Looking for a little help!!

This needs to be short or many more reasons than  can explain at the moment. I’m including a link that will take you to a news story involving a member of my family and how many people on facebook are helping to win a signed guitar for him from singer songwriter Jimmy Rankin.

Family wants to win Rankin guitar for injured man

If you haven’t voted and care to do so. Please check out the link I’m providing. Find the comment posted by Kelly Yeats on December  14 and “like” her comment. So many bloggers and facebook friends,  and many strangers, have already helped out. It’s been great… This is the last day or the contest. We are in second place, trying to keep the whole experience positive and upbeat. Our nephew knows nothing about this yet, and even if  we don’t “win” we are still all “winners”  and I’m sure our nephew will be deeply touched when he learns that so many people pulled together to do this for him.

facebook contest

Thanks so much.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.  ~Janice Maeditere

If you stop by here before Christmas–Merry Christmas.

Enjoy this time with family and friends, and above all do something kind for someone else this season no matter what holiday you celebrate,.

The Night Before Christmas (Bloggers Version)

Yeah, I know, there have been so many versions of this written that it starts to get sickening. But guess what? You’re going to have to punish through another poorly written “The Night Before Christmas”  sort of poem. It was just for fun and really more of a tribute to  all of you to let you know I appreciate your visits and your friendships. I couldn’t possibly mention everyone by name, but I managed to work in the names of some of your blogs.

So here goes…

T’was the night before Christmas ‘round the old blogosphere,
The bloggers were all sleeping; it had been a great year.
By the looks of their stats they were becoming well known,
Their reputations on the internet had steadily grown.
 
But lo in the darkness one blogger was posting,
Someone named Laura, her blogging friends she was toasting.
To let them all know just how appreciated they are,
All her friends on the internet the near and the far.
 
To all of the bloggers who stopped by last year,
Your comments were welcomed, your friendships so dear,
Together we shared, the good and the bad,
The books that we’d published, the spam that we’d had
 
To the ones “Freshly Pressed” your subscriptions were rising,
Not sure how you did it, but I am kind of surmising, 
That word tags and content is what does the trick
To Carol, Linda and Wendy, it was really quite slick
 
To see your great blogs on the “Freshly Pressed” stage,
Was really quite something, you were all the rage,
A little excitement to keep spirits high,
And to make all this blogging stuff feel worthwhile.
 
Here’s to those times when “I know I made you smile,
And to the “five cats” who stroll along the blogosphere mile
While we might not be “Herding Cats in Hammond River,” it is plain
Trying to think up great content sometimes boggles our brains
 
I hope you don’t mind these  “ramblings from the left
Some times I’m “….half awake and sleeping ” and not very deft
But as “A New Day Dawns“, I’ll  still be “Write here, write now
And all my online friends should really take a bow.
 
To those times you might have thought I was “Out of my mind”
When really dear bloggers there is nothing more sublime
Than “Doing the Write Thing” on the blogging scene
Those who post every day, you are really quite keen. 
 
Had it not been for blogging we never would have met
Even  the”Brightest Blue” sky can’t replace the time I’ve spent
Reading Careann’s Musings and the “Cluclutz writer’s “posts,
I have added so many in Google Reader, I’d kind of like to boast.
 
To be sure there are blogging “moments that take your breath away,”
We’re living a”A Life Less Ordinary“, all we really have is today,
To share our thoughts at one moment in time,
I know this poem is bad, I’m just trying to make it rhyme.
 
While some blogs just got started, others faded to the dust
You need to  post in the New Year, oh really, really  must!
For what would I do if you all disappeared?
I’d be all alone in the old blog-hemisphere.
 
So to ALL of you bloggers my hat goes off to you,
There was no way I could fit all your names in, it is true.
Just know in your hearts that this message is for you
So “Unleash the Flying Monkeys” and Happy New Year to you too!
 

So, I promised a poorly written poem and I delivered.

Now feel free to add your own lines in the comment section, use your own name or the name of your blog if you wish  because we could keep this going on forever if we wanted to. Note: I said if we wanted to….. In the meantime I hope you had a giggle enjoy the holidays!

