Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Y is for YOU

Yes YOU !
Without YOU how could we play ABC Wednesday?  You are what makes it work.  Without YOUR effort in finding something interesting to say as well as some thing to show, what would we have?

Then there are the comments.  Your comments are what give the rest of us the impetus to keep posting.  When YOU post a comment, we comment right back.  That's the fun of it all.  I can't tell YOU how many wonderful people I have met through ABC Wednesday and how many fascinating things I have learned just because YOU took the time to participate regularly and enthusiastically.

Apparently in 2006 TIME magazine portrayed their Person of the Year as YOU.  (The gray square was silvered like a mirror).  This was to acknowledge the enormous part that YOU, (and me), the online community, contribute to the internet  by means of blogs, You Tube, Wikipedia and other user generated information pages. At the time,there were some people who thought TIME did a giant cop-out in not coming up with a real person of the year.

Interestingly enough there are still a good number of folk who do not use the word 'you ' in their everyday conversation.  They regularly use, thou, tha,  thy, thee, or thine instead.  This is particularly prevalent in Yorkshire. in the U.K.  The village where I grew up on the coast of East Yorkshire used this dialect.  At school the children soon learned the correct usage of 'YOU' but effortlessly became bilingual , slipping into the old usage of 'tha' as soon as they were at home or with friends.  Because I was actually born in London and didn't move to Yorkshire until a few years later, I never picked up the northern usage, but never questioned that that was the way my friends spoke.  I understood them and they understood my 'posh' English accent usage of 'you'.  In my mind there was no stigma to the broad dialect.  That was just the way my friends talked and it was fine with me.

A common way of expressing their dialect would go something like this:

        "Didst tha remember to bring tha Dad's paper? Tha'd better go gerrit afore he comes           home.  Tha'd forget thee 'ead if it were loose! " 


Now all that is left for me to do is to wish YOU and YOURS  ---

May the Lord bless you with good health, happiness and blessings beyond that which any of us deserve, because He is good all the time.  All the time He is good.

This is my contribution to ABC Wednesday , begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger Owen Green and his worthy team of helpers.  Please visit the many other who contribute to this amazingly successful meme, now coming to the close of its 13th round, by clicking

Thursday, December 26, 2013


The main holiday tradition in our house now that our children are grown and we are retired, is the Christmas Dinner, usually served around 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Day.

MENU:  Roast Turkey, with roast potatoes and whole carrots, roasted around the turkey.  Then there are the side dishes of dressing (or stuffing), green bean casserole, marshmallowed sweet potatoes and cranberry/raspberry jello salad.  Then the most important item of all -- the gravy!  My husband's Grandmother taught me to make this and it is an absolute must with any roast dinner.

Dessert -- a little later comes Tollhouse cookie chocolate chip brownies - -- again a 'must' at Christmas and Thanksgiving.  If that is too much sugar, there are also Harry and David pears, sent to us every year by a favorite friend of ours from our church.

At least one of our two sons and their girlfriend/wife will join us.  In this photo, son #2 from Boise, managed to include himself in the photo because of the mirror in the background.

There is another tradition at Christmas at our house, because Christmas Day is also my birthday.
You can see my birthday cards on the hutch.  

In this photo you can see our 'Charlie Brown' Christmas Tree, which is actually quite pretty this year, the mirror behind it enhancing the lights.  Gone are the days of 7 foot Christmas trees! After 54 years of decorating the tree we not only down sized our house but also our tree and decorations.  My birthday cards can be seen to the right of the tree.  I turned 76 this year and I received 16 birthday cards!

Another tradition  we used to have was that of including a chocolate birthday cake for me, but in the end we had so much food it just seemed unnecessary, so we haven't done this for about the last ten years.

However, all of these celebrations are preceded by the Christmas Eve Service at the Carlsbad Community Church, where my husband served as pastor for 28 years before retiring in 2001.

These are just some of the traditions at our house at Christmas.  There are more traditions  that are important to other people, to be seen by visiting FRIDAY, MY TOWN SHOOT-OUT.  You can easily visit by just clicking HERE.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Prayers Needed for People of Toronto -- and Others

Just heard from my sister in Toronto, Canada. After 3 days  without power with temps around 10 degrees F  indoors! and cooking on a camp stove, they have decided to move into a hotel.  No power expected until the weekend.  Trees down everywhere, transformers exploding etc. etc.  We are thankful they at least had the means to do that and that she has family close by.  They have been heating water on a camp stove, filling hot water bottles and holding them against them while wrapped in comforters and haven't eaten a proper meal for three days.

I'm sure there are plenty of others in similar straights.

Please scroll down for recent blogs including ABC Wednesday.

CHRISTMAS DAY 2013...Some observations.


Just a Christmas tangle.  This is the first art I have done for a while.  I will get back to it again once the holidays are over.


