You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2015.

Trying to stay a step ahead of a nagging cold and I can feel it gaining on me, so this last entry of 2015 may be short. Gonna get in a few words while waiting for my tea to brew. This one contains slippery elm bark and organic marshmallow root. Surely this will be the trick.

I have also created a homemade elixir that consists of apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and a shake of red pepper. Yes it sounds odd, but it’s peculiarly effective taken a tablespoon at a time and it makes a great salad dressing too.

Of course, I have conventionally cough syrup and a host of other remedies at my disposal.

They say there is no cure for the common cold. To prove this is true, take a look at your local drug store and you will find a whole aisle of products dedicated to cold relief which is proof positive that nobody knows how to cure the common cold. If they did, there would be just ONE item as an aisle-ender to purchase. Put it in the cart. Bang. Bye bye cold.

Instead, there is day time, night time, lunch time, and a couple snack time medications. There’s drowsy, non-drowsy, guaranteed to put you to sleep and get out the Pink Floyd CD medicines as well. (Those are now behind the pharmacy counter by the smiling druggist with tinted lenses. All the good items are now behind by the pharmacist.)

Time to run. The tea pot is simmering.

If it doesn’t work soon, I am going to contact the three witches from Scotland and see if they can conjur up a potion to beat this. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find “eye of newt” this time of year since all the newts are in hiding. Just when you get the toe of frog, bam, all the news have vanished. Apologies to Act 4 Scene 1 of Macbeth.

Will leave you with a couple of links to year ending articles of the past in case you missed them.

Here’s the one from last year:

And here’s the one from 2013:

Happy New Year. Stay well (or find out where the newts are hiding).

IMG_0456 (2)How many times has this happened to you?

You put 10 socks in the washer and when you empty the dryer, only 9 are there.
You scrape the washer, impeccably search the dryer and diligently follow your path from the laundry room to the bedroom and no missing sock.

My wife has this basket of unmatched socks in our bedroom, hoping for that day when she finds a mate in another load. The day never comes. It’s a mystery we all encounter.

Have you ever thought of this? Perhaps, socks are monogamous or monogosox if you prefer.

When I buy my socks, it’s usually in a 3 pack or 6 pack or whatever and the socks are all neatly matched, usually bound together with a small seemingly annoying plastic piece, that to socks are perhaps a wedding rings of sorts.

And what do we do? We rip apart their band, step on them all day long and then throw them in a hamper when we are done. Leave them there for a few days or so with shirts and trousers and more socks and throw them in a vat of soapy water.

They soon learn that the odds of 12 socks ever being perfectly matched together again are 0.00757575. (Just trust me, my sister Susan is a math geek and got that stat for Wedwand in under a minute.)

As they splash about getting agitated, rinsed and spun you can almost hear them scream, “Bobby, where are you?”

“I’m here, Crew. I promise I’ll never be matched with another.”

It’s kinda like the Titanic for those socks when they get dropped in the washer. As the water pours into the tub and the fabric softener is added, you can almost hear Celine Dion singing, “Near far, wherever you are…”

Alas, one sock ultimately goes missing in search of their mate. Mystery solved.

Speaking of socks, the Christmas tradition of hanging stockings also involves only ONE stocking and a myriad of myths surround the origin.

I have modified the multiple tales into a real true fiction yarn.

A certain man, St. Nicholas if you will, heard of the plight of a local man who had fallen on hard times back in the 18th century. It seems this man had three daughters and being a man of little means was in a difficult row trying to marry them off in those days without a dowry.

Being a proud man, he accepted no charity so on one Christmas Eve St. Nick, having heard of his plight, snuck outside the man’s house and happened upon the three eligible ladies stockings conveniently hung by the chimney to dry. He dropped a gold ball in each of the 3 stockings and the father and daughters lived happily thereafter.

To replicate this tradition, if one is not in possession of gold, oranges cast the illusion of that precious metal after a few egg nogs. So one may substitute oranges for gold to perpetuate the tradition, unless you’re the kind of person that has a pocketful of gold Krugerrands. Then by all means stop by my house and I’ll lead you to the stockings.

Clement Clark Moore immortalized the tradition in 1823 when he penned “The Night before Christmas” and including this line in his yarn:

“The stockings were all hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.”

So stuff your stockings with whatever you have to spare in your pocket, be it real gold, an orange or a stocking-sized trinket.

But don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas. Love this song and Bing Crosby’s ‘Pray for peace people everywhere” plea which still holds true today.

The rest is simply yuletide lore. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

IMG_0435 (2)

Who’s tired of watching the News on TV? WHOA WHOA WHOA don’t raise your hands all at once.

The first fifteen minutes of the evening news is full of all sorts of bad, depressing stuff that can’t possibly leave anyone feeling good. Lest I get off on a rant and start screaming, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” I’ll stop right now and share some good news with you that perhaps didn’t make your local broadcast.

Let Wedwand try to put some lights on the gray gloomy tree of December featured on the cover photo.

In at least three states, someone has been anonymously paying off Layaway items at Walmart stores. The report from CBS news that I read today went like this:

Secret Santas gave an early Christmas gift to shoppers at Walmart stores in three states by anonymously paying off $484,000 they owed on holiday purchases set aside with the retailer.

Now that’s holiday spirit.

Honest hardworking people trying to slowly save money for that certain purchase were rewarded with a phone call telling them their gift was paid for. Read it again, stop and absorb it. THAT’S the kind of news we want to hear. It might make us go to bed happy, maybe even give us some visions of sugar plums to dance in our heads.

Then there’s the Salvation Army buckets that are around this time of year.

Some of the bell ringers that attend these buckets are more enthusiastic than others. When I worked in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago, I saw the most exuberant attendant ever.

A loyal reader who now resides in Arizona can attest to this.

This guy would hop up and down, ring that bell for all it was worth and chant:

It’s Christmas time, it’s Christmas time, it’s Christmas time in the Cit-EEE!

And he chanted that virtually all day long!

I usually drop a buck in the bucket from time to time during the season, but Tim and I laid a five spot on this bucket, just for the effort and even sang along with him.

It’s Christmas time, it’s Christmas time, it’s Christmas time in the Cit-EEE!

Now, if I were the kind of guy who carried South African Gold Krugerrands in my pocket that would be the place I’d choose to drop them.

You may wonder why that specific reference is made to this form of currency.

Once again, reports are surfacing of donations of the Krugerrand dropped in Salvation Army buckets across the land. Each year, the Salvation Army reports anonymous receipt of such coins, that contain one ounce of gold valued at least at $1,000, in their buckets during the season.

Wedwand invites you to take a listen to this song by the Tran-Siberian Orchestra. It has a somewhat melancholy guitar chord progression. It sounds like a sad lament. But really, it’s a happy tale. Key lyric:

If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last

By helpin’ a neighbour
Even a stranger
To know who needs help
You need only just ask

Sometimes we call them random acts of kindness. Sometimes we say pay it forward. Sometimes we just do a good deed.

Maybe we all don’t have a Krugerrand handy, but surely we can find a dollar. Maybe we can’t save the world, but we can reach out and help someone who needs a hand. Maybe just for this season we can focus on the good and if it works, maybe we can make it last all year long.

Me, I’m gonna put some lights on that dismal tree.