12/28/2007

WHAT IS A BIRTHDAY?

Birthday is the name given to the day that some people in many cultures celebrate the anniversary of the day they were born. It is often marked by a birthday party and/or friends when gifts are given to the person celebrating the birthday. It is also customary to treat people specially on their birthday, either generally acceding to their wishes, or subjecting them to a rite of transition.

It is thought the large-scale celebration of birthdays in Europe began with the cult of Mithras, which originated in Persia but was spread by soldiers throughout the Roman Empire. Such celebrations were uncommon previously so practices from other contexts such as the Saturnalia were adapted for birthdays. Because many Roman soldiers took to Mithraism, it had a wide distribution and influence throughout the empire until it was supplanted by Christianity. The Jewish perspective on birthday celebrations is disputed by various rabbis.[1]
The celebration of birthdays is not universal. Some people prefer name day celebrations, and Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate either, considering their origins to be pagan festivals along with Christmas and Easter. Some adults loathe celebrating it as it reminds them that they are getting progressively older.

The birthday cake is traditionally highly decorated, and typically covered with lit candles when presented, the number of candles signifying the age of the celebrant. The person whose birthday it is makes a silent wish and then blows out the candles. If done in one breath, the wish is supposed to come true (but only if the person keeps the wish to himself or herself). It is also common for the "birthday boy" or "birthday girl" to cut the initial piece of the cake as a newlywed couple might with a wedding cake. If the knife touches the bottom, or when withdrawn from the cake comes out with pieces of cake adhering to it, the birthday boy or girl may have to kiss the nearest boy or girl of the opposite sex.

Birthday cakes date back as far as the Middle Ages when the English would conceal symbolic items such as gold coins, rings and thimbles inside their cakes. Each item was associated with a prediction. For example, a person finding a gold coin in a birthday cake would supposedly become wealthy; a person discovering a thimble would never marry. COPIED FROM WIKEPEDIA.ORG

12/20/2007

thrift store fun!!!

whenever I get into town, I always head to my favorite thrift store, the salvation army. We only have one in the entire area. They always seem to have something I really want!
This large santa---about four feet worth---was sitting in the window all by himself and I commented that he was really great! The girls said 'well he is for sale you know and today is half off christmas stuff!
So santa jumped on my walker seat and rode around the store trying to see if we could score any thing else. We both oohed and ahhhed over this next find!
He was $40 but with the 50% off sale he went home for a song and dance and $20!! this is a genuine paper mache mica flaked christmas boot made in japan!! It is at least fifty years old. Half off it walked out the door at $4.89!!!
These two items were big finds as far as I was concerned and will be part of our holiday decorations for years to come!!

I hope all of you are finding some time to relax in all the hustle and bustle this week. I think of you every day. Still trying to fend off sleep and get something accomplished!!!

12/11/2007

WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?

I cannot believe it is two weeks before Christmas. Somehow I keep sleeping most of the days away!! I am going to have to have someone on stand by to pinch me to keep me awake for the actual event!!

The last two months have found me in the prone position or in the big comfy chair with my head thrown back and my mouth open while I catch a few minutes or hours of much needed sleep. I am sure glad it isn't summer and the flies aren't out!

We aren't sure if it is the change in medicines, my RSD itself or something else entirely going on but there it is. I had all these grandiose ideas of making 50 tussies mussies filled with home made candy for John's dept at work------talk about an over achiever! I have been collecting garlands of all kinds christmas at yard sales and the thrift stores for very little. But then this 'sleeping beauty' phase came along and I am lucky to get a meal cooked once in a while and my teeth brushed every day.

John set me down and we had a heart to heart talk. He convinced me that I was really trying to over do too much on my list. As much as I agreed I still hated to say I just can't do it this year.
At first I half convinced myself I could do a marathon session of tussie mussie messes and get them cranked out. Then after more thought I decided I would not do a GREAT JOB and I would hate myself for plunging in and trying to make myself exhausted physically and emotionally.

When I make and do things for others I like to do my best in everything. I know most of us are that way. We cringe if we spy a stray thread or a wisp of hot glue floating off our prize gift!! Perfectionism takes time!!

We even skipped my family cousin christmas party. We rent a big hall and everyone comes laden with food, food and more food and wine and drinks for all ages. We have a small decorated tree and gifts for toys for tots to put under the tree from all of us.

music is played, food eaten, reminiscing and catching up. The younger children and teens always have a craft activity and games to play. They each have a stocking and the elder groups bring small stocking stuffers.
The kids also exchange gifts until they are 18.

