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#1 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello December.

Let's post ideas for decorating mantels. I'm bored with the same old thing.

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#2 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 09:56 AM
 
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Decorating mantles, eh?

Ours has loads of family pix, some seasonal stuff that was just added and just a few other odd bits, oh and ashes. Nothing fancy, pretty ordinary I guess.

Welcome December!

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#3 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should have said decorating for the holiday. I typically add greenery and such but I really want the Wow factor this year. Without it costing much.

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#4 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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December, here already?

Morning mamas. It is so cold this morning. I would love the wow factor too. My mantel has sesonal items that myself and my kids have found on our walks, pics of family & friends, some candles in holders, I guess it's pretty basic too. I will be checking out what you crafty mamas do.

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#5 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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Mantle... I really don't know what I'll put up there... It gets so hot... I might add something in the big glass vase with water I put there for humidity. Floating candles maybe.

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#6 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 10:29 AM
 
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LOL! Wow factor without cost, eh?

One thing we did this year was replace our old lights with new LED ones. They were pricier, but use less electricity and are supposed to last longer.

The thing is, they are so much brighter and the colors are so much more intense. That really made it more festive here immediately.

That, streaming holiday music from accuradio and the scent of good things cooking...that's my strategy this year.

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#7 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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Mantle- mine is inspired by a photo from Better Homes and Gardens- it has a wreath with a pinecone in the middle, my santa shoe from my childhood, a porcelain girl in a sleigh, and a woodsman santa. Plus a pretty candy dhish and my normal stuff. We are putting up our ribbon count down to christmas garland today

We are supposed to get snow- honestly wouldn't mind some snow.
Though what the heck was I thinking- Bella's winter coat is broken and Gillian doesn't have one (did I give away all my size fives/sixes?), so I had to order them and I had to pull money from here and there to do it. SO much for being good about saving.

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#8 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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I have a teeny weeny little shelf on a wall. I might buy a bigger one this season because I've always wanted to put pictures up there. But only one would fit on this little thing.

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#9 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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No mantle here! But my parents have a lovely one. My favorite was the year they decorated it with driftwood, sand dollars and conch shells, and carved wooden birds that my grandfather made (they live by the shoreline). The sandpiper got a Santa hat and they draped greenery garlands along the front with mistletoe at the points where the garland met the mantle. Very pretty.

Today the kids and I are making a felt advent calendar that celebrates both Yule and Christmas. It's white with pockets in dark blues, purples, reds, and greens with a light blue color for the two special days. I'm going to put little craft projects in each pocket that they can use to make ornaments for the tree each day. Hmm. This means we should probably get a tree soon. We'll have to have a special ornament basket until then.
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#10 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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Happy December! :

Yesterday I made our advent paper chain that has something to do everyday from now until Jan 1. I really want to make a special permanent something sometime, but I'm also trying to work on being "good enough"and not overdoing things when it is stressing me out. So, at least one more year with the construction paper chain. It does remind me of my childhood though. Maybe I should try to make something in July or sometime of year I'm not as overwhelmed.

Tomorrow we had our plan to go into the forest to get our tree, and DP just told me he can't because he forgot about something he has to do. I think I was as excited as the kids.

Maia- Are you back? Sounds like a great trip. I'm so happy for you. Love, love, love...ain't it grand?

Earthmama- that mantle sounds beautiful

I need to run and get the kiddos and myself ready for school.

Happy Merry Making

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#11 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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December!

I had a huge post but the internet ogre ate it so let's see what I remember...

