Monday, December 28, 2009

Under Construction

I can't seem to resolve my header HTML issues on my own, I didn't get very many good pictures from Christmas and I don't do very well at making New Year's resolutions, so while my blog makeover is underway I am going "under construction" for a brief time. I hope it won't be more than a week or so, and I reserve the right to come back in all my HTMLy glory if the makeover takes longer than expected.

I've never had a facelift or anything of that sort, so I don't exactly know what a "makeover" involves. I don't think it is at all like when those Mary Kay ladies come to your house and leave with you looking like a much fancier version of yourself, at least I hope not. I don't think I will be coming back with a "sexy" page. I'm a lot more Pottery Barn than Laura Ashley. I'm hoping for a SimplicityRUs sort of blog makeover, with no nagging HTML issues.

I will, of course, continue to visit as many of your blogs as I can while I await my reconstruction and I will be looking forward to 2010 and wishing all of you a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday

To participate  in 6WS Visit Cate Here

Blogger issues are driving me crazy.

A few times in the last month or so I have gotten an e-mail telling me that my blog header is only HTML code. I asked some others to look at it and it looked fine to them. Then, a couple of days ago I got an e-mail from  Jeanne at The Raisin Chronicles telling me that when she pulled up my page that it was nothing but HTML code. Again, I asked a few others to look and it looked fine to them. Argh! Now, I know I don't have a massive number of readers, but I really value the ones I do have and I would like for them to have something besides code to read when they are nice enough to stop by. My computer skills don't extend toward even having a clue about how to figure out what the problem is.

My hair pulling and head banging (not a good solution, but it was all I had) over this problem will hopefully come to an end soon. My daughters (who are probably very tired of me calling them with computer questions) gave me a blog makeover for Christmas from thedesign-house.  I don't really know what a "makeover" involves, and I like a fairly simple page, but hopefully in the next week or two I will quit looking all HTMLy to some of the people some of the time.

Jeanne, from the Raisin Chronicles above, has been kind enough to e-mail me detailed instructions for a possible fix and offered to help me by phone if I am too techno-challenged to follow them. I will work on this later today when I have a long enough period of time to challenge the HTML gods. Thanks, Jeanne

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Random Thoughts Tuesday

My thoughts, if I actually have any on this Tuesday before Christmas, are definately random so when I saw this meme at  OhMy Goddess I thought it was perfect for me today.

How many of you wrote your Christmas wish list on your blog? Have you had any comments from Santa?

I'm not as ready for Christmas as I would like to be, but I'm not very stressed about it. I have 30-35 people coming to my house on Christmas Eve and I think I have everything planned for that. I only need to prepare ham, turkey, brisket, cheeses, dips, and various other hors d'oeuvres (yes, I did have to look up how to spell that) and I think everything will be fine. My daughters (thank you Jill and Joanna) are doing all the baking, so there will be lots and lots of yummy desserts.

We have about 8 inches of snow predicted, starting tonight and continuing through Christmas Eve, so we will have a White Christmas.

Our stores seem to have a shortage of Mint Chocolate M & Ms.

I thought this was my 100th post since I started blogging in January of this year, but it turns out that
 it's my 101st. or maybe my 99th, it depends where I look for that number.  Despite my computer skills being somewhat lacking and the frustrations that comes with that lack, I have enjoyed every minute of it. It has definately helped me fulfill my original goal of, as my title says, Living Consciously. The surprise serendipity has been all the wonderful blogs and bloggers I have gotten to know. Thank you to all of you for the friendship and support you have given to me.  

I wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hope and A Christmas Miracle

Calling it a miracle may seem a little too fanciful, unless you are a 7 year old girl named Hope and a seemingly impossible hope comes true for you a few days before Christmas.

Last spring Hope, who is my granddaughter, had to say goodbye to her dog she had known and loved all of her life. There was seldom a picture of Hope that didn't have her "Sammy girl" somewhere in it. It was a hard loss for the then 6 year old little girl. She has wished for another dog ever since.

Last week, on a cold day, a little, heartbreakingly cute guy with tan fur, a fluffy tail and no collar wandered into my daugher's yard. She brought him into the house to warm up and when Hope came home from school she immediately fell in love with him. As they were hanging "found dog" signs throughout the neighboorhood my daughter, Joanna, reminded Hope that it wan't a good idea to get too attached to a dog that wasn't yours.
They talked about how sad his owners must be that he was lost and that he probably missed them too. They called animal control and the local humane society to report the found dog.

They started calling him "Thunder". He slept in Hope's bed at night. While constantly reminding Hope that he was someone else's dog, Joanna was also having her heart stolen by Thunder. Every time the phone rang, she got a knot in her stomach thinking it was Thunder's owners calling to claim him.