This is the first christmas gathering we have missed in 15 years. The day before we drove two hours to a small farm town to attend one of our niece's College Graduation. It was a beautiful sunny albeit cold day at 19.

The family dinner afterwards and the drive back home put the day at 12 hours of activity. I was too tried to even talk to the kids on the phone on Sunday let alone attend a wild spirit and love filled 'happening'.

I received my JOY garland and many times during the day I catch a glance and the joy spells out the mantra JESUS OTHERS YOU in my head. I love that.

Jesus and our love for Jesus and our faith in Him and with Him are what the season is about. Not trying to push myself too far to make less than quality gifts because I think I have to.

I didn't attend the cousin party but my cousins still love me and still pray for me. They aren't going to be sitting around crabbing about me not showing up. They will call me like thay have been, inquiring into how I am really doing and wishing us a happy holiday with our families.

Simply put they love me. I love the people in John's dept who have been there through lots of ups and downs with us and we them over more than 30 years. They aren't going to feel bad about not getting a decoration of some sort this year......but they will feel bad if they know I am not feeling my best. That is what it is always about. Loving each other, caring for each other and sharing what ever Life throws at us.

I have been cutting out patterns, fabric and sewing clothes for four different baby dolls this week. With each set I have that grand daughter in my mind and I have been so happy and full of smiles for each one.

They are all so different but they love their 'babies' and spend their time emulating what they see others around them doing. It is so sweet when they coo and pat and are so tender with them. Of course there are those instances like You are in time out. That was very rude. etc.

I can't help but think God gave his son, Jesus as an example of his love for each of us. Jesus tells us to 'love one another.' Society tries to push materialism and merchandise on us for 'christmas'. None of us will be happy unless we have diamonds or a new car or that perfect expensive whatever under the tree.

Our family is trying to 'simplify' the season and focus on Jesus others then last ourselves. We do love each other every day through good and bad and everything in between. We want christmas to mean what it symbolizes. The birth of Jesus because God loved us beyond measure.

My wish for all on my list this year-----------------------and that includes everyone of you special 'friends' I have met this year through our swaps and those who read my blog because they like it. I want all of you to have those special people in your life that love you no matter what. Those who encourage and support you. Those who will still call you on dec 26th even if you didn't give them their heart's desire. I wish all of you a reflection of the Love God or whoever you believe in shows each of us.

Please Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and yes lately even in my dreams!

12/06/2007

JOY JOY JOY

I particiapted in the ga ga garland swap and my partner was Valerie from vmjess. I was pondering what to decorate with or what to make to put a garland or decorations up on the mirror in our family room. Both John and I batted around a few ideas. THEN the mail arrived a few days later and my garland was here from Valerie. It is absolutely perfect! She covered J O Y letters ,edged them with silver ribbon and then collaged special words on each one with decorations of ribbon old buttons and fabric flowers. They hang from a green garland bough.
here it is hanging on my mirror. It is a perfect fit. Every time I look at it I am reminded of the message: Jesus Others You. It serves to keep me focused on what is really important this holiday season!
Valerie also sent me this darling gingerbread and vintage christmas stickers and tags. Thank you Valerie. This will always be a special part of our holiday decorating

The last swap is the vintage stocking swap and I was the recipient of
This beautiful stocking is from Jane at There was a crooked road. Jane lives down under and they are celebrating christmas in the midst of their summer! I am trying to imagine christmas without snow and cold!!
Jane did an amazing job on this beautiful stocking! The colors are muted turquoise, lavendar, plum, creme and so pretty. It is expertly sewn and lined. here you can see the details of an applique tree and jewel and some
glitter. the inside is lavendar and outside deep plum or purple velvet.
The pictures don't do it justice. Jane included some ornaments that are lost on the tree somewhere and I didn't take a picture of them and some yummy candy!
We lost all of our stockings in our house fire------------somehow john's showed up in the stuff they salvaged. His mom made it when he was born so it is pretty old-------. I have been slowing redoing all of the kids and grand kids. Our kids were theirs since birth as well and did not show up. Mine was the last on the list of course and still not made. So this will be mine now every christmas and I will always think of Jane when putting it out.
IN fact both Jane and Valerie will always be thought of fondly when decorating the house for the holidays from now on. I have received many compliments on both items since I have them displayed.
Thank you both for adding to our holiday stories and bringing part of you and yours to our house for Christmas