December 2005

31 Dec 2005 11:03 pm

The New Year is now an hour old here in my part of the world and before I sleep some of it away I want to say Happy New Year.

May it be a blessed one for all who read this blog.

30 Dec 2005 06:05 pm

Many bloggers are making predictions for 2006 including The Anchoress who also has many links to interesting predictions. I am hesitant to make them about people because life is not ours to control but to live in the best way we can.

It’s hard to predict bad ends………even to bad people but I know that will eventually happen whether I forecast it or not.

So I am going to express my hopes for 2006.

For what do I hope?

In the political realm………

I am hoping that Bill Frist and Denny Hastert got some of these in their Christmas stockings…….

I am hopeful that the special phone number of that really close friend of Hillary Clinton’s shows up on the phone logs of James Risen.

I am hoping Sen. Rick Santorum wins re-election.

It’s just a wish really but I do hope Rudy decides to run for President in 2008.

The Entertainment Realm…….

Is it too much to hope for that stupid cartoons like The Family Guy get canceled?

That’s about it. I am not a psychic and predictions are not that compelling to me so this is about all I am willing to even HOPE for…….. much less predict for the next year.

Except for this……..

I am hoping that my son and brother are not deployed to Iraq but that is supposedly in the works. So hopes are important to me. I am really hoping that Iraq stabilizes and is able to establish a democratic government. My brother and son will go and do their duty and I will stand with them with lots of prayers and all the support in the world.

30 Dec 2005 08:29 am

Winner and Runnerup

Wow! This year was the year of the men. As predicted, I didn’t even make the semi-finals. I beat my mother, who is very hard to read but then my youngest daughter beat me. But she had to face my dad, the creator of the game and he beat her. She was the last of the female hopes.

The semi-final round included my son facing my brother and my dad facing my cousin. My brother beat my son and my cousin beat my dad. My brother won the tournament.

The whole experience was fun and I realized when I was playing the very first game why I never make it past the first few games. I can’t put all my attention into the game because I am distracted by all the goings-on in the house. I want to check the food and see if anyone needs anything……in other words I am more of a hostess than a competitor. But it was great having everyone in our home.

All the women and girls in our family know football due to my dad’s game and we all are competitors and try to win. So maybe next year we will win. This football tournament is quite a female vs male competition because it’s an armchair football competition….brains and luck not brawn and talent.

Here is my oldest daughter’s account of the tournament…….

(Taken from our private family website)

After a long night of games and prizes, the Grand Champion of the Football Tournament was Wahwa - aka Bobby Fletcher.

It was dubbed a “Clash of the Titans” as the final four Drew and Wahwa, Gary and Pappy duked it out. Drew had a long night of victories under his belt, starting with a crushing win to his former nemesis, Meredith Therrien nee Fletcher.

Following her defeat, Drew mercilessly took out Alex, eliminating the Therriens from the tournament completely.

However, in the end Wahwa (Bobby Fletcher Jr.), avenged his daughter and son in law’s defeat by beating Drew and finally ending his campaign.

Following his defeat of all around good sport Lucy Barnes, Gary annihilated Kate Hughes (this years dark horse for a victory, who had clawed her way up to this point, defeating both her father and her husband, with her Angel/Agent Dorinda Fletcher by her side) ignoring Dorinda’s distraction tactics.

He then cooly defeated the master and creator of the game Pappy (Bobby Fletcher Sr.) to arrive finally at the final showdown.

Pappy defeated first timer Olivia Fletcher, and went on to completely stuff Charlotte Donoho’s attempts at any kind of defense. (She said it was as if he was reading her mind).

The master finally fell at the hands of Gary, but a good game was played by all. Wahwa the past master and grand champion defeated Elizabeth Fletcher, another first time player.

He then crushed his next opponent, first timer Robert a young friend of the Barneses to move on to his defeat of Drew.

The suspenseful finish culminated in the tense drama of the gridiron by Gary Fletcher who came close to upsetting the Grand Master.

This was truly an epic battle as both players were former champions.

Noteworthy on this evening was the return of the great Tittsworth Power House.

Junior and Jeanne led their comeback valiantly but succumbed to the Fletcher Force.

