Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

May you experience the joy of the season through the eyes of a child!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Carols

Who doesn’t love Christmas time and the music that goes with it?  How many times does a few bars from your favorite song transport you back to childhood memories of waiting for Christmas morning, and that perennial joy that warms the heart?
Christmas has to be my favorite time of the year when it comes to music.  But did you know some of the songs we sing were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago as pagan songs to celebrate the Winter Solstice?  The word carol means to dance or a song of praise and joy.  
Some songs, had unusual beginnings such as I Saw Three Ships was written by wandering minstrels as they travelled through the English countryside and has several versions.  The three ships often referred to biblical characters, such as the three wise men, or Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, but it changed constantly. 
Good King Wenceslas was written in Victorian Britain by John Mason Neale to a traditional folk tune.  The story in the carol was about a king who help feed and shelter peasants.  However, the real story of King Wenceslas was quite gruesome.  Apparently after a disagreement with his brother, King Wenceslas was stabbed to death by three of his brother’s followers.
The words to Silent Night were written as a poem by Joseph Mohr and the music was added several years later by his school teacher friend Franz Xavier Gruber.  By the time the carol was famous no one believed Gruber had written it, instead they assumed it was Mozart of Beethoven. 
Did you know the total number of gifts in the song The 12 days of Christmas totals 364?
Did you know Jingle Bells was not intended to be a Christmas song at all? It had been written by James Pierpont who loved to live fast and race hard.
And The Christmas Song, immortalized by Nat King Cole was written in the heat of summer to try and “cool off”?
Your turn:  What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My favorite Christmas Movie

As Christmas approaches, and if I'm humble enough to admit it, even in the middle of summer, enjoy plugging in my copy of White Christmas.

Ever since I can remember it has been my number one movie for the holidays. I've watched it so many times, I can almost recite the lines by heart!  Can anyone say obsession? 

And who, with just a few musical notes from the famous song by the same name sung by Bing Crosby, not be transported back to those days as a child when winter snow meant Christmas wasn't far off?

Then the hopeless romantic I am, who doesn't want the knight sitting atop the white horse to win the heart of the woman he loves?

Your turn:  What is your favorite Christmas movie and why?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weird Christmas Traditions

Christmas is for kids.  Right?  Well my biggest kid is my husband (shown here).  We started years ago a tradition years ago when the “real” kids were little that most people would think is absurd.

After we have our traditional Christmas breakfast followed by opening of gifts everything is put aside and one more gift is set in front of everyone.  When I say go, everyone rips into their gift and the free-for-all begins.

The tradition started with nerf guns and has progressed to marshmallows. Nothing is safe, but we all have so much fun.  Absurd?  I told you it was, but the kids have come to expect it and thoroughly enjoy it!

Your turn:  What is your “weirdest” Christmas tradition?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Writing a Blog—When do you find the time?

When I began blogging, I did one post and waited to just before the next one was due and did another.  At one point, something came up and the time I thought I’d spend writing disappeared.  Therefore, I’d been unable to post anything for a week.  I really believed there had to be a better way.
So one day I sat down with my list of topics and started writing.  Within a few hours I had accumulated several weeks of posts.  Having them ready to go, I went ahead and scheduled all of them.  A couple of days later I did the same thing. Soon I had almost two months of posts accumulated and scheduled. 
I’m finding it’s easier to schedule one day to work on posts.  Then I can schedule them and forget it.
Your turn:  Do you have a blog?  How do you work in time to get them done?  Do you do them just before they’re due?  Or do you create several at a sitting?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Just for Laughs . . .

Over Thanksgiving, my hubby and I went back to Ohio for a visit. My two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter had us wrapped around her finger in a heartbeat.

While there, my daughter-in-law had my granddaughter repeat her alphabet.  As a very proud grandmother, I listened to her as she echoed back her mother’s prompt.  A . . . a, B . . . b, C . . . c, and so on.

The repetition of letters proceeded on queue through the alphabet:  R . . . r, S . . . s, T . . . t, U . . .

My granddaughter threw up her hands like a football referee and yelled . . .  Me!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Snow in the Mountains

Yesterday we had a winter storm blow in, dumping several inches of snow in the valley and upwards of a foot or more in the mountains. Winter snows in a high-plain desert region are looked on as a hope for the future.  A promise that water will fill the underground reservoirs for use next summer when the temperatures climb into the upper 90’s or higher. The impact of the melted snow reaches far away from the foothills of the Sierras onto the desert valleys and beyond.
As my mind wandered it made me think of how we as writers impact people everywhere.  Our words have the ability to reach around the world with the invention of the internet.  One blog such as this can be seen in Korea, India, England, or our own back yard. A book can be a healing balm, its message touching someone’s hurting soul.

It sobers me to think of the masses we can reach with a single word or sentence, for good and evil.

I leave you with Ps 19:14, more as a reminder for myself than for you.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Monday, December 2, 2013

If you could go anywhere--Where would it be?

I love to travel and see different places, meet people, and just experience things I'd never seen before.  Since I started writing I've been to more places.  When I go to a conference, I take a few extra days see the sights and just relax. I've been able to see Washington D.C., San Francisco, Florida, and Colorado to name a few.  I'd always wanted to go to Alaska and was recently able to cross that off my travel list.  (It helps having a son living up there.) 

Mostly I've wanted to travel the United States because of the vast diversity we have here from the rain forests to the desert plains.  From the frigid north to the tropical south.  But if I could really say there was someplace I'd like to go, it would be to Tuscany.  I'd love to ride my bike under the Tuscan sun through the vineyards, past Tuscan Villas, and through a bit of history that dates back hundreds of years. 

Your turn:  If you could go anywhere, where would it be?