Sunday, December 31, 2006

time is ticking

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

After all,
do we really have anyway?

Carpe Diem my friends and Have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

rest in peace gentle president

photo--my mother with President Ford in 1966, a Michigan congressman at the time.

Democrats and Republicans all liked him.
He healed a nation by making tough decisions.
He was married to his best friend, Betty, for 58 years.
He was a good husband and father.
He was a man of faith.
He was humble.
He was a politician who told no lies.
He never said a bad word about anyone.
He is the only President from Michigan to date.
He opened Westpoint and the other military academies to women.
He was an eagle scout.
He was a World War II hero.
He represented western Michigan well in the House of Representatives for 25 years.
He was a cheerful man.
He was an intelligent man.
He was a shining example of what was truly our greatest generation.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

winter break at daycare

Well Christmas is over and it was back to work today. B-girl is out of school on vacation but she has to get up and go to daycare while I go to work.

She tried to make me feel better about dropping her off by saying
"at least I don't have to be there as early as school."

I was thinking oh yeah that half an hour really makes a big difference. Right!

Last year I had a better job and was off between Christmas and New Year's but that won't happen again until next year at the earliest when I finally get some vacation time on this job. I do have Monday and Tuesday off for New Year's, so I am grateful about that. Her school doesn't resume until January 8, so she will be in daycare for three days next week as well.

I always feel terrible when these school vacations come because I can't give my kid a proper school break! This is not the first time and I am quite sure it won't be the last. I won't have earned any vacation by Easter break either.

This kid is incredible though. She seems so well-balanced and happy through it all. I admit I exhaust myself spending every waking moment out of work making sure she knows I only wish to devote my leisure time to her.

Sometimes I just want to scoop her up and never let go.

Monday, December 25, 2006

It Christmas Eve, please open this already Mom before I burst.
(the miniature stocking is hanging on the tree but appears as if it hanging on her ear)

Christmas Morning--Santa filled all the stockings so he's no jerk!

Doesn't this look just say it all?

It's 8 a.m. already. There is no time to get dressed or brush my hair--it is time to get busy making a bear with the Little Lovable Fluffy Bear making Factory that my mother combed the ends of the earth to obtain--only to finally find it online.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 24, 2006

If you've been around for a while

and living in Metro Detroit or Windsor, Canada,

then you'll remember this...

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given..."
Isaiah 9:6
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

There is a Santa Claus

By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897.

(man, they knew how to write an editorial back in 1897!)

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 22, 2006

the office party

I went to the office Christmas Party last night.

Stood at the bar with the backstabbers.

Greeted the wild thing.

Was ignored by the arrogant.

Argued with the liar.

Said hello to the hack.

Enjoyed eavesdropping on the cunnings.

Bid the retiree farewell.

Had fun with the professionals.

Went home with a poinsetta plant.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

all the news
you never wanted to eat

Thank God I was listening to the radio in my car this morning. Imagine if I had not been able to get my share of the daily news! To not be "in the know" could reflect poorly on me.

The big news flash was discussed by the newswoman and the morning deejay guy.

"I never realized that," he said.

"Of course you did," she said. "If not, your wife does."

I started thinking about the Big Story and how it applied to my own life...

Shoppping--unfinished and frustrating. There is not a Little Lovables Fluffy Bear-Making Factory toy in the entire State of Michigan! SantaMan clearly did not understand or care about the violent shaking of my head the other day. I broke down and bidded online, but no guarantee it will be here before Dec. 25.

Wrapping--got to find time to begin.

Groceries for Christmas--still only a dream.

Hair--got to get rid of the roots before I see the family.

Kid--Take her to Breakfast with Santa, shopping, Festival of Lights and Reindeer Day. Two down. Two to go.

Find blank DVDs and charge the camcorder for School Christmas concert tomorrow (no time to take off work, go there at lunchtime to see the B-girl in her first Christmas concert).

Sickness--first the kid, then me, now my mother. Got to fight those Scrooge germs.

