Tag Archives: postaweek2011

O Christmas Tree

 

Inside Christmas tree. Photo by Ernest Kirchman

O Christmas Tree!
(O Tannenbaum!)

O Christmas Tree is a traditional German Carol. The author of the lyrics is unknown, as is the composer of the music. The tradition of bringing a tree inside and decorating it with candy, baubles and bells was started in the nineteenth century and is immortalized in the carol O Christmas Tree.

Below is a picture of the Christmas tree outside our front deck.  My hubby and I both love this pic and want to share it with you, along with our Christmas wishes for a blessed day, followed by an outstanding new year.

 

A tree born to be a natural Christmas tree. Photo by Ernest Kirchman.

 O Christmas tree video and lyrics

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How to Whistle without Spitting

For years, nay decades, I had wanted to be able to whistle like the boys did, using just two fingers held in some mysterious fashion to the mouth.  I tried…oh how I tried!…but all I managed to do was spit down one arm to the elbow.  In soggy despair, I gave up.  Then along came my son, all growed up, who offered to teach me.  To my happy surprise, he was a good teacher, and, before long, I was tweetering along with the best of them (not to be confused with tweeting which does require fingers but no lips or spit).

When I bragged about this ability in a reply to a bloggist friend’s post, she shared her own wish of many years that she could perform that exact same whistle.  She asked me to post a blow-by-blow description of how to do it.  So…this is for Huffygirl…and for anyone else who has always had a secret desire to whistle without spitting.

1. Curl your tongue upward.

2. Put an index finger into each side of your mouth, with the tip of the finger resting on the bottom part of the tongue just where the curl starts.

3. Close your mouth snugly over your fingers.

4. Blow wind through the space made by your fingers and the underside of your tongue.  Think of blowing into a bottle to make a whistling sound.  This is sort of the same way you need to blow through your mouth/fingers/under the tongue.

5. It might take a little practice, but this is definitely the way to do it.  You might want to do it in the bathroom with the door closed…for two reasons.  One, it might help you to watch how you are placing your fingers in the mirror.  Two, you do look kind of dumb standing there spitting down your elbow until you get it.

6. Don’t give up.  It will work.  You will feel so triumphant when it does.  Then you will drive your dog, cat, grandchildren and husband nuts while you go around tootling off-key.

CONGRATULATIONS!!

P.S It occurred to me that You Tube might have something helpful, and, of course, it did.  Have a look at this video, remembering that I wrote the above instructions before I looked at this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCJ3pl1LLQ8

The Longest Wait

This is a poem I wrote 15 years ago during a time of poetry-writing in my life.  Some of them were not bad, some of them were not so good, but this was one of the fun ones 🙂  Just to explain one verse about being sick…when I was small I was sick with a bad cold or the flu every Christmas.  It was almost a tradition.

THE LONGEST WAIT

Wanted: Santa Claus

Image by kevin dooley via Flickr

by Sandra Bell Kirchman

The longest time I ever waited
Probably makes me seem outdated
‘Twas waiting for the day of Yule
And waiting time just seemed too cruel

It’s only 20 sleeps, she said
My mother dear who’s now long dead
You only have to wait that long
Before you hear the Yuletide gong

19, 18, 17, ack
I couldn’t wait to see that pack
Filled with toys and other things
Which made us feel like queens and kings

16, 15, oh dear lord
It’s not that I just want to hoard
It’s that it’s magical ya know
He flies the skies like driven snow

14, 13, getting close
I’m sick so pour another dose
Medicine won’t get me well
The only thing is Santa’s bell

12, 11, 10…now 9!
My cheeks a-quiver, eyes a-shine
Single digit days are great
But ohmigosh I still must wait

8 and 7, 6 and 5,
Santa knows that I’m alive
Doesn’t he, oh tell me true
That he won’t miss and sail right through?

4 and 3 and 2, oh, wow!
He’s coming any minute now
No, wait, there’s one more day to bear
But Christmastime is in the air

And now the countdown is complete
With all the presents at my feet
Childish laughter fills the house
What mem’ries as I click my mouse.

© 1996 Sandra Bell Kirchman

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my blogging friends and readers. Thanks for all your support and encouragement..

Yayy, another award!

The Versatile Blogger Award

I am so pleased to have received another award, this time from my good and brave friend, Dorky Deb.  She is actually anything but dorky.  Instead, she is a mother and wife, full of good cheer, dealing with life despite the odds stacked against her.  She is also a wonderful photographer.