 

The Christmas Tree Owl

So I’m an advocate for thought-filled gifts. Most of you know that about me by now. I long ago gave up being impressed by expensive gift buying at Christmastime. I’m at the point in my life when I’m pretty much able to buy something if I truly want it. I don’t often “want” things simply for the sake of “wanting” but every once in awhile I’ll splurge on something that really catches my eye. Truthfully, that doesn’t happen often. My kids will tell you that. Okay, I do buy quite a few books, but books are a need, not a want, right? See, I knew you’d all agree.

I’m just not a shopper. I don’t particularly like to browse the stores. I like to go with a purpose in mind, get what I want and go home. Not much fun, huh?

Now I’m not for a moment suggesting that everyone should stop buying gifts for one another, nor am I saying that a costly gift cannot be a “thought-filled” gift, because it can depending upon the circumstances. We all know that. There are many things that factor into our gift buying, first and foremost getting something we know the other person would like and want.

I’m no expert when it comes to gift-giving. But one thing  I can honestly say is that the gifts that have touched my heart the most, in many cases, have been quite simple. And cost more in the way of time and consideration than money.

Today, I was unwrapping ornaments and came across this “Christmas Tree Owl” my daughter made me last year, and the little poem that accompanied. (I’ve mentioned that this family is big on writing silly poems.) It is a snapshot of that time and place, and will forever be looked back on with fondness— Miss Charlotte’s first Christmas.

I wonder what memories we will make this year?

The Christmas Tree Owl
 
Twas the week before Christmas, and you can be sure
Things were much busier than ever before.
There was a new baby, just eight months old
Charlotte Rose was her name, as the tale goes.
 
When it came time for bed, she’d hoot and she’d howl
For little Miss Charlotte was quite the night owl.
But sooner or later, not before  nine
She’d drift off to sleep with on final whine.
 
Once all tucked in, then Mommy would act
Working hard though the night on this Christmas gift craft;
A little owl for your tree as your yearly reminder
A sleeping baby, you know, there ain’t much that’s finer.
 
Since it’s Christmas, and we should all be filled with some Christmas spirit, can we share with one another our stories about a thought-filled gift you once received or gave?

I’m Going to be Famous

So, I’m going to be a famous blogger somewhere in the future in case I am not already. So says one of my spam comments the other day.

Hallelujah! It’s a miracle. An honest to goodness miracle.

Here’s the comment in question:

I don’t even know the way I stopped up here, (Hey buddy, I’m asking myself the same thing) however I assumed this publish used to be good. (Used to be good? Sheesh. Maybe “used to” is a good thing in this dude’s world. Did I just say, dude?) I don’t understand who you might be (Oh there are days when I ask myself the same frigging thing.) however certainly you are going to a famous blogger in case you are not already ;) . (Woohoo. dude is certain I’m going to be famous, did y’all hear that? Did I really say dude again?) Sorry for bad English Cheers from India!  (Hey, I can overlook a little bad English, I do with some of my facebook friends, and well, especially since I’m going to be famous and all. But what’s that wink added for, right after he says I’m going to be famous.. He’s being sarcastic isn’t he? Figures.)

Luckily, these comments are held over in the spam queue and don’t end up as actually comments on my blog. Many of them basically say the same ridiculous thing. I’ve been noticing a lot of these spam comments lately. Hey, maybe that means I am famous (in the spam world at least.) I wonder with Christmas coming if the spammers will take a holiday.

How about you, are you experiencing an increase in spam comments lately? Any funny ones you’d like to share? I could use the laugh.

Am I Really Jinxed?

There’s the phenomenon that my children used to joke about when I was sending short stories out for publication. If you want to go out of business accept work from Laura Best. They used to say I was jinxed, and I guess there were times when it kind of felt that way.

Come in a little closer, what I’m about to tell you is not a secret but did in fact  happen to me more than once (okay maybe five or six times to be truthful.) I would receive an acceptance from a literary magazine saying they wanted to publish one of my stories. Great. Woohoo! Music to any writer’s ears. But that’s not where the story ends. Before my work ever had time to grace their pages, the magazine would cease publication.

Gone without a trace…Zippo!

Add to that the fact that my work has appeared in the last issue of about three more literary magazines over the years, and I began to wonder if my kids didn’t have a point.

So it’s no big secret that literary magazines struggle to keep going, and quite often they are forced to cease publication for various reasons. It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless.

I feel jinxed when it comes to blogging sometimes too. I find a blog I decide to follow, add it to Google Reader, everything goes along great, and then all of a sudden the blogger stop posting. Gone without a trace…Zippo!

