Monthly Archives: December 2013

~ Enjoy The Day; They’re At The Helm ~

My Captain worked at the firehouse Christmas Eve for 24 hours, and is at work again today, Christmas itself.

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But this Christmas, he’s working by choice.  One of the Lieutenants wanted to be home with his family, and My Captain agreed to work for him since no one else would.  As Varmint and Critter are spending Christmas with their father, it seemed to be the right thing for My Captain and I to agree to. What better way to honor Christmas, than to give of ourselves?

Since he was to be solidly in place at the firehouse during Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I went to him!  For five hours on Christmas Eve, I sat next to my beloved’s desk as he worked on his computer, and waited patiently for him, as he ran numerous 911 calls.

It meant that I missed singing Silent Night at the candlelight service at church, something I truly love to do. But who wants to sing when your heart is alone?  I sing much better when I’m with my Captain.  He keeps me on key.   And, if you think about it, if God is Love, then being with My Captain is akin to being at church.  So the mountain went to Mohammad.

Yeah, I did.  I went there.  I just referred to myself as a mountain.  Let’s move on.

There was a house fire this morning in Sandy Spring.


It’s actually still being fought, as I write this.  So far, two firefighters have been burned, and a civilian as well.  But as of yet, no one has died.  On Christmas.  And do you know why?  Because the firefighters were at the ready.

And My Captain is at his fire house right now, still at the ready.  Even as little kids are rushing downstairs to tear open their gifts, and mom is burning the sticky buns in the oven, and dad is putting the batteries in all the toys backwards, he is ready.  All of the men and women are.  They are tired, but they ARE ready!

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Some of them begrudgingly, as they couldn’t be with their own families.  Some happily, because the fire service might be the only family they have.  Some willingly because it feeds their own sense of purpose.  Whatever the reason though, they are there.

I’ll be honest with you, My Captain would rather be home, sleeping in with Sir Monty of Stinky Butt curled around him.  He’s a little bit tired today, as you can see by this selfie that I begged him to send….

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He hasn’t even changed into his proper uniform yet.  They are a little more casual about the dress code on Christmas!  I don’t begrudge them that one bit!  And personally I find him just as handsome, unshaven and in his job shirt, as I do clean cut in his Class B uniform.  I might be a little bit biased.  Just a smidge.

But he’s safe for now.  Alive and healthy as he waits for the tones to go off.  We are lucky in that.  Last night in Pennsylvania, another firefighter was not so lucky.  He died in a crash, on his way to a 911 call.

The lesson in that is that we never know what is around the corner.  Who’s going to be killed.  Who’s going to save a life.  Some put themselves in harm’s way…soldiers, police, firefighters.  They willingly throw themselves between us and chance… so the rest of us can sit around the fire, drinking eggnog, and live comfortably in the subconscious knowledge that if something bad happens, help will arrive.

I know I don’t always consciously think about it, and it’s a lot closer to my life than some people’s.  But it doesn’t matter to My Captain, and men and women like him, if we think about it, or even if we are grateful for it.  Because regardless, they are willingly ready to jump to our aid.  Even if it means they will die in the process.

If that doesn’t honor the meaning of Christmas, I don’t know what does.

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~ Merry Christmas!~

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With love from all of us here at the Little Cottage!

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~ Sugar Plums and A Moose Nativity ~

I have been so BUSY, my friends!  I love, love, LOVE this time of the year!  We start full throttle at Thanksgiving, and don’t stop until January 2, which is my birthday!  Of course, by that time, everyone is too partied out to muster up much more than a kiss and a ‘Happy Birthday!’…including ME….so it’s entirely Okay!  Some people have birthday parties, I have birthday NAPS.

Don’t judge.

Since Thanksgiving, which was by all accounts, a gastronomical challenge, we have cut the Christmas tree for ourselves, and one for Grandma Jane,

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and wrapped presents,

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and made paper ‘Advent Chains,’

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(There is one for everyone, complete with love notes written by all of us, inside each link, to be opened every day in December.)

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and lit our outside tree with a gazillion non-eco-friendly light bulbs,


and had only a couple melt downs in between.  (Okay, that was just me….)

We have three different ‘themes’ for our Christmas tree, because I’m ridiculously fickle, and rarely can make up my mind. They are: 1) ‘Old World’, with old mercury glass ornaments and burgundy and gold and rich, dark evergreen satin ribbon, 2.) ‘Montana’, with moose, pine cones, lanterns, and all kinds of animal glass ornaments. and 3.) ‘Sugar Plums and Bon-Bons’.   Every year the theme revolves, and this year, it is the Sugar Plum tree!

What, pray tell, is a Sugar Plum Tree?  It’s Lindt Bon-Bons,

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and Lifesavers,

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and Crazy Bitter Dark Chocolate for My Captain.

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It’s also glass ornaments of sweets that we could not otherwise hang on the tree for a month,

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(I love this one!  Varmint picked it out years ago.)

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And it wouldn’t be right without our Hershey Kisses…

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Fully edible Gingerbread men will be put on next week. In the meantime, however, we have some felt wanna-be’s from when Varmint and Critter were wee ones.

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Some ornaments go on all three different themed trees.  These are the “OH!”, and the “I remember this!”, and the “Honey, get me some tissues to wipe my eyes, will you?” ornaments.

Like Critter and Varmint’s Preschool angels.

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And my dear friend Liz’s daughter, Melissa, as one of the world’s cutest snowmen.  She’s 11 years old now…. (insert sniffle).

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And since I have yet to figure out what would be the best topper for this kind of Christmas tree, I simply plunk down a peppermint striped bow.  Eventually I’ll think of something better.  I’m certainly open to suggestions!

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And I hope you know that I’m detail-oriented enough to be sure that most of the wrapping paper is also Bon-Bon themed!

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Good enough to eat!

But Mama! Where is Jesus??!  Where do you pay homage to the One whose celebration this is all about?

Oh PLEASE!  As if I could forget the most important part of this season.   But, you know me, I have to bow to it in my own, God-given style.


Some people think our lack of gravity about the whole season is disrespectful.  I disagree.  We’re all about joy and grace in this Little Cottage, not mockery.   We’ve got too much love and laughter going on to be contemptuous!  We save THAT little nugget for the Leprechaun on St. Patrick’s day….who TO THIS DAY eludes me.

The little green bastard……


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~ Soft and Squishy ~

He’s hard as nails.

He’s smart as a whip.

He’s strong as an ox.

He’s as courageous as any hero could be.

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He’s soft and squishy on the inside.

Don’t tell anyone, though.  It’ll be our little secret.

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~ The Scrambler ~

One of the original rides at Hershey Park is called the Scrambler.  I love the Scrambler.  I love the way it makes me feel like a breakfast egg.  I love the way it makes me feel powerless, at the whim of the mechanic.  I love the way it gets my blood racing.

Its primary objective is to spin you so fast that centrifugal force sends everyone in the center of the bucket outwards to squash the outer passenger….all riders helpless as physics has its merry way with them!  But there is also an additional jerking, sudden change of angular direction throughout the ride, so you literally don’t know if you are coming or going.

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I like to go on this ride FIRST when we get to Hershey Park.   You know, right after breakfast.  It makes my belly jiggle with laughter, and the blood rush to my head.  And, it gives me great joy to see everyone else’s bellies jiggle and blood rushing.

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I’m not saying it gives them great joy……nausea and vertigo, maybe, but not joy.

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For some reason I cannot get My Captain to ever get on the ding dang thing with us.  Boggles the mind, really.

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