Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thankful Sunday--December 21, 2014

I am thankful for spilled juice.

Yesterday as Ward was putting some juice in the refrigerator, it slipped and splattered all over the floor and the inside of the refrigerator. After the initial expletives, we used this opportunity to do some cleaning that we always mean to get to but rarely do. We pulled the fridge out and not only cleaned up juice but all the dust bunnies that were living on the floor and on the back of the fridge. Next we cleaned the inside under the drawers and the back of the shelves. In the end we had a clean fridge and most of the juice left. Not a bad outcome at all and for that I am thankful.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Presents

Waiting and Wondering
My mother would have had numbers on these.
When I was a kid, my mother was a master at keeping our Christmas presents secret. One of the first rules of hers was that after Thanksgiving, we were not allowed in her bedroom. Next if we found out what any present was before Christmas morning, she told us that it would be given to the Salvation Army. This alone was enough to keep me from looking too much. Every year at Christmas time, we had to pick out one of our current toys to give to them, so I understood who they were. I was willing to give up one toy, I wasn't willing to give up the new toys that were coming.When we got a little older, our presents were labeled with numbers instead of names. Every year the numbers were different and seemed to have no rhyme or reason as to who got what number, but she told us she had a system.

However of all of these present rules, the one I remember the most was that we were not allowed downstairs on Christmas morning until my aunt and uncle arrived. It wasn't like they got there in the middle of the day, but it seemed like forever to me. However, my mother had a way of making the waiting bearable. When we went to bed the night before, we took the toaster, a loaf of bread, and a stick of butter with us. As a child I thought this was very special and was fascinated with the fact that we used the window sill as a refrigerator for the butter. The next morning while we were waiting, we had toast for breakfast. Then finally we would be called downstairs to see what Santa and others had left for us.

While I didn't always understand all of the present rules while I was growing up, I realize that they were one of the things that made Christmas special for me. My mother understood that anticipation is sometimes the best part of something.

Now lets move on a little bit. I realize that one reason that my mother's gift practices worked was because she had four fairly rule abiding children. However I know that sometimes curiosity gets the best of kids and they can't help themselves. For example, a friend was telling me about her children when they were younger. She wasn't sure where to hide their Christmas presents to she put them in the back of her large van with a blanket over them. The gifts couldn't be seen, couldn't be reached from any of the seats, and the kids were never in the van by themselves. So she thought they were safe. However one day, the two older kids lifted up their younger brother and pushed him through the vent window into the van. He then unlocked the doors so they could all get in and see the gifts that were coming. They never let on that they knew anything even on Christmas morning. It was only recently as adults that they told their mother what they had done.

I'm gonna have to ask Wally and Theo if they ever did anything like that because it was only recently that I learned they climbed out on the roof when they were supposedly taking a nap.Who knows? Maybe they were looking for Santa.:)

Do you do anything special to keep gifts secret? Have you ever secretly found your gifts ahead of time?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Second Look--December 17, 2014

A Second Look Eye Spy

Can you find? 
  • A Red-tailed Hawk
  • Red Bellied Woodpecker
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Crows
  • Goldfinch
  • Female Cardinal

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thankful Sunday--December 13, 2014

I am thankful for Christmas puzzles.

During the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season, it's nice to take time out for some quiet activities. That's what we did yesterday with Miss Landers when we worked on a Christmas puzzle at her house. For the quiet puzzle fun and the good conversation we had, I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Second Look--December 10, 2014

I had it all planned. After work, I was going to take a Second Look around the yard no matter how cold it was. But then we had freezing rain all day and no matter how much I had planned to investigate the back 40, I didn't want to do it in freezing rain. So, I'm going to let you take a Second Look at my zoo visit in October. During that visit, we got a behind-the-scenes tour of the great ape house that I described previously. However, we did see a few other things that day. Here are some of them.

It took the turtle in the water a lot of effort before it finally made it up onto the rock to join the others.

These lions are a lot bigger than our cats, but don't look a whole lot different when they are sleeping.

Luke, the only male in the lion pride at the zoo.


Asian elephant

The National Zoo is famous for its pandas so there's always a line waiting to see them. We decided to wait in line this day since we had never seen them before.

It was worth the wait to see one of the rarest animals in the world.