Tag Archives: A Holiday

A Late Night Christmas Post

25 Dec
Holly - No, I Wasn't drunk when I drew it!!!

Holly – No, I Wasn’t drunk when I drew it!!!

Here I sit, on my bed, beneath a blanket, and my brand new Laptop Holder with Advanced Cooling System (thanks Mom and Dad!).  In a few minutes I will have to get up and take another dose of cold medication.

I only managed to get to one family Christmas get-together this year, Christmas Eve evening.  My mother’s side of the family has already been passing this cold around, so those who don’t have it now have at least been exposed to it by someone else.  My father’s side of the family, though, decided to do a morning thing.  I already am not good at mornings, add a cold to that, and the fact that my late grandmother’s husband is very susceptible to lung problems, so we (hubby and I) opted to stay home and work on getting me better.

Christmas with my mother’s family is always an adventure.  Even though there are not a million of us, I suppose at times we can come across as though there are.  We all love to talk, laugh, and sing; and about half of us love to argue (some say debate, but since I hate confrontation, it always comes across as arguing).  After the dinner prayer was said by my father, we all took our turn through the kitchen and loaded our plates.  At that point the sounds in the room were compliments to the cooks, the children arguing over who’s plate belonged to whom, and the usual small noises associated with people eating a large, delicious meal.  Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!!!  Yum!

Fast forward half an hour, and we’re all relaxing in the living room, chatting away.  Someone asks, “when are we going to open the presents?”  One of my brothers-in-law puts on a Santa hat and begins handing out colorful bags and boxes.  Paper, ribbons, and tissue paper are flying through the air.  Half a dozen pocket knives come out of nowhere to aid in the opening of boxes and the release of various toys from their specially designed, impossible to open packaging.  Grandma has people listening intently just in case she should make the slightest noise of a want or need (she has rheumatoid arthritis).  The two little ones are soon in a battle of the wills over a new toy keyboard (the poor things were very overstimulated).

My husband received a DVD of Brave, t-shirts, cookies, goodies, etc.  I was given a new skirt, gloves, a book cozy, and a few other things.  We were both given some movie tickets, and a gift certificate to a restaurant we like.

What really made me happy was the way friends of the family, and fringe relatives were unthinkingly absorbed into our group.  No lengthy introductions, no seating them beside someone they might have something in common with.  We just let them come into our lives, tell them to make themselves comfortable, and treat them as though they’ve always been a part of us.  Having been reminded of the way my family treats guests, it’s little wonder at my having so many ‘sisters’: Young women who have been ‘adopted’ by my bio-sisters and I, and who are now just as important in our lives as each of the original four of us.  There have even been a couple who’s home lives were scrambled enough that they took to calling my parents Mom and Dad.

The importance of family and friends is loud and clear in the Christmas season (and Hanukkah :D).  I hope that you took some time to remind your loved ones how important they are to you.  If not, there’s still a few days before the New Year gets here, and the great Money Machine starts gearing up for St. Valentines day.

A Rollercoaster of a Week

17 Dec

Well, Hello again. 

Have you had the kind of week I just experienced?

On Wednesday afternoon I had just decided that the fever was gone and I could resume my regular activities, when an uncle called to tell me that my last Great-grandparent had peacefully passed away at about 12:30pm.

Then there was that horrible shooting in Connecticut a day later, and a couple other sad things relayed to me by my husband that evening.  Cried myself to sleep.

The next day was a niece’s Princess themed birthday party, which I was very late to, because I had to wait for a migraine to subside before going anywhere near excited toddlers.  It was a good party, though.  She had many friends and relatives attend, and received tons of toys, including a pink Schwinn tricycle, and a Cinderella Pez dispenser.  Kind of a toss up as to which one she liked better, really.  One gives you sugar, the other lets you go fast.  Eh, why not both?

Then Sunday morning, as we were sitting in church, the children were called up to help sing a song.  It was so hard not to cry, for oh, so many reasons.  The service was wonderful, though.

So now, I am in something of a stunned, reflective mood.  Not sure what I’m reflecting on.  Perhaps it’s the fact that at least my Great-grandmother was most way through her 90’s.  That I’m glad she had a good life, full of love and family, a quiet passing, and many people who will remember her fondly.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m glad I have lots of family.  No, I do not have 12 first cousins and 50 second cousins, but compared to some people, I do have many in my life whom I consider to be family, loved ones, friends who are so close they are treated as brothers, sister, spare fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles.  They do not take away from the love I have for my biological family.  If anything, they help magnify the love I have for everyone who makes my life special.

This Christmas will be difficult in some ways.  This year I have lost a grandmother, and a great-grandmother, the World has spent this last year just getting crazier and crazier,  and we are still not financially stable enough for children.

However, this Christmas will be wonderful in many ways: my nephews are now big enough to open their presents with little to no help; we may all be going through tight financial times, but we will still all get together, giving perhaps a few more gifts that are ‘needed’ rather than just ‘wanted’; the loss of loved ones seems to amplify my awareness of the need to love now, to tell the ones I have that they are special, wanted, and thought of; watching the snow fall outside it’s also crystal clear that I am thankful for a warm house, hot food to eat, and a wonderful husband to curl up with on cold nights.

