Showing posts with label chit chat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chit chat. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Spring Zephyrs Have Arrived

I love all the old words so much! Zephyrs and daffadowndillies, gillyflowers and galoshes, gauds and glebes a-gleaming in the spring sunshine! An old use of the word "gauds" is for the "Our Father" beads of the Rosary, which are traditionally bigger or flashier than the "Hail Mary" beads, but my Granny also used that word for her costume jewelry. And we used the word "pretties," too, for such things.

The palo verdes have put forth their leaves, perhaps unwisely, and their trunks are greening up so much they look painted. Our spring winds have begun, and bring in dust storms. It starts about noon, after a calm morning, and blows until six or seven, with gusts up to 60 mph.

Now, here's a new word for me, learned only about a decade ago: Haboob, meaning a huge dust storm that bears down on a place. We just always said, "dust storm," even though that's not really specific enough to describe a towering cloud of dust that pushes into a clear area, and turns day to night almost instantly. We did not have a haboob yet this year, just the usual dust storms.

I ran into Walmart today to get some salad for our dinner, and couldn't resist going down the Easter aisles, where I found two decorations I could not resist. I don't know why black and white so suddenly appealed to me, but now I have added them to the mantel. They were reasonable at $1.98 each for the big polka-dot egg and a three-pack of carrots. 

black and white easter decorations

The carrots were glued together, but easily broke apart. On the mantel, I also changed the usual berries in the old Mexican jug for navy blue berries. I think they will go all the way to autumn easily! Especially with many patriotic holidays before Hallowe'en. This is a sea-change for me, in terms of color. I look like death in navy blue, and always avoided it in any context. It makes my eyes look a dreadful split-pea green, like a llama's eyes right before it spits. But somehow the navy berries looked delightful!

Went to the thrift store to try to get some of the Chick Fil-A chicken they kindly donate on Saturdays, but all chicken was already gone. I did get a very large bag of their delightful biscuits, however! And I saw this cute basket for holding mail, all in tones of dusty pink, with a spray of millinery flowers on it. This is "Maiden Aunt Chic," I think. 

dusty pink old basket

I finished two more cross-stitch charts, and one is in the process of being made into yet another pinkeep. The other one is already a pinkeep. Yet I am forever looking for a pin. I finished these too late for Valentine's for this year, but maybe they will sell next year.

I rarely venture out at night, but I took this photo of our little downtown on the way back from visiting a church. It looks late, but it wasn't. Night had just fallen. I love cutting through the downtown whenever I'm out, day or night!

Rio Grande Theater in downtown Las Cruces, NM

Wishing you an early spring and fresh days as we head towards the Lenten season! 

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Roses in Winter, Deux

Today I went to the little park, where the winter roses bloom, and I gathered three roses. There were only three blooming. I also saw a sprig of rose hips, and took that as well. 

There is a new statue outside at our Cathedral, a depiction of Our Lady as she appeared at Guadalupe. I put the roses in her hands and I knelt and just had no words, except to help me be strong for my little family. I love the new statue. 

But I have been given a great gift to feel as if I am looking at the actual Blessed Mother. The Virgen de Guadalupe is the best-known apparition Mary has made in the new world, so she is especially dear to us here. On Mary's hand in the photo above, do you see a bright spark of light? Mary was in shadow, with the sun behind her. That little spark has me wondering.

And now the spark has moved...and doubled...

I can always feel Mary's eyes on me in church. She always has such a loving gaze, a balm to the heart.

The faithful have gathered the pretty berries that fell around the statue and made a ring around her feet. I love the childlike faith here. I wish everyone lived where the churches are open every day, and a Mass (or sermon) is said each and every day at each church!

I hope your week is going well and that "Hump Day" finds you safe, content, and well, and if any of those things are missing, may they quickly find their way into your life.

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Sassed by Google!

The other day, my husband and I were sitting at the big farm table he built decades ago. I have a love/hate relationship with that table: I love how I can spread out crafts, foods, and sewing on it, but I dislike how very massive it is. We have a "great room" in this current house, and it sits in there, near the kitchen. But for the usual formal dining rooms of suburban homes of the 1960s and 1970s, it is too large. 

Anyhoo, we were sitting there, and as usual my phone was near me. We were chit-chatting about something, and suddenly the Google Girl Voice boomed out something about whatever it was we were talking about. I hadn't queued it up in any way, and I don't have the Google Assistant enabled, but there it was, talking and talking. 

