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Monthly Archives: December 2008
We plan on ringing in the New Year quietly at home with the kids. We’ve rented a movie (Horton Hears a Who) and Mark’s already gone to pick up our Chinese take-out. Emma’s been in her pj’s all day…wonder who she gets that from?(Kris!) We’re hoping that ’09 finds our family healthy above all else. Happiness can only be achieved once health has. We’re hoping to keep both Emma and myself out of the hospital and send Mark in to have his tonsils removed. At least this will be a nice change of pace, for me at least. 2008 has been the hardest and worst year that our family has ever experienced. I’m hoping that it was our “rock bottom” and that things can only improve from there. We’re still recovering but the recovery process is starting to go faster. I’m planning on returning to work in the next several weeks and just trying to reach a new normal. We can never forget what we’ve lost but at the same time, we need to go on. Who knows what this year will bring. Great triumphs are often achieved after great losses. Happy New Year’s everyone!
It’s amazing to me how much style changes over time. Whether it’s fashion, art, parenting techniques, linguistic phrases, music or interior decorating, trends seem to come in waves. One trend that has been around for a while now in interior decorating is wood flooring.
A few decades ago, carpet seemed to be all the rage. That and wall paper, which appears to making a huge comeback by the way. People actually carpeted over beautiful wood floors with ugly, disgusting, putrid colors of shag carpeting! I hope that this trend doesn’t come back into style although it seems that these sorts of things are very cyclical. I wonder when MC Hammer pants will be back?
In my opinion, wood floors are here to stay. They have many huge benefits over other flooring options. First of all, they are so easy to keep clean. You don’t need to worry about the dirt that’s ground down deep into it like carpeting. Secondly, real wood floors can be easily refinished when they become worn which saves the time, money and space in landfills created by throwing away roomfuls of old carpeting. Thirdly, wood floors are hypoallergenic. You don’t need to worry about people with asthma or allergies when your house is floored with wood. Lastly, they are a beautiful and classic flooring option that has been around for centuries. Trends come and trends go but I think that wood floors are here to stay!
Christmas has become so commercialized as stores try to get us to buy more and more gifts. This drive has lead to people, especially kids, becoming more and more materialistic. In these failing and uncertain economic times, stores are trying even harder to get us to buy. This can sometimes lead to a huge excess of gifts for both kids and adults alike. Christmas this year should be cut back to be a reflection of our changing world. We can teach our children what Christmas is really about, depending on what your particular family values are.
There are some things that no family can have too much of for Christmas. Of course, there can never be too much family time. Sometimes it may feel like there is when your crazy Aunt Sally keeps kissing you and patting you on the head when you’re 50 years old. But in reality, family time is the time that is a treasure. These are the times that will become cherished memories even if they feel pretty painful at the moment. Many people don’t have families at all or the families they do have are not full of love and joy. If you’ve got a good family, let them know how much you love them.
Another thing you can never have too much of is friends. To me, that’s what Christmas is really about. Spending time with family and friends. Not spending money on them!
You can never have too much giving at Christmas. Whether it’s volunteering your time at the local soup kitchen or giving gifts to needy kids or whatever it is that you have to give. Maybe all you have is $1 and no time at all. Consider giving it to the Salvation Army guys that are always standing around ringing their bells in malls. If everyone gave just one dollar, think how far it could go!
Recently there have been several conversations going on about Triond. Initially, there were a few random emails and a lot of us are just catching bits and pieces on the edge of the conversations. As a result, I think a lot of Triond writers were rather baffled by the whole thing. With several Triond writers at our house, we had various levels of confusion and I found that one of us would get a message about something and the others would not. It has been rather chaotic.
To try to get everyone together, someone opened a chat room at Chatzy (http://www.chatzy.com/328797960464). Unfortunately chat rooms work best when you have several people there at once, and with people from around the world writing for Triond, it is often difficult for people to find a time to log in and find people on-line to talk to. The other problem with chat rooms is that they do not organize the messages very well.