This version of the award The Versatile Blogger is one I have eyed for some time.  I’d also like to congratulate my fellow award winners.  If you’re interested, you can visit Deb’s blog and find her list of current winners there.

According to the rules, I have to choose five deserving recipients for the award and publish seven unknown facts about myself.   First, the new Versatile Blogger winners I have picked:

Tinkerbelle, of Laughter is Contagious
Zoya, of Silver Mists
Tom, of FORENSICS4FICTION
Barb Taylor, of Barb’s Blog
Girl on the Contrary‘s Blog

Congratulations to you all.  You have entertained me, informed me, and/or made me laugh.  You all excel at your writing and your blogging.  Thank you.

Now for the seven things you don’t know about me:

1.  When I was in my 20s, I won $100 on a Montreal TV game show called “Little White Lie” where I told my life story to the panel, and they had to guess which part was NOT true.  They could only ask me questions answerable by yes or no.  They didn’t guess correctly and I won the money.  I was so excited.

2.  I was the first live female all-night radio broadcaster (DJ) for CHQR in Calgary when it was a middle of the road music station (MOR).  My show was from midnight to 6am; since CRTC rulings regarding music mix didn’t apply at that time, I got to pick my own music.  I loved it, although I never did get used, after three years, to sleeping during the day and working all night.

3.  My great-great-great-great-grandfather (perhaps even more greats, not sure) was an Irish king, who was hung by a rival tribe for horse thieving.

4.  I wrote my first “book” at the age of 7.  It was entitled “Angus the Ant,” was five pages long and self-illustrated.  My one big regret is that somewhere in all the moves of my life, it got lost and never found.

5.  In the ’70s, ’80s, and part of the ’90s, I toured parts of Canada and the United States as an international lecturer, speaking on inner peace and self discovery.  It was a wonderful time of learning and sharing for me.  I met hundreds of great people and probably learned as much from them as they learned from me.

6.  One of the recipes that I adapted from a recipe I received from another gal has won the hearts (and stomachs) of all the men in my life.  If I want to prepare a special meal for my husband or my son or any of my male friends, I cook Newfie Noodles.  If anyone would like the recipe, I will offer it here.  It’s an instant hit with men (women like it too, but not as crazy about it as men, who call it “shovel food”) and very easy to make.  (Edit:  Suzicate asked for the recipe.  You can see it in my reply to her below.)

7.  For a good part of my life, I wanted to be able to whistle just using my fingers, but all I ever managed to do was spit down my fingers and make a wet noisy sighing sound.  My son, with infinite patience, finally taught me how to do it, and I was so happy.  If you want to hear me do it, give me a call lol

Once Upon a Mirror Dreary

I finally made it under the wire.  This is an entry for Ken Broad’s Fictional Campfire blog.  His challenge was to write a story about an antique object that was fit for Halloween.  He requested that we try to keep it under 500 words.  I’m sorry that I didn’t accomplish that, but Priscilla told me she’d bite me if I wrote such a few  words.  I’m not ready to be … well, vampirized.  Warning:  At least three people have reported being “creeped out” by this story.  Caveat lector (Let the reader beware)! 

 

Once Upon A Mirror Dreary
© 2011 by Sandra Bell Kirchman

There was something special about it.

“You’ll scare her half to death, Jack,” Priscilla declared.

“Think so?”

“Honestly, look at yourself…with all those little bits of flesh still on the bones, hollow eyes, drooling head.

Jack Porter grimaced, as he looked down at himself.  He hadn’t thought of how he looked; he was just responding to the pull from…from her.  He struggled to stay where he was; without a real body it wasn’t easy.

“What can I do?” he asked in a hoarse voice.

As Priscilla thought, he admired how the moon shone on her head, making it look like silver.

“How about getting a mask and covering the rest of you up with a blanket of some kind,” she said after a minute.  “You could look like an Indian or something.  After all, Halloween’s in a couple of days.”

Jack groaned.  “I can’t wait that long.”

Priscilla eyed him curiously.  “Why not?  It’s just 48 hours.”

The concept of time was fading from Jack’s memory, but the urgency of the pull was real.

“I don’t know why.  I just know I have to go now.”

“Well, go ahead and scare her then, for all I care.”

“Nooo,” Jack cried.  “I can’t hurt her.  I…love her…  I think.”

“Well, it’s murder staying on this plane so you better make up your mind pretty quick.”  Priscilla stomped off down the street, her black outfit bristling with indignation.