After the second night Thunder was with them Hope left for school telling her mom, "I know his owners are worried, so I hope we find them. But when they come to pick him up, I wish they would just decide to let us keep him".  Joanna told her that she agreed, but that just wasn't going to happen.

That day the call came while Hope was at school.  The owner had seen their found dog report at the local humane society, from where she had adopted the dog just a couple of months before. When  the lady came to pick him up, Joanna tearfully told her how much they had enjoyed having him there and asked if it would be okay to bring Hope over to the woman's house when she got home from school so she could tell Thunder goodbye. At that point the woman, who had another dog or two, got a little teary herself and told Joanna she thought the dog would be happier and better off in his "new home" where he would get more attention and have kids to play with him.  They talked a little longer and Joanna got the woman's assurance that she wanted them to keep Thunder. I wasn't there, but I'm sure that by then Joanna was more than a little teary-eyed.

Hope came home from school to "A Christmas Miracle" and Thunder has a wonderful new forever home.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Santa

I love seeing a beautifully decorated house at Christmas time and a buffet table laden with the Christmas finery and the foods of the season is truly a sight to behold. But, sometimes it just becomes too much. In many blogs and comments I've read lately I'm hearing stress and fatique and a sense of just not being able to do it all. I blame Martha Stewart. I found the following letter to Santa which pretty well sums up how I feel about Martha and her "never lower your standards" attitude about "gracious living". I have abridged the letter becuase it is very long. I have no information about who to attribute it to, but I like the way the writer thinks.

Dear Santa,

I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don't need diamond earrings or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing and I want it deeply.

I want to slap Martha Stewart.

Now, hear me out, Santa. I won't scar her or draw blood, or anything. Just one good smack, right across her smug little cheek. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don't grant this wish just for me, do it for millions of women across the country. Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you'll be giving a gift to us all. Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren't so overly concerned with gracious living.

We feel pretty good about ourselves if our plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner. We're tired of Martha showing us how to make centerpieces from hollyhock dipped in 18-carat gold. We're plumb out of liquid gold, unless it's of the furniture polish variety. We can't whip up Martha's creamy holiday sauce spiced with turmeric. Most of us can't even find the turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.

Martha tells us that she's already making homemade holiday gifts for friends. Not just gifts, but "amazing" gifts. Martha's obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back.

The letter goes on this way for a while and and ends with;

There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it's Martha Stewart. But I bet I won't get my gift this year.

You probably want to smack her yourself.

Don't let trying to do it Martha's way get you down

As Helen Keller said:

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

Keep it simple and enjoy the season

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Man And His Dog or Why My Man Is In The Doghouse

The other night when Doc was on his way to bed he stopped by the room I use for my office at home. I was at the computer. Dodger was asleep on the couch in my office.

Doc sat down on the couch by Dodger, petted him, gave him a hug, said good night, and yes, he said "I love you" to the dog then walked out the door to go to bed. To me....not a word, not a gesture, not even a pat on the head. I just laughed, but, of course, I had to go into the bedroom a few minutes later to point out his "oversight" to him. Even if I had felt slighted, it would have been well worth it to see how embarrassed and flustered Doc was when he realized what he had done. Doc is a pretty good gift-giver, but he doesn't usually venture in the direction of jewelry. That may change this year.

There is something about men and dogs.

How Dogs and Men are the Same:
From Shooters Dog Humor

Both take up too much space on the bed.

Both have irrational fears about vacuum cleaning.

Both mark their territory.

Neither tells you what's bothering them.

The smaller ones tend to be more nervous.

Both fart shamelessly.

Neither of them notice when you get your hair cut.

Neither understands what you see in cats.

Both have an inordinate fascination with women's crotches.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree

My grandchildren came over to decorate my Christmas tree tonight.

The tree decorating went very well.

The picture taking after the tree was decorated  was not quite so picture perfect.

At least no one had their finger in their nose this year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday

To Participate in 6WS visit Cate here

I have never understood this style

Thursday, December 10, 2009

He Didn't Eat My Homework, but....

This was, by far,  NOT the most embarassing thing I have ever had to tell my friend Patty, but I had to tell her.
She loaned me a book and my dog ate it. He is not normally a book eating dog, at least I don't think so. We have only had him a little over a month and he has been a pretty good guy for a one year old with a sketchy past and no pedigree. It may have been literary commentary, but I'm not sure if he liked it so much he devoured it, or disliked it so much that he destroyed it. It is a pretty serious book titled The Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I had to look that up. If I had tried to figure it out from what Dodger left of the cover it would have been written by Ya Ir Al. Maybe he just doesn't like serious. A replacement book is on the way from Amazon and Patty is still my friend.

Dodger and the book

Do you think he looks at least a little guilty?

