Click on the image for more information.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Feasts to Savor

 How was Christmas?

Ours was quiet, but we were together as a family and that's all that matters. I made Greg's favorite holiday meal. Rib roast. 

The day before, we were at a friend's party where she outdid herself with a cornucopia of delights. Ham, shrimp, shredded pork and three tables full of appetizers, finger foods, and desserts. 

But did I remember to take a picture? No. I was too busy eating or talking with their dog, Ozzy.

So here's a picture of our Christmas dinner. We had rib roast, scalloped potatoes, peas, brussel sprouts, homemade yeast rolls, and pie. Not to mention all the candy and cookies friends and neighbors dropped off for us. Any perceived diet have hit the skids for the holidays!

Rocket Raccoon bringing down the roast beast.

Check out the Christmas tables (and scenes) from some of my other friends around the world. Your mouth will water with what everyone else planned for their feasts. 

Pop in and introduce yourself on their blogs. Let's end the year on a friendly note.

If you'd like to share your pictures, leave your blog link and I'll add it to this post. I hope you all had wonderful holidays. Did anyone get anything special this year?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

How Was Your Christmas?

 Did you take pictures of your holiday spread?

Let's share them. Before or After pictures welcomed. Just email me your blog link (by Sunday, December 28) and I'll post the links here on December 29th. 

Email me at writingweb1ATargontechDOTnet.

What did you get for Christmas this year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Don't Forget to Take Pictures of Your Christmas Spread

Join us for our mini blogathon. We'll show off our Christmas spreads on December 29th. Pick up your blog badge here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

NORAD Tracks Santa

You might have noticed (at least in the US) that occasionally tv stations break in on December 24th with bulletins about Santa's whereabouts, reminding kids that they'll have to be in bed before he arrives.

NORAD stands for North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint military organization between the US and Canada. It identifies and defends against airborne threats. But did you know how it came to track Santa?

 It's hard to imagine such an important organization concerned with Santa. Yet they take their job seriously, reporting when their radar spots Santa and tracking him as he goes around the world delivering presents. In one of the videos (on their web site) they even give him fighter escort.

But how it started was a complete fluke!

In 1955, Sears department store had placed an ad in the Colorado Springs newspaper and had listed an incorrect phone number for kids to dial and talk to Santa. Unfortunately, the number was for CONAD, the predecessor for NORAD.

Colonel Shoup was on duty that night and he did the most remarkable thing. He told his staff to give Santa's current location, and thus began a tradition.

Today, manned by both military and civilian volunteers, they handle calls from children all over the world. NORAD has used tv, radio, newspaper, web sites, and even Twitter. I usually miss the bulletins, but the weather reports of nearly every station almost always includes an update from NORAD on Santa's current location on Christmas Eve. 

Another noteworthy thing about this operation is that it is NOT paid for by tax dollars but by corporate sponsors. 

So look for bulletins from NORAD. Santa is on his way.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

News Flash!

 The husband and I are still on speaking terms.

Honest to dog, I thought for sure we'd have some knockdown, drag out fights now that we're living together again, but it's been quite the opposite.

In a way, we're a little lost. A little disoriented. He still thinks he has to rush off to work, and my routine is like a wobbly wheel. I never know which direction my day will take.

Don't get me wrong. It's a unique and liberating feeling. We do as we please, when we please, but there's no structure yet, no routine. We've been told by others that it'll take at least six months to get used to our new life.

We're still spending more money than I'd like--or maybe I'm just more aware of it. Every time Greg looks at something shiny (read: expensive), I have to remind him we're on a strict budget.

Maybe once we're seeing regular stipends it won't feel so dire. Our expenses have been cut in half since he moved back, so I'm not sure why I'm so anxious when it comes to spending on trifles. Guilty conscience, I suppose.

I've suggested we start an expense journal to see where our money goes every week, and he's agreed. If I can see the numbers in black and white, maybe it will ease my stress.

The biggest surprise for me is that I haven't felt the need for more alone time. Ha! Quite the opposite. We try to spend as much time together as we can. He helps me cook, clean, and feed animals. And get this--all without me asking him to help. I was in shock the first time he volunteered.

Despite the fact we're both intolerable A++ personalities, we really enjoy each other's company. I hope it's always this much fun.

So how are the holidays treating you? Are you finished Christmas shopping? My Christmas cards were supposed to be done last night, but they're still staring me in the face this morning. No help from Greg on this one.

Why are greeting cards always left to the wife to write? Any theories?

I'm 99% sure this blog will go through an evolution come 2015. You can expect to see more topics on homesteading, saving money, and the business side of publishing. (My three passions.) If you have any other suggestions, let me know.

Are there any changes in store for you in 2015?

PS  if you see the word verification in the comment box, ignore it. It's just a glitch. Your comment should post whether you type it in or not. At least that's been my experience on other people's blogs.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Oh, Christmas Dog!

Sorry I disappeared last week. On top of being in mourning (and not being very good company) we had house repair issues, and tech problems with my internet. All in all, a difficult week.
Nana is ready to decorate!

A new week is a new beginning though, so I bring you a taste of Christmas at my house including our resident goof, Nana. 

This is the first Christmas in years that I've had the chance to decorate a big tree. Most years Greg was either gone or I was traveling.

We are minus one beloved dog, but we made sure his picture was up on our tree.

Christmas trees are tricky to photograph. Unless you're a professional photographer (and I'm not) I don't think most people can capture the true beauty of their trees. There's too much to see and it's only when you see it in person can you appreciate all the tiny artwork.

My trees are a little like treasure hunts. There are the main decorations, the jewelry of the tree, but I also tuck in little keepsakes in between the boughs of the tree. My favorite part is when people find my secret treasures. It's like looking at a well known painting and finding a surprise detail that you never noticed before.

Greg wanted colored lights this year, and I chose soft gold and red as the main color palette. For the rest of the decorations, I opted for nostalgia and remembrance as my theme. Pictures of many of my past fur babies were placed in little frames. Ornaments and keepsakes that I've collected for decades finished the look.

The tree topper is probably the oldest ornament in my collection. It's almost 40 years old. It's simple, even cheesy, and terribly fragile, but every year I dutifully wrap it in tissue paper and bubble wrap and encase it in its own metal box. It was the first ornament we ever bought as a couple.

I'd like to think it's not the quality of the decorations but the memories they bring with them that counts.

Is your tree up yet? Do you have one treasured item that goes up year after year?

Don't forget to take a picture of your holiday table for our mini blog hop on December 29. Grab a badge and invite your friends to show off their holiday tables too. Just email me your blog url if you want me to send people your way.