Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thank you, total strangers

This blog is going out to all the folks who have been buying merchandise from my Zazzle based store.  I don't know how you found me, whether on Facebook, from my flash panel posting here in my blog, or quite by accident through Zazzle.

Regardless of how you found my store, I just want to say thank you, each and every purchase is greatly appreciated and I hope the merchandise was of best quality and you were not disappointed.

You have boosted my moral, and given me the courage to continue producing images I can apply to merchandise that I hope will be to your liking.

Please know, you can reply directly to me here on my blog, if you have any ideas for a particular piece of merchandise you would like me to design specifically for you.  I can certainly work something up for you to look at in my store.  You would never be obligated to buy, but I would certainly try hard to please you.  Check all the blank items Zazzle has to offer (there are hundreds), and if anything 'tickles your fancy', let me know, I will do my best to make something specifically designed for you, either from the images I have already made on an item (for most I can re-size to fit any object) or I will try to create an original image for you.  Again, you will be under no obligation to buy.

In the meantime, thank you so much for your support.  I appreciate every single order, large or small, and I hope you will continue to think about me and my store in the future.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and a fantastic 2015.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nummmm, nummmm, nummmmm

A couple of days ago I posted on Facebook that I had purchased some holiday favored coffee creamers (the liquid kind).  The flavors are Dulce de Leche, Mexican Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie and Snickerdoodle.  As I opened each flavor for the first time, I gave it a good shake, then pulled the little plastic stopper ring away, licked it and threw it into the trash. Just a little precursor of what was to come.  Oh, they were ever so tasty.

This morning I opened the last one...Snickerdoodle.   Shake, shake, shake;  I'm singing "It's a Beautiful Day in my Neighborhood".  I pull the stopper away and the smell of fresh baked cookies wafts up my nostrils.  I glance down and there at my side is my constant companion,
the furry one. I'm about to lick the stopper, oh what the heck...I put the stopper close to Zorro's nose, he sniffs, then sniffs again.

What?  He does not like this?  How is that possible? He's like Mikey...who liked everything.  Zorro gives a tentative, gentle lick.  I'm thinking, 'well son of a gun, maybe this stuff has things in it not good for dogs...or (shudder, shudder) people, either'.

I need not have worried, he licked, and licked, and licked and l-i-c-k-e-d.  He l-o-v-e-d this stuff.  I look down at him and say aloud, "See what a good mommy I am to share."  He looks at me, longingly, definitely wanting more. I considered giving him one more lick until I remembered this good stuff was not going to last forever, and is not cheap, so even though I love him very much...I decided I'm not going to share one lick more. Sorry, Zorro.

Okay, I'm not really all that Grinchy, and will share with Frankie, if she behaves herself. "You hear that, Frankie?  You have got to stop being naughty and start being nice.  Frankie, hear me?"


"Frankie, you better not be planning something scary!   Frankie!   Frankie????????"

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fa,la, la,, la,

Boy, oh boy, am I in a mood this morning.

I've got Christmas Carols and Christmas songs going round and round in my brain, I'd like to play some of my CD's this morning but I know they would bring on an avalanche of tears and blubbering, so I'm content with snippets of those musical pieces roaming free across my aging grey matter.

I admit, I've got some favorites...and have for years.  My absolute most favorite is 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day', and I guess one of my least favorites is 'The Drummer Boy'.  I know, I know...go ahead, chastise me, whomp me up side the head.  It's just when it first came out and it was played over and over and over and o-v-e-r I started to pull my hair out. I'm also not particularly fond of 'Oh, Tannenbaum' either...I know, I know, I deserve a second whomp, go ahead it will make you feel good.

On the up side, there are many, many more songs I do like compared to those I don't.  For instance 'White Christmas' is close to the top of my favorites, as is 'I'll Be Home for Christmas', 'The Christmas Song', 'The Christmas Waltz', 'Jingle Bells', and even 'I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus'.

But the one that is my most fun is a little ditty, titled 'Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer'. Oh, my gosh, how great would that be?  Cracks me up.  Oh, I want to be that grandma!

