Saturday, December 24, 2011


Here are two of our nativity sets; the gold one is a fancy set I inherited from my mother. The other more colorful set is one we've had since the kids were little in the 80's. I'll never forget the year the boys carefully arranged their Ghostbusters figures in and around the manger scene. Good times.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Doggy Purse Goes For Outing

My Fuzzy Nation Boston Terrier purse went to the grocery store today, dressed in her cute little Christmas tree outfit. She was so well-behaved, sitting in the cart! People barely noticed her--they were too busy looking at the woman wearing some headband thing with antlers sticking out of it! And I thought I was weird! Hee hee. Oh well, if you can't do these things at Christmas, when can you? (Next time I will try to remember to take a picture of my dog purse actually sitting in the cart!)


Back in the 80's it was Christmas at Grandma's with presents, trees, wrapping paper, kids, dead dogs...oh the memories. The one with "Kitty" as a kitten was taken at our house in 1989. It was his first Christmas! May he R.I.P. (And yes, normally my house was nice and neat--but not on Christmas morning!)

Mr. and Mrs. Santa

Click here to view a video of the mechanical couple in action!

I'm dreaming of a pink poodle Christmas...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Sometimes its so fun to look back on past holidays in your life. Now that all of my childhood photos and most of our family photos have been scanned, it's easy to retrieve them digitally, especially since they are sorted by year and month (and even day if we know it!).

Here is baby Cindybin's first Christmas, back in the late 1950's. I looked like I was having a good time with Santa! Look at the jolly smiles on our faces!

The other photo is from Christmas 1990 at the in-law's. It's interesting to pick out little details and see exactly what was going on and how our lives were back then, over 20 years ago! Such hustle and bustle as we women prepared the holiday meal. Usually there were kids running through the kitchen as well. As you can see I'm taking rolls off a tray to put them on a platter and take to the dining room table. I didn't think anything of eating white flour then! I see there is a box of "Equal" on the table. I know I didn't use it; I think the other ladies must have put that in their coffee or something.

Stay tuned for more Christmas past and present! (Well, not TOO present!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011



You just don’t see entertainment like this on TV anymore.

We watched a PBS special last night on the best of the Andy Williams Christmas shows. It was so good! Actually I’d seen it before about ten years ago, but it was worthy of another viewing. There were lots of clips from the old holiday specials, along with interviews with Andy himself, as well as his younger son Bobby. Donny Osmond also added his thoughts and memories of singing on those shows with his brothers.

I used to watch his weekly variety show while growing up in the 60’s. But the Christmas shows were always the best, because he had his brothers and his wife and children on. They were just the ideal family to me. It’s too bad Andy and Claudine eventually split up. (And of course then she was involved in that whole murder thing, but that’s another story…)

But I really did enjoy watching that PBS special. It was so wholesome and family-friendly. All the dancers were modestly dressed, and the songs were beautiful. Andy has such a beautiful voice. I could listen to anything that man sings. It could be the lamest or most boring song, and I don’t even fast forward. And then when it was done, we were flipping through the channels and came across Telemundo, where a scantily-clad woman was dancing very suggestively, to put it mildly. I wonder if she has even heard of Andy Williams??

Here are two clips from the Christmas shows: one is Andy singing the classic “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, which I always have to hear each season. It just isn’t Christmas without it! The other features the Williams Brothers and the Osmond Brothers together. They put on quite a show! Andy is the youngest brother and at 84 years old is still performing. I did some research online and from what I can tell, the oldest passed away in 2003 but the others are still alive. Try to watch these if you can. After all, where else can you hear lyrics like “He’ll be coming down the chimney down!” and “Mi oh my it’s a holiday…Mi oh my, everybody’s gay!”

Most Wonderful Time of the Year:

Williams Brothers and Osmond Brothers:

[Update September 26, 2012: Just heard of Andy's death, may he rest in peace.]


Here are some good Christmas tips for the holiday season. Too bad they’re from 1984! (Maybe I should get some updated magazines!)

“Instead of trying to guess exactly which record album or jeans your teenagers have their hearts set on, give them a “good for”—a note (illustrated if you want) announcing what they may purchase.”

“Type the names and addresses from your card list onto a large sheet of peel-off labels (sold in stationery stores) so you won’t have to hand-address every envelope. I find this give me more time to write personal notes on the cards. If you make a photocopy of each typed sheet of labels, you can use it to jot down any address changes you learn of during the year; next Christmas you’ll have an up-to-date list to work from.”

“Video-cassette recorders are growing more popular, especially as the list of movies you can rent to show on them grows longer and longer. If friends or relatives on your gift list have recently bought a VCR, why not give them a gift certificate to a video store? They can use it for blank tapes or to buy or rent movies. Or you can give them a membership in a video club; most stores offer members a discount on rentals. You can even treat your friends (or yourself) to a rented recorder—the cost is reasonable and hooking it up to a TV is simple.”