I told my husband, "Gee, that Google is always listening. It's like a spy."

Oh boy! Suddenly the voice, with a sound of anger, said, "We are not always listening."

I about fell off the bench. I was shocked! The voice went on, something like this (I was so shocked I could barely attend to what it was saying):

"Google Assistant is activated only when initiated...blah blah blah...we do not listen...blah blah blah...privacy something privacy privacy something....blah blah...You can open the Google Something and delete any conversation at any time."

I yelled, "You just proved you are listening!" and then I am afraid I said a lot of bad words mixed in with the Prayer of St. Michael.

And in the snippiest tones, Google Girl Voice then said, "Do you want to delete this conversation?" and I said, "YES!"

I'm pretty suspicious as a person, but having an argument with the Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) Karen Bot really shook me up. I was SASSED by an invisible robot spy!

I have also been sassed by an AI on the phone. I called an office, only to be met with a huge number of menu options. Press this, press that, and I mumbled something rude, like "What dumb-butt programmed this?" and the phone shot back, "Why, thank you!" in the most sarcastic tones.

The local university campus has a lot of actual physical "bots" that hurry to the dorms and offices from the various food and toiletries vendors on and around campus. Students and staff can order lunch, hygiene items, and so forth, and off will go a bot, rolling along with the students on the pathways, seeming almost alive! But the campus bots are friendly and polite! They don't sass anyone and they stop if you need to go in front of them!

Before Christmas I got some video and photos of them, but I'm too old to keep up with their nimble wheels. There are two in the photo below, both to the right of the pole.

I needed some time with nature after the run-in with Google! I went to church and there were so many lovely bouquets in honor of the Saints and of the Epiphany. I took photos of some lovely pale roses, and some bright mixed bouquets. I don't know if it's because of our large Hispanic population, but the parish churches just burst with flowers. There are always armfuls of roses at the base of each statue of Mary outside, too.

I hope if you are having a cold or dreary day, that these will brighten it! 

Have you ever been sassed by an Artificial Intelligence entity?

Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Get Ready for Twelfth Night

I first blogged about Twelfth Night in 2015. Here is the post, updated a bit.

Most of my little celebrations are just me and the pets. Back when my first husband was in graduate school, we had so many friends (I thought), and Twelfth Night was loads of fun, with loads of company. *sigh*

But don't let a lack of comrades stop your enjoyment of holidays or events! Enjoy them yourselves. Draw memories of good times to yourself, and enjoy. With COVID, we are having to learn new ways to celebrate.

For Twelfth Night, lay in a goodly supply of nuts to crack, especially walnuts, and make a batch of spiced cider or wassail.  If you have the money, get some little pots of ivy to place around the den, or get any houseplants, really. 

WHEN is Twelfth Night? It's the evening of January 5th, the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany on the 6th. The Epiphany marks the end of Christmas (in most churches) and is 12 days after Christmas ("the Twelfth Night"). The song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" harkens to Twelfth Night.

If you can, have a smorgasbord: Cheese, meats, crackers, boiled eggs, carrot sticks, dip, jams.

Where possible, have a fire built in your fireplace. Have it burning brightly once it's dark out. Twelfth Night is a LONG party - it goes to past midnight. If you have no fireplace, and you can SAFELY do so, have a bunch of candles lighted, preferably up high so no one is endangered. If you are having a bonfire, get it ready. If you have no access to actual fire, play one of the fireplace videos on your laptop!

During the evening, before the stroke of midnight, feed the old greenery, twigs, cinnamon sticks, etc. from Christmas into the fireplace or bonfire, while snacking and talking. If you have a bonfire, I'd suggest throwing it all on at one go, and getting back inside to get warm. If you are lucky enough to have some teens at your fest, they will probably be "firebugs" and love to keep going outside and throwing things onto the bonfire.

If you are inside and have access to the fireplace, it's fun to throw the things into the fire a bit at a time. My favorite thing to throw in is a pinecone. If I bought cinnamon cones before Christmas, I throw them, too, since the scent's gone.

If you have no access to a bonfire or hearth fire, just throw the old pine boughs and greenery out of the front door! I just have a few sprigs of juniper and yew left this year, and some berries from a nandina bush. 

