Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."– Luke 2:10-12

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Eye of the Beholder

Last weekend the Nash family left the comfort of our warm, dry home and went on our annual quest to find the perfect Christmas tree. It's been our tradition since the kids were small, to find our Christmas tree on our own farm; and this year was no different. So off we went. We searched high. We searched low. We searched far. We searched wide. We searched north. We searched south. We walked miles. We braved the cold. We avoided angry beavers. We fought briers. We stepped in mud. We stepped in water. We got wet. We lost interest. We got desperate. We came home with a tree.
Any tree.
And this.......




......is why you leave the Christmas tree growing to the professionals.

Don't judge. It looked much worse before this photo was taken. Our poor little "Charlie Brown-esque" tree was a bit muddy from being dragged carried home. It was also noticeably thinning at the top and a little pudgy around the middle. After undergoing a little cosmetic tree surgery and some serious strategic nipping and tucking it looked a little better.

Anyway, we dried off, drank some hot chocolate and began to survey the situation. This sad little tree would simply have to do, so we cranked up the Christmas music and set to work. We added the lights, the vintage-style beads and a wide assortment of handmade preschool ornaments from Christmases past. We reminisced and laughed and laughed and laughed some more. When all was said and done, the tree was pronounced......
...... perfect. :)

At least it smells wonderful. And for the record, it looks a lot better at night.





[P.S. The pups got in on the Christmas spirit too. That's Cooper in the first photo looking for squirrels. The ugly plastic tree-stand is still visible because I had to remove our traditional tree skirt so Jude wouldn't chew it up. All the ornaments in the lower 1/3 of the tree have been removed for the same reason. Merry Christmas! ~cn]

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shhhhh....


This is just between you and me, but here's a sneak peek for the SpookyTimeJingles update on December 13. Be sure to check out the artists at STJ, where it's always spooky and jingly.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at STJ


12/8/09---The auction is on! Click here to see the tree or to bid.
SpookyTimeJingles presents our VERY FIRST complete collector's Christmas Tree! It's a 6 foot tree filled with original, one-of-a-kind handmade Christmas Ornaments made by SpookyTimeJingles artisan's! Also includes a handmade tree topper and a tree skirt- all original works of art!
Check it out starting tomorrow.
[Update: 12/7/09---Hang in....the auction link will be up soon!]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No More Mr. Nice Guy



The following is a comment which appeared twice today on a 2 year old post, once in English and once in French. It's written by "Anonymous" and I'm thinking Anonymous is a fancy way of saying Spam-bot. This is what the comment said, word for word:

"Our well-bred support team of hilarious equipped pharmacists resolve take you Best Discount Pharmacy On-line, consulting on disparate healthiness questions."
*
[Editor's note: I removed the website URL mentioned in the comment because I don't want to be an accomplice for such mindless "marketing." Plus if I re-posted the URL, it might just encourage Son-of-Spam to also lurk around the 2 year old comment section of my blog.]
*****
If you're like me, most of the time receiving a comment on a blog post is like getting a virtual high five. It's an affirmation that what you wrote touched someone in some way. Leaving or receiving a comment is a little piece of humanity that transcends the miles and reaches out across the nameless Blog-o-sphere to offer a human touch.

The above comment, however, does not, and it just annoys me on so many levels. First, it's so poorly written and so impersonal and it has nothing to do with the post on which it appeared. Plus, it doesn't take a rocket scientist or an IT guy to know that this comment is obviously spam. Nobody likes spam; and no matter how you slice it, dice it, saute it, marinate it, or fry it, spam is still spam. . . and nobody really knows what the heck spam is even made of.
*
Okay now let's talk about the content of the "comment." I may not be an English professor, but grammatically, this comment is akin to listening to someone scratch a chalkboard while having a tooth drilled at the dentist. And the word choice?! Just strange. What in the world does"disparate healthiness questions" even mean? Disparate healthiness?? Maybe something was lost in translation from Spam-sylvania.

And while we're at it, did you notice how the spam pharmaceutical "support team" is described? Perhaps I'm too picky, but when I'm in the market for medicine, I'm usually more interested in the fact that the pharmacist is a real-live, breathing person and that he/she can read and fill a prescription correctly. Period. It's all business for me. I really don't care if the pharmacist is "well-bred" or "hilarious." CVS is not a country club and it's certainly not a comedy club.


I've just about had it with these insidious spam messages, so in an effort to "stick it to the man Spam-bot," I'm writing this open letter to all the weird, creepy, nosey, questionable, grammatically-challenged robots (well-bred or not) out in the Blog-o-sphere. (If I could find a way to reverse-spam this to all the robots in the world I would.)


