59 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-21-16

  1. Morning all from sunny Australia.
    I have a plan! This is a missionary hotel so we are all having Christmas Eve party/potluck to celebrate. Then on Christmas morning I will go to church.
    Then I will spend the rest of the day giving thanks by writing thank you notes for all the many gifts that have been coming my way. Focusing on blessings.

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  2. I didn’t know it was an oyster plate till Jo told me.
    Have you always been 761 Jo?

    Today is the shortest day of the year for us.
    The longest for Jo. About the same for Ajisuun.

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  3. I never got the purpose of Aj”s link. But discovered that it’s Linda’s BD.
    Happy Birthday Linda.
    My Linda (Chuck’s wife) has a BD in October.

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  4. So, Kim, do you want to explain how the various parts of an oyster plate are used? I’ve never eaten oysters, and based on my husband’s story about doing so, I never want to . . .

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  5. Advent – Day 21: In comparison to the age of most carols, the Welsh carol ‘Iesu Yw’ (‘Christ the King) is brand new. The words were written by Cefin Roberts and the music by Gareth Glyn (who is seen at the end of this clip), who are both still active musicians.

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  6. Happy Birthday Linda.
    The hollows in the plate are where the shucked oyster is to be place. The hollow in the center is where the cocktail sauce of dipping sauce can be placed. Traditionally oysters were eaten during the months with an are in them because the water is cooler. Thus, you eat oysters SeptembeR through ApRil. You do not eat them May through August. With modern refrigeration and pasteurization this is not so much of a problem anymore. Janice, I wouldn’t worry about hepititus any more. Old folk wisdom was that if you put hot sauce like Tabasco on your raw oysters it would kill the virus. Of course cooking them kills any bacteria or contamination.
    Oysters used to be quite plentiful. You know the white boxes that your Chinese take out is packaged in? Those boxes were first made to package oysters so that a working man could buy some for lunch.
    I do not eat oysters as a rule. I bit into a fried one as a child and have never done that again. IF I eat oysters I eat them raw on a saltine cracker with some cocktail sauce. I want them just shucked on on the half shell. I have also had them cooked in the style of the Coach House restaurant somewhere in New Jersey or New York. My next door neighbors used to cook them that way. With some crusty French bread and a good, cold glass of Pouilly-Fuisse. Yum.

    The above is the oyster plate I bought for myself. I got a great deal on it because there is a tiny chip on it that is covered by one of the plate hanger “hooks”. It is Limoges. The other one that Mr. P bought for my Christmas present is Limoges, stamped 1880- something

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  7. Kim, my husband once had a professional contact take him out to lunch, and he took him to a place that had oysters as its specialty. So my husband (who is a very picky eater) had raw oysters, because he felt like he had to eat them. The man ordered a dozen for him. My husband managed to eat about half, and the other man happily finished the rest.

    Later he told his father he had eaten them, and his father said something like, “I rescind my statement that I’ll try anything once.”

    My husband’s description sounds anything but appetizing. I’ll spare the details. But the truth is, my palate for seafood is limited to fish and cocktail shrimp. I really like those items, but am not interested in trying other crustaceans, octopi, oyster, etc. Once in a while I eat clam chowder, but once ever few years is adequate for that.

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  8. I appreciate much of Carl Trueman’s writing, but he is too pessimistic at times and this time does not look closely enough. I think, if he really listened to the messages being communicated in the carols, such as the ones I’ve been posting, he would hear that much more than a baby in a manger is being celebrated. So many of them have talked about the reason for Christ’s coming and about what he came to do. Many of the choirs performing those pieces have been secular. In my search for carols, I came across a post about Christmas music in Canada. The article noted that the most performed piece of Christmas music all across Canada was Handel’s Messiah. That composition certainly does not keep Christ a baby in a manger, it talks in no uncertain terms about his suffering and death, yet it is sung and performed by secular professional musicians every year for secular audiences. The words are entirely from Scripture, so that seed is being sown for harvest each time it is sung.

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  9. I like shellfish, but oysters were a disappointment, as were mussels. I was expecting them to be like scallops, which I love. Sadly, my days of eating shellfish are coming to an end. I can no longer have shrimp, since it gives me that tingling and itching in my mouth and throat which signals the beginning of a food allergy.

