Monday, September 24, 2018
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Neither my husband nor I had ever put on a yard sale. A Singer treadle sewing machine (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Our friends do. Some friends shop at yard sales nearly every weekend. But, we don’t. This weekend was different. We were in Hogansville, Georgia, where my parents-in-law lived for more than forty years, disposing of the last of their household goods. My sister- and brother-in-law had put on a yard sale a few months before to dispose of her sister’s things. They had brought what was left, already priced, along with extra labels and yard signs, to my parents-in-law’s house. It was... (Read More ...)

Love Is the Meaning of Christmas. The Littlest Angel. The inscription inside the book reads: “To Bobbie and Carol, from Ken and Jeanne.” The book, “The Littlest Angel,” was copyrighted in 1946. I was born in 1947. Ken was my Dad’s college roommate and lifelong best friend. Since the book’s inscription did not include my younger brother, born just 13 months after me, I must have received it my first Christmas. It is now worn from many readings, many years, and many moves. What Was The Littlest Angel? The story is a familiar, but sweet one. A little boy, taken too early to... (Read More ...)

Georgia. Massachusetts. Thanksgiving. Who Wrote Jingle Bells? Jingle Bells Composed in Medford, Massachusetts Sources agree that James Lord Pierpont wrote Jingle Bells, one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. It was the first song sung in outer space, by astronauts Wally Shirra and Tom Stafford, on December 16, 1965. It is often the first Christmas song children learn. Where Was It Written? What is not agreed on is where Pierpont was when he wrote it, and why. Among his many business endeavors, he became the music director and organist in 1853 for the Unitarian Church in Savannah,... (Read More ...)

Coins. Oranges. Nuts. What Will Be in the Toe of Your Stocking? We didn’t have stockings at Christmas when I was growing up. I don’t know why we didn’t feel deprived.  I don’t remember what other families did, but I had the impression that some families did have stockings and some didn’t. For that matter, we never had a fireplace, either. By the time we got a woodstove, it was one of those contemporary 1950s-style, round woodstoves that, of course, had no mantle. But, my husband’s family was big into stockings. And, there were all sorts of traditions about what went into the stockings. A... (Read More ...)

Cookies. Family Tree. Holiday Letters. Homemade Gifts for Grandma. Cocoa Powder Here are six easy-to-make homemade gifts for Grandma. No-bake Cookies Children can easily make cookies for Grandma, even if they’re not old enough to cook. This is also a good project for older brothers and sisters to help the younger ones make a homemade gift for Grandma. Ingredients: 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) 1 cup dry milk powder ½ cup honey Directions: Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix together well. Spoon out a teaspoon of mixture and roll into a ball. Put balls on cookie sheet. Put... (Read More ...)

Things for Kids to Make for Their Grandparents for Christmas.  Child Pushing Grandmother on Plastic Tricycle Do you remember making things for your parents at school? At Brownies or Girl Scouts? At church? Are you looking for unusual gifts your children could make for their grandparents this year? Here are some suggestions: Things for Kids to Make for Their Grandparents for Christmas   1. Photo puzzle. Mount a picture of the grandchildren with their grandparents, or doing something they love, or of the whole family by gluing it to a piece of construction paper or poster board. Cut it into puzzle... (Read More ...)

Jiminy Cricket. Batteries. Fall Behind. Does Your House Chirp? Residential Smoke Detector Our house started chirping yesterday. “Did you hear that?” my husband asked. “I didn’t hear anything.” Later, I told him that, indeed, our house was chirping He changed the batteries in the smoke detector. Do You Have Crickets We have had crickets in our house before and they chirp. But, we learned after we got smoke detectors that they chirp to remind you it is time to change the battery. How Often Should You Change Batteries? It may be sufficient to change your batteries once a year. Because it... (Read More ...)

I am very angry at my sister-in-law. She passed August 20, 2011. I remember being angry at my father for the better part of a year after he passed. Why did he smoke into his 40s? Why didn’t he find something engaging to do after he retired? Why did he keep taking aspirin after my mother stopped from excessive bleeding? He died of a hemorraghic stroke and was gone in four days, at the age of 72. His father and grandfather had lived well into their 90s. He, my mother, my brothers and I all assumed he would too. I sometimes say he died of boredom. What could he have done differently that might... (Read More ...)

La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California Labor Day Weekend Parades. Picnics. Road trips. Beaches. Shopping Mall. When is Labor Day and how do you celebrate it? Labor Day is today, Monday, September 5, 2011 Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. First observed in 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York, it was designated a federal holiday in 1894. It is observed by all states and the District of Columbia. Government offices, post offices and banks are closed. Traditionally, schools started their school year the day after Labor Day, though many now start in August and celebrate... (Read More ...)

Teddy Roosevelt Saving a Bear. Teddy Bears Get Their Name from This 1902 Incident One of the pillows on the couch at my son’s house is one I made for him more than 30 years ago, out of a washcloth with panda bears on it, red corduroy and red yarn fringe. My other son still has the plush red lobster toy we got for him when we visited Maine when he was 10. One of my grandchildren pointed out recently that I have a teddy bear in every room of my house. One of them is a teddy bear I made for a son that he loved so much he wanted his picture taken with it that year. I had asked him to wear a tie... (Read More ...)