Now, Twelfth Night is not for the faint of heart. It's a time for telling ghost tales and odd happenings. In olden days, so was Christmas Eve, don't you know. So let your tongue run freely as to strange sights and olde stories (I have a million such), and if the feeling moves you, tell some new tales that pop into your mind. The key is to tell tales of wondrous happenings without being gruesome or awful or non-Christian - kind of like the "Sleepy Hollow" story.

If you will be celebrating alone, as this Olde Dame must, watch an old movie or read a book of strange tales (like The Hobbit, Rip Van Winkle, or even an autobiography of long ago, such as A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska which has many strange happenings).

As midnight nears, continue to crack open the nuts and eat them, throwing the shells into the fire. Pop popcorn and salt it well for luck. Talk or think of the year ahead, and sing olde songs. Remember olde times and olde friends and don't let the fire or candles go out before midnight.

Now, remember the broom you bought a few days back? Well, get it ready. Get your OLD broom ready, too. At midnight, you are going to THROW that old broom out your back door, bristles first. That broom is now your "yard broom" and its indoor days are over. It took last year's regrets and errors with it. Out they went. Take your NEW broom and draw it thrice across the front door threshold, drawing in luck. 

If you have guests, give each a little bag or jar of salt (luck) and a bag of walnuts (representing gold nuggets) to take with them as they leave.

I often stay up most of the night, just dozing on the futon or in a recliner.

If you can't manage Twelfth Night, don't worry: CANDLEMAS is another very olde celebration. It has you taking down all decorations by February 1st, and runs much the same way as Twelfth Night, but with even more plants to be placed around in anticipation of spring.  

As you know, of course, Twelfth Night is just done in fun, and is merely a fanciful attempt to recreate some of the holidays of the very early Church.

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame  


Monday, January 3, 2022

"In the Bleak Midwinter," Some Light!

I love that song, "In the Bleak Midwinter."

Oh, it's not midwinter yet, but it can feel like it when the Christmas lights come down and all seems dark. Even though the days are getting longer, January and February can still feel gloomy, especially in climes where it is cloudy and cold.  

I am extremely sensitive to light, or rather the lack of it. But even in the sunny desert, the winter days can feel dark. So, I always have a "substitute Christmas tree" ready for when the real tree comes down. I used to have a tall birdhouse on a turned table leg, but during the last move it disappeared, and so I am using a little birdcage I have, and reusing some "rice lights" or "fairy lights" that run off a USB plug. 

It uses negligible energy so it's on all day right now. I have a glittered bird's nest in there because I cannot yet let go of all the sparkle of Christmas! At night it gives a wonderful glow.

Morgy relaxing by the new display.

I saw on another bloggie fren's post that she has electric candles in her house year 'round. I am going to try for that idea, too! I hope some of the thrift stores will have some when they reopen this coming week.
And I am already at it with Valentine's decor. Just a bit! You might recall these items from last year, too.

We had a day of rain yesterday, unusual here. And then that cold front that's sweeping across the nation came in, and when the clouds lifted, there was snow on the mountains. 

I drove hubby up to the foothills and took some photos. We couldn't get close because the road had a gate across it. It's usually open.

Driving up to the foothills caused me to miss Mass at the parish I prefer. But God had a plan; Father Alex at the big parish had a homily I really needed to hear. It was about letting yourself feel joy, feel appreciation, despite the sadness in this world. To not feel guilt when seeking out joy and beauty. It's not a seesaw, where if you have peace and joy on one side, the other side tips up and dumps more sadness on the world! Well, he said it much better than I can. He feels that any happiness you have can help you reach out to others and combat darkness. "While you are biting into a piece of cake, don't let it turn to dust in your mouth because you think of the hungry children. Enjoy the cake and think of ways to help the hungry, and do it."

Some lore:

"When snow flies, rain falls, you see a bird on the wing, or breath is visible the first 10 days of January, so too will especial fortune and hope mark the days of the coming year."

Twelfth Night is coming! I will put up my usual post about it this week, maybe tomorrow. Don't forget to buy a new corn broom, if you can! Brooms are rather prominent in a lot of old lore.

Practical lore: 

525,600 minutes in a year! How many can you spare to help others and treat yourself kindly? 

This year, if you want to do so, get an inexpensive "planner" and on each date, write the weather, and if you feel