This evening, as I was catching up on some blog reading, I realized that my Reader has quite a few blogs that haven’t updated for many, many months. It makes me wonder if they’ve abandoned their blog or simply taking an extended blogcation. Life sometimes becomes complicated and blogging simply isn’t an option for us. We can all understand that.

I resist the urge to unsubscribe to these seemingly abandoned blogs because well…they may start blogging again. I’m loyal if nothing else.

Bloggers come and go as do blogs. Usually, we begin a blog with a certain objective in mind. Sometimes we stay true to that objective and never stray far from it, while other times our blogs change, and become something totally different over time. So while I know it’s ridiculous to think I’m in any way jinxed, I’ll keep hoping that some of those wayward bloggers will feel inspired in the New Year and pick up their blogs where they left off.

How about you, has your blog stayed true to itself or has it shifted and changed over time? If you’re a blogger, have you ever abandoned a blog to start a totally different one? If you’ve subscribed to a blog where there hasn’t been any activity for a long time do you unsubscribe or do you stay loyal to the end?

A Recipe For Fun

1.Take three friends

2.Throw in a little red ribbon and a few jingle of bells

3.A trip by car

4. A cup of Tim Horton’s coffee

4.A heaping serving of restoration

5.A ginormous portion of laughter, not to mention plain old silliness

6.Add one author

7. A copy of Bitter, Sweet

8.Good food & good conversation.

Add ingredients one at a time, place inside the most gorgeous Nova Scotia day you can find. Stir.

Here’s what you end up with.

The coffee at the Tim Horton’s might not have been the best (for the love of all that is holy with coffee, get the order right. One black, two cream, no sugar, One cream with sweetener… Gah!) but the rest of the day turned out to be great fun.The ladies in the photo have been friends for many years, but the three of them had not spent time together since the seventies. Talk about a giddy bunch. I suppose that’s to be expected. Once you make it past 50 it takes less and less to amuse you. Having turned 50 last year, my friends can vouch for the fact that I’ll laugh about pretty much anything. But there are worse things, I’ve been told.

After a quick cup of coffee we went off to St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg. It’s hard to believe that this church survived a fire ten years ago. Luckily, there was enough of the building remaining and the determination to rebuild this beautiful centuries old church and bring it back to life. A lot of hard work went into restoring this fine building that was originally built in the mid 1700’s. To attend a service is to truly experience this church to the fullest. I felt as though I was in the midst of a fairy tale as I gazed at my surroundings. After the service which lasted nearly two hours, I might add, we headed off toward Mahone Bay for lunch.

Driving through the town of Mahone Bay is always an experience in itself. Seems as though there is always some festival going on—great for the tourists, you know. Remember back in October when I  wrote a post about the Scarecrows and posted a few photos? If you’ve already forgotten you can check out the post here. Not to disappoint, Sunday was the Father Christmas Festival. Yup,  good old St. Nicholas was everywhere. I have a few photos that I took as we passed through that I’ll publish in a later post. I only wish I had been able to get a few more shots in, but lunch was awaiting us, and well…Lunch was awaiting.

Have you ever had the feeling that you draw attention where ever you go? I just have to say that if four woman with jingle bells tied fast to their wrist with red ribbon..well…can you imagine? Mind you this isn’t something that I would normally do on my own, but…what can I say? I’m a follower, not a leader. Nor did I want to be left standing by a a pile of rocks overlooking the bay. I just wanted to fit in gall dang it all! Which I think I did pretty well. Besides, they struck me as a bunch who wouldn’t hesitate to leave me stranded by the roadside with nothing but the sounds of jingle bells and laughter in their wake. Too late then to remember I’d forgotten the cell phone. Before the day was out I had convinced Doe to take a signed copy of my book home with her to Ontario, making her vow that she would promote this book like it was her very own. (Enough begging and pleading and even the toughest nut will crack.) She finally gave in when I promised to throw in a bookmark. I felt fortunate not to have had to resort to arm twisting, nor was throwing a temper tantrum necessary.. She’s such a good sport. A real dear (or is that deer?) Sorry Doe, I could not resist.

All jokes aside. Thank you Gail, Carol and Doe for a truly memorable day. Here’s to friendships, old and new. And here’s to creating your own recipe for fun.