Perhaps it’s the low blood sugar making me sappy, but when I really think about it, I have much to be thankful for in my life.  I realize that the ‘traditional’ time to be thankful was last month, but it’s so very important to see, and acknowledge what you have now.  If you don’t learn to be comfortable with little, then you will never be content with more, no matter how much ‘more’ you acquire.

*   *   *

I have, unfortunately, done almost no writing this week.

There have been a couple additions to my book ideas folder.  Perhaps an anthology or two, with the help of a few relatives, would be in order.

I have been reading my mother’s romance novel, although admittedly I have been slacking on that project as well.  Not for lack of interest.  Far from it, I can hardly wait to find out who is causing so much trouble and pain, and to see how the main love interests finally get together, and to discover what becomes of all the eligible bachelors who’ve come out of the woodwork.

Perhaps taking my vitamins on a regular basis will help with this lackadaisical feeling.  I should also start taking walks again.  Maybe if I start taking care of myself the way I should some of the fog will lift from my brain, and some of the lead will drop from my…tush.

Doing it will be the only way to find out.  I guess now that I’ve told you it had better start getting done, huh?  Down coat, and ear muffs, here I come!  After I take this multivitamin, that is.

Until Next Time…

So, what has been your overall mood this month, so far?  Have you been looking forward to Christmas?  Or dreading it because of the memories it will dredge up?  A strange mix of the two?

& & &…

What is on your Christmas list?  Example: I would like an Amazon gift card, a Wizard 101 cash card, decaffeinated English Breakfast tea, a small jar of Stevia powder, almonds, pepitas, lots of big hugs, my back popped by my youngest sister, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some help putting together a cover for my book of poetry.

Who Knew?

24 Nov

I went to my very first Thanksgiving Sale on Thursday evening.  It was crazy.  It also turned out to be a great place to work on my NaNoWriMo suspense novel.

My brave companion needed a new computer; while silly me just needed a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup.  Yeah, I’m that much of a procrastinator.  So we found the line he needed stand in and wait for his computer.  I, on the other hand, went to the in-store Subway and got a sandwich (this writer is not much fun when her blood sugar is on the down swing).

While munching away on a club sandwich I pulled a notepad out of my purse.  Not really anything else I could do, since my chaperone was going to be in line for over an hour.  However, he’s the same person who, while on the drive to the store, had recommended a couple of poisons for my main character to use on her in-laws.  So, in a rare burst of temporal frugality I took that time to write out what we had discussed.

Before I knew it several pages were filled, and I had more or less figured out most of the rest of my plot.  I now know who all she’s going to frame for what, who else goes down with them when they blab about what they’re really into, a pale outline of the main fall-out from the domino effect, and how the city will react and recover.

I even have a twisted happily-ever-after; since I’m not happy unless my favorite character is, too.  She’s going to get some unexpected attention from a good man.  This really didn’t start out as a romance, but really, how long did I honestly think I could hold out before it turned a little bit toward that genre.

Who knew that a Subway restaurant, during an insane shopping extravaganza, would be the perfect place to put together the last major threads of a plot?

Perhaps I really am such an astonishingly talented writer that I can write anywhere, anytime?

Uh…

More like all the bustle and noise gave me the perfect incentive to delve inside myself and forget the boggling world outside.

All I’m really sure of is that when finally home I could barely contain my need to get all those fresh thoughts into the computer.

*          *          *

NaNoWriMo word count is up to a whopping: 11,305.  Not going nearly as fast as I want to, but I have rearranged my schedule some so that I can spend more time typing way.

*          *          *

Until Next Time…

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever worked on a writing project?

And

How did you handle your first crazy holiday shopping experience?

Was it almost like a regular shopping trip?  Or more like the movie Jingle All The Way?

Here’s To Our Thanksgivings!

21 Nov

Gobble, gobble has a whole new meaning…

 

Here’s hoping our Thanksgivings are full of love, laughter, and quality time with loved ones.

Here’s a little prayer sent up to help us mind our tongues when someone’s opinion rubs us the wrong way.

Here’s to that gentle tap on the shin that most husbands will receive when their wife hears the opening line to a personal viewpoint that would be sure to set the room on fire (and to his interpreting this ‘love tap’ correctly).

Here’s to the careful negotiations over the last piece of Aunt Grace’s famed pumpkin pie.

Let us all remember that this is a season where we take a little time out of our busy schedules to look around and be appreciative of the things we have.

Whether we are with relatives, good friends, or a room of relative strangers, may we all be surrounded by happiness and positive thoughts.

This is me wishing everyone a safe and fun Thanksgiving!

*          *          *

NaNoWriMo Word Count is now – 10,214 

My fingers are tired.

The white noise ended after the first hour. After checking my word count I decided to add another 150 words to push me over 10, 000.  This is the number I ended up at after I’d finished writing out a couple more of the main character’s diary entries.  No where near the normal 50,000 word goal, but getting closer to my more realistic goal of using this month to map out the main story line.

Loving the plot so far.

*          *          *

What are some of your family’s Thanksgiving traditions that you love? 

Have you made some new ones in your own home? 

What are things you are particularly thankful for this year?

Tell me, tell me!  My curiosity knows no bounds.

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