I Saw Mama Kissing Santa

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Santa and the Mrs. by the tree

I have Christmas all over my house, even in the bathroom. No room left undecorated.

The woodland forest in the bathroom with it’s pine cone hedgehogs cuties.

While Christmas giving has gone way overboard in some cases and in my belief the true meaning for Christmas revolves around Christ’s love for us, there is the fun side and history surrounding the fat guy in the red suit. So today’s fun story is about good ole Santa.

According to history, in 280 AD they was a young man born to a well off family. They lived in Patara, Asia Minor now known as Turkey. His name was Nicholas. While he was still a young man, his parents died and left him quite rich. But Nicholas was a gentle soul and was aware of those less fortunate than he. So he would secretly give gifts to those in need. Now in research I was uncertain if he was a monk or later became a monk but regardless he was christened as St. Nicholas and was favored by children and sailors. Not sure how all that happened but he was prayed to for safe journeys on the seas with many legends and stories of his help and appearances.

During the 16th century in Northern Europe the stories, legends and traditions became unpopular but they still wanted a deliverer by which presents came at Christmas. So the UK came up with Father Christmas or Old man Christmas and France had Pere Noel. Other countries like Austria and Germany had Christkind which was a baby with golden hair and wings that represented the baby Jesus. Early settlers in the US used the Christkind idea but revised the name to Kris Kringle. Later Dutch settlers in the US combined the old stories of St. Nick with Kris Kringle and he became Sinter Klaas which later became what we now use as Santa Claus.

In the 19th century the poem The Night Before Christmas was written making him an elf with 8 tiny reindeer. Coca Cola has always had wonderful pictures of full size Santa on their cans. asanta coke

This is a very special time of year where good laughter, great love and cheer is spread to all. So in the Ho Ho Ho laughter of Santa I wish you the very happiest Christmas. And in the love of Christ of this wondrous season I wish you peace and good will. I have an ornament on my tree that shows even Santa shows a love and gentleness to baby Jesus.

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Gentleness of Santa, Love of Christ

May you share the gentleness and love of both of these Christmas joys and share them with others through the gift of kindness, the best gift of all.

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A Day That Went Down in Infamy

On February 2, 1941 was a normal day in the USA and a wonderful day for my parents. It was the birth of their 1st child, a sweet girl who grew to learn the salesman’s techniques so well she could have sold a freezer to someone living in an igloo.

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Coolest bed ever to keep mosquitoes out

Ten  months after her birth, on December 7, the USA was rocked by the devastation of greed and destruction from another country who thought this was their path for world power. Why does anyone think this is a good choice to prove their dominance by killing many innocent people.

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Such a waste

We as a nation, honor this Day of Remembrance, those servicemen and women and all current military for the protecting our country. We have many remembrances of this day still sitting on the bottom of the bay floor.

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Evidence of horrific times

If all people of the world would realize the beauty of all of life, of all people and how we could all work together accepting each others differences and how to use them to make this a better world….wow. What a wonderful world this would be. Maybe someday…

Until then, I salute all of our military personal from the USA in hopes that they know how much they are appreciated and hoping that as this season approaches, many of them get the opportunity to get home, if just for the holiday.

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And for other countries military personnel, may you all be safe this holiday season also with a chance to be with family.

If I could have my one wish for Christmas it would be the classic beauty pageant request for world peace, where we all live in love, gentleness and profound kindness. I  am reminded of the wonderful concept of  “RACK” – Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

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As you go through the season remember this concept and make someone smile.

Do You Have a Favorite Ornament?

We have now crossed over to December so it is a perfect time to add more pictures of my over zealous indoor Christmas. I do hope it is not a total bore to you. Since I knew my surgery would prohibit me from decorating in December, I got to get ready by the second week of November. So I have been enjoying my 3 trees already along with my village and other Christmas cheer. I will display some that you may have seen and some new.

The first pic is my tree on the dining room table with my 40+ piece village beneath the tree. The second pic is the tree in my bedroom bump out window. Santa and Chris Moose had different opinions on how to hang lights on the tree. The last one is the tree in the living room.  So you see I have lots of enjoyment surrounding me. Next week I may be walking(sort of) and I will get that small trees up in the kitchen and bathrooms – no room left unattended.  But with all this decoration, is there a favorite? I dunno – maybe each tree has one, but not really. I do know some are favorites as they bring special memories to mind. For instance, my bedroom tree is the fun tree which holds my silly ornaments and ornaments my children made when they were young. Of those my favorite is the clothes pen angel my oldest made when he was 3. (He turned 40 this year) And of course this tree has all the S’more ornaments, over 30 of those. You can see the angel S’more behind Jimmy’s angel.

