Sunday, December 30, 2007

Now and Then - for Sunday Scribblings

The topic for Sunday Scribblings this week is “Now and Then.” I wanted to think of something happy and fun, but the only topic evoked in me was a longing for my father. I wish I were a songwriter who could pen a tune, but that’s been done before. I wish I were more eloquent so I could author a poem worthy of his memory. But, as it is, I simply present the thoughts from my mind.

Now and then
The sadness creeps up on me.
As fresh and raw as if it were yesterday.
I am empty with loss.
The earth sits motionless on its axis.

Now and then
I wish I could see your face again.
Talk to you.
Show you pictures.
Share your wisdom.
Record your memories.
I wonder how life would have been,
If you had lived.

Now and then I wonder…
Would different choices be mine these past few years?
The stories you could share,
The influence of your knowledge,
Your example for the grandkids,
And mom, a different person without you.

And now and then
I’m okay; I’m strong; I’m fine.

Now and then
I can forget the way you died.
Without warning,
Unanticipated and too soon.
And I know I can never forget.
But now and then, I won’t remember.

Mostly now, there’s a hole in the universe where you should be.

In Loving Memory of my Father

L. D. Rankin

3/14/35 – 10/10/04

To see what others are writing, visit Sunday Scribblings.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday's Feast #4

Name 2 things you would like to accomplish in 2008.

I don't make resolutions. But a few months ago, I made a committment to myself to exercise more. I bought my membership at the Y, and I have been going faithfully several times a week. My second goal is to be a happier person. I've given this a lot of thought, and even if I don't FEEL happy, I want to project happiness. I do have a lot to be grateful for.

With which cartoon character do you share personality traits?

Hmmm. I took this quiz to find out. I took the quiz twice, with one or two changes because I was unsure about some of the answers, but both times, I was interpreted as Tweety. The third time I took it, I was considered Pepe Le Pew (without the smell) because I am loyal, take my committments to family seriously, and I don't let romance cloud my judgment of what is real. That sounds more like me than Tweety. It's a fast, fun quiz!

What time of day (or night) were you born?

I'm not completely sure! I think I was born in the morning.

Main Course
Tell us something special about your hometown.

My hometown of Humble (the "H" is silent), Texas was named for a Mr. Humble who discovered oil there. Humble Oil later became Exxon Oil.

If you could receive a letter from anyone in the world, who would you want to get one from?

The mayor of New York inviting me and my family to be his guest for a week at a posh hotel, all expenses paid, so that I could come back to Texas and write about my experience.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #12

I’m feeling a little blue, so I thought that writing about something positive might make me feel better. Therefore, I give you… 13 things about which to be happy.

1. My mom made it successfully through her knee surgery this morning, and I will be able to see her later today.
2. I am blessed and thankful to have children.
3. My job is stable so I don’t have to worry about being laid off, where my next meal is coming from, or whether I’m going to have a place to live. Which brings me to my home…
4. I may not love the home itself, but I have a place to stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and a place to lay my head in comfort each night.
5. I love the man I married (even when he disappoints me or disagrees with me, which is more often than I’d like lately).
6. My mother and sister live within an hour’s drive.
7. The computer and Internet access allow me to get connected with the world around me.
8. All five senses are in working order (though the hearing is getting sensitive).
9. There is plenty of food in our home, and I am a fairly able cook.
10. My vehicle gets me where I need to go.
11. I have the freedom to choose which church I attend, and I am happy with the church family that I have.
12. I am fairly healthy, no debilitating or chronic diseases, and my husband and children are healthy as well.
13. My children enjoyed Christmas this year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Roasted Turkey, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, squash casserole, tossed salad, rolls, gravy, cranberry sauce, black olives. Dinner is already over, the kitchen is clean, and it was fabulous!

Tuesday - At the relatives' house. Dinner was wonderful! Roasted chicken, roasted pork, apples, cauliflower, dressing, brussel sprouts, carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a variety of desserts.

Wednesday - Turkey tetrazzini (gotta use the leftovers!)

Thursday - Soup and sandwiches

Friday - Honestly, I haven't thought that far ahead.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Memories - Sunday Scribblings

I had been divorced almost a year. Making ends meet was tough, but I taught full time and mothered full time, and I like to think I was successful. Maybe I was, because this Christmas, my first as a divorced mom, would hold precious memories for me.

The twins were four and a half years old and in pre-K. They were at the age where Christmas is still a mystery, Santa is unquestionably real yet somewhat scary, and holiday cheer was something you’d see on people’s rosy cheeks, almost so tangible it could be felt.

The kids performed in the church program, singing a couple of carols with the other children. Lots of memories for the scrapbook. We made sugar cookies from scratch for Santa. I always remember that my son was more likely to want to help make the cookies than my daughter, though you’d think it would be the reverse. We also threw reindeer food in the yard for Rudolph and the gang (birdseed and such). This is also the Christmas that I started the tradition that they get a gift from Rudolph as well as Santa. Seven years later, we still do this.

Their excitement at having the big guy come down the chimney is a precious memory. They were concerned that we would have a fire in the fireplace (we didn’t). They inspected the inside of the fireplace and had to go outside and see the chimney, probably trying to imagine how Santa’s magic actually worked. You could almost see the gears turning inside their heads. They were also concerned that he wouldn’t know where we lived, but I reassured them by reminding them that, not only did they send a letter to Santa, but he wrote back. Besides, I had his number and could call him any time.

Little ones finally went to sleep. I ate the cookies (didn’t you?) and drank some of the milk we left. I was careful to leave some crumbs on purpose so it would look like Santa ate in a hurry. I took some soot from the fireplace, and patted it out on the hearth and carpet. After I was certain they were fast asleep with visions of sugarplums (or more likely, visions of presents and bows) in their heads, I retrieved their new bicycles from their hiding place in the garage. I took their stockings down and filled them to the brim with goodies, laid them on the couch, and finally went to bed myself.

The next morning, the squeals of delight woke me. “Santa was here! Santa was here! He brought us bikes!” Absolutely nothing is more joyful than a child’s happiness on Christmas morning. They rode their shiny bikes (with training wheels) in the house in their pajamas which made for some cute photos. Part of what makes this memory so special is that I was responsible – I was! Not someone else and I! Not my ex-husband and I! Not my parents and I! I was responsible for their holiday experience, and later, after breakfast, stockings, visits from the grandparents, and more presents, I couldn’t have been happier. All because they were happy!

For more Sunday Scribblings, click here.

Piano Recital

Friday night I made a video of my daughters playing piano. I uploaded it to YouTube, but I am making a better quality DVD of it for them. The older girl's boyfriend was in the audience, so she was quite nervous and messed up a lot, but I don't think there was one player who didn't have any mistakes. They were great, though. I wouldn't have the courage!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes

Welcome to my virtual tour! BooMama is hosting this Christmas tour of homes. Since there is no Friday's Feast today, I actually have a chance to do this now.

You can walk or drive up to my house with the icicle lights, a small, twirling tree, Homer Simpson Santa (my son's idea) and a hand-carved rudolph. Come on in!

This is the table you would see in our entryway, all decked out for the holidays including a picture of my twins posing in the shhh! position because this is where we leave Santa's cookies. This is the first year they don't believe in the big man in the red suit, but we'll leave cookies on his plate anyway.

One of my favorite pieces is this PartyLite Poinsettia Candle Lamp. It's even better with a tealight glowing inside.

To the left of the entry is the staircase with lighted boughs of (fake) greenery.

If you turn to the right at my entry, you walk into the living room. The fireplace is ready with stockings hung by the chimney with care.

Here is our tree already starting to fall in places. And most of our presents aren't wrapped yet, so it's still pretty bare underneath.

This is a picture of the tree with the overhead lights off.

If you saw my Wordless Wednesday, you've seen this ornament. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the church I grew up in.

And this is a special ornament. The twins were about 3 and a half when the picture was taken, and I've always loved it.

Over in my dining room, I have a cabinet of pretties. This shelf is showcasing my Christmas plate and my holiday Dreamsicles. The picture is a little crooked, but it was the best I could do without getting myself completely in the picture due to the mirror behind the cabinet.

And there you have it, folks. There are some candles and poinsettias here and there throughout the house and a few more gifts under the tree since I took the picture, but this is most of it! I hope you enjoyed the tour! And don't forget to check out the other tours over at BooMama!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
P. S. No recipe to share at this time. Our apple empanadas didn't quite turn out as well as I'd hoped.

Funny quiz!

I thought this quiz was great fun! What Crappy Christmas Gift Are You? I'm a losing lottery ticket! Probably true! I found this quiz by way of Samantha K's Thursday Thirteen. Thanks, Samantha! Click the link to her page for more fun quizzes.

I took the one about Christmas, and according to that, I know a lot about Christmas, but I'm not so sure! As for which reindeer I am, it's Cupid. I don't get it! One of the quizzes says that my Christmas is like A Christmas Story. I don't get that, either! I'm a sentimental gift-giver. Ah, that's true. I took all the quizzes she posted for fun, but I won't bore you with any more of the details. Give it a try!

You Are a Losing Lottery Ticket!

Full of hope and promise.
But in the end, a cheap letdown.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #11

Santa, I don't mean to be greedy, I'm not expecting anything, and no one has asked me what I'd like to have, but I could be happy with any one of these 13 gifts (not necessarily in order of how much I like them, except for #1):

1. a kitten
2. A pre-order of 7th Heaven by James Patterson (due out in February)
3. Clinique Happy Heart Cologne
4. Gift card to any department store
5. Bath Junkie detox rocks
6. A new jacket (versus an old one?)
7. Matrix Instacure Leave-in Conditioner
8. Black ankle boots
9. Massage gift certificate
10. Clinique foundation
11. A pretty sweater
12. a new pair of black dress shoes (versus an old one again?)
13. a cat

Have a happy Christmas, everyone!

Wordless Wednesday

An ornament that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the historic chapel of the church I attended since birth. My mom still attends there, and I visit there when I'm visiting my mom. It is the place of my baptism, my children's baptisms, my grandfather's funeral, and both my sister's and my weddings.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday!

I have been so busy tackling all kinds of projects around here!

Yes, it's December 17th, and my Christmas cards are finally in the mail. I have never mailed them so late. My goal is the first week in December. But I didn't make it this year. However, I sat down this weekend and whipped them out! I'm relieved.

I tackled housecleaning. I swept the tile and wood floors and mopped them, cleaned the glass tables, did five loads of laundry, and washed the dishes. I've been a busy bee.

I'm really excited about tackling the video job I've been wanting to do. I finally got my digital camcorder correctly connected to the computer, put some video on the computer, used Pinnacle Studio (I love that program) to edit and resize so I could upload a short video of the twins' band concert to YouTube (something else I've been wanting to learn to do). Now that I have the camcorder connected, I'm really going to tackle converting all my videos to DVD. I love doing that! It's been almost a year since I got the new camcorder, so it's about time! (I blame my husband, partially, because he's the one who usually connects our hardware. Nah, I'll take the blame. I could've done it.) I'll put the YouTube video on here a little later. I'm still tweaking it.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Cocktail shrimp, cocktails sauce, cheesy potatoes, or dirty rice.

Tuesday - Homemade from scratch mashed potatoes and meatloaf plus green beans.

Wednesday - Sirloin stir-fy with broccoli, bell peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, and mushrooms served over a bed of long grain rice.

Thursday - Guys night out. Girls will probably go to Jason's Deli.

Friday - Holiday party at preacher's house. We'll make a meal of appetizers, salads, finger foods, and desserts.

Saturday - I'm not cooking, am I? I have a turkey to roast and dressing to make, but that's for Monday next, I think.

Hop over to organizing junkie to see a feast of menu plan mondays!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dance, Dance!

The Sunday Scribblings topic this week is DANCE…

First, a few fitting quotes about dance:

Dancing is like dreaming with your feet! ~Constanze

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. ~Vicki Baum

The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word. ~Mata Hari

I am a dancer. From the time I was four or five years old, into elementary school, middle school, high school, in college and even now, I dance. Some of my dancing was through lessons in tap, ballet, and jazz. Some was through the dance team in high school and college. Now I take a class at church on praise dance. Yes, even at my age!

I dance with my children. I dance around the house when I am alone listening to a good song. I dance for exercise. My right brain enjoys the fluidity, grace, and self-expression of the movement. My left brain enjoys connecting with the rhythm of the tune.

As a young girl, I had no inhibitions about dancing in front of an audience. I danced for competitions, for recitals, for senior citizens at the nursing home, for my parents, for football games, for just about anyone. I remember growing up wanting to own a dance studio like my dance teacher. I even considered a major in dance during my college years. But, alas, I probably didn’t have as much talent as many of the other men and women in the program. However, I will also never forget the dean of the dance department telling me that she could tell by the way I carried myself that I was a dancer. That was a high compliment.

I am going to include an old (ancient) photo here (circa 1975, age 9 or 10) of a group from my studio that took a dance workshop in Galveston. One of our dance teachers at the workshop was Patsy Swayze (yes, Patrick’s mother who taught him to dance). Can you find me in the group?

Thank you to the following website for the quotes:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Meme

Christmas Meme

In keeping with the general Holiday theme I want to know a little bit more about you and your Christmas habits! So I am passing along this cute, quick Christmas Meme that I found on Jen’s Humble Opinion 2. So I am tagging EVERYBODY!! (I even copied and pasted this entire intro...not very original of me but Jen copied it, too! Come on and play! It doesn't take long.

If you post on your blog drop me a comment so I can come by and check out your answers! Here goes:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both!

2. Real or artificial Tree? Real. I love the smell. This is our tree before we finished the decorations.

3. When do you put Christmas tree up? I used to put mine up the day after Thanksgiving or the weekend after. But since I got married, and my step-daughter’s b-day is Dec. 8, my husband won’t let us put one up until the 9th, which is what we did the last couple of years.

4. When do you take the tree down? A few days to a week after Christmas. No later than the New Year.

5. Like egg nog? A small mug with a splash of whiskey. (the only time I ever drink whiskey!) It reminds me of my dad.

6. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, a Dreamsicle one.

7. Favorite gift received as a child? A TV (showing my age, I’ll tell you it was black and white). And Baby Alive.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My 18 year old step-daughter who doesn’t like, need, or want anything.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My son.

10. Worst Christmas gift? A vacuum cleaner. And one time when I was a tot, my goofy Papaw thought it would be funny to get an old boot and put coal in it and wrap it up for me. I didn’t take it as a joke. I think I cried.

11. Mail or email a Christmas Card? mail

12. Favorite Christmas movie? The old Claymation Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Or Charlie Brown. White Christmas. It’s a Wonderful Life. Only one? I can’t have just one!

13. Favorite food to eat at Christmas? My mom’s homemade from scratch (from the deboning of the chicken, to the sauce, to the rolled doughy dumplings) chicken and dumplings!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? PC term would be re-gift. And yes, I’ve done it!

15. Favorite lights? Depends. This year we have multi-colored. Last year we had clear.

16. Favorite Christmas Song? The instrumental version of Sleigh Ride. (Click title for my post)Gosh, I think I’ve just said that in three posts in less than 2 days now.

17. Travel during Christmas or Stay Home? Stay home! I travel, but not for more than an hour to see my family on the other side of town. One year, bm and bk (before marriage and before kids), I went to Orlando. Loved it!

18. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Dasher Dancer Prancer Vixen Comet Cupid Donner Blitzen and Rudolph!

19. Angel or Star on Tree top? Angel

20. Least favorite thing about this time of year? Crowds!

21. Which one person do you really want to see blessed this Christmas and why.
My mother. My dad died 3 years ago, and I know things will never be the same for her. She also recently quit smoking, so I would like her to be blessed in that continued effort. Mostly, I wish a blessing on anyone who is alone on Christmas. I have to add Colin and Connor, by step-grandtwins, to this list, born prematurely and still in the hospital.

Merry Christmas to you!
Tag, you’re it!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Friday's Feast #3

Make up a word and give us its definition.

Randoming - changing the subject to a random topic that has nothing to do with the topic previously being discussed. I use this word quite frequently when talking to my children.

What is currently your favorite song?

During the holiday season, my favorite song is the POPS instrumental version of Sleigh Ride. (see my post from Dec. 5th for a video)

What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

A cat or a kitten, which my husband will not allow. Other than that, a good book to read or some new shoes or boots.

Main Course
Name a scent that reminds you of someone special in your life.

Clinique Aromatics Elixir reminds me of my grandmother. I can't smell it and NOT think of her.

Who is someone on television that you feel probably shouldn’t be, and why?

Only one? Give me a break! Anyone who is on MTV because I couldn't care less! It's the bane of our existence.
And Anyone on most of the so-called "reality" shows because I also couldn't care less. I am so OUT of touch with pop culture! I don't watch (and this is going to bring gasps) American Idol or Dancing with the Stars, must less Survivor, Supernanny, or The Amazing Race. I have watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition in the past, but even that gets old after a while, no matter how cute Ty Pennington is. It's almost like one big advertisement. And I liked Wife Swap for the first 2 or 3 episodes, then it really went over the top.
So, all of these people should just get off my TV! Oh, wait! They did! I turned it off.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #10

Thirteen Gifts I Have Purchased This Holiday Season
1. Fuzion Asphalt Ultimate Carving Machine Scooter (son)
2. huge stuffed lion (daughter)
3. The Holiday [movie] (step-daughter)
4. Knocked Up [movie] (older step-daughter)
5. Noah’s Ark picture frame (daughter-in-law)
6. Dream Life Superstar game (daughter)
7. Air soft gun (son) [I know, I know!]
8. Desk, chair lamp (daughter)
9. Remote Control car (son)
10. Guitar Hero III (nephew)
11. Ear buds (nephew, step-daughters)
12. Book about War (husband)
13. Cat calendar (mom)

Yes, I’ve purchased others. These are the ones I could think of off the top of my head! I’m not finished shopping yet. (Links are to

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

My 11 year old playing in her first piano recital. She has taken piano almost two years and is finally confident enough to play for an audience. I am so proud!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Garage!

Here are the before photos of my tackle:

Here are the after photos of my tackle: The garage! My husband and I tackled it together, we got a lot done!

What is your comfort food?

I received this tag from Liza.

What is your comfort food/drink and why is it so? Grab a picture of it and post it if you may.

My comfort food is my mom's homemade chicken and dumplings. Everything is prepared from scratch, and it's the one recipe I want to make sure I have before she passes on. She makes her own dough, rolls it out, shapes her dumplings, cooks and debones a whole chicken, uses fresh spices. I'm sure the list goes on. I have to learn to make them! I don't have a picture of HER dumplings, but here's a picture I did find.

My comfort drink is Coca-cola. I just feel better when I drink one. Yes, it's the sugar and the caffeine, but I think there are memories attached to the comfort as well.
I'm tagging Tumblewords, Nicole, Liza at a Simple Life, JustJen, and Rob Kistner! Play along if you'd like to!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Flavor of the Month

I was tagged for this post by Serena.

This is just for fun! Here's my disclaimer: I do not put faith in astrology, and this is purely for entertainment purposes.

Here are the rules for this tag:

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.

2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).

3. Pick your month of birth (see below).

4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.

5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.

6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

My birthday is in September.

September traits that I think fit my personality:
Careful, cautious and organized. (My coworkers would definitely describe me as organized.) Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. (I wouldn't say I LIKE to, but sometimes I do.) Stubborn. (To a degree, but I can also compromise.) Able to talk well (I am an English teacher! And I'm very verbal!) Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal. Does work well. Sensitive. (Not overly, though) Good memory. (Don't laugh! Yes, I am forgetful, but in some things, I have a very good memory. I suppose this does and does not fit me then.) Clever and knowledgeable. (I'd like to think so.) Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. (After my nap! tee-hee!) Understanding. Fun to be around. (I hope.) Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

September traits that don't fit me or my personality:
Suave and compromising. Quiet. Calm and cool. Not always honest (Definitely not true; I make it a priority to be honest.) Very confident. Good memory. (see above) Secretive. (Not at all) Loves leisure and traveling. (I'm a homebody.) Hardly shows emotions. (I can't keep my emotions in at all.) Tends to bottle up feelings.

