Thirteen Days…

is all we have left until Christmas?  How did that happen???  I didn’t even realize it until Jill Shalvis mentioned it on facebook yesterday, (thanks Jill!).  So, I did some last minute shopping (thanks Amazon.com!). I’m still not ready, though.  Who would think that the hardest one to buy for would be the 4-year-old?  Yup, she’s spoiled!

Kiddo and Me and Christmas

This my installment as part of Marg and Kailana’s Blog Advent tour. I’m pleased to share a few Christmas traditions/memories that Kiddo and I do.

Kiddo is my niece and we’ve always been close, since the day I caught her when she came into this world. I’ve been her second parent. My sister was a single mother, and so I stepped in ~ when DS worked, kiddo and I were together. Always. This is how are Christmas traditions started.

When Kiddo was 2, we started going to the holiday parade. We started early and went to Stella’s Bakery, which was always opened late for parade patrons. We’d have all you can eat spaghetti or ravioli for dinner and then found a prime spot to stand to see the parade. Sometimes the weather was good, sometimes it was nasty, but we always went. The parade lasted for hours and always ended with Santa riding in on a fire truck. I admit, the parade was more fun when kiddo was younger, because she’s tall and as the years went by the people handing out candy would assume she was older than she really was and would always bypass her when they handed out the treats. After the parade, we always went to JB’s for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for kiddo) and just talked. We stopped going to the parade when she was 13 because she became a participant in it and still is to this day. But we still go to JB’s when the parade is over.

Another tradition of ours is looking at lights. Kiddo dresses in her warmest pj’s and a fuzzy blanket, we stop by a coffee kiosk for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for kiddo) and we just drive. For hours, we drive around town and look at the Christmas light displays. Some we revisit every year, some are new displays that we stumble on just by taking a different route. I wish I had photos of the lanes we see. We visit Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Wreath Lane, Misfit Lane, Luminara Lane ~ all neighborhood displays which are breathtaking. Then, there are individual houses we have to see every year. The displays never change, but we look forward to seeing them anyway.

One final tradition I’ll share is the Christmas Tree display at Moss Mansion. Moss Mansion is a historical home that kiddo and I like to tour quite often. However, at Christmas time, it’s a magical place. Every room in the mansion is decorated with a different Christmas tree and a different theme to go with it. At the end of the tour we have hot cider or hot chocolate and cookies ~ it’s a tradition I hope to continue at least for a few more years and then perhaps kiddo and I can introduce her little sister to our Christmas traditions that I hope continue for years to come.

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….and a few recipes. Being a Norwegian, a holiday just isn’t a holiday without the following two items. The first is Krumkake, the second is Lefse.

Krumkake is a Scandinavian cookie. It’s a thin, crispy cookie made from an egg-based batter. What I love about them is not only that they are pretty, but when you take a bite into one, they crumble all over. We like to sprinkle powdered sugar on ours, but some families like to fill them with whipped cream, cream cheese, or lingonberry sauce.

Krumkake:

2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
*beat for about 5 minutes (until very thick)
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp cardamon
3/4 C heavy cream

Add flour mixture alternately with cream to the sugar mixture. Heat Krumkake iron to moderately hot. Drop about 1 Tbsp of batter on iron, cook about 30 seconds on each side. Peel cookie from the iron and roll with a wooden spoon. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Lefse is a traditional soft flatbread made out of potato, cream, and flour; then cooked on a grill. My mom has a picture that I really wished right now I had ~~ when we were young, we went to North Dakota for Christmas. Grandma made the best lefse in the world. My sister and I were helping ourselves to pieces and pieces of it, but Grandpa wanted to take a picture. Instead of placing the lefse down, my sis and I hid it behind our backs. As Grandpa was adjusting his camera, my mom took a picture of us from behind standing up all straight and proper, with the lefse behind our back. It’s one of my favorite pictures.

Lefse:

5 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Stir and mash well. Put through ricer to get rid of lumps. Cool before adding 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix well.

Cut off small amount of dough and roll very thin with lefse rolling pin on your lefse board (use a lefse sock on your rolling pin). Heat lefse grill to 450 to 500 degrees. Use lefse stick for turning and taking off grill.

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……and a few songs. What’s Christmas without a few songs? I’ll post a few of my favorites.

