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Top 10 for 2011






My top 10 for 2011


(10-2 are in random order,
but #1 is #1)




  • #10 The assortment of
    people I have gotten to know



                   
This year I have expanded the people I
know. Most are very different from me and somehow it doesn't matter.


Variety is the spice of life.
This is the honest truth. I've gotten to know people who are in different
professions, different tax brackets both higher and lower, happy people, angry
people (avoiding these people), active people, inactive people (avoiding these
people too) optimistic people, pessimists (avoiding these people). Whenever I'm
around someone who is nothing like me I sure do learn a thing or two. Sometimes,
it's about them, sometimes it's about me. I am and probably will always be
fascinated by people. I hope to introduce you to some of them this year. I must
say the people who have touched me the most are the artists. I use that in a
broad, sweeping way.  The painters, the musicians, the athletes, the
writers, the singers! They deserve their own slot, so on to number 9.




  • #9 Ruby The Red Jeep



I love my Jeep! She has
opened up a whole new world for me. If I didn't have responsibilities or
obligations I would hop in Ruby and embark on many back road journeys. I would
invest in a state of the art GPS system and have at it. I would drive all over
the place and meet people around the country, up in the mountains, at the
beaches, everywhere. Since I do have obligations and responsibilities I vow to
get in her as many times as I can throughout the year and explore the pacific
northwest. There is so many places to see and so many interesting people to
meet.  I'm hoping to introduce you to more of this region this year. 




  • #8 The Massage Industry



Massage has changed my life.
I know it's a late in life career change, but I've always been a late
bloomer.  This career allows me to have work which not only provides a
living, but I can make a difference in people's lives. That's important. That's
another thing I never paid attention to earlier in life.  I'm paying
attention now. Also, for the first time in my life I'm working for myself. It
has been/is still scary, thrilling and each day I wonder if I will be able to
continue doing it on my own. Guess what? I am! I am doing it and I am the boss
of me. Guess what else? I'm working harder than ever and loving every minute of
it. The beauty of this transition is I realized if I put all my energy and focus
into attaining a goal, it will materialize. One way or another. Trust me it aint
easy sometimes but hey I'm employed and I'm a shoe in for employee of the year!


#7 Bravo TV


I admit it, I love Bravo TV.
The Real Housewives Franchise used to be my favorite, but not so much anymore.
In the beginning I loved how they showed their opulent homes
,
extravagant vacations, lavish parties and all that free flowing money can
provide. Then after a couple of seasons they became ugly. Trailer park girls
have more class than these ladies. If I want to see a bunch of cat fighting, I
will go hang out or work at a place with a bunch of women. O.K. I may be
generalizing somewhat, but you get the picture.  So, what do I still love
about Bravo TV? I love Top Chef. I love Top Chef; Just Desserts. I love Chef
Roble` and Co. I love the Millionaire Matchmaker. I love Watch What Happens
Live. What other talk shows have a drinking game? I have to admit though Bravo
better step it up, because I also love Gold Rush. Flying High Alaska. American
Pickers. So, in 2012 I say see ya later housewives, you have worn out your
welcome.


#6 Facebook


What can I say, I am so happy
Facebook is here. I have reconnected with family that I haven't seen in years
and some I really never knew. I love seeing how they are living and seeing how
they are doing and realizing much to my surprise how different we are, yet
really alike.  I love reconnecting with people I went to school with. Some
I didn't know that well then, but I'm getting to know now. My high school years
were not the high point in my life. I was on a real live Gold Rush on the S.
Florida Klondike, aka, the north parking lot of Atlantic High. You might say I
had gold fever. Nevertheless, I snapped out of it a million years later. Now I'm
happy, healthy and thriving. 


#5 Washington State and the
Pacific Northwest


I love my new home. I miss
Florida, but it's equally beautiful here in a different way. It's my hope to
introduce you to the beauty and adventure that's out here. This kind of
coincides with #10 and #9. Can you see where I'm going with this. My ultimate
desire is to show you all around this area through pictures and writing. I have
to start thinking of what I will do after massage don't I? I made a career
switch once and now I know how easy it really can be, I just may give it a try.
Ha, when I  wrote that sentence the Mary Tyler Moore song came to mind:
We're going to make it after all! That's really showing my age isn't it?


