Friday, October 30, 2009

Christmas Coloring Page

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cat in the tree

Comments by  
 I had to laugh when I saw this graphic. It reminded me of my cat we used to have who is no longer here. I was sitting at the dining room table eating and you can see the tree from the dining room. When I turned to look at the tree, I noticed Casey's tail swaying back and forth from the bottom of a tree branch. He was just sitting inside my tree looking out at me. I wasn't real happy with this and chased him out of the tree.  We laughed about it afterward, but hoped he wouldn't continue getting into the tree. I guess he thought he had a little of the outdoors in the house. One year my dog also thought he had a little of the outdoors inside since he used the tree as his own personal bathroom. Animals! 

Decorating the Tree

Comments by   It's almost that time of the year when we dig out the tree and make it beautiful with all of the ornaments that we have collected over the years. Some people put up many trees...God Bless them...I put up a large one and a pencil tree on my sunporch. I do love to decorate the tree, but I have found that as I get older, it gets to be a little more work. When my children were small, we would look for a real Christmas tree, ahhh, the fresh smell of pine, nothing like it at Christmas time. Sometimes there would even be small pinecones on the tree and the warmth from the lights on the tree would make the pine cones crackle.  It was fun...and cold...looking for the perfect tree, but something you will always remember. 
 We did the real trees for a long time and then decided to get an artificial tree. I've had at least four artificial trees. They started out large and then became smaller throughout the must have something to do with the getting older thing! I used to string the lights on and now they are prelit and I must say I like the prelit trees. The lights are strung on nicely so that you can barely see the wire.
My tradition is to have some wine while decorating the tree and listening to Christmas music. It usually takes me all day to finish the tree. Something I find very upsetting is when you get the tree up and plug it in.....guess what....half of the lights work and the other half don't. Nice. This happened after we had bought a tree at Pool City, had it up one Christmas and the following Christmas half of the lights were out. Tested the lights, couldn't find the problem, went to Pool City, took the receipt to show we had it only one year, and they gave us a bunch of replacement lights...with a plug only on one end. Nothing else they could do...nothing else...we paid $300.00 for this tree and that's the best you can do???? Well, I tried to put these lights on a prelit tree and it just wasn't getting it if you know what I mean, so I got really upset after arguing about it with my husband, took the tree apart, stuffed it back into the box, kicking it into the box, sort of like Chevy Chase did in Christmas Vacation, when he got upset because his lights weren't working and he started kicking Santa and the reindeer all over the front lawn...I can relate to that. Anyway, we took it to the nearest dumpster and bought another one. It seems like every year I have some sort of light problems to deal with....yikes....but after it's all done, the tree and the outside decorations, look beautiful. I will always decorate a tree for Christmas even when I'm much older, even if it's just a pencil tree or a tabletop tree. I'll never forget that Christmas magic.


There are many versions of A Christmas Carol/Scrooge and this is yet another from Walt Disney shown in favorite way to see a movie. It's to be released in November 2009 and I think I shall have to go and see it. Update....I did make it to the movie theater to see this with my son, hubby, and grandchildren, and thought it was an excellent version of Scrooge! I loved the 3-D effect also! I finally did purchase the DVD and added it to my other Scrooge collections.

 Other versions, and I'm sure there are many more, include:

1. 1938 version with Reginald Owen "A Christmas Carol".

2. 1951 version with Alistair Sim "A Christmas Carol", my favorite.

3. 1970 version with Albert Finney, a British musical, "Scrooge".

4. 1979 version with Henry Winkler, "An American Christmas Carol," a little different from the others, but I still enjoyed it.

5. 1984 TV. version with George C. Scott "A Christmas Carol".

6. 1999 version with Patrick Stewart from (Star Trek: The Next Generation), "A Christmas Carol".

There were even a few cartoon versions:

7. 1962 "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" w/Jim Backus which I loved to watch when I was young.

8. 1992 "The Muppet Christmas Carol" w/Michael Caine as Scrooge.

