Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

May your toes stay warm and dry,
May you keep a sparkle in your eye.
May you have arms to give you a hug,
May your ale overflow in your mug.

Wishing you happiness, honor and health,
With loads of wonder, warmth and wealth.

Monday, December 25, 2006


The holidays are over for me. We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.
My parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my two nieces, my
great-nephew (one and a half years old) my husband, my daughter and her
boyfriend and myself, eating the same food as every year, picking on
each other, remembering Christmases past and opening gifts.

I always feel sad on Christmas Day. The month long buildup to anticipated
perfection wears me out. I tried keep my expectations at a realistic
level this year and I believe that made a difference to my enjoyment of
the season. Now, I look forward to the peace of January and more free

As I sit in my warm livingroom, with the rain spattering on the roof and windows, I reflect on how lucky I am. I thank God for all of the wonders in my life.

I am off to visit everyone and to respond to all of the wonderful comments on my last post.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Eminence the Very Viscountess Nessa the Corpulent of Yockenthwait Walden
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

This is my official title. Please use it when speaking to me. Libragirl pointed out the site where you can get your own.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gingerbread Houses

Today turned out to be a good Christmas sort of day.

In the morning, my daughter, who is twenty, got up early and helped me do some cleaning.

At noon, my nineteen year niece came over. We went to the grocery store to buy all kinds of goodies; M&M’s, sprinkles, powdered sugar, cake decorations, sugar cubes, cherry licorice. We made gingerbread houses for the first time ever.

I actually supervised and assisted, making royal icing and giving pointers, cleaning up and keeping organized. More pictures of the girls’ houses are at Wings Unfolding. We bonded and reconnected; they have busy lives now that don’t involve me.

This is my logo.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Card Design 2006

I put a picture here. I can't see it now, Blogger is acting up again and it's after nine and I have to get up at four thirty and I'm getting really annoyed, so I'm going away from here for now and seeing what you wrote. If you can see it, well, bully, I say, just bully.

May the Words of the Season be with
You and Your Family through the Holidays and into the New Year,
with All of Our Love!

This is my Christmas card for this year. I make my cards each year, with varying success. If I ever find them in my files, I'll scan some of the ones from years gone by. This card was made on my computer using my cool new pen.

There are some pictures of a Santa I made for my mother several years ago. It was originally in white, but he didn't stand out enough for her livingroom, so he got changed into his red outfit.

And more Global Warming trees. Did you know that temperatures in New Jersey were five degrees warmer in 1971?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Me and My Money

Monday’s always remind me to manage my money (I’m an alliteration freak, because there is also Financial Fridays.) My money and I have always had a love/hate relationship. While never being without funds for long, I have run short due to my poor handling of my money.

In many ways, I am a spoiled little witch. I never lacked for any of the things money could buy. My parents, being WWII babies, made sure that their children would never lack the latest fashion, copious amounts of food, lots of coats and shoes and a trail of useless hobbies. We wanted, we got. The pile around our Christmas tree looked like my mother bought out the entire neighborhood stores. My mother is the Queen of Sales.

This is not to say I haven’t always worked hard. I began babysitting at ten. My first “real” job was when I was fifteen and I have worked steadily ever since. I just always did with my money what I felt like doing. I never budgeted. I never saved.

I have an incredibly lackadaisical feeling about money. I have been known to give my money away before paying my rent because I always knew there would be more coming in. I often ran out of gas because I spent my money on more fun stuff. Most times I just don’t want to think about money.

It isn’t that I don’t know what to do with money. Every job I’ve had involved bookkeeping and now I manage our company’s 401k, payroll and I am training and advising our current bookkeeper. I am good at math. I buy things on sale.

It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I began to take money more seriously, but old habits die hard. What follows are some of my behaviors related to money:

I balance our checkbook in my head.
I pay for everything in cash.
I have coin jars all over my house. Makes me feel safe.
I pick up every coin I see on the ground, even the pennies that are tails up and I thank God every time I find money.
I remember due dates for bills and pay them online at the last possible moment.
If I have to mail a bill, it will be late.
I live within my net pay amount, so I have my 401k and my savings automatically deducted and I never miss the money.
My current car was the only new car I ever owned and I will never have another car payment ever again. Ever!
I don’t haggle over restaurant bills.
I don’t loan money, but I will give it away.