If you want to read a really fun dog story go here and read about Hot Carl

Monday, December 7, 2009

How We Celebrate Christmas

My Friend Betty at A Glimpse Into Midlife did this Christmas meme  titled How We Celebrate Christmas. I really liked reading her answers about how she celebrates Christmas with her family in Paraguay. The other thing I liked about the meme is that it made me think about my own family's Christmas traditions  and I liked the idea of thinking about them, not just doing them out of habit.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I really like egg nog as a Christmas time treat.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa leaves presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Colored lights on the tree and white lights on the bushes in front of the house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I don't hang mistletoe, even thought I grew up in Oklahoma where mistletoe is the state flower.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Decorations go up throughout December....I can't face it all at once. The tree goes up in the middle of December. We may have to forego outdoor decorations this year due to very cold temperatures that have the gound frozen and bushes covered with snow.

6. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
Lots of aunts, uncles and cousins coming for Christmas.

7. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't remember how old I was, but I knew for a couple of years before I admitted it.

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
One gift on Christmas Eve.

9 How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
My tree would in no way qualify as a designer tree. It has decorations  made by brother and I when we were kids, and ornaments made by my kids and by my grandchildren. I have ornaments that go back to my parents early Christmases during WWII. It has multicolored lights, multicolored bulbs, candy canes, and sometimes cookies. It has  ornaments that I have brought home from trips to foreign lands, ornaments that were gifts from friends and family, and a lifetime of memories.

10. Do you remember your favorite gift?
My favorite gift every year is a calendar with pictures of my grand children from the previous year.

11. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Most important. That's a hard one. I like the mixture of religious and secular all stirred in with family and friends and good will. The food is good too.

12. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Decorated sugar cookies.

13. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My grandchildren coming to decorate my Christmas tree.

14. What tops your tree?
An angel that has been atop every Christmas tree of my life. I called her "The Christmas Lady" when I was little. She got a new dress about 20 years ago. She used to have wings with a light behind them. She is showing her age a bit like anyone in her sixties might, but she is much loved.

15. Favorite Christmas Show?


16. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
 Silver Bells.

I have made this a little shorter than Betty did, due to the cold, a short attention span and some frozen brain cells.  I'd love to hear about the Christmas traditions at your house.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

When Calls Drop, Who Calls Back?

There's a lot of talk about cell phone etiquette, but I have an issue that I never hear discussed and I think it needs to be addressed. When you are talking to someone and one or both of you are on a cell phone it is not unusual to be talking, talking, talking and suddenly realize that no one is listening. The call has dropped. 

Here's what usually happens with me when a call is dropped. I realize I'm talking to no one, so I immediately call back the person I was talking to. The call goes right to their voice mail because, of course, they are trying to call me back, getting my voice mail because I am trying to call them back. I think, oh, he/she is calling me back, so I wait a minute for the phone to ring. He/she thinks, oh, she is trying to call me back, and they wait a minute for the phone to ring. When the phone doesn't ring within a few moments, I think, oh, he/she is waiting for me to call back, so I call and he/she........well, you get the picture.

I'm suggesting an easy solution that will save us all a lot of time if only you will accept me as the Queen of Cell Phone Etiquette and follow this rule:  The person who placed the original call is ALWAYS the one to call back. Simple. Easy. Problem solved.

Now I'll start working on a rule for that guy standing next to you in line at Starbucks describing his conquest from the night before.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Six Word Saturday

To participate in 6WS visit Cate here

Who thinks up word verification words?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Love From The Crib

I got an award from a beautiful blogger at a beautiful blog  Speakingfromthecrib
She gave me the Superior Scribbler Award and I am all atingle to get this from an uber blogger like she is. She is one of those who has umpteen jillion followers and gets so many comments that they run off the page. They come in numbers that would boggle, or bloggle, my mind. She is a fun and smart aspiring writer, as you will see when you go visit  her here Speakingfromthecrib.
Though I am old enough to be her mother ( I know this because she is the same age as my oldest daughter) she has been nice enough to let a struggling technodweeb blogger like me hang out with the cool crowd.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If I haven't said it before or said it enough, my family is the best thing in my life. Though none of us are perfect and there were some less than perfect years in my life when my kids were growing up, we all got through it together. Of course we love each other, but the icing on the cake is that we like each other. As family goes, it doesn't get better than that. The following is from a recent post on my daughter Joanna's blog.

Thanksgiving was fun, fun, fun! We spent the day at Mom's with aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) and dogs. We ate a lot and enjoyed spending time with everybody. I can honestly say we do not have one of those "let's make it through the holidays so we don't have to spend time with these people anymore" families.Thank goodness! It was a fantastic day! .

Thanks, Joanna