From Vanna!

Whilst some of us spend a sedate, calm and ‘normal’ New Year’s Eve, Vanna is off in the jungle doing zip lines with her entourage.  In Hawaii.  Poor Vanna.

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Gone all Tarzan and Jane……….

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Almost 2014

In which some pondering is done, some philosophical statements are made, the news of the day is reported, and a brief update on acceptable behavior is mentioned.  I know, I know.  Almost too much, isn’t it?

“Wait a minute!  That can’t be right—it’s too soon, isn’t it?” Jabberwocky pondered.

Me, too.

(I ponder.  You ponder.  They ponder—you know all those wise ‘pundits’.  We all ponder, I suppose.  We don’t all conjugate verbs, however.  Just Jabber.) 

Where did 365 days go?  Too fast!  But doesn’t answer the question. 

Pondering the passing of such a number of days, I reflect that some of those days seemed to pass slowly, but others flew into the past too quickly.  Does that happen to you, too?  

Time passage is dependent upon circumstance, evidently.  When one is a child, Christmas, birthdays, summer vacation are distant dreams in the midst of January  (unless, of course, you HAVE a January birthday).  Then adulthood speeds up everything as you get older until you can’t recall what you did yesterday, but you CAN recall Christmas 10 years ago (or further back), or maybe your own 10th birthday party.  (This is called ‘nostalgia’ by those who are nostalgic.  I just call it pondering.  ‘Cause I’m not.  Nostalgic.  Well, most of the time I’m not.)

I am, however, semi-scientific.  So here is my New Year’s Resolution:

Time passage is related to how long one has lived, the emotional involvement/investment one has with any particular occurrence, and, of course, one’s own observance of any event.

So, since I am in my 111th year this year (or so it seems sometimes), my New Year’s Resolution is to observe each and every day–and to celebrate each day as it arrives and as I pass through it.  Simple as that.

And, frankly, better than just singing “Should Ol’ Acquaintance Be Forgot” and making some list of resolutions I’ve repeated for, oh, 110 years or so–especially in Colorado.  (No.  I do not live in Colorado nor have I ever lived in Colorado nor do I plan to live in Colorado.  I am referring to the 24-hour news about Colorado now legalizing pot.)  They will likely BE forgot and not brought to mind along with many other things related to time-passage, especially if one is enjoying legalized pot on New Year’s Day.  Gives a whole new meaning to the song, “Rocky Mountain High (in Colorado)” sung years ago by John Denver, doesn’t it?

Times change, what is legal, what is acceptable and what is not also changes, and we all try to change with the times.  Just one thing: remember you can’t take it with you.  No.  I mean it.  You can not take your pot with you when you fly.  Airport doesn’t allow it, not to mention that other states don’t either.  This has been a courtesy repeat of the big news of the day brought to you by Jabberwocky.  Just in case you haven’t been watching the news.  Which is on 24 hours a day.  Repeated. 

So……as my dear ol’ Mother, Chris, used to say……….

Well………anyway………………..

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

 

An Actual ‘how to’ post!

“Oh, alright, alright, alright already!  You guys just don’t stop, do you?  You want to know about some of the things I made for gifts this year, huh?  Well, not that many, but a few………” Jabber exclaimed, “So, I’ll show you one way to personalize a gift.  Maybe you can figure out how to use the idea for next year for somebody.  Or somebodies.  Or whatever……”

Racer Daughter and CCQ Daughter do a lot for their mother, the elderly 111 year old who pretends to write this bog blog.  And so does Son.  (No, not pretend to write THIS bog, Son has his own bog to write.  He doesn’t write this bog, he contributes at times, but doesn’t write it…….)  (Oh, and no, I’m not going back to cross out all the bogs and put in ‘blogs’ ‘cause I know you know what I mean.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t be weeding this, right?)  Okay, so……

I decided to personalize a couple of gifts.  For Daughters, but not Son who got, after all, the bestest gift ever of a lifetime with that beautiful dual Tiger clock which I KNOW he cherishes, so……..had to be even-handed here with the Daughters, you know………..

Very simple idea, but you’ve got to have something TO personalize.  Oh okay, no you don’t.

Racer Daughter loves all things country-ish and antique-ish.  She and her friend, Casey, have their own lil’ business called SouthernFriedPatinas.com—take a look—and these items were right up her alley.  I found some metal display stands which tilt up to stand at an angle and once held spices.  The little canisters are round and the transparent lids are removable.

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‘Course, I got them at a yard sale.  For not very much money, but they were fun and interesting and would hold any number of craft-type items from stickers to tacks.  The bottoms had a simple round magnet attached (which needed a bit of regluing for some of them). 

I printed some of these from the Graphicsfairy.com website:

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Onto each one, I printed a ‘gift’—some funny, some sincere, all do-able within the next year (actually, I didn’t place a time limit on them).

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I also included dinners, child transportation, etc. as ‘gifts’ as these are the things which Racer Daughter really needs.  I placed one ‘gift’ into several of the little canisters.