#4: KXLY Christmas Wish


There is a local radio
station which provides help, gifts, and a ton of support at Christmas time to
people in need. The first of December they start showing up at the recipients
job or houses with whatever they need most. It is touching and makes you believe
in humanity. When I first moved up here in 1995, they helped me and it changed
my outlook on life. If you want to read about it here it is.  http://thewritekelly.livejournal.com/22884.html
Every year I try to support it whenever I can because I know it's important and
it really matters.


#3 Good Books


This is kind of a no-brainer
and it's on the list every year. I don't know what this world would be like
without stories.


#2 Artists


"Let each man
exercise the art he knows" Aristophanes


"I merely took the
energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues" Duke Ellington


This year more than ever I
have been honored by meeting many artists. Painters, Musicians, athletes who
have taken their skills to breathtaking levels, writers, photographers 
just to name a few. You all know who you are.  Please know every time you
share your passion and continue to grow in your art it touches people. It's
true.  Especially when you put your soul into it, it changes lives. It
shows we are not alone in our struggles, triumphs, adventures, loves and vices.
It matters, so keep on creating. I hope in 2012 I will be able to introduce you
to some of the amazing people I know who live, love and breathe their art.


#1 My Family


I'm happy that I finally am
starting to realize you don't have to do every thing on your own or by yourself.
Family, both blood and hand picked make this life worth living. I told you I'm a
late bloomer in everything, so I'm probably preaching to the choir, but
sometimes people take a long time to learn. I thank God everyday for my husband.
My only regret is not meeting him earlier in life, but I guess that wasn't the
plan. My life, like everyone's has it's ebbs and flows, but I really think my
ebbs are like the dairy queen commercial says, "I don't have ebbs, I have
ebb-er-frickin'-neezer-ebbs! Maybe that's why I love the flows so much. They
sustain me through the ebbs, and my husband too.  I'm grateful for my sons
who provide me with ebbs and flows. I'm grateful for my sister and my niece and
nephew. I'm grateful to my family I'm reconnecting with even if it's only via
the internet. I'm thankful for my sisters who I grew up with in Sand and Sea.
They are still in my life and wow, who could ask for more?  Me, that's who
and I'm gonna go after it with gusto. I wish you all a Happy 2012 and I hope
it's filled with good health, happiness, much success, and adventure!!!










Thanksgiving

 Today I am grateful for my family. 

Time is of the essence


Time is relevant.

It was during a grueling sprint in spin class when I realized ten seconds is a lifetime. I might possibly die in ten seconds. My legs pumped and pumped but time stood still. It was after I survived this torture that a new challenge came along, the twenty second sprint. This vicious cycle repeated itself over and over for thirty minutes. Thank God the music was rocking or I might not be here. Now, I’m no math major, but I can tell you if ten seconds is a lifetime then twenty seconds are two lifetimes and thirty minutes is an eternity. Oy Vay!

Later in the day my stomach grumbled from the morning workout. After the class I rushed home to get my son ready for school, then showered so I could get some work done. Time is a smart ass now.It was the same 60 seconds that equals a minute. The same sixty minutes that equals an hour. I can't keep up. Why can’t this be my sprint? So, no time for breakfast.

I warmed my lunch up in the microwave for a minute. Again, time stood still. My stomach was still grumbling and the seconds just wouldn’t move. Then it came to me, I should be grateful and thank my lucky stars that soup warming up time isn’t sprint time. I would be dead.

Football time is slow. Microwave time is slow. When you are a teenager waiting to turn twenty one time drags on and on and on and on, but the minute you hit the magical adult years its warp speed from then on out.

What about family? There’s never enough time and some occasion’s time can’t fly by quick enough.

If I were to confess to regrets it would be not spending enough time with my parents who are now gone. I will wait a lifetime to see them again. I wish there were more time, sprint time, not aging time.

