Well here it is....the first day of winter and in Ronkonkoma, NY the temperature is pretty chilly. The weather man is predicting snow on Christmas day, going in to the next. And if we have a white Christmas, I will be mad happy. :oD
A lot has been going on in my neck of the woods, and although my gift-shopping list has really dwindled, the holiday hecticness is still getting to me. And it's clear that my days have been busy as I hadn't been blogging with the Christmas count-down facts, so now I am going to have to catch up (yet again.) Mom had her knee surgery last Friday and it appears to have been a success. However last weekend was hell, as she was not the picture-perfect patient (say that 3 times fast) and ran me ragged. I also had a big shock to my personal life, and I'll get to that in a minute. Let's get to those Christmas count-down facts!
Christmas Countdown Fact # 15: Tolling of bells had their origin in the pagan winter festivals and celebrations. It was believed that the noise would drive away the evil spirits. But using the bell just to ward off the evil was not enough, later the bells started being used for other >purposes as well.
Christmas Countdown Fact # 16: According to the records of Christmas History in Australia the Christmas tree is termed as Pohutukawa.The European immigrants became fascinated to their brilliant red colors and bright green foliage's. Other well-known Christmas plants that are used in the Christmas decorations include Christmas Bells, Christmas Bush and the Christmas Orchid.
Christmas history in Australia contains a traditional flavor. The birth of Christ is drawn from the Australian Christmas Bush. The films Bush Christmas (1947) and Miracle Down Under offer insight into the early Australian Christmas culture.
Christmas Countdown Fact # 17: The Puritans in America tried to make Thanksgiving Day the most important annual festival instead of Christmas.
Christmas Countdown Fact # 18: The first church the Dutch built in New York City was named in St Nicholas' honour -St Nicholas Church.
Christmas Countdown Fact # 19: If you're wondering why men may have not flocked to kiss you under the mistletoe, the answer may be that it was said that it will only work if the person you are kissing is a virgin. On the sixth day of the new moon, a Druid priest used to cut mistletoe from an oak tree with a sacred sickle. A passing virgin was called upon to catch the falling plant, which was not allowed to touch the ground.
Christmas Countdown Fact # 20: In 1937, the first postage stamp to commemorate Christmas was issued in Austria.
Christmas Countdown Fact # 21: The common abbreviation for Christmas to Xmas is derived from the Greek alphabet. X is letter Chi, which is the first letter of Christ's name in the Greek alphabet.
Now on to the mom update. Mom had her knee surgery last Friday, by the world's best orthopedic, Dr. Stuart Hershon. He also happens to be the head ortho for the New York Yankees....as well as my ortho. We go this Thursday to have her stitches removed. Then in 2 weeks she begins her physical therapy. What stinks is that she didn't get to do Christmas shopping....so all my gifts which she purchased for me, I know about as she ust gave me her credit card and had me pick them out and purchase them for her. The only thing that I *really want* is the talking Hallmark Christmas book, which she can record in her voice. Because I want something to remember her voice for always.
I've found my new favorite author! She has quite a number of books out, and now there is even a prime time show based on two of her characters. The author is Tess Gerritsen, and she is the author of the Rizzoli and Isles books. If you like suspense, mystery, cop shows...then these books are for you. Real page turners which have two strong female characters and it is simply fascinating. Check her out at http://www.tessgerritsen.com/ If you enjoy NCIS...then I can guarantee you'll enjoy this series both in book and tv form.
I *hate*....I repeat *HATE* the Wilton Cookie Master Plus Cookie Press. I have always wondered about the people who used cookie presses to create their holiday cookies. And yet everyone who owns one of these modern marvels, swears by them. So this December, after finding a slew of cookie recipes which called for the damned device, I purchased the Wilton Cookie Master Plus Cookie Press which is battery operated and supposed to be even *better* than the original. Yeah. Right. In whose dreams? The damned thing did not make the shaped cookies the disc thingy was supposed to make them shoot out like. In fact when attempting a batch of apple butter cookies, it went so awry, that I dubbed the shapes 'reigndeer turds'. After making yet another batch of cookies, which were delicious vanilla-sugar cookies, the damned dough chamber would not unscrew from the motor chamber. Returning to Michael's I explained the situation, and they got it unscrewed, claiming that sugar got into the threads of the wonderful cookie gun. Today I attempted to make Christmas tree peanut butter cookies. Not only did the frigging thing not want to dispense the dough....but the tree shapes, then the ribbon shapes, would not cooperate. This frustration caused me to open the damned thing, and ust use the dough, making thumbprint cookies. Tonight I returned the damned WCMPCP to Michael's, where they asked why I wanted my money back. UH....HEL-LO? Do you need me to beat you over the head with this blasted device creaed by Satan? Whomever invented this device....I wish you nothing but rotten, burnt cookies!
Traitors/Turncoats/Troublemakers. All three of these types, and then some infiltrated the paranormal investigative group which I had founded with my (sic) BFF.....who BTW is no longer my BFF. I was accused of hiding my agenda, stealing from the group and a ton of other preposterous allegations, as well as my mother who was part of the group. Meanwhile there were secret meetings taking place behind my back, major cases of he said/she said and tons of gossiping, lieing, and betraying. In the end what I had helped create from nothing became toxic and painful. People whom I trusted and thought to be closer than friends turned out ot be nothing but hateful troublemakers and fair-weathered 'friends'. The most shocking was how my 'friend' whom I had formed this group with totally turned against me....not listening to a word I said, and believing the worst in me. But now that I am free of them and out of the viper nest and away from cancerous relationships....I feel free, and am happy and can now move on to bigger and better.