According to Wikipedia this song was written by Randy Brooks, and was originally performed by the husband-and-wife duo of Elmo and Patsy Trigg Shropshire in 1979.  And, I'm sure you've heard the song quite a few times, but have you really, REALLY listened to the words, they are hysterical. I love, love, love this song.  And so, for your reading enjoyment, and my giggling pleasure, I present to you the following lyrics.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe

She'd been drinkin' too much egg nog
And we'd begged her not to go
But she'd left her medication
So she stumbled out the door into the snow

When they found her Christmas mornin'
At the scene of the attack
There were hoof prints on her forehead
And incriminatin' Claus marks on her back

Now we're all so proud of Grandpa
He's been takin' this so well
See him in there watchin' football
Drinkin' beer and playin' cards with cousin Belle

It's not Christmas without Grandma
All the family's dressed in black
And we just can't help but wonder
Should we open up her gifts or send them back?

Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of pig
And a blue and silver candle
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma's wig

I've warned all my friends and neighbors
Better watch out for yourselves
They should never give a license
To a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walkin' home from our house, Christmas eve
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe!

Oh, best grandma, ever...this is the the story I would love my grand kids to tell their friends that I was drinkin' too much eggnog and got run over by a reindeer...what a way to go.  By the way, open and keep the gifts, get rid of the black, wear ugly Christmas sweaters, eat the goose and the pudding, watch football and drink a beer.

Here's to good ole' grandma, who got run over by a reindeer.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ho, ho, ho,

Oh, it's a beautiful day in my neighborhood.  It's the middle of December, and we should be ankle deep in rain water rushing down the street gutters.  Instead it is an absolutely beautiful day.  What a wonder to behold.

It's six days plus some hours until winter actually begins.  Yaaaaaaahooooooo.  And, ten days plus some hours till Christmas.  Although by this time into December, I'm pretty sick of all the commercials, I'm loving the car commercials this year.  They still have the huge red bows on top of the new ones that (apparently) some folks get as a present. Although, I've personally never known anybody who actually got one, oh, well.

Anyway, this year some commercials have parents trying to explain to their children exactly how Santa got that car into their driveways, indicating it takes a lot of technical wizardry and elfin magic. I think it's kind of cute. But my favorite is of the young man who helps Santa get back to his apartment after a long day of ho, ho, hooo-ing.  First, the man has to maneuver Santa's bag up several flights of steps, depositing it at Santa's door.

Next we see the man working through the night repairing Santa's suit, which again he deposits at Santa's door.  In the morning Santa opens his door and finds his suit ever so neatly repaired, and he lovingly touches the perfect stitching, perfect Santa smile on his face.

The next scene is my absolute favorite.  Young man goes outside in the morning, and his driveway is a brand new car.  He's so surprised he almost slips and falls on his icy sidewalk.  I'm telling you, no matter how many times I see this commercial, it brings a smile to my face.

There's no technical wizardry or elfin magic involved here, this is just a simple case of human kindness, helping of fellowman and unexpected surprise.  Goodness reigns supreme.

I love this time of year.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


you remember I started a list earlier this month to comply with something called A Hundred Days of Happy.

I had a hard time getting started.  I didn't know why it seemed hard at the time, until I realized what my heart wanted to say and what my mind wanted to say were two different things.  My Happy's were supposed to be actual, and what I felt at that particular moment, not what my mind wished I was happy for (like a million dollars).

And so began my strange odyssey to a hundred days of happy.  I was hoping I would not get stuck on some kind of a trend, since I do have certain quirky things that make me happy, and continually choose things (like and for instance) nature related.  Surely I can be more creative than that.  Plus, I didn't want to have to 'think' in advance about what at that particular moment made me happy.

So, my game plan is:

There is no particular time of day I must record my happy.
The entry cannot be rehearsed but as spontaneous as possible.
I will not be embarrassed by my happy, no matter how dumb it might sound once written on paper.
I will not erase any entry once written (even though later in the day a better happy might enter my mind).