Quote:
I'm not sure if you've owned (been owned by?) kittens before... but they rather have a tendency to go SPAZZZZZ during the night
Kiki- maybe her inner kitten? She was a stray so they don't know for sure but they think she is 2-3 years old and the vet who did the spay noted that she'd had at least one litter (but she wasn't lactating when found by the SPCA). She was at the shelter since April though and I bet she is just enjoying not being caged for the night.

pictures- I marched the kiddos into the woods and took 50-60 pictures. I narrowed that down to 7 I really liked and then dh picked the final picture... he wanted a "joy" picture and liked how Tor was looking at the camera in that one. I'll print the other 6 for us, and mail the "winner" to family/friends.

mantle- bang for buck... if you have a clear glass vase (or can find a few at a thriuft store for a few cents) you're set! I fill these with cranberries, ball ornaments, holiday lights (just shove them in and drape the cord down the back), pine cones or branches, even just spiffy rocks can look cool. Also candles in all shapes and sizes. Grapevine wreaths are really inexpensive at crafts stores and you can either leave them bare, wrap them with ribbon/yarn, stuff herbs or greenery into them, cover them with buttons, whatever! Cut paper snowflakes and origami cranes look cool and are fairly easy to make... I hang them in windows and from the ceiling. Sliced citrus fruit (dried) is pretty and if you hang them in front of holiday lights the smell/glow is nice too (or take a glass vase, press the citrus on the sides and fill the middle with lights).

We don't have a mantle, but I decorate the top of the piano (it's our nature table). I'll be unpacking the holiday box later today but usually we have greenery, pomegranates, an old clothespin style Father Christmas, holiday lights, candles, and the cards from the yule exchange. Oh, and a few special ornaments.

Solstice calendar- so close to done!

Tor is teething... ugh!

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#12 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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i just wanted to say hello while the thread is still tiny and i don't feel super behind.

i don't have a mantel, but i think cranberries would be beautiful. lots of cranberries and white candles. maybe a little something sparkly too!
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#13 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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we don't have a mantel ( we live in florida and they are hard to come by!) but we are decorating our living room.

We have a nature table already, but I think we are going to put some things under the tree. The only thing I worry about is that my dog, who is a 9 month old puppy, will enjoy them to!

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#14 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't used cranberries before so I'll try that. I can't use any lights as there aren't any outlets nearby. I won't be using real candles. I may use the battery tea lights somehow.
My mantel isn't deep so it's tricky.

I'd love to paint something but I'm out of paints. I have a canvas, just no paints. heh.

Ok, I'm in a foul mood due to ds's behavior these days so I'm going to try to chill out for a bit.
He has a Sensory Skills playdate today but I'm afraid that he'll continue acting horribly for it. He really needs this so I hope he's on his best behavior for it.

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#15 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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Happy December! How the heck is it already DECEMBER though??

We returned from our trip back home and the weather was nice enough to stay pretty mellow, but now that December is here all bets are off. It's cold and snow flurries are predicted for the next week.

We're trying to figure out how to decorate the place this year. Since we moved, it's a whole new setup and smaller than our last place. We'll figure it out though, I'm sure. A few things I've done that were kind of neat in the past were to use what's available (cheap!). We lived next to a few trees that dropped acorns, so I took a large glass punch bowl, set 3 fat candles of varying sizes in it, and surrounded them with acorns. I think an acorn cranberry mix would be really pretty! As for lights, you can get a string of 10 lights that are battery operated at the dollar tree.

Working hard to get the advent calendars finished here. Along with a dozen other things. I need to refocus, I have too many projects on a tight deadline that I'm starting to flit between them instead of getting one done and moving on.

Happy December everyone!
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#16 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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I was about to mention the battery lights! I was at the dollar store today and saw them there.

This was last year's Tday centerpiece... not a vase but a wooden platter from walmart (we use these for SCA events), three candles (5 dollars for 20 at Michaels), and a bag of cranberries (99 cents at supermarket).

If you don't want lighted candles maybe those led battery pillar candles? or just leave them unburned?

(the napkin rings were 10 cent mini grapevine wreaths from craft store)

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#17 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Golly I'm excited for winter holidays! And it's freezing here too.

This morning we got the car window replaced so the girls and I will head to the library soon.
I have gone back to last year's winter solstice camp a couple times to look for some ideas. Mostly for creating lessons for homeschool about how other countries & cultures celebrate. I've run across some other fun stuff. It reminds me I want to make more wooden animals for the nature table too!

