Sunday, December 27, 2015

Over and Over Again.....

I suppose that there are people out there who do not eat leftovers. They are the same folks who have probably never worn hand-me-downs or shopped in a second hand store. But, those folks are really missing out on some of the finer things of life.
There is a real thrill and sense of achievement when you find a bargain at a thrift store or even discover a treasure, used of course, at an occasional garage sale.
Having an older sister, I always had plenty of previously worn clothing passed down to me. I probably didn't care for it at the time, but that's what families do to make ends meet. Our children wore hand-me-downs and survived. And today, I am thrilled when my girlfriend "gifts" me with her stylish cast offs. I consider myself very well dressed in her gently-worn presents.
And, I love eating leftovers. Now, that the Christmas Feast is over, we have lots of turkey, dressing, gravy and pie left over. I do not intend to cook a new meal for a week. New Year's Day is soon enough to heat up that old stove!
We will have turkey sandwiches, hot and cold. Turkey and dressing as a casserole and in the end, probably next Wednesday night, we'll wrap it all up with a "turkey refrigerator soup". (That's a soup made of whatever is left in the refrigerator from the previous week.) By the New Year, we will be full and happy and we will consider ourselves well fed.
Leftovers are part of the Holiday!

Great and powerful Lord: We are celebrating the anniversary of your birth, as Jesus. We are coming to the end of one year, in our lives, and entering another. Some things will remain the same and there will be a lot of changes.
Show us how to celebrate the new and the old. Help us to be adaptable. Give us the power to face new challenges and help us to hold on to what has been good in our lives. Help us to embrace our "leftovers".

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Champion Idea

On this day before Christmas, I am thinking about my Holiday Favorites. My favorite drink is Egg Nog. My favorite way to eat turkey is cold slices on buttered white bread, topped off by a slice of jellied cranberry sauce. I love sugar cookies and Rice Krispie Treats.  My favorite pie is Mince Meat.....but I never get any. It's not a favorite at our house.
My favorite Christmas Song is "Here Comes Santa Claus!" (Next year I might write about the ones I can't stand.) I love the verse about " Santa Claus comes to all God's Children, if we just follow The Light. So hang your stockings and say your prayers, 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight".
Gene Autry wrote this delightful song. Gene Autry was a good man, and a good cowboy.
He's also known for his Cowboy Code of Ethics.
Here it is:
1. A Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take unfair advantage
2. Hew must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him
3. He must always tell the truth.
4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. He must help people in distress.
7. He must be as good worker.
8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
9. He must respect women, parents and his nation's laws.
10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

Let's all try to be Good Cowboys in 2016.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"A Little Bit More."

Just a week ago I was silently congratulating myself on how far ahead I was on the holiday preparation. Now, on the night of the 15th of December, I am wondering how could I be so far behind?
We have only a few presents bought and wrapped. None of the baking I had planned to do is finished.
I haven't made up the spare bed. The groceries haven't been laid in. Nothing is done!
Granted, the tree is up, the outdoor lights are up (one string is not working,but what the heck!) and our house is relatively picked-up. I'm thankful for all of that.
But, I'm not ready. I don't think I can get ready. No. I know I can't get it all ready!
Today at work, I solved numerous resident issues. I put postage on a couple dozen Christmas Cards and weighed and mailed eight packages. An ambulance needed to be directed to the correct door. Light bulbs were burned out and begged to be replaced, sinks were stopped up and a very teeny tiny piece of furniture required a move NOW!!!  There were 4 documents demanding to be Notarized, a padlocked apartment that required a special key, and I was thankfully able to provide a shoulder for a resident to cry one. It was a normal day!
After work, I drove my husband to our weekly Bible Study, then I came home exhausted.
No Holiday Prep tonight. I can complain all I want, but like Dr. Seuss said, " Somehow or other, it came just the same".
The Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, our God is coming, no matter what. Ain't life grand?

Dear Baby Jesus: Why can't we just let it all go and celebrate your coming? We know "Christmas doesn't come from a store". It comes from the heart.
So what if we don't get it all done? You know when we have the right spirit.
We praise your name. Amen.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ding a ling!

Every month, we have a fire drill at work. The drills are part of a mandate for fire safety in our building. Once a year, the state requires us to evacuate the residents. But, the remainder of the drills are held for staff preparedness, only. During these drills, our residents do not have to come out of their apartments or participate in the drill, in any manner. The alarm, however, is sounded in every room, throughout the building.
We announce the time and date of the drill, in a written note to all of our residents.  Therefore, they should not be caught off guard. To most of our staff', the fire drill is a surprise.
Now, I have several tasks on Fire Drill Day.
Prior to sounding the alarm, I remind residents that the fire drill is about to occur. I remind them that the buzzer is very loud and I offer ear-plugs to help to reduce the noise. Ninety-five percent of the time, the response to my ear-plug offer is, "Huh?"
Then, I repeat the offer again, sometimes several times. By the time the resident decides whether or not to take the plugs, I am usually SHOUTING.
Providing ear plugs for the hearing impaired.....not in your average job description.

Dear Lord. We are all unique, one of a kind, and special to You. Give us the grace to deal with our fellow sojourners. Teach us patience and kindness. Your world is awesome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Well, by gosh and by golly. It's Advent.
Are you celebrating?
Are you asking, what the heck is Advent?
Well, Advent means coming. ......You say, amidst your decorating, partying, cleaning and buying, what's coming?
DUH.......the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child. Christmas!
I had a "holiday" party last night. The girls from work came over and we ate, we laughed, we gave gifts and we had an all around wonderful time. Who knew 12 ladies could have so much fun?????
Thank you Jesus. Because of you, your birth, your teaching and your death, we had a marvelous time.
You came to us as a child and you taught us humility. Because of you, we have learned how to treat others with respect and love. You taught us to reach out and honor one another. You taught us each and every one of us that it isn't all about ourselves, it's all about how we treat others and what we do for others. You have taught us Love. You have taught us that good memories live in our hearts, forever.

Good and great God. Thank you for so many things. We are all so blessed. We honor you and we welcome you into our lives.
Grant us peace and grant us joy.
We ask these things in your name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"All is Merry and Bright"

Here are a few of  my Christmas Favorites:
  • "Here Comes Santa Claus" by Gene Autry. My favorite Christmas Song. ("Let's give thanks to the Lord above, 'cause Santa Claus Comes Toight.")
  • Cinnamon Topsy's Popcorn. My favorite Christmas Pig-Out Food.
  • Christmas Morning Breakfast. My favorite holiday meal. I love to plan it, cook it , serve it  and eat it.
  • Filling the Stockings. My favorite Gift Giving Activity.
  • "Holiday Inn". My favorite Christmas Movie. (It's totally cheesy and  politically incorrect...but so much fun, time after time!)
  • Listening to my husband read, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", and the Christmas Story from Luke. My favorite Christmas Eve event.
  • Pittsburg, Kansas, Circa 1960. My favorite Christmas Lights.
  • Christmas Shopping at Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. My favorite holiday shopping trip.

Do you have favorites at Christmas Time? Good memories?  I hope they involve family, friends, love, joy and celebrating the birth of the Christ Child.

Gracious God. We look forward to the coming of your son, Jesus Christ. We love the many activities leading up the December 25th. Help us to remember the real reason for the season.
Thank you for sending us Jesus.