Let me leave you with a quote about time:

What time is it?

Time for you to buy a watch!

Hahahahaha…sorry, it’s timeless.

See you next time.
Kelly

Turkeys




“I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country….The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.”   Benjamin Franklin
 
Yesterday I told you about the duality of snow and ice which I both love and hate.  Today, I want to tell you something I love about the Pacific Northwest.  Turkeys! They are everywhere. They aren’t just in the woods they are in the neighborhoods, behind strip malls and the other day at my bank.  I was going into the lobby of my bank and as I neared the front door a turkey walked right by me. He came from the drive-thru area and went into the beautifully landscaped lawn of the bank.  He wasn’t scared of me.  Heck, he didn’t even acknowledge me. He has no use for money, he is looking for food.  I don’t think he knows it is Thanksgiving week either.

I remember when we first went up to our property in Kettle Falls, Wa. It’s a little town in the north east corner of Washington, not far from the Canadian border.  It’s my family’s paradise.  It’s the woods. Well, for the longest time I never saw any turkey there, but when we would get to town I would see these birds walking around neighborhoods. If you ask the people in these neighborhoods, they aren’t very happy either.
Quoting a lady I know. “They defecate everywhere! They tear up my garden and they are loud!”  My sister says the cats in her neighborhood follow them like they are some kind of Pied Piper.  When I went to check on her house while she was gone, I saw two on top of her bird bath. They looked like a statue.   They were squawking, “Calgon take me away!”, because November is a rough time of year for them.

Now, we see turkeys at our property all the time. When the boys are in the tree stand waiting for bucks, the turkeys come in the daytime and eat all the corn the feeder spits out for the deer. Well, they don’t care who it’s for.  My husband and son then start throwing things at them to get them to leave. They don’t. 

I decided to go sit in the stand while the boys took a rest.  I sat in the stand waiting to see all these turkeys they see all the time and all these turkeys the trail camera captures all the time. Nothing.  I sat there for a long time and nothing.  I don’t understand it. I am up in the stand with a camera not a bow and arrow. I come in peace. Sheesh.  After awhile I was bored, depressed and cold waiting for the turkeys. Then all of sudden out of the corner of my eye I see this huge butterball floating down high from the trees.  It frightened me at first because I thought it might be a hawk.  It wasn’t a hawk but it did mirror Batman coming in to save the day. 
This is exciting! I felt like a photographer from National Geographic.  Now, that Batman turkey arrived I was waiting for the rest of them to show up. I waited for Robin turkey, the townsfolk turkey, the Joker turkey, Poison Ivy turkey and the ever so famous butler turkey Alfred Pennyworth.  I didn’t wait for Cat woman turkey because I knew she was at my sister’s house.  They never showed.  The gift for me that day was one gorgeous turkey. 

Did you know that in animal totems the Turkey is the gift of give away, shared blessings and it teaches you to share what you have with others who have nothing? It’s a noble bird, maybe that’s why they’re referred to as the Earth Eagle.  I love this bird and since I don’t have a garden for them to trash much to my neighbor’s dismay they are welcome to come eat at my house, but I hope they don’t show up this Thursday.  We are taking them up on their offer of giving of themselves with a side of stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy!

Ice, ice baby

The snow was falling and the roads were icy. These two acts of nature delighted me and scared me. The beauty of fresh snow reminds me of coziness, warmth and an easy Norman Rockwell way of life. The ice reminds me that I have to get in the car and drive. I've lived in this snow globe of a state for sixteen years but every single time I think about driving on ice my tropical upbringing takes over. I get scared. One thing which helps me over come this paranoia is snow tires.

This morning I was headed to the gas station to get the warrior snow tires put on my Jeep. When I went to get in Ruby, she’s my red Jeep; I saw a tall praying mantis running down the road. This tall form with her hands held in a proper praying mantis pose headed my way. The closer she came the more she looked like Olive Oyl from Popeye. Those long lanky legs flying everywhere and are running on my icy, slippery, I’m going to slip, slide, twirl and wreck and possibly kill you road. My first thought is what in the hell is she doing? My second thought is I hope there aren’t more like her out there when I get behind the wheel?