To spiff up decorations I recommend cinnamon dough ornaments- they smell so good. I've found plastic glitter covered snowflakes at craft stores and the dollar store- I have quite a few and use those all over. And another fun idea is to make a garland with small paper pennant like this http://goddesshobbies.blogspot.com/2...d-pennant.html Oh, look she's got another good idea http://goddesshobbies.blogspot.com/2...oard-sign.html We'll be making paper snowflakes tomorrow, for the countdown activity. Over the weekend we got all the decorations out and up and I even managed to get the countdown all planned. I have too much I wanna do! I really need to remember to ground myself. And maybe some tapping too. Which reminds me, I haven't seen Aweyn post for a few days... hope all is well dear!
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#18 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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Ok here's something I don't know. I've been inspired (ok I've gotten off my duff some!) and have been working on decorating the house. I'm very intrigued by the idea of using the cranberries as decorations as I like the accent color. How long do they last out like that? Are they something I could use to jazz up a display and keep them out for 3-4 weeks or would they go bad? Clearly I'm cranberry illiterate!
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#19 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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Subbin'

Hoping I can come back tomorrow to catch up.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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#20 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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wow - i'm so far behind in reading/posting - yikes!

decorating - will be very minimal this year - as we are still in an very small place at this point - but i have high hopes for moving into a bigger apartment soon!

My grandmother called me, she had cashed out one of her CDs and is splitting the money 3 ways - between my 2 younger brothers and I. This is such a HUGE help for us - i was out of work injured for over a month after our car accident that totaled our van - and just have been unable to catch up since. I'm so... grateful - i don't think words can express it. So tomorrow (or Thursday), after nearly 2 months of being carless - we should have a vehicle again - YIPPEE!

And physical i am just so WIPED OUT after spending all that time at my SILs place with all the rest of my nephews, nieces, BILs/SILs and even my MIL/FIL for 1 of the days there... i crashed at 8 last night until almost 6 this morning!!

ok - must get my crew ready and do dinner!! I so need to catch up here soon!!

~Kris mama to Alexis (15), Elizabeth (10), Andrew (7), and 1 angel
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#21 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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cranberries- as long as they're not damp, cranberries can lasy almost forever. If you know things will be humid/damp then dry the berries (prick with pin, put on pan, stick in oven) first and they'll last a long while. Eventually they may get moldy though, especially fresh berries in a humid spot. Maybe a couple weeks?

Solstice calendar- DONE!!!!!!!!!!! It's Mother Holle holding the sun (one pine tree for each kiddo). Each night you "open" another ray until the sun is reborn. Not bad for my first attempt at needle felting!

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#22 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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oh C I LOVE that!!!

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#23 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Clay- Love it!

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#24 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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Clay, your centrepeice was lovely...but that solstice calendar is spectacular!!!! It really is just gorgeous Our last feline was a spaz and she was 3yrs old too Sometimes I think kittehs just never really want to grow up hehehe.

DOK... I'm a fan of lots of cheap white/cream pillar candles myself. Barring LOTS, 3 or so on a plate tied together with either ribbon or raffia looks nice. If you still have your old tree, you could scavenge the branches to make your own greenery mantle topper

I.. am.. SICK *sigh* Hubby has had a sore throat going for a few days, he barely has a voice now... and apparently he passed something to me. My head is blocked up, and when something does exit, it's the not so lovely colour I finally took my basal body temp this morning and it was 36.3, which is a bit low. Combined with my hair falling out like mad, my skin being dry & peely, and the constant sickness and a few other little things, I'm fairly sure my thyroid is shonky. Going to make an appt to talk to my doc about it and hope she doesn't get offended that I'm coming in all but diagnosing myself

Date night was lovely We hit the shops and went window shopping at all the places I can never take the kids due to the close quarters & tempting displays, had a posh coffee and talked like grown ups for a while hehe. THen had a very nice dinner out, came home and wrapped a few xmas pressies and just hung out I'm just vegging around here this morning, msg'ing with the grown up boys on msn since i'm too busy blowing my nose & hacking up a lung to actually talk lol

