Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Am Not A Super Hero

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I know I did. I was seriously spoiled with far more than I expected. Plus having my parents here was a wonderful gift all in itself. We had a nice visit.

This past month has taken it's toll on me however, and I am really behind on sleep, work and pretty much everything else. Sometimes I forget that I am not a super hero and I can't do everything. So keeping that in mind, I have a little announcement. I am going to have to postpone the mystery blog give away. While I know I have done some amazing feats in the past on very little time, I simply can't pull this rabbit out of my hat. I apologize to those of you who were looking forward to it, but it's not completely abandoned, it's simply going to happen at a later date. So I hope you can be patient a little while.

I know this is a short post, but I desperately need some sleep. I have been riding the night bus to insomnia for the past two weeks.

Have a great day all! You can expect the posts to (hopefully) get back to their normal frequency from now on.

Hugs, K <3

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! It's quite early Christmas morning here, no one is up yet except Basil and I. He was sitting on my knee and we were tracking Santa again. This month has been busy but fun. My parents are visiting and last night we went to candlelight service. All the darkness in the world can't extinguish the light of a single candle!

I wanted to repost last years Christmas Eve post because of Basil sitting on my knee tonight aptly staring at Santa on the Norad site. This makes many years in a row he has done that. He is a special little guy, and I just wanted to tell his story again! I hope you enjoy it:

I really love Christmas. I don't get the excitement I used to, every year there are fewer presents and surprises under our tree but I think that's what happens when you start getting older and you don't have kids.

Besides, Christmas is about so much more than presents. It's a time of miracles and joy. Sometimes it even brings joy to those we wouldn't imagine it would. What I am about to tell you is 100% true. I am not embellishing or imagining and I have witnesses. You might not believe it, but that's ok because it won't change the fact of what is.

Over the years I have had a lot of pets. Some weren't the greatest, most were good and a couple were very special and even remarkable. Out of all the pets I have ever had, I have never had one that understood Christmas...except for Basil.

Basil showed up on my porch about two weeks after I moved into this house. I opened the door to go check the mail, and there he sat. A tiny grey tiger striped kitten. He wasn't afraid or crying, he was just sitting there calmly on the porch as if he was waiting. I asked him where he had come from, and proceeded to get the mail. When I went back into the house, he walked on in as if he belonged here.

I already had two cats and didn't really want another one so I tried and tried to find him a home. No one would take him, so he ended up staying. In retrospect I am glad he did.

When we had lived here about six months I had the pastor over to bless the house. He went with us room to room, sat in the circle reverently and then moved to the next almost as if he understood what we were doing. When we were done he promptly went back to sleep. The pastor said he had never seen anything like that, and he was rather amused.

Whenever I am sick, or the couple times I have had surgery Basil is always there, watching over me and trying to make me feel better. After my surgery two years ago he would come once an hour to sit on my chest and look me over very carefully. He would put his head down to my chest and listen, it took me a while to realize he was checking my vital signs. He would lay next to me and purr and talk trying to make me feel better. He never left my side for nearly six weeks until I was much better.

But later we discovered Basil loves Christmas. I cannot fathom what goes through his little feline brain, but I know he loves everything about it. He sits and looks at the tree in awe. He never touches it, he never tries to play with anything, he just stares at it. He runs back and forth with me when I decorate it. When it comes time to take it down he gets visibly depressed for about a week after and sleeps in the spot where it used to be moping. The other 51 weeks out of the year he is very happy.

He always sits with me to wrap presents and purrs and smiles. He is the only cat I have ever had that smiled. I always thought the Cheshire cat was merely a storyline vehicle til Basil arrived.

I have a tiny music box that has skaters going around a Christmas tree and Basil likes to watch it, he purrs and purrs while I have the lid open. I have other music boxes, but those don't interest him.

Every year I track Santa on the Norad site and Basil sits on my knee and watches with rapt attention. He will sit and stare at the TV if a Christmas movie is on, but he never pays any attention to the TV any other time.