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  10. Speaking of Christmas, this historical treatise helps set to rest a popular theory that the date of Christmas is based on a Roman pagan festival: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/#note12

    Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus diedc was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar.9 March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception. Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.d

    This idea appears in an anonymous Christian treatise titled On Solstices and Equinoxes, which appears to come from fourth-century North Africa. The treatise states: “Therefore our Lord was conceived on the eighth of the kalends of April in the month of March [March 25], which is the day of the passion of the Lord and of his conception. For on that day he was conceived on the same he suffered.” Based on this, the treatise dates Jesus’ birth to the winter solstice.

    Augustine, too, was familiar with this association. In On the Trinity (c. 399–419) he writes: “For he [Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”

    Now, I know the Scripture that we are free to regard a day or not regard it. I didn’t give the link to prove that Jesus was born on December 25 or that we should celebrate Christmas. However, too often, those who do not celebrate Christmas condemn the celebration because of its ‘pagan’ origins, trying to make those who do celebrate it feel guilty for being so godless (I’ve encountered the guilt trippers and observed that they are generally the gloomiest Christians). Historical documentation like the above doesn’t prove Christ’s birthdate, but it does shake the theory that the early Christians were imitating Saturnalia. Augustine of Hippo wasn’t one to go for imitating pagan holidays.

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  11. Roscuro, most people who are allergic to seafood cannot eat shrimp and crab. Something about the iodine. My dad was highly allergic to shrimp and crab but not to oysters and other fish.
    Cheryl, I can imagine what your husband said. I probably have said it myself. 😉 I do not eat calamari. I have had it from dumpy seafood shacks to among the nicest of restaurants. I may as well put a couple of rubber bands in my mouth and start chewing.
    Living on the coast we have an abundance of seafood but I am extremely picky. I don’t care for fried shrimp and will mostly only eat shrimp if I cook it at home or am in a reputable restaurant, such as the one where I took you. I will eat fish out, but always question where it was harvested.

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  12. Happy Birthday Linda!

    I’m a picky eater as well, I’ve tried calamari (once was enough) and cioppino (fish soup/stew) which is OK … but I’ve never tried oysters. I like swordfish, tuna, salmon (grilled especially), and the more common kinds of fish dishes (halibut, etc.). I should eat more fish than I do.

    Possibly a trying day ahead today, our cops reporter is out for the day for a medical procedure so I think I may have to follow up on the young woman who was killed in our area (after she was missing for a couple days). The woman and her husband live not far from me.

    One of those stories that we broke and then it kind of went viral.

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/12/21/former-reality-contestants-body-believed-found-in-california-backyard.html

    Very sad for her family, especially at this time of year.

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  13. We may get a little rain in the next few days. It’s been very dry again (which wreaks havoc with my sinuses) and we’re expecting more high winds. The last one took Santa’s whiskers right off of him on my neighbor’s decorative mannequin on their garage roof. He’s now a beardless Santa.

    The weather we endure here in Southern California …

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  14. Most memorable childhood Christmas gift? Not sure. We were poor, and didn’t get much. When I was about 12, for instance, my gifts might be a roll of 12-exposure film (Mom would include developing), three pairs of socks, and a book. So the only “extravagant” gift I ever got was a gold necklace from my oldest brother, who took turns on which one of us to buy an expensive gift.

    I do remember, though, the year I opened a doll with a soft pink body with white polka dots and a string you could pull, and my sister opened a doll who was all plastic (no soft body) but she had blonde hair that could be brushed, and each admired her sister’s doll more, and I think it was probably only minutes before we traded (with Mom’s permission). Those became the “main” dolls of our childhood play and the stories we would tell in whispers at bedtime using each doll’s persona. Mine was Rebecca, hers Kim. I also had a doll named Becky, and Mom told me Becky and Rebecca were the same name, but that didn’t make sense to me. I thought maybe someday I’d have a daughter named Rebecca, but my favorite brother got to the name first, and that became the name of my oldest niece (born when I was 13).

    The stories we told at bedtime, maybe for years, were continuations from night to night. One of us would say, “What happened last night?” “They found the puppy.” “Oh yeah!” And off we would go. Usually the dolls were just lying there; we might or might not pick them up in the course of the story using their voices.