It is a brisk, sunny twenty-five degrees out and she is running. Why? Her form is a combination skating stride and a marching movement. Speed wasn’t her strength but her form was consistent and she’s not falling down. The tale of the tortoise and the rabbit shot through my mind as I became hypnotized by her boldness. I slipped twice just walking to my Jeep. My form was not as graceful but I was faster. Hmph, take that Olive Oyl!

The closer she came the clearer I saw her face. She was smiling, no she was beaming. She wasn’t smiling at me because she didn’t even notice me. She was running outside and nothing else mattered to her. Pure joy radiated from her. I imagined she didn’t care the conditions were treacherous and I was about to get behind the wheel and drive on the frozen slip and slide. I imagined her happiness came because she wasn’t on a treadmill inside but outside reveling in her passion, no matter what.

No matter what! I like that idea. I would love to tell you I’m about to taking up running, but that’s not happening even during the most perfect conditions. I can tell you that I will make a better effort to find and live my passion no matter what the obstacles are. Yeah, no matter what.

Thanks lady.

Ebelskivers


I hate shopping. I do. It’s not that I don’t like buying things for family and friends, it’s because I hate being in stores around crowds of people. Then there’s the elite group of folks during the holidays. They snarl. They drool. They take off their spanx for extra bulk to assist them in pushing your ass out of the way to get to the stack of Chia pets.

Watch the news the day after Thanksgiving. At first you think you’re watching a war ravaged third world country. These folks wake up early on purpose to let out their inner swine. Don’t even get me started on the state of the union for customer service. It’s ugly. Ooops, sorry this isn’t a rant. If it was I would include the cattle that are infected with mad cow disease disguised as shoppers in Costco. After standing in the middle of the aisle chewing their cud they snap. It’s like the running of the bulls in Pamplona. You mean nothing if you are standing in the way of the troughs manned by ladies with hair nets. The dry triangles of raisin toast are the equivalent of waving a red cape. No, this isn’t about that at all. Let me take you to my shopping happy place.

Last year the planets must have aligned in just the perfect manner because I willingly and with a hint of a smile went Christmas shopping. I decided to go to Riverpark square in downtown Spokane. When I walked in a school band was playing Christmas songs. They were very good, even the tuba player. The mall was a perfect winter wonderland. There were millions of happy kids standing in line to see Santa. There were lots of people in the mall but it was like I was witnessing a Christmas miracle. Everyone was pleasant.

I made my way to Williams and Sonoma. I hesitated a moment before I went in because it was really crowded and the store isn’t too big. The sales lady wearing a festive apron invited me in. She smiled. Not only was she happy and smiling but the shoppers were happy and smiling. I heard excuse me’s. Thank you’s. Merry Christmas’s. I even heard please’s. Wow, this is weird.

The whole store was perfect. I hung out with the twelve days of Christmas plate collection envisioning my Christmas duck resting on the main platter. I’ve never, ever cooked a duck, Christmas or otherwise, but today in this store it was possible.
What really caught my attention was the Ebelskivers. My son Noah was on a pancake kick and I thought this was perfect. I decided right then to embrace my new Danish heritage. We Danes have a lot of rich traditions and I would like to share them with you. On Christmas eve we dance around the Christmas tree singing old Christmas songs before opening presents. The next morning, Aksel (Noah’s name needs to change of course) would come into the kitchen with me while we prepare our holiday Ebelskivers. After our traditional meal everyone heads into the living room in front of a big stone fireplace with a fire crackling listening to music while big flakes of snow fall in front of the picture window.

I didn’t buy the Ebelskiver pan that day because after all I was shopping for others. I did however get the gift of a beautiful shopping trip and a stroll down a fake memory lane. Imagine what life would be like if I actually bought it. Maybe this year, just maybe.

If'n


If'n I were a normal person while making serious decisions I would make a list of all the pro's and con's then make a decision. Choices are great, but dang how do you make the choice. I cook. Eat and cook some more.