Bing Crosby and David Bowie: Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth

Nicholas Jonas: Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)

Bob Rivers: The Chimney Song

Gayla Peavey: I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Be sure to visit the other participants in the Advent Tour:

19 December – Callista (S.M.S. Book Reviews)
20 December – Tiny Little Librarian (Tiny Little Librarian)
21 December – Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)/ Susan (Reading, Raving, and Ranting by a Historical Fiction Writer)
22 December – Carolyn Jean (The Trillionth Page)
23 December – Booklogged (A Reader’s Journal)
24 December – Kailana (The Written World) / Carl V. (Stainless Steel Droppings)

I’m Done!!! and Other Ramblings

Don’t hate me. I’m officially done Christmas shopping. Bought something for Baby J today, one final thing for my mom, and then picked up chew toys, jingle balls, and catnip for my canine/feline nephews and niece. I’m all done!!!! Of course, my house is now a mess of tags and paper while I try to get everything wrapped up.

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I’m making an appointment with a dermatologist. The winter dries my skin awful and my legs are one large red rash. It’s disgusting. Hopefully I can get some cream to take care of it.

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I ordered take out tonight ~ Thai Noodles and Tom Kha Chicken soup. Except, I dropped the soup. All over my kitchen floor. Dammit. The two bites I got of it were good.

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October Road is really disappointing tonight. No Eddie and Janet???? After last week? I’m feeling somewhat cheated and very let down.

Goings On

I’ve requested North and South from our library and should have it by 12/07. I can then join the ranks of everyone else in blogland who has watched it thanks to fangirl Kristie 🙂

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A group of us are going to see Enchanted tonight. I think it would be better to go a different weekend, but I’ve been outvoted. So, I’ll brave the crowds. We’re going to the 8pm show, so hopefully the crowds won’t be too bad.

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Finally, during Thanksgiving somehow the conversation turned to me getting new tires and I had said that I’d gotten some in October because my goal was to get my tires replaced before the snow flew. My sister then informed me that she and her hubby were going to get me tires for Christmas. So, I hinted none to subtly that they could go to ebookwise.com and get me the ebookwise 1500 instead. Wonder if I’ll get it? I hope I do. If not, I guess I’ll be saving my pennies to get one next year.

Checking In

So, I’m on page 179 of Promises Linger now. OMG. The horseback scene! Wow. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Asa and Elly are wonderful! I also love the lady who runs the boarding house/cafe ~ Millicent, maybe? Starts with an M, but can’t remember it off the top of my head. I also like Cougar (I think that’s his name) ~ the son of the doc. Is Promises Keep his story? It felt like SM was building for his story to be next.

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I’m on page 127 of The Raven Prince. Just finished the garden scene. When Anna and the Earl almost kiss. Wow, Elizabeth Hoyt is brilliant. She knows how to build a scene. Can’t wait to find out what happens when Anna gets to London.

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I’m very blessed to have such good things to read right now. Wish I was home doing just that. I hope to have both of these finished over the weekend.

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I’m going to sister’s house tomorrow to watch Shrek 3 with her and the kiddos. Will be a fun family night. Saturday, I have some alone time until 3, and then I’m on baby duty the rest of the day. So, hope to get some reading time in before and after that. Sunday, we’re all going to the Holiday Bazaar. Hope to pick up the rest of my Christmas gifts there….or at least the majority of them. I only have a few things left to get. And then I’ll be done ~~ maybe I can actually enjoy the season this year.

Holidays for the Troops

I initially got this information from Stacy’s blog and then more details from Laurie’s blog:

The third annual Holiays for the Troops project is underway. You can visit Laurie here for more information. Please read below for details about the project, and email Laurie at ljodamron@gmail.com for mailing info. or with any questions you may have.

Donations of either items to be sent to the troops or checks, money orders or gift cards to be used to shop for and ship items to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are being collected. Please visit Lori Foster’s website for a detailed listing of suggested items in the event you would like to do your own shopping for the troops. In addition to the items on this list, holiday items such as lights, decorations, ornaments, cards, etc. are much appreciated. In return for your donation, your name will be entered in a raffle for some exciting prizes. While the prize bundles haven’t been put together yet, they will be generous and will include books and other goodies donated by authors and various others in the romance community.

The deadline for troop donations will be Thanksgiving Day, and the prize drawings will take place on Saturday, November 24.

Please tell your author friends about this project; prize donations are being accepted through the first of November. Please note that there is absolutely nothing political about this project. It is simply a show of support for the men and women who serve our country.

I Have A Dream

I still haven’t read anything, but I have a few books that seem to be tempting my muse, so hopefully soon…..

The first time I read this speach was during college. I was sitting at the kitchen table doing homework with my niece and as I read this, I just started crying. Kiddo looked over at me and asked, “Auntie, what’s wrong?” I said, “Nothing, honey. It’s just my homework.” She looked at my stacks on the table and said, “Oh, I know. You have a lot of it!”