First game session for a while

Last night I had the chance to play some games with Pauline and Stephen who were over for a week. I thought we would give a cooperative game an outing so Pandemic hit the table. I don't think they had played this type of game before so it was a new experience for them. We played the Normal version and played with open hands to get the feel for it. close the victory

These were the roles we drew, Pauline was the Dispatcher, Stephen was Scientist and I was Operations Expert. We started off fairly well managing to keep the infections down, I managed to meet Stephen a yellow city to pass him a that city card to enable him to cure the yellow virus. Soon after we eradicated it altogether. Well, not too shabby. But then we got an epidemic, and few cards after another. We were so close to victory, we had cured the red and black, eradicated the yellow and on the next turn or two Stephen would be in a position to cure blue and claim victory. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out like that. The outbreaks had been steadily increasing and finally with the 4th epidemic card we were finally overwhelmed and the world succumbed to multiple outbreaks and defeat. We all enjoyed the game and found it a real challenge, hopefully we will save the world next time!

Canal Mania is a game by the Ragnar Brothers about building canals across England. I hadn't played it for years and Stephen and Pauline hadn't played at all. I ran through the rules quickly and off we went. This game could just as easily be about building railways, but there are so many railway games out there I suppose canals is different. You are, to a certain extent, restricted to what contracts turn up in Parliament as to whether you can get a viable network going. Unfortunately fortune didn't favour me this time and my pathetic attempts resulted in a fractured and very inefficient system. On the other hand Pauline and Stephen both had decent networks and were starting to move goods cubes for some good points.

Canal Mania

As the game developed Stephen managed to get a decent lead and when the time came to transport all the goods cubes he kept it to get a very convincing win, Pauline was a close second with me trailing along dismally at the back

Final Scores
Stephen 128, Pauline 104, Colin 73

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holiday Cookie Recipes   Here are some cookie recipes for those of you who love to bake for the holidays.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


There's music of the holidays

Playing on the radio -
There's Christmas decorations
Almost everywhere you go.

The Salvation Army bells
Ring out for the poor -
The 'Ho,ho.' of Santa Claus
In the department stores.

Carolers sing Christmas songs -
Going, house to house -
Tales about, where no one stirs
Not even, a mouse.

Hoofbeats in fresh fallen snow
Pulling, an open sleigh -
Children asking Mom and Dad
'Is Santa on his way?'

Cracklin' from the fireplace -
Roasting chestnuts 'neath the coals -
The soft murmur of prayers
Said, for the lost souls.

Friends and family gather
To toast, Christmas cheer -
There's sounds of angels singing
(If, you really want to hear.

The sounds of Christmas, fill the air
As we celebrate His birth -
Wishing joy, to all mankind
And peace to all on earth."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Essen is here already!

Well, I see I haven't posted for a while .....again...and Essen has crept up on us again. Unfortunately I won't be going but that doesn't stop me reading the blogs, sussing out the new games, reading the rules, following the news stories...phew, it's almost as tiring as actually going. Being on a somewhat limited budget now that I am retired I have to pick any new purchases rather carefully. Also as my playing partners are also very limited, Tina, and Pauline and Stephen when they come over to St. Wolfgang, this does limit the type of game I can pick.
Definitely must be able to be played by 2, definitely must NOT be a wargame, must have pretty bits and not lend itself to AP (analysis paralysis). So, I have been looking at a few games, Colonia and Assyria being I suppose the top of the list. Cyclades also looks interesting, Bruno Cathala's games always worth a look. Will I actually buy anything, again this depends on a number of factors, but I am sure that I will buy something....after careful analysis of all the available information of course, not because of all the pretty colours :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Christmas Danger Game

Stay away from the food and collect all the presents that you can with the tree. After so many presents though, your tree grows bigger and it's harder to stay away from the food. My highest score was 267 so far.

Christmas Puzzle 3

Puzzle Game

Christmas Memory Game

Have fun!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies

This is such a magical song. I found the instrument he's using to play the song on, very interesting. Never knew such an instrument existed! It's a glass armonica.
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Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song

Changing picture scenes with this music video. No one sings this better than Nat King Cole!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

One of my favorite childhood Christmas movies.

