Our Daily Thread 12-6-13

Good Morning!

19 Days Until Christmas!

On this day in 1790 Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.

In 1865 the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.

In 1884 the construction of the Washington Monument was completed by Army engineers. It took 34 years to complete.

In 1973 Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the vice-president of the United States after vice-president Spiro Agnew resigned.

And in 1998 astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour connected the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay.


Quote of the Day

“Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.”

Steven Wright


First up today, Brandon Heath.

Next up, another request, andΒ Callie and Collette (katilette)Β do it very well.

Today is also Ira Gershwin’s birthday. Here’s one written by him and his brother George.


Anyone have a QoD?

56 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-6-13

  1. Good Morning Everyone.
    What is big in your day today?
    What are you planning on the countdown to Christmas?
    My Cyber Monday shopping should be here today, so I will be wrapping presents later today.
    It is all starting to come together.


  2. I remember my mom playing Bring a Torch every year at Christmas on her organ or the piano. Thanks for the memories.


  3. My brother started his day with a bang. A buck jumped in front of his car. And then another car got damaged, too. At least my brother is okay. So much for his plans for today.

    We went to Carols by Candlelight last night. The weather was so bad that traffic was much worse than usual so we were late. The crowd was not as big as in the past. The concert was still beautiful.

    I need to take stock of where I stand on buying Christmas gifts. I buy throughout the year as I find little things on sale, etc. And then as Christmas draws near I consider what fill in gifts to purchase to round things out. My brother wants some hand made dishcloths so I have been working on those as I have time. He always puts bleach in the wash so they quickly disintegrate into strings. Good thing I enjoy crochet. πŸ™‚


  4. Michelle, I forgot to say thanks for the book. It will be my Mexico read if I can find time there. If not Christmas break read. I like the San Diego cover.


  5. The ‘other’ LA. πŸ™‚

    I’m off work & heading inland today with a friend for our annual Christmas craft fair visit, I’m hoping to find a gift or two there. It’s on the LA County fairgrounds where it should be a bit colder than we are on the coast today. We do this every year and it’s so strange how it now comes around again so fast for both of us. Seems like we were just doing this in 2012, not so long ago.

    I had a fun time yesterday covering the town tree-lighting along with other festivities — including a real “snow” slide set up for the kids; hot chocolate, coffee for the grown-ups; a thundering marching band; the opening of a 1980s ‘time capsule.’ Saw a lot of folks I’ve known and covered through the years but hadn’t run into in a while. Lots of hugs & catching up to do, in between doing snippets of video and jotting down notes for the story I had to write later.

    And I called it a “Christmas” tree in my story — even though the promoters had labeled it a ‘holiday’ tree on the event flyer.

    I mean, really, what is a “holiday tree” anyway? We’ve become so silly.

    Janet, your concert sounds beautiful — I’m going to one this Sunday afternoon.


  6. Thanks, Adios. I hope you enjoy it. The glasses fitter last night fell in love with the story two years ago when I described it while getting my last pair of glasses. Last night she was swooning over how much she loved the story–and then sold me an extremely expensive pair of glasses. I guess we “artists” are so vulnerable to praise we’ll do anything.

    BTW, how do real people afford glasses? Half the price came off with insurance, but they were still –my Christmas present and more!

    OTOH, it’s a small price to pay spread out over two years to be able to see!

    So I’m thankful. Sort of.


  7. The two oldest adorable grandchildren are being picked up by me after work. We’re going to a fabric store and they’ll pick out their favorite (I’m guess Hello Kitty for the four year old and Star Wars for the six year old). We’ll fight traffic home, eat a kid-friendly dinner (hot dogs, tater tots, beans, raspberries and Klondike bars–haven’t done this in years!), then I’ll try to teach them how to sew a straight line.

    We’re making pillows for Christmas.

    If all else fails, my husband will thread the machine need (new glasses are three weeks away!), I’ll sew the straight lines and the kids can stuff.

    If that all becomes a disaster, I’ve got my favorite kid books out of the library and four movies (Babe!). They’re spending the night and are VERY excited.

    Or, maybe I’ll just find the Christmas decorations (where?) and we’ll celebrate Christmas?

    I should be exhausted by bedtime!


  8. In yet one more comment before I disappear, what’s your take on the disgusting gossip magazines in the check-out line at the grocery store?

    Do you feel dirty by the time you’ve paid your bill? 😦


  9. Kim asks what’s on our agenda.
    I’m not exactly sure. I am in a mall in Columbia, waiting for TSWITW, as I usually do.
    I’ll let you know what I did later.
    I know you can’t wait, but you’ll have to. πŸ˜†
    I hate typing on a laptop.
    But I’m glad I have one.