    “Oh, Rebecca, isn’t he the cutest thing? I love that black spot on his ear.”

    “Yeah, he is cute, Kim. Look at that curly tail!” (Each of us was trying to establish what the puppy “looked like” as quickly as possible to beat the other one to all the details.)

    “What should we call him?”

    “Well, he might be too little to be away from his mother. Shouldn’t we look for his owner?”

    “Maybe we can make signs to put up!”

    And so it would go, until one of us would say, “Well, I’m tired. Good night.”

    Often the other one would say, “Good night. But wait, . . .” and launch off into more, and play or conversation would continue for another five minutes. Finally one of us would say, “Good night. I mean it this time,” and that would be it. The next night we might just chat or we might pick up the story where we left off–hey, did we get a name for the puppy last night? no we didn’t–we made a poster and put it up on a signpost. Oh yeah.

    So I guess that was probably the most “memorable” gift. One day my sister decided to “embroider” a kitten on Kim’s pink fabric tummy. So one of us (probably me) drew a cat face and then we took threads of different colors (white for the face itself) and started sewing criss-cross stitches across the outlines. I think we got one ear and one eye, and it was kind of ugly sewing, and so for the rest of Kim’s life she had an incomplete cat face on her.

    My sister also remembers with horror the day our mom said she was tired of hearing that doll’s voice box, and instead of simply telling her not to play it any more today, or only play it in our bedroom, Mom took scissors and cut the string, and Kim could never again say “Mama.”

    Meanwhile, when we moved from our childhood home when I was 15 and my sister 13 going on 14, we each kept a few of our dolls, thinking that we would someday have them for our own children. (My sister’s little girl ended up coloring the face of a different doll that had belonged to my sister with random colored–permanent–markers.) My dolls were boxed with a black notebook, and one day I opened the box to discover the black notebook had melted a sticky tar-like substance, and every one of the dolls had some on her face, and it would not wash off. I was a little bit sad, but maybe also felt a little bit like it was an excuse to go ahead and throw them away, and I did.

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  15. Memorable Christmas Gifts as a child? I do know that being an only child I got a Barbie Dream House and a train set the same Christmas. I still have the wind up locomotive.
    The Christmas I Learned the Biggest Lesson.
    I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade. My mother gave me $20 to buy gifts for my school friends for Christmas. My Aunt C (we have one of those here) took me shopping. I found some trinkets to buy my friends but I also found something I wanted so I scrimped on my friend’s gifts and bought what I wanted for myself. My Aunt C kept asking if I was sure that was what I wanted to give my friends and I assured her it was. I think it was a light blue and white angel that held a small candle. Now you must know that my Aunt C always gave me nice gifts. That Christmas I was eager to open my gift from Aunt C and Uncle B. You guessed it. It was that cheap, tacky little angel candle holder. I am sure I didn’t hide my disappointment. She told me she got it for me because I had liked it so much when we were shopping.

    As a result you can rest assured if you receive a gift from me, it is something that wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you told me you couldn’t possibly accept it and must give it back to me.

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  16. So the “Secret Room” is no longer a secret.

    I got a lot of gifts I enjoyed, but can’t think of a “most memorable”. I did get various road building sets to go with the Matchbox® cars. I still have one of them. Another was a slot race track with a spring in the slot. It came with strong tape and posts to tape to the bottom of the cars. We also used Scotch® tape and thumb tacks. I guess you could say it was memorable.

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  17. I am so allergic to sea scallops that I don’t eat seafood I can’t identify.
    Next time, I will likely die. I almost died. that day. The guys in the barracks wanted to call an ambulance. I just wanted to die. Neither happened.

    Most memorable?
    When I was eleven, we had just moved to Charleston. We lived on Broad St. on the fifth floor of a four story apartment. Yes.
    For Christmas my friend across the street got a bicycle for Christmas. I didn’t get anything I can remember. My parents (I later learned) were looking out the window at me looking at Bobby’s bicycle and he wouldn’t let me ride.
    Next day they went to a furniture store and bought me a bicycle on credit. It was $35.00, as I remember (I just spent more than that in cash at the grocery store.)
    Bobby Murray and I rode all over Charleston on our bicycles.

