Sunday, December 23, 2007

Countdown to Christmas...a Collage

So much to do, so little time. I admit it, the holidays always creep up on me. This is obviously a character fluke of mine; it's not like there's no anticipation. I mean, the day after Halloweeen, Christmas filled all the stores. (I distinctly remember Thanksgiving, although apparently it's not consumer-worthy; aside from a few autumnal table decorations and tips for carving the turkey, there isn't a great deal around.) NOTE: I do want to mention one thing. There are lots and lots and LOTS of decorations available which claim to look like the Puritans/Pilgrims and/or Native Americans from the First Thanksgiving.

Fortunately there ARE now lots of information sites available (thank you o innernet) with good information which are slowly beginning to dispel the tons and tons of misinformation out there. Two facts come immediately to my mind: 1) the Puritans did NOT wear solid black with wide white collars and little dutchgirl caps. (Pure black like that was very hard to dye; also, they wore subtle colors, but COLORS, as in reds and blues and greens. 2) while it's very possible that there was turkey at the First Thanksgiving, as they were common fowl - historians think that it's very likely there was also lobster on the table. They weren't popular with the English, bug-looking as they are, but the Wampanoag enjoyed a lot of provender from the sea. Aren't we GLAD that didn't catch on? Think of the expense of trying to plan a lobster dinner for the whole family!!

OK. We've been thinking about gifts for the grandchildren. We don't get presents for the adult children or really anyone else. Instead, we adopt a family and get presents for them. These are families with children whose parent (usually there's only one) are unable to provide anything nice, in this year 2007, in this country of wealth and abundance. Even as a single mother with three children I never experienced that kind of isolation, so I really enjoy being able to do this small thing.

Ah - in case anyone is in need of something to do on line while watching television or chatting on the phone. There is a game called Free Rice . There's no registration, no need to put in any personal information and you totally keep your own score. It's a vocabulary-building quiz. As you answer correctly, your "best level" is recorded, and your vocabulary level changes with each word. You can raise your best level as you answer correctly. Of course, if you answer wrong it gives you the right answer and you can expand your vocabulary painlessly (and secretly). Best of all! As you answer correctly, you store up grains of rice in a little bowl. These represent ACTUAL grains of rice which are ACTUALLY donated. There are ads on each screen (for neat stuff, might I add), and each company advertising there donates money to Free Rice to be turned into the donatons of food. It's a non-profit; we're not supporting a bunch of people who aren't really doing anything.

There are 50 levels possible, although they point out that very few people ever get over the 48th level. I do fairly well at it, but my Daddy was a newspaperman and words were relished and shared. In fact, when I a kid, Dad left for work before I got up. He'd leave a word on a slip of paper next to my bed for me to find when I got up. Then, when he came home for dinner I had to spell the word, use it correctly in a sentence and define it. I LOVED that game - hence, I'm not too bad at Free Rice. Like, we all need something else to vacuum time away, but at least while you play this one you're increasing your vocabulary and ultimately feeding someone. Cool, huh?

Moving on - a little "funny".....the phone rang, and both Mr Dearling and I answered, simultaneously. The call disconnected as a result. (Don't ask me, I don't do technical or electrical or any of that stuff.) However, owing to the time, I figured it was my friend Sunawa; Mr Dearling figured it was his sister calling. I said "I bet you a new knitting book!" and the phone rang again instantly. Well, I lost he won, it was in fact his sister. So see, now I owe him a new knitting book. I'm thinking he might really enjoy one of those big stitch ditionary books, wouldn't that be nice?

I'm going to end here with a Pet Peeve. (Along with the two cats and a wide variety of teddy bears, I have quite a stable of pet Peeves, and they sometimes are more high-maintenance than either of the others.)

You might have seen that commercial on television that shows a very attractive woman reading out of what is apparently her diary, saying "Today I really struggled with my fibromyalgia...." and she goes on to describe how painful it was. Now, that might be really true, taken from genuine life, an entry in that actual woman's actual daily journal. But...I don't think so, and for some reason it rubs me the wrong way. Just sayin'. (I am, of course, glad that she's now taking Dr Yiffniff's Magical No-Fibromyalgia-Owie Pills and can write more interesting things in her diary.)

On to tidy up for the holidays.


Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you on the pet peeves. I can't stand that commercial for the debit card that gives the viewer that the entire world comes to a screeching halt when the buyer attempts to use (gasp) cash for his/her purchase. Makes me want to go over to the bank and get a bunch of $2 bills then try to use them at the McD's. So there. hee hee. Or silver dollars? Can you still get those?

Anonymous said...

"...vaccum up time..." I love it! Such a way with words. Speaking of words, I've gotten to level 47 on that game, but it has taken me a l-o-n-g time. Love that one, too.