Swearing off Cookies

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I couldn’t stop baking cookies over the holiday season. Cheated a bit. Used the Pillsbury rolled dough and the imprinted sugar ones. Still, I had to bake them. Gingerbread’s my guilty pleasure. Top them with some frosting and they’re good to go.

Something about gingerbread cookies and the holidays. People’s eyes light up when they ask, “Are those gingerbread?” It can be turned into houses or men or any shape your heart desires. We go the extra mile on this holiday when it comes to sugary treats.

Flavors of the season…cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, pumpkin…aren’t just ingredients in favorite recipes. They hold memories of our Christmas past like an old friend.  They may fade into the background for the rest of the year but somehow you know they’ll be back.

To everyone who loves cookies…and Christmas, I hope you had enjoyable ones. May the new year find you in good health and be kind to you. Don’t worry about New Year Resolutions or losing weight. That’s what the holidays are for…to cheat a bit on your diet in the company of family and friends. Because that’s what it’s really about, right? Family and friends coming together.

Thankfully, my favorite store-bought dough comes out seasonally. So good-bye, cookies. You made the holidays special. See you next year.

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Santa Daddy

santa-claus-152343_640 My dad always loved to play Santa. Not the dressed up kind of Santa, but the person who passed out the presents and was in charge of Christmas. He started on Christmas Eve when all of my mom’s family got together at our house.

We would have lots of food and a huge bowl of shrimp. One year my cousin and my sister ate almost the whole bowl of shrimp themselves.  No one ever let them forget that.

Dad would always want to get to the presents and we wanted to drag out the gift giving to make it last longer. He was like an excited kid. He would announce who the present was for and who it was from.  Sometimes if we were not paying attention, he would put two fingers to his mouth and whistle. He couldn’t really whistle that way but loved doing it.

Christmas Day, Dad continued to be Santa. When we got older and slept in, he would wake us up. He couldn’t wait to get started. When I was twelve he bought me a stuffed Snoopy dog. Snoopy was my favorite PEANUTS character. I wish I still had that dog. I have bought several to replace it but they’re just not the same.  Another year, when I was in college, I saw a beautiful pink pant suit in an expensive catalog. I wanted that outfit so badly. Dad made sure I got it for Christmas.

My earliest memory of Dad making sure I got what I wanted for Christmas was when I was four years old. I wanted a train. Well, back in the day, little girls didn’t really get trains or supposedly even want them.  Things were more divided – girl toys, boy toys.  Girls were supposed to like dolls and dress up and pretend mommy things. I wanted a train. Santa daddy made sure I got it.

I loved that train and used it throughout my childhood in so many ways. Our dolls took it to school. Three laps around and they were delivered to the door. It was a runaway train that would go so fast it would come off the track. It was decorated with all the trimmings for Christmas. I still have that train.

Santa daddy was good to himself, too. One year he came home with a racetrack just for him. He was a kid at heart.

All of those times seem like another life – another time. My dad passed away at an early age. The family has scattered as most families do. I hope they still remember those special times when the earth seemed to stand still and the happiness of Christmas was in the air. And my dad was Santa daddy.

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Blogging is Hard Work!

 

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Kudos and high praise to the bloggers who keep coming up with great topics and ideas for their blogs. I have to admit at times I draw a blank. And, no, the next sentence of this post will not be “and today is one of those days”.

Instead I want to give a shout out to all bloggers, whether I follow you or not or just read you here and there. Some of you blog daily. High fives to you. Others are consistently clever or funny. I marvel at the ability. I strive for humor once in a great while and hope to succeed.

Then there’s the group who can turn words into poetry or find great quotes to back up their thoughts. I wish I had that talent. I fumble around when someone asks, “What’s your favorite song?” To be fair, I never liked that question. Hard to have just one, isn’t it? But to be able to pull quotes from the air or write like a song is quite a gift.

Another group of bloggers I enjoy are the ones who give advice I’m looking for. Now I know we don’t like people telling us what to do but when you go looking for it…that’s a completely different matter.

I look for writing help, editing ideas, promotions that work and other nuggets that will help me in my writing endeavors. I have a special folder created for all the ones I like and want to read again.

I researched “ideas for blogs” and read all the helpful hints. Stick to popular topics, add categories and tags, blog often. It’s a lot of work. I promised myself I would try to blog once a week when I started. Will I stick to that promise? I’ll try but decided to give myself a break. There’s no real handbook for bloggers.

One thing I can say, blogging keeps me on my toes. Sometimes a phrase catches my eye or I’ll read something in the newspaper or see something on-line and think, “I have to blog about that”. I’ve been introduced to some great blogs from people who follow me. I go to their site and read their posts. So many interesting points of view in our world.

Is blogging hard work? A little more difficult than I first imagined. Will I give up? No, I don’t think so. I see it as a challenge. I’ve met new people through it. I’ve read and learned things I never would have if I didn’t start.

So kudos to you, fellow bloggers. Keep up the good work. Keep writing. Someone might find your blog one day, read it and unknowingly you may help them in some way or make their day.

The Lot is Full

book-67049_1280People are still reading. People are using the library. So many things are going out of style or out of date. Kids hardly watch television and find their shows on-line. They watch at their convenience. Newspapers are scaling back because sales are dipping. Only old people read it…or so I’ve been told. The younger generation gets everything on-line.

So I was very happy to see the library hasn’t turned into a dinosaur yet. I know they have computers and try to stay up-to-date but let’s admit it, it’s a place filled with books. Books! Not much else.

Don’t you love the feeling of stepping into a library? I always considered it a magical place. You go in with high hopes and come out with unknown treasures. If you don’t like one of the gems you picked, you can close it and move on to the next hoping to find the adventure of a lifetime. Nowhere else in the world can you go and get that same experience without spending a dime.

Let’s keep the younger generation reading…for fun. Not because they have to for a school assignment but because they want to. I know there are young readers out there because they blog about books. Young adult is a popular genre in reading.

Life’s at warp speed these days but I have faith in our younger generation. I think they’ll continue the tradition of reading books and supporting their libraries. Libraries may have to continue to change to keep up, adding more high tech advances inside their walls.

Maybe one day a person will scan the walls searching for the perfect book and just hold up their phone to download it. I know virtual libraries already exist and you don’t have to go to the actual place. I use one to check out books at times. But let’s admit it, there’s nothing like walking into the real thing, being greeted by the scent of a good book. Let’s hope it never goes the way of the dinosaur.