Category Archives: Holiday

The Year in Review, Sorta

Well, another year is coming to a close. I have been remiss in blogging due to the holiday and family commitments, none of which involved a mental institution. Well, none so far. After all, the holiday isn’t over yet.

Every year around this time I find myself sighing deeply. It’s not a contented “I ate all the chocolate and feel NO SHAME” sigh, nor is it the “I wish they could stay home longer” sigh. It’s the “What happened ?” sigh. For a while, it seemed this year just dragged on and on, and suddenly–BAM!!!–it’s December 31st and I have no idea how that happened. School band, having a split household, dealing with kids away for the first time, family happenings, all take their toll and can be serious time sucks. And let’s not forget social media. That alone can make the days seem like minutes, especially when a soap opera is unfolding on the social-site-with-faces.

By the way, I started writing this post two days ago.

As usual, with the end of the year come the reflections and the resolutions. Upon reflecting on my year, I found a few truths to be rather self-evident: I am quite lax at writing, technology still escapes me, I don’t laugh at myself as much as I should. I am loathe to write of resolutions because they are lofty goals usually mired in dreams and cotton candy. So this year I resolve not to make any resolutions save one: to be happy with my lot in life, and grateful for all my blessings.

I guess that’s TWO resolutions. But they will be easy to keep.

Hope y’all have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Day, and blessings to y’all in the coming year 😀

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Nerd Christmas

As y’all are aware by now, I am a nerd. Established 1974, when I first watched Star Trek episodes in Spanish. That intensified when Star Wars came out, and cemented for all time when Ricardo Montalban resurrected his role of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Don’t be fooled. I hate Ewoks.

Anyway, I wanted to get a black pre-lit Christmas tree for the longest time. No, not to match my soul but so I could display my space-themed ornaments, thinking the black would be outer space and the lights would be the stars. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?? But the topper….well, that was a quandary. I really wanted to get something like an exploding Alderran or the Pillars of Creation, but the ones I found were too pricey, so I made my own Death Star topper out of a styrofoam ball, felt, and pipe cleaners. It’s not to scale, but it will do until I take the time to make one with LEDs in it.

WIN_20151215_105352 Continue reading


Aggie’s Christmas Gift Guide, 2015 Edition

Don’t worry. As much as I ❤ my Soma™ PJs, they are not on the list this year. Why? Because they should be on EVERYONE’S list every year. And not for special occasions, either. Soma PJs should be a staple in every gal’s wardrobe. Trust me on this.

This year, being cognizant of a distinct holiday fatigue, mostly due to the season being kickstarted in August, I complied a few items to help with the eventual stress that most of us who wait to shop for the perfect gift at the last minute will suffer.

lavender gift set

Who doesn’t love the calming quality of lavender? L’Occitane™ offers a wonderful gift set that will render anyone mute with appreciation. Or make them SQUEEEE!!! Either way, it’s sure to be a keeper.

If your beloved is more of a techie and/or sports type, consider gifting a set of headphones. Just not any headphones.

bose headphones

Behold the Bose™ NFL Edition headphones. Yes, they are pricey, but we are not just talking quality and sports fanaticism here. I love mine because they block out everything, including the smoke alarm. Which could be a bad thing, but that’s what I have kids for.

Last but not least, what is the holiday without some bit of indulgence? Or a lot of indulgence. I won’t judge.

moscow-mule-gift-set-o

Williams-Sonoma™ offers many food-themed gift sets, but my pick is obviously the one to which I can add vodka. The Moscow Mule gift set comes with everything you need except the booze, but I’m sure most of us already have that in our stocks, right?? And bonus: you can use the mugs for hot chocolate, too, which you can get at the site.

I hope you have enjoyed Aggie’s Christmas Picks for 2015. I also hope one or two find their way under my Christmas tree this year. I’m not picky, but just FYI, I already own the headphones 😉


Halloweary

Yes, it’s that time again. The time to stock up on good candy, get a funny costume, and prepare to criticize every parent that lets their underage daughter dress as a sexy fill-in-the-blank. That is my main irritation with this holiday: almost all the adult gal costumes have been made “sexy”: mummy, nurse, witch, princess, even E-BOLA. I usually make my kids’ costumes for that reason. Last year Little One went as the Red Queen, and the year before Eldest went as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Best costume I ever made for myself was The Booze Fairy, complete with a crown made from mini vodka bottles. It sure was a hit, I can tell you that.

liquor bottle costumes

This year Little One suggested I go as the Red Queen. I nixed that idea. Instead, I will go as a Crazy Cat Lady, inspired by my friend, Cruel Wife. I figure that costume can keep me warm while I stand outside handing out candy.

