Friday, December 28, 2012

What A Dreary Day

It has rained all day long.  And I do mean All. Day. Long.

Needless to say, I did not get out of the house.  Well, except to run get the mail during the only 15 minutes of the day during which it was not raining.

So, what did I do?

I started taking down the Christmas decorations for one.

I finished a scarf for another.


I'm a little bummed, though.  You know I used to make all these scarves for a charity called Scarves From The Heart.  They deliver them to cancer patients at a treatment center near where they are located.  But when I went to the website to get the address, apparently they've dismembered, or  disbanded, or disengaged, or whatever charities do when they shut down.  Whatever you call it, they aren't there any more.  So, now I need to find a new charity to send my scarves to. 

Speaking of scarves, I just realized I never showed you Beverly's finished cowl.  I can now that she's got it.


She really, really liked it.

Oh, and I should probably show you the rest of my Christmas presents, too.  I'd saved a few to open on Christmas morning.


And here they are:


Oh, and my sister sent me some bear sausage.  Well, something like a slim jim, only made with bear meat.  I haven't opened them yet.  She also sent me some of that really good fireweed jelly that she makes.  I'm almost tempted to move to Alaska myself, just to get some more of that stuff.

My younger brother and sister in law sent me a gift card to, so what did I do but buy a book.

Uglies, by Scott Westerfield.  

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
It is the first of a series, but I haven't bought the second book yet.  Next up on the reading list is The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Few More Christmas Memories

I was still feeling nostalgic today, so I got out the home movies from my childhood and watched a few of them.  What memories they brought back!

When I was three years old, I got a doll stroller. Apparently, I thought it was great fun to run down the hall pushing the stroller, then letting it go, while I stood there laughing as my dolly careened out of control.

My Mammaw had a nativity set.  I don't remember us having one in our house, but Mammaw did.   When we would go over to her house, she always had the figures spread out in a lovely little tableau that frankly, just didn't make sense to my childish logic.  I would move the pieces closer, inside the stable, crowded around the baby so that they could see him.  Because that's what they'd really be doing.  They'd want to see the baby.   Mammaw got on to me about it one time, and I said, "But Mammaw, they want to see the baby.  They can't see him way out there."  She never said another word, but she'd put them back after I had gone home.

We got a Pong game the first year it came out.  You had to wire it into your TV where the antenna hooked up.  It was harder to play than it looked.  It seems so primitive now, but it was all the rage when it came out.  

Even though our family was by no means wealthy, we got some pretty cool toys.  I know a lot of people talk about being disappointed that they didn't get what they wanted, but I don't remember ever not getting what I'd asked for.  Christmas was always good at our house. 

I wish I had some old photos to go with this post, but most of them were ruined in the hurricane.  I think a lot of the original home movies were destroyed, too, so I'm glad my dad and I took the time to transfer them to video.  I had my copies here with me, so they're still OK.

Well, I've enjoyed this trip down memory lane.  I hope you weren't too bored walking with me. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


So, my baby brother and his wife sent me an Amazon gift card for Christmas.  I've bought a couple of books, and was sitting all snuggled down in my recliner reading, when I heard this weird buzzing sound.

Thinking at first that my DVD player had gone crazy and was spinning the disc spinner thingy, I turned it off, but the buzzing noise continued. Then I thought it was my old movie camera, so I made sure it was turned off.  It was, and the buzzing noise continued, still.

Listening carefully, I realized it was coming from outside.  I opened my front door, and it was a car horn.  My first thought was that the people across the street were being annoying.  They do have a teenager, after all.  But no, it wasn't coming from their house.  It was coming from Cody's truck. 

You know, my son Cody, who is in Texas right now.  Not that he would have known what to do anyway.  He's not very mechanically minded is he.

My first thought was to disconnect the battery, but I had to call James --who is also in Texas-- to tell me where a wrench or channel locks or something is, because all my tools have mysteriously disappeared. 

He tells me to take the fuse out, but I don't know where the fuse box is, and it's too dark to try to find it.  Then he tells me to disconnect the horn wire, but I don't know where the horn is.  So I finally get a wrench and pull the negative battery cable off. 

And finally, we have blessed quiet once again. 

Then I texted Cody and told him his truck was demon possessed. 

