Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ringing in the new year

I'm pretty sure I work that day.  We may try to watch the ball drop on television, but when my mother-in-law tried that last year, the local channel switched to something the locals were doing instead.  It's very possible they'll do the same thing this year.  Not much else, really.  We've never been big on ringing in the new year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snow.. I hate the stuff

Snow is pretty to look at, sure.  After driving and walking in it, slipping and sliding through it, not to mention shoveling it.. well, you find that you are disillusioned about it.  It's just pretty to look at but honestly you don't want to be anywhere near it.

I've spent most of my life living in places (won't say states as I've lived overseas) where there is snow nearly every single year (and not always during the winter!).  I was stationed in San Diego, California for several years with my husband, and I quickly became accustomed to "snow-free" winters.  It rained for the winter season and I'm cool with that; just no "fluffy" white stuff.

We re-located to Denver (where I left for boot camp) and stayed with my mother for a couple of years.  The first year we were there, the snow wasn't too bad.  The second year was terrible; blizzards.  After that winter, we decided we were going to leave Colorado and leave the snow behind.

We move to northeast Texas where it snows only once per decade and it had already snowed the winter before.  We thought we were good.  We weren't.  It snowed that winter in northeast Texas.  I still hadn't changed out my all-weather tires so I was good to get to work, it just sucked a lot.

Eventually, we will be in a place that NEVER snows and we will finally be happy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Favorite Childhood Toys..

I had one of those cars that you push down on, pull back, and let go.  It was red and I loved it.  I played with Barbies from time to time, but my sister played with them more than I did. 

Thinking back, I used my imagination a lot more.  My favorite pretend game was TMNT.  There were always dirt piles (for construction) near to where I lived and we ALWAYS played there.  Those were some really fun times; sometimes I wish I was a kid again.

Friday, December 23, 2011


I believed in Santa until I was about 10 years old.  My sister and I received roller skates for Christmas one year.  I was snooping in my parents room and found the boxes for them as well as leftover wrapping paper the next morning.  I doubt Santa would wrap the gifts when he got there and so my belief was gone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Family holiday traditions

 When it was just living with my family growing up, we would open one gift on Christmas Eve (this gift was ALWAYS pajamas) and then everything else the next morning.  My sister always played "elf" with my mother; I always liked getting surprised the next morning.

Now that it's me, my husband, daughter, and bonus son, we have several more traditions.  We're keeping the one gift on the Eve (both Solstice and Christmas) and one of those gifts will always be pajamas.  On the morning of Solstice/Yule, we and the kids open 2-3 gifts.  On Christmas morning, everything else is opened.  A tradition that my husband's family has is tree presents.  Just a few small, wrapped gifts that are hidden inside the tree's branches.  

The stocking tradition with my family was fun, I think.  We always had two red apples and two oranges in the "foot" portion of the stocking.  The rest was filled with practical items (new toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) but it was also filled with smaller fun stuff.  Since it was just my sister and me, it was pretty easy to fill our stockings each year.

Now, it's our daughter and bonus son.  Our daughter is five, so it's pretty easy to do her stocking.  The Boy (as we call him sometimes) is twelve, and is a bit difficult for us.  He's not quite old enough for those Old Spice or Axe gift set things, but he's too old for action figures and cards (Pokemon, Yugioh, etc.).  It's tough.  We figured out something and hopefully the kids will enjoy what they receive this year.

Holiday baking

I started a new tradition with my daughter this year.  Each holiday, I make a pumpkin cheesecake and she helps me make it.  She pours in most of the ingredients and mixes them up (after I do a run-through first).  She loves helping in general and gets a really big kick out of helping with the cooking and baking.  Any time I see a picture of baked holiday goods, it brings to mind her helping me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Memories?

This memory really isn't all that happy, but the memory that I think of most from childhood was Christmas 1989.  We were stationed (Air Force) in western Germany and we flew to the U.S. for the holidays with my mother's family.  Long story short, my mother wound up between two parked cars (she was getting baggage from the trunk of a car we rented) and her sister "hit" her with the car she was in front of.  CAR-MOM-OTHER CAR.  "CAR" was our rental and "OTHER CAR" was the car her sister was in.  "OC" was a manual transmission and her oldest sister leaves it in gear.  Her middle sister (Mom is the youngest of three) never does.  Her middle sister turned on the "OC" and it lurched forward.  Both bumpers hit both knees and the license plate hit her left knee.