The Tuesday Bible Study hosted a Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long in the Park's clubhouse followed by Christmas cookies and punch.  This was the first time we have done this and we were very happy to have 50 people attend.  They all seemed to enjoy the fellowship and hung around visiting afterwards.  There were more than plenty of delicious cookies to go around.

This was another Christmas entertainment in the Park last week.  It was preceded by a traditional Christmas Dinner.  Shall I be honest and say, when I saw the ages of the singing ensemble, I was a little skeptical about their talent?  Ten lashes with a wet noodle for me!!  They were fantastic! The room was beautifully decorated throughout and the food was first-rate. There was one lady there who was 107 years old. Just amazing. A good time was had by all.

Below is a poem I wrote more than ten years ago.  I published it on my blog several years ago, but many of my friends who visit now probably haven't read it before, so here it comes again:


Cars and people, slush and mud.
Puddles, splashes, rain and snow.
Noise and bustle, laughs and tears, 
Christmas music, mistletoe.
Merchants worry, mothers anxious,
Children restless – time goes slow.
Frosty, Santa, Rudolph, Grinch,
TV specials – ice skate shows.
Wrapping paper, Christmas trees
Glasses filled with cheer o’erflow...
...Gifts are opened, stomachs filled.
Where did such excitement go?
Where’s the wonder, peace and awe? 
Where’s the time o’er which to pore
The mighty miracle of God made man?
The God-man given, life death to span.
Mistaken jubilation,
His birth to celebrate
Without a thought of cost, rejection,
Spawning death and hate!
Christ’s mass, so sweet and merry –-
For Christ, penurious stall;
Inevitable steps move on
T’wards Herod’s Judgment Hall.
Rejoice!  Ah yes, with reason;
Birth, death, are intertwined.
True Christmas celebration sings,
For Easter is behind!
                     Empty Christmas preparation
                        If all unknown His resurrection!
                                       (Copyright by Chris Jones 2003)

Christmas Berries in the Park

Monday, December 23, 2013

X IS FOR . . .

Couldn't be more appropriate or timely 'though definitely obvious.
(But I had fun and learned a little more about designing on Word.) 

You may be surprised in light of past blogs that I am using 'Xmas' but I read on someone's blog that the Greek letter 'chi' that looks like an X was also used by early Christians in place of 'Christ'.
So having made peace with my conscience on that score, I can only add that I think He is much more concerned about the attitude of my heart than me using any abbreviations.

Just wanted to say to all my blogging friends, to all the ABC Gang and especially to Denise (Mrs. Nesbitt) and Roger, so glad to get to know you all and hear all your news and views.  The Lord bless you all.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas or Holiday that includes much loving time with family and friends.

This entry is for ABC Wednesday a wonderful project that was begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and continues by Roger Owen Green.  We are ending our 13th round of the alphabet.  This has been an amazing experience of making new friends and learning many new things. There are so many participants and they all add their own unique contribution with a wealth of information and wonderful photographs.  To see what all the other participants have so conscientiously contributed, please click HERE

Saturday, December 21, 2013



This is our first Christmas in the Park.  We didn't know what to expect in the way of decorations in this day of being politically correct.  Our city seems to be more prone to the sensitivities of being PC than some.  We are very happy to see that all the park-owned buildings are beautifully decorated.  These photos are of the bridge over the creek that leads directly to the clubhouse buildings.

The brickwork under the railings in the middle photo gives the impression of snow.  Let me assure it is not snow.  We are expecting a temperature of 74F degrees on Christmas Day! (23C)  Now I know why I love living in Southern California!  We had a total of 13 years living in Toronto, Canada and Minnesota and I'm sorry to tell all you snow lovers out there, I don't miss the snow one bit!

The third photo is the same view as the second photo, only I took the third photo using the flash. I'm not in any way a professional photographer, but somewhere I read that it was better to take Christmas lights without using the flash.  Looking at these two photos, I guess it depends on what kind of a result you want. I like the third photo better because I like the rustic looking fence.

To see more photos contributed to FMTSO please click HERE

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

W O W !!!

Here's WHY I'm surprised.... . here's WHAT happened...

On Friday, my beautician (poor girl, and she has to work with me! But that's what they like to be called professionally) Anyway she had this Christmas ornament on the shelf in front of the mirror:

Maybe you have seen it before, but I haven't and it certainly made an impact. 

Now I'm very conflicted about Christmas. Truthfully, I wish everyone would leave it alone so I could celebrate it the Way I Would like to. (Please don't respond to this part of the blog because I don't mean to get into this issue. It's just background information.) Just suffice it to say that the ornament touched a chord in me that reconciled my two elements of conflict: commercial and religious .

This is where the W0W comes in.  I am also very conflicted about my relationship with computers.  I think most of us have experienced this.  It's a love/hate relationship.  So much potential for good, so much that is frustrating and aggravating.

Here's the good news....

I saw this ornament for the first time in my life on  Friday afternoon. I immediately decided I wanted to buy one each for some friends, but WHERE am I going to find them???? After my appointment, I tried a few Christmas stores in the mall and soon realized I wasn't going to get anywhere with that.

