Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

So I  was sitting here today feeling a bit sorry for myself.  The creeping crud that I have been dealing with this month has kept me home bound.  I am feeling better than I did, but not well enough to go out.  My children and grandchildren are together eating turkey and talking and laughing and I am here.  Alone.  Poor me.

And then I got to thinking about all that I have to be thankful for.

I have a roof over my head and I can still afford to pay rent on it.  There is heat flowing out of the registers on my floors.  I have a bed with clean sheets and quilts to keep me warm at night, a pantry full of food and an oven in which to bake my bread.  I wonder how many are without those things today.

I was blessed with four children who, with just a phone call, would be here and have been here in the past to help me if I need help.  I work at being as independent as possible, but it is a comfort to me to know that if things go all wonky in my life, they have my back.  I love them all, but I like them as well.  They have grown into adults that make me proud to be their mother.  Between them they have given me six grandchildren who are the lights of my life.

I am thankful to have had parents who taught me so many things that have helped me over the years.  Mother taught me the practical things - how to cook and preserve food, how to sew and how to do all the daily chores that need to be done.  Dad instilled in me a work ethic second to none.  He worked hard all of his life and I never once heard him complain.  He also taught me the value of laughter, for if you can't laugh at yourself or the absurdities of the world around you, then life is nothing more than drudgery.

My parents also raised me to have a strong faith in God.  There have been times in my life that this didn't seem too important to me, but it seems that the older I become, the more important it is to me to remember the teachings of my youth.  And more important, to do my best to live by them.

I am thankful that I have reached a place in my life where I am relatively happy.  That wasn't always so.  I have been lucky to discover that my happiness lies within me and not with others.  I can decide each morning whether I am going to spend my day being happy or grumpy.  I vote, for the most part, for happy.  Oh, I still rant about the injustices in our world and will probably continue to do so, for some things just need to be said.  But that inner peace is what keeps me going, and I am thankful to God for it.

So instead of wallowing in self pity, I have thawed out a chicken, stuffed it and it is roasting in my oven, filling my little apartment with delicious smells.  A small casserole made with squash I canned this fall is ready for the oven.  One of my daughters brought me a pail of ice cream a couple of days ago, and I will whip up a batch of chocolate sauce to go with it for dessert.  And I will think about my children and grandchildren who are together today as a family, and be thankful that they consider family important.

And I will wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday

Black Friday has turned into Black Thanksgiving in my area, with more stores opening on Thanksgiving Day so crazed shoppers can fight each other for whatever electronic device is on sale.  Some people have even pitched tents at the front doors of stores more than a week ago in order to be at the head of the line to spend money.

There are a few retailers, however, who refuse to give in to this insanity.  The article about it is here.

Kudos to those stores who will not cave and will allow their employees to have the entire Thanksgiving Day to spend with their families.  Those are the businesses that will receive my money throughout the year and not just on one insane, greed driven day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Long Hair

When I was a young girl, I wished for long hair.  Movie stars had long, luxurious, beautiful hair.  Television ads for shampoo featured models with long hair that could obviously be gorgeous just by using the right hair products.  Yep.  That was for me.

My mother didn't think so.

In her younger years, Mother had a talent for cutting hair.  The ladies in our neighborhood didn't go to a beauty shop but came to my mother for their haircuts.  So it was natural that she would cut my hair.  I think she just didn't have time to mess with a daughters' long, flowing tresses.  Once, when I threw a hissy fit about home haircuts, whining that other girls didn't have haircuts given them by their mothers, she loaded me into the car, hauled me to town and I got a haircut.  Not at a beauty shop, but at a barber.  I came out looking sort of like Alfalfa from the Little Rascals.

I'm not sure I ever forgave her, but I never again complained about a home haircut, and I expect that was the desired result.

Out of habit, I suppose, I have kept my hair fairly short most of my life.

I'm sort of a no-frills kind of gal.  When a beautician asks me how I want my hair cut, my reply is usually, "Wash and Wear."  I have no patience for fussing in front of a mirror to make sure every hair is in place.  So about four years ago I decided to just let my hair grow.  It is now about two inches above where my waist used to be.  And I now realize that Mom knew what she was talking about.

I know this because nearly every morning I spend time brushing rats nests out of my hair.  I should braid it before going to bed at night to prevent this, but I can't seem to get the hang of it.

I know this because if I don't tie my hair up before cooking, I wind up pulling long gray hairs from my food.

I know this because I dragged the ends of my hair through the dishwater today, three times in as many minutes.

And I especially know this because just the other day I had to untangle a cat from these long, flowing tresses.  Cat still has claws on all four feet.  It was not pretty.

I will wait until spring and then off to the beautician I will go.  I will ask for a Wash and Wear style.  And I will donate these long, flowing tresses to "Locks of Love," an organization that makes wigs from donated hair for cancer patients .

I wish for many reasons that my mother were still alive.  But one of the best reasons is that she would get such a chuckle from hearing me tell her that she was, once again, right.