How he knows the difference I don't know. Every once in a while I have to wonder if he was a guardian angel sent to watch over us. I know that's probably a silly notion...all I know for sure is that he feels great joy at Christmas, and for him it's not about presents or parties or food. It's simply the time of year. Maybe we could all take a lesson from my funny little cat who has more joy in his tail than most of us have in our whole bodies and takes such pleasure in the season.

So on behalf of all us, especially Basil...I wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with delights, miracles and joy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Energizer Bunny

I just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know I haven't abandoned you all. I have been going and going and going for weeks now. First it was decorating and getting things ready for Christmas, now it's cleaning since I am having company next week.

In fact I have had a poor little mouse cut out for over a week and haven't had a second to work on him.

So there probably won't be a whole lot of posts until after Christmas. But I will return soon!

Hugs, K <3

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tired Of TV

I like to watch TV. It's nice to have on while I am working or doing stuff around the house. Lately I find myself watching a lot of old movies again. I have always liked old movies, especially musicals. But the urge to watch them recently has been more from a disgust with the Hollywood of today.

Suddenly it seems prime time has gotten extremely permissive with the language and content they allow. (Maybe I am just a prude?) Not to mention that they have dumbed down the plot lines. I heard a theory a while back they have made them easier to follow because people split their focus now with the computer and texting and so on while they are watching.

I think it's kind of sad though, some of us still enjoy a good plot. Remember those silly old I Love Lucy episodes? They were a riot and not one mention of sex or bodily parts that we never used to discuss in polite society. The writers came up with clever vehicles for Lucy and the gang to get into trouble with. Sure it was fluff, but that's the point of TV.

The other thing I am a bit weary of is the need to add the latest sexual minority du jour into every show. Now please don't take that wrong. But I am sick of having two women making out in every show, before that it was men...I am afraid to think what's coming next. Half the time it doesn't add to the plot. I have nothing against any sexual persuasion, what you do is your business, but that doesn't mean I want to see it in every episode of everything I want to watch. Usually it doesn't pertain to the show anyway, and it's just a token gesture for ratings because this or that group needs to be "accepted" in society. I think if all people kept their private lives a little more private we would all be happier and more accepting in the long run. I don't want to see a lot of overt sexuality with straight people either.

I am also puzzled by the new stereotype Hollywood has cast on blondes. We finally came out of the dark ages of always being cast as the stupid girl to going right into being the mean girl.

I am always saddened by the need to cancel the shows I like too. Kelsey Grammer had a new show out called Hank which was cancelled right away. It was funny and fresh and I liked it. It was about family, something we seem to be lacking a lot of. By contrast Jenna Elfman, who I loved in Dharma & Greg has a new show called Accidentally On Purpose. I was interested to see it when it came out since I liked her in the past, but honestly I felt like I needed a shower after it was over because the plot lines and jokes are so icky.

I have noticed that there is a new need to make Christians and other religious groups look like fanatics or wackos lately. It's as if they saying that if you have faith you aren't normal. That's a sad commentary on the world we live in. People want to be accepted and are supposed to be accepting, but only if it's something they are comfortable with.

I am sorry about this little rant, but it's been bothering me lately. TV used to be a garbage dump 20 years ago, now it's a toxic wasteland. The thing is, I am not convinced the average viewer likes the constant references to body parts and sexual situations. I could be wrong, but I shudder to see what the future will bring.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Listening To What You're Being Told

First of all I would like to thank all the guests and visitors who attended the first H'artfelt Christmas Blog party. There are some very creative ladies out there, and I am so happy I got to see all their wonderful posts! I am sure next year will be even better! Now on to the post:

For some reason when people suggest something to us, we all too often tend to brush it off as a natural first course of action. I am not sure why that is. Even when it's something we are told over and over, we still don't always take notice.

For years people kept suggesting I try meditation and I brushed it off as new age hokum and nonsense. But finally the message got through. When a message is supposed to get through to us it somehow always does in the end, doesn't it? So finally when the message was received I tried it and low and behold it's a pretty wonderful thing that has helped the stress in my neck immensely.