If'n I were to go back into the restaurant business (I'm not), I would buy this building and turn it into the corn-hole-in-the-wall or The Cornholio! You see while pondering my future I'm in the midst of perfecting a corn bread so spectacular that all old school southern goddess's would bow down to me. Oh, yeah it's that good.

If'n I were to open The cornholio, I would only open five days a week with one dish a day.

Monday: Cornbread and chili. Meat or vegetarian.

Tuesday: Cornbread and pinto beans: For the meat eaters I would throw ham hock into the beans.

Wednesday: Cornbread and fried chicken.

Thursday: Cornbread with corn chowder.

Friday: Cornbread, catfish and grits.

The only problem with the future Cornholio is, it resides in the parking lot of Maggies South Hill Grill. It's been here for a bit and I've heard it's pretty good. Still, there is no competition between an exquisite cake of corn. If'n I do say so myself.

If'n life didn't keep throwing decisions disguised as rocks at me I wouldn't be faster at making choices or better at making corn bread. Practice, practice, practice. Trust me, I've come a long way baby.

If'n I were to put it all out there, will I bounce back like past life altering choices?

If'n I filter this anger about being forced to make a choice, will it save me from pain or just prolong the cornbread business?

If'n I don't go to the store we won't have anything to eat at all.

On my way to the store I made a mental shopping list of all the Memorial Day sales, hot dogs, buns, baked beans, chips and pop. Corn meal isn't on sale but I better pick up a box just in case. When I pull up to the store I see the troops selling the red poppies for the veterans. You know the ones you hang from your rearview mirror. Seeing these troops put everything into perspective. They fight/fought for my freedom. The bravery they possess while protecting my country and my rights allows me to be a little bit braver in making a decision, even if it's the wrong one.

If'n I don't make a choice soon come visit me at The Cornholio. Mention you read it on The Write Kelly and get %10 off!

Happy Memorial Day.

In Search of Norman Rockwell

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“One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things”
Henry Miller

Wanderlust is a fierce broad. Yesterday, she grabbed my arms and shook me. Hard. Then she twirled me. She demanded my attention, and well, she’s a beefy gal. So, whatever she wants, she gets. Believe me when I tell you I was happy to indulge her. An attitude adjustment is just what I needed.

Recently I’ve been talking to a dear friend of mine who moved to a small town deep into the Palouse, home of the amber waves of grain. She told me if I had a GPS there are back roads that take you to her house. Along the way are some small towns to check out. Well, hells bells, I don’t have a GPS, a roadmap, or really a good sense of direction, but I do have Google maps. I wrote the directions down on a neon orange index card, safety orange that is and hopped in Ruby to begin my back road adventure.

Doesn’t that sound great? The word back road exudes excitement, adventure and even a touch of wickedness. Although it doesn’t really go with my obsession of Americana I’m off on my search for Norman Rockwell anyway.
It was a beautiful sunny, but cold day. No complaints from me because it’s still February. The fact I’m able to do this is amazing and I am grateful for the opportunity.

The trip starts on I-195 and five miles into the trip I see the big power tower next to a house and barn. Whenever I see those power towers, or whatever they’re called it reminds me of Stephen King’s, The Stand. I loved the movie, but it is one of the few books where I didn’t get past the first couple of chapters. Whenever I see those towers I know I’m on the right path to Mother Abigail’s compound. She represents the free zone, the light and all that is good. The alternative is Randall Flagg, the dark man and all that is bad. So, in my quest for solidarity with the light I took the picture of the compound that symbolizes Mother Abigail. I really need to study the color grey and all its shades.

My exit off the main highway arrives and immediately the road narrows and winds through rolling hills assuring me I’m on the right track to my journey. On the way to Americana I see a few barns. I love, love, love red barns. They are the home to my future horses. They are also the home to my fantasy. When I see them I picture the barn lit up with white twinkle lights and Harry Connick Jr. twirling me around the dance floor. Yeah, I like barns!