Seriously, though, I hope it's something that can be fixed easily and inexpensively.  He needs his truck.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Memory

When I was a child, I'd always wanted to have my Christmas tree in the front window of my house, so that I could see it from the street.  Our house just wasn't designed for this, though.  Our living room did have a big window, but it didn't face the street.  It faced our next door neighbor's garage.

One year, I asked my mother if we could put the tree in front of our dining room window, but it was small, and high up, and you really wouldn't be able to see the tree that well anyway.  So, that was a no.

Once I was grown, and got my own house, I had a large front window, but trailer houses are so small, and it would have been a major undertaking to rearrange the furniture to put the tree there, so I just didn't.

But that one Christmas...that Christmas of 1998, I decided that by golly, I was going to have my tree in that front window, no matter how much of a major undertaking it was. That was the year I fulfilled my childhood dream.  That was the year I had my tree in the front window.

That was the year we had no electricity on Christmas Day, because that was the year of the big ice storm. 

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Christmas was on a Friday that year, and I'd saved enough vacation to be off of work for that whole week.  The storm started on Tuesday.

It had been so hot all day, with a strong South wind blowing.  It was so strong that I had to close all my Southern facing windows, but that made it miserably hot inside the house.  We were watching A Muppet Christmas Carol when the wind hit.  I could hear it coming, screaming like a banshee across the pasture, and when it hit, the whole house shook.  The temperature dropped 20 degrees in as many minutes.

Sometime during the night, the rain started. 

By the time we woke up Wednesday morning, there was already a pretty heavy layer of ice on everything.  Cody was down with a cold, but he really, really wanted to go out and knock icicles off of stuff.  I bundled him up well, and let him go out for about 20 minutes, then made him come back in and drink hot chocolate.

As the day wore on, and the rain continued to fall, I began to hear branches creaking and popping.  I opened my front door and looked out, just in time to see the entire top of my across the street neighbor's tree fall out.  About 15 minutes later, James came knocking on my door.

"You and Cody come stay with us until this is all over."

I'd already put Cody to bed, but it seemed the better part of valor to get him up and go next door.  After I'd gotten him settled into bed over there, I helped James hook up their generator.  About an hour later, the electricity went out, and didn't come back on for 5 days.  It took even longer for the temperature to get above freezing.  It was so cold that we used Beverly's screened porch as an extra freezer.  Seriously.

Since James had to go back to work Friday, we decided to have our big Christmas dinner on Thursday, but because the stove and microwave were running off the generator, it took longer than normal to cook everything.  By the time we got done cooking, we were all too tired to eat, so we just had our Christmas even snack stuff and reheated the dinner the next day.

That evening, Christmas Eve, we opened the gifts that we would normally open with Beverly and James.  I had to run back to our house to leave a note for Santa, letting him know where Cody would be that night.  Well, Santa got that note, because he brought Cody's presents to the right house.

You know, back in 1998, that's when times were good.  We got lots of presents that year, and they were all at our house.  I'd got a big garbage bag, and would trudge to the house and get a load of gifts.  We'd open them, then I'd go back and get some more.  It took about 5 trips to bring all the presents over.  In a way, it was good, because we were able to make the excitement last a little longer.  In a way, it was bad, because by that time, I had caught Cody's cold, and was getting sicker by the minute.

As if that weren't enough, James had gone back to work that morning, so I had to run out and check the generator oil, and keep it gassed up.  But Michael was on his way.  They lived in Atlanta at that time, and were coming for a visit.  They had to wait until Christmas Day to come, because one of them (I don't remember which one) had had to work Christmas Eve.

I tell you, I was never so glad to see Mike as I was that day.  By the time they got here, my fever was up to 102', and I was miserable.  But now that he was home, he could check the generator, and I could just lay on the couch and be sick.  Which I did-- for the next three days.

Also, we invited a single mom to come for dinner, because she didn't have any electricity either.  She, her older daughter, and a friend came.  They had been cooking stuff on top of their wood insert, so they were glad to get a real meal.  My mother had sent me the first few of the Left Behind books, and the daughter grabbed the first one and read the whole time they were there.  I don't remember where the younger daughter was.  She may have been with her dad that year.