But lately that isn't the only message that has been trying to get through. Recently I told you that I wanted to try my hand at writing. I have a wonderful plot line all figured out and wrote character profiles and the whole works. Then I stalled. I don't know why, I can tell the whole story in my head, but for some reason I can't get it down on paper...well not paper, screen actually, but you know what I mean.

People keep telling I should write children's books. Even my own Mother keeps saying it. But I have been brushing that off because I don't have children, nor do I even know any. I didn't think I could since it seemed that having children in your life would be a prerequisite for writing children's books.

But night before last when I laid down to go to sleep, an idea came to me. I thought about it off and on yesterday and this morning I sat down to write. I didn't do character profiles, I only have a rough idea of the plot, but the words just flowed out onto the screen. And I think...they just might have been pretty good. Of course I am not sure, and I have no kids to bounce them off of.

I don't know where this is going to take me, or if it will ever see the light of day. I have no idea how to get a book published or the legalities involved. But if this really was a message I was supposed to receive, I feel confident that the things I need to know will present themselves the way things we are supposed to know always present themselves, and the plot and words will continue to flow.

I will keep you updated on my progress. In the mean time, sit back and listen for a moment...you just might be ignoring a message you are supposed to receive.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A H'artfelt Christmas Party

Welcome to the first H'artfelt Christmas Blog Party!  Be sure to click the link on the right to the official H'artfelt Christmas Blog to find a list of guests.  Enjoy!

Quick Reminder

I just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is the blog party, and I hope to see you all there!

Hugs, K. <3

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What A Treat!

Early this evening my doorbell rang. I had been running around like a mad woman all day doing things and I kind of groaned inwardly because I have a no soliciting sign and I didn't want to deal with whatever it was.

When I got to the door I saw a group of high school age kids standing there. So I opened the door, and they started singing!

I actually had Christmas caroler's. They were so cute...and COLD. The poor things were out there caroling in 7 degrees. I wanted to invite them in for cocoa, but my house was in such a disarray from decorating that I didn't. I applauded, thanked them, and gave them a big handful of candy canes.

But what a treat! I have never had caroler's come to my door before. When I was in high school, we used to go caroling though. It's heartwarming to see that some traditions don't die out altogether!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Forgotten Toy's Christmas

Hello and welcome to the Christmas Tea For All The Toys Blog Party hosted by Bearbits! For your enjoyment, I present the following original story:

"The Forgotten Toy's Christmas"

In a far corner of the attic sat a dusty old trunk filled with forgotten things. Inside the trunk tears welled up in the shoe button eyes of a little teddy bear. Evangeline didn't want to cry, but she couldn't help it. She had been waiting decades to be wanted and loved again.

She felt the soft cotton hand of the Raggedy Doll pat her paw. "Please don't cry Evangeline" she whispered. Bingo the elephant reached over and swept away a tear that had escaped with his trunk. His own bottom lip quivered a little. He knew how she felt.

For the past hour they had listened to the Holbart children downstairs in the kitchen, excitedly making out their Christmas lists for Santa. Timmy had wanted a new electronic game player. Sue Ellen wanted an MP3 player, and some cash cards for an online game. Tory, being the youngest had wanted a robotic dog since she wasn't allowed to have a real one.

Children never asked for simple toys like them anymore, everything had to be electronic or computerized these days. But every year they laid awake in the trunk listening to the kids in the house and hoped that by some small chance they would wish for a bear, doll, elephant or rabbit. Sadly it never happened.

Bitsy Bunny sat in the far corner of the trunk twirling her ear, lost in thought. The magic had gone out of Christmas for the four of them long ago, but she was determined to get it back this year. She wasn't sure how, but she would do it! They had waited long enough, and if the children of the house weren't interested in playing with them, they would just make their own fun!

Many years before, they had belonged to Annabelle Hobart, the children's grandmother. They had been her prized possessions when she was a child and they went everywhere with her. They had wonderful tea parties and picnics, played dress up, and traveled with her when she had gone abroad. But they had been packed away in the trunk when Annabelle had grown up.