    I was startled, at first, when I saw so many β€œCarolina”: and β€œGamecock” shirts.
    Then, it occurred to me.
    I’m in Carolina country


  10. Yes, Michelle, I do feel dirty when I see those magazines. I don’t know about other areas of the country but down here they have put up special holders where you can’t see the covers of some of them you just see the name of the magazine on the outside of the cover.
    I am not a prude by any means but I just can’t fathom needing one more way to “Wow Him In Bed”


  11. Cheryl, πŸ˜€ — I’d seen it before but forgotten all about it, so it was fun to watch it again. And Baldwin Hills where it was filmed is right next door to where I grew up.

    I am slowly putting together this mental picture of Chas sitting alone & abandoned in mall food courts and benches outside stores in cities all across the south, waiting – waiting – and hunt-and-pecking on his laptop. πŸ™‚


  12. Gossip magazines … How much weight has some actress (I know fewer and fewer of them) gained, who’s cheating on whom (and with whom), best and worst beach bodies. Oy. Creepy stuff. I rarely look at them but they can sometimes scream at you to where you can’t ignore them.

    michelle’s going to have a fun day.

    And, no, I don’t know how people afford eyeglasses anymore without insurance (even with insurance!). Walmart offers low prices, but my eye doctor advised against trusting them for complicated progressive lenses (he said when prices are that cheap it means they typically are using older technology, which makes sense). For single-lense glasses, though, he said they would probably be OK.

    Costco also is cheaper. Lenscrafters has gotten more expensive, but they have a wonderful selection of frames & they do have 30-50%-off sales a couple times a year.

    I really had no idea how complicated eyesight — and the eyeglasses needed to correct all of that — could get with age. 😦 😦


  13. BTW to Michelle- I finished the bridge book in about three hours last weekend. I wouldn’t call it a “man’s romance” but it was better than all others I have read. I liked the fact that you had a Christina message without overdoing the evangelism and didn’t make it so sappy.


  14. Michelle, my husband and I don’t have insurance for eyeglasses. A year and a half ago, we went in with a coupon, two pairs for $59 I think it was (not counting the exam). I needed new sunglasses as well as glasses, and he had broken his only pair of glasses and was nervous about that and wanted a spare. He needed no-line bifocals; I needed the best glare protections available. But let’s just say that “two pairs for $59” was about as accurate as “new house for $9,900.” And we both chose glasses from the “cheap” frames.

    But I only get glasses every two to three years, sunglasses every other prescription, and eyesight is absolutely crucial to a writer/editor, so I’m just happy we can afford it.


  15. I wear contacts and stretch them out beyond the two weeks. I take them out every night and do not sleep in them. I last got glasses in 2003. Since no one ever sees me in them except my husband and daughter it doesn’t matter.
    It is a public service in more ways than one. I once pulled out in front of a dump truck with glasses on. I did NOT see him but luckily he saw me! I do NOT drive with glasses at all. Glasses also give me a headache and make me dizzy. This has been true with every pair I have ever owned. Luckily the technology has gotten to where my prescription is not as heavy to wear as it used to be. The ones I have now are feather light.


  16. Eyeglass technology has improved by leaps and bounds, with extra-thin lenses, anti-glare and UV protection nowadays. This time my doctor recommended transition lenses so I have those for the first time — they’re OK, but I still need dark prescription sunglasses. But the transition lenses help cut the glare a bit on days when you can get by without using full-on sunglasses.

    Kim, I really miss contacts, but as you get older you typically can’t wear them anymore. Eyes get dryer, prescriptions more complicated (especially if you have any astigmatism that require more specialized contacts) … So enjoy them while you can!


  17. Here’s a QoD that Emily & I have…For those of you who use tinsel on your Christmas trees…Do you put it on first, last, or somewhere in between?

    My dad, who always did the main decorating of the Christmas tree, always put it on last, as did his sister, my aunt Janet. Their trees ended up looking like twins. I think the heavy use of tinsel may be a German thing, as this way of doing the tree was passed down to them from their German parents.

    Emily thinks the tinsel should go on first. She says it doesn’t make sense to put it on last, covering up the ornaments & other decorations. She googled it, & the answers she found varied, with most saying put it on first.

    So, how do you do it?


  18. Karen, we always put it on last. But we called the garlands “tinsel” (and we put them on first), and the little glittery strands we called “icicles” and they went on last.