I’ll be outside because otherwise the dogs will go insane with kids ringing the doorbell. I have to think of every last detail.

And no, there will not be any photos of the costume. I still have one shred of dignity and I shall employ it wisely. Besides, no one needs to see my humiliation at the hands of conniving kids. I’ll be sure to write about it, though 😉


On This Independence Day

So much to say, and not nearly eloquent enough to put into words. So I will just ramble along as I am wont to do. It seems to work most of the time.

God bless America

As I have traveled over the world, I have been pleasantly surprised by the respect people have for our holiday. Sure, Germans all thought we had cowboy boots and Stetsons and lived like Dallas, (didn’t help that Hubby did have a Stetson and cowboy boots, either), but they understood how important, and how vital our Revolution was. In Crete, a lady at a local shop sold beautiful handmade rugs, of which several were done in an American motif (not exactly a flag, but rather the colors and the stars). She told me her dream was to visit the US, and I do hope she was able to do so. In Poland, Americans are welcome as long-lost brethren! We were told stories how once The Wall came down, the people began to basically overdose on our Western culture. There is not a single pottery maker who does not fashion his or her own American design, either. You walk into a bar identifying yourself as an American, and the vodka flows. And in Luxembourg… the men and women still thank you for what we did for them, and for what we stand for. As beautiful and as solemn as Normandy in places.

Every year, I am grateful that I have been so blessed as to be born an American citizen. Scores of people all over the world, some of them close friends, are still waiting patiently for the process towards citizenship to begin. I pray every day that the wheels turn a bit faster for them, because they know already what it means to be an American, and are willing to sacrifice for the chance at becoming one.

May y’all have a wonderful Independence Day and please, take some time to appreciate the sacrifices so many made for our country.


Mom Day Gifts, As Seen On TV Edition

I haven’t done a shopping guide in a while. Y’all really do not need my help, for one, and there are only so many wineglasses one can own, for another. But there is a niche that is not quite ignored, but usually given a pass. That’s the “As Seen On TV!” stuff that you roll your eyes at until you are in Walgreens and see the display and wonder if the Sham WOW™ really works.

It does, just so you know. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, I figured some people are at wit’s end trying to get a nice gift for pocket money, or maybe just a gift for the mom who has pretty much everything. So I have gone and searched for y’all, and for my kids. Just in case they manage to read the blog. If they don’t, then I will remind them this weekend while there is still time.

One of the handiest gifts I ever received was Aqua Globe. My German neighbor gave me one when I lived in Germany and it was a handy way to water potted plants.

aqua-globes-watering-bulb

I think those were the only potted plants to survive Aggie’s German reign of terror. And the bulbs look very pretty, to boot.

Some things that women never tend to think about getting for themselves are foot pampering tools. I am partial to the Amope foot file. Ok, it sounds odd for me to say this would make a nice gift, but trust me: women often forget to take care of their feet. Throw in some nice body cream and a foot soak and BAM!! You are done. And if you really feel like sealing the deal, give her a foot massage to go with it. And peel a few grapes while you’re at it.

If all else fails, treat her to a nice picnic by a lake or a fountain and make sure to tell her thank you for putting up with everything. You don’t have to break the bank to make moms feel appreciated. The thought does count, even if it’s as simple as a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou 😉


Aggie’s Unconventional Guide to Valentine’s Day

Let me be clear: I can’t stand Valentine’s Day.

stabbed heart

I love the romance and the idea and history behind the holiday, don’t get me wrong. But the commercialism makes me all stabby while pukey. I have written posts in the past to help y’all with gift ideas for your beloved. Some have been obvious (my go-to Lolita glass of the week) and some have been a bit….. odd (Zen perfume made from roses grown outside our atmosphere). So here is my list for no-fail gifts this Valentine’s Day.

#5– Electric drill

Honestly, most women would like to own one just so they could put up their own wall decor and also have a handy tool for those times when you need to be….persuasive.