After our electricity was back on, James took the generator out to their house and hooked it up for them so they could have some heat.  When theirs got turned back on, he took it to another house, and so on until everyone had power again.

 Which brings us to today.  What with the young-un all grown up and gone and all, I was feeling pretty nostalgic, so I dug out my old home movies and watched a few of them.  While it was fun looking back at times past, without those movies, all of those Christmases past just seemed to run together.

Except one.

There is one that stands out, vividly in my mind.  The one that happened in 1998, the year Cody was 5.

The year we had our Icy White Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Music Monday

In the winter of 1863, America was in the midst of a great and terrible Civil War.  A war in which brother killed brother, and fathers fought against sons.  The nation was divided, and on the verge of falling apart. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had recently lost his wife in a house fire, and his son-- who had joined the army in defiance of his father-- lay severely wounded.  It was in this context that Longfellow, in his despair, wrote a poem he called Christmas Bells.  We know it today as I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day. 

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and mild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
Today, our country face much the same despair as in Longfellow's time.  We are as divided as we have ever been in our history.  We are facing almost certain economic collapse.  There is corruption in our government beyond what our forefathers ever could have imagined.  Indeed, we already live under more tyranny than they fought to overthrow. 

And there is an undercurrent of unrest among the population, leading some to believe that we may be facing another civil war. 

Yet, we have the same hope that existed in Longfellow's time.  God is not dead nor does he sleep.  The wrong shall fail.  The right prevail. 

With peace on Earth, good will to men.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

You Know What

gets under my skin?  I mean seriously under my skin?

A bunch of self righteous hypocrites who walk around with armed bodyguards 24 hours a day telling me I need to give up my 2nd Amendment rights.

Give up your own guns first.  Or at least stop making such ultraviolent movies that glorify guns and killing.  Or praising cop killers in your nasty rap lyrics.

Then you can talk.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Time Is Here

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you would have noticed the frenzy of baking that took place all day yesterday.  And that was because Christmas came early in the Fine Martial Family.

Since everyone was leaving today, scattering hither and yon, we had our family get together yesterday evening after James got off of work.

We had food


And we had presents.


A lot of presents.

And the ubiquitous family photos, of which I managed not to get one of Cody and myself.



And we had Shelbi's boyfriend Jacob.


Then we got down to opening presents.





I didn't take nearly as many pictures this year as I usually do.  I got enough to prove that Christmas came, then I decided instead to just put the camera down and enjoy the time spent with family. 

Today has been kinda weird, in that it feels like the day after Christmas.  I did save a couple of presents to open Christmas morning, but here is my loot from last night:


From left to right, a bottle of perfume --Soft Musk, from Cody (in the orange box)
Cookie mix in a jar, from Mike, Dennise and the girls
Candy-- we all got a stocking with candy
A short handled hammer from Beverly and James
A Book --Scientific Facts from the Bible--from Cody
And a couple of hot pad/pot holders from Beverly and James...

 And looky!  Looky what I got!!!



I didn't sleep in them last night, but I did wear them around the house this morning until it warmed up some.  I really do like them, but I'm almost afraid to sleep in them because they are fleece.  Night sweats and fleece feet pajamas simply do not go together.  It's supposed to get cold again next week, so I may try to sleep in them one night.

That was it for our Christmas get together this year.  If you want to see the whole album, it is here:  Christmas 2012.

The bad news is, I didn't get any of my siblings' presents mailed.  You know, there was that whole end of the world thing going on, and I sure wasn't going to go to the post office if the world was about to end. 

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Whatsoever A Nation Soweth

It's been a week, but most of us are still reeling from the horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT last Friday.

Amidst the constant bombardment of the left blaming the guns, and the right blaming gun control, and people blaming the lack of mental health services, still others blaming the lack of prayer in schools, and everyone blaming almost everything except the one man who actually did the killings, the main question being asked is, "How could this have happened?"

How could this have happened?  How did we get to this point?

While there is never just one reason, there is just one answer, and though it isn't an easy answer, it is a very simple one.  It can be found in the 6th chapter of the Book of Galatians, verse 7.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked.  Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Be not deceived, God is not mocked.  Whatsoever a man soweth-- whatsoever a nation soweth, that shall it also reap.

If we really want an honest answer, we have to look at the seeds we've been sowing in our nation.