The trip is already great and I haven’t arrived anywhere. I’m driving in the thick of the wheat fields, minus the wheat. Even though they aren’t amber yet, they still are a sight to behold. I’m alone on the road with the sun shining through the windows warming me up while country music played on the radio. This is just what I needed.

My turn is coming up and I check the neon orange index card and make a left. About a mile down the road I come to a town called Malden. Hmmm, maybe this is a bonus little city on the way to Pine City. I’m welcomed with a sign. There are some houses along the road and on the other side there’s a baseball field. Build them and they will come. Well, here I am. There’s also a basketball court and a few metal pieces of playground equipment. Where are all the kids? This area begs to be played on. Bikes should be thrown on the ground for an impromptu baseball game. Then I remember, it’s February, but the sun is shining. Where is the town folk? I pass by the maintenance shop. I think it’s closed down. That always makes me sad. Then I see the post office and it looks like the Caboose Tavern didn’t make it either. I follow the road and something doesn’t seem right. After I pass by a house with the Masons symbol on it I double check my directions. Hmmm.. Let me see if one of these roads carries me on to where I’m headed.

I drive on the one road I think would lead me out, but it leads me to more houses. I have to put my camera down now. I didn’t feel right taking pictures here. These folks are struggling. This isn’t the Americana I was searching for; unfortunately this is the America that’s unfolding. I wonder where these people work. Are they agriculture workers? Do they commute to Spokane? Colfax? Pullman? I don’t know, but this little town tugs on my heart.

I turn around and head back to the post office. When I walked in the lady behind the counter was talking to a man. They stopped talking and just looked at me. I suppose unfamiliar people don’t just wander in here often. I told them I was lost and looking for Pine City. I even showed my directions confirming the fact I did have a plan of sorts. When they realized I was lost they warmed up to me. They told me I should have turned right instead of left. I wanted to ask them a bunch of questions, but it didn’t seem right. I’m sure I spread a little joy by showing my index card of directions. Dad gum city slicker. Does anyone say city slicker anymore?

I circled the town one more time and took a picture of the post office. If you search Malden on the internet that’s the picture you will see. There isn’t a whole lot of information about the town other than the census figures and they seem pretty bleak. Maybe I will come back in the summer and see if I can find someone to tell me the story.

Ruby and I get back on the road and George Strait is telling me I could be in Amarillo by morning. That’s a thought. I wonder what shape Amarillo is in. Not today. Today I’m headed to Pine City. I go back the way I’m told and pass a farm with cows sunbathing. I’m not the only one indulging in this rare sunny February day. They are also indulging in a mud bath.

Right around the bend is Pine City. Well, I see the church she’s talking about and a grain elevator. A couple of really big grain elevators and that’s it. This little city doesn’t have a store or anything to be closed. It’s very pretty out here and I would move here in a minute. I don’t see anyone around here either. Where are all the people?

On the road again and it’s time to go backwards on my neon orange safety directions card. I’m headed for a town called Rosalia. I find my way back to the interstate and head south. The town greets me with a sign boasting 627 residents. They also celebrate battle days the first weekend in June.

I drive through the town and pass this cool looking house. The open crow’s nest appeals to me. I wonder if it’s where the army lookout would stand when checking to see if the Yankees were coming. Oops…that’s a Florida thing. Yes, even to this day in the south you will hear someone refer to a northerner as a Yankee. Alright, it’s the lookout patio for the bad guys. Again, I really do need to embrace shades of grey. But, black and white is so much simpler. Isn’t it?

I spy a coffee shop and that’s where I’m headed. I park the Jeep and a teenage girl comes running out of a little alley. A minute later a car pulls out and the driver (mom?) yells at her to get in the car. Well, this is a scenario which could be played out in any place and any era. Only in the pioneer days, mom is yelling at her to get in the horse buggy before she gets scalped or killed by the damn Yankees from the north east. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

The bell rings when I walk in the coffee shop and seven of Rosalia’s 627 citizens are in here. Seven old John Deere dudes are sitting at the table with three different conversations going. I order a 16 ounce mocha and pay $3.50 for it. Dang, would Norman Rockwell dish out that much cash for a cup of joe? I sit on a couch near the old timers and I’m not disappointed in their conversation.

