Friday, November 28, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

I'm a sucker for Christmas, always have been. It's the spirit of things that I enjoy, and I've posted on that previously. However, I also like the change in the season. The snow falling gets me in the spirit of the season. We've had a couple of snowfalls, but the 2nd one left nearly a foot of snow on the ground. Now it looks like Christmas. Well, mostly. The warm temperatures the past couple of days have meant that there isn't a lot of it left. Still, it was lovely while it lasted. I like snow. I don't mind shoveling, but I'm not that competent at it. I like sliding, skating, walking in it. I look forward to it. At least you can get out in it, not like rain!

So, being in spirit of things I started a gingerbread house last night. Technically I had to start several days ago: researching online to find just the right house, spending a couple of hours drafting up house plans and printing them, an hour cutting out the plans, next evening mixing the dough, rolling the dough, putting the dough back in the refrigerator because it wasn't cool enough and broke too easily.

All this over the last week culminated with rolling, cutting, and baking the house pieces (complete with stained glass windows) last night. I think I counted 19 pieces plus 4 gingerbread men, 6 mini gingerbread men and 4 gingerbread stars. At some point this weekend, I hope that my daughter and I will assemble and decorate it. I'm looking forward to it, as is she, but not too sure what I'll do with it later. After all that work, I won't want it eaten, and by the time Christmas is over, it won't be edible.

Oh, well, yet another sacrifice in the effort to ensure happy holiday memories for myself and kiddies. In all this is my second attempt to produce a gingerbread house. Many years ago, probably at least 16, I spent a week fashioning one I saw in a magazine. I was quite proud of it and gave the completed house to my mother-in-law on Christmas eve. The next day, we showed up for supper only to find nothing left of the house but the peppermint patty walkway! My brother-in-law's dog had eaten it during the night. I can laugh about it now, but at the time.....

So, decorations are up, some presents purchased, baking started, season well underway. I'm as happy as I get for the time being. Now, if I could just win the lottery!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Milestone of a sort.

Howe's Life? has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In the News

Things like this make me furious: Why are idiots like this allowed to carry on with their lives?,0,2331815.story Why do a bunch of fundamentalists have to get involved with others' lives? A family is what you make it, not just a mother and father and 2.5 kids!!!! They are trampling on the rights of others.

Reading the news just ups my blood pressure.


New President

So, the fever is over and Obama is the new leader of the US. That's a relief. Not that I was worried. All indications were that McCain had lost this shortly after picking Palin as a running mate. Seriously, if you don't put more thought than that into choosing the other half of your platform, how much thought are you going to put into running a country?

One thing struck me, though. In interviews at various conventions around the states, Democrats were often hopeful, cheerful and generally concerned for the welfare of their rights and their country. Republicans, on the other hand, were more concerned with the fact that the leader of the other party was black, a Muslim, a terrorist and often shouted things like "hang him" or "socialist" to Democratic demonstrators at their rallies. Sad, really.

But then again, I couldn't really see past Palin's religious fundamentalism to even wonder if they had a sound platform. Of course, she actually is a fundamentalist as opposed to Obama's imagined terrorism activities.

So, I imagine we'll have a couple of weeks of election post-mortem and then perhaps things will be back to normal.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Time Flies Even Faster

Wow, it's November already!

My 18 year-old complains on a regular basis that time moves too quickly and she can't quite believe it. Imagine how she'll feel at my age? Not that I'm old. Heck no!

I'm looking forward to Christmas and all that it implies. I love the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, cutting down and lugging home the tree, baking, visiting, parties, the whole shebang. I particularly enjoy the fact that you can wander around downtown and most people are smiling, talkative, cheerful, and embody that sense of "hustle and bustle" from the classic "Silver Bells". It really is my favorite time of the year.

And, truth be told, it has nothing to do with religion. At least on my part. Sure, people have been "celebrating the birth of Christ" but it's evolved into more than that in this micro world. Religions other than Christian erect trees, decorate their homes and exchange gifts. But it seems to have more to do with appreciating your own family for a change, and hoping for peace and goodwill regardless of religious beliefs.

How often do we take our family members for granted throughout the year? Christmas is my time of the year to think about my family: what gift could I pick for them that they would enjoy? It doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be thoughtful. I don't think it's all about excess; that is just so much marketing. But, to show your love and appreciation just once, unselfishly, throughout the year is not asking too much. And a wish for peace and goodwill goes with every gift.