So the WEB was the next obvious step.  That night (WHEN...only a few hours later) I found it  on the Web...I ordered three of them.....they were delivered to my door Monday evening !!!
When could that have ever happened before computers?  I am very impressed.

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday letter W.  Many, many thanks To Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green ( I have to put his full name because my son's name is Owen !)  for their wonderful willingness to continue this meme week after week.  Please visit HERE to see other entries to our project.  They maybe whacky even, but I guarantee you will find something of interest.

Thursday, December 12, 2013



Christmas lights will be different for us this year. At the old house, after so many years we had all the hooks and nails in place for hanging the stars, lights and bows.  But at this house there doesn't seem to be any where to hang things without climbing a ladder and getting busy with nails and hooks.  

I told my husband no climbing ladders.  Whether he will listen to me or not is another matter!  We also have an HOA who are rather careful about what you put at the front of your home, (which I think overall may be a good thing). I think we shall have to take a look around the neighborhood after dark and see what things have already been approved. 

In addition there are no window-sills or ledges, only what is part of the furniture -- AND we have a cat who does love to chew grassy-looking things, which has unfortunate (and messy) consequences.

  For more Our Town Photo Shoot-Outs please click HERE

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

V IS FOR....


Who... me?

Yes, You!

Nah...I'm just having fun.

But you've only had it a week and it's supposed to be indestructible!

Well I can't help being a tough guy.  That's why they call me Scruffy and not Fluffy!

I like it better without the collar anyway.  Then I can really get my teeth into that stick-thing.  I have a VORACIOUS appetite. 

The batteries are going to run out soon.  Then what will you do?

Then can we buy another one, Mom?...Huh, Mom?...Huh?

Scruffy, you're a Villain!

My contribution to ABC Wednesday for the letter V.  Thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen and their team of VOLUNTEERS.  To VISIT this fascinating project for more entries, please click HERE

Friday, December 6, 2013



I intended to start this project last week, but my timing was off but I think I've got it right this week.  Now if only I can do the LINKY thing....

Here's the nearest thing we have to a rush hour in our neck of the woods:

About an hour before sunset, several of our residents walk up to the lake to feed the ducks.  They use cracked corn as bread pollutes the water.  At our house we see the ducks skimming up the creek to join the crowd at the lake which is just up stream a little way and across the road.  There must be at least a hundred of them when they all arrive.  There are mallards, coots, one lonely moorhen and a couple of others which look like they may be a mixed breed.  I'll have to check my bird book.
  After a while the big, fat, white Koi fish arrives because he knows he will always get a couple of crumbs of bread which one of the residents saves for him.   The ducks are waved away after they have had a good feed, and the resident practically hand feeds the fish, one bread crumb at a time waiting for him to chew and swallow each one before giving him the next one.

This is the kind of rush hour I like!

Please visit the others who participate in this blog who can be found HERE

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

U is for...

Tierra del Fuego
(Added Later....Guess I should have included a pronunciation:  Ooshwhya)

One of the most fun things in my life has been the opportunity to visit some of the places I read about as a child and never dreamed I would actually visit. 

Ushuaia is supposed to be the most southerly city in the world. It is part of Argentina and is located on the most southerly tip of South America.  It is part of the province of Tierra Del Fuego -- the Land of Fire. The Beagle Channel runs between the city and the island of Tierra Del Fuego.  The Beagle Channel is where the HMS Beagle sailed from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.  This saved traveling around the Horn thereby avoiding one of the most treacherous stretches of sea in the world. 

Probably taken in the summer. (Our winter)

As you might expect, Ushuaia is quite similar to the cities in northern Alaska, and is set against a background of snow covered mountains. It was cold, especially the morning I got up very early to ride the catamaran that took us around the rocky islands to see the bird life and the seals. I was so excited I felt I must be dreaming. Almost everyone else aboard the catamaran was sitting in the warmth of the cabin, but I, my face beaming, just had to stand out on one of the floats and survey the landscape as we chugged through the water. What a memory! 

Birds in the Beagle Channel
Seals in the Beagle Channel

Returning from our trip in the Beagle Channel.  Our cruise ship in center.

I learned about Ushuaia from my Geography class. Do they teach Geography any more? You might wonder, if it's so cold why do they call it the Land of Fire? No, not because of volcanoes. Apparently the passengers of the Beagle were treated to the sight of near naked Indians who lived on the island. At night the island was dotted with fires from their encampments, hence the name, Tierra del Fuego -- the Land of Fire.

We did actually sail around the Horn on that trip, but it was sunny and the sea was as flat as a millpond.  The captain said in his 45 years of sailing he had never seen the very tip of the cape so calm.  Consequently we were able to spend more than half an hour just sitting in place and taking as many photos of the tip as we wanted.  That's another blog.

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday, so ably and faithfully led by Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green.
Please click HERE to see more interesting and educational entries.