What are some special ingredients that you would add to your recipe for fun?

The Christmas List

December already and I’m attempting to get my Christmas shopping done. I haven’t yet given serious thought to baking, decorating or wrapping gifts yet, but that’s nothing unusual for me. Eventually everything that needs doing gets done before the big day. I’m not one of those people who thrive on the “preparation part” of Christmas. I want to go into Christmas relaxed and able to enjoy the time with my family. When my kids were small that was next to impossible. Sometimes change is a good thing.
This Christmas there will be laughter, food, gifts, and most of all the laughter. Did I mention laughter? Of right, I did. We’re a pretty silly bunch when we get together. Last year seemed to be the year for poetry as a good many poems accompanied the gifts. I’m inclined to think that, for all of us, the poems were the best part, certainly the part that we remember first.
I always ask my kids to make a list of gift suggestions just to make it a bit easier on dear old Mum. I have a full head of hair and I’d like to keep it that way. My kids all know this list is more of a wish list than anything because I’m not about to try and track down everything on it. Besides, now that they’re all earning more money than me I’m thinking that perhaps I’m the one who should be making up a list. It never seems to work that way though. Ah well, that’s the way.
Last year I shared with you a bit of my son’s list where he claimed to have suddenly gone Atheist and therefore didn’t want any Christmas gifts.You can read a portion of last year’s Christmas list. here. It was a fairly substantial note intended to obviously amuse me, which it did. I’m a pushover when it comes to silly. My kids know it.
This year, after an enormous amount of prodding from me, I received this lovely list in an email which he titled “short and sweet.” I thought some of you might be interested to see what’s on the wish list of your typical 24 year old these days. Hmmm, did I say typical?…Tell me what you think. This is how the email arrived to me. I added my response. I simply couldn’t stop myself.

short and sweet:

-A 1000 pk bag of sugar twin.  (I’m assuming he’s developed a sweet tooth, but doesn’t want the calories)
-A 50 pound bag of potatoes.  (This one really threw me..For the love of God who asks for a 50 pound bag of spuds? When asked to specify, he said he’s partial to Yukon Gold.)
-Nair for men (Is there even such a thing as Nair for men? Okay, this one had me worried a bit. But wait, my mind is telling me he’s been lifting weights at the gym, could it be he’s going to become a body builder? Body builders remove unwanted hair, right?)
-Grecian 5, colour AC242  (I have no idea if this is an actual colour, but me thinks not. I’m sure he pulled that colour number out of thin air.)
-Cardamom— (hmmmm.This is one bachelor who knows how to cook and obviously knows more about spices than his mother.. I had to look that spice up. Perhaps it’s an attention getter, you know for when he invites his date in for a meal he’s prepared. Every woman loves a man who knows his way around the kitchen. Right? But will she even know what Cardamom is?)
-Pickled Herring (I knew  sooner or later there would be something fishy about this list of his.)
-door stops –(Yup, what every young man hankers after these days—door stops.I’m sure there are a few rocks around here that would do the trick. In his spare time he can paint them up and make them look quite nifty if he’s truly ambitious.)
-those little pads that go on your cupboard doors ( .Ah yes, those little pads, the ones my second child chewed off my cupboards when she was a toddler. Apparently, they even lack a proper name ..)
-2, 5 gallon SunSpun oil buckets (Free at the superstore)  (Need they be SunSpun, I wondered? Won’t just any five gallon bucket do the trick? I’m assuming these will double for chairs as well as storage, right? You know, for when he invites his date over a gourmet meal of pickled herring and potatoes that he’s prepared himself. He can even sweeten that dessert he’s making with sugar twin and let’s not forget the cardamom, heavens to Betsy we can’t forget that.)

So there you see what I have to deal with. Although, truthfully, it serves to remind me that we needn’t take life or Christmas too seriously. There are far more important things in this world than wanting everything to be perfect.  Perfection is a façade, something that builds up our expectations to greater heights when really it is the simpler things such as peace, hope,joy and love that we will remember and cherish. Let’s not forget the love and support of family. It won’t be that big ticket item you purchased that you’ll look back on with fond memories, but the happy times that you created with your loved ones near.

Now to get back to my Christmas shopping. Anyone know a good place to buy Yukon Gold potatoes? I SO want to get him a bag just to see the expression on his face come Christmas morning.

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