i A Time and a Place...: December 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!...

'oops'..-Is Christmas over already? Well, well,- whatta ya know!?! Just shows to go ya! Some people don't pay attention, do they?
Just kidding. I knew Christmas had passed.

How was your Christmas? Ours was pretty good. Mi Espousa, La Donna d'el Nebraska (a little Mex lingo there) and my big brother, Buddy, (Thomas) and I celebrated the conception and birth of Jesus by having dinner together. We had a ham and all the trimmings and I have another waist size to prove it! 'yuk'

We exchanged gifts and I must tell you, it's no small feat to buy for someone who already has everything. I refer to Donna Lee.

I axed her repeatedly what she wanted for Christmas and she, the same 'repeatedly', retorted (her reply was 'quick and witty') she couldn't think of anything, other than world peace, prosperity, good health and harmony,(things that I neither was able or wanted to provide) that she needed or wanted so I went for a stroll through our Communist China factory outlet store, Walmart, and chanced upon a few things she mought (look it up) like. Boy, was she in for a few surprises!

We arose at the chasm of dawn (it was nowhere near the 'crack' of dawn) and exchanged cards and opened our gifts.

I got everything I wanted, acknowledging, of course,that I hadn't known what I had wanted in the first place, since I already had everything that I wanted.'whew'

Anyhoo, Santa brung me a cell phone belt holster, a compass with a whistle on it so if I get lost on the creek whilst prospecting for placer gold I will know which way to more effectively get lost trying to find my way back. 'goody' (If I'm already lost, what good can it possibly be to know which way 'north' is?) I guess I could blow the whistle but who the hell is going to hear it,-someone else who is also lost? 'duh'

And I got a Fender Squire Stratocaster
guitar! 'yippee!' 'Santa' also brought me some new boxer shorts and hankies (evidently 'Santa" read my blog about always needing to have a clean hankie and clean fingernails)

Santa brought my brother a phone with large numbers and three crucial phone numbers programmed to quick dial.

Santa brought Donna Lee a one egg skillet with a personalized spatula! (Santa must have been hungry the day he shopped for Donna Lee)
Isn't that exciting!?!...and a set of thirty knives in a carousel, all of which were so cheap upon removable from the box and inspection, they all returned to Santas' warehouse (the Chinese factory outlet warehouse, Walmart) and were exchanged for a kitchen knife big enough to chop off 'Santas' thumb! bummer!

*I probably need to explain a bit why Santa was 'better' to me this year than he was to Donna Lee. Two years ago Donna Lee left three sugar cookies and a small glass of milk out for Santa to show her appreciation.
She made out so well that Christmas that I was really impressed so last year I exchanged the cookies and milk for half a ham, a left over from Thanksgiving turkey leg, three candied sweet potatoes, a fresh buttered cinnamon roll and a 16 ounce glass of strawberry daiquiri with extra rum.*

Well, there is more to this Christmas Saga but it's about as boring as what you have already read so I'll save it for next year.

In the interim, Have a very Happy New Year from JC and Donna Lee! We love you all and thank you all for your kind comments, especially those of which have made this blog both a pleasure and a privilege! We love you all!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Well, Shucks...

Well, shucks. I made these out but neglected to post them. Better late than never. Number 1:

Tomorrow's Another Day...Yaaay!...

Tomorrow my wife, Donna Lee, and I, JC, will sing and dance and tell funny stories to older folks at a Senior Citizen Nutrition Center. It's fun and we are retired so it gives us something to do and it is our way to give back a bit of that of which we are so blessed.

I told this to a guy a couple of days ago and he asked me,"Who entertains you two?" Good question.
I guess we entertain ourselves.
It'll be fun. I learned a song I have admired for forty or so years; a Bob Dylan song,"I Want You." I'm going to slip it in between Christmas songs and see if there are any old Woodstockers in the audience!

And here's number 2:


I guess God didn't want us to entertain the oldsters today. When we got there, got our equipment set up and turned the computer on to get started, the PC wouldn't work. So, we came back home, I reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled the xp os and it now works just fine.

Oh, well...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Break Is Over...

Mi Espousa, la Donna d'el Nebraska (a little Mex lingo here) -anyhoo, my wife, Donna Lee went to San Francisco a while back to help her sister, Janice, pack Christmas Season relief packages for underprivileged folks in that area and she was gone for five days; five days of hell! (For me)

In all that time I didn't yell at anyone; nag anyone; order around anyone; whine to anyone; take advantage of anyone; pull the covers off of anyone; order meals prepared by anyone; have my clothing washed and ironed (underwear included) by anyone; berate anyone or snore at anyone! It was, indeed, hell!

And I had to put on my 'Entertain the Older Folks' program alone, just me, my guitar, my computer and my harmonicas. (And thirty one screaming, swooning oldsters clawing at my clothing) That, too, was a bit of hell! -'yeah,-sure it was..' hell, you say.
Well, at least, 'heck.'

Anyways, she's back now and not a moment too soon. Actually, she has been back for a couple of weeks. And not a moment too soon.

We played a little gig in Redding on Monday. it was a one hour show,-stretched to an hour and forty five minutes. We were originally slated to play for an hour but when that hour was up, the fellow who 'presented' us said we could stay for as long as we wanted to. I told him I had already been there as long as I wanted to and would do one more and Donna Lee would do one more and we would be out of there. And we did.
It was a fun gig but the thirty five mile drive there and the thirty five mile back had us donating two hours of time and eleven bucks of gasoline. I told them I didn't think we would be back to Redding for anymore of those gigs. The lady whose house we used to practice wanted us to drive to Redding just to practice. Crap on that, I said. (under my breath) Over my breath I told her we wouldn't be interested in any more gigs in Redding; we can contribute to charity with our entertainment a heck of a lot cheaper here in Red Bluff for tips and in Anderson for tips. Up to this date, I do not know of any place here that gives away gasoline. Dang!

Well, (I say that a lot as did our finest President, Ronald Reagan,-who, by the way, was also-like me- born under the sign of Aquarius) Friday is once again time to entertain old folks at the Frontier Hall Senior Citizen Nutrition Center in Anderson, California.
I'm looking forward to it. I learned a new song-a Bob Dylan song called,"I Want You." It's a 'talking' song.

Bye, bye for now. I'll let you all know how things turn out. I'm just glad Donna Lee is back. Now, pardon me while I scream to Donna Lee for a sody pop!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Different Christmas Poem...

I found this atBrians' Blog.
Thank you, Brian.

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq