Christmas gifts often come wrapped in pretty paper and sparkling ribbons.

This year ... my brightest, best and favorite gift was delivered early: the look on the surgeon's face when he walked out of recovery. Perhaps 35 feet away, I saw him. My heart skipped a beat and then his eyes found mine. His sincere and confident smile told me that all was well.

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve day ... my Mother celebrates her 74th birthday.

My Christmas is merry.

And to all of you, I wish you smiles, warmth, happiness, joy, health, prosperity and most of all ... LOVE.

... and I wish you ...



A brief update ...

Mom got through surgery very well.

However, she has had a few complications and setbacks post operatively.

I will be staying with her round-the-clock for the next few days.

Meanwhile, my sincerest of gratitude to those of you who have written and expressed concern. The last three days have been exhausting for me mentally, emotionally and physically [as my Mother means the world to me] and your words are a gentle balm soothing my exhausted spirit.

The holidays are soon approaching ...

...so, those of you that celebrate the forthcoming Winter Solstice, I wish you light and happiness.

And to my Jewish friends, I wish you joy and celebration in the days of Hanukah.

Blessings to each of you in your special celebrations!

Until later ...


The sun has not yet risen but I can see fingers of hot pink and orange, just above the horizon line, streaking the muted, cloud filled skies.

The majesty of daybreak is not lost today.

I have been up for hours.

Nervous as the proverbial 'cat on a hot tin roof'.

Today is Mom's surgery day.

I cannot wait for tomorrow's sunrise.


Oh, for a sleigh, eight tiny reindeer and some elves! But alas, the gift giving adventure begins:

Ever so carefully I chose the gifts. I am pleased.

The color theme for the wrapping paper, the ribbon, gift cards and holiday greeting cards. Coordinated and elegant.

Purchased the white gift boxes, tissue paper, shipping pellets, and appropriate corrugated boxes.

With precision and care, each gift is packed carefully in mounds of tissue, gift wrapped and bow tied, and then packed again in its shipping box. Computer generated shipping labels are printed out for clarity.

Each box is sealed securely with shipping tape ... and love.

Loaded the packages into my wee sports car's tiny back seat proving that a 6' blonde can indeed become a contortionist if necessary.

Knowing that yesterday was considered to be the "busiest day of the year" at the US Postal Service, it is off to United Parcel Service I go.

A long, holiday traffic delayed drive later ... I arrive at the UPS parking lot. There are tents set up in the massive parking lot with miles of tables and busy, busy workers.

I wait patiently in line with my boxes stacked precariously on my luggage hauler. Shifting my weight from foot to foot. Sighing loudly because the wait is tedious and I am fatiguing quickly.

I look at the others in line.

Huh? They all seem to have their packages opened. Not sealed? What the ...?

"Excuse me, why are your boxes not sealed?" I inquire of the bottle redhead in queue ahead of me.

She looked at my two dozen beautifully sealed and labeled boxes stacked beside me and smugly stated, "It is their rules. They will cut open all of your pretty boxes."

[My, my, my. Aren't you cheery lady!? fa la la la la]

I step out of line and up to a table. They confirm Red's statement.

Ugh. No way. No how.

Off to the US Post Office I go.

I am amazed. I park within feet of the front door.

The tables inside are empty and fully stocked with the proper tracking paperwork.

I take my paper number "81" and see that I am 21st behind.

I wait. Shifting my weight from foot to foot. I am fatigued, aching, and silently asking Santa for a miracle.

Numbers are called out, "60? 61? 62? 63? 64?..." Apparently going to the Post Office at lunch time has its merits: people just leave.

In no time I am at the window being assisted by a very pleasant woman who is both helpful and courteous.

She does not wield a box knife. She does not want to open my boxes. She comments that she wishes all people used such care to pack/ship so carefully. She promises me timely gift arrival. She smiles and wishes me, "Happy Holidays!" as I leave.

I still wish I had a sleigh, eight tiny reindeer and some elves... so they could clean my house and go grocery shopping for me!

Meanwhile, the US Postal Service will deliver the gifts ... safe, sound, tracked ... and unopened.