When Annabelle had her own daughter, Clara, who was now the children's Mother, she had played with them a few times. But they had mostly sat on the shelf as decoration. When Clara had grown up they had been packed away in the trunk again and completely forgotten.

Bitsy finally stopped twirling her ear. She had an idea! She began rummaging around in the trunk. Finally she pulled out a little tin tea cup. She waved it in front of her friends noses.

"We could sneak down on Christmas Eve after everyone has gone to bed and have a tea party in front of the Christmas Tree!" She exclaimed.

Evangeline looked thoughtful. "Do you really think we could?" she asked.

"Why not!" said Bingo, "The children go to sleep early so Santa will come. We wouldn't get caught. I sure would like to see a pretty tree all lit up again!"

Raggedy Doll peered at the tea cup. "Let's do it!" she said, and began to dig through the trunk with Bitsy for the rest of the things they would need.

When Christmas Eve arrived, they made sure to wait until everyone was asleep, then pushed open the lid of the trunk. They took the tea set and a small table and chairs they had found, and crept quietly down the stairs. They started setting up their tea party with great excitement. They hadn't been out of the trunk in so long that everything looked absolutely sparkly and magical.

Suddenly they heard a voice above them, "Well hello there! Did Santa bring you?" it said.

The four of them looked up startled. They didn't immediately see the source of the voice and were afraid they had been caught. They soon realized a tiny stuffed gingerbread man was hanging on the tree.

"No Santa didn't bring us, we came down from the attic where we had been quite forgotten. What are you doing all the way up there?" asked Bingo.

"Ah" said the little gingerbread man, and nodded knowingly. "I used to belong to Sue Ellen when she was very small, but she lost interest in me I am afraid. Mrs. Holbart just hangs me on the tree every year now. Then I get packed away with the ornaments."

"Oh that's terrible" said Evangeline. "Would you like to join us for tea and cook...er cupcakes?" she asked, quickly hiding the cookie she was about to eat so as not to offend their new friend.

"I would be delighted!" exclaimed the gingerbread man. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Yum Yum!" He tried awkwardly to bow while hanging on the tree.

Bingo lifted the Raggedy Doll up and they helped Yum Yum down.

They talked and laughed all through the night, losing track of time. In fact they were having so much fun that they didn't even notice Santa Claus peeking in through the window.

Santa looked at his list and then back to the toys having their tea party thoughtfully. He tucked the game player, MP3 player and robotic dog back into his sack. He snuck in and blew some magic dust towards the five little toys and snuck back out quietly without making a sound. Santa smiled to himself for being able to leave one of the best presents of all at the Hobart house and got back into the sleigh and flew off into the night with a jolly "Ho Ho Ho!"

The first rays of sunshine peeked brightly in through the windows on Christmas morning waking the children. They ran downstairs noisily,excited to see what Santa had brought them. Mr. and Mrs. Hobart, awakened by the sound of their children followed right behind them.

A strange sight met their eyes when they got to the tree. Beneath it was a tea party scene with a bear, doll, elephant and a rabbit. Even the little gingerbread man had somehow fallen off the tree and looked as if he had joined them.

Tory ran forward with a squeal and grabbed up Raggedy Doll and Bitsy Bunny for a hug. Sue Ellen sat down and lifted a tiny tea cup, she held it out in front of Evangeline enchanted. Then she spied Yum Yum and said "Yum Yum! I wondered where you had went! I've missed you!" Even Timmy picked up Bingo and smiled. "What a great elephant!" He thought.

Mrs. Hobart knelt down. "These toys used to belong to your Grandmother Annabelle" she said. "But how did they get down here?" Then she looked up at her husband and smiled. "You found them didn't you John?" Mr. Hobart scratched his head, puzzled. "No Clara...I didn't, I swear I didn't! Santa must be responsible!"

Mrs. Hobart smiled, she didn't believe him of course. He was the only one who could have brought the toys down from the attic. She was delighted too, her children were taking an interest in something that didn't require batteries. The children begged for stories about their Grandmother as they played with their new treasures. They had completely forgotten about the things they had asked for.