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#25 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by femme_rouge View Post
Maia- Are you back? Sounds like a great trip. I'm so happy for you. Love, love, love...ain't it grand?
I am indeed! Got back Sunday night and had an 8am class Monday morning I'd love to just have a day off. To myself.
We had the most amazing time, femme rouge. We're truly meant for one another
I'm already plotting my next trip there-- can y'all believe my mom actually agreed to take DS for 5 days?!?? By herself?? He's nearly 9 and she's never done that. I'm truly amazed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
Tor is teething... ugh!
Already?? Where does the time go? You just had him!

No mantle here, either. I decorate the back of the stove for a mini-altar. Last year I had greenery and...I forgot, but the greenery really made the whole thing. Two candles in votive holders, also.

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#26 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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CLay- wow, great!

I am using up my squash by making squash bread- one sweet, one savory and hen giving them as gifts

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#27 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 11:04 PM
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Clay - NOT BAD?! That is freakin' awesome!! I love it!!

Cari - glad to hear date night was good. Sorry to that your sickies got in the way.

Maia - I am impressed that your mom took DS that long!! I am happy that your trip was so wonderful!!

KJoslyn - yay for the windfall!!!

We put up our tree tonight! I found an old stash of vintage bulbs in MIL's basement and would LOVE to use those, but not this year. 2.5 and glass bulbs would make me a nervous wreck!!

Speaking of the MIL's house. I am so mad, I could spit fire. DH's 2 brothers both live in CA and didn't want anything from the house, just sell it and get rid of everything. Now one of them has had time to think about what might be of value and is all worried about what we have gotten rid of, and/or have taken. Not a "thank you for cleaning, taking the dog, getting the mail, sorting the papers, cleaning up the bathroom after I threw up all over it from a long night of heavy drinking, take what you want for the troubles." NOPE! Just a crab session about how we shouldn't throw anything out and he will deal with it when he gets to town in 2 weeks. My DH who was really caught off guard and hates to be confrontational, didn't speak up about it. Have I mentioned that I'm mad?! Ideas?

And DD and I are both sick. IDK if mine is from allergies, and hers are from these horrible 2y molars, either way it's the same result. We don't feel good. At all.

Peace- Heather
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#28 of 958 Old 12-01-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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Oh gun, that's horrible! It's sad but true that this sort of situation seems to bring out the worst in people. I hope you are all healthy (and your DH is ready to chat) by the time the relatives arrive. When my parents moved from their home of 20+ years to a senior care facility my mom had an appraiser/auction company come through the house. Basically the company tagged everything with two prices (what they'd pay my parents to take the item away, and what they thought they could make at auction but my parents would have to transport it and no promises on the amount). It was a big help since the appraisal people didn't have emotion getting in the way and they were "official" enough for everyone to sort of take their word on things in terms of relative values. Is there a company like that near you? I'm not sure how my mom found them, but she said they do this a lot.

Cari- sweetie, when was the last time you were healthy? You need to give that dr what for and get this figured out! You so deserve a break from the constant ickies.

Maia- YAY! I'm so glad you had fun, and that things seem even more solid now. Congrats!

Teething- well, Tor is only what? Three and a half months now? So it is early for teeth. But Laia had her first tooth at 4 months and the full set by her first birthday so it's not out of the question. Ro on the other hand (other jaw?) didn't have all her teeth at a year sooooo... who knows? He drools like mad, gnaws on anything he can get his hands on (including his hands ), is super fussy, and is basically sending out "tooth" vibes. I'm hoping to find a teething necklace tomorrow... the craft store didn't have any real amber beads so maybe one of the natural mama shops will have something affordable.

Solstice calendar- Thanks all! It was a lot of fun to make and I think it looks good up on the piano. Even dh said it was nice and from him that's big time praise. I couldn't figure out how to make a good face for Mother Holle though... I tried beads and things and it just looked off. So big white blob head she remains!

