Monday, November 21, 2011

Mugging It Up for Christmas

This morning I got out my "Christmas mug."  I bought it many years ago and every year, I get it out on the Monday of Thanksgiving week and enjoy my daily morning coffee from it right through Christmas. It's my way of saying, "Let the games begin."   It's my "Black Friday" so to speak.

After a few cups of coffee from my mug while enjoying the look of the first snow outside the window, the official whirlwind began.  Today I made fudge and divinity for Thanksgiving (my assigned task each year are the "sweets" ... my favorite food group).   I made a new cookie recipe I found in an old issue of a Rachel Ray magazine. The cookies looked the way they did in her magazine, but I can't say the same for the cook!  I'm hoping people will like the taste of the Pecan Caramel Surprises and not notice the lines and wrinkles I have that Rachel doesn't!

Cookie baking was followed by a trip to Walmart to stock up on the ingredients needed for the next few days.  Pies have to be baked for Thanksgiving .. and more cookies for the cookie exchange with my girls that will take place December 4.  And all the while, my Christmas mug will be at hand, reminding me of how much I love this time of year.

I ended the day by addressing and stamping my Christmas cards.  Yup!  They're ready to go.  I'm cookin' so to speak ... LOL!

Tomorrow I'll wrap the gifts I've bought (a few are already done) and, no doubt, come up with at least 10 more things I need to buy/do before December 25.

Friday morning - the official opening of the holiday season for the rest of the country - will find me out shopping looking for goodies.  I love Black Friday - my own and the more traditional one .. you know, the one that requires you to get up at 3:00 a.m., and stand shivering in 10 degree weather outside of Target, in line with 200 other people (mostly women) who also gave up a night's rest to save $5.00 on a toy that their child will play with for 5 minutes and then cast aside for the cardboard box it came in. The experience really energizes me and gets me set for the holiday.  There is a certain camaraderie as you juggle packages in your arms while standing in the check-out line that stretches all the way around the store and even loops back a couple of times. It's one of my favorite days of the year.

Hope your day was a good one and that you're looking forward to the "countdown" as much as I am.  Oops!  That reminds me .. have to go down and find my "Countdown Santa" to put out ... one more frantic reminder of how the days are flying by.  Isn't life fun!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thank you, God for ......

During the month of November, my daughter, Michele, is posting on her Facebook page one thing a day that she is thankful for.  I thought it was a great idea and immediately followed her lead (I've always been a good follower!).  I'm finding it a refreshing exercise and one that has already shown me how much I have to be thankful for.  It's only the 5th day of November and already I'm having a hard time choosing just ONE thing each day.

I feel sorry for people who don't often count their blessings .. or don't even realize they have blessings to count. So, in case you need help in finding things to be thankful for during this month of Thanksgiving, I offer up one suggestion.  Be thankful for our men and women in blue and the services they provide.  This gratitude isn't as altruistic as you might think .. it actually is a reaction to a small item that appears in our newspaper about 3 days a week.  "Blotter Fodder" documents what one might catalogue as "out of the ordinary" police calls .. at least in my mind, they're out of the ordinary.  I think of peace officers responding to traffic accidents, heart attacks, terrorist threats, burglaries, etc.  But apparently, they also respond to calls that fall into a more unique category.  Here for your perusal are a few examples of actual calls that have been made to local police departments.  Unfortunately, many of them seem to have come from the northern suburbs where we live.  Hmmm ... maybe it's time to expand the gene pool.

Aug 28:  A 44-year old man in the 100 block of Gibraltar Road, Fridley, wanted his mother arrested for assault.  She had slapped her son in the face to kill a mosquito.  No mosquito or other evidence was found.
Sept 19:  An officer responded to the 300 block of Hugo Street in Fridley regarding a strange noise coming from the trees.  The officer determined it was a bird. No one was cited or arrested.

If that isn't enough to give you pause, I offer the following - again from the Fridley Police Department:

Sept 25:  A woman from an unknown address called the Fridley Police Department seeking guidance.  She reported that she had passed out after drinking in Minneapolis and woke up being punched by a female acquaintance.  She asked police if she should go to bowling league with the female who punched her.  An officer advised her not to go to the bowling league.
Lest you think that our neighbors in the southern suburbs where incomes are a bit higher have been able to avoid the more bizarre police work, here is an entry to prove you wrong.  
Sept 1:  Overnight someone entered through the roof of Davanni's, 6345 Penn Ave. So., Richfield and stole $53 in change and some desserts. 
Obviously, a poverty-stricken burglar with a sweet tooth!  

So, if you find yourself in need of something for which you can give thanks on November 24, you might want to thank God for our police officers.  You might also want to be thankful that none of these callers is related to you!