a time machine so I can distract and prevent the punk who wrote the song from penning this Christmas "Classic". Think about it.
5. I would like my kids to truly love the gifts I pick for them and to understand that "Santa" is not going for volume, but rather substance this year.
6. I would like to come home from work one day and find that someone has reorganized and refurnished my house. That would be really cool.
7. I'd like a date with my sweet guy, Bob. All by ourselves. Without either of us being or getting sick. Yeah, I'd like that.
8. I'd like a friend who can sew.
9. I'd like everyone to remember why we celebrate Christmas.
10. A nap.

So, that's it for now. My Christmas list so far. Bah. Humbug.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Good Morning, and Thank You

Just a few quick thank you's this morning.....

Thank you, Comcast, for not shutting off my email when I dropped you for DirectTV.
Thank you to my nephew Nick, who served me breakfast in bed this morning as a thank you for letting him spend the night last night and play video games.
Thank you, Peggy, for nudging me to update my blog yesterday.
Thanks to my guy, Bob, for everything. Truly blessed.
Thanks to my dad for the cute, but off-color joke - I love when something makes my dad, a quiet soul, laugh.
I'm sure the dog rescue folks would also thank my sister, the unofficial Dog Whisperer of Joliet, for fostering Jetta (the dogs who appear in this post are 3 of 4 of sis's dogs: Maxie, Libbi, and Rocky). I have my books and she has her dogs.....
Thanks to my followers who commented with their support of my Crusade of Thanks.

And once again, thanks for listening.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thank You is a Magic Word, drive-thru person

                                                                          "A Thankful Heart" by Morgan Weistling
I'm surprised I'm saying this, but I think November is my favorite month of the year. I know I've officially "grown up" now that I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For me, it's a very spiritual time of the year--not religious, but spiritual.

Last week, in church, our young priest, Father Nate, made me think, .......again. It was All Saints Day, but he wanted us to remember, we are all called to be saints. Particularly, what stuck with me, was his question: If you aren't out there being the best that you can be, then what ARE you doing? Hmmm.....making me think.....

So I thought about it - am I being the best I can be? Well, maybe not, I've got my flaws, but I'm trying. This month, I've challenged myself to put positive out into the world, and since it's November, my goal is first, to be thankful, but also to share my kind words with others, and to listen with understanding and do what I can to help.

This week I really paid attention to how people are with one another.  Less like a spy, more like an anthropolgist. I was surprised at what I observed.

My first plan was to encourage my Facebook friends to say "Thank You" and to give some compliments. Some nice words shared, but all in all, not the "change the world" movement I was dreaming of. Snarky folks, my friends....a few of them even thanked themselves. Not quite what I was going for. Oh well, plan B.

Plan B was all on me, well, sort of. I decided to thank strangers. I do this all the time, but this week, I made sure people heard my sincerity, rather than a programmed "Thank You" reaction. I thanked the girl who makes my coffee in the morning (and I'm sure my co-workers would thank her as well...I NEED my coffee), the bagger at the grocery store (who, really does a harder job than the checker...thank this kid and you'll get a range of responses from "Uh, yea, thanks, I mean, you're welcome" to "Uh huh" to an unintelligible grunt to a genuine "you're welcome"), and the kid at the drive thru window who takes my money, gives me change and hands me my food without ever acknowledging my presence. This drives me absolutely crazy! I'm not even sure who to blame for this "kid" (kid being used loosely--can be an age, this one)--parents, schools, or the manager, for not correcting these poor manners, this poor service. This person is my real audience, not my witty Facebook friends (unless they work in a drive thru and don't acknowlege customers). I've found myself, on more than one occassion, saying "you're welcome and have a good day too" to this person without their lead-in "Thank You". They look at you like you are nuts then, but I felt just a little bit better after doing it.

So, I'll keep at it. Maybe someone will join me, and if not, that's ok. I'm not deluded to think I can change the way we interact with each other, and maybe, if it wasn't Novemeber, I might not have been so aware of "thank you". Father Nate as if I was being the best I can be. My answer is still, "I'm trying".

Thank you kindly for listening/reading.