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Unexpected Christmas Carols

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"Pressure. Pushing down on me. Pressing down on you. No man ask for. Pressure. That burns a building down, splits a family in two, puts people on streets."- from "Under Pressure" by Queen,  released 1981


"As I turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat, this wind is blowin' my mind. I see the kids in the street, without enough to eat. Who am I to pretend not to see their need?" -from "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson, released 1987

Those don't seem like joyful Christmas songs, now do they? But hang in there with me.
I have a plan.

How about the old classic "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"? That song was not written from a cheerful time or place.

According to Wikipedia, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem "Christmas Bells" in 1865, which was the basis for the famous carol.

Longfellow had been grieving the loss of his wife, who had tragically died in a fire in 1861. He also had been shaken when his son …

Scary Campfire Story

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Isn't it interesting how one little thing can trigger a very old memory? Then a chain of connected thoughts often follow. Oh the wonders of the human brain and emotions!

My friend and I were recently discussing our gardens. He said that badgers gather in his every night to dig for roots and worms to eat. He sent me a couple photos of them.
I was immediately transported back to my childhood in New Mexico- the first time I went to Girl Scout camp.

I was in third grade. Our group of 8-9 year olds arrived about 4 pm that early summer's day. It was just the beginning of our 24-hour stay in the beautiful wooded campsite. It was located on a few acres of land that had been donated by a nearby dairy farm.



That was the first camping trip for most of us. It was certainly the first time to have such a daring experience without our parents. So exciting and a little scary!

A couple of minutes after our school bus entered the gates of the campground, the twelve (or so) of us were startled …

Wardrobe Malfunctions and other Humilities

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I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I felt so embarrassed for the man who was giving the seminar. His bright red polo shirt was certainly attention-grabbing! Especially the part of it that was sticking out in front, through the open fly of his khakis. It was like a little crimson flag.

My husband and I were like two children being naughty in class. We were whispering and giggling "I don't think we will remember much of what he is saying!" "Someone should tell him!" "Don't stare at his crotch!"

The poor man did fix his problem after he finished his talk, before he started the question and answer time. I wonder how long he had cringing nightmares about that experience? Hopefully, it became a funny memory for him eventually.

After grocery shopping last week, I noticed something dark on my peach shirt. Eyeliner! It was at the top, a few inches below my chin. No big deal really. I just didn't like the thought of running around the store for…

Love Showed Up

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The tiny, hunched-over, age ninety-something woman was struggling. She had some food in front of her, but couldn't eat it. She needed assistance.

That was a scene I'll always remember from my brunch date with my husband last Sunday.

My heart had been heavy that previous week.

First, a child from our area had tragically drowned on Memorial Day. I didn't know her or her family, but the news of her loss was all over the local news and social media. I had been reminded daily of the shocking sadness.

Then we all learned that more innocent lives were destroyed in London. To be honest, it was upsetting, infuriating and depressing, but not shocking. Then I thought "This type of horror happens so often that we aren't very surprised by it anymore!" Dismay. Double-whammy!

On top of  all that, I was carrying the burden of a grudge around with me. I knew it wasn't good for my health, but I just wasn't ready to lay it down yet. That's not tragic, but oh, what …

Passionate Word Nerd

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The little red-haired girl (not Charlie Brown's crush) woke up about six every Saturday morning. Although not fully awake, she would pitter patter to the bookshelf, collect all of her Dr. Seuss books and put them on the bed. Then she would prop her pillow up against the headboard, get back into bed and pull the blankets up to her waist.

The wee reader would lean back against that pillow, get comfy, then place the stack of books on her lap.


She'd breathe a contented sigh and think "No school today! Hmm,which book do I want to read first? 'Hop on Pop'? Maybe 'Are You My Mother?'". Her favorite one was 'Fox in Socks'.
She was in first grade.

That ginger child loved school and was always a good student. Well, that is if you don't count Math. For some reason, reading, spelling and writing just came naturally to her; but division, fractions and algebra were often a struggle.

She would dream of what she wanted to be when she grew up. She was jus…

Murphy's Law Babysitting

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The tiny dark-haired infant was cold and wouldn't stop crying. She had a soaking wet shirt and needed her diaper changed. The poor child was very hungry too...

You might think that this two month old girl had been neglected. But she was in that pitiful condition because her grandmother was babysitting her. Wait! That doesn't sound right! Especially since that grandmother was me.

I'd happily accepted the opportunity to spend time with my youngest grandchild that evening. I had stayed with her only one time previously. Everything had gone very smoothly that first time. In fact, I loved it!

Baby R. was sleeping peacefully in her little portable bed when I arrived. I just watched her doze. What a gorgeous child!

She started stirring a little after about ten minutes, so I went to prepare a bottle.

There were many clean bottles and nipples on the kitchen counter. No problem. There were a bunch of short fat ones and one tall skinny one. I assumed that she usually used the short…

Should we all just become Nudists? Part 2

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If you are reading this, you are on social media. You probably watch TV too. It can get so discouraging to read and hear ugly attitudes being spewedtoooften! Criticisms about appearance, clothing, social status. intelligence level. The self-appointed judges usually hurl those rocks at people they don't even know personally!
Forget politics for a minute. I'm just talking about day-to-day life stuff.

Here is a true (supposedly) story I read recently on a discussion forum. The woman who shared it said that she and her female friend were waiting to be seated at a restaurant. She heard someone behind them say "Oh &*%#! We will be here a while. It will take a lot longer for fatty and gimpy to get seated!" Yes, he was referring to her and her friend. In her post, she acknowledged that she was a heavy woman and that her friend was using a walker. They ignored the man, but she was suppressing the urge tell him off. She wanted to inform him that she'd been recovering …

Should we all just become Nudists?

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I'll bet my title got your attention, didn't it? What is Di up to now?

I've been thinking about judgment for a long time. I've been considering how we all judge others but we hope that others won't judge us.


It's fairly normal to make assumptions about people based on what we initially see, read or hear about them. We do this before we know all the facts. That doesn't necessarily make us bad folks, but I think it's important to stop and realize that first impressions might be inaccurate.

You've probably heard the saying "Never assume, because when you do, you make an ass out of u and me. 




I watched a lot of TV when I was a child. Like many kids, I thought it would be wonderful to be beautiful, rich and famous someday!

When I got a bit older, I realized that even beautiful celebrities committed suicide sometimes. I don't know why that realization is such a significant memory to me, or how old I was when it happened. But it just struck me th…

Just call me Mama Duck

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One time there was a crazy woman who took seven little girls and one boy to a theme park, without any other adults to assist her. The youngest child was a toddler, the oldest was about thirteen. A few people watched the procession of tots with raised eyebrows.

The looney lady thought "I'll bet they think all these kids are mine!"


(Most of them resembled each other quite a bit, after all.)

But she didn't let it bother her; she laughed it off. She didn't have time to worry about it anyway, because she had to do frequent head counts of her touristy munchkins.

That daunting but fun excursion happened about seventeen years ago. The children of various ages were my six nieces and my two kids. The adventurous aunty/mommy was me!

When I look back on that day, I think we resembled a group of ducks waddling (?) from one exhibit to the next, Mama Duck led the way, little ones in the middle, older kids at the back, helping keep track of the ducklings.

I've always loved …