We sow certain seeds when we teach our children that the only reason they are here is because billions of years ago, the right two globs of slime just happened to bump into each other somewhere in that primordial soup, and all life on earth sprang from this accidental collision, and because all life came from the same source, human life has no more value than that of a dog, or a worm, or the cockroach we stepped on in the kitchen this morning.

Then we take it one step further and we shut down construction sites, and logging operations, and energy exploration, and family farms and entire industries, putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work and making life more difficult and expensive for everyone, because we feel that human life has less value than that of a bird, or a slug, or a minnow, or a tree.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked.

And because we're all just here by random chance, there is no Creator, and because there is no Creator, there is no accountability, and because there is no accountability, there are no consequences, and because there are no consequences, there is no right or wrong, so if it feels good do it, and if it's right for you, it's right, and people ought to be able to live the way they want to, and "DON'T JUDGE ME!!!"  Don't you judge me...

Be not deceived, God is not mocked.

And we demand the right to kill our children at will under the guise of women's health, and we kill those children in the most cruel manner possible, dismembering them alive in the womb, or by dragging them most of the way out of the womb, then stabbing a hole in their tiny heads and vacuuming their little brains out, and we now advocate retroactive abortions so that parents can kill their babies up to age two without repercussions-- or up to age three if the child is perceived to have a handicap.

And we are so bent on killing our children that if one of them happens to survive an abortion attempt, no medical care is given, and the littlest, weakest, and most helpless among us are left to die on a bare metal table, gasping for breath, cold and alone.  And a nurse walks by and shuts the door so that one has to be disturbed by the dying baby's cries.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked.

And we make movies that glorify violence, and murder, and we say the gorier the better, and in our movies and songs we make criminals out to be heroes, and the greatest heroes of all are cop killers, because we teach that cops, and thus law and order and good and right, are somehow wrong, and if that isn't enough, we make violent and gory video games so that our children can participate in that violence first hand.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked.

And we have somehow bought into the lie that disciplining our children will stifle their fragile little self-esteems, so we let them do whatever they want, even encouraging them to misbehave and somehow, through that bad behavior, "find themselves".

And we've bought into the lie that unless our children are perfectly happy all the time, we are failures as parents, so we become their pals instead their parents because we want them to like us, and we give them everything their little hearts desire, and indulge their every whim, and our child must be the special one, so we have mothers murdering teenage girls so her daughter can have that spot on the cheerleading squad, and we have daddies shooting little league coaches because his son wasn't getting enough playing time, and we have parents killing teachers for giving their precious darling a failing grade. 

And our kids see this.  Our kids see our example, so we have children killing each other over t-shirts and tennis shoes, or because he was wearing the wrong hat, or because the music was too loud.

And we have Columbine, and we have Aurora, Colorado, and we have Virginia Tech, and we have

Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked.

Then we sit back and act all shocked and surprised, and wonder how could this have happened when our children end up becoming exactly what we've taught them to be.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked.  Whatsoever a Nation soweth, that shall it also reap.

Whatsoever a Nation soweth, that shall it also reap.

We're reaping, my friends, exactly what we've spent the last 50 years sowing.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

You're Not Going To Believe This

But first, let me say that this post probably won't be appropriate for small children, so proceed with caution.  Now, on to my story...

It all started yesterday.  There was this guy hanging around the line.  He looked familiar, but I can't really remember ever having seen him before.  I looked at him a minute, trying to place him, but couldn't, so I went back to work.

After a couple of minutes, I noticed him waving.  Thinking he was waving at someone behind me, I ignored him.  The next time I looked up, he waved again.  I looked behind me, but there was no one there.  Again, I ignored him and went back to work.

One more time, I looked up and he started waving.  "What???", I finally asked him, not knowing what he was waving for.

He walked over to my brazing stand and said, in a very snotty, condescending tone, "Make sure you're using your purging gas.  You act like no one has ever told you that before."  Because apparently I was supposed to get that out of him indiscriminately waving his hand around...Nevertheless, that was entirely the wrong thing to say.  "No,"  I replied.  "I was just wondering who you are." 

He told me that he was the inspector over our line for the rest of the week.  Knowing I only had 2 days left, I decided to just ignore him until our regular inspector got back after Christmas.

Which brings us to today.  I was at my stand, doing my work, minding my own business, off in my own little world, when I look up and see this guy just glaring at me.  Face all scrunched up, neck poked out, eyes squinted.  The works.  I guess he was trying to intimidate me.

It didn't work.   Dude, I have a CAT.  I get that look a thousand times a day. If you want to intimidate me, you're going to have to do better than that. 

But, seeing his attempts at making a face, I kind of did a double take, then burst out laughing.  Still giggling, I went back to my work, still bent on ignoring the kid.  At that point, the guy -- now remember, I had never seen this guy before yesterday, and had been ignoring him ever since-- but he walks up to me and says,

"Is there a reason you're staring at me like I have a dick growing out of my forehead?"

"What?", I asked, incredulous.

He repeated, "Is there a reason you're staring at me like I have a dick growing out of my forehead?"

I guess that's where the expression peckerhead comes from.

"What makes you think I was looking at you?" I asked.  "I never said anything to you.  I wasn't looking at you.  I wasn't thinking about you."

"You were staring at me," he insisted.  "You shouldn't stare at people.  It's rude."

"Wow, you do have an inflated opinion of yourself,"  I said.

"Inflated?  I'm just doing my job, " he said.

"Then go away and do it, Little Temp", I said.  (The guy isn't even ADP.  He's a temporary employee.  If you ask me, temps shouldn't be given positions of authority over full time folks.)

The more I thought about it, the madder I got, so I went and turned him in.  When I told the supervisor what he'd said, he dropped his pen.  He couldn't believe that this kid had said that, and agreed with me that it was totally inappropriate.  He came back and told me that they'd taken him up to HR and had a "conversation" about the situation.

Later, my friend Billy came up to me and asked what I'd done to the auditor down there, so I told him the story.  He laughed and said, "I told him 'You're lucky she didn't beat your *** into the ground'."  You have no idea how hard it was not to do that... 

He came back later and said, "I'll bet you he doesn't say anything else.  They chewed him up one side and down the other."

So, that was my excitement for the day.  I spent the rest of the day trying to force choke my group leader, Fernando.

He has an amazing resistance to the power of The Force.

And the skinny little inspector never came back to the front of the line. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The plan was to come home and make at least one batch of cookies, but nope.  It just didn't happen.  I was too tired to really do anything.

As the line from my Great-Grandma's favorite poem says, "my get up and go has got up and went."

All the plans I had for this evening went by the wayside, except for one.  I did watch The Homecoming.  

Still, so many of my favorite Christmas movies I haven't had time to watch yet.  But since tomorrow is my last day of work, that's the plan.  Bake cookies and watch movies.

And I hope to get caught up with all these blog posts I have rattling around in my head.    TMI warning,  but it's not too bad.  About a year ago, I started taking those women's vitamins.  You know, the ones that are supposed to keep you from having hot flashes and night sweats and mood swings and all that?  Well, they did that, but they also seemed to turn off my brain.  I stopped dreaming, I stopped writing.  I lost all my creativity.  A couple of weeks ago, I stopped taking them.  I tell you, it's been like coming out of a fog.

I'm not going to take anything like that for a while, but when the night sweats start up again, we may have to do something.  I just don't know what yet.

Speaking of Christmas shows, I've been tuning in to ABCFamily's 25 Days Of Christmas, and it's been a bit of a disappointment.  Seems that the only three Christmas shows they've ever heard of are Home Alone, Disney's Christmas Carol, and The Polar Express.  They keep showing those three over and over, and over and over again.  Why?  There are so many to choose from!  I'd love to see Christmas Every Day, but my station doesn't show it.  I read on that other people are getting to see it, but just not here.  Bummed.  That was one of my favorites.  I have it on VHS, but no longer have a VHS player since mine went out last month.

That's about it for today, but before I go, here is a variation of the poem I referenced above:  (It's one of those that has several iterations.  This is the one closest to what I remember from my childhood though the verses are in a different order.)

My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went

How do I know that my youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and went,
But in spite of it all I am able to grin.
When I think of the places my get up has been.

Old age is golden, So I've heard said
But sometimes I wonder, as I get into bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup
And my eyes on the table until I wake up.

