Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Present

Merry Christmas to all!  The IT guy here gave us all a present for Christmas (those of us on duty). He lifted the internet restrictions on our computers for the day! So for just a brief moment I am able to post this message and quickly catch up on some blog posts in my reader.  Hope all of you know how much I miss being able to read you daily! Life is way too busy, lots has happened since my last post, but the most important message I can pass along to you folks is this.... Hug your loved ones, and if you can't hug them, tell them how much you care about them.  Don't forget to take a moment today to say a prayer for our servicemen and women who couldn't be home with their loved ones today.
Best wishes for a wonderful, happy New Year.  
Alison

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day and the Elks






Veterans Day has always reminded me of the many folks I've known throughout my life who were directly or indirectly involved in our country's defense. My father and uncle were Korean War Veterans, I was married to a Vietnam Veteran, and many of my friends and my daughters friends, have served or are still serving. Yesterday, I participated in the Veterans Day Services at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. It was an honor to be among all those wonderful men and women who have sacrificed so much. It is my hope and prayer that they realize how grateful we are!

To my father: I wish you could have seen me in the parade! I bet you would have laughed at me being in a tuxedo! But I know that because you had been an "Elk", you would have understood how important the Veterans are to the Elks. I spend a lot of my free time doing things through the Elks organization, to show our appreciation. We donate to our local Vietnam Veterans Food Pantry, we supply our local needy Veterans with Thanksgiving Baskets each year. We invite all children of our local active duty military personnel to our annual Kids Christmas Party. We travel every month to our local Veterans Hospital to bring a meal and a smile to our wounded Veterans.  Last summer we held a classic car show to raise money for Cape Cod Cares for Troops and earlier we held a Veterans Cookout so all our local vets could come and eat for free.  Dad, I know this must sound like I'm bragging ~ maybe I am. The Elks have provided me a way to say thank you and keep saying thank you to all those, like you and Uncle Stu, who have given more than I can imagine to keep our country safe. I don't know if you ever really got a "Thank You For Your Service" from anyone Dad, so I'm saying it ~ every chance I get.

And to all of those Servicemen and women out there in Blogger world who might stumble upon this post, I sincerely thank you for your dedication to our country.

Benevolent Protective Order of Elks

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Kibash

Well folks, looks like my postings will be less frequent.  Because I spend so much time at work, most of my posts have been created during my slow times (waiting for the phone to ring at 10pm). Up until now, I've been able to access my blog during my slow/down times at work but that has all changed.  The "powers that be" have reinstalled the "Websense" program so now I am unable to even view a blog.  If it has the word "blog" anywhere near it, around it or on it, I am blocked.(As well as many other sites, now off-limits). However,  resourceful is my middle name, (actually it isn't my middle name, I don't have a middle name, but that's a whole 'nuther post). I have come up with a way to at least write the post, save it and send it to myself in an email so that I can pull it up when I get home, copy it - paste it and voila! A Post!  Take that Websense!! Only I don't usually post anything after a double shift - too many chances for mistakes to happen.  So, although my postings have been delayed, they haven't been able to put the Kibash on them. What they have been able to do is keep me from posting comments on my favorite blogger sites.  Buck from  Exile in Portales, Lou from Bag Blog, Jim from Suldog  Jim from Nobody Asked Me, and Kris from Noodling On It - Journal here is my linky-love for all of you - in case I don't get a chance to comment as much as I want - although some of you may be grateful for the respite! I have a slim hope that at some point the IT guy who has the ability to loosen the noose around the internet access will see fit to do so. Until then folks, I'll be winging it. 
It's not just for breakfast anymore!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween

My memories of Halloween go back to my first plastic mask.  I don't recall what I was, or even how old I was, all I can remember is that awful plastic mask. I had begged my mother for it, having worn the sheet over the head with the eyes cut out and I just couldn't do it ONE MORE YEAR! I suppose she saved her pennies for months so that my brother and I could have a costume, but I was ignorant and selfish. I wanted the mask! Then came the day, about a week before Halloween, when we had been in Hyannis with my mother and grandmother, to grocery shop, or clothes shop or something shop! We were in Zayre's Department Store, and there on the rack in front of me were the plastic masks.  I came home with a costume that day, and you would have thought that I had won tickets to Disney. My mother, being most wise and knowing how destructive  playful little children could be, refused to let my brother and I parade around in the costumes. It wasn't until just about time to walk out the door to go trick or treating that I got to try on my new mask.  Oh no! I couldn't breathe, it was hot, and the eye holes were made for someone who was cross-eyed. I hated it!  But I knew, by wearing it that I could get CANDY! Oh, glorious candy! And so, with my parents and brother in tow, I made my way up and down each side of the street, suffocating under that plastic mask, carrying my plastic halloween bag, begging our neighbors "Trick or Treat" not knowing that the worst Trick of ALL TIME was going to be played on me when I got home with that bag of delicious, mouth watering, chocolate, fruity, sugary coated loveliness! Yes, dear reader, my parents,  they were MONSTERS!!
"What do you mean I can only have two pieces!! Why do I have to save MY candy?" Ohhhh the humanity!
Somehow I survived those Halloweens, and as I got older, the plastic masks were left behind for the more popular face paint... and stuffed pillows under the old clothes. Then eventually, Halloween became something completely different for awhile. Parties with adult costumes and adult beverages and loud music.

