The Random, the Weird, and me…

I was tagged yesterday at a friends blog and  because I like her tremendously, I am  going to play!!

First, The Rules:

• Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules in your post. (check)

• Share seven random/weird facts about yourself. (see below)

• Tag seven random people and link to their blogs. (okay, I am not going to follow the rules that closely)

• Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog. (see the prior rule)

It seems I have to tell you all seven, count ‘em, seven random and/or weird facts about me. This concerns me, I think I have shared with you all dozens of random and/or weird facts, but I shall tip myself over, give me a good shake and see what falls out – let’s get started then, shall we?

Random item number one: I used to have long nails that got the axe with my job in health care. I miss my nails more than I can tell you – and I have serious nail envy when I see nicely manicured nails on others. To compensate, I try to get a pedicure frequently – however, having nice toes is not the same in my humble opinion, just sayin’.

Random weirdness two: I have some very peculiar eating habits – I have a couple of coffee cups that are my favorite – my day just goes better when I sip from them. They are not “muggy-ish” and are more “tea-cup-ish” in style. I also prefer to eat with a salad fork – yes, I know, how uncouth! I am not sure why this is, some character flaw I am sure. I have not determined this to be so detrimental that I have sought counseling over it. However, I avoid the Etiquette Police with a fervor.

Weirdly random item three: Okay, this I am sure you will all tell me classifies for the TMI category – but I am an open book about life, as it were, so I will just share it with you – I do not like to wear underwear. This includes underwear for the top half and for the bottom half equally and therefore, for the most part I do not. That is right, most days you will find me sans any underclothing – unless I am working. Then, I do wear something on the top and the bottom – but that is the only time I do, however that being said – I do not, and I repeat do not, wear a bra even then. If that was too much information for you, I am sorry – sort of.

Randomosity number four: I suffer from Ophidiophobia and Arachnephobia, yes, I absolutely abhor things that creep, crawl, or slither. If I see a spider – I will have issues sleeping for fear that its eleventy-million siblings are laying in wait for lights out time. To say I hate spiders is a gross understatement. Likewise, I am I am incredibly thankful that Michigan does not have a plethora of snakes lurking in the great out-of-doors as well. While I love visiting zoo’s you will never find me in the Reptile House! Now, just imagine for a moment me as the darling Eve in the Garden of Eden – there would have been a seriously different outcome, there would have been no way in hell that I’d have even spent a millisecond talking to the serpent – we’d still all be naked and in that Garden if it had been me!

Item number five of random oddness is that I got a tattoo when I was 42 years young and I am seriously thinking about giving that poor single child a sibling to keep it company. Who was it who said being inked was addicting????

Weirdness Number Six about the Utterly and Totally Weird Place I live – until 30 days ago, I lived in a county that entirely banned the sale of Beer and Wine on Sunday, which may be the very reason I went to a church that served wine for communion, but that is fodder for another topic. Anyways, The Good City of Holland has had a law on the books for longer than I can remember banning the sale of Beer and Wine in any capacity. Some years back, someone figured out that did not include liquor by the glass sales and so on Sundays you could have a martini with your lunch but you would surely burn in Hell’s Hottest Fire if you had a damned glass of wine. Consider, if you will, how much fun that will make New Years Eve when that had the misfortune to fall on a Sunday in Ottawa County – you got it, Tequila Shooter’s anyone? Finally, the 12 liberal minded drunks who live in this Bastion of Conservativeness managed to get this passed – I think it was all that Obama Love just flowing at the Precincts last November!

Finally – the seventh randomly and beyond Weird tidbit about me is that if you dare me to do something, I more than likely will – unless it involves roller coasters, spiders, or snakes.

There you have it, seven items of BS that your lives would have been bereft had you not known them… now I believe that I have to tag some poor unsuspecting saps bloggers to pick up the baton and spill their guts – how about if I give all my readers the opportunity if they would like to participate –

Tag, YOU are IT!

Have a great Christmas and go stop by NAMG’s site and show her some love – she is so worthy!

The door is always open…

I have always had a policy with my kids that they could tell me anything and without fear of repercussions. A safe place to share thoughts, ideas, things they had done, had not done, or had done horribly wrong. I have never had my kids tell me anything that truly ever upset me, and the conversations that have sprung from them sharing with me have been invaluable to me as a parent. They teach me volumes on so many levels, I have enjoyed tremendously watching them gain critical thinking skills, and in watching them as they are learning to think through whatever the issue, question, or concern is.

