Sunday, December 29, 2013
Saturday, December 28, 2013
These photos from a Christmas Day visit. Top left to right, mom with granddaughters (and our nieces), Julie and Jamie. Bottom left to right, myself & mom, mom in holiday wear, and myself and brother Tony.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Grenville is on a day trip today with Bobby and will have more photos to post. He brought his camera on this trip and my request was for "lots of photos" (of course).
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Thanks for your comments, support and friendship this year; all are very much appreciated. Bloggers are a special community; please give yourselves a big hug from us (smile).
(Update: Dorothy's mom remains in a NJ rehab facility for physical therapy treatments. where D will be visiting on Christmas Day; Pat may visit via a FaceTime session.)
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
The Grinch is a bitter, cave-dwelling grouch with a heart "2 sizes too small" living on snowy Mount Crumpit with his loyal dog, Max, just north of Whoville, home of the merry Whos. From his steep perch, the Grinch hears the noisy pre-holiday Whoville festivities. Annoyed, he decides to stop Christmas from coming and steals their presents, trees, decorations and food, which he plans to dump off the mountain.
Expecting to hear bitter and sorrowful cries, instead he hears the Who's singing joyously on Christmas. It occurs to him that Maybe Christmas, means a little bit more than presents and feasting. His shrunken heart grows 3 sizes larger, he returns everything, and is invited to the Whos' celebrations. (In 2000, the book was adapted into a film starring Jim Carrey, and is on our Christmas "must-see" list.)
What does this story have to do with this post?
In the past few days, there's been news of some retailers staying open 24 hours or over 100 hours non-stop for last-minute shopping frenzies. CRAZY, we agree, BUT, as the Grinch learned,
- In PA, police officers reached out to help make Christmas merry for 10 children of officers killed or injured in the line of duty. The initial 10 kids bloomed to over 2 dozen in other states.
- At an Indiana children's hospital, "elves" decked out in pointy shoes and hats and red and green rappelled down the side of the 10-story building outside children's windows while the children waved and smiled; Santa made his rounds indoors.
- Children's Healthcare in Atlanta brought a snowy wonderland to all 3 of its hospitals at the same time in December. Despite 57-degree weather, it snowed for an hour outside hospital rooms surprising children being treated for cancer or awaiting heart transplants. The hospital hired Magic F/X, which works with Disney on snow shows. The company assembled over 30 snow machines with gallons of snow fluid on the hospital rooftops. The real-looking "snow" felt like cotton.
- Travelers at Toronto and Hamilton Airports shared Christmas wishes with a virtual Santa as about 200 WestJet employees listened via 19 hidden camera at the airports. After travelers boarded, employees hurried to make wishes come true. Upon landing, the carousel buzzer sounded as disembarking passengers didn't see luggage but snow falling and gifts from "Santa" with their names. Gifts included a "choo-choo" train, camera, a flight home for the holidays, even socks and underwear. (Last year, the Canadian carrier surprised passengers with a flash mob of singing and dancing elves.)
- In Joplin, MO, a Secret Santa gave Salvation Army kettle ringers a BIG surprise. As totals were counted, 5 checks of $10,000 each were found wrapped inside $1 bills. The responsible person(s) remain anonymous and over the past years have given nearly $500,000.
- NOCOShares (Northern Colorado Shares) delivered 350 Christmas trees (freshly cut or artificial if allergies) to families in need.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Poet Robert Frost wrote Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening in 1922, two years before he won the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes. That happened in 1923, when this poem was published in his New Hampshire volume.
Frost wrote the poem in June at his Vermont home. He had stayed up all night writing the longer poem, New Hampshire, and when finished, realized that it was morning. Stopping to watch the sunrise, he had the idea for this poem, writing about a snowy evening in several minutes and in summertime.
Born in San Francisco, CA, Frost spent most of his years in New England. When asked to reveal the "hidden" meaning of his poems, he replied, "If I wanted you to know, I'd have told you in the poem."
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening has been used to eulogize notables, including the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy EveningWhose woods these are I think I know.His house is in the village, though;He will not see me stopping hereTo watch his woods fill up with snow.My little horse must think it queerTo stop without a farmhouse nearBetween the woods and frozen lakeThe darkest evening of the year.He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if there is some mistake.The only other sound's the sweepOf easy wind and downy flake.The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.
by Robert Frost
Sunday, December 22, 2013
But, we fondly recall past Christmas celebrations at The Frog & PenguINN when the tree was decorated and stockings hung with care. A snowfall made the holiday complete!