Their return was a welcome addition to the Tournament.This clash of the titans has been a long time coming, as the majority of winners in the past years have been of the female persuasion.

Dorinda Fletcher, last years defending champion, said of her husband this years champion, “well, this should make him happy, but next year, ladies, well get it back”

Sounds like a direct challenge to me.

(as reported by Kate Hughes, any corrections or additions should be immediately added)

29 Dec 2005 08:24 am

Michelle Malkin has the goods on the ACLU (the civil liberties union that doesn’t want the citizens of our country to be protected from terrorism.) The organization needs to change its name or at least drop the American part of it.

When my daughter was in lawschool she was recruited by the ACLU and I urged her not to join it. She thought about it for a while and decided it wasn’t her cup of tea. The ACLU fights to keep the military from recruiting on campus but doesn’t have a problem with its own recruitment policies.

29 Dec 2005 07:11 am

Hugh Hewitt writes that a hold placed on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit is possibly an act of retribution by Hillary Clinton. He suspects that Clinton has chosen to play the White Witch with Kavanaugh to freeze him forever.

No. I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is behind the hold on Kavanaugh’s nomination but she is not comparable to the Narnian White Witch. Queen Jadis used her physical strength and magical powers of persuasion to entice Edmund Pevensie to the dark side in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Hugh Hewitt gives Hillary Clinton too much credit when he compares her to such a character.

Hillary Clinton is much more like Delores Umbridge, “The Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, and the self-appointed High Inquisitor of Hogwarts. Physically, Umbridge resembles a toad and her behavior is just as ugly. She is arrogant, vindictive and untrustworthy.”

29 Dec 2005 06:42 am

The State Game and Fish Commission advises that your backyard has been designated as a game preserve and that the first shipment of five hundred buffalo will arrive Tuesday at 2:30 A.M. (text of a prank phone call my sister and I used to make when we were teenagers)

Hugh Hewitt writes about an unbelievable front page article in the Los Angelos Times that was based on an April Fools Joke!

27 Dec 2005 02:02 pm

I missed the Carnival of Christmas (hosted by Adam’s Blog ) because I was too busy making preparations for our own family’s Christmas but enjoyed (during some rare quiet moments) reading many great posts. We went all out decorating the house this year because most of the renovation is done. There’s more work to do ( of course) but nothing as overwhelming as last year. I love Christmas and the way it takes over our lives so I just try to go with it. And I guess it’s obvious that I love Christmas trees. Here is a wonderful article about the best Christmas tree in the world. And here is an account of my own great grandmother’s attempt to decorate for Christmas.

Many more trees have sprouted up in our home this Christmas but alas none of them real. But Christmas was very real and joyful for our family even though some were struggling to stay well while others were actually sick. Everyone seems to be better now so we are looking forward to the rest of the holiday festivities. And our son and daughter-in-law and grandson will be home tomorrow, hopefully in time for the family football tournament.

Now that Christmas Day is over the celebration continues. The annual family Football Tournament is tomorrow and we are hosting it and have done so for at least five years. First we enjoy all the food and then we get on to the games. Up to thirty members of the family are expected. My Dad and brothers draw up the bracket for the tournament after the drawing of names. Last year the females in the family dominated. My sister-in-law won by beating my niece. This year some of the new members of the family are ready to rumble.

My youngest daughter works at Starbucks and came home with two very cool Starbucks trees that were being discarded after Christmas. She rescued them and brought them home. We are adding more prizes to the tournament this year from Starbucks. Not only will the top winners receive prizes but there will be goodies awarded to others who have achieved some kind of family renown at the tournament.

Our niece and her husband spent Thanksgiving with his family in New Hampshire and brought us some great New Hampshire Maple Syrup. We will have some on New Years Day with pancakes, black eyed peas, ham and cornbread.

The tree in the living room is dressed with the oldest of our family’s collection of Christmas ornaments. Many old fifties ornaments as well as those collected in Germany and South America are on the tree. Plus we’ve hidden the German pickle which all of our children try to find. There are three of them and two have been found so far.

This angel belonged to my great grandmother and plays Silent Night. My grandmother gave it to me when I was a teenager and I have always treasured it.

