Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon!

Monday was the beginning of the Chinese New Year celebration. According to Wikipedia the Dragon year is the luckiest in the Chinese Zodiac. As it happens, I was born in a dragon year, in fact, I'm a water dragon or so Wikipedia says – I wonder if that's why they couldn't keep me out of the water when I was a kid? My little grandchild, due this July, will also be a water dragon. My son, Brian is a fire dragon and his son, Mathew is a metal dragon. What are the odds of having so many dragons in one family?

Traditional dragon attributes include: Motto – I Reign, Ruling Hours - 7:00 am until 10:00 am, Birthstone – Amethyst, Color – Red, Season & Month – Spring, April, Food – Wheat & Poultry.

Well this sounds just like me! I'm a Red Hatter, so the amethyst and red color fit in perfectly. Being born at the end of July, the regular zodiac has me down as Leo, a lion who also reigns – oh and I did do a stint as a Red Hat Queen. Yes, I'm a morning person, 7:00 am to 10:00 am you might find me ruling from my throne with my laptop.  I just love spring, the sun shinning and the flowers blooming - I  move my throne out into the garden when spring arrives. As far as food goes, bread is my very favorite food and it's made from wheat; chicken and turkey are the main proteins I consume.

So there you go, I'm a natural born dragon. I'm just sitting here waiting for all that luck to rain down on me - it can start any time now!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Happy New Year, I am envisioning this year to be
happier, healthier and wealthier for everyone!

Our New Year's Eve celebrations this year included my family – minus Charity, who spent the night at a friend's house. We had plenty of junk food – much to Jim's chagrin, he has been dieting. The festivities included watching Hope and Jessica run through the house, screaming at the top of their lungs with happiness! We also played a couple of rousing games of Bananagrams – which Brian was leery of playing because he hates banana – and Bunco. I didn't win, but at least I got to play a game! Just before midnight, we all texted Charity a “Happy New Year” to her new cell phone. We watched the ball drop in Times Square New York, via TV – we also saw cities, around the world, welcoming the new year with spectacular fireworks displays. After exclaiming “Happy New Year,” with hugs and kisses all around, Christy and I shared a wine cooler – the only one in the house – we didn't share with Diane, as she is pregnant. Gary toasted in the New Year with a tiny bottle of alcohol-free wine – great vintage from the dollar store – Brian downed a glass of fat-free egg-nog from a carton, while Jim sipped a diet soda of some kind or another. Quite a different celebration, in many ways, than those of my childhood.

As I child, I eagerly awaited New Years Eve and all the pop I could consume!  I think Grape Ne-hi was my favorite, but I also liked orange and red. When a diet cola, Tab, appeared on store shelves and I switched to drinking that – because as a teenager at 100 pounds, I thought fat when I looked in the mirror . Chips and dip topped the menu for New Years Eve back then, I don't remember if anything else was served – unlimited pop with chips and dip was like being in heaven to me.

I remember, all the family sitting around the big old oak table in the dining room; the old year fading away as we played Canasta. I don't remember how to play the game anymore – haven't played it since getting married, when I started playing Euchre – now even that is a thing of my past.

I don't remember us watching TV – I don't even think Dick Clark had a “Rock in' Eve” back then – though he did have American Bandstand. I think, we just yelled out “Happy New Year,” finished our game and went to bed.

I do remember the neighbors, teacher Mr. Miller, his wife and two girls, coming over one year to celebrate with us. But mostly, on New Year's Eve, we just celebrated as a family; Mom & Dad, and we kids, Mike, Wendy, Patti, Terry, and Dawn.

We celebrated without the help of TV – we didn't even get a TV until I was six or seven years old – and there were no cell phones - or personal computers either. I don't recall any non-alcoholic drinks nor fat-free egg-nog – we made our own with fresh eggs and whole milk – and no sugar-free anything – unless you forgot to add the sugar, then it didn't taste too good. Well, Tab did come out when I was a teenager and they did have a really nasty tasting sugar substitute, but only diabetics used that. Of course, these fat and sugar filled treats were only served on special occasions, not something we consumed daily.

Yes, things have changed as the years have flown by...
                  but, we still have the time spent with loved ones to keep us grounded.