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I like this idea. Gifting all of the presents on the night before, so we can sleep in late. 🙂 LoL

Elise made a beautiful dinner of Prime Rib, Yorkshire pudding, and veggies. She is so sweet to accommodate me and my dietary desires; that she made my Yorkshire pudding in butter, instead of the meat drippings. I also got to have some Scallops. Which I Scampi’ed the way that Marvin showed me. He’d be proud of me.

I loved watching Boogie do all of the passing out of presents. Watching people’s faces light up, and the gratitude expressed for such a gift. Elise’s cross-word pajama pants fit perfectly. So did Tim’s new blue shirt. Colin liked his “Grill Master” ornament and commented that he really did have a hankering for Mountain Dew, about it being his favorite drink; on the vintage T-shirt I had gotten him.

When everything was eaten, and all cleaned up; the kisses exchanged and the presents packed away, I got to do my favorite part. Sit by a fire, watch the tree twinkle, and listen to caroles on the radio.

So while I was not with my kids tonight; nor will I be there tomorrow to see their faces over their Santa gifts; I did have a very nice holiday. Besides, I will get to sleep late. So there’s a plus.

I love this time of the year… the crisp nights, that make sitting by a fire even better. I like a good bonfire, and good friends around it. This year it was just my children, and their friends. Although, my parents showed up, they didn’t participate. They just wanted to give the children, the gifts that they had bought. Which is fine, I guess.

Between Momma’s main dish, of Chicken Enchiladas – the gift box that Tim and Elise sent – and the leftovers in my fridge… we put on quite a spread. I wish I had thought to take photos of the table. It was beautiful. Full of bright colors and things that make your mouth water. Everyone got enough to eat. Which is the important part.

Everyone loved their gifts. The girls oohhh and aaahhh over their Spa Gift Certificates. Russell had to finally be convinced to go to bed. He and Caleb were up for over an hour, after everything was put away, still playing with his new car track. LoL

Tomorrow is the Community Circle at Kelli’s. I am so looking forward to going. I love standing in the circle with my brothers and sisters. Singing our gratitude into the world. Our candles reminding me that we are all flames of love.

I wish that Bronwyn were joining us. She has decided to go to her friend Maddie’s family’s Christmas party, instead. It saddens me. I wish that she wanted to spend more time with her family. She is a princess and social butterfly; which won’t be contained.

Sunday I fly out to Dallas, then onto Sacramento. I’m excited to spend some time with my friends. I wasn’t so sure when Elise and Tim insisted that I come out for the holidays. After all, this is the time to spend with family; and I don’t want to be a bother. They insist that I am family.

It will definitely beat sitting here in FL, working overtime and doing what I can to NOT be at home; alone.

Last night I went out with Drew. He’s the restaurant’s milkman. 🙂

He and I have a working relationship, but its a friendly one. We were talking one day about football. He noticed the T-shirt on my chair. I put a Nole’s “Fear the Spear” shirt, over the backside of my office chair. I’ve got quite a few comments from it. He was telling me about a friend of his, that he knew from college, who played some football, and now lived in Kissimmee. His friend was having a Holiday Open House, this coming weekend, and would I like to go.

I was thrilled to be asked out. I said, “Of course. I’ll even wear a dress. Do up my hair, and get all girly-fied on you.”

He chuckled. He gave me a great big hug, and was off. He told me that he’d keep in touch on the details for Saturday. He did. It was going to be a full on holiday fun. Buffet and music. Dancing and merriment. I was so looking forward to it. I haven’t been to a holiday party in years. I told him that I was really happy that he asked me. That it took courage to be a boy, and that I didn’t begrudge him his having to be a boy. Boys have to take the chances, and girls get the easy part. He agreed with me.

I did get all dolled up. I did my hair, and even put on some mascara. I wore a bright red skirt, and bought a sparkly green sweater. I even took the time to get my nails done. He was complimentary. Told me that I did a great job. He had on a pair of nice slacks and button up top. He was dressed to have a good time. It was nice to get into the holiday spirit.