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The first ornament placed on this tree 

The other 2 trees are harder to find a favorite as they are all wonderful. Each year I  try to find 1 or 2 special ornaments that are different or extra special. So I will give you a few samples from each of the other trees. The tree on the dining room table is all white, glass or silver.

The tree that is in the living room is the so-called formal tree but my idea of formal probably differs from other ideas of formality as I am a pretty laid back type person. Since I was an art major in college, some of that bleeds through on this tree.

As the month goes onward, I will also share my nativity scenes. Yes, there are more than one, not including all the nativity type ornaments hanging on the tree that represent the true reason for the season.

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Even Santa knows that true love comes from the manger

In the gentle  mindset of the holiday season remember the value of being kind. Even Charlie Brown understands the gift of kindness.

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If you have a favorite ornament or like sharing the Christmas decor from your house, do share. I so enjoy looking to see how others decorate. Have a marvelous week.

 

Beauty in Nature, #1LinerWednesday

There are many beauties we see daily in nature that give us a glimpse of what Eden must have looked like. Adam, as he named all the creatures, seeing that some were more beautiful but realizing each specie had it purpose in creation that blended with the circle of life as intended for all to be harmonious with each other. Working together as a unit of divine creation and then….man ruined it. I read an article recently listing the most dangerous creatures in the world and man was listed as one of the worst. How could we,  the beautiful creation that representing God himself, strayed so far from His purpose. But this story is not about what man has done but to refocus back on the beauty of creation itself. Specifically, birds. Since I am somewhat temporarily disabled, my mobility is challenged and I have really become very fond of the birds that visit my feeder.

Yes, even the pesky squirrel is part of nature although neither I nor the birds appreciate his appearance. But the few that I admire the most are the woodpeckers and the red cardinals. With the ground now covered in snow, their bright red feathers really are beautiful.

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Dad and Mom

I had remembered my sister saying that cardinals represented loved ones recently lost but I don’t really buy into that but in research I did find some interesting facts. With cardinals, they are mates for life. They don’t mind the cold weather so that is why their bright red plumage shows up so well against the snow covered trees.

In many cultures they are thought to be messengers from the spirit world. Their bright red feathers represent love, boldness and passion. Their resilience of harsh weather can bring hope for hard times. Cardinals are appreciated as good fortune bearers and they remind the followers of Christ of His red blood that was shed for us. They are also symbols of Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s birth. They bring joy, song, harmony and happiness to people’s homes and lives. I have one that sits on my tree in the living room.

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The cardinal

As you go out in the world, open your eyes to the beauty of creation. Even the tiniest of flowers can bring a smile knowing that God placed it there for you to enjoy.

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Single daisy

And always remember the value of kindness. Like a single bloom that makes you smile, a single act of kindness can bring sunshine to someone’s gray day.

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In following along with Linda G Hills One Liner Wednesday, we add the cute monkey that represents Peace, Love and One Liner Wednesday.

Doors of the Past, Thursday’s Doors and Oblong

Weird title I know  but doors are technically oblong in shape so I am combining two challenges into one. Its fun that way and you get to see more of other people ideas of a challenge. I am reverting back again to old doors, they have so much more character. I am from Ga and I stumbled across a blog about Forgotten Georgia but the site is not just buildings as it cover old towns, graveyards, old bridges and many of those forgotten time that can tell such wonderful stories. I will post a few of my favorites that I saw but check out the site for others. Its well worth the view. I hope I am not breaking the rules as I did not take these photos but I felt the site fit the prompts of the two challenges for today so I am cheating a bit. One prompt was from WoollyMuses in his Word of the Day Challenge – Oblong and the other is Norm 2.0 for Thursday Doors. I love doors as once you go through one it opens a whole new world of possibilities and to me forgotten doors are even more special. I would love to hear them tell all of their wonderful stories. And since I am from Ga (temporarily misplaced in Iowa) I enjoy the Forgotten Georgia blog even more as I know some of these places. Hope you enjoy and visit the blog above.

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The Crescent, Valdosta Ga.

No, this building is not oblong but it does have fabulous doors. This building is mostly round and I spent much time there as a kid for recitals and such. It is currently run by the Valdosta Garden Club. It had to be at the first picture.

 

The Top house is in Bullock Co. Ga., The one below it is in Greensboro Ga.,  the the one to the side is the house I grew up in on Highland Place in Valdosta Ga. That one is not part of the Forgotten Ga. blog, I took it long ago with my little brownie camera.