    Donna, I had transition lenses once, years and years ago, and I didn’t like them at all. They didn’t get very dark at all, and they took several minutes to get light again. (I’d gotten them just before going to summer camp as a counselor, and thought they’d be wonderful for going in and out of buildings. But they were horrid for that–I badly missed having real sunglasses, and I couldn’t see my first couple minutes inside. Furthermore, for driving they were utterly useless as sunglasses because the sunlight didn’t really reach them, and they were nowhere near dark enough anyway. I’ve heard that they’re better than they used to be, but my husband had a pair when I married them, and he hated them. And in some of our photos, his glasses were dark since we hadn’t been inside very long.

    Now, I get two different kinds of glare protection, a UV protection and a coating. (I think it’s two separate things; it has been a while since I’ve had to do it.) I tell them “I work on computers all day, and I’m very light-sensitive, so give me the best you can give me” and I’ve found that to work very well. I also get a UV coating on my sunglasses, and get them fairly dark and also a bigger lens than I get in my regular glasses. I haven’t gone to bifocals yet, but may well have to next time. This last time the eye doctor told me it was my choice, I could go either way, and so I said no.


  19. My wife’s glasses and contacts require a second mortgage to replace yearly. My daughter’s glasses and mine are a little less. We pay for it with our pre-tax medical savings plan. (You know, the plans that Obama has decided we can’t have in 2 years because he needs the tax money we’d pay on that income more than we do.) We pay up front and then get reimbursed with money we set aside each pay. But when that ends I don’t know. Thanks Barry. 😦


  20. Cheryl,

    I love that deal!

    I picked 2 pair for $89. But then we add in the anti-reflective coating, transition lenses, and other stuff, and it’s 2 pair for $247. Yay.


  21. I just looked up tinsel on Wikipedia. It was invented in Nuremberg, Germany in 1610, & was originally made from “extruded strands of silver”.

    Cheryl – My dad also called it icicles. πŸ™‚

    As for what is on our agenda today, I started the day babysitting. When Forrest awoke, he climbed into my bed with me to cuddle & talk. So sweet!

    Supposedly, little boys don’t talk as much as little girls, but this little guy is a talker! I think he talks more than my girls ever did at this age.

    Emily finished her work early, & was home by 10:30. We decided to put up our Christmas tree today. Forrest is so excited, as you may imagine. (He pronounces Christmas as Chiffiss. He pronounces “cr” sounds as “ch”.)


  22. Tinsel should go on last because it is an imitation of ice hanging from the tree branches. If you put ornaments over it, logically they would slide off the icy tree πŸ™‚ . Anyway, when I was young we always put those strands of fake icicles on last. So , if tradition has a voice, “Tinsel must be put on last.” Tradition said it so that settles it!

    Yes, I have a problem with some of those magazines, etc., that are on display in the checkout areas. I have complained at times and gotten various responses. I think one of the managers told me it did not matter so much as to the picture on the cover of the magazine so much as it matters if the “begins with s and ends with x word” appears. Then the cover can be covered up.


  23. Linda – We have two cats ourselves, but we put our 4′ tree on top of the entertainment center, which they can’t get to. I’ve been picking up every stray strand of tinsel I find.

    Years ago, before we stopped using tinsel in favor of tinsel-y garland, our cat Tuffy had a strand coming out of his butt, that I had to pull out. Funny & gross at the same time. πŸ™‚

    Cheryl – The packs of tinsel that Emily just bought at the local dollar store are labeled as “Icicles”. πŸ™‚


  24. The proper order to decorat a tree is tree lights garland ornament then anything else. The Southern Belle had spoken. You can see my tree on Facebook. πŸ˜‰


  25. I agree with your order of decoration, Kim. That is what they teach in Southern Belle school. What I can’t remember from that school so long ago is whether it is a star or an angel at the top of the tree? Or perhaps a spire?

    I do remember how the tinsel would jam up our old vacuum cleaner when I was a young girl at home.

    Just went to the hardware store to get some metal bendable wire for Sunday School when the children are to make the name Jesus from the wire. I will have to practice myself to see if I am able to make it look like the curriculum book makes it look.

    Peter, please post a review for Michelle’s book on Amazon. Those reviews help (I know yours will be good).


  26. Saturday here. Plans for the day? Report cards are due on Monday, so I will spend the day at school to get them all done. I could use prayers for creative wisdom and ideas to fill in next week. The nativity sets are done and sent home, but I took pictures first! I am even thinking of studying owls as I have a great craft idea where it looks like the owl is inside a tree trunk. Have to keep the kids busy as the excitement level is so high.


