ARCHIVES:  December 24-31, 2005

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December 31, 2005 - Saturday

New Year's Eve

My daughter was born on a New Year's Eve 24 years ago. The whole word celebrates on her birthday. It is truly a special time for me. Her childbirth was fairly easy, as childbirths go. She's turned into a wonderful person with a great husband, future and baby on the way (coming in June - watch for details in the future).

Our daughter and son-in-law gave us a gift card to a very nice restaurant which we plan to use tonight. This will always be a special day to me

All of you -- please have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!



December 30, 2005 - Friday

We Got a DVR

As a Christmas present to ourselves, we got a DVR (no high def TV, just a recorder). Even though we have perfectly good VCRs and even an "old" DVD recorder, the DVR appealed to us.

I'd seen it in use at my daughter's and sister's homes. We found many good reasons to pay the extra $10 per month. First, it can hold a LOT of shows at better quality than the others can do. (It can even record in high-definition if we need it to.)

Second, recording is very easy - just bring up a show in the regular cable guide (that comes with digital boxes) and click a button on the remote - ta-da! The show will be recorded. If the show times change, the recorder knows it and will follow.

Third, no rewinding! Just a few clicks of a button -- and you can fast forward or go back through a show.

Fourth, it is constantly recording even though you can't tell. When watching a regular show, you can pause or rewind it to see something - so cool when someone is talking too loud and you miss a sentence or two.

There's many more good reasons. It finally got to us and we knew we had to have one. I am already recording Jay Leno every night.

It's just so much easier than using anything else and someday we hope to have a big high-definition TV and there's nothing else that will record shows in that format. Anyway, we've been using the DVR for a week or so and just love it. The recordings are perfect - no loss in quality. This is worth every penny.



December 29, 2005 - Thursday

Lucky New Year's Foods & Other Traditions

Here in the South, some people eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for luck. Others believe that food served in the shape of a ring brings good luck because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle.

Here's a page of other New Year's traditions (scroll down a ways to see the text). I think many traditions are fun -- happy memories for a family. Here's another list of lucky things to eat from Fabulous Foods:


New Year's Food Traditions

  • Eating noodles at midnight is customary at Buddhist temples in Japan.

  • A German/Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's day for good luck.

  • It is a Cuban tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes signify the last twelve months of the year.

  • German folklore says that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.

  • Eating pickled herring as the first bite of the New Year brings good luck to those of Polish descent.

  • In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year's eve will bring luck for the coming year.

  • Also from the south comes the custom of eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money.

  • One more from the Southerners: eating cornbread will bring wealth.

  • The Southern custom of eating greens can be found in other cultures as well, although the cabbage can take many forms, such as sauerkraut or even kimchee.

  • In the Philippines, it is important to have food on the table at midnight in order to insure an abundance of food in the upcoming year.

  • Boiled Cod is a New Year's Eve must in Denmark.

  • Olie Bollen a donut-like fritter is popular in Holland for New Year.

  • Black-eyed peas, fish, apples, and beets are eaten for luck at the Jewish New Year's celebration (not celebrated on Jan 1).



December 28, 2005 - Wednesday

Beginner Photography Tips

Want some basic photography tips? One of my favorite podcasts is Tips from the Top Floor. The advice is easy to understand and good for anyone with a simple (or more complex) camera. I get it through iTunes, but there's a website and message board here.

(Here's my avatar in my New Year's Eve Dress.)



December 27, 2005 - Tuesday

Virtual Ice Skating

I've been ice skating the safest way possible -- virtually. My sister, niece, several friends and I chat in this world often (its free). It's like MSN, AIM or Skype only we chat with an avatar in different scenes in whatever appearance we choose. Their newest scene is where we can ice skate with the other person (or sit in the pavilion).

Basically, someone chooses hair color, clothes, etc. to represent themselves. It's so nice to chat when others can see you smile or blush, etc. For example, when you say yes, your avatar nods hisor her head.

Pick an Avatar <--Here's the link to go straight to picking out a personal character.

(P.S. I have ice skates here -- I just wasn't wearing them in this photo.)



December 26, 2005 - Monday

Ten More Days of Christmas

It is already the day after Christmas -- it still feels like Christmas to me. I had a wonderful, low-pressure holiday this year. My family was in a good mellow mood. We all got to visit and chat most of the day away. It was blissful. (Some years are crazy so a peaceful year was appreciated.)

I like celebrating Christmas until the 12th Day, so today is just the second day of Christmas - yay - 10 more days to go. (It seems like I never get enough time to wear Christmas clothes otherwise.)

Inspite of it all, I am playing at creating New Year's signs. Feel welcome to use this if you want.




December 25, 2005 - Sunday

Merry Christmas Day

Just another quick wish that you are having a great day. I think this is one of the best I've had -- lots of good conversation, visits with family and food galore without making ourselves sick. Ha!

Photos from our day are posted at Christmas 2005 (select "Newer Image" from this page to view each Christmas photo).

I just have one big question from this day -- do purses with magnetic clasps ruin cell phones and digital cameras? (And a follow-up question: Can the magnets be removed without obviously wrecking the purse?) With this day of electronics and stuff, why do they keep making purses with MAGNETS on them?!!! Argh! Double argh!




December 24, 2005 - Saturday

Merry Christmas Eve

My sister is an RN in the psychiatric ward of the largest local hospital. I once asked her about the number of patients she gets during the holidays. Against the common myth, there are actually LESS patients during the holidays! It truly is a happier time. I hope it is happier for you, too.

I got a new font for Christmas (what a geek I am!). Here's what I made with it. I hope you are all enjoying life right now.