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Into other canisters, I placed wine corks which she collects and displays in large apothecary-type jars in her kitchen.  (Note:  I am not sure how many bottles of wine Lil’ Baby has drunk, but suffice it to say, she contributed to the wine corks.  See previous post.)

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A metal wire basket was also a yard sale find.  Along with it I placed a metal/copper ladle, an old hand beater (the type you crank), an old shoe ‘tree’ (just one) which are more or less artifacts or items of interest and I’ll bet she finds something interesting to do with them, too!  I stacked up the little canisters in the basket, placed the Saran-wrapped metal stands (to hold them in place) beneath it, and then wrapped it all up in cellophane.

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The tag is, of course, a recycled card.  Security insisted I use it.

There.  Personalized gift!  You can do this with about anything and it makes a gift more special.

For CCQ Daughter, Granddaughter helped me with the purchase of baking items she needed.  These included cookie sheets, hand towels for the kitchen, cake pans, that sort of thing.  I added two old-fashioned glass containers (yard sale treasures!) and into one chocolate ‘kisses’ and coupons personalized for her with the package.  The other container had some gourmet coffee.  On top of both of the glass containers, I taped a label I’d printed and cut out (Graphicsfairy.com).  Placing the cookie sheets on the bottom, I added the other items, covering them with the kitchen towels, and added the ‘coupons’ specially thought out for her.  This was all wrapped up with a large piece of cellophane and a big burlap bow. 

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Christmas Family Gathering

We got together, all 16 of us plus Security, yesterday to celebrate the Season with a scrumptious meal of tenderloin (marinated and cooked on the grill by Son who is a rather accomplished chef), shrimp and grits, salad, green beans, breads and many, many desserts.  (Along with some wine, of course, and some beer.  But you figured that, right?)  Here are some pictures of our gathering:

I got up early and set the table—the kids’ table was in the kitchen.

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Had to leave a lot of space for FOOD!

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Budding Computer Geniuses deeply involved in their new Christmas presents waited for dinner:

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While Racer Daughter explains something or another to to her daughter and Eldest Granddaughter’s Boyfriend—(no, no, not her eldest boyfriend!  It is my oldest granddaughter’s boyfriend.  Got it?  Just to be clear.  She has no other.  That we know about.  At the present time.  And she’s not old, either.  Well, she’s old enough, but not old.  I am old.  But I digress…..)

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TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Son-in-law is getting hungry so snacks on cheese and crackers:

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A few minutes later, Second Eldest Granddaughter joins the table–

image  Is she camera shy?

NOT!  This is what is going on with Lil’ Baby!!  Oh my goodness!

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The other night, whilst at CCQ Daughter’s house at Christmas Eve, Lil’ Baby got into the wine and was texting!  What do you mean, you don’t believe me?  Here I have proof!

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I don’t know what to say.  She’s just into everything and not even a year old.  Oh well, on with the next…….

Meanwhile, watching TV while awaiting dinner:

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Jabber decided to sneak a peek at what was awaiting us upstairs—Santa had ARRIVED!  A bit late, but we heard him up there, getting all the presents out of his bag…..

image  Jabber looked upstairs……

and then, she walked up stairs:

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She looked towards the craft room doors—what was behind door number 1 AND door number 2?

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THIS!

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and THIS!

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and THIS!

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After dinner, chaos ensued—just to show you:

image  Mustachios for everyone!

(well, not everyone…….but for several!  Princess got a crown, of course.)

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And Son got his very favoritest gift he’s ever gotten:

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Yes, the lovely dual-tiger clock.  He looks thrilled, doesn’t he?  Oh yes…….The big tiger has the BLUEST eyes you have ever seen.  Just lovely.

And even Security had presents to open.  And then hide from herself under couches and cabinets for the duration—it’s called Poodle hide and seek.  She hides, barks to give you hints at exactly where the item is hidden, and then you seek.  It’s very good for us elderly folks, requiring us to bend over, kneel down, lift furniture, that sort of thing.  Very thoughtful of her to include us in her games, I think.

image  Security opening a present from Santa who wasn’t too smart this year with his selections.

There was much gaiety, much merriment, much gift giving and receiving, lots of food consumed (not to mention a lot of beer consumed by Lil’ Baby, so I won’t mention that). 

And now, it is time for quiet reflection about the upcoming year and past enjoyable gatherings of 2013.

No, wait a minute. 

No, it’s not. 

It’s time to do laundry, clean up the house, put away all the stuff, organize Christmas decorations, and get busy planning for next year.  (Nostalgia doesn’t last long with me—maybe for, oh, 30 seconds.)

Just wait til’ I tell you what I’ve got planned for NEXT YEAR!

Jabber, over and out.

P.S.  Take a look at the tags and I’ll report how many ‘hits’ I get from some of them.  Should be fun.