I am disappointed that I wasn’t there earlier. They seem to be winding down their social time. I did catch a little bit of history from one of the guys who carried on just like my granddaddy used to. He was professing that times were simpler back then and now you had to rev up to maintain. I almost spit my coffee out when he mentioned something about Facebook and all that bullshit. Little did he know He would be my most interesting subject appearing on Facebook today.

A few minutes later they headed out and so did I. I wanted to get some pictures of the town. It seems I’m playing small on this trip. I’m not doing my best to take pictures that will capture the essence and I didn’t get involved in conversations with these folks. Maybe this was a trip to just enjoy the sun and this beautiful area I now live in. It’s all about experience.

As I head out of town I notice this no stop light town has three churches. What? Are you kidding? 627 people and three churches? This is either a very righteous town or a town full of heathens. Maybe they subscribe to the theory of competition where each preacher is doing their best to entice the flock to his pasture. I don’t know, but this is another clue that I need to come back and find out the real answers.

Well, if anything I consider this a day well spent. I can’t wait to visit more of these places in the northwest and like the quote above says the journey is about seeing things in a new way. It saddens me to see the demise of some of these little towns and maybe on my little adventures I can find some way to help by telling their story. I want to know how they are surviving. I want to know how the towns were at the best of times. I’m not discouraged, but encouraged by the light. I’m still in search of Norman Rockwell. Mother Abigail would be proud.

My Favorite Christmas Shows.

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It's the most wonderful time of the year.....for watching television. These are my favorite Christmas shows in no particular order.


White Christmas: How can you not fall in love with a movie produced in technicolor and VistaVision? This movie is a classic because of the many different messages it spreads to the world; music heals,friendships endure, love prevails, and eating disorders have been around for a long time. Have you seen the teeny-tiny waist on Vera Ellen? Poor Rosemary Clooney she couldn't take it any longer so later in life she ate her. Never mind about that, it doesn't really portray the Christmas spirit. What I love most about the movie is it's philosophy. It's a belief I've had all my life. When things get rough and you need help....put on a show! Maybe, just maybe that's the answer for our struggling economy.

The Preachers Wife: Lord have mercy, but this is the best Christmas movie soundtrack of all time. Whitney Houston is joined with the Georgia Mass Choir to bring the steeple down. There are two types of music which always fill me with happiness unleashing tears of joy: Christmas Carols and Gospel music. This movie has both and did I mention Whitney Houston can sing? I wish she would go back to her musical roots.

The movie is great too. The reverend is losing faith and prays for help. His prayers are answered in the form of an angel named Dudley. All the problems are worked out in the end, even the town scrooge played by Gregory Hines comes around. The whole cast is perfect. The movie ends with the best version of Joy To The World ever sung. If the Christmas spirit doesn't consume you during this song and you aren't standing up in your living room singing along, check your pulse. You might be Jacob Marley, dead and shackled by chains. Not Bob Marley, dead but a reggae legend.

Smokey Mountain Christmas: I don't care if this movie is cheesy, it has another singing diva, Dolly Parton. Hey, Whitney and Dolly both sang I Will Always Love You. They are divas. I like the music in this movie, but I really love the cabin in the mountains. It's perfect, it's one of my many dream homes.

There are cute orphans, a scary smokey mountain witch, paparazzi on a donkey, and a mountain man aka The bionic man. If you remember I have a connection to him, if not you can read about it here. Another happily ever after story.

It's A Wonderful Life: What a gift to see what the world would be like if you weren't in it. I'm gonna get preachy for a second, but wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone had this opportunity? If everyone knew just how important they were and the ripple effect our actions caused would make the world so much better. End of sermon. It really is a Wonderful Life.

A Christmas Carol: I love every version, including VH1's A Diva's Christmas. One of my favorite versions is Bill Murray's Scrooged.