To Spamever it may concern,

Your recent unwanted attempt at soliciting my patronage has forced me not only to leave my mini-vacation to deal with your insidious assault on my blog and my email, but it has also caused me untold annoyance and personal real-live, human distress. I am not now, nor in the future, interested in hearing about your "discount pharmaceuticals" whether or not you are hilarious, well-bred, or can answer my disparate healthiness questions.
Kindly keep your creepy, non-human robotic tentacles out of the comment section of my blog archives. If you continue invading my virtual personal space, I may be forced to resort to more aggressive means of defending my home turf; to fight fire with fire, or in this case, Spambots with Spam-i-cide, otherwise known as the dreaded Letter Verification.

Sincerely and humanly yours,

Cathy
*******************
[Update: I've received 4 more comments from Sir Spam-a-lot, which has forced me to initiate the comment letter verification function. I know how inconvenient it is to wade through letter verification but I have no other choice. Sad how a few bad spam-apples can spoil it for everyone else. My apologies to all the real people.]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Opposites Don't Necessarily Attract

This is our dog Cooper. (He looks a little like Rin Tin Tin, but don't let this classic, take-on-the-world pose fool you. He has a major Napoleon complex.)


This is our other dog Jude. (Don't let his cuteness fool you either. He goes by many names: Sir Chews-a-lot, Night Stalker, and The Destroyer. You've met Jude on several occasions: here , here, here, and here.)



This is Jude's lair. It's a one foot space behind our sofa. There's always a revolving assortment of "treasures" stashed here, including shoes, pencils, stuffed animals, bras, various candy wrappers and misplaced rolls of toilet paper. Whenever something is missing, I can almost always find it here, usually half-chewed and soggy.




This is Cooper and Jude together. This snapshot says much about their love/hate relationship. Jude loves to annoy Cooper, and play. Cooper loves to hate Jude, and hide. Just look at the eyes on Cooper's face. Talk about a picture worth a thousand words.


These two pups are about as opposite as you get. Jude is a Shih-poo, and he's a cute, fluffy, bouncy bundle of mischievous fun. And Cooper. . .well, Cooper is not. He is a rat terrier, and he was just born old. . . and grumpy. Plus, Cooper has really thin skin, both figuratively and literally. I think his old-man, frumpy nature goes back to his early days with us. Cooper was a Christmas gift from Santa, and his name really should have been "Bah-Humbug." Santa brought Cooper to our house even though Mrs. Claus really didn't think a puppy was a good idea at the time, especially not an inside puppy. So Santa and Cooper formed a bond of solidarity and Cooper has been a one-person dog ever since; and that person is not Mrs. Claus.
Cooper is all about business. His sole mission on this earth is to eat as much food as he possibly can, to protect our home from squirrels, to chew holes in every blanket in our house, and to escape from Jude. Jude on the other hand is all about fun. He lives for the moment and delights in finding (or creating) mischief. He is the definition of Epicurean. One of his favorite antics, besides splashing in mud puddles and driving Cooper insane, involves running through the house with someone's shoes or underwear.

This is what I deal with/ listen to all day long. It's mostly good-natured fun, but occasionally the gloves come off and the play-fighting escalates into a real spat. It's like I've been teleported back 15+ years when I was refereeing 3 munchkins and a newborn.


Speaking of 3 munchkins and a newborn. . . (Nice segue, huh? :) This a pic of what the 3 munchkins look like now. And wonder of wonders, they really enjoy hanging out with each other. These guys have been in and out of our house a lot this fall. It's like a revolving door of college books, ipods, and laundry.





This is my newborn. (Her photo editing too.) She recently earned her learner's permit, but that is an entirely different post. :)



And this is Santa. Santa comes home for R and R from Iraq in 3 days.



Cooper and Mrs. Claus are very happy. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009


Thoughts and prayers for the victims at Fort Hood and their families.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Itsy Bitsy Spider

This is just about the only kind of spider I like.....the cute, hand made, fun kind! I won this whimsical ornament in a recent giveaway from Swirly Designs. Swirly Designs features the wonderful hand-sculpted polymer clay creations of Lianne and Paul, a husband and wife team. You can check out their other unique designs here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Bark Worse Than a Bite

What better way to start a new week than a return to the weird and wacky news from my local paper. I don't even know what to say about this latest installment. . . but I suspect that it really didn't matter how convincing the woman needed to be in order to scare off an intruder. (For the record, I don't think the people who live around here are any weirder or wackier than most; and based on my latest perusal of "People of WalMart," I'm convinced that weirdness is a universal malady.)~cn

Anyway, for your reading pleasure(?), I present the following:

***************

Woman acts like a dog to scare off man
A Simmons Street woman scared off a would-be burglar about 11 p.m. Saturday by acting like a dog, an Athens-Clarke police report said.
When a suspicious man tried turning the woman's door knob, she got on the floor and began scratching at the door and acting like a large dog, police said, though what dog-like behaviors she specifically mimicked remains unknown.
The man, who wore an olive jacket, quickly ran from the porch, according to the report. Police searched the neighborhood for him, but to no avail.

news@onlineathens.com Story updated at 8:10 pm on 10/25/2009

Have a great week!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Boo

Recently I was asked to contribute a few of my 'spookies' for a show called Penumbra hosted by a local gal, Moon Mama. The show opens tomorrow and will run through Halloween at Fringe Collective Artistic Studios at 159 N Jackson St in Athens.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween.......


10. . . .10 days 'til Halloween.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brought to You By. . .

The spooky..........

And the jingly................


SpookyTimeJingles : The place for all things Sweet & Spooky. Plus there are tons of great, FREE door prizes up for grabs each month!!
(My page at STJ)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is That a 9 or a g? (Revisited)

Am I the only one who gets just a bit nervous when posting a message or filling out some online form, and then at the end, you have to try to figure out those funky letters which are supposed to weed out "robots." I'm sure I spend waaaay too much time studying those odd looking letters or numbers, and hesitate just a bit too long when it's time to click the "next" button. What if I'm wrong---is that a "t" or a really tall "r"? And if I can't quite figure out if it's a 9 or a lower case "g," will I be sent directly to robot purgatory or added to some robot watch list?! When I do get it wrong, I feel just a little chastised as an entire set of NEW characters appears. Maybe some Big Brother robot is snickering, "Here, dummy, try these."
I know it's not rocket science, but as I move my mouse to click "next," I can't help imagining the old robot from Lost in Space warning, "Danger Will Robinson. . . I think that was a 9!!"

[Sorry, this is a re-post from exactly 2 years ago today, but it is so apropos--apparently I'm still plagued with these same verification-deciphering issues. It took me 3 tries to post a comment today on someone's blog.....I'm just wondering when the cyber-verification-patrol will take away my commenting privileges. Either that, or they'll send me a prescription for some stronger reading glasses. ~cn]

Monday, October 5, 2009

Old Dog, New Trick



C ool!! Man, oh man, do I love a new blog-trick!! Just when I think I'm an old dog who is woefully stuck in the technological Dark Ages, along comes something that makes learning a new trick easy. I discovered this blog with super-easy instructions for inserting an ititial cap at the beginning of a paragraph, and the rest is, well, you can see the result! The site even provides the funky letters. The only hard part is trying to come up with enough mindless ramblings....er.....interesting thoughts to wrap around the letter. So as luck would have it, I have much to share today. According to some very informative emails I received, apparently today is my lucky day. Not only was I notified that I am a Winner! Winner! Winner! of some on-line contest I never even entered, but I was also urged to Hurry! Find R@ plica Rolex watches--cheAp!! I also found out that my LoaN ApprVa1 is ready even though I never applied for one. I was also informed that I can get my online diploma today, that I can buy cheap meds online (although I'm not sure these meds are intended for women), and that my $50,000 in winnings is waiting. Perhaps one of the more curious parts is that some of these emails are dated 1/18/38. I'm not sure if that means I've received a mystic message from the future, or one from a very forward thinking techno-geek. And the good news just keeps coming. . . just now I see an email saying that some woman whom I've never met from Kenya has selected me -- little, old me -- out of all the millions of people in the world, to inherit her massive wealth. I'm thinking I might need to invest in the stock market.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Southern Hospitality



This commercial literally made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it on TV. Yep--it is funny, even though it does hit a little too close to home for this Southern gal.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Preview of Coming Attractions

Coming to a website near you.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Enigma

How can something as cute as this. . . . .


. . . .enjoy getting into disgusting things like this. . . .

. . . so he ends up looking like this. . . .




. . . Hmmmm???

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bright Idea vs. Dim Wit



HAHA! Thanks to Swiss Miss who posted this link on her blog recently. So, so true.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home Run

Just when life throws you a curve ball (or 2 or 20), along comes a pinch hitter, and she knocks it out of the park! Or in this case, she sends a thoughtful care package to a gal who was down in the count, and who just needed a lift. (Remember our issues with water and flooding and root canals in this post??) Anyway, my pinch hitter, Marydon over at Blushing Rose, sent this care package recently, and boy did it make my day. When I opened the envelope, I just sat in my car overwhelmed by her sweet, thoughtful gesture. The "first aid kit" contained a personal note, some wonderful tea with infuser, a fragrant sachet, and even a bandaid!!