Some of the old Santas have been around in our family for quite some time but still have an honored place in the dining room on the buffet.

This little tree is in our entry and is our grandson’s favorite tree. Every ornament is one type or another of Santa and he likes to point to each one and ask me what it is.

Our youngest daughter’s Russian castle. I bought it for her when we were in Germany at a little Russian shop and she let us display it this Christmas.

The only Christmas candles I have left are leaning and cracked but still usable on our dining room table. During the renovation the candles were mistakenly placed in storage and they all melted. The tree candles were the only ones that didn’t.

This is one of our Starbucks trees on the kitchen table with some of the prizes we are giving at the football tournament. The tablecloth is from Ribeauville, France. I won’t be posting much (if at all) tomorrow as I will be busy making Rum cake, dips, appetizers and other food for the tournament. Wish me luck. I never make it to the semi-finals of the tournament even though I know how to play football. I guess I’m just not lucky. Maybe talented but not lucky.

Here’s what my Dad wrote after he won the 2002 Family Christmas Football Tournament…………

This was a real good year to win the football tournament. Sometimes luck is better than talent as Drew Pearson once said. When Dallas won the Super Bowl Drew Pearson was lucky on a pass play that he caught…… just by pure luck. Pearson said luck was the reason the Cowboys won the Super Bowl that year.

On that pass play he was knocked to the ground and while he was lying on the ground the ball ricocheted off a defensive back and dropped right in his arms. He was still lying on the ground in the end zone when he caught it. They won.

In my third game against Ryan I was trailing him 13-15 and on my final drive I was going for it on 4th and 14. I thought about trying a field goal but the odds were against that so I went for it but I came up short on the play.

But wait! There was a flag on the play and it was against the defense. 15 yards against the defense. That gave me a first down and then I drove on down and scored and held on to win the game 20-15.

It takes luck sometimes along the way to win a big game or a Super Bowl or our own family football tournament. If you dont believe me, ask Drew Pearson. Pure luck. He caught it and it won the game.

27 Dec 2005 08:31 am

Our children with a real tree Christmas 1984.

We had to pay for our daughters.

We were listening to Handel’s Messiah yesterday and that thought came to me.

It’s just a silly joke of course.

All of our children have been blessings straight from heaven.

27 Dec 2005 08:11 am

Mary Katharine Ham, blogging at Hugh Hewitt’s blog noticed this too. Pitiful offering.

26 Dec 2005 07:19 am

My maternal grandmother told me stories when I was young about what life was like when she was a little girl. One tale that really shocked me was about the year she missed Christmas. Actually, there were two years when Christmas was not celebrated in her family. It was hard for me to conceive but my grandmother always told me the truth so I had to accept it.

She told me about her baby sister, Elizabeth’s death at the age of three years from diphtheria on Christmas day. Her mother (my great-grandmother) was so devastated by the loss of her youngest child that she was not up to celebrating Christmas a year later. She warned her children that if they put up stockings they would not receive anything but lumps of coal and indeed that is what they got.

I always thought that was such a cruel thing for a mother to do to her children but I wasn’t there so don’t really know what it was like for my great grandmother. I just remember the melancholy look in my grandmother’s eyes when she told me that tale.

My grandmother was from New England stock and she told me that her family didn’t ever celebrate Christmas in a big way. They did put up a tree but most of the gifts given were hand-made. Her stories about life in the past were part of what made me so interested in history (along with my paternal grandmother’s stories) so when my children were young my husband and I always took them to historical sites.

We took them to Conner Prairie in Indiana for a Christmas Candlelight Tour and then back again in the summer.

We went to Jamestown, VA, Williamsburg, VA, Yorktown, VA and to Mount Vernon but we never made it to Old Sturbridge Village (someday I will go) According to this article some living history museums are struggling to get visitors. I doubt that high gas prices are to blame. Children are not being taught American history in elementary school anymore. Not well anyway.

Historical fact:

In the 1830s, many rural New Englanders followed a religion so strait-laced that they did not celebrate Christmas.

Accordingly, at Old Sturbridge Village – an outdoor museum where an 1830s town has been re-created down to the cider mill and the Gloucester Old Spots pigs — they used to ignore the holiday as well.

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