Tag Archives: holidays

Please, Newt, do not call!

Dear Newt Gingrich, USA presidential candidate, please quit calling us.

We are on the do-not-call list.

Please do not say that you can telephone every day because you’re a political candidate or a non-profit agency.

I am a registered and elected Democrat and usually do not vote for Republicans.  Although that might be questionable if you show me a Republican who stirs my heart.
Why are you calling us?

What have we done to deserve it?  Continue reading

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas, just like the ones I’ve never known…

Even though I swore I would not publish a blog more than once or twice a week during the holiday season, here we are in Georgia after eating a pepperoni pizza and drinking a glass of nice white Pinot Grigio for lunch, and what do you know, here arrives a blog, more predictable than Santa Claus.

We are with Barry’s parents.  His brother, Craig, and nephew, Alex, shall arrive at the house for Christmas Eve dinner tonight.  You’ve got me right.  Today is Christmas Eve.  I dare you to dispute it.  I know you think–like the rest of the world–that Christmas Eve is tomorrow night.  Perhaps it is for all you.  For us, it’s tonight.

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“I believes in Santa Claus with my wholest heart!”

My name is Elsa.  I don’t believe in Santa Claus any more.  I am nine years old.  My mommy and daddy buy me toys from Wal-Mart and Target.  My mommy went to the store really early on Black Friday and another car hit her bumper and she got really mad because she wasn’t the first one in the store.  She had to call a wrecker and then Daddy’s face turned all red and they yelled at each other.  But I think it will be OK at Christmas because they were laughing the other night while they drank their wine and played Christmas music.   I like Christmas and it’s OK that Santa isn’t real because it will still be fun… I think.

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Santa’s elf sending out 1,300 envelopes this week!**

Santa's elf...or maybe this is Santa...I'm not sure.

Gosh, it felt so good to be a Santa-elf last night!

I was beaming like Rudolph’s red nose.

It felt like–unexpectedly–the delight of Christmas re-ignited. 

It gets so tiring, sometimes, doing everything the traditional holiday way, the expected way. 

But to light up the Christmas path with something unexpected–something different–feels energizing and delightful.

A tale of two lighted Christmas trees

Thanks to all 21 of you who have sent your snail mail addresses.  Read yesterday’s blog if you’re confused and scratching your head. (My daughter and I have a bet.  I say 24 of you will request Christmas cards from this blogger.  She thinks 35.  If it’s more than 50, some of you may get New Year’s greetings.)

I have to send out 1,300 other envelopes first, so please be patient. 

Thirteen hundred envelopes?  you gasp.  Are you nuts?  How many Christmas cards do you send out, anyway?

Relax, readers.  The thirteen hundred envelopes are property tax love notes.  That’s one of my part-time jobs.  I send love-notes to township taxpayers twice a year.  The delightful little reminders are sitting on the kitchen table now.  The county actually prints and sorts and seals the bills.  My job is to further sort, envelope and stamp the remainder, and then to bring them to Linda at the post office by next Wednesday. 

Then people start sending their checks.  A few even send Christmas cards–the loveys.  I adore it when a taxpayer sends a Christmas card. 

We're not in the Upper Peninsula any more, Toto.

This morning I tried to meditate for the usual half hour, but the Feelings were still too excited about being a Christmas elf and sending out cards to the blogging tribe.  Finally gave up breathing by the woodstove and scurried upstairs to write another blog.

Ever since ditching Facebook two or three weeks ago–it has been that long, hasn’t it?–I have felt so much more dedicated to this blog.  Wonder how long this blogging spree will last?  Barry is predicting another blogging vacation in the near future.  He’s wondering how long I can keep up almost-daily blogs.

“As long as I feel like it!”  the Christmas elf says cheerfully.

I have not missed Facebook one iota.  Not one status update.  It has felt like a simplifying relief, an absolute sigh of delightful letting go.  Why did I debate this for so long?  Feel like it would somehow feel like missing out?  It hasn’t at all. 

And guess what?  A certain nephew even texted me on Thanksgiving.  Now that Aunt Kathy isn’t on Facebook, another form of communication sometimes happens. 