#4– Santoku knife

Who doesn’t want a knife??

#3– Ear plugs

For those times when you finally run out of patience with questions, be it from kids, or coworkers.

#2– Car wash pass

Show her you love her enough to worry about her manicure, or at least worry what the neighbor’s think of her vehicular trash can.

#1– Personal vacation

Sending your beloved somewhere on his or her own is a great way to show them that you love them. Why? Because your beloved needs time away from you before that electric drill becomes necessary. News at 11.

So there you go. A list of awesome gifts for your sweetheart. I have three santoku knives, several pairs of ear plugs, and I am angling for the drill next. Also, I am not responsible for any reaction you may get from your beloved if you choose to heed my advice. As usual, my advice is unsolicited and should always fall on deaf ears, especially those ears with ear plugs. But should you feel the need to give a safer, more conventional gift, roses are always a wonderful idea.

So the florist tells me 😉


Obligatory Best and Worst Presents of Christmas 2014

Hubby kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I’m at the age where I don’t need anything, but he is at the age where skipping on giving me a gift is downright dangerous. It never fails. I write a Santa’s List™ and you would think it’s written in Sanskrit from the way my family reacts. Again, what is so difficult about giving me PJs or knives or wineglasses?? In his defense he wanted to give me something I could use, and also something that I didn’t already own.

Behold the Precious!!!!

pink hoodie footie

He gave me the Hoodie Footie, not the gal. I have to say, I love that piece of cotton candy wannabe fluff. I had one a few years back but gave it to my German friend, who needed it waaaaay more than I did because, GERMANY. I admit there have been days when I wore it all day during the holidays. I am not ashamed. I love it with the burning of a thousand suns, though I am glad it’s not hot like a thousand suns because I want to keep snuggling in it and even call it Georgette.

That was the Best of this year. Normally I stop there, because I firmly believe there’s no such thing as a bad present. But this year tested the limit.

mini masher

That’s a mini masher. Not exactly a Worst gift. But it’s hard to appreciate it when it bent on first use, while using it to mash avocados. I wish I could say it was my indomitable strength, but I am trying to save y’all from spewing all over your keyboards. Still, better to be thought of than be passed over, right?

And what were your best and worst gifts this Christmas? 😀


We Remember, Always

On this day thirteen years ago, our enemies struck at the heart of our nation.

WTC with flag

That day, a campaign against terror began in our people with steady resolve. We began to gather together not just to mourn, but to begin to understand why. Our mistake was thinking that this was some complex act of war, when the truth was they just want us dead. A political ideology cleverly disguised as a religion decided that it cannot let those who do not believe the same ideology exist. War had been declared against Western Civilization. And so, we went to war.

We took the fight to the root, and began a long campaign on two fronts. And we were not alone. Countries who not only lost their own in the attacks but who also saw the potential danger of ignoring the seed of evil now flowering in that desert joined us in the fight. WE WERE NOT ALONE. For a time the world understood that this was an act against civilization, not just one country. And we fought overseas, and at home. We fought the rising tide of fear and distrust, as well as the inevitable slide into ignorance and complacency. And through it all, we stayed strong in the face of indifference and political expedience.

Thirteen years later, the fight that was declared “ended”, though not “won” has flared again with the help of inaction and political correctness. The fear of offending has paralyzed many to the point where they declare that these people are not terrorists. We now have to win wars by winning the heart and minds of people who have been indoctrinated to kill the infidels. This war is not over, it is not ended, and certainly it was not won. Terrorists are still declaring war on us, and killing our people, instigating a genocide and even killing those who they believe not to be muslim enough. And so I ask, when will our government learn?

They want us dead. And they won’t stop until the Western World stops them. Completely.


And on This Day, We Celebrate

Let’s remember what our forefathers were fighting, against and for.

god bless america

It seems that lately we are forgetting to bless what we have. We have forgotten why we fought for independence. We have forgotten to be not just a beacon but also an example to others who are struggling to be free. Instead we find ourselves wondering what the government will do for us now, and how it will take care of us.

We need to remember that WE are the stewards, not the government. WE THE PEOPLE. We need to begin taking care of ourselves again. Remember: that which gives you everything, can also take it away.

The Tree of Liberty seems to be wilting, and it may be time to water it again.