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#29 of 958 Old 12-02-2009, 01:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maiasaura View Post
I am indeed! Got back Sunday night and had an 8am class Monday morning I'd love to just have a day off. To myself.
I'm glad you had a fabulous time Sounsd like you have lots of plans already!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gun View Post
Speaking of the MIL's house. I am so mad, I could spit fire. DH's 2 brothers both live in CA and didn't want anything from the house, just sell it and get rid of everything. Now one of them has had time to think about what might be of value and is all worried about what we have gotten rid of, and/or have taken.
UGH..I hate how people turn into vultures when someone dies It would be one thing if something of sentimental value occurred to him and he asked about it.. but things of value? wow what a uav

Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
Cari- sweetie, when was the last time you were healthy? You need to give that dr what for and get this figured out! You so deserve a break from the constant ickies.
well... I was pretty good around the time I went to the states in July/aug Other than that it has been one thing or another... or just being wiped out tired if I wasn't sick. I don't feel like I can win for losing honestly

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#30 of 958 Old 12-02-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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Wow, page 2 already!

Finished my course and won't start another till the new year. And after I get caught up on other projects. Including business taxes for dh and I, ugh.

saphire, I don't think I said how sorry I am about the smashed window -- glad it got fixed.

I need to get back to my program of tapping, too.

And kjoslyn -- so happy for you that you can get a vehicle again! I didn't realize you had been without since your accident. What a lovely lady she is, to give you this gift.

Dh got his job offer pinned down and will be moving out to his new territory next week -- it is in a rural area, main industries are farming and oil patch. It's close enough that he can come back most weekends, but this will be an adjustment. If it works out ok we will look at buying an acreage in a year or so and the kids and I will move out, too. (Can't believe I'm typing that).

So, he went car shopping today -- for himself, I thought, because there will be a lot of travel on winter roads. But then he pulled into the driveway with a new(er) van for me, saying "Happy 20th Anniversary!" and that he didn't want to leave us with our 20 year old 5-passenger vehicle that is not really big enough in the back seat for three growing kids or even roadworthy anymore. I was gobsmacked. It took a while of number crunching to convince me that we could afford it. I'm back to working full-time in January, so even if his income isn't there the way they promise, we can swing it.

So after an unexpected trip to the dealership, we signed papers and will pick up the new van I treasure-mapped last spring on Friday. The one on my map was a grey Sienna. This one is white, but I'm sure it will be grey by the time I drive it around in the sandy icy slush for a week.

Been googling and rummaging through my books and brain for some kind of safe-driving no-accident spell, and I'd appreciate any thoughts you may have on this -- maybe kjoslyn, you'll be interested too? and saphire?

This is the newest/ nicest/biggest vehicle I have ever been in the drivers seat of and I am intimidated, frankly. I think Cari mentioned painting runes or pentacles on the dash with nail polish?....I want to figure out something I have double extra confidence in for dh's car, too, since he'll be on the road and not getting his daily activating-the-invisible-bubble-of-protection-complete-with-purple-sparkles goodbye kiss every morning, but once a week.

Clay, adding my voice to the chorus of praise for your solstice calender. The reborn sun is just *stunning*. I'd buy one.

Cari, I'm so sorry you're sick again. Whenever I hear of a mother who has been through a major health crisis with a child, my first thought is "How exhausted she must feel!" and you've been on *such* a roller coaster this past year, even though it has come out so well.

I hope you don't mind my saying this -- I don't usually have this kind of "feeling" about another person's health but I really feel like you put so much healing energy into your son and this made a huge positive difference for him, and now you need to build up your reserves and give your own health that focus spiritually as well as physically, and this will just take time, just as his healing took time....You so deserve it. Wishing you lots of rest good energy and a speedy return to full health and thyroid/immune system function as soon as may be Ever try reiki?

ETA -- gun, I'm so sorry you are going through this. I have seen it too, it sucks, and I hope it all gets easier for you, the one doing all this hard, hard work! You should be appreciated for it for sure!
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