Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are we all sleep deprived?

Happy new year?
Never before has a year gathered such bad press before it even started.

Recession, falling houses prices, financial scandals and bailouts, rising food prices, wars and conflicts... 2009 is set to be a gloomy year with not much to celebrate. But, perhaps we do have something to look forward to - New resolutions, hopes and dreams?

Let's make positive New Year's resolutions.........

I have turned off my TV and my radio! When the media starts reporting positive news- I will reconsider. I have made a choice to stop listening to negative news and instead remember the power of positive thought. The problems will work themselves out and we have plenty of great minds working on solutions. We have to BELIEVE. What other choice is there?

Think seriously about the statements below:
Anxiety and fear
strips away courage and makes great accomplishments impossible.
Doubt makes even the best decisions feel difficult and causes procrastination.
Anger rips your focus away from your goals.
Frustration can only serve to make you give up!
Guilt makes it impossible to enjoy any successes you achieve.The negativity surrounding us is creating panic! This anxiety, fear, doubt, anger, frustration and guilt is a choice and we can collectively choose to change this thought process- beginning right now.

As we come to the end of the year, I have made a resolution to...........Spread cheer—and do it every single day! Smile at strangers, hand out compliments, ask how someone is doing and really mean it.

What are you expecting or looking forward to in 2009? Please share it.

I'd like to wish you, your families, friends, partners and loved ones a SAFE, happy and healthy New Year. Greetings all!

We all should be familiar with the Serenity really does speak to us now.
God grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change, the courage
to change the things I can, and the
wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 The last night of Hanukkah and other holiday traditions .....

As I get ready to light the candles on my menorah for the last night of Hanukkah, I am sitting here thinking about past holiday seasons. This year I have given much thought to the past. I suppose because of many factors. It was a tough year personally for my family with the loss of my dad and illness of my mom. The economy has affected us all in different ways. And mostly for the first holiday season that I can recall, I have not had any plans to spend the special days with family and friends due to geographical and other issues. My one daughter and her family were with me for a couple of days and we did celebrate the lighting of the Hanukkah candles, eating a big meal together and the cooking of the traditional potato latkas....yummy.

727 Morton Avenue, Franklin Square, New York ( Nassau County on Long Island)

This is the house that I lived in from the time I was 4 years old until I moved out at age 18. My parents never did celebrate any of the holidays and no holiday traditions were ever established here. I think this is the reason that when I left home and had the opportunity to establish my own family traditions I happily did so. I always loved decorating, cooking, planning and having family and friends around me.

This season I did not put up my main /largest holiday tree, or several others that I typically get out. It gives me the opportunity to take out all my stuff that I have collected through the years and enjoy. I had my doubts as to how I would feel about this. I did however decorate my home in several areas, my chandelier, my mantle, lighted reindeer and wreaths outside at the entrance to my home and a small counter tree decorated with my kitchen theme. When I first found some little tea cup ornaments about 15 years ago, I found myself going back to purchase them after the holidays when they were on sale. And thus I created a kitchen tree to display them on in following years.

Here is my kitchen tree this year on the breakfast bar with my Santa music box.

This close up will show the types of ornaments that are displayed on this tree.

Look closely and you will even find the traditional Christmas fruit cake! I do not know anyone who actually likes to eat fruit cake however.


As I recall this is the second tree that I had. The first couple of years I had real trees, but could not find a clear photo of it. I remember in December of 1965 when Denise was just a couple of months old, closing on my first home in Holbrook, New York and pulling up to our new home with the real christmas tree on the roof of the car. This flocked tree was cool to me back then. Today I look at it and say uggh, what was I thinking. Those are some ugly window treatments, arn't they?

A couple of years later we still proudly displayed the flocked tree. I wonder if those are balloons in the back ground. They could be exercise balls but I don't know if they were around way back then. I made the outfits that myself and Denise were wearing.

Here we went to a larger tree, I think this again was a real one and Carrie is here with Denise. Back then I always saw that they got lots of things to open even if it was "under wear" and other necessary items. I was giving my girls what I never did have growing up. Several years I worked for a company that was a toy manufacturer. Those years there were lots of good surprises like the 2XL talking-walking robots.
This photo may be out of order because there is that hand-me-down yellow fake leather sofa that we had again.

Me and my girls, under one of my really tall and real trees. Some of them were so tall that it would take 2 pictures, one of the bottom and one of the top to get the whole thing. I can remember going to the tree lot as soon as the trees were delivered. All the trees were the same price, you picked one but since they were really cheap, and this was a "no-service tree lot", you never got them unwrapped or standing until you got them home. Some years, we did get some trees that were tall with fat trunks but not so nice when they were stood up. Sometimes we had the train set set up around them but always lots and lots of presents. Oh by the way we always lit the Hanukkah menorah and got stuff then also.

Looks like Carrie and Denise had some happy times, fond memories in the making and the start of their own family traditions.

One year I sewed and sold holiday stockings at arts & craft festivals to make some extra money. This huge stocking was custom made for someone. But before I turned it over to him we all took turns getting into it. That was a good time. This was in our home in Holbrook New York.

Some smiling faces.......this is what the holidays are all about.

Carrie, Samantha-our first standard poodle, my mom, Denise and Pogo. My girls were never deprived of pets. We always had a menagerie and I guess I still do as an adult.

Several years later when we moved to Atlanta, Georgia. This was our first apartment there.