The holidays are approaching yet I find it so difficult to feel the joy of the season. I want desperately to "need" to hum a Christmas carol.

My mood was lifted when Suzn told me that Jeff's wife, Lynn, was much better and out of the hospital.

I praise Him that answers the prayers for health and healing.

My love and thoughts are with you, Jeff and Lynn, as always.

However, the bright winter desert skies have now filled with dark clouds:

My man, my sweet Jason, phoned me this afternoon with heartache and loss weakening his deep, masculine voice.

This morning Jason's father passed away. Unexpected.

It is surmised that his heart had been weakened by a staph infection he incurred in his college days ... and today, some three decades later, a price is once again paid.

The man I love is hurting tonight.

His step mother lies seriously ill in a Seattle hospital making bedside funeral arrangements until Jason and the family, scattered throughout the West, can be at her side.

Please remember Jason, his step-mother Marcia, step-sister LeAnne ... and the rest of the family, in your thoughts and prayers.

I praise Him that offers strength and consolation in times of bereavement.

Meanwhile, on December 15th, my Mother will undergo surgery. She is scared. Yes, my training and experience understands that the best surgeon in the southwest will be holding the knife, but my heart and love for her compels me to look to the skies in request and asking that Dr. Castillo's hand is guided by Higher Powers.

I praise Him that offers courage and guidance as The Great Physician.

Odd, I am having difficulty in finding the joy of the holiday season, yet I pray to one God whose Son is honored during these mid-winter days.

Perhaps the forecasted rain of tomorrow will cleanse the air and bring relief to a parched spirit longing to hum "... and Heaven and nature sing...".


Ever have something important to do, not critical or on deadline, but in the scope of things, it is something that should be done?

I have something that needs attention: email. Lots of it. Buckets full. By da barrel load, by gawd.

Yet, do I delve deftly into its canyons of e-wordages? Do I glean through the spam like a combine through waves of winter wheat? Does my "delete" key stick, like summer bubblegum on rubber soles, due to discerning overuse?

Of course not.

Still hampered by unrelenting fatigue and muscle pain, I succumb to the call of my oh-so-comfortable bed and heat pad to immerse myself in newspapers, books, CDs and of course, the requisite MSNBC droning informatively in the background.

Alas, I have a plan.

Pathetic as this sounds, I will Laplink my complete INBOX to my notebook PC and set the whole shebang up en boudoir!

Then, amidst the shuffle of periodicals and novels, within the scope of remote TVs and CD players ... I will bring that which is important to bed with me.

You. Your words. Your emails.

Because in the scope of things, it should be done.



I need a Betty Ford Clinic for the MSNBC addicted. Seriously. The election fiasco in Florida has made for interesting recuperative teevee watching:

First thing in the morning, I reach for the remote sending my signal to Channel 58 - MSNBC. Often times, I fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning watching re-runs of Chris Matthews' "Hardball".

I watched each ballot that was held up and counted. I listened intently to the recordings from the Supreme Court. I watched every moment in Judge Sauls' courtroom.

Some ramblings ...

The 'ballot voting device' (aka voting machine) development biz should be a booming industry in the next four years, eh?

I heard a lawyer yesterday (in Judge N. Sanders Sauls' court) actually use "ya'll" when referencing the other attorneys in the courtroom. Shades of "Dukes of Hazzard".

At numerous times during the post-election coverage, every on-air personality and on-location reporter for MSNBC is a woman! ['Good ol' boy' molds are being broken as I type!]

Lester Holt favors blue dress shirts and red ties; Brian Williams likes the two-toned dress shirts and always looks perfectly "turned out". Gregg Jarrett is casual in his appearance and lends a "common folk" interpretation to many of the technical rulings.

Claire Shipman scored a big coup with her one-on-one interview with VP Gore and was consequently gushed over by morning anchor Ashleigh Banfield.

Ollie North "hearts" Betsy. How do I know? Ask his coffee mug.

Arrrggh .... ugh. Yep, I need intercession. Cold turkey withdrawals are eminent once all the pending court cases have been decided.

On a personal note ...

... I have downloaded all of my eMail from November [from the server] but sit here looking at some 600+ eMails to glean through. Patience por favor. Muchas gracias.

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