Work--extra hours, holiday events in Spin City.

Christmas cards--out late, but mailed regardless.

Decorations--not much except for tree in livingroom and little pink tree in B-girl's room. Candle and angel collections remained boxed this year.

Office party--tomorrow night, nothing to wear.

Oh fiddle dee dee. I 'll think about all of this tomorrow. Got to block it all out of my mind right now. Think! Focus on something else...

Cookies! Co-workers are bringing in home-made Christmas cookies today. Yum.

I'll brew a fresh pot of Java to go with.

NO! Forget about the cookies.

I am strong.

I am invincible.

Oh, who am I kidding?

I am hungry woman.

Back to eyes on the road

Pull into work and park.

Notice I need to fill the gas tank later.

Run breathless into the building.

Thanks for the the big news flash.

Now I am informed.

Now I can rest.

What was the story?

A storm? No.

The national debt resolved? Hardly.

The war ended? Not a chance.

Big news announcement.

Can you handle the truth?

"Studies show--insert drumroll here--the holidays are more stressful on adult women and that may cause them to eat more unhealthy food. "

Newswoman said it, so you can believe it.

And, well, those "studies" they're never wrong ya' know.

Especially the "studies" with no credentials. (the interns are cutting and pasting the news again).

I wonder if they have cookies in the newsroom.

Newswoman continues that "families tend to rely on wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, etc. to make the holidays happen."

Must have been a slow newsday,

because study or no study,



Yes, running into work breathless.


from laughing so hard.

You heard it (with sources cited) here first!

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Merry Christmas from Santa's elves"

My niece Sara sent this Christmas card to me a couple of years ago. I ran across it when addressing my cards for this year. Yes, the old Christmas cards sit along side the old magazines in the cabinet, but I am still getting better at letting stuff go--just not this card.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

B-girl meets Dasher

So it was Reindeer Day at the Petting Farm today.

After standing in line for an hour (which in actuality makes me happy because our office promotes this event) we finally got a photo with a reindeer (and the B-girl's doll named A-girl was there too). The photograph is a Polaroid, so it did not scan as well as I would have liked, but you get the idea.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Blogger friends take note!

Listen friends, I have been to your sites, but I cannot leave comments. Yes that's right, Blooger won't let me!

When I try to post a comment anywhere, Blogger does not accept my password
and tells me it is incorrect, yet it does accept my password for posting on my own blog.

What the heck is up with that?

Apparently someone at Blogger is trying to shut me up!

I am still reading your blogs and hoping this problem will be fixed soon.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

oh Christmas tree

how lovely
are thy

I finally put up this tree Tuesday night. B-girl had fun helping to decorate. This is the latest I have ever put a tree up, but I have been sick with some kind of coughing thing that feels like half cold/half allergies. Well at least the tree is done, and I always leave it up for Armenian Christmas, which is not until January 6, a tradition I inherited from my mother.

Now all I have to do is start and finish the shopping and get these darn cards out. Then I will be able to relax. Ha! No way! I am loaded down at work, and I just got an assignment that has to be completed between Christmas and New Year's. Plus, I took on a free-lance gig, due January 1st. Tis the season to be busy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Diamond in the Rough

Today I carefully put together the gift bag for Diamond, an eight year old girl I have never met. I know her name because it is on the tag I took from the Giving Tree.

The Giving Tree at work was full of tags with the names of kids who otherwise would not receive anything at all for Christmas.

I carefully placed the contents in the gift bag. They included an outfit of navy blue pants with a matching shirt with "sparkles" (the kind my B-girl likes) a pink backpack, a beautiful new doll (what she had asked Santa for) and a little gift packet with lip balm and nail polish for young girls.

Of course I would have liked to have given more but there was a price limit so all the kids would receive about the same amount.

I picked the tag with the name "Diamond" on it because that is the B-girl's birthstone and she is also close to the B-girl's age.

That's where the similarities end...