Another holiday season in Atlanta, I can honestly say I don't know who the first girl is, maybe one of my girls will remember. Look at the hairdo on Denise. I think that was our phase when we had the "big & curly" look...yup me too.
Here I am with my curls. I did always love my rockers, I don't know what ever happened to that one.
My 2nd standard poodle, also named Samantha. This was in our first home in Central Florida. Boy that dog just loved the holidays. I still remember that when the stockings got hung up she would be right there. From year to year Samantha always looked forward to her holiday surprises. Samantha you were a girl after my own heart, I will never forget you.

If you stuck with me with my reminiscing, I hope you found some enjoyment. Perhaps this will help you remember some of your holiday moments from the past. I sure do.

Holly Hobby, where are you today?

Going through old photos over the last several days, reminded me of the Holly Hobby phase that my daughter Carrie went through. She loved everything Holly Hobby...........and everything was Holly Hobby. If you asked her today about her love for this popular rag doll as a young girl, she might remember it differently.

She had the entire family of dolls, a handmade quilt, a treasure box etc. She even liked to dress like Holly.

This made me curious as to what ever happened to Holly. As I explored this on Google, I found that Holly Hobby has made a come-back.

Holly Hobby Rag Dolls Return

Holly Hobbie is back, eager to make new friends and rekindle fond memories with old companions. Her charming gingham and calico patterns, and the timeless wisdom of her sentimental messages hearken back to simpler times and the enduring values of hearth, home, and friends.

Holly Hobbie is an American icon. Originally launched in 1967 by American Greetings, and by 1975 Holly Hobbie rag dolls outsold Raggedy Ann dolls five to one. In 2005, American Greetings and Nickelodeon partnered to re-launch the classic Holly Hobbie.

Holly Hobbie has recently been revived by American Greetings in association with Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, in the form of Holly Hobbies great-granddaughter that shares the same name as the original. This new Holly Hobbie stars in Holly Hobbie and Friends - Surprise Party an animated DVD, the first of a planned series. The DVD was released in March and also had an airing on Nick Jr. in February. This new Holly Hobbie shares the same values as the original, but instead of a blue prairie bonnet, printed dress and gingham apron, the new Holly Hobbie has been updated to wear an oversized baseball cap and jeans.

For anyone craving the original Holly Hobbie, Marie Osmond Dolls has just released two dolls styled after the original. Her Holly Hobbie collector's doll had its debut on QVC on April 17th. This doll is 15" tall and made of porcelain. She is limited to 5,000 dolls and has a suggested retail of $49.99. She comes dressed in the traditional bonnet, print dress and apron, and granny boots.
Marie Osmond has also released a Holly Hobbie greeting card doll, in association with American Greetings. This doll comes in a book-opening window box with an ode to mothers on the inside lid. The doll is only 7 inches tall and wears a pink printed hat and dress with simple white apron. She is carrying flowers and has a porcelain head and hands. She has a suggested retail of $24.99 and will appear in both card and doll stores.

So this research proves my theory.....if you keep anything long enough, it will make a come back. Carrie, I wonder what ever became of your Holly Hobby things......and I also wish I had them today......even if only to satisfy the ebay market for those that are looking for the original real thing. P.S., I can't remember the name of the dude on the poster on the wall, in the photo but you had a crush on him big time.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa baby left me a Santa dollar.....

Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning finding a dollar bill neatly left under the remote control for my TV. I picked it up and wondered where it came from and then noticed the center photo....none other then Santa himself. I wondered about this and asked several friends that I spoke to if they had ever heard of or seen such a thing.

I like to "pretend" that I believe in Santa and all the magical happenings of the season.....just because I want to harm done. After all, if we don't have a dream can our dreams come true?

Late yesterday afternoon, I found out that the dollar bill was mistakenly left by David my 5 year old grandson who visited. Oh well, for a moment I had my dream, and now I know about the Santa Dollar.

Santa Claus' face on a real dollar bill. Genuine, legal, bankable, and spendable, the Santa Dollar Bill makes a great gift. Crisp new bill comes in an attractive and engraved gift envelope with holiday greeting in festive green and red. Great stocking stuffer. Available at various retail locations. My Santa dollar I found out came from Publix Supermarket.

"The Santa Dollars, which will be sold at Publix supermarkets until Christmas Eve, raised close to $40,000 last year. The dollar bills cost $2.50 each; a dollar goes to Abilities Foundation, a dollar to the purchaser and 50 cents to printing, promotion and other costs. Publix gets no money".

Santa Baby , one of my all time favorite holiday songs.
Eartha Kitt (1927-2008)
Eartha Kitt, singer of the Christmas song "Santa Baby," died on Thursday, Christmas day, at the age of 81.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Will You Merry Me?

Could have been titled: Will You Marry Me? or better yet Will You Marry My Family?

I just loved this movie, but I must premise it with the fact that I am a really big "sucker" for most of the holiday movies.

"Will You Merry Me?" premiered on Saturday, December 13, at 9PM (ET), featuring Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me") and Cynthia Stevenson ("Men in Trees") .

Rebecca and Hank/Henry are from very different backgrounds. Hank is mid-Western, Christian and corn-fed. Rebecca's a sophisticated Jewish city girl. As Christmas approaches, Hank pops the question. Rebecca says yes, and the two couldn't be happier. But the road to happiness will have some potholes. First they must meet each other's families. And, it's time to meet the parents during two important religious holidays, Christmas and Hanukkah. Not only must this couple go through the natural anxiety-filled process of meeting the in-laws, but they also go through the stress of immersing each other into two very different families, with very different holiday traditions.

Up to their eyeballs in conflicting family holiday traditions. This movie will be on again on USA network on Thursday, December 25th. at 7 PM. What a fun family movie, in the spirit of "Meet the Flockers", to watch on Christmas day evening, or make certain to set your recorders and Tivos if you can not watch it then.