This is the story of redemption. No matter how much you suck, you can always turn your life around! I love Dickens England almost as I love the mountains. I don't know what it is about this time or place, but it's magical to me. God bless us, everyone!

The Nativity Story: The story of Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus. The original Christmas story.

Elf: This is a fun movie filled with Christmas Joy. I love Will Ferrell in this role. My very favorite part is when he bursts into the meeting his dad is having with the midget. He's twirling and chanting, "I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!"

I have a thing for twirling. You can't be angry, bitter or unhappy if you're twirling. Don't believe me? Give it a shot. If you're reading this odds are you are probably alone at your computer, so get up and do a few twirls. If this doesn't make you smile or feel good inside, again, check your pulse. You might be Jacob Marley, dead and shackled by chains. Not Bob Marley, dead but a reggae legend.

Home Alone: This was a great movie. It had action, comedy, and Christmas spirit. It's also one of my dream homes. One day I will do a movie dream home list. Oh yeah, and keep the change ya filthy animal!

Miracle on 34'th Street: I believe. I believe in miracles, but I really, really believe in Christmas miracles. One thing I know for sure is the house I live in is on 33rd. It's not quite a Christmas miracle but there was definitely divine intervention in bringing me and my husband to this house. My life changed forever with the words "sold" on the for sale sign.

There are so many more I could go on and on and on.

Here's a short list

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Christmas in Connecticut. (both versions)

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

A Charlie Brown Christmas.

The Santa Clause.

Every Christmas movie ever made.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

10 Random Things

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1) The Jeep wave: I was told about the Jeep club before I bought Ruby my red Jeep Wrangler who I love and adore so much by a fellow jeep owner. This club was unknown to me. What happens is whenever you pass another jeep they do the one finger lift wave. It's true. Although the other Jeep models don't seem to be active members. It's wrangler to wrangler.

2.) When my puppy Goldberg has to poop he engages in the most amazing arch I have ever seen. He contorts himself into a giant horseshoe. We then refer to him as David Archuleta.

3.) My birthday gift is on it's way. A Kindle. I have mixed emotions. I am going to love having books at my disposal at any given minute. I'm scared that I"m going to have books at my disposal at any given minute. My friends who I give books to when I'm done are going to be bummed. Have no fear, I still have a bunch of unread books ready to share. I wonder if this is the upside to e-books. They are cheaper, but you don't really share one book among 10 people.

4.) My husband and I go on these great walks on the way to the park. During these walks we see what we like and add it to our ever growing design of our future home on the mountain. To date some additions to the design are a large crows nest, a long mud room, a garden room surrounded by windows, not to mention the king sized jacuzzi bathtub, and floor to ceiling stone fireplace. The planning stage is the best part.

5.) I still think it's funny when somebody slips on a banana peel and falls.

6.) My husband and son took up bow hunting last year. This year he installed a trail-cam by the tree stand. I can't share the pictures with you under the law of hunter man. The location is top secret. I can tell you the sightings have been great. There have been does, fawns, bucks, bear, and turkey. It's like our own little National Geographic show. Don't worry, they aren't very good hunters yet, so no animals have been harmed, just fed.

7.) I'm still having a love-hate relationship with myself over the Real Housewives show. I hate myself for loving them but I just love seeing the houses they live in. I have house envy.

8.) I heard awhile back about a strategy for boosting sales in stores. They rearrange where products are so you have to search for them and stay in the store longer, plus seeing other items. I'm here to tell you I hate that. I know my neighborhood grocery store so well I make my grocery list by the aisles. This keeps me loyal. When and if a store rearranges things it's my cue to check out other stores. Or, if you sell me green ham I will never shop there again. This strategy:FAILURE!

9.) I love my newly purchased rice cooker.

10.) The receptionist on the show The Apprentice. What a great job. She sends the contestants into the boardroom and gives the appropriate pity look to the fired one as they make their way to the elevator as well as maintaining the busy look. With the exception of the fired contestant talking about their experience on the show, she is the last face you see. I wonder if she is really a receptionist for the Trump organization or an actress getting into the business with this little resume' booster?