She required 3 screws to keep the knee in place and has had arthritis ever since.  It's not a super happy memory but it's the most memorable one.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Contemporary Yule/Solstice Traditions

While we may not go all out for Yule and Solstice each year, we open gifts and celebrate on the Winter Solstice.  I've researched a little bit on the contemporary traditions.


As forms of Neopaganism can be quite different and have very different origins, these representations can vary considerably despite the shared name. Some celebrate in a way as close as possible to how they believe Ancient Germanic pagans observed the tradition, while others observe the holiday with rituals culled from numerous other unrelated sources including Germanic.
In Germanic Neopagan sects, Yule is celebrated with gatherings that often involve a meal and gift giving. Further attempts at reconstruction of surviving accounts of historical celebrations are often made, a hallmark being variations of the traditional. Groups such as the Asatru Folk Assembly in the US recognize the celebration as lasting 12 days, beginning on the date of the winter solstice.
In most forms of Wicca, this holiday is celebrated at the winter solstice as the rebirth of the Great horned hunter god, who is viewed as the newborn solstice sun. The method of gathering for this sabbat varies by practitioner. Some have private ceremonies at home, while others do so with their covens.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finals are done!!

I took my last final for the semester.  It's not one of my favorite classes nor is it one of my better classes.  I feel like it's going to be a C test, but I'm hoping for a C for the entire class.

I managed a B for my online class, Cultural Anthropology.  This grade is much better than I originally expected.

Yesterday, I took my finals for College Algebra and Physics.  I think I'm going to manage a B out of my math class and possibly a C (a B if I'm lucky) out of my science class.

Next Monday starts a mini-mester and only goes until January 3rd.  I'm taking Business English, but I have a feeling that it's going to be cancelled due to lack of enrollment.  There aren't many classes offered during the mini-mester.

Hopefully, things will work out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday To-Do list?

I don't have much planned between now and the end of the month.  I've already finished the gift shopping and nearly everything is wrapped.  The tree goes up next week.  I have a final tomorrow and then a mini-mester class starting next Monday (providing it's not cancelled due to lack of enrollment).  I've also got work.  I need to talk to personnel about my schedule, though.  I submitted a change in availability a couple of weeks ago and it didn't take.  I get to talk to someone about that tomorrow.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Some prompts for later...

Is there something you said you'd never do, but did it anyway?  What happened?
Do you mediate?  Does it help to relax you?
What does the holiday spirit mean to you?
Is there a toy you couldn't live without when you were a kid?

The perfect gift.

So, this will sound a bit cheesy, but, spending the day with my family, ALL of my family, watching movies together.  Not exactly something tangible, but, it's something I'd really like to have.  This day will come soon, I'm sure of it.

Monday, December 05, 2011

A nice warm bath

Recently I took a bath to help alleviate some back pain I'd been having.  I poured in some epsom salts and basked in the hot water.  We have a garden tub, but it's not big enough.  It's really only big enough for Bella to play around in.  The hot water gets cold too fast, so it's almost like a rushed quiet time.

The only time I take a bath is if something hurts or I need to relax.  It will be a wonderful bath when the water stays hot, the suds stay high, and the water can actually cover me, laying down, from the neck down.

Christmas Lights!

When I was a kid, we used to drive around the different neighborhoods in our area and look at all the amazing lights.  We never did it ourselves; we couldn't deal with the higher electric bill.  It was nice to enjoy the work and effort of others.

The local park would put up lights every year and have a parade of sorts.  It seemed really magical.  I'm sure it would now, but for other reasons.

There's a zoo near the last city I lived in that had Zoo Lights.  We took the kids to it in 2008 and we all had a GREAT time.  I think my sister and nephew were there, too, enjoying it with us.  That memory, all of us together, is my favorite.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Silence is Golden but duct tape is silver...

Sometimes silence can be too much, especially if I'm working on something.  Lately, I've had a Sirius XM radio station playing (Lithium) in the background while working on papers for school.  Today, though, seems like a good day for the Science channel.  Mike Rowe is narrating a show about How the Universe Works.