Thanks Marydon!! I'm glad you're on my team. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Tooth or Dare"


Addendum to this post.
[I don't know what it is about our town lately but here it is, another story from our local newspaper involving crime and teeth. Teeth, of all things! And crime. What's up with that?? In all honestly, mostly I'm just posting this article so I can use my ridiculously bad pun, "Tooth or Dare." Or maybe I should have used this one: "Tooth or Consequences"!! Or what about this: "Tooth is Stranger Than Friction"!! HAHA!!! I probably need to stop now. It's only funny until someone gets hurt. So.......at the risk of being type-cast as just another blog about 'dental-hijinks,' here we go. Oh, wait, what about, "Tooth's Company, Three's a Crowd." Okay, that's it.....I promise!! ~cn]


Man loses tooth in 'boy band' insult
A man called police on Friday to file a report about a fight downtown last Wednesday that left him without a front tooth, according to Athens-Clarke police.
The victim - an underage University of Georgia student - was outside Boar's Head, 260 Washington St., about 2:30 a.m., when he told a group of young men they looked like a boy band, according to the officer's report.
One member of the group punched the victim in the mouth, knocking out one of his front teeth, the victim told police. He sought medical attention, but could not save the tooth and has spent thousands of dollars for treatment since the Sept. 2 fight, he told the officer.
Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Sunday, September 13, 2009
P.S. Image orginally found here.
[P.S. Kinda makes you want to go brush your teeth, or floss or something, doesn't it? ~cn]

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's a Spooky and a Jingly Day



Meet me over at Spooky Time Jingles on September 13.

Be there or be square. . .Boo!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And in other news. . .



. . . Santa Claus is coming to town too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure They're Not One Size Fits All


[So I'm back again with another installment from my "Weird and Wacky Local News File." Maybe this story struck me as funny today because, if you've checked in here recently, you know that the Nash-clan has been dealing with our own issues with wayward teeth and braces and softballs and subsequent root canals; or maybe it was the attention-grabbing headline that had me spewing my morning coffee (good job, Mr. Editor.) Either way, I think this article probably ranks right up there with other similar stories of quirky thievery here and here. .~cn]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Thief makes off with man's teeth
Athens Banner-Herald Story updated at 11:21 pm on 9/1/2009
A man lost his false teeth, cell phone and briefcase when a thief broke into his car while it was parked outside his home at The Park on West Broad, 2360 W. Broad St., between 2:30 and 9:15 a.m. Monday, Athens-Clarke police said.
Someone got into the car through the sunroof to steal the belongings, valued at $1,429, according to police.

[P.S. The question begs to be asked: Do you think that maybe this was just a case of an overzealous Tooth Fairy?? I'm just asking. . . . :)]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Strange Things Are All About


What's that you say? Is that something new??
Yes, strange things are definitely all about!! Finally I had a chance to create a new piece for The Primitive Gathering.
More newbies are on the horizon too. Stay tuned.
(Fingers crossed :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours (A lot)



Recently I read about the notion that bad things happen in "3's," and while I've never been superstitious, I'm inclined to think that may be the case around here lately.
My recent "triple threat" involves water, water everywhere. The first massive puddle in our basement resulted in a new water heater; the second puddle involved the A/C unit which also spewed water all over the basement; and the trifecta. . . drum roll please. . . . a leak in the roof. Stellar. And as a bonus, because of all the excess moisture (ie flooding in our basement) much of the drywall needs replacing. It's like we're providing our own little local stimulus package. . .

*

But let's not stop there. . .

*


Sometimes it feels like we've had more than our share of adventures here, whether they come in "3's" or not. For example, last weekend started out with Barnum and Bailey's Emergency Room Circus. I spent Friday afternoon with my youngest as she underwent emergency surgery-- she took a line-drive from a softball to the mouth. Two missing teeth, one fractured bone in her face, one broken nose, and one hysterical mother later she's on soft food and liquids for 6 weeks. This week a follow-up visit led to 3 root canals, and the possibility of several more.
Oh, wait. . . it gets better. . .
While waiting for Youngest at the root canal doctor, I received a phone call from one of my college-girls informing me that she was sitting in the health services building awaiting the results of her Swine Flu test.
Oink. (And of course, my husband is out of the country. Just like him to be 7000 miles away during a crisis. :)
*
Not that I'm complaining or soliciting sympathy, but should I continue. . . ?
*
. . . Here is part of a text message conversation from my other college-girl that started my day:

"Hey Mom, my car is dead and something is way wrong with it. I tried to jump it with cables and it started smoking and crap. Ugh."