Then something made it all become magical again. In 1994 when my daughter was four years old, we went on our first Halloween event at the local zoo.  She was too young to really understand, but the years that followed we would decorate the house in cobwebs, pumpkins and witches. We would stuff leaves into our spooky scarecrow.  On Halloween we'd meet up with my brother and his two boys and troll their neighborhood in search of candy; the kids in their costumes and to their utter embarassment, my brother and I in our costumes. In those years, the neighbors watched out for each other and went all out for Halloween. Decorations inside and out, rocking chairs on the front porch that rocked when you passed by them, recordings of howls and growls... much more sophisticated stuff than when I was a kid. There were life-like bats, monster masks made in the likeness of someone's horrifying nightmare! Costumes that could have come right off of a Hollywood movie set! My daughter suffered the indignity of her mother and uncle dressed in old clothes with pillows stuffed up in them and face paint for a mask! We were MONSTERS! Yes, daughter - only 4 pieces of candy. You must SAVE your candy!

We didn't put candy out at our house because our neighborhood was mostly summer homes, empty and without children nearby.  No one ventured down our dark street.  Our spooky scarecrow was left to guard our dark house, unappreciated for his toothy grin and scary milkman pants. When my daughter moved away, I didn't decorate as much.  A pumpkin maybe. 

The new neighborhood has children.

I may have to get those old clothes out of the closet and find a good pillow.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween folks.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Squirrel Snacks or Bad Winter to Come?

This "was" one of my fall decorations... It's been hanging on the railing outside my front door for a couple of weeks now. (I bought it about 2 years ago)  As I'm pulling into my driveway this afternoon, I see Mr. Squirrel up on my front step, an unusual place for him to be.  I can't figure out what he's doing up there so I sit in the truck for a minute watching. He climbs up on the railing and starts helping himself to a nice little meal.  Now, I can't be sure, but I'm guessing that the stuff they used to spray on this decoration to make it all pretty, can't be good for anyone including squirrels to eat. But, as you can see, he had already consumed quite a bit of it before I chased him away.  If I find a squirrel feet up in my back yard tomorrow.....  someone told me that there are no acorns on the ground this year.... surely a sign of bad weather to come? (Not to mention bad for the squirrel population.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Unexpected Trip (in more ways than one)!

King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA





The folks who work here - obviously enjoy their work!


The Torture Show

It was difficult to tell whether these folks were employees or attendees. A good portion of the folks who attended the faire were dressed in costumes. Some were quite elaborate.


I have no idea.


A Joust participant

A Whip Demonstration

This cute cub kept me entertained for awhile.


There was a parade....


Still not sure if these folks were employees or guests?

One never knows what one will find in the woods....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Question of the day: Does Anyone Know How Much Money is owed to the US?

US Treasury Building



I was asked that question today and it sent me on a fast and furious web search for information.  I couldn't find anything substantial, but that could be because I don't know quite where to look.  I did find a reference that in the 70's the US had forgiven any outstanding world war debt owed to us by foreign countries. I muddled through some stuff on the US Treasury website, but didn't find anything specific.  (I did get a kick out of reading their Strategic Plan). I found a site that supposedly gives up to the minute US Debt click here. (Not what I was looking for, but definitely a depressing thought... over 11 trillion? WOW.) If anyone reading this can help answer the question of the day.... "how much is owed to us?" please comment!  Thank you!

P.S. I'm betting on "not much".

Saturday, September 28, 2013

You called 9-1-1 for what?



Don't let this happen to YOUR dog!

Would you call 911 if your puppy had it's head stuck in a pail?

That's exactly what one woman did in Massachusetts the other day.  The 911 call was answered by the Police Department then transferred to the Fire Department.  Normally, Animal Control officers would be the obvious choice to handle this call.  Why the PD chose to give it to the FD remains a mystery. (We have our suspicions - we could have sworn we heard someone chuckle on the other end of the phone).  Yet, even though the FD is not required to respond to this type of call, they did. The Big Red Fire Truck and 4 brave firemen went out the door, to see if they could help.  I suppose it was a bit like the "cat stuck in a tree" call - an opportunity for good PR, a feel good, be the hero on a slow day type of call.  The puppy was saved from a life of bucket head and the owners were relieved that no huge Vet bill would be in their immediate future. It's understandable that in the throes of a panicked moment, one would reach for the phone and dial 9-1-1. But a puppy with it's head stuck in a pail? Really?

I don't make them up folks.  Stay safe out there.