Friday, December 31, 2010


Does anyone have special plans to ring in the new year? We're going to a hockey game in Columbus, but will be home well before time for the ball drop - meaning I'll likely be looking at my eyelids and miss it! We're not much for partying these days and never go out to celebrate.
I'll probably spend Saturday putting the Christmas decorations away. It's so much more fun getting it all out than putting it away, isn't it?
Happy New Year to you all - I hope the new year is especially kind to everyone! (and GO BLUE JACKETS!!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winners for the boxes of books announced!

The winners are Pat L. (who had help from several friends - wow!) and TJ Russell. Congratulations, ladies! And thanks to everyone who stopped by! I loved reading about your plans and what you're reading!
Pat and TJ, please email me at with your mailing information so I can get your books in the mail. At this point it likely won't be until after Christmas. If I don't hear from Pat or TJ by Friday, I'll choose another winner(s).
Thanks, ladies!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas all over the place!

This past Friday, Lindsay and I went to a Christmas lunch at Dianne Castell's house with a group of friends who typically get together a couple of times a year. We had a wonderful spaghetti lunch and there were goodies and sweets enough to support a dentist and his family for a year. Yum! Here's a pic of everyone who was there (except Lindsay, who took the photo!):

L-R standing: Lori Foster, Carolyn Dietsch, moi, Becke Martin, Linda Keller, Marcie Robinson and our hostess, Dianne Castell. L-R seated: Judy Flohr, Toni Blake, Keri Stevens, Jules Bennett and Jennifer Stark
Lori has even put us all on YouTube with a fun little flip video. Linda Keller's opening mention of Duffy Brown is referring to Dianne's pseudonym for her new mystery series, so exciting! Lindsay did make her way into the video, she's in the yellow scarf and just happens to be getting ice out of an ice bucket that perfectly matches her scarf, ever fashion conscious!

Last night we went to my cousin's house for a Christmas dinner, a house full of family makes for warm, happy memories, doesn't it?

This evening we're going across the back yard to my brother's house to celebrate with them. My five year old great-niece, Hazel, lives in a pink and purple princess world and I can't wait for her to open her Pillow Pet purple unicorn! It's difficult to squeeze enough time in to get together with everyone's work schedules these days. I'm extra thankful that we're able to make it work! Shamefully though, I realized today that while I had gifts marked off my list for both of my nieces, one of them is in Fairbanks and I hadn't mailed hers off yet. It's boxed and ready to go to the post office in the morning - hope they can get it to her in time!
Christmas Eve evening will be spent with Tim's family which means even more hugs, bunches of great food and laughs. Tim's nephew and his wife have a new baby, so that will be make this celebration especially sweet!
As of this morning, the weatherman says we're definitely in the running for a white Christmas with the possibility of 3-5 inches. I think the several inches of snow we have on the ground is white enough already! One of us will go pick up my mom on Christmas and she'll spend the day with us. And then it will all be over and I'll be in my usual post-Christmas funk.
What are your Christmas plans? Have there been any gifts that you just can't find? People (like my hub) who are impossible to shop for? Don't you love buying for the little ones?
Remember, tomorrow evening I'll be drawing two names for boxes of books - scroll down a couple of posts to see details - and tell your friends!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Just in case you've forgotten ...

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun, written by Francis P. Church, September 21, 1897
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

"Dear Editor--I am 8 years old.
Some of my little 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

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical 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 were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like 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 you 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 no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You 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.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas - and I'm giving away books!

At least at our house it is! We bought a new tree this year because ours was just too big around and took up too much room. We decided to go skinnier and taller. At nine feet, the tree's waaay taller than what I had in mind, but Tim and Kelsey liked the taller one and it turns out that I'm very pleased with it. I have about ten boxes of ornaments and while I still couldn't fit them all on, it is loaded down with them, just the way I like it!! Here's a pic of one section of the tree.

My Christmas celebrations officially start tomorrow with a Christmas dinner/gift exchange with friends I've met through work (some I've known for 33 years), my mom and whichever of my daughters is around. Turns out Kelsey won't be home from school until the 17th, so she'll miss out. Next week our office is having a Christmas lunch since the bosses' schedules wouldn't allow for a weekend dinner out for staff and families, and then lunch with another friend that I used to work with. Lunch with friends in Cincinnati area on the 17th is one that I'm really looking forward to. We'll do a cookie exchange and an ornament exchange, great fun! Our office has an ornament exchange/lunch on the 22nd, more fun! Sounds like a lot of eating and a lot of ornaments, doesn't it? lol
Are any of you big Christmas music listeners? I started listening a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, and my boss and I have been trading holiday CDs for the past week, so fun! I don't like to listen after Christmas Day and always feel like I haven't listened to nearly enough holiday music when Christmas is said and done, so I start extra early!
Ohio, like so many other states, has been hit hard by cold, snowy weather. Not more than a couple of inches of snow, but blustery and cold. Our low tonight is supposed to be below 10 degrees. I wish Mother Nature would get the stick out of her but and let us slide into winter a little more gradual!
What's anyone reading these days? I finished Maya Banks' latest, NO PLACE TO RUN, this evening and could cry that I'm done. I'm loving this series and want more, more, more!
Packing up five boxes to send to the troops - included lots of Christmas goodies and need to get off my butt and get them to the post office so they'll get there in time. I'm really pushing the envelope on having enough time for them to ship.
Anyone remember the contest I talked about earlier? It's going to start with this post. I'm going to let it run until December 20th. I'll draw two names from all who comment between now and then and each will get a large flat rate box filled with books. As usual, send a friend who mentions your name and you'll get an extra entry for each friend. I don't have time to name all of the books or allow anyone to pick and choose - what I can fill the box with is what you'll get! Some of these books have been read, some not, some may be autographed and some may be ARCs - I can guarantee that they are clean and in good (if not excellent) condition. If you win and don't need/want them all, I only ask that you pass them on to a friend, hospital, retirement facility or library.
So talk to me - let me know what's going on with you. What are you reading? What are your holiday or wintertime traditions, whatever religion you follow, or don't! And be sure to send your friends over!
I'm hoping to get back on here regularly so we can talk books and what we're reading. If anyone would like to be a guest blogger, post a book review, etc., please let me know at and we'll work out the deets! Same for authors - want to chat up your books? We can make it happen! I draw the line at political rants or rude/offensive posts, that's just not my style or anything I want to put up here.