The B-girl comes home to a warm, clean home in the suburbs. It's an older townhouse, but it is a very nice place where she has her own room.

Diamond is living with her mother in the Emergency Shelter on the eastside of Detroit for who knows how long.

The B-girl wrote a letter to Santa with a pretty long list of toy desires and I e-mailed copies around to family members who always get her more than she needs.

Diamond told a shelter worker that she wanted a doll for Christmas.

The biggest stresser B-girl has is mustering up the patience to make it till Christmas morning to open gifts.

Diamond is living in difficult circumstances that often cause stress on children.

I am sure there are many more differences that I am just not informed enough to understand.

Diamond will never meet us, because the gifts will be sent by truck, but I hope what little we have done will maker her smile.

Thinking about Diamond reminded about my long list of blessings.

My daughter is safe and surrounded by a loving family.

I am not sure what Diamond's circumstances are, but I know they are of an emergency nature.

My Christmas wish

would be for all children

to feel warm, safe and happy

at Christmas

and beyond.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Here is the snowflake I made today.

Remember those carefree days?


You Make One Too

and remember!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Twelve Days of Christmas

Sara already featured this on her blog, but I enjoyed it so much I thought I would give it some more play. I was thinking about this video today because B-girl is insisting I teach her the Twelve Days song and she is driving me crazy with it! I find this version much more tolerable.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

card gone postal
I received this in an envelope from the post office. Strangely, it was sheared in half where the return address, on the card's envelope, and the signature of the person sending, on the card itself, should appear.

If you sent this card to me, please let me know! By the way, this card is prettier than it looks here. For some reason, the gold foil scanned as black on my system.

Here is the letter I received from the Postal Service...



I wanted to extend my sincere apology for the enclosed document that was inadvertently damaged in handling by your postal service. (as long as nobody got hurt)

We are aware how important your mail is to you. (if only I knew where it was coming from)

The United States Postal Service handles over 202 billion pieces of mail each year. While each employee makes a concerted effort to process, without damage, each piece of mail, an occasional mishap does happen. (the only time we play with the slicer is on the midnight shift and, well you know, that crew can get a little carried away)

We are constantly working to improve our processing methods so these incidents will be eliminated. You can help us greatly in our efforts if you will continue to properly prepare and address each letter or parcel that you enter into the mailstream. (oh sure project the blame on me--I haven't sliced up any mail since I got that Dear Jane letter from that spoiled rich kid in college who drove a Porsche and didn't think my Pontiac was good enough)

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding and sincerely regret any inconvenience you have experienced. (something like this could knaw at my obsessive craw for years until I find the sender--who will pay for my therapy?)

SR PLANT MANAGER (who forever shall remain nameless)

PROCESSING AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER (ha. we could be located anywhere in the world, so you'll never be able to find us!)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

So, thanks to CPAMom I have been tagged with the "weird" meme. I would like to say something sarcastic about now but I am too tired.

According to the rules...Each player of this game starts with the "6 Weird Things about (insert blogger name here)". People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog!"

So here ya go...

Six Weird Things About MSUgal

1) I fake Optimism. If you are a casual acquaintance who knows me only through work or larger circles, you probably think I am one of those always smiling, happiest go lucky people in the world. Recently, when I called and left a message for a colleague, his secretary asked me if I was the one who comes into work smiling and saying "good morning". I quietly admitted that was me. Truth be told, I don't see the glass as being half empty or half full. It's a glass and there is something in it, therefore both the glass and its contents have purpose, so why bother dwelling on it?

2) I can be a misfit. When I go to a gathering and five guys are in the livingroom watching a football game and five women are in the kitchen swapping baking recipes, I want to watch the football game! I enjoy football, hockey, basketball and baseball. In my desperate attempts to fit in, I will sit in the kitchen with the girls and talk, only to find myself running into the other room every time I hear loud cheering.

3) I have been known to forget where I am going. I can be immersed in thought or conversation while driving and miss a turn...or two.