So I signed into Yahoo to check email and there was a big head shot photo of actress Sandra Bullock and a story about some pantsuit she wore that was supposed to “wow” everyone. I don’t know why, but I clicked on it. That was my first mistake. Of course she was wearing THIS (see photo above). I couldn’t believe how low cut it was! Or did she forget to wear a blouse under that jacket?? I would NEVER wear something like that, and neither would my friends! Whatever happened to MODESTY? My friends would be appalled if their daughters grew up to dress like that!

Well you’d think most everybody would agree with me, right? No. Not on the Internet. Well actually there were a FEW women on there who shared my views, but they were very few and far between. Besides the usual crude comments from guys, such as “I’d hit that” or graphic descriptions of what they’d like to do to her body, almost EVERYBODY was raving about how “hot” she looked, how “classy” she is, what an “inspiration” she is and how she’s a “good role-model for all the young girls out there.” I was absolutely stunned. Men and women alike, praising her! You’d think at least the WOMEN would be as disgusted as I was! But for the most part, that was not the case at all.

So of course I went into my “What is WRONG with you people???” diatribe, posting numerous comments and replies trying to help people understand why we should NOT consider a woman who wears something like this “classy” or a “role model”! One guy even said she had that “girl-next-door look.” Since when does the girl next door walk out of her house wearing something like THAT??? Where I live, you’d be arrested for public indecency! Or at least there would be a lot of “talk” amongst the neighbors!

Seriously, if I wore that jacket, I’d feel like I was in one of those “oh no I’m in public and I’m naked” nightmares. I can’t imagine where I’d even wear it! I never do, but let’s say I went to the fanciest restaurant in town, or even in the big city of Chicago, and walked in dressed in a jacket cut down to my stomach. I’d receive stares like you wouldn’t believe. I have NEVER seen anyone around here or in my entire life wear such an ensemble.

But that’s the thing about these show-biz types. I was ranting about this Sandra story to my husband and he said that all these Hollywood people are nuts, and the people who REPORT on them are nuts, and so the general population buys into this and thinks that wearing outfits like hers is the way to go, that this is what’s “sexy.” Sad, I know. To think that young girls would want to emulate this, and with their parents’ support, even! And what gets me is that several years ago I had written a nice, long, sincere blog article about modesty. Obviously none of these people read it!!! Harumph!! I should repost it here since it was on my Yahoo blog which they discontinued. (Then nobody can read it here, either.)

Actually there were those who did complain about the pantsuit—not about how low cut it was, but about things like the shoulder pads or the length of her pants! I was like, “Are you kidding me??? THAT’S what you noticed about this outfit?? Didn’t you see how revealing the top is?? Who cares about her shoulder pads or how long the pants are?? Why don’t support me in speaking up about this low-cut outfit and how women who dress like this set us back 100 years?? Why do I have to be the only one??”

But it never failed; no sooner would I make a comment which I thought would make everybody “see the light”, ten more people would come on that board saying that she was a good role model and classy, etc. So infuriating!! It was such a fast-moving board and I couldn’t keep up, so most of my comments were quickly buried. A few people did see them, though. Like the person who called me “uptight and repressed” and said I sounded like a church lady.

And then there were the endless observations about her ex-husband, such as “how could Jesse James cheat on her?? What a loser he is!” etc. Well did anyone stop to think that maybe it’s because of HER?? I told these people, “What kind of man is a woman going to attract when she wears outfits like that?? Of course she’s going to attract loser guys!” And how do these people even know who Jesse James is? I remember when I first heard of this guy months ago, through a Yahoo headline. And I actually thought it was about the legendary outlaw! I thought, “Oh neat! Maybe they’ve uncovered some new historical finds! I’m going to read this and educate myself!” So imagine my surprise when I learned that it was about some tattooed actor.

And on that message board they all said things about how much they admire Sandra, how she’s their favorite actress, etc. How do they even know so much about her? I have NEVER seen any of her movies, and I don’t even know what she’s been in! I may have caught a glimpse of her once or twice on Letterman or something, but that’s the extent of my knowledge. I never even thought about her before this, but now, thanks to that horrible forum, I’m going to fume every time I see her name.

Also, I stressed on that board that I was not putting down Sandra as a person, I was just commenting on the outfit she was wearing in that picture. I said that I know next to nothing about her or her ex-husband, and had never seen her movies. And then people were talking about what a good mother she is, and how her son is lucky to have her as a mother, etc. That set me off again. “She’s a MOTHER??? And yet she dresses like THIS???? That is TERRIBLE!!! She should know better! My mother would NEVER have worn such a low cut outfit! She was a LADY! How can you people say that a good mother would wear such a revealing top?? What is WRONG with you people???” And so on.

Well anyway, I was planning to make all my blogs this week about Christmas, sort of a “Cindybin’s Countdown to Christmas” thing. But now with this Sandra Bullock rant, there goes my idea. Drat. But wait—maybe I can still save this theme by making it Christmas-related somehow. Okay, how’s this: “To Sandra Bullock, wherever you are, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!” (Oh, and put some clothes on!)