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I Have A Dream
Martin Luther King, Jr.
August 28, 1963
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: “For Whites Only.”* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Happy New Year

It’s almost 10pm at my house. Kiddo and I are watching Pirates 2 and getting ready for a game marathon until the ball drops at midnight. It’s a tradition of ours that we’ve done every year except one. We buy sparkling cider, grab the board games, turn the TV to Dick Clark and wish in the New Year. We, of course, also wear the funny hats, the leis, drink cider out of plastic champagne flutes and make lots of noise at midnight. It’s something we look forward to every year.

Earlier, I was leaving a comment at Stacy’s blog about resolutions, when it occured to me that I don’t make them anymore. I don’t stick to them and at the end of the year, I always feel like a big fat failure.

2006 was not a good year for me. I’ve learned not to boast that I never get sick because it sends out bad mojo that eventually bites me back in the butt. So, since I don’t do resolutions, I’m going to do promises. And since I have them in print and I’m putting them “out there” in cyberland I’m counting on my blogger buddies to hold me accountable 🙂

#1 Promise to Myself: No more negative self-talk. It’s destructive and eventually I’ll believe all the bad things I say about myself. I am a kind, loving and decent person and deserve to treat myself better.

#2 Promise to Myself: I will go back to a healthier way of living. This year, I really let myself go. I lost a lot of weight last year and then when all the health problems started, I used them as an excuse to binge. No more. Stock up on the veggies, start exercising again and just take care of myself.

#3 Promise to Myself: I will get my finances back on track. With the medical bills I had this year, I’m fallen off my budget. I vow to get myself back on track and be a grown-up.

#4 Promise to Myself: I will come out of self-exhile. I will socialize. I will meet new people. I will date (and yes, I have somebody specific in mind ~ but I need to take care of #1, #2, & #3 first).

#5 Promise to Myself: I will make a dent in the dreaded TBR stacks that are collecting dust in my linen closet ~ at least one per month.

There, I’ve said it. It’s now out there and I am accountable to keep myself on track. Here’s looking at a happier and brighter 2007. Happy New Year to my blogger pals. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

This is one of my favorite Christmas stories ever. I tried to read it to my niece every Christmas for years ~ and every Christmas it would make me cry. This year, I think I’ll let my niece read it to me. I’ve retyped it as it is shown in Letters to a Nation (PS ~ any history buffs out there would probably love this book).

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To this day it remains one of the most famous editorial replies ever featured in a major newspaper. And it all started when a little girl, looking for a direct answer to an age-old question, sent the following letter to the New York Sun.

New York, Sept. 21, 1897

Dear Editor: I am 8 years old.
Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says “if you see it in The Sun it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth: is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

The paper’s editor, Francis Pharcellus Church, had three choices: tell Virginia the truth, lie, or simply not print her letter at all. Ultimately, he printed her query and responded with the following:

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s not proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God, he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Christmas Crazies, Recent Buys, etc (aka the 2 for 1 post)

I’m not quite sure how it is that someone who hates shopping as much as I do found myself out during the Christmas Crazy rush today. Actually, the shopping started at amazon.com (ok, I bought myself a couple of things also) and then graduated to walmart.com (I admit a found things for me here too). But there were things I wanted to pick up for my sister, friend and mom’s boyfriend that I just couldn’t find. So, I put on my brave face and went for it.

11:00am: I started off at Boston Harbor, the best tea shop in town. They have just about every kind of loose tea you can imagine. I love this store. My mom’s boyfriend is a big fan of tea, but I can’t seem to get him past the bagged stuff. So I got him 3 kinds of loose leaf tea and an infuser. I also got a bag of tea for a friend….and a little something for me also.

11:30am: I go to World Market. I’m addicted to this store. Here, I buy some shortbread for my friend’s son and some black licorice for friend’s husband. I also stumble across some marinade and rub gift boxes so I get one for my mom and one for my sister. Little side note to the man who just HAD to have my parking spot. When waiting for a spot, it is best that you do not block the car that needs to get out of said spot. If you look at your shift column, second from the top is the Reverse gear. You may need to use this to let said vehicle out of the parking spot so that you may get into it. Truly, Sir, I’m a kind person. I’d have let you have my spot. I’d have blocked traffic for you to ensure you could park there. But first, you need to move your car so I can get out of said spot.