This message was followed shortly thereafter by another. . .

"Can I take Advil?"

And then. . .

"I kinda burned my hand pulling the jumper cable off."

Followed by. . .

"Just my fingers and palm. It's beginning to swell."
*
Oh joy. I've lost count, is that 3 things yet? I may stop answering my phone.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Tree From Which the Apple Fell

Yes, it's been quite a while. I could blame my absence on laziness, or writer's block, or laundry, or a super-bad internet connection. But mostly I've been AWOL because I've been trying to tread water in this unpredictable whirlpool called "Life." It's been one killer of a summer, I must say. So in an effort to placate my loyal reader(s?) a bit longer until my life calms down a fraction . . . or two . . . or twenty, I'm posting this article written by my dad a few years ago. It was recently published in a local newspaper. (And for the record, I think my kids are more like swarming locusts with cell phones.) Enjoy!

P. S. I'll see you soon--I promise.
*****


To Grandmother’s House They Go

Twice a year our Georgia Connection comes to town. Our older daughter, her husband and their four children live near Athens, Ga. and visit us at Christmastime and in midsummer.
They left for home 3 ½ hours ago. Since cousins like to be together, our four Middle-Tennessee grandchildren spent most of the 10 days at our house as well, forming an ever-moving, ever-eating mélange of adolescents and pre-adolescents — four boys and four girls who range in age from 5 to 17.
The Georgia clan and the two of us filled our four bedrooms and when cousins slept-over, sleeping bags covered every floor.
Do you remember how much food adolescents consume? Elephants put away 200 of food a day, an amount easily matched by our four grandsons and approached by our two older granddaughters. Where the calories go is a mystery. Not one grandchild has an ounce of excess fat. One hundred forty cans of soft drinks, 10 gallons of lemonade, three gallons of milk, 1½ gallons of ice cream and 72 popsicles disappeared in 10 days. A turkey breast, a pot roast, half a ham, a three-pound meatloaf, eight pounds of barbecue, eight pounds of shrimp, seven large pizzas and 15 pounds of catfish are missing.
We cooked three pounds of white beans from the grocery and four quarts of green beans, four quarts of peas and 40 ears of corn from the garden. Homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and blackberries rounded out their diet.
Lucky Charms and Pop Tarts suddenly appeared on the breakfast menu. Breakfasts ran from 8 to 11 a.m., lunches from 11 to 3 and dinners from 5 to 8 p.m. Of course, there were snacks in between.
Ten to 15 people ate most meals with us but last night we fed 22 as nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, boyfriends and girlfriends swelled the guest list.
Carolyn never left the kitchen for 10 days. I spent most of my time in the grocery store. I haven’t seen the statistics yet but I expect to see an upward blip in the national retail sales figures for July.
Six bicycles of various sizes, two tricycles, a motorized toy jeep, a croquet court and a shuffleboard court provided outside diversions but the most popular activity was hide-and-seek played at night with “it” armed with a flashlight. They call it “German Spotlight” for reasons that escape me. Other entertainment included golf for the boys, horseback riding for the girls, movies and Nashville Shores for them all.
Our house has a computer, four television sets, three bathrooms and a washer and a dryer. All were in continuous use throughout the entire 10-day visit. The upstairs den seemed always to hold grandchildren, one on the computer, some watching TV, some playing board games and all were eating. Now that we are alone, we are considering just raking out the den and hosing it down.
After teary-eyed farewells were over, I watched the final round of the British Open golf tournament and reclaimed my computer. These simple pleasures were somehow less satisfying than I had anticipated and the house seemed far too quiet.
Thankfully, we will see them again in six short months and Carolyn is reasonably sure that she can restore our house to its pre-visit state by then.
Retired pediatrician Bill F. now spends his days working with wood (“mostly making sawdust”), fishing (“but not very well”), puttering around his garden and writing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Leave It To Beaver. . .




I'm not naming names, but let's just say that, a number of years ago, a certain mom may have told her 5 year old daughter that her new pink plastic safety scissors could not possibly cut hair and not to even try it; and the certain inquisitive 5 year old may have decided to try it anyway; and the new pink plastic safety scissors may have left a really large gap in an otherwise pristine haircut on a certain nameless 5 year old daughter's head, therefore proving the otherwise very smart mother wrong.

I know a certain mom (whose inquisitive daughter's bad haircut grew out, and whose daughter is now in college) who kinda, sorta misses those days. . . but I’ll never tell.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Story of My Life. . .




So much to do. . . so little time left to put off doing it.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quacked Up




Trying to get all my ducks in a row, but they keep wandering off.

*
See you in a few days.

:)