Jack stood in the shade of the big cedar bushes and thought.  Not having brains was proving bothersome, but finally he had an idea.  Flicking a worm out of one eyehole he walked slowly after Priscilla.

“What about if we make her think today is Halloween?” he said to Priscilla, who was hungrily eyeing a drunk staggering down the street after a late night of partying.

“Nope,” Priscilla replied, licking her lips.  “With radio and TV, she won’t believe anything you tell her.  Better come up with something, Jack.  You know I have to leave before sunrise.  Say, can I drink your wife’s blood after you’re finished with her?”

Jack stared at her, his dried eyeballs nearly falling out of his head.  He rescued one and let the other go.  He couldn’t see out of them anyhow, so no use being sentimental.

“No, you certainly can’t.  I won’t let anything happen to her.”

Priscilla licked her lips hungrily.

“Well, it wouldn’t be so bad,” the vampire coaxed.  “She would be undead then and could join you.”

Jack just shook his head so vigorously that the lobe of his left ear flapped off.

Priscilla got sulky.  “I wish I’d never agreed to help you, even if I did eat your brains.  They were still fresh and you didn’t need them anymore.

Jack silently started walking towards Norma’s house.  He wasn’t sure how long after the funeral it was, but he just had to see her one more time and let her know…what?  He had forgotten what he was going for.  Then he dimly thought perhaps it wasn’t really her he had to see.  He wanted to, of course.  After all  she had been his loving wife for…well, a lot of years anyhow.  But being dead…or rather, undead, changed things, changed priorities.

“Wait,” Priscilla called.

“I have an idea,” Jack replied.  “The mirror will help.  All we have to do is get into the house without being spotted.

Jack’s frail memory still managed to get them into the house quietly enough that the sleeping Norma didn’t hear them.  Jack led the way to the little room that he and Norma had laughingly called his office.  It had actually been an ironing room and had only been big enough for an ironing board, a shelf, and a laundry basket.

“What kind of a mirror?” Priscilla asked in a whisper.

“You’ll see.  It was a present from Norma’s great-grandfather, who got it from some weird antique shop called Sahara…no…Shannara…um…Sayonara.  Well, something like that.  They say it’s over 200 years old and has…uh…certain qualities.  Ah, here it is!”

Jack held up a mirror.  About the size of a tall picture, it had a frame, beautifully carved and scrolled out of wood, which had then been artfully gilded.  Sceptically, Priscilla peered into the mirror; then uttered a little shriek, sticking her fist into her mouth to try to muffle it.

 “Ha ha, I told you it would do the trick.”

Priscilla looked pale.  ”I haven’t seen myself like that for nearly a hundred years.”  Cautiously, Jack peered around the mirror and laughed again.  It was hard to recognize the sophisticated vampire not sporting her Gap black gown and strappy Gucci shoes.  Instead, the mirror showed her as a teenager, complete with bobby socks, saddle shoes, poodle skirt and sweater set.  Her white blond hair was tied back in a pony tail, and she laughed with delight as she danced with friends.

Priscilla smiled fondly at the image.  “We drank the blood of small children back then.  Why does it show me at this time of my life?”

“It shows the best you ever looked in life or death,” he replied.  “Don’t know why, unless that antique shop sold enchanted stuff.  Or maybe Norma’s great granddad was some kind of wizard or…that kind of stuff runs in the family.”

“It does?”  Priscilla gazed nervously around her.  “That mirror what you came for?  Let’s get out of here.”

“No, no,” Jack replied.  “I want to see that Norma’s all right.  After all, it’s a full moon tonight.”

Jack wandered down the hall towards where he fuzzily remembered the master bedroom to be.

Priscilla trotted after him.  “Full moon?  What’s that got to do with any–?”

A full-throated snarl from the bedroom cut her off.

“Ah!” Jack exclaimed as a silver-grey wolf the size of a Bengal tiger erupted through the doorway.  “That’s what I had forgotten.”  He cackled gleefully as the wolf dived at the fleeing Priscilla.  It growled at the terrified vampire, then efficiently slashed her throat.  Its hungry tongue lapped greedily, as blood poured from the sliced arteries in Priscilla’s neck.  The vampire’s eyes were dull and unresponsive.

“To think I used to believe you couldn’t kill a vampire,” Jack exclaimed happily.

“We are the Werefolk,” Norma replied.  “It comes with practice.”  She smiled a toothy smile. “The mirror’s done its job, as usual.  Put it back, love, so I can properly thank you for bringing me another delicious meal.”