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Top Five Seasonal Pet Peeves

Top Five Seasonal Pet Peeves

EarlyXmasTreeIt’s the day before Thanksgiving and my seasonal pet peeves are already brewing for another year of total annoyance.

1. Early Christmas trees.  Give the pilgrims a little respect, after all, nearly half of them died on the Mayflower and once they were here, they suffered through hunger and a harsh winter to settle in the New World.  Thanksgiving and the pilgrims should be treated as more than a toll booth to Christmas.

2. Christmas sweaters.  Stitching’s of Santa Claus, gift boxes with red bows, bells that ring when you walk and outlines of candy canes all blocked off in perfect symmetry on top a boxy cardigan is a major fashion don’t, even for ugly Christmas sweater parties. Christmas sweaters of all shapes and sizes are just ghastly and I can’t take that much ugly and ill-fashion sense for 25 straight days.

3. “Holidays” – Just say what it is and don’t be so lazy and lump them all together as “the holidays.” Say Christmas, Hannukah, Thanksgiving, whatever it is, just call it what it is, and forgo political correctness.

4. Shopping and Travel News Reports – It’s the same story every year. Interviews of people so obsessed with a bargain they skip Thanksgiving dinner and camp out in front of Best Buy for the door buster $100 computer. This on top of the media’s hype of Black Friday, Cyber Monday,and the constant predictions of how good or bad the season will be for retailers never offers new insight. I’ve not once heard of a retailer report that they exceeded their Christmas sales targets. Every year, retailers have “disappointing sales.”

In the same vain, travel news. I’ve heard those all before too.  The lone reporter standing at  DCA, reporting that “it’s the calm before the storm.” Really? It’s that way every day at US airports. Road reports don’t fare better. Gas continues to be expensive and the fact that more or less people are on the road than last year is of little interest for those that do drive to their destination. I say, “so what?”

5. Around the clock Christmas music. How many renditions of Silent Night and Santa Claus Coming to Town does one need for 24 hours a day 7 days a week from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and for some beyond Christmas Day? A Christmas carol thrown into the everyday mix adds that special blend that you can only get at Christmas. Too much of one thing and we don’t appreciate it as much. Again, the over indulgence of American society.

Small things add up

Small things add up

I like to think that with each year we accomplish something. It may not be the grand plans we set out for ourselves on January 1st, but if we take a few minutes and reflect, we’ll find that we achieved something in our own small way. After all, the small things add up over 365 days. And though for 2012, I didn’t do exactly what I set out to do in January, I can peacefully say, I tried.

As for the things I did accomplish:

– Added 2 more countries to my “I’ve been there” list (Germany and Austria)
– Made my own Liesl costume for TSOM sing-a-long (Note: I’ve never sewn clothes before)
– Managed to live 7 months & counting without a car
– Extended my “I read that” list by 10 books
– Supported the arts by attending 3 shows at Wolf Trap, 1 at Kennedy Center and 1 at DPAC
– “Believed in America” by voting for change

2011 Skills, Lessons, and Theme Song

2011 Skills, Lessons, and Theme Song

Before I begin the journey of 2012, I find it’s important to reflect the past year and recollect on both the skills I’ve acquired and the lessons I’ve learned. Both are equally important to me. Skills provide me with the sense that I can do things I thought I couldn’t  and lessons provide me with a better understanding of who I am what I value and the direction I want to take for myself.

New Skills Acquired 

1. How to install a ceiling fan by myself. It’s no easy task and yes, it takes longer than the average 30-60 minutes recommended by the instructions, but it can be done. Now, every time as I’m lounging on the sofa and look up to the ceiling and see the fan  rotating without shaking or fear of falling down, I have a sense of pride for what I can do with a little extra time and persistence.

2. How to sew. Something I had wanted to learn years ago, but never took the time. When I found myself in between projects, I suddenly discovered this was the time I had been waiting for. Only a month after my first class, I had completed over 10 projects, and vowed to make 90% of my Christmas gifts. Again, I love a sense of accomplishment after each project.

Lessons Learned

1. Cherish the past, but don’t go back.  Every moment of our lives, every person we encounter molds us into the sculpture we are today. Once the hammer chips at the clay, there’s no going back.  Love the people you’ve met along the way, cherish the memories, but keep moving ahead and don’t settle for what was once comfortable and familiar. The comforts of yesterday only hold you back.

2. Put yourself out there (sometimes). Okay, so I’m not the best at this, but I’m finding with age that putting yourself in situations to be more vulnerable with the possibility of getting hurt is not all that bad. Yes, sometimes people won’t return messages and they’ll blow you off, but at this point I’m good on my own, so I really just don’t care.

2011 Theme Song

And finally, for the 3rd year in a row, I’ve selected a theme song to summarize the year. This year was tough as it was a very reflective kind of year,  but I believe this one said it best.

Don’t Rain on My Parade

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade
Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade
I’ll march my band out, I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn’t make it
But whether I’m the rose of sheer perfection
A freckle on the nose of life’s complexion
The Cinderella or the shine apple of its eye
I gotta fly once, I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you see,
I gotta have my bite, sir.
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Don’t bring around the cloud to rain on my parade,

I’m gonna live and live NOW!
Get what I want, I know how!
One roll for the whole shebang!
One throw that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target and wham,
One shot, one gun shot and bam!
Hey, Mr. Arnstein, here I am …

I’ll march my band out, I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir,
I guess I didn’t make it
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody, is gonna rain on my parade!



Thanksgiving Thankful List 2011

Thanksgiving Thankful List 2011

Today, I drink mimosas in the morning, order take-out in the afternoon, and quietly think about the past year, the things I’m thankful for. And so I won’t forget,  I take to my PC and write them down.

This year, the list although short, it’s long in quality.

1. My Genes.  I am so blessed to have long and healthy genes. My grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides lived well into their 80’s and 90’s, so I’m hopeful that despite my calendar age, I am not yet considered middle-age.

2. There’s only 348 days until the general election. It’s no secret I’m not a fan of the current White House occupants, but no matter what side of the aisle you route for, you’re guaranteed that every four years you get a new choice. And this year, I’m extra thankful that  there are fewer days than more days to choose new White House residents.

3. A healthy weight. This is a hard one because what woman wouldn’t be happier 10 pounds lighter?  However, when I look at the inside and  my numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, resting heart rate), it’s hard to dispute that the number on the scale, is just that–a number.  And with exercise and a good diet, I can only get better.

4. Nieces & nephews.  Since I don’t have kids of my own, I’m especially thankful for these four kids who give me so much joy without the pain of childbirth.

5. Life. It doesn’t get any simpler than life. I’m very thankful to be alive.


2010 Thanksgiving List

2009 Thanksgiving List

Easter Classics

Easter Classics


I have a better shot at winning the PowerBall than finding a photo of me or my brother dressed in a Halloween costume.  However, on the opposite end of the holiday spectrum, the number of photos of the two of us dressed in our Sunday best for Easter services rivals the amount of dollars circulating in today’s inflated economy.

Here’s a photo from the early years before either of us would whine and complain about how uncomfortable and constricting these fancy, do-not-roll down the church hill clothes were.