I am supposed to tag twelve people. If I tag you, and you don't feel like doing this, it won't hurt my feelings. Anyone interested is welcome to join in! Leave me a comment so I can read your post. I tag Jen, tegdirb92, Sassy Lucy, The Vasquez 3, Kellan, Liza, Alyson and Ford, Olivia, Linda, Mel, Gellianne, and A Simple Life.

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Pay it Forward Exchange

One of my favorite movies is "Pay it Forward." I first read this post on "Imagine Alyzabeth An... It's Easy If You Try" and I was so excited about the concept. Then, I couldn't find the original post. I have since found it, and I hope some of you will pass it on.

I will send - to the first three commenter's - a Christmas or Hanukkah gift. Not sure at this time what it will be, just hope you will like it. Please leave a way for me to contact you in your comment.

The Pay It Forward Exchange is based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

37th Sunday Scribblings


Among siblings
For attention.
Step-kids, biological kids.
Can get ugly;
Rivals should be friends.
Breeds resentment, not contentment,
Vying for equity,
Striving to outrank,
Red hot lava boiling to the surface.
He said, she said, she said!
He did, she did, she did!
Who decides…
How come she gets…
Why doesn’t my mom…
Jealousy, the green-eyed monster,
Lurks within the walls
With ears perked and prepared
For that juicy bit that will set off
The Explosion!
For more Sunday Scribblings on the topic of Competition, click here!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Friday's Feast #2

What was the last game you purchased?

Guitar Hero - for my son, to replace the one his step-sister scratched.

Name something in which you don’t believe.

Magic - the kind that is performed onstage. I love to watch it, but I know that it's all an illusion. It's fascinating although I can rarely figure out how they do their tricks.

If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?

I know it WOULDN'T be Brittney Spears! I would choose Oprah Winfrey because she seems fair, genuine, altruistic, and generous!

Main Course
What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?

LOTS! One of them is a lesson my daughter learned the hard way tonight, that it's not as easy or as glamorous as you think it is to shave your legs.

Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.

Dimly lit, pleasantly fragranced, maybe with lavender, lots of candles casting soft shadows on the walls, perhaps some fresh flowers in a crystal vase on the nightstand, a cozy bed to curl up on with a fluffy comforter, and a gripping novel to read. If it were really perfect, it would also include a massage therapist.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

5 Minutes for Moms

Win an incredible prize sponsored by Parents Magazine by visiting 5 Minutes for Mom!

Thirteen of my All-Time Favorite Christmas Songs

My Ninth Edition

13. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
12. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Mannheim Steamroller Version)
11. Carol of the Bells
10. I’ll be Home for Christmas
9. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
8. Mary Did You Know
7. Jingle Bell Rock
6. The Christmas Song
5. Deck the Halls (Mannheim Steamroller version AND my daughter’s piano performance)
4. White Christmas
3. Oh, Holy Night.
2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Bruce Springsteen version)
1. Sleigh Ride Instrumental
Here's a video with pretty pictures and animation to the tunes
of Sleigh Ride and Home for the Holidays

Sleigh ride with pretty animations (and home for the holidays)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I wanted to try my hand at black-and-white photography and cropping. I have a ways to go. This is a waterfall near the hill country in Texas where my husband and I went last summer. I'd love to go back.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Paper, Paper, Everywhere!

This is my third tackle-it Tuesday, and what I'm tackling might not seem like much, but I am drowning in paperwork!

First, I have the stack of papers to grade, of which only half are pictured here. I have all the paperwork to complete from last week when my son was absent - my paperwork, not his. Catching up on forms to fill out at school/work (I teach), technology updates, staff development registrations, parent meetings, essay contest forms, and so forth. I also have to type several lessons and activities and make copies ( more paper!) and create a powerpoint presentation on Charles Dickens. Then, there is the paperwork at home. I have to keep up with both checkbooks. Nothing has been entered in over a week, and the debit cards are used like crazy. Thank goodness for online banking. Next, there is the pile of unopened mail that's been sitting almost a week. I also have to make lists of what we do and don't already have for Christmas. And who mentioned Christmas cards? That's going to have to wait till another Tackle! Wish me luck!


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