A few commercial type buildings are the Calvary Baptist Church in Madison Ga., the First State Bank of lake Park Ga., and the old Jail House(1792) of Appling Ga. If you look close, you can see the bars for the upstairs windows.

And here are a few forgotten buildings in various places around the state.

The top is an old homestead and below it an old commercial building. I particularly like the last one, a gas station with an old pump and even an old car.

And in closing I remind myself as all those who read this, remember to be kind. I love the thought of kindness being a rock that is thrown in a lake and creates ripples of love and joy as it spreads to the shoreline. Be someones rock of kindness and spread ripples as you go.

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Colloquialism, A $5 word – #SoCS

Colloquialism is described in Webster’s as a word or phrase that is not formal or literary and is typically used in ordinary or familiar conversations.  That even sounds complicated.

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I am from the south, the true south of the United States of America. And by true south, as explained only by someone from the true south, that means east of the Mississippi River and below the Mason-Dixon Line. While some people feel that part of the country can  be more gentile, they can also be more scrappy than most.

As I have lived in other parts of the country, my southernisms have been known to turn a head or two. Most people just look at you like a deer in headlights. All southernisms are local terms or phrases we use in the south that we all understand what they mean. Proper name for them is colloquialism, a $5 word. A $5 word is big word, a hard to pronounce word, a dictionary looking up word or a very proper word nobody really uses. One of the most famous southernism  we get teased about is a phrase we use that means we are getting ready to do something. That phrase is “fixin to”  ex. I am fixin to get dressed.  I am fixin to cook up a mess of beans. That means I am going to cook a large pot of beans. There is even a certified dictionary for southernisms but I have read some of those and some of those are ridiculousness that somebody just made of to make us look even more silly.

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It’s the way we speak y’all
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The word sugar ends with an “h” in  the south.

Linda G Hill with Streams of Consciousness gave us the prompt for this week of “bone”.  My first thought was fighting words  – huh? When someone ticked you off but yet they were not present, the next time you saw them you would yell across the room “Hey, I gotta bone to pick with you“. Then they knew they were in trouble with a capital T. That phrase may be used lots of places but I know the south does use it frequently. In doing research on the phrase, they linked it to bone of contention going back as far as the 1500 with the idea of two dogs fighting over the same tasty bone.

I gave Mimi and knuckle bone I got from a local butcher and she turned her nose up at it. Guess she is too sophisticated for the real thing and prefers her “chicken bone”.

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Chicken Flavor? Really?

Who am I to judge? She is happy, I am happy. Its all good.

And in closing, I remind myself and others to always be kind. You never know when that stranger may be an angel in disguise.

 

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A Couple of Beliefs? from Old

October is a time when Hollywood throws out all the adrenaline rush garbage of horror movies. Me, I am not a fan but I know plenty who love a good horror movie and Hollywood keeps them coming as they make money. I saw recently on the science channel the stories of mythical beast, like flying dragons and bull/man type animals that walk on two legs.

When we see something we can not understand and try to describe it to others, they may not believe it and mythical tales can begin to take shape.Take for instance the book of Revelation and all the the things John saw that he could not explain easily where the readers would understand what he was seeing. So to some, Revelations is mythical and far fetched in nature. To Christian it is truth and we accept his vision on faith.

I want to touch on two stories that were believed truths of their time that I find almost humorous now due to our knowledge of today. One is biblical and one goes back to the 1400’s  or further.

The biblical story is the Tower of Babel as told in the book of Genesis in chapter 11:4 and it says “Come let us build a city with a tower to the heavens”. Now their purpose of this tower was not to honor God but to honor themselves which then created the story we now believe to be true.

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Babel

Knowing what we learned say 100 years ago, much less what we know about the heavens today, the tower would still be under construction, still not reaching even through the outer atmosphere. The size of the tower would have to cover the entire face of one side of earth and still not be big enough.

Every day we are learning more on how vast space is and just how tiny we are and for someone to think a tower could  be built that could reach the heavens makes me smile. The earth’s atmosphere from ground up is about 300 miles – that would be a tall building. These are currently the tallest buildings worldwide.

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Another ancient story we now scoff at is the theory of the world being flat and if you sailed to the oceans edge you will fall off and be eaten by huge monsters that live there.

Our world is a beautiful roundish ball of amazing complexity created for us to live on. If we were on Venus, we would burn up, if on Mars we would freeze.

What a magnificent blue marble we live on. May we always protect her as I feel she is very angry right now. We have not been good stewards of her beauty and resources.

And in closing I always remind us all the wonderful gift of Kindness. May we spread it like jelly on toast, thick and sweet.

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