Thursday, October 25, 2007

Christmas shopping made easy

By Kathrine Ford

Christmas time is here again. And with the arrival of the busy season, it is important to me to always choose just the right gift for each person on my list. You can visit any store in any town and hunt and hunt for that perfect gift or you can do what I’m doing this year and give the easy way. Looking around the house, it occurred to me that there are so many items just laying around, why not give furniture, appliances and kitchen utensils as gifts?

This idea got me going on the front burner as I immediately began my list of family and friends that would be receiving these fine (albeit slightly worn) household items. As I tidied up the house I thought, “Now there’s just the thing for my youngest son, a brown recliner!” And since he loves to eat, a refrigerator and matching spoon, spatula and meat fork set. Gosh, that was just too easy! No muss no fuss, and best of all, the stuff is already delivered.

I found lots of other gift ideas too, like a picture of a samurai warrior made of inlaid wood. That would be perfect for my oldest son since he is war-like anyway. Also for my oldest son who’s really into guns and cars, a lovely dinner fork in stainless steel. I’m going to bend back the outer two tines for an added treat. And to really give him a thrill for the car lover in him, a rustic creeper complete with molded headrest. When I say molded, I mean like penicillin mold. But hey, what are Moms for? That’s an extra surprise treat right there! The mold. He won’t have to go for that penicillin booster shot after all! This just keeps getting better!

In the excitement of all this I have to remember that, well, kids are kids and they like to know they are both getting the same number of gifts. One kid got an extra gift? Hey, no problem at all. There’s a nice blue rubber hot water bottle for the youngest son. This will make an excellent addition to the kitchen set he’s already receiving.

As for candy in the stocking, well there is a fix for that too. Make sure you have onions and potatoes on hand to drop into the stockings for a treat. Friends and family can make their own French fries and onion rings for Christmas dinner! Brussel sprouts are nice gifts too because they keep well. But only if they are fresh. The frozen ones thaw out too fast. Turkey drumsticks are nice stocking stuffers too. And after roasting, there’s no need for wrapping it up, it can be eaten right out of the stocking. And there’s nothing quite like walking around the house looking at your gifts while knawing on a turkey drumstick. Ahhh. what bliss!

There are as many gift ideas in the house as there are family members. Why just look at this coffee table, it just screams Aunt Martha. And a nice new come-along! Just think, Aunt Martha can use it to hoist that coffee table and save her hernia a lot of aggravation. Using the come-along will also help with medical expenses. This is turning out to be the best Christmas ever! All the extras that you would have to pay a lot more money for at a retail store. But then that’s what Christmas is all about- making loved ones happy.

And what better way to see that gloriously happy look on Uncle Leon’s face when he sees his gifts, than a nice garbage can! It’s already broken in with it’s own unique blend of potpourri, so there’s never that “new plastic” smell to irritate sinuses. And a shower curtain too. Completely pre-scummed to protect Uncle Leon’s delicate nasal membranes. He’ll love it!

This has all been so exciting for me to get the best gifts and to get all my shopping done early this year. I know the gifts I’ve chosen will last a lifetime. Well, maybe a second lifetime but hey, it’s the thought that counts. So on Christmas morning if you open one of your gifts and find a shiny soup spoon staring back at you, you’ll know that your loved one has taken my shopping advice and done the shopping right in their own home. But then home and family is what Christmas is all about.

Monday, October 22, 2007

SEETHER I love their music!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?
Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?
Out of whose womb came the ice?
And the hoary frost of heaven,
who hath gendered it?
The waters are hid as with a stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.

The Book of Job

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance

I haven't posted anything in ages and after seeing the A & E movie Shackleton, starring one of my all-time favorite actors, Kenneth Branagh I wanted to tell you all how good it is.

If you love adventure stories this movie is for you. The best thing is that this all really happened and very closely to what this movie shows as well. Some of the cast members bear an uncanny resemblance to the real men they portray.

On August 9,1914 a crew of 28 men left from Plymouth England aboard the ship Endurance heading to Buenos Aires to await Shackleton's arrival and then depart for the Antarctic.

Named the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition by Shackleton the men finally left on December 5, 1914.

I can relate to Shackleton's love of adventure and his dislike of things that are easily gained without cost of one's self. As well as his love of the dark at night because he can relax. His inability to choose a path in life that suits him and his restlessness about it. I understand how he felt all too well because that's me too.

The crew of his ship Endurance stood by their boss and watched as the ice crushed the ship. They watched as it sank, disappearing without a trace beneath the icy Antarctic waters leaving them with three small boats to drag along with supplies across the jagged, frozen land.

This is one of the best adventure stories I have ever seen and was made based on Shackleton's diaries as well as from film and photos from the ship's photographer, Australian Frank Hurley. Hurley's photos and film were retrieved by him at great risk to his life.

Two other crew members held his feet as he went into the icy water inside the sinking ship to get the film canisters that in Hurley's words were the only record of the year in theirs lives that would tell what had happened to them.

In the end Hurley was right - He and Shackleton agreed on 150 glass plates to be kept as a record of their amazing journey across the ice.

If you haven't seen this film, do so. It is absolutely one of my all-time favorites.

To Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance, "Fortitudine vincimus" (By endurance we conquer). You are not forgotten.