I grew up in a house in which I could share nothing with my parents, and I wanted it to be different for my children – they do not share with their dad the things they share with me – so I hope I have achieved my goal.

However, a couple of weekends ago my son shared with me something that disturbed me greatly. It took all my skills to bite my tongue and not “be the parent” and come down on him for what he shared with me. He shared with me that he was using chewing tobacco at school, evidently, his roommate has this lovely habit, and my son was participating in this vile habit – and has been for some time. My instinct was to immediately tell him how vile I thought it was, how foolish I felt he was in making this choice, and then to share with him all the horrors of mouth/throat cancer! Yes, my reaction was the antithesis of what the purpose of the “open door policy” was all about.

There was some conversation and somehow I managed to strangle the “Crazy Woman” that was simmering beneath the surface and simply shared with him that I was disappointed in his choice, and I asked him if Bria knew what he was doing. That stopped him in his tracks – he had not told her. This spurred further conversation on why he had not told her and what that meant. It was truly an eye opening experience for me – I have no clue why I asked about Bria, but I am thankful that I did not quell the question. Our conversation ended with me telling him how much I loved him.

Therefore, scroll forward to this weekend – Sam was home again and on Friday night after he had come home from taking the Darling Bria out to a movie. I have a rule that the kids have to wake me up when they get home – and so Sam woke me and the conversation that unfolded was truly amazing. I was paid tenfold for biting my tongue and just listening to the earlier conversation. We lay in bed together and what he shared with me brought great joy to this mother’s heart! Evidently, Darling Bria has strong feelings about tobacco use! Can I tell you how much I love this girl? Well, after this weekend, I love her even more! I am so happy that I did not open my mouth with my “parental advice” because the voice of young love is was just what Sam needed to hear! As he shared with me he was not using “chew” any longer because Bria would not kiss him if he did! A lovely conversation ensued and Sam shared with me that he is trying to help his roommate quit “chew.”

Some days it really pays to keep your mouth shut when the door is open…

With Childlike Wonder…

Having a house full of teenagers can be a challenge to any parent, but it is the Christmas Season that I find myself missing the long gone days of childlike wonder and excitement that bubbled along as the days waned and Christmas morning drew closer. Their simple excitement that surrounded everything from opening a window on their Advent Calendar to baking cookies was a palpable feeling in the house. The excitement in trimming the tree and writing their letter’s to Santa brought excitement to the parental units as well, and I found myself viewing things in a new light as I shared in the wonder that my children created.

It is not so any longer, teenagers are the most cynical of creatures and the wonder, excitement, and anticipation that is Advent is missing…

I found it missing from myself as well and rather than be saddened by that loss I have rekindled that slowly dying ember, Gentle Reader. I gently fanned the flames and I have found myself reveling in that childlike wonder again. I thought that if this problem had happened to me, it must happen to others – so this blog post is my attempt to help you regain that wonder and excitement. As the days wind down and Christmas looms ever closer, it is my fondest hope and desire that you should not be overwhelmed by what you need to do, rather that you can find a moment to take a deep breath and focus on the beauty of the season.

Steve Earle wrote a beautiful song that sums up the season for me and I will share those words with you today – the song is titled “Nothing but a Child” … I hope you enjoy the words.

Once upon a time in a far off land
Wise men saw a sign and set out aross the sand
Songs of praise to sing, they travelled day and night
Precious gifts to bring, guided by the light
They chased a brand new star, ever towards the west
Across the mountains far, but when it came to rest
They scarce believed their eyes, they’d come so many miles
And the miracle they prized was nothing but a child

Nothing but a child could wash these tears away
Or guide a weary world into the light of day
And nothing but a child could help erase these miles
So once again we all can be children for awhile

Now all around the world, in every Iittle town
Everyday is heard a precious little sound
And every mother kind and every father proud
Looks down in awe to find another chance allowed

My hope is that you can join me in being a child in the remaining days before Christmas. To help you get started I will share with you one of my favorite renditions of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah…

Have a wonderful weekend!!

A Holiday Meme.

Here you go, just in time for the holidays!  And, I pilfered this from CJ’s blog!  Thanks CJ!

Favorite Christmas …
Non-religious song? White Christmas – and my favorite version is from the movie “Holiday Inn” when he sings it the last time in the studio…

Religious song? Silent Night, preferably sung at Midnight Worship Service by candle light.  So I share with you Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht on guitar just as Josef Mohr and Franz Gruber’s first rendition was played…

Santa-related song? Santa Baby

Fictional character? The Grinch, what is not to love – especially Boris Karlof’s voice!