As the years went by, the toys weren't packed away again. They were passed on to many more generations of Hobart children, and they gained new friends along the way. Every year it was tradition that they were set up under the tree for a tea party. Stories were passed down about Annabelle Hobart, and the toys that had been given their own special Christmas gift of love by none other than Santa himself!

Merry Christmas to you all, and don't forget to spread a little love and cheer to those who may have been forgotten!

Hugs, K. <3,

Christmas Tea For All The Toys

I just wanted to remind everyone that Saturday is Ginger's Christmas Tea For All The Toys blog party. I will be attending the party and (hopefully) entertaining you with a short story I wrote. So I hope to see you all there! Also don't forget to stop by Ginger's blog and check out the rest of the guests posts.

Hugs, K. <3

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

We are all born with talents. Those things we don't seem to have to learn because they are inherent. Some of those talents can be pretty obscure. Some of mine include being able to mix the perfect shade of paint on the first try nearly every time. As an artist that one is pretty handy. I can belch at will. That one I don't use unless I have a trapped gas bubble because it's pretty disgusting. Another gift I was given was that I have always been able to do that high stepped catwalk strut that runway models use. I can still do it.

One afternoon when I was 15, my Mother and I went grocery shopping. A man had been following us around the store staring. I assumed he was interested in my Mother. She had forgotten something and sent me back to get it. He approached me at that point and started taking stock. He said I had excellent posture and carried myself well. He grabbed my face and went on to say that I had great facial features and perfect bone structure. I stood there like a deer caught in headlights because I had been rigorously taught the pitfalls of talking to strangers. Also because I was really shy at that age.

But all he did was hand me a business card for a modeling agency and tell me to give them a call. My Mother didn't let me do it. I don't know why, maybe she thought I was too young, or maybe she didn't trust it, or maybe she simply didn't want to deal with the whole thing. Whatever the reason, I didn't care. As much as I loved clothes and fashion magazines I never aspired to be a model. It's probably just as well, I doubt I would have "made it" because I have never been very photogenic and at 5'7" I was barely tall enough for runway work. I cherish the fact that I was asked though.

However a few years later, through my job doing singing telegrams I did get offers to model locally, which I did a few times. (I also got a strange offer once to mud wrestle, which I did NOT do despite the crazy amount they pay for that.) One of the things I did was a lingerie show. It was tasteful and pretty, and along the lines of what Victoria's Secret offers. Back in the 80's you didn't have to have a negative number for your dress size to model. At any rate I know how those girls feel. It doesn't matter how tasteful the lingerie is or how confident you are, you are still out in public in your underwear and it's a bit disconcerting, especially since everyone is staring at you.

I recorded the show from two nights ago. I really like to watch it. I get a lot of inspiration from the show every year. The wings and extras they put on the models are fun, and I really loved the steampunk inspired wings in the enchanted forest part this year. I always tuck away a few ideas for bears. I know...lingerie show to bears...quite an odd pairing. But I have told you before that I get inspiration from everywhere.

They said that these are the most beautiful women in the world. While I don't dispute that they are pretty, I think there are beautiful women the world over...most of whom never make it into ads or on TV because they lead ordinary lives. Besides I think aside from Doutzon Kroes, most of them have gotten too thin. You need a little meat to pull off lingerie properly. A bone bag wearing lacy undergarments isn't attractive, and some of those girls looked as if they were nothing but sinew with zero body fat. I do like the fact that they encourage their models to show personality though. I get tired of watching models with a blank expression on their faces.

All in all though it was a pretty show this year, and there was a tweed teddy that I really fancied. (Not the corset shown above, I couldn't find a pic of that one.) If you missed it, you should go check it out on their website. You might get a little inspiration too!

Busy Busy!

I probably won't be posting a whole lot this week. I've been decorating the house for Christmas and I have a lot to go. I also want to get things done for Ginger's Christmas Tea For All The Toys Blog Party coming up Saturday, and a new little animal that I want to use for my own a H'artfelt Christmas Blog Party the week after.

So be patient and bear with me...pun intended! *winks*

See you soon!
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