Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

In my family, this year, we did our celebrating yesterday. Several people came to my house and we ate a lot, drank a little, and swapped gifts of joy and time together.

I want to thank one and all for keeping to the agreement of charitable donations in lieu of material gifts. It feels so good, as I said in my last post, to be helping those in need.

After my immediate family left, my sister and I did a "drive by" visit to my in-laws - literally only spent 30 minutes there, but just had to see them. It wouldn't be Christmas Eve without a visit with Trish and Jeff.

Then, Sue and I went to visit our friend, Pat, whom we've known since high school. Another fairly short visit as my asthma kicked in - between the dog at T&J's, the cats at Pat's, and the mold in the fantastic blue cheese my brother brought to my house, I didn't have a chance.

Then, Sue and I took a drive to Saugus to see the light displays so many houses put on 0ver there. It was late so many of them were already turned off for the night - but the ones we saw were just great.

I hope all of you had as enjoyable a holiday as I did. Peace to one and all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Feeling Good This Season

Hello Again,

I have to share my joy today. I announced to my family and many of my friends last year that this year I wanted no material gifts. If they felt they had to give me something, it should be a charitable contibution of some sort. I also told them that except for a few of the younger folk (niece, nephew, pseudo granddaughter) I'd be doing the same.

The idea came to me last year when I realized that we, the givers and receivers, have made this holiday season the craziness that it is - packed parking lots at malls, credit card debt that is out of sight, etc. I wanted to be part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. By staying away from stores during this busiest time of year would make things simpler and hopefully bring back the feeling of how it used to be.

After making numerous donations to worthy causes appropriate for each person, I have to tell you it is a fantastic feeling. I have still honored each person by thinking of them (it's the thought that counts, isn't it?), but have been able to share financially with those more in need. I personally have more "stuff" than I will ever use. I am desperately trying to divest myself of things. I suspect it is the same for most everyone. So a side benefit is that no one has to either re-gift or figure out what to do with some hoo-hah they were given.

Don't think for a moment that I don't believe in giving gifts to those to whom we are close. I've already done that this year when I saw something that was "just right" for someone.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season - Spiritual Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and Nifty New Year.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Is Here

Well, the calendar says winter starts the end of next week with the winter solstice, but the weather is already blustery and cold and snowy. We got about 10" of snow a couple of days ago, and now another 2-4", at least, is predicted to start overnight tonight.

Although I was born and brought up here in the northeast, it seems to me that I should be living someplace more temperate. Even with the heat set to 68 degrees F, my hands are freezing here inside my house. And outside, it's maybe 20 F if we're lucky. When I went for a walk earlier (no way I will drive to the center of town, especially on a Saturday, as parking is difficult at best) I had to cover my head and ears and I wore my down parka. At least the wind didn't penetrate those layers. Sadly, we probably have another 3-4 months of this to "look forward to".

A great big thank you to my neighbor, Jim, for helping me to shovel the end of my driveway. This is the really heavy part where the plows push in the real mess from the street. It is heavy and awful. If he hadn't helped I'm sure it would have been many more hours before I got through it all. Hooray for helpful neighbors!

If you've started feeding the birds, please continue to do so. If they didn't leave the area, they will need the help as the snow covers what they would find on the ground.

And if you have to shovel, tonight's storm is supposed to contain the heavy stuff - please take your time and save your back and heart!

Until we meet again, warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Help Save The Planet

Here is a quote from the end of Al Gore's Nobel Prize acceptance speeach:

"We have everything we need to get started, save perhaps political will, but political will is a renewable resource.
So let us renew it, and say together: “We have a purpose. We are many. For this purpose we will rise, and we will act.”"
I believe you can see his entire speech at www.algore.com .

In this holiday season, please consider sponsoring local and global organizations and companies that have a positive impact on the planet's health - time is running out.



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