Ere sleep dims my eyes I say to myself
"Is there anything else I can put on the shelf?"
And I'm happy to say as I close the door
"My friends are the same, perhaps even more."

When I was young, my slippers were red,
I could kick way over my head.
When I was older, my slippers were blue,
But still I could dance the whole night through.

Now I am old, my slippers are black.
I walk to the store and puff my way back.
The reason I know my youth is all spent,
My get up and go has got up and went.

But really, I don't mind when I think with a grin,
Of the wonderful places my get up has been.
Since I have retired from life's competition
I busy myself with complete repetition.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the 'obits',
If my name is missing I know I'm not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I made my Christmas candy today.

The usual suspects:  Turkish Delight, chocolate fudge, and peanut butter fudge. 

Tomorrow, I'll start on the cookies:  Snickerdoodles, gumdrop cookies, cherry kisses.  

I also made a clove and orange pomander.  I have one more orange, so I'll do another one, too.

The last Christmas gift is wrapped, and I've got two more days of work until I'm off for the rest of the year. 

Right now, though, I have to go stop the cat from eating the garland around my front door. 

Oops, didn't make it in time, and now she's puking it up all over the kitchen floor.  

And everything was going so well...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Music Monday

If you've never heard of The Piano Guys, you're in for a real treat! 

I totally love this:

But this one is probably my favorite:

I know this isn't specifically a Christmas song, but to me, it kind of embodies what Christmas means:

Friday, December 14, 2012


I came home from work and errands to hear the terrible news about the tragic school shooting in Connecticut.  All through my Facebook feed were people asking questions.



How could this happen?  

How can such evil exist in the world?

Who could shoot little children???

Yet, all across the country, during that very same hour, ten times as many babies died in abortion clinics

and nobody batted an eye.

I'm not sure, but I think you have your answer. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Words On Wednesday

Most of you all know that Wednesday is the day I usually do a WIP update. However, right now all I am knitting is Christmas gifts, and therefore I can't really share them with you.

So today, I thought I'd head in a different direction.

I've always loved Rudyard Kipling's stories.  The Jungle Books.  The Just So Stories.

And I've always known he'd written poetry, too, but never really took the time to read any of it.  Recently, I was introduced to one of Kipling's poems, and just fell in love with it.  Thank you, Bill Whittle.

So, here I present it to you:  The Gods Of The Copybook Headings.  It was written in 1919, but it's amazing how relevant it is today.  

 (If you don't know what a copybook heading is, click the link above.  Bill explains it right before he reads the poem to you.)

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Little Bit Bummed

For years, I've used a photo hosting site called Webshots.  Not only did I post my own photos to my albums there, but they also had daily professional photos that you could download and use as screensavers.  I liked this service so much that I even upgraded to the premium membership. 

A few weeks ago, Webshots announced that their owners --American Greetings-- had decided to delete the site.  I don't remember what their reasoning was, but they no longer felt that it was profitable or something, and were going to take it down.

Instead of losing the site completely, some of the admins pooled their money and bought it from AG.  But it's not the same.  I don't know why they didn't get it as is, but now it looks like something from a Jr High computer literacy class project.

Yeah, all my photos are still on the site, but they are no longer organized into the albums I had them in.  If I want a specific photo, now I have to search through a something like 4000+ photos, all in one giant stream.

Not only that, I can't choose specific photos to be in my screen saver the way I could before.  So, instead of my Christmas and Winter photos, EVERY photo I've ever taken is now rotating through my screen saver.  Very amateurish.

But probably the worst of all-- all the photos I'd hotlinked from the site are now no longer available.  As of now, there is no way to hotlink the photos that are still on the site, so to replace the photos, say on my blog, I'm going to have to get all my photos uploaded to another site like Flickr or Photobucket, then hotlink each one individually to get them back onto my blog.

That is going to take some time, and be a total pain in the patootie.

And it would have been nice if they'd given us a little warning.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music Monday

I'd never heard of Third Day.

Now I have.

They're keepers.

P.S.  I don't like the way YouTube is now.  When I try to share a song from my playlist, it links to the entire playlist.  I have to search for each song individually to share just one song.