We agreed to meet at 5:30pm. He wanted to take me to dinner first, since Ray’s party didn’t get going till nearly 8pm. We met at a half-way point, Apopka. I left my new car at the CVS, and we took off in his Hummer. I did the safe things, and let my Sweetie know his name, phone number, work information, and took a photo of his license plate. Drew was impressed, and mentioned that he would make sure his own daughter did the same, when she would date, at age 30. lol

He was a perfect gentleman, and asked me where I wanted to eat. He has suggested a local Mexican place. “But there’s pretty much any other place you can think of.”, and he began to list a bunch of national chains.

I told him, “I would rather eat in a local mom-n-pop place, over a chain. The people who run the local restaurant are employing local people, they are living here, working here, investing here. I don’t want to give my money to some corporate millionaire, when he won’t miss it. My $20.00 could be the breaking point for the local people.” Drew said, “I like how you think. That’s amazing way to look at it.”

We ate at the Mexican restaurant, and it was wonderful. I even teased him, when we sat down, the 2nd booth away from the wall, with my back to the TV up upon it. “If you get bored, you can always watch the basketball game.” He chuckled that there was no way he was going to be bored. We talked about our kids, his growing up outside of D.C., being one of 6 kids (his momma was a saint), our divorces, how he got our of D.C. by getting a scholarship to UCF, for soccer. We even talked about our jobs, and futures. He has had a full life, and has a good outlook on the rest of it.

We would have been done, but for a woman who came in wearing a Nole’s tshirt. I had to tell her ‘Go Noles.’, and she replied that she hoped so. I looked puzzled, and so Drew told me that the Heisman awards were on TV last night. I just kept turning my back, and looking up towards the TV now. I tried not to be rude. Drew said it was fine. Eventually, I made him scoot over, so that I could sit on his side of the table, and see the screen easier. I was a bit worried that I was being a bad date, he assured me that I wasn’t. He said to me several times: “I could sit here next to you all night.”

(*Jamieson won*)

We eventually left the restaurant. It only took 3+ hours to eat. lol But by the time we did, we were too late to go to the party. I felt bad. Drew assured me that it was fine. Again, he was a gentleman, and said that he would be happy to extend the night, “Any thing you want to do.” I just started talking out loud. “We could find a place to listen to music. See a movie. …” We agreed upon a movie, which was nearby.

Seems that movies are becoming passe, we were only 2 of 8 people in the theatre. LoL We saw “Thor, II”. Even though neither of us saw the first one, we enjoyed getting caught up in the fantasy, that a good movie can bring. He continued to be a gentleman, but he is still a man. He held my hand. Caressed my fingers, and palm. Yet no matter how much he may have wanted more, he was respectful of my space. Even when I mentioned my Sweetie. He respected that too.

Overall, not bad for a Saturday night. He worried that I had gotten dressed up for nothing. I assured him that dinner and a movie was a wonderful time. I haven’t been out for that, in a long time, either.

I do love a good old fashioned, hometown parade. The kind where everyone, and everything, gets to shine for just a moment.

Even though it was my time to spend with the kids today; I barely got to see them. They are all out there, busy in their own groups, and finding their way to becoming the best people that they can be. Which always makes my heart swell up. 🙂

Hometown pride.

Hometown pride.

Where everyone stands up when the flag goes by... and those still wearing their hats, are reminded to remove them.

Where everyone stands up when the flag goes by… and those still wearing their hats, are reminded to remove them.

The sort of parade where the Police show off, to impress and wow the children.

The sort of parade where the Police show off, to impress and wow the children.

Even I tried to get into the Christmas spirit.  Thanks to the sillyness of my beautiful Bronwyn.

Even I tried to get into the Christmas spirit. Thanks to the sillyness of my beautiful Bronwyn.