So, this Christmas, one of our favorite holiday songs, Merry Christmas Darling, by Karen & Richard Carpenter) is definitely in our thoughts.
Merry Christmas Darling was originally recorded in 1970, and was first available on a 7-inch single, which reached No. 1 on Billboard's Christmas singles chart that year, and also in 1971 and 1973. In 1978, The Carpenters issued a Christmas Portrait album, which contained a new remix of Merry Christmas Darling. The original 1970 mix continued to be used for all single releases, and the major difference between it and the 1978 version was a newly recorded vocal by Karen Carpenter. Richard Carpenter called the original recording one of his sister's best (and we agree).
This is from me to Pat, and if you and your loved one(s) are also separated it's for you too.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
It's important to NOT let your spirits fall flat.
And keep smiling . . . as much as possible.
(Update on my mom: she was released from the hospital this week and transferred to a rehab facility to get her strength back. Pat/Grenville is now in New England, while I remain in NJ for Christmas week. We will celebrate long-distance this holiday.)
Friday, December 20, 2013
Of course, we wondered whether it referred to the type of cars being sold or what they do on the road.
This is a shot of heavily-travelled Rte 22 in late afternoon rush traffic.
Wish you were here?
(We wished we were not.)
Thursday, December 19, 2013
We left VA just as hurriedly when his birth was imminent in CA, seven years ago. We spent that Christmas season at the hospital (he was a preemie) and then celebrating his discharge in time for Christmas to be shared with his parents and happy grandparents. Here he is in his father's arms in his 1st Christmas outfit.
Bobby was the best holiday gift of 2006 . . . red is still his favorite color.
This year, we couldn't be with he and his family in RI, but his mom, Shannon, shared these images of a very happy birthday boy. Granddaughter Ellie is peeking at his gifts.
And, there will be more happiness for both grands with Christmas arriving next week.
Nice that Santa also favors the same color.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Thankfully, my brother took her to the hospital before the snow worsened on Saturday. Also, it thankfully held off snowing again as while we travelled from VA to NJ on Monday. We were able to visit briefly on Monday night.
Monday overnight it started snowing again continuing on and off throughout the day. This winter view was seen from our motel. Granted it's not the most scenic, but then we didn't venture out early as Monday had been a long day.
By early afternoon, we headed out to visit my mom, who was feeling much better than at our previous visit. The snow had become a slushy mess on the roadways, but what remained on the trees and roadsides was still pretty to us.
Heading back to the motel during rush hour traffic on Route 22, the snowy slush gave car lights an holiday light "look."
Sometimes, we need to find holiday magic wherever and whenever possible.
After getting the call from my brother Sat night, Grenville (Pat) and myself (Dorothy) took care of things at home. On Monday after loading up, we drove the 6+ hours to NJ in two vehicles. Pat is continuing to New England by the end of this week for family visits in RI and CT, where folks there are also dealing with family/medical issues. I will stay in NJ for Christmas week. While this was our original plan for this holiday season, it started a week earlier than expected.
We don't yet have an "official" diagnosis arriving at the hospital late last night. However, nursing staff told us the "issues" included dehydration and an infection.
Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts and prayers; all are greatly appreciated.
The above photo was taken a few years ago at the CT home of Pat's aunt, who is also facing serious medical issues. And, while only a photo, we hope these candles offer the light of hope for everyone, especially those dealing with similar situations.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Grandkids and grandpas really are grand together. Grenville is good at having fun with the grands as shown during a recent family road trip.
Grandson Bobby explained the finer points of Play-Doh® while making sure that grandpa did it right.
Moments like these are special and and can be rare too.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Tis the season for lots of activities, including an increasing amount of spam and phishing emails being sent. Yesterday, we received emails at our blog email and my email (both at Gmail) purportedly from a fellow blogger. We recognized this as a fake and deleted them and the email address it was sent from which was connected to the blog (after resuscitating from the trash). I decided to re-post it as a warning. It really made me very angry (does it show?).
It’s a shame that some unscrupulous folks have nothing better to do — isn’t Wal-Mart open 24 hours?