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  18. I uploaded a photo of me and my sister with our laps full of dolls. Interestingly, the dolls mentioned about aren’t in our laps, so I’m guessing we hadn’t received them yet. And I would have been either eight or nine (the year I have on the photo would make me nine) and it’s labeled as fall, so probably we got them for Christmas when I was nine and she was eight–if so, I imagine they are the last dolls we received as gifts, and thus maybe the most memorable.

    What’s funny, though, besides that my sister clearly has more dolls than I, is that I can remember only one of the ones I have in my lap–the one with the curly black hair was Becky–but I remember several of hers, and their names. Overall, she was more interested in dolls than I was. I was more interested in books and toy animals.

    Years and years later, she and I compared notes and realized each of us imagined that our lives would be the way we imagined it in those nighttime games–that she and I would live next door and our kids would grow up knowing their cousins and playing together. She said she thought of herself as having twelve girls, each named for a flower–and yet when it came time to have children, she wanted (and got) boys. (And one girl.) Me, I wanted two boys and two girls, and did at least get the girls, just not in the traditional way.

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  19. I had a Tiny Tears doll I liked as a young child. Also I once received a musical toy that had a keyboard with strings attached to bells above the keyboard. My parents told me how much I loved that, but I was really young and don’t remember that very much. My brother may still have that old toy somewhere in His house.

    When I was a teenager I received a sterling silver charm bracelet that was my favorite then partly because it combined a gift from my parents along with gifts from friends who gave me charms. I still have that.

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  20. Peter, my brother had a lot of Matchbox cars. I liked those, too. And he really enjoyed model building sets.
    We received bikes and trikes, wagon, and skates that we used to build wooden block skateboards, too, but those big ticket items seemed like a rite of passage type toy that did not have the same significance as a personalized gift to me in my mindset.

    My brother and I really liked the badminton set we received along with games like Candyland early on. Those were more like family gifts.

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  21. My aunt gave me a dictionary. I loved it–because it meant someone in my life had noticed my love for words and desire to write.

    I still have it, the pages are speckled and brown and I can see it from here.

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  22. I was all ready for 2.5 hours at the Honda dealer as my recalled airbag was replaced, but he got me through in 45 minutes. Now I’m home with all those plans smashed! I’ll finish the Christmas cards but will probably spend the rest of the time writing–which is what I need to do to finish the black tie wedding gift on New Year’s Eve.

    You can’t believe the angst going on in our family over that wedding–not to mention the problem figuring out clothing for five different events!

    Elope!

    The father already made that offer–several times. 🙂

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  23. Most memorable Christmas gift? The dollhouse my father made for me – it has been pictured on here. Second sibling and I shared a love of all things miniature. She got my father to help her make a dollhouse from a spare sheet of plywood. In my eyes, it was the most glorious of things, but, as with many other things that I aspired to, it seemed I would have to wait until I was older to have such a thing for myself. So I contented myself with the makeshift houses from pressboard and cardboard boxes. One Christmas, my father and two elder siblings spent long hours working down in my father’s basement workshop. Second sibling, who always went to elaborate lengths to keep Christmas secrets, managed to convince me that they were building a spectacular airplane for our youngest siblings. On Christmas morning, there was the normal amount of gifts under the tree, but no sign of an airplane. After breakfast when we usually opened our gifts, they made both youngest sibling and I go upstairs and wait. I though I was just there to humour youngest sibling. Then our elder siblings came up and made us close our eyes and led us down to the living room. When they told us to open our eyes, there was no airplane, but there was two dollhouses. Mine was painted to look like a half-timber cottage with a thatched roof, youngest sibling’s had painstakingly been scored and painted to look like a brick farmhouse. They each had two stories and attics. My father hadn’t had time to make the stairs (he did later) but there were holes for where the stairs should be and bits of trim, tile, and leftover paint had been used to decorate the rooms. The other packages under the tree that were for us contained some store bought dollhouse furniture and doll families. We already had favorite dolls to go in the houses, so the doll families never really caught on, but I still have some of the original furniture, though I have bought some better made stuff since (the old furniture has warped with age, so it wasn’t the highest quality). My father wasn’t a trained carpenter, but what he lacked in skill, he made up for in imagination and creativity.