Although not a single person here asked me for, or gave me a #; even though I commented on, liked, and discussed their lists for over a dozen different people: I am giving myself a #. I’m giving myself the #13: Why? Because I love this number.
Many of these things will NOT be new to some; but to others. There is not a single thing on this list that will be new to everyone. I’m too much of an open book.

1. I grew up in Saudi Arabia, and will always love and admire the Arabs. I will always wish that I could take my kids back to MY Hometown.
2. I took my first motorcycle ride when I was 9 years old, and have been hooked ever since. I was recently told by one driver that I must have bike parts in my system, to be able to ride as I do. “You’re a joy to have on the back. I don’t take people out with me, because they mess me up, but I’d take you any day you want.”
3. I have the world’s biggest potty mouth – can’t go a full hour, at the restaurant without uttering a full string of expletives. Yet I used to never swear. I didn’t utter my first swear word until the age of 16. It’s been F*&^ked up ever since then.
4. I love pumpkins, and have quite the collection of them – almost as many boxes of them to decorate for autumn, as I do for winter holidays. But I dislike the color orange. Go figure.
5. When I suffer from insomnia I will flip my blankets and pillows upside-down in the bed, to change the energy of the bed. Works 95% of the time. Also annoyed the ex-husband 100% of the time. 
6. I saw my first Broadway play at 13, and have loved the theatre ever since. Also ate my first sushi on that trip to NYC, and got my first lesson in “Boy watching” from my god-father.
7. I dislike diamonds. Give me jewelry with colorful stones.
8. I was not just a surrogate for another couple – but the couple was a male homosexual couple. Not a uterus between them.
9. I was not just a surrogate for them – but what is known as a Traditional surrogate. Meaning that my egg was use, and thus, half of her biology is directly related to that of my own 4 kids.
10. Even though people think that I hate to garden – I love to get my hands dirty in the dirt. I just can’t seem to keep any plants alive, despite this love.
11. This past year has been the hardest, most challenging, and caused me more self-doubts, of my choices and abilities – than any other year of my life.
12. Outliving any one of my children is my single greatest fear. Give me spiders. Snakes. Heights.
13. I’ve walked along the Great Wall in China, climbed down into the Great Pyramids in Egypt, explored the Parthenon in Greece, run my hands all over the stones in Stonehenge, in England; and have yet to see the Grand Canyon.

Blessings of the First Harvest.

Blessings of the First Harvest.

lammas9

<3 Thoreau

❤ Thoreau

When Lammas, or Lughnasadh, rolls around, many modern Pagans celebrate the harvest of the grain crops. This is nothing new – for our ancestors, the grain harvest was a cause for great celebration. A successful harvest meant families would be able to bake and store bread through the winter – and that could mean the difference between life and death for many.

Bread Magic and Superstitions –
– In Yorkshire, it was believed that if a loaf of bread failed to rise, it meant there was an undiscovered corpse nearby.

– One English tradition revolves around hot cross buns. If you bake yours on Good Friday, they will not spoil or grow mold. Another custom says that sailors should take a hot cross buns on their travels to prevent shipwreck. The cross on the bun comes from a superstition that marking the bun so would prevent the Devil from getting into the baked goods.

– In parts of Appalachia, it’s important to watch when you slice a loaf of bread for the first time – if you slice through a hole in the bread, it means someone is going to die. It is also well-known that if you put a slice of bread into a cradle, it will protect the infant from disease.

– For many cultures, the breaking of bread is symbolic of peace and hospitality. Once you have welcomed someone into your home and you have eaten bread together, you’re far less likely to kill one another.

– In parts of Norway, boys and girls who share bread from the same loaf are destined to fall in love and marry.

– For residents of Scotland, there's a tradition known as "first-footing," in which the first person to cross a home's threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year. While waiting for your first guest to arrive, place a slice of bread and a silver coin outside the door for prosperity and warmth.

By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
~Citrine~