12:30pm: I then head over to Linens N Things to look at kitchen gadgets. I end up getting some Lock & Lock storage containers for my sister. Little side note to the woman with the two adorable children pushing the child size carts. Yes, I think your children are adorable. I thought so the first time they almost ran over me in the kitchen gadget section of the store. The second time they almost ran over me in the “As Seen on TV” section, they’d been downgraded to cute. The third time they almost ran over me in bedding, I viewed them as just slightly better than hellions. And you, adoring mother, do not just smile at me as your children proceed to try to mow me down. I said “Excuse Me” three times and you just looked me and watched your children run helter skelter all over the aisle. I do hope that eventually you teach your kids some manners. Oh, and Merry Christmas ~ or Happy Holidays, whatever it is you’d like to hear. Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, Good Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year also.

1:00pm: PetSmart. Every year, I buy my friend’s cats presents. Cleo likes jingle balls; Cato likes catnip. I’m a good cat auntie, aren’t I? Excuse me, lady driver of the gray Buick. That red octagon to your right with the letters S-T-O-P is a stop sign. You may want to remember that for the next time you venture out during Christmas Crazy season.

1:20pm: I find myself at the mall ~ in a prime parking spot even. I walk through Dillards, pick some things out at Clinique and decide to walk around the mall a bit to kill time before friend and I go to lunch. So, did I mention I’m at the mall? On a Saturday. During Christmas Crazy season. Good Lord, what am I thinking? I hate shopping! I hate crowds! Why, oh why, did I decide to leave the house today? What was I thinking?! So, I walk all the way down to the other end of the mall and back. Try to go into Bath & Bodyworks. Elbow to elbow people. No thank you! Victoria Secrets? Can’t even see through the crowd in there. So, I turn around and go back to Dillards. The Christmas kiosks this year are pathetic. Usually, there are some really cute little crafty things that you can pick up ~ not this year. Not a lot to choose from.

2:15pm: Lunch. Famous Dave’s. Chopped Pork and Riblets with coleslaw and diet pepsi. Mmm, mmm good. I needed that. Actually, what I needed was a good, stiff drink ~~ but I’m driving.

3:15pm: Back to the mall. Pick up a lip gloss sampler for my niece. And a few little something extras for myself.

4:00pm: Starbuck’s. I buy gift cards for friend and her husband and a packet of Christmas Blend coffee beans. As I leave the store I almost get run over by a great big black truck. That was fun. I need to go home. Side note to the driver of said black truck ~ I understand you wanted that great parking spot that just became available, but it is not more important than my life. Do you see those white lines painted onto the pavement? That’s called a crosswalk, you moron.

4:30pm: I’m home with all my Christmas gluttony stacked in my living room. And I realize I forgot to go to the store. That’s okay. I’ll go tomorrow. That’s why they invented take out. I just can’t go out there again tonight. Unless alcohol is involved. Then I might make an exception.

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Recent Book Buys:

Okay, I’ve been really bad lately. I’ve been buying books left and right. That doesn’t mean I’ve read them ~ I’m still in a bit of a reading funk. And it’s starting to more than tick me off. I just want to lay down with a good book. Anyway, here’s what I’ve gotten recently:

The Four Sisters series by Eloisa James:
Much Ado About You
Kiss Me Annabel
The Taming of the Duke
Pleasure for Pleasure

The Highlander series by Janet Chapman:
Charming the Highlander
Loving the Highlander
Wedding the Highlander
Tempting the Highlander
Only With a Highlander

The Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning:
Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander’s Touch
Kiss of the Highlander
The Immortal Highlander
The Spell of The Highlander

With This Ring series by Suzanne Enoch:
Reforming a Rake
Meet Me at Midnight
A Matter of Scandal

Langley Family Trilogy by Lucy Monroe:
Touch Me
Tempt Me
Take Me

Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway
The Dark Prince by Christine Feehan
Thief in a Kilt by Sandy Blair (I won this one at Colleen Gleason’s blog)
Hero Worship by Dawn Calvert
Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon (I’ve already read this one ~ had to buy for my collection)
The Pleasure Slave by Gena Showalter
Plain Jane by Fern Michaels
Knight of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor
Entangled by Kathleen Dante (I won this one at Stacy’s blog)

Not to mention the countless other books in my TBR pile that I have yet to get to. Well, I just need to make it through Friday and I have almost 2 weeks off. Maybe lots of reading time ahead (I hope!).

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Waiting Patiently to Buy:

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
Not Another New Year’s by Christie Ridgway
The Dream Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn
Love in the Fast Lane by Jenna McKnight
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One more quick health update. I walked almost non-stop today for almost 5 hours with hardly a limp. AND I didn’t have my orthotics in because my doctor sent them in for adjustments. I think the shots finally kicked in!

Passing the Word

I saw this at Stacy’s blog and am passing the word:

Something cool that Xerox is doing If you go to this web site, www.letssaythanks.com , you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!

This is a great site.

Please send a card.