 

Christmas Decor

“Merry Christmas, everybody.  You think I’m the only one with unique holiday décor?  Non, mon amis!  Non, non!  Son got him a reindeer head last night and decorated up his mantle.” Jabberwocky explained.

“Oh, not really.  It’s just a plain, ol’ common inflatable moose head.  You know, the kind you find all over the place……..”

And no, I had nothing to do with it.

But I wish I had. 

Put it on our brocanting list, girls!

Good Christmas Eve

“The Fat Man is donning his jacket and pants and belt (he can’t get it buckled ‘cept in the very last notch).  Soon, he’ll be hitchin’ up his reindeer and heading off in his sleigh…..” Jabber mused……..”an’ it’s starting to snow!  Right on schedule……..”

Yep.  I still pretend and get goose bumps thinking about the magic of Santa as I wrap presents and stuff stockings and think about past holidays.

Jabber and I wish you a very Happy Christmas full of warmth and joy and family and friends.  For those of you who have some sadness in your lives now, may you be comforted by happy memories of the past joys you have had in your lives.  This Season is both sweet and sad in many respects for those of us who are 111 or so……

But remember:  there is still magic in life—the wonder that we are so amazingly lucky to be living in this country, at this time, on a big blue ‘marble’ of a planet, in a perfect environment for sustaining life.  And that, at least for a moment or two, we are able to delight again in the idea of a Santa, to share what we have with others, and to share our good fortune with those who are needy.  (If nothing else, to give a smile to strangers.)

May your stockings be full, may your decorations be festive and your homes filled with family and friends, may your plates be full of good things to eat, but most of all, may your hearts be filled with thankfulness, awe and wonder. 

And I hope Santa gets down your chimney! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  SEASON’S GREETINGS! 

An’ ‘member to leave some carrots for the reindeer!” Jabber reminds us………….

 

Wrapping–

“I don’ mean to be MEAN or anythin’, but, you ARE 111 and the idea of takin’ up rappin’ on this blog is a lil’ peculiar for you, isn’t it?  I mean, you can’t even put together a rhyme affer you’ve worked on it all day, so how you gonna’ make up rhymes to music beats on –the-spot?” Jabber contemplated outloud, not so gently…..

She can be an idjit sometimes.

WRAPPING PACKAGES AND PRESENTS!  That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout here!  WRAPPING!

“Sorta’ waited to the last minute, didn’ you?”

No.  Didn’t.  Planning ahead, too……

You all know about wrapping packages with comic pages or newspaper pages, but there are other ideas on how to use items for wrapping you already have on hand.

Reminders:  If you HAVE to buy new paper and supplies each year, buy wrapping paper at the after Christmas sales.  Also stock up on ribbon and any other items you know you’ll be using next year. 

If you go to yard sales consistently, you will often find rolls of wrapping paper at very discounted prices.  I purchase wrapping paper at yard sales along with lots of ribbon.  And gift bags—stock up!  Once I purchased a huge box of unopened tags—the person had been in retail sales, evidently—and shared it with family and friends.  I have enough tags to use for the next ten years and so do they.  Cost?  $5  If you don’t believe the savings here, go price tags at the store!

Here are some fantastic ideas (not mine, I read about them so I’m passing them along to you):

After all that unwrapping is done, you can do this with your torn wrapping paper:

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1.  BE SURE TO REMOVE ALL TAPE AND STAPLES

2.  Put it through your shredder!

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3.  You now have a colorful pile of shredded paper which you can use at the bottom of baskets as ‘filler’ or you can use for packing delicate items or even, if you want, for packing up your Christmas ornaments which need special care.

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Why didn’t I think of that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have Grandkids old enough to do this (and not ruin your shredder), this is a good, short-term project for them!  You were only going to THROW IT AWAY WEREN’T YOU?  Yep!

Here are some more ideas, courtesy of TipHero which linked to these:

1.  How to make a gift bag out of magazine page

http://www.milomade.co.uk/blog/2008/11/tutorial-01-how-to-make-a-gift-bag/

2.  How to make a gift bow out of a magazine page

http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2009/10/make-gift-bow-from-magazine-page.html

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Save the tissue paper, too, when you unwrap gifts.  I use it to pack up delicate Christmas ornaments.  If it is in good shape, I’ve been known to IRON out sheets of tissue paper, carefully fold and store and reuse for another gift.  This works exceptionally well with gift bags.

Ribbon:  It really goes without saying, save the ribbon if it is nice.  I reuse ribbon for years, organizing it according to color and storing it in baskets in my craft room.

Gift Bags:  Carefully fold and store.  Christmas comes every single year on December 25.  You’ll use them again and save a bundle.

Yeah, I know.  I’m a little bit OCD.  But in this case, you are saving yourself some big bucks on items which you’d otherwise throw out, have a variety of wrapping items to choose from in the future, and helping the environment.  Make an effort!   Get a tiny bit organized and tell your family and friends to save the wrapping and bows for you.  You really will be glad you did.

And if you have a bit of time, try making a bow out of a magazine page. 

Happy Wrapping!

 

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