Friday, December 31, 2004

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Planning to make a change in your life come January 1? Whether you're starting a new diet, committing to a regular exercise routine, or promising to spend more time at home, chances are there's someone else out there with the same idea. Here are 10 of the most common New Year's resolutions. Does yours make the cut? My New Year’s Resolution is to devote a few hours each evening to finishing my novel.

1. Lose weight
2. Exercise more
3. Spend more time with family
4. Get out of debt
5. Work less
6. Quit smoking or drinking
7. Get involved in community service
8. Read more
9. Get organized
10. Live life to the fullest


Thursday, December 30, 2004

A simple and honest woman

On her 70th birthday Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was "exciting." Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. The audience laughed so hard they cried.

She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words! Maya Angelou said this:

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

"I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."

"I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life."

"I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. "

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."

"I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."

"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."

"I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."

"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A Quote for the New Year

"Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

“In the long run, what matters most?”

With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s so easy to put your relationships on the back-burner and take them for granted. Even though you may have every intention of spending regular time with your partner, hectic schedules get in the way and you end up running in every direction except toward your partner.

This is a reminder that your personal relationships are paramount in your personal fulfillment. Be sure to set some time aside each week to rediscover those that mean most to you. Be alone with that person, talk, enjoy your time together and simply renew your relationship.

After all is this life, your loved ones are what really matters.

From Meditations for Women


Friday, December 24, 2004

Inviting Santa to Your House

Should you keep this joyous story alive for your children?
by Mimi Doe

Kids are naturally full of wonder and delight, and for many who celebrate Christmas, Santa is one of the most magical stories of all. For many grown-ups, believing in Santa Claus is a delightful childhood memory, and we wouldn't have had "politically correct" parents for all the sleigh bells in the world. However, others feel intuitively uncomfortable with telling their kids something untrue. The following are ideas to help you decide whether you want the "jolly old elf" to take up residence in your house...and how to handle the inevitable loss of belief.

Determine your own comfort zone with the Santa myth. If your kids pick up your ambiguity, then the image may be confusing. Be proactive, and decide early on if Santa is or isn't going to be part of your Christmas.

Don't feel you have to answer every Santa question. If your toddler wants to know how Santa gets down the chimney, you might respond, "It's magic" or "What do you think?"

Avoid using Santa to keep your children in line or as a punishment for bad behavior. There's something a little creepy about the verse "He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake, He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake."

If you are not comfortable perpetuating a lie, perhaps you could reframe Santa as the essence of Christmas, the spirit of giving. Or you could say, "Some people believe..."

Buying into the Santa story doesn't mean you can't also focus on the spiritual aspects of Christmas. In fact, I stress in my books that we make Christmas less materialistic and refocus on the simple wonder.

Some kids are frightened by the concept of Santa. Think about it...a strange white-bearded old man showing up in your house when you are asleep could be a little scary. And don't even think of forcing your frightened child to sit on Santa's's not worth a picture that only shows tear-stained cheeks.

The fourth-century bishop Nicholas of Myra's heroic acts of charity inspired the modern Santa legend. This story might be a good leap for the older child who is losing his/her belief in your version of Santa.

Santa can be a wonderful way to help your children focus on giving themselves. They too can extend the spirit of giving without expecting anything in return.

When kids start to become more logical, they lose some of their magic and wonder. By the third grade the logic is beginning to override the magic, so a child will discover the truth about Santa on his or her own.

I don't know an adult today who is angry that their parents perpetuated the Santa myth. But I do recall being about eight years old and seeing my mother paying bills after Christmas. "What are you doing?" I asked. "I'm paying Santa Claus," she answered. I was a bit surprised that we had to cover the costs of Santa's generosity...but it didn't squelch my beliefs.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas Lists

There is a list of friends I know, all written in a book
And every year at Christmas time, I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize that these names are a part,
Not of the book they are written in, but of my very heart.

For each name stands for someone who has
Touched my life sometime,
And in that meeting they’ve become etched
Forever in my mind.

I really feel that I’m composed of each and every name,
And while you may not be aware of feeling quite the same,
My life is so much better than it was before you came.

For once you have known someone, the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word, or of a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas cards are just
A mere routine,
Of names upon a list, to be forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It is because you’re on the list that I’m indebted to.
And whether I’ve known you for many years or
Even just a few,
In some ways you have had a part in shaping things I do.
So every year when Christmas comes, I just realize anew
The biggest gift that God can give is knowing
Friends like you.

~ Author Unknown


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labour Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


Friday, December 17, 2004


Before going to bed
After a fall of snow
I look out on the field
Shining there in the moonlight
So calm, untouched and white
Snow silence fills my head. . .