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  24. My father offered to pay for me to elope and give me the rest of the money as a wedding gift….If I knew then what I know now….
    I would have probably still done it the way I did. There is not a single photo of my parents wedding and BG will have a whole album of her parents plus a huge portrait

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  25. Snow is melting…and the plows are in the area….they weren’t here when they were needed…they must have funds left in the budget…they’ll just scoot some slushy stuff over to the ditch 🙂
    I loved getting baby dolls as a child…I always wanted a Tiny Tears doll like my best friend Judy had…never did get one….I now have one sitting under the family room Christmas tree (I found her at an antique shoppe). I also have an old rusty 50’s truck under that tree…I love old trucks!
    Then there was the time Grandma crocheted a doll toilet paper holder for me…my sister and cousins got a “Penny doll”….Grandma said they only had three of those dolls at the store…so Grandma decided I would get a toilet paper holder 🙂

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  26. My most memorable Christmas gift. I think I was 13 years old and was out shopping with my parents. I saw a beautiful fuchsia blouse with tiny black polka dots and tried it on. My mom said we couldn’t buy it – too expensive (or another reasonable excuse). My dad saw how much I wanted it and told us he was heading down the mall to another store while we continued up the mall. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I opened one of my gifts and it was that blouse! All my sister’s and my gifts were always from “mom and dad” but that gift was just from “dad”. I think I still have that blouse in a box somewhere all these years later.

    Oh, and another memorable one was my engagement ring 🙂

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  27. Oh, and a bar of soap. I never washed my hands so much as I did once I learned there was a little surprise animal hidden inside the soap and it could only be released by washing.

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  28. Son, who had to replace the airbags after sister totaled his BMW, says it is a snap to replace air bags as they come in a small unit. Just a couple of clips and a plug in and it is done.

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  29. Oh a MEMORABLE Christmas gift was from a Great Aunt whom I shall name because she is long dead—Aunt Lilah. She gave me a plastic tea set that she bought for my cousin B but she gave it to me over in the Spring because we were up in the country and I was there and she hadn’t seen B to give it to her. I cannot imagine telling a child “I am giving you this gift I bought for someone else because she hasn’t come to get it”. I never did like that tea set!!!!

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  30. My dad made me a doll house, too, Roscuro. It was a split entry, modern house. The LR was up the stairs from the kitchen. Under the LR was a drawer, in which to put furniture or dolls. My mom made the furniture from lumber scraps. The stove top had some black buttons for the burners.

    After both my sister and I outgrew it, my mom sent it to my cousin’s family. They had seven daughters and some were still at an age to play with it. My aunt was kind enough to see that I got it back.

    I passed it on to one of my daughters and her children crushed the side porch, which had dowels for posts. They thought they could stand on it. 😦 Perhaps someday it will be fixed.

    I did see this doll house in my parent’s room just before they gave it to me. I asked about it and my dad told me it was a bird house. I asked why there was a toilet then. He laughed and asked me if I didn’t think birds had to go potty, too. I believed him. Not sure how old I was or if this was a birthday gift or Christmas.

    Many years later my parents went on to make five more full dollhouses and many, many shadowbox rooms. I introduced my mom to a book on miniatures and she went on to enjoy a hobby making them for many years. It is sad to me that many of her miniatures were sold for a pittance. Now she buys other peoples and has completed a few more rooms. Her old rooms were also broken up and sold after my dad died. It was something I was against. I do have one of the dollhouses and they were all kept intact.

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  31. Of course the “other” gift that stands out was when I was younger and woke up to find a girls’ bike, all shiny, under the tree. I still remember my dad teaching me how to ride it in front of our apartment. It had training wheels at first but then when they came off my dad would hold the back of the bike and run along with me until I got a good momentum going — and then he’d let go. And then I’d fall down. 🙂

    But eventually there came a time when I didn’t fall down. Exhilarating! I shrieked in victory before jumping off and running into the apartment to tell my mom. I could finally ride a bike.

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  32. I enjoyed reading everyone’s favorite Christmas gift memories.
    My favorite Christmas gift memory from childhood was a gift I gave my older brother rather than one I received. My brother really wanted new speakers for his truck…I was in fourth or fifth grade and had won grand champion with my rabbits in 4H….they sold for a lot of money and I used a large portion of it to buy said speakers. Seeing his face Christmas morning was pure joy!

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