Saturday, November 5

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

  Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant ... Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --
merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This
year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine
concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift
giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes
there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some
health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American  owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a
book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down
the Benjamin’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or
driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a
local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is
struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin
their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery
and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at
your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to  buy another ten thousand Chinese
lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about
fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to
burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about
US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow
their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our
communities, and  the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion
groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in
your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations,
and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other,
and isn't that what Christmas is about?

Friday, November 4

Busy Elise


We have thought about just cancelling appointments and leaving. It is much colder than we like and getting colder. We do plan to stick it out and leave next Friday however. Butch will then only have about a week where he cannot do much after we arrive. He has been a good boy about obeying the rules. Perhaps for the first time in his life.
I am on a new eating plan and so far it is working for me. It is really just a lifestyle change and one that should be easy to adhere to. There is only one rule. No eating between meals.  I can eat anything I want in a 40 minute period 3 times a day. A fellow was telling me about this a few months ago. He said he and his wife did this for a year and he lost 30 pounds and she 20. I am hoping after a year to do the same but stick with it  as it should be a habit by then.
Last night right after supper (new rule) we walked the 4 1/2 blocks to the dairy queen. On the way I took a tumble. Skinned up my knees and nose. Luckily I had on jeans, gloves and coat which saved me from getting scraped up worse than I did. I tripped over a rock that had fallen out of a raised flower garden. It is not the first time I have done such a thing. Tripping over a rock, I mean. I fared much worse the first time several years ago. I am hoping to not do it ever again. It is such a shock to find yourself face down on the sidewalk.

Wednesday, November 2


We went to the grocery store and Dollar General this morning and have no plans for venturing outside again. Well, one of us has to go out later and unhook the water due to forthcoming below freezing temperatures  but only for a little while. The remainder of the day will be spent watching it rain. We really need the moisture.

While at Dollar General I bought a new pair of warm pajama bottoms. I am considering giving up the pair Gary and Susan bought for me in 1986. That pair is getting mighty thin and even has a few small holes. They started out with cuffs and a waffle weave top. The top was put aside after a couple of years. Then I removed the cuffs off the bottoms of the pajamas. The bottoms have been perfect ever since. They are the ones I reach for when the weather is just a bit cool. I still like them and really hate to see them go. They have had a long and useful life.

Great Joy

All three of my "boys" get great joy from the their grandchildren which gives me great joy.

Tuesday, November 1

Nice day

They say this is the warmest day we will have for quite awhile in Iowa. Butch and I went for our morning walk and have plans to get in a second one because of the forecast for tomorrow. Highs in the 40's! That is like one of the worst days in the Rio Grande Valley. Lucky us.
On our walk I seemed to see an inordinate amount of discarded empty cigarette packs so we started counting them and in  a 6-7 block span we counted 9!  Could we assume that if you smoke you might also litter? I won't assume.
Butch went to Leo's and borrowed his leaf blower. He is out now blowing leaves around. He isn't picking them up-just blowing them around.
1. The Brookers have a lot of time on their hands.
2. They are easily entertained.