(Of course, Aunt Kathy didn’t get her Thanksgiving text until yesterday, as we do not have cell phone service in this neck ‘o the woods and have to wait until we reach the “big city” of L’Anse.  And Aunt Kathy didn’t recognize the number and texted in return–Happy Thanksgiving back.  Which bro sent this message?  And nephew quickly responded in high delight that it wasn’t a bro after all; it was HIM!)

He was my Thanksgiving elf.

So, ladies and gents, holiday lovers and frowners, I have a little surprise up my sleeve for tomorrow’s blog.

Our Christmas Tree. Circa 2008. Or earlier.

OK, here’s the scoop:

We’re having a guest blogger. 

It’s been way too long since our last guest blogger.

(This guest blogger is kind of like a Christmas elf himself/herself.  You may spend the rest of your day guessing, if you like.)

Please welcome him/her with open heart and typing fingers tomorrow.  It can be nerve-wracking to be a guest blogger, so get yourself in the Christmas spirit and stop by to say, “Nice to meet you!”

I shall see you again when the taxes are done.  Hopefully Tuesday or Wednesday.

**Ha ha, I fooled you, didn’t I? You thought I had 1,300 responses to yesterday’s blog request for snail mail addresses, didn’t you?  Isn’t Santa’s elf funny?**

P.S.  Thanks to daughter, Ki, for all the above photos.  I raided her photo file on this computer.  You know, for something unexpected.  (She always says I can use her pictures.)  Thanks for being a Christmas elf for me today, Ki!

I would like to send you a Christmas card.

Old cards cut up...ready to make new cards

I would like to send you a Christmas card.

If you are a regular reader–

or commenter–

someone with whom we’ve formed a blogging relationship–

I would like to send you a Christmas card,

a token,

an appreciation for your presence in my life.

Every year, come December 1st, I send out 20-40 Christmas cards to loved ones, family, friends.

But this year I would like to send you a Christmas card, too, because you are dear to me.  Because you pause to read.  Because you care.

Please email with your snail mail address to:

(please put a comment in the “comment” section and I will respond to you by email)

and I will send you a Christmas card filled

with love and gratitude.

(It may even be a handmade one, too–or perhaps one with a Lake Superior Spirit photo on the front, even though it may be a flower or waves, thereby not looking like a Christmas card at all.)

Today does not look like Christmas at all. It's foggy, rainy and gray. However, we must start thinking about Christmas!

P.S.  If any spammers steal my email address–bad Christmas elves–may have to cut this offer short, so hurry and tell me soon!  The scissors, stickies, cards, photos and envelopes are ready.

I eagerly await creating something special just for you.

Love, Kathy

It’s OK if you don’t read this blog. “Stupid holidays, anyway…”

Alligator wishes you a Happy 4th of July! Honest!

Blog readers disappear on holidays.  It’s a Fact. 

You have all disappeared.  You have all gone somewhere.  You are out there having fun.  You are at parades, maybe, or picnics along the beach.  You are hanging out with friends and family.  You are not reading blogs. 

Therefore, I shall just talk to myself. 

I am all by myself on this Saturday evening on the 3rd of July.  Visiting son is at his class reunion.  Husband is playing a band gig.  I am…sweating, for one.  Because it’s over 90 degrees and humid.  Luckily a breeze blows through the forest.  Luckily. 

Knowing that 99% of all blog readers are Out Having Fun, I should probably remain mute and pretend that I’m Out Having Fun, too.  But alas.  That is not the case. 

I remember the first time I became acquainted with a holiday blogging exodus.  I had just started my outdoor blog back in December 2008.  It was four or five days into it. 

I was getting maybe 25-30 hits a day.  It was so exciting to start a new blog and see a few readers stopping by each day.  It was incredible! 

Until Christmas Day.  It was something like 4 p.m. on Christmas Day and I checked the hits.  

Something like five people had stopped by all day.  I was devastated. 

“Stupid Christmas,” I muttered to my family.  “Stupid Christmas!  The blog readers have all gone away!” 

Can you imagine the teasing which I have endured to this day from that–err–how shall we put it?–stupid comment? 

Family members will now gleefully interject on comments on holidays like “Stupid Easter!” or “Stupid Thanksgiving!” or “Stupid 4th of July!”  They are rubbing my face in it.  They think it’s terribly funny.  They laugh and laugh.  But they think it’s kind of endearing too…because they knew how important blogging was to me.  

Err, did I say was?  It’s still important. 

So anyway.  Even if you are all out having fun on the holiday–it’s OK.  Don’t feel guilty about not reading blogs.  You have fun. 

It was great to get this off my chest.  Even if none of you will read it anyway.  ;)

Mother’s Day wild goose chase

Follow the railroad tracks, follow the railroad tracks...

We did it again.  We couldn’t help ourselves.  What wanton behavior!

We–all in search for some Mother’s Day fun–headed back to Marquette.

(“Back to Marquette?” you think, frowning, “Can’t they stay home?  What’s the matter with them?  Aren’t they thinking about frivolous wasting of precious gasoline?  Wasn’t she just in Marquette—yesterday?”)

Leave it to my fisherman-husband to find a fishing lure on the railroad tracks

Yes, it’s shameful.  And it’s all Barry’s fault.  Well, not all Barry’s fault.  I must take half the blame.  But he suggested it first.  He–I mean we–were kinda restless this morning.  And it got worse around lunchtime.  We started plotting about where we could possibly go.  And the answer kept insisting:  Marquette.  Let’s go play in Marquette.  Go out for a Mother’s Day lunch/dinner.

Faster than you could say, “get the keys” we jumped in the old maroon Buick (which no longer features heat) and headed out across snow-country toward the Big City.

Snow totals:  only an inch or two.  He insisted I get out of the car and photograph it. 

Canadian goose on a rock: successful wild goose chase!

Somewhere around Michigamme I spotted it.  A lone Canadian goose sitting on a rock.  “Pull over!  Pull over!” I insisted.  He obliged.  We were off on a Wild Goose Chase.

First we slid down a small hill, staying upright, thank you kindly.  We followed railroad tracks for maybe a quarter or half mile.  I prayed the goose would remain on his or her rock.  Once I suggested we hike through the swamp for faster approach, but that was not a good idea.  We immediately discovered the possibility of soaking our toes and sneakers and returned to the tracks.

Fortunately the goose still sat on the rock!  It did not glide gracefully into the river until after the photograph.  Afterwards we wondered if our little adventure was “worth it”. 

“Don’t you feel invigorated now?” I asked Barry.  He raised an eyebrow, but admitted he did. 

We jumped back in the car.

Bike in a tree? What an interesting day!

Next interesting sight:  a bike in a tree.  Actually, we’ve both seen this bike for years.  This was obviously the appropriate moment to photograph it.  Wonder why anyone put it up in the tree?  Three guesses?

Snow and green grasses--in May!

On we traveled.  We eventually ended up in Sweetwater Cafe for dinner.  It was filled with mothers and children celebrating the holiday.  See the sign on the table?

It says:  “A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”

I am feeling so grateful today for:

1)  the best mother in the whole wide world.  I love her so much!  Mom, hope you had a wonderful day.  Just wish we could have been with you to celebrate.  It was great talking to you on the phone, though.

2)  the best children in the whole wide world.  (Hmmm, doesn’t that sound just like a mom?)  I’ve heard from them both today.  Delightful phone calls from Manhattan and San Diego.  Plus Kiah sent me a virtual slide show of her walk in Central Park called “A Walk with my Mama”.  I cried when viewing it.  It was amazing.

3)  If that’s not enough:  a wonderful mother-in-law.  One who actually reads this blog!  One who always gives so much of herself.  No mother-in-law jokes from me!  I actually got a wonderful friend in the marriage bargain.

The true definition of a mother?

4)  I am also thinking right now of my grandmas.  Missing them.  Loving them.  Remembering the gifts they shared with all of us.

I hope everyone had a good mama’s day!  Did you all get to spend time with your mothers or children or spouses or friends?  Or did you go on some wild goose chase through snow and railroad tracks?  What did you do today?