Blech.  Put it back!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Thursday, December 06, 2012

My Christmas Tree

I can't remember if I ever posted a picture of my Christmas tree, so here it is:


And Cody hanging his ornament:


The bad news is, one of my light strings has already gone out. Bummer.

One of my friends clued me in to this, though.

I'm going to look for one tomorrow at Wal-Mart.  If I can't find one there, I'll order this one from 

And if that doesn't work, I've got plenty of lights left.  I buy them obsessively on clearance each year after Christmas.  But I'd rather not have to partially undecorate the tree to change out the lights if I don't have to. 

We'll see...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dear CoWorker

First of all, let me start by saying how pleased I am that you are finally beginning to take an interest in maintaining a clean work area, because frankly, I was getting tired of coming in every morning and having to do a cleanup before I can begin working.  So, let's keep this up, shall we?

Now, about all that brazing rod you are claiming I am leaving laying around...Shortly after you got moved to our line, I brought the group leader, the shift supervisor, and the production superintendent over to show them the rod that was being left in the trays and on the table that is now behind us.  I also showed them a large amount of rod that had been thrown in the garbage. 

I confirmed with the production superintendent this morning that he did indeed remember this.  "I absolutely do remember it" were his exact words.

That morning, the group leader also made a note on the chart about the bits of rod not being used up.  In case you were unaware, those charts, and the comments left on them, are entered into the computer in the Quality office at the end of each day.  The relevant chart can easily be retrieved to prove that what I am saying is correct. 

I'm not quite sure why you are suddenly trying to imply that I am the one leaving all the pieces of brazing rod in the trays, but you aren't fooling anyone.  We all know where that rod is coming from.

It is the same with the scrap copper.  You can jump up and down and hoot and holler all you want, but everyone knows who is leaving that copper there.

Now, I don't know who you are trying to impress-- or intimidate-- by leaving all these notes, but it's not going to work.  I'm not impressed, and I will not be intimidated.

So, here is my proposed solution to your problem:

Just do your job.

Yep.  Just do your job, and I'll just do mine.  You tend your business, and I will tend mine.  You make sure you are doing what is right, and I will do the same.  You stop leaving all these childish little notes, and I won't take this matter to the front office, and we'll all just try to get along, OK?

Thank you.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Dear Bob Costas Part II

I heard you Sunday night, during the Cowboys game, using the tragic death of Javon Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins to speak out against the so called "gun culture" of this country.  It's the "gun culture", you implied, that is responsible for these deaths.  If Javon Belcher hadn't had a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would still be alive, you claim.

There is something I'd like for you to clear up for me, though.  When Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found with their throats slashed, why didn't you speak out against the knife culture?  OJ didn't have a gun, yet Nicole and Ronald are still dead.  So, how did that happen?

When Andrea Yates drowned her five children, why didn't you speak out against the bathtub culture?  Andrea didn't have a gun, yet those five babies are still dead.  So, how did that happen?

When James Byrd was dragged to his death, why didn't you speak out against the pickup trucks on country roads culture?   Shawn Berry, Lawrence Brewer, and John King didn't have a gun, and yet James Byrd is still dead.  So, how did that happen?

When Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, why didn't you speak out against the rental truck culture?  McVeigh didn't have a gun, yet those 168 people are still dead.  So, how did that happen?

When 19 terrorists hijacked four jets and flew them into three buildings and a field in Pennslyvania*, why didn't you speak out against the airplane culture?  Not one of those men had a gun, yet those nearly 3000 people who died that day are still dead.  So, how did that happen?  

When Ki Suk Han was shoved in to his death on the subway tracks in New York, why didn't you speak out against the subway culture?  The man who pushed him didn't have a gun, yet Ki Suk Han is still dead.  So, how did that happen?

You see here the fallacy of your argument.  You are blaming the gun for the action of the man holding it.  These are but a few well known examples of murders committed without using guns.  In fact, the majority of murders in the United States don't involve guns at all.

That's because murder and violence doesn't originate in the gun.  When Cain rose up and slew his brother Able, the Bible doesn't say what he used to do it, but you can bet he didn't have a gun.

And when God asked Cain where his brother was, did he say, "Cursed be the rock (or the stick) you killed him with"?  No, he said "YOU are cursed."