~ May Sarton "December Moon"


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Women's Warning

Most of you have read the scare-mail about the person whose kidneys were stolen while he was passed out. While that was an "urban legend," this one is not. It's happening every day. I'm sending this "warning" only to a few of my closest friends. You too may have been a victim? Read on:

My thighs were stolen from me during the night of August 3rd a few years ago. It was just that quick. I went to sleep in my body and woke up with someone else's thighs. The new ones had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Who would have done such a cruel thing to legs that had been wholly, if imperfectly, mine for years? Whose thighs were these? What happened to mine?

I spent the entire summer looking for them. I searched, in vain, at pools and beaches, anywhere I might find female limbs exposed. I became obsessed. I had nightmares filled with cellulite and flesh that turns to bumps in the night. Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans and Sheer Energy pantyhose.
Then, just when my guard was down, the thieves struck again. My rear end was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to match my new rear end (although badly attached at least three inches lower than the original) to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier. Now my rear complemented my legs, lump for lump. Frantic, I prayed that long skirts would stay in fashion.

Two years ago I realized my arms had been switched. One morning while fixing my hair, I watched, horrified but fascinated, as the flesh of my upper arms swung to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush.

This was really getting scary. My body was being replaced, cleverly and fiendishly, one section at a time. In the end, in deepening despair, I gave up my T-shirts. What could they do to me next? Age? Age had nothing to do with it. Age was supposed to creep up, unnoticed and intangible, something like maturity. NO, I was being attacked, repeatedly and without warning. That's why I've decided to share my story; I can't take on the medical profession by myself.

Women of America, wake up and smell the coffee! That isn't really "plastic" those surgeons are using. You know where they're getting those replacement parts, don't you? The next time you suspect someone has had a face "lifted," look again! Was it lifted from you? Check out those tummy tucks and buttocks raisings. Look familiar? Are those your eyelids on that movie star?

I think I finally may have found my thighs . . . and I hope that Julia Roberts paid a really good price for them! This is NOT a hoax! This is happening to women in every town every night.

Warn your friends.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

On the Lighter Side...

Little Known Holiday Facts

~ Electric Christmas tree lights were introduced in 1895 as a safer alternative to candles.
~ Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday (1836).
~ Who produces the most Christmas trees? Oregon - 8 million trees a year.

* * * *

Q: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
A: Claustrophic


Monday, December 13, 2004

Listen and Look

Is it all sewn up, my life?
Or is it so predictable—
so orderly, neat, well-arranged, right—
that I don't have the time or space
for listening for the rustle of angels' wings
or running to the stable to see a baby?
Could this be what he meant when he said
Listen, those who have ears to hear...
Look, those who have eyes to see?
O God, give me the humility of the shepherds
who saw in the cold December darkness
the coming of Light; the advent of Love!

~ Anne Weem


Sunday, December 12, 2004

Quote of the Day

It doesn't interest me how old you are, I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Test Your Quote Knowledge

"As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow."

Who made this quote famous?


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Good One!

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! ~ Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Quote of the Day

The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.-William Wordsworth


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

“Value Yourself”

You have the right to be treated well, to value your own intelligence, to create a satisfying life for yourself and to value your own creativity.

You deserve to have good friends, fulfilling personal relationships, and strong family bonds.

And, most of all you deserve to have a great relationship with yourself. You are worth it!

From Meditations for Women


Monday, December 06, 2004

Ever Wonder?

Have you ever wondered what your computer is doing when you're not on it?

Click here: Icon Story


Friday, December 03, 2004

Return of the Basketball Mom

Amanda had her first basketball game of the season last night. They played the other 6th Grade team from her school and they won. It was an exciting game. The players on the other team are a lot more aggressive while the players on Amanda’s team are better at shooting baskets. This year Amanda has a new coach. He’s a cop and he really drills them during practices. Amanda sometimes complains that he has them run ladders at the end of a practice. He may be a little tough on them, but they’re learning and they are having fun. I think this should be an exciting season.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I have been a very bad blogger lately. Shame on me! You must think that I have fallen off the face of the earth. Not so. Between working two jobs, Amanda’s basketball schedule and getting ready for the holiday I have hardly have enough time to breathe.

Yesterday we had about 5 inches of snow. First snowfall of the season always makes driving a challenge. This morning when I left for work the snow was shining and everything had a Hallmark feel to it. Now if only some elves would shovel my driveway for me.


Flittering flakes
of frozen white;
A glorious show-
on winter's night!
Wind blown and tossed-
in silhouetting stay;
Uniquely stacked-
on God's array!
A frozen quietness-
all fluffed and puffed;
To warm the inner soul!
Will melt away
another day-
His wonders to behold!
~ Glenn Caudle