  27. Janice there is some leeway given these days in Southern Belle School. It can be an angel or a star or gasp, they have even decided it can be a giant bow (once again I direct you to my tree as seen on FB)
    I have even had a tree with those sparkly twirly things on top to give it some “lift”.


  28. Our class put up the tree during Sunday School last Sunday. After making the ornaments and popcorn strings I suggested the children work on a star or angel together. Well, being the individuals that Americans are, we had a number of stars and one angel in the making so in essence, Star Wars. Now I need to remember to bring a tree topper from home to keep the peace.


  29. I, too, agree with Kim’s order of decorations on the tree. I was surprised that the answers Emily found seemed to favor the tinsel going on first. What’s wrong with those people? πŸ˜‰

    So, if you southern ladies are Southern Belles, what should we northern ladies be called? Yankee Darlings? New England Lasses?


  30. This is what I found online. You , too, can be a belle.

    angelharp7 answered 2 years ago

    I have read a good many diaries of women who lived during the Civil War period, and I really think the idea of the historical Southern Belle is predominately a stereotyped, romanticized image.

    Let me first talk about the historical context:

    A “belle” was a beautiful woman…that’s that. North or South, people might say that someone was “the belle of the ball.” Today, the social equivalent of a “belle” might be the most popular girl in High School.

    In the 19th century, women North and South aspired to be “ladies,” a term which had different connotations in different areas. In some areas, a “lady” was an upper-class woman who did no menial work (there were servants for that.) You may have heard the expression, “You can always tell a lady by her hands.” (Because she did not work, her hands were very soft.) In other areas a good housewife might qualify as a “lady” if she were also suitably refined, pious, moral, feminine, etc. In the 19th century novel Stepping Heavenward, the heroine’s cook is upset because she thinks her mistress is insinuating that she (the cook!) is not a “lady.”

    Southern middle and upper-class women, because of the presence of slaves, were assumed and even pressured to look as though they lived lives of complete leisure. Having a wife that did not “work” was a sign of upper-class status, which reflected favorably on the husband or father of the family. Having a “leisured” wife and daughters was a form of conspicuous consumption.

    Now most Southern wives knew very well that this was all a myth. Most married women had to work and they worked very hard, although most tried to make their work look easy. Even mistresses of large plantations might have to cut out or sew clothing for the slaves, help with butchering and packing of meat, end the sick, keep accounts, etc.

    Young Southern women, however, were often exempt from the daily toil. The time between a girl’s social “coming out” and her marriage (which might only be a year or two) was a wonderful time in a girl’s life, free of most responsibility, time for balls, parties and horseback rides. The wealthiest girls had personal maids to do everything for them; some girls did not even have to brush their own hair. Thus the image of the Southern Belle was born: rich, carefree, lady-like but vivacious, beautifully dressed, etc.

    Of course all this came crashing down after the Civil War and reality set in with a vengeance. Those days became draped with nostalgia (like some people today might be nostalgic for high school), and were romanticized by the next generations who saw the lifestyle that their ancestors had lost.

    The Modern Belle
    When Gone with the Wind came out (as a movie) it further added to this myth with the character of Scarlett O’Hara. Unlike the book, which describes the behind-the-scenes work that the “sleek-haired wives” did from morning to night, the movie is mostly fixated on Scarlett and her teenaged lifestyle of flirtation, hoopskirts, barbecues and dances. In the book, it is Scarlett’s mother, Ellen, and her sister-in-law Melanie who are the “great ladies” in the old, smillingly-stoic Southern tradition. They are the steel magnolias, with strength hidden behind a facade of femininity. Scarlett remains more like a spoiled child.

    Today, I think people have different images of a “Southern Belle.” Sadly, at times this phrase has deteriorated to mean any good-looking “good ol’ girl” (i.e. Daisy Duke) who happens to have a Southern accent. In other cases, it can mean a flirtatious, pretty, wealthy Southern girl a la Scarlett O’Hara. At its best, it means a feminine, lady-like, soft-spoken, refined young woman who dresses in a feminine manner.

    I hope this helps you. I’m a Southerner (some of my people had a small plantation in Twiggs Co, Ga., ) and a historian studying domestic life and women’s 19th century clothing.


    If you’d like to know more about “real” Southern Belles and the way of wife “beforah the warah” , read the classic book The Plantation Mistress by Catherine Clinton. You might also check out Mothers of Invention, Return to Tara, and the various published diaries of girls who lived during the Civil War. If you REALLY want to get into the other side of the coin, read Southern Honor, which is about male culture in the South.


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