I won't always keep you updated as to what my Happy's are, but I will from time to time write a blog about a weeks worth.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  Or, maybe not.  Anyway, here is my first week's (give or take) worth of Happy's.

Vanilla Ice Cream
Washed/Dried/Folded/Put Away Laundry
I'm Still Breathing
Space, The Last Frontier
Johnstown Magazine
Christmas Lights
Having Money to Pay Bills
That My Power Did Not Go Out.
Fresh Ripe Tomatoes

How's that for diversity?  I'm happy, happy, happy.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I'm tellin' ya'

the faster I try to shuffle my feet, the slower I seem to move.

Seriously, where I used to be able to decorate my home for Christmas in only a day, this year it took three.  Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

Where I try to keep up with my daily routine, I tend to concentrate on the fun stuff, rather than the mundane, like loading the dishwasher, where my tiny feet really, REALLY shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

I've been trying to figure out if this shuffle is simply the time of year, or if I'm entering a new phase of my life. I think, I'm entering a new phase.  I think we all, in some form or another adjust (sometimes badly) to these different phases.  For instance, I think I did pretty well going from being a teenager to an adult...piece of cake really.

I even adjusted to independent living as an adult, it was exciting and fun, and full of new adventures.

Marriage, was a bit more difficult than I had expected, but I think part of that was because I moved into a 'blended family', and lots of new and different personalities came into my life. Mostly though it was pretty smooth sailing.

The next jump was even more difficult, where some people accept the next phase by going through 'a second childhood', or 'midlife crisis', I suffered in silence, boo, hoo, hooing while locked in the bathroom.  It was not pretty.

Then, bam!  I became a widow.  Holy cow...and as bad as this might sound.  I was back, baby...I was back.  I loved being independent was great.

Now...,,,well, frankly, I'm a bit weary of the independent life.  I'm tired of repairs, tired of mundane, tired of worry about the future, just tired, tired, tired of looking out for myself...I think I'm ready for somebody to look out for me.  Man, that sounds nice, doesn't it?

So, I sense I'm getting ready for a change.  I don't exactly know what that means, or what exactly I expect or intend to do about this.  I just know I'm pretty much done with my life the way it is.  I simply hope I handle it the same way I did when I went from my teenage years into adulthood.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I should be so done.

But, I'm not.

I keep telling myself I should be done trying to make illustrations for Christmas ideas for my store and yesterday I went so far to make my files neat and tidy and ready to put into my holiday file box. But, I keep getting ideas from catalogs that arrive in my mail box, and that's exactly what happened this morning.

There on the middle page of one catalog was a picture of a moose, an adorable moose.  I immediately began to think how I could change the image, but keep the cuteness and drew a sketch.  Somehow the antlers didn't look just right.  Oh, I stewed and I fretted. I sketched and erased, sketched and erased. Dang it.  I could just scream.

Frankie could see I was at the point of erasing a hole right through my sketch pad and in her ever so 'you're such a dumbbell' tone of voice, reminded me I did have a computer 'you know', and there is a very good possibility there are many, many images of moose to be found there.

(Insert several minutes of silence here.)

I hate when she does that.  Dang Frankie.  I should have thought of that.  Goodness knows Google images have solved drawing problems for me for years now.  There are times the forest is so thick with trees I simply cannot see the moose.  What a waste of a good stew and fret.

I tramp off to the office in a not to ladylike fashion.  Dang Frankie.  I type in Images of moose, and up pop images...there they were hundreds of images.  No wonder my moose looked so funny.  The antlers do not point downward, and but out, upward and backward.  Son of a gun.  I study the images very carefully, scrolling down the page.  After a while I think I can draw a darn cute moose.  I realized it's too late to use it as a Christmas drawing, but I think maybe it might be time to think about illustrations for Valentines Day.  Yeah, doggies!  A love sick moose, perfect for a Valentines Day card, that's the ticket!

Oh dear, I'm going to have to go back to Google, do female moose have antlers?