Christmas Screensavers

Something I love to do at Christmas is to decorate my computer with beautiful screensavers for the holidays. I look for the freebies most of the time, and there are a lot of them out there, some without adware, spyware, etc. which are the best, and some are wrapped with the stuff you really don't want on your computer! I love the animated ones with music. I have so many on my computer I could probably put a new one on each day for the whole month of December. I have a couple that are transparent snow which are really nice with a Christmas wallpaper under it. I used to have a program Snow for Windows, but lost that when my computer crashed. It had settings for how hard you wanted the snow to blow, and the snow would build up on windows, also settings for polar bears that walked across the screen, settings for Santa and his reindeer, and even for Rudolph and his shiny red nose.

You can download a 10 day trial version at . It's for windows XP. I don't see anything about it being for windows vista, which is what I have now. Some other places for free screensavers are There are some nice 3-D savers here. If you hover over the picture, if it's free, it will state it's free. Downloaded many nice ones here and am having no trouble with my computer. Another place I've downloaded nice screensavers were from Also It's probably a good idea to always read the terms of use policy. These places may put their cookies on your computer, but as I said, so far I haven't had any problems. Some places during the install may want to put a toolbar on your computer and I always uncheck that box. You just have to read everything during the install. If there is something you don't want on your computer, uncheck the box if that option is available, or just cancel the install, and always, always, always, before installing, scan the download with your antivirus, antispyware program, then you can enjoy the beautiful holiday screensavers. Themeshack is always a safe place to get screensavers, but not all of them are free. You just have to hunt for them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Traditional Santa Facts

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle or simply "Santa" is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. One legend associated with Santa says that he lives in the far north, in a land of perpetual snow. The American version of Santa Claus says that he lives at his house in the North Pole. Santa lives with his wife Mrs. Claus, a countless number of magical elves, and eight or nine flying reindeer. Another legend of Santa says that he makes a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior ("naughty" or "nice") and that he delivers presents, including toys, candy, and other gifts to all of the good boys and girls in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh.

The tradition of Santa Claus entering dwellings through the chimney may reach back to the tale of Saint Nicholas tossing coins through a window, and, in a later version of the tale, tossing coins down a chimney when he finds the window locked. Rituals surrounding Santa Claus are performed throughout the world by children hoping to receive gifts from the mythical character. Some rituals (such as visiting a department store Santa) occur in the weeks and days before Christmas while others, such as preparing snacks for Santa, are specific to Christmas Eve. Some rituals, such as setting out stockings to be filled with gifts, are age-old traditions while others, such as NORAD'S tracking of Santa's sleigh through the night skies on Christmas Eve, are modern invention's. Writing letters to Santa Claus has been a Christmas tradition for children for many years. These letters normally contain a wishlist of toys and assertions of good behavior. Some people have created websites designed to allow children and other interested parties to "track" Santa Claus on Christmas Eve via radar; while in transit, Santa Claus is sometimes escorted by Canadian Air Force fighter jets. In the United States and Canada, children traditionally leave Santa a glass of milk and a plate of cookies. American children also leave a carrot for Santa's reindeer, and were traditionally told that if they are not good all year round, that they will receive a lump of coal in their stockings. OtherChristmas Eve Santa Claus rituals in the United States include reading Clement Clark Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas or other tale about Santa Claus, watching a Santa program on television, and the singing of Santa Claus songs such as Santa Claus is 'Coming to Town, Here Comes Santa Claus, and Up on the Housetop. Last minute rituals for children before going to bed include aligning stockings at the mantlepiece or other place where Santa cannot fail to see them, peeking up the chimney (in homes with a fireplace), glancing out a window and scanning the heavens for Santa's sleigh, and (in homes without a fireplace), unlocking an exterior door so Santa can easily enter the house. Tags on gifts for children are sometimes signed by their parents, "From Santa Claus" before the gifts are laid beneath the tree. Santa Claus's home traditionally includes a residence and a workshop where he creates-often with the aid of elves or other supernatual beings-the gifts he delivers to good children at Christmas. Some stories and legends include a village, inhabited by his helpers, surrounding his home and shop.

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