You could take away all the guns in the land and people would still kill people, because murder originates in the heart.  What we must do to reduce violence is to change the heart.  

How do we do that?  Well, it won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight, but perhaps we could start by hanging signs in our schoolrooms that say:

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Monday, December 03, 2012

Music Monday

This is beautiful.

One of the best flash mobs I've seen.

Why can't this kind of thing happen in Wal-Mart? 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Dear Bob Costas

You and Jason Witlock are both idiots.  

It's not the "gun culture" that is responsible for Javon Belcher's death, and that of his girlfriend.

It's the abortion culture that is responsible, because it teaches us that human life is cheap, and that if that life is inconvenient, then it is OK to just kill it. 

It's the evolution culture that teaches us that we are no more than glorified apes, no better than any bug or worm that crawls through the mud.  Then you act surprised when people act like the animals you teach us we are. 

It is the abortion culture that teaches us that we are not set apart, that we are not created in God's image, because it teaches that there is no God.  And if there is no God, there is no judgement.  If there is no judgement, there is no accountability, so what is to stop us from killing with impunity?

It is the entitlement culture that teaches us that we can do whatever we want, take whatever we want, no matter who it hurts.  

It's not this mythical "gun culture" that is responsible, because it simply doesn't exist.  

If Javon Belcher hadn't had a gun, he and the girl would still be dead.  If he were that determined to kill her, and take his own life, even if he hadn't had a gun,  he would have used a knife, or a car, or a baseball bat. Or he would have choked her to death, and then jumped off a bridge or a tall building.  

It's not the gun that is responsible.  Just ask Nicole Brown Simpson. 

Guns don't kill people any more than a word processor makes you a moron.

Perhaps it is those that we need to ban.  


Forgotten Treasures

I got up this morning, feeling just a wee bit under the weather so I decided to go to church on the computer. Thanks to those greedy capitalist pigs who make computers available to the general public, I can do this.

After a while, I started feeling a bit better, so I thought I'd start wrapping Christmas presents. I went into what used to be Cody's room and has now become a storage room to get the wrapping paper. I am working on cleaning his room out, so I picked up a few books that had been stacked on his bed to put them back into the book shelf.

There, on the shelf, I found a large brown envelope with my name on it. I didn't remember it being there before.

"Huh?", I thought to myself, wondering what was inside.  

I opened it up, and lo and behold, old knitting and crochet patterns that had belonged to my Grandma fell out!

In addition to loose patterns that had apparently been clipped from magazines or released as leaflets, there was a beginner's manual from 1949.

It had knitting, crochet, and tatting instructions. 

It really was a how to book, even showing you how to cast on, using the long tail cast on method.

It also had a basic techniques section, and simple fixes to things like dropping a stitch.

Then there was a stitch dictionary,

followed by a few beginner patterns. 

What a treasure that was!

My grandma knew how to knit, but she'd had a stroke when I was just three years old, leaving her right side paralyzed.  She tried to carry on knitting and crocheting, with a block my grandpa made her so that she could hold her needle/hook between her knees as she sat on the couch.

She gave up knitting first, but still crocheted a few years longer.  She eventually gave that up, too.

One of my biggest regrets from my childhood is not asking grandma to teach me how to knit.  I'd wanted to, but my mother was afraid it would make her so sad that she couldn't knit any more that she talked me out of asking.

So, instead of learning to knit when I was 7, I learned when I was 30.

But the point is, I learned.

The desire, no, the need to knit is one that has been with me as long as I can remember, and I'm so glad I persevered in spite of all the people who tried to talk me out of it.  Knitting is too hard.  Knitting isn't easy.  It's just, try crochet instead.

I never could get into crocheting.  Even today, when I have to crochet, it makes me tense and nervous.  So I carry on knitting.

And I carry on dumping all my knitted stuff off on family members for Christmas presents.

Yes, here we have three washcloths with the initials of three of my cousins on them.  They are for Christmas. 

Now, these three cousins have never come to my blog before, but knowing my luck, today will be the ONE DAY they decide to visit.


And Merry Christmas!!

Oh, and I learned something I didn't know.  Sears used to have their own brand of yarn.  Sears brand yarn.  They really did sell everything.  Which reminds me of how much I miss the old Sears catalogs. 

But that's another post for another time...


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