4) If I like a movie I can watch it over and over and over and over...and over. I can probably recite the scripts to some of them. If it is a funny movie I will laugh every time I watch it.

5) I have difficulty parting with magazines. I keep stacks of them around thinking I am going to read them again. I hide most of the stacks but you can easily find them in drawers and cabinets if you look around. I keep what I consider graphically pleasing publications, including magazines and coffee table books, out as table decoration. I am getting better these days. I used to keep many more magazines than I do now. Having a daughter--and more stuff--helped curb some of my magazine problem.

6) I am in a state of age denial. Sure, the maturity level is there--oh who am I kidding--and my body knows I am fortyplus one or two--unfortunately--but in my spirit I am probably about 30.

Now who to tag? Let's give it to some people you may not know. How about:

1) greenpiece

2) Lisa Goldstein

3) GrimRealityGirl

4) T-Fab

5) Jodi

6) part 1 Kellerbell

6) part 2 Sara (for some family fun!)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

baby come back

Should I say out loud how much I miss you?

You blew into my life like a warm breeze and it was then that I was content.

We started out room temp and heated up quite nicely together.

Things got really hot and I liked it that way.

I relished in it all…

The sun-drenched days and moonlit nights.

Then, out of the blue, you left.

I knew that night when I looked for you and you were not there that I would
no longer be seeing you around my place.

I added an extra blanket to my bed to absorb the shivers at the thought of losing you.

Without much warning you were gone.

Gone to be with somebody else in a completely different hemisphere.

But I am cold and weak.

You and I both know that when you return I will welcome you with open arms.

My heart longs for you now.

Season of Summer...

please remember my love for you

and hurry back to me quickly

before my memory of you

is frozen stiff!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

my first Christmas card

I love Christmas cards. All the women in my family love Christmas cards. They are just part of the whole celebration.

Was I surprised when I got my first one on Thursday, and the B-girl was on the front! Mrs. S. is a great teacher. She took 26 pics, sent out these cards to each student's family and she asked all the kids to keep her secret. B-girl didn't say a word until it came . When I told her our first card was from Mrs. S. she said "Mom you have to open it there is a surprise inside."

Nothing like a goofy pic of your kid in a silly hat (to add to her powerpoint at graduation). It's not the best photo, but it makes me smile. This will go in "the collection."

Last summer when I was off work for a while I cleaned out many closet shelves. I forced myself to throw away some Christmas cards, but I could not part with many of them. I still have boxes of them. I like to look back and remember Christmases past. I am planning to post some of the best ones if I have time. There is nothing like a hand-written Christmas card.

Now I know the e-mail cards are cool, but what happens if you lose your motherboard? They are gone forever. More importantly, they are not hand-signed. A person's handwriting is a reflection of their personality. I get a few e-mail cards each year and they are nice but the handwriting makes a difference to me.

Since B-girl was born I have been sending out those photo cards. I will definitely post some of those, they are adorable! I am not doing the photo cards this year. I want to send out regular Christmas cards, but I will include school photos for family.

The trouble I have had, in some years past, is picking out the right card. I am very selective about the front and the sentiment. I was shocked that I didn't find any I liked at Bronner's when we were there in August. It often takes me a long time to find cards I that suit me.

Not long ago my sisinlaw blogged that is was a bit sad to see the decrease in number of cards sent out each year. I completely agree. It's a great feeling to get cards from family and friends. Not only that, but it is a Christmas tradition that is hundreds of years old.

My mother always sent out Christmas cards. She is 79 and told me yesterday she has half of her cards done and intends to finish on Monday. Her hands are shaky, but she is still writing out her cards. My mother, in her typical fashion, asked me this weekend, "When are you sending out your cards?"

"When I find them, " I replied. Now I have to step up my card quest to avoid a daily rerun! I will hopefully get mine out soon (once I find them) and I hope my daughter will send out cards when she is older. I am glad that traditions hold places of honor in my family.

I received some more cards on Friday and Saturday and they are very nice, but I have to admit, this first one made me laugh!