It Is Official...

We are totally without common sense.

I just read an article that explains that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are racist.  You can read about it here.

Really?  Racist?  Give me a break.  Basically, the article states that the American tradition of PBJ sandwiches may offend those who do not eat sandwich bread because other cultures may eat different forms of bread such as pita.  So a PBJ sandwich is racist because it is all about "white privilege," and  schools should be sensitive to the customs of those students whose birthplace was not America.

I have an idea.  How about we teach American customs in American schools.  And while we are at it, why don't we insist that people of other nationalities who chose to become American citizens learn our customs and traditions and language.  I have nothing against those who come to our country seeking citizenship and a better life for themselves and their families.  Had I found myself in their position, I would probably have done the same.   We all want a better life for our loved ones.  But I am getting really tired of being told that I should consider American customs and traditions "racist."

So now, if you will excuse me, I think I will go fix myself a PBJ sandwich.  And I refuse to apologize for it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kicked My Butt

Whatever this is that I thought was just a head cold has really kicked my butt.  I am not sick enough to stay in bed, but I will admit that for a few days, my idea of getting dressed was to put on a fuzzy robe over my nightshirt and call it good.  I'm sort of getting caught up on the household chores that went by the wayside when I wasn't feeling all that perky, but it is a slow process and one that leaves me out of breath.  My daughter told me that she had something similar that took her a month to get over.  I have only two weeks invested in this crud, so I won't complain.

My Yorkies seem delighted that I am not so busy as I usually am.  I have spent a considerable amount of time in my recliner listening to music or audio books.  They have spent a considerable amount of time on my lap.  I am afraid I have created a couple of pint-sized monsters, for they now fuss at me from time to time until I sit down and give them pets and snuggles.

I suppose I could have run to the doctor, but I tend to avoid clinics as much as possible.  A few years ago I came down with something similar, spent the better part of a day being poked and prodded and X-Rayed and was given expensive prescriptions that did no more for me than my home remedies do.  So I will keep in my own pocket the $75. I have to pay just to walk through the door of the clinic, the fees for poking and prodding and X-Raying and the steep price of prescriptions, and stay with the tried and true remedy of rest, aspirin for aches and pains, and my apple-cranberry tea laced with honey.  Seems to be working.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Doozey

I don't often get sick.  Which is a good thing because I am probably one of the worst kind of patient.  Good thing I live alone.  Anyone living with me would more than likely want to suffocate me after two days.  Grumpy takes on a whole new meaning when I am sick.

So anyway, it seems as though I can't make the transition between fall and winter without catching a cold, and this year it is a doozey.  I had a friend who had some medical training and he told me that it doesn't matter what you do, a cold takes 10 days to run its course.  I am on day 4.

I will return when I am all done coughing and hacking and sneezing and using up all the Kleenix in the house.  I don't care what my friend said.  I am making a big pot of chicken soup.

Can't hurt.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ho Ho Ho!

So I am shopping for a few groceries this morning, and instead of the usual elevator music in the background, I hear Christmas carols.  I shouldn't have been surprised, considering the display of Christmas wreaths outside the main doors of the store.  But give me a break.  Halloween is only one week past and Thanksgiving is barely on the horizon.  I mean, seriously?  We are pushing Christmas shopping up to Halloween?  Kind of makes me want to just hibernate until the New Year.

So as long as I am going to have to endure being assaulted with Santas and mistletoe for two months, I thought I would share the following.  I don't know where I found it.  If it is yours, let me know and I will give you credit.

Dashing through the Snow

Please be advised that all employees planning to dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way are required to undergo a Risk Assessment addressing the safety of open sleighs.

This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple passengers. Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be entered.

To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance. Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available for collection by any shepherds planning or required to watch their flocks at night.

While provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation hut, all facility users are reminded that an emergency response plan must be submitted to account for known risks to the flocks.

The angel of the Lord is additionally reminded that prior to shining his/her glory all around s/he must confirm that all shepherds are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to account for the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of Glory.

Following last year’s well publicised case, everyone is advised that EU legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr. R. Reindeer from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.

While it is acknowledged that gift-bearing is commonly practised in various parts of the world, particularly the Orient, everyone is reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality Guidelines and all gifts must be registered. This applies regardless of the individual, even royal personages.

It is particularly noted that direct gifts of currency or gold are specifically precluded under provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Further, caution is advised regarding other common gifts, such as aromatic resins that may initiate allergic reactions.

Finally, in the recent case of the infant found tucked up in a manger without any crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will be arriving shortly.

Happy Holidays,
The Risk Management Team

Just for the record.....I refuse to utter the words, "Happy Holidays."  It's Christmas, dammit.  I don't get my knickers in a twist over all the ethnic holidays during the course of a year that have nothing to do with my ancestry.  So if "Merry Christmas" is found to be offensive, that's just too bad.

Bah, humbug!