The solution seems to be a forum, so I have created new public forum for Triond at “http://www.writerforums.thebentleys.ca/forum/triond”. This forum is not officially linked to Triond in any way and they are in no way responsible for it (or visa versa). This forum will provide a place for authors to discuss issues related to writing for Triond including help, concerns and even a place to talk about ways to improve Triond. Please keep in mind that since this is not a Triond site, they may or may not listen to suggestions (but it would also be in their best interests to listen).
The only rules are of course the standard ones:
It’s getting to be that time of December where if you want to send a gift to someone, you’ve got to get it done. I’ve got a ton of packages to be sent out — to New York, California and Halifax. I haven’t even finished my shopping for these gifts to be sent yet! Maybe I should get off the computer and get to it. I’ve got to get together all the stuff I need to send them — shipping boxes, gifts, addresses, wrapping paper, and Christmas cards. I haven’t even finished making all the Christmas cards yet. This year I discovered scrapbooking and card making. I thought it’d be a great idea to hand make all the cards that we send out. I’m sure they’ll be lovely if they are ever completed. It really doesn’t take that long once you’ve gathered all the materials that you need to make the cards and come up with designs for them. Then of course, you’ve got to get all the kids photos together, etc. etc. etc. It seems like Christmas has a never ending list of “to do’s”. I remember when I was a kid and I just loved Christmas. I never realized how much work it was for all the grown-ups, I guess. It’s tough because you want to make everything perfect for the kids. The hard thing to realize is that nothing is ever perfect and that they’re kids and wouldn’t notice even if it was! Christmas isn’t about gifts or decorations or cards or shopping. It’s simply a time for family, friends and joy. I guess that’s why I like to hand make things so that they are more meaningful. Merry Christmas everyone — and try to relax a bit!
I am a huge, I repeat HUGE, fan of reality television. I watch Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race and even love some talk shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil. Some kinds of reality television are really troublesome though. It’s amazing what people will say on the air without a thought given to how it will effect their lives and their families lives in the future. What is particularly disturbing is the trend of doing paternity tests on talk shows like Maury Povich. It seems like that’s all he even does on his talk show anymore. I’m not sure how this qualifies as entertainment. These tests determine who the fathers of children are. Children, who have no control over what their parents are saying on recorded television for the whole world to see. How would that effect you as a teenager to know that your Mom went through ten different shows to find out who your biological father was? I think that would totally screw you up. I think that something as personal as a paternity test should be done privately, as a family matter instead of “entertainment” for the masses. There are even web sites that will send you the testing materials and then you send them back for the results so that no one who doesn’t need to know what’s going on plays a role in the testing at all. This sort of entertainment is almost reminiscent of gladiators performing for screaming crowds.
It’s amazing how toddlers see the world so differently than adults. The other day, we took Emma (2 1/2 years old) grocery shopping with us. I went to the liquor store beside the grocery store as we were checking out. I told Mark I’d be running to the liquor store. Emma just started saying “Liquor store, liquor store, liquor store!”. Weird enough, right? Apparently after they had loaded all the groceries into the truck and drove over to meet me, she started talking about what went on in the liquor store. She said that kitties were in there licking themselves. Took me a minute to catch on but boy is she hysterical! Kids, especially toddlers, just see everything a little different than the rest of us.
When Kris was younger, maybe 8 or so, we were driving past an “adult video store”. He noticed it and said “XXX Adult video”. I laughed and asked him if he knew what was inside. In an awe-struck voice he said “Yeah, movies like the Simpsons and stuff!”. I didn’t let him watch that for the longest time because Bart Simpson talks back so much. I guess that’s about as adult as you get to an 8 year old!
I’m still frantically running around trying to get all of our Christmas shopping done. The crowds are already insane at the malls, even during the weekdays! Every year I tell myself that I’ll get the shopping done early and every year, I don’t. Frustrating really. Although on the other hand, there are better and better sales and deals the later it gets in December. I’ve found that you can get even better deals by having the membership cards of stores. It can be a pain to dig through your wallet to find the right card for each store but I’ve found that it is definitely worth it. With the global recession that has seem to hit recently, saving money is a priority for everyone. Money can definitely be saved without necessarily cutting back alot by really watching for sales, price comparasion shopping and having membership cards. Maybe I should just get a bigger wallet…