Dinner main course? Roast Beast – errrr, Prime Rib, complete with Yorkshire Pudding and Horseradish sauce.
Dinner dessert? Bouche de Noel

Scent? Butter cookies baking in the oven…

Animated Christmas program? I have two, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Non-animated program? Okay, “It’s a Wonderful Life” “Holiday Inn” “White Christmas” – all great flix!

Personal memory? Watching my children’s faces on the first year they “got it” on Christmas morning.

Story? Each of the Gospels give such an amazing account of truly what Christmas means…

This or That
Candy cane or peppermint patties? Peppermint patties.

Sugar cookies or gingerbread? Sugar Cookies

Tinsel or beaded strands? None of the above.

Multi-colored or single color lights? I love white lights, but my kids like multi-colored ones.

Flashing or still lights? Still, flashing lights make me dizzy.

Wreaths or mistletoe/holly? Wreaths, and yes Mistletoe too.

Rudolph or Frosty? Rudolph, of course.

Sledding or snowball fights? Sledding!!

Snow or ice/icicles? Snow

Hat or earmuffs? A hand knit hat, of course!

Getting or giving? Giving!

Snow days or plow trucks? Of course, snow days!!

Stockings or presents? Both – can you have one without the other?

Cookies and milk or letter to Santa? Okay, again – can you have one without the other? You have to also leave carrots for the reindeer!!

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Can you have one without the other, I love both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

Log Burning Channel or Real Thing? Why the real thing, of course.

Cards or e-mails? Hand made cards!

Shoveling or scraping ice off the car? Isn’t this why God invented garages and snow plows?

The Inn’s Manger or the animals? Okay, I would be honored to be have been with the animals on Christmas Eve.

Hot cocoa or eggnog? Egg Nog – home made, with brandy of course!

Jack Frost or Little Drummer Boy? The Little Drummer Boy!

Yay or Ugh…

Holiday shopping? Yes, out with the masses – just like the song Silver Bells talks about..

Icy roads? Just gives one a good reason to stay indoors with the someone you love!

Limited driving visibility? Again, an excellent reason to stay indoors and snuggle!

Christmas Carolers? Yes, and I have been one, I love to go caroling!

Mall Santas? Ummm, really not so much!

Salvation Army Santas? Again, not so much – but I hope you drop money in the kettles! I have been a bell ringer for them as well!

Blizzards? Only if you have nowhere to go, some wine, a roaring fire and someone to cuddle up with!

24/7 Holiday Radio? I love this, even though I do not listen outside of work, NPR – you know!

Freezing cold? Yes, it is hand knitted woolen garment weather!

Setting up the tree? Yes, I love this part of Christmas!!

Wrapping presents? Yes, I love wrapping presents!

Visiting/seeing family? I love spending time with loved one’s for the Holidays!

Belief in Santa Claus? I still hear the bell, does that tell you anything?

Chocolate countdown calendar? Chocolate, yes. Advent Calendar, yes. And never the twain shall meet!

Peeking at your gifts? Now what fun would that be??? However I do like to peek at other things, just sayin’!

Making out with Santa under the mistletoe? Oh yes – I think that is the perfect way to move from Naughty, to Nicely Naughty!

Decorated houses? Absolutely!!

Extremely decorated houses? You betcha!

White Christmas morning? Yes, yes, yes! Even in my dreams!

Santa knowing when you’re asleep and awake? I love Santa watching me!

First Thought That Comes To Mind When You Hear…

Snowflake! Falling

Pinecones! Filling bowls on the table, scented with cinnamon.

Elves! Working hard!

Sleigh! Ride

Presents! Underneath the Christmas Tree

Cookies! Covered with Royal Icing!

Mistletoe! Yes, kiss me now and don’t stop!

Rudolph! The Red-nosed Reindeer…

Blizzard! And then there was more snow!

School’s canceled! Children’s cries of glee!

Ice Skating! With mittened hands and cold cheeks!

Santa’s Lap! The perfect place to share my Christmas wish…

Black Friday! The day to stay away!

God’s Son! Absolutely, born in Bethlehem…

Melting Snow! Slush!

Lumps of coal! What I do not want for Christmas!

Nutcracker! Incredible music and a magical story!

Ho Ho Ho! Santa’s laughter!

North Pole! Santa’s home!