This is a FAKE phishing email (copied as received). IF you ever get anything similar, you should also DELETE it. I’ve omitted the blogger’s name AND blog name as I didn’t think it appropriate to include. The message is as received:
Subject: What a Terrible Experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (blogger’s name)
I Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Ukraine and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle my hotel bills with the Manager.
I have made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account, the bad news is my flight will be leaving very soon but I am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let me leave until I settle the bills, I need your help/LOAN financially and I promise to make the refund once I get back home, you are my last resort and hope, All i need now is $2,650 USD Please let me know if I can count on you and I need you to keep checking your email because it's the only way I can reach you.
This blogger was on our sidebar list of blogs (but has since been deleted). After the phishing attempt, I left a message on the blog to alert the blogger that her email (at Gmail) had been hacked and quite possibly other bloggers had received this sham email. Last night, I clicked on the blog to check for a response. This is what displayed (again the blog name has been omitted):
Blog has been removed
Sorry, the blog at xxxxx.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.
It’s a shame that the blogger had to end it, but most likely did it as a precautionary measure. Hopefully, another one will be created with a different email.
This is NOT the first time we’ve received phishing emails like this (certainly not the last). There was one supposedly from our credit card company last week. We contacted them and then forwarded the email to their fraud department. We suspect that keeping contacts listings online allows a higher risk of having them hacked. I previously had an online Yahoo contacts list online and it was hacked. I deleted it after sending everyone a message NOT to open/reply to any emails sent from it.
We DO NOT keep contacts online at Gmail, Yahoo, or Verizon and retain them on our devices.
Do you have a similar experience OR suggestions on preventative actions ?
Have you received similar scam/phishing emails ?
Rant over. Enjoy the weekend and for those who have snow in the forecast, be safe.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
And as always his helpers at the Historic Onley Station were ready to host his annual visit. Hot Chocolate, Cookies, and Popcorn were provided by SPOTS, Shore Bank, and PNC Bank.
This year's treat for young and old was model train displays. The public was treated to a sneak preview of the soon to start Play with Trains program slated to begin this spring. The kids got to put tracks together, hold some of the trains, and even be the Engineer of one of the Lionel O Gauge trains.
YES!!!!! Even the girls get to be engineers here.
BUT all of this was just the lead up to the Big Mans arrival. We even warmed up his chair for him.
The trains were everywhere, even on the outside of the Station. Engineer Paul set up his Garden Gauge trains as a special treat.
Since i spent most of the time outside making sure everyone got to see Santa, i don't have any inside pictures. BUT not to fear. if you go to www.onley-spots.blogspot.com our good friend (and keeper of the Cocoa and Cookies) Possum has photos of those happy little faces. Make sure you choose "CLASSIC" from the menu bar or you will miss all the pictures. And while your there why not become a follower. Its easy and painless, I promise!!!!!
Since we seldom have snow here on the Eastern Shore, Santa always pays an early visit by train. Of course not anyone can order a special train. Well unless you're a special person like Santa. And then it takes some very special people to make sure that all goes well.
Conductors Ryder and John E. of the DelMarVa chapter of the National Railway Historical Society have been making sure Santa's Eastern Shore visit was safe and on time since 1992.
So from all of us at the Historic Onley Station, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
We had an overnight frost yesterday, which while not the first of the season, came after 2+ days of rain, Grenville was hoping for at least one snowflake (me too), but nary a dusting here. We’ve been enjoying snowy and frosty images on fellow bloggers site; maybe next time for us.
Those are NOT not holiday lights, but light reflections from the berry-like (called pomes) of this pyrocantha shrub by the side patio. It produces flowers in late spring and early summer; pomes develop from late summer and mature in late autumn, just in time for the holidays. Many folks use the pomes in natural decorations.
My first thought was to title this post “frosted windowpanes” in keeping with the holiday time and hearing that line from Christmas Waltz in my mind. But my Jeep windshield isn’t a good replacement — not even close.
Interesting images, at least to me, were everyday objects that had tiny frost hairs(?) clinging to them, however briefly — a grill thermometer, frozen bird bath, railing, car mirror — and a light with a great winter cap.
Sure, we would have liked white vs. wet weather, especially at the holidays. We know that folks in other parts of the U.S. may be wishing otherwise after getting (lots of) snow. If that’s affected you or loved ones, we hope all are safe.
How are your pre- holidays going?