What are some of your Mad Money Mannerisms?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

No, You Are Weirder Than Me

The Swampwitch tagged me several days ago to do the “Six Weird Things About Me” meme.

Here are the Rules: Each player of this game lists six (6) weird things about themselves by creating a post on their blog. Pictures may be used for documentation. On the post, state these rules and then tag six (6) other people by listing their names on your post. Leave a comment at their place that says, "You have been tagged. Please go to my blog for further instructions."

I racked my brains for this one. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am not very weird. I like to play along, though, so here goes:

I always sit with a wall to my back. In restaurants, I make sure I am seated at the back of a table; in classrooms, I sit at the back of the room or at the very far side by a wall; I had my office at work setup so that no one could walk in to my back or side.

I like to own flashy, fun things, such as boas in bright pink or shiny beaded purses, red shoes, feathered fans, etc., but I would never wear them in public, unless it is Halloween or at a Renaissance Faire. At both of these events, I can go quite over the top. In everyday life, though, I dress very conservatively.

My most favorite song in the entire world ever is Amazing Graze played on bagpipes.

I usually read the Harry Potter books twice a year and the movies are often background noise for when I am doing something else or if I have a hard time falling asleep. Harry Potter relaxes me like nothing else; calms my mind; stops the chatter.

Mr. Gilbert lives in my house; I should say he exists in my house. Mr. Gilbert is a ghost. He died in the kitchen. He doesn’t bother us much. He seems to like what we’ve done to the place. He flashes a light occasionally around the spot where he was found in the kitchen. My husband says he just wants a beer.

I project astrally. When I’m asleep I take trips all over the world and out into the universe. I even saw Uranus once. I have done astral projection while I was meditating. It’s kind of like when Casper the Friendly Ghost flies around above the clouds and then comes down to hover over a new friend. People scream when they see me, too.

I never tag other people when I do these, but if you decide to do the meme, let me know, so I can see that you are weirder than me.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday's Shameless Self-Promotion

The wise, talented and discerning Diesel at Mattress Police is having an incredibly erudite contest in which he wants his readers to recommend books for him to read over the next year. He has already gotten many very good suggestions to read books by published authors. I am suggesting he read a new author and get in on the ground floor of a future blockbuster.

Diesel should read my NaNoWroMo 2006 novel Happenstance. While I myself have not read it yet, I do know that it is short so it wouldn’t take up too much of his time.

I suggest you check out Diesel and see what his contest is about.

In other news around the nation (well ok, just my neck of the woods), Quilly has inspired me to get back into my health routine of walking everyday. Fine, the fact of the matter is that I am jealous and not a little competitive and she is a loser. I hope my other health buddy, Jenn is still walking but she is very busy making all of her Christmas prezzies.

And finally, I say global warming is a good thing when I still have roses blooming in December.

Friday, December 01, 2006

NaNoWriMo 2006 - Happenstance

I have posted my 2006 NaNoWriMo novel at Novelty - Happenstance.

Read at your own peril.

I have not read or edited it in any way, with the exception of using the spell checker on occasion. It is broken up into 20 posts.

For those who do not know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it happens every November. People try to write a 50,000 word novel from the 1st until the 30th. The word count is the main goal, because finishing seems to be the most difficult novel writing hurtle. The only rule is you can’t write the same word 50,000 times.

I have told myself each year I would participate, but never got around to it. I’ve never finished several novels I’ve started either. This year, November 1st hit and I committed.

While you are not allowed to start writing your novel until the 1st, you may plan it. I didn’t. I had no idea what I was going to do; I just wanted to be able to say I finished a novel. Now, I can.

What have I learned from this?

I can physically write 1,000 words in an hour. If I learned to type, I bet I could write more.

If you give your characters titles and use them every time, you can increase your word count easily.

Do not use contractions.

Break up all compound words.

Include and describe all meals, dressing routines and throw in a potty break now and again.

If you turn your monitor on an angle, you can write at work.

Repeat the phrase, “I have to write,” to anyone who crosses your path.