Saturday, December 05, 2015

Ho, ho and ho

Feeling rather Christmas-y right now. I accomplished three rather delightful things on my to-do list.

1) Made Andrew's Christmas a little happier. Andrew is a 7-year-old boy who goes to daycare in the children's home next door. In a world where all kids seem to want are electronics, Andrew asked for books and a gift card to The Book Table, our local independent book store. So I picked up a Disney Inside Out coloring/puzzle book and a $10 Book Table gift card. It felt really good.

2) Took some toys to Walgreens. Many locations will have a Toys for Tots drop-off box near the entrance through December 13. I contributed a Matchbox firefighter kit for a boy, a cologne/bath/body lotion for an older girl, and a game that's suitable for all ages/both genders.

3) Dropped off a bag of goodies for the food pantry. Included with the standard soups and beans were chicken broth and lots of tea. The broth? Because people will need it to baste their Christmas turkey. The tea? My aunt sent me a big box of tea for my birthday and there is no way I can drink all of it. They're tasty and fragrant and I want to share. So I packed up the ones with the most distant exp. dates and threw them into the bag. Nice to add something a little luxe and seasonal to the mix.

This is the stuff that reminds me what Christmas is all about. For me, doing good brings me closer to Christ. It's such a feel good. I highly recommend it!

Day 5: Nothing has ever been able to touch him

December 5: Best gift you've ever received

We're setting the Wayback to the autumn when I just turned four. Mattel was the one brand name I knew. Mattel made Barbie. Mattle made Chatty Cathy, the doll that talked. Mattel knew what I wanted.

So when the commercials said, "NEW from Mattel!" naturally they had my attention. When I saw him, they had my heart.

Blaze. The most beautiful thing ever. A pinto rocking horse who didn't just rock. He bounced up and down, too! And, when you pulled the string, he neighed and whinnied. He was my ideal. I didn't just want him. I loved him.

Then the Sears catalog came. I gazed at the black-and-white photo of him for what felt like hours on end (but, considering I was a fidgety four-year-old, it was probably five consecutive minutes). When we went shopping for something boring at Sears, I broke away from my family and my parents found me in the toy department, talking to Blaze. He was set at the top of the shelf where I couldn't touch him. But at least he wasn't in a box, so I could see him. He was dazzling.

My mom told me later that was when the deal was sealed. After catching me talk aloud to my horse in the toy aisle of Sears, they knew what Santa was getting me.

I will always, ALWAYS remember coming into the living room on Christmas morning and seeing Blaze under the tree. To me it meant Santa and magic and love were real.

To play along with this challenge, click here.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2004)

1) The "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" video begins with the gentlemen of Green Day dealing with car trouble. If your car overheated, what's the first thing you would do to remedy the situation? No freaking clue. I'm the least car-savvy person on earth. I haven't driven since Ronald Reagan was in office, and don't even have a license anymore.
2) Thinking of cars, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong has had his share of trouble behind the wheel and was busted for driving well beyond the speed limit. Was your last ticket for parking, or was it a moving violation? See above
3) Billie Joe says "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" was inspired by the Edward Hopper painting, "Nighthawks." Tell us about a piece of artwork that you enjoy. (Yes, the macaroni picture frame created for you by your nephew counts.) This is Thomas McKnight's Lake Shore Drive. It hangs on the wall behind me as I answer these questions. I have three framed McKnight posters in my home, but LSD is my favorite and it's representative of McKnight's work. It feels like life is going on in the rooms he paints, and you could just dive in and start living an alternate, fairy tale existence.
4) Let's go back to childhood. Was the home where you grew up located on a boulevard, an avenue, a street, a lane or a road?
5) This song won Green Day a Grammy for Record of the Year. What positive feedback have you received recently? One of my neighbors called me "an angel" after he saw me helping someone. That made me smile.
6) Green Day uses their Facebook page to let more than 32 millions know what the group is doing. What's the last thing you posted to social media? I shared the Tribune blurb that BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN IS COMING TO CHICAGO!!!!!
7) In 2004, when this song was popular, Ken Jennings had a still unbeaten string of 74 wins on Jeopardy! What game show do you think you'd do well on? Who Wants to be a Millionaire
8) Also in 2004, Lance Armstrong was in the midst of his own Tour de France winning streak. Now we know he cheated. Tell us about a time you broke the rules. All day, ever day. There's a village ordinance that says I can only have two cats and yet here I am with three. I'm a lawbreaking rogue, that's all there is to it.
9) 2004 is when Morgan Spurlock released Super Size Me, his documentary about eating nothing but McDonald's for a month. What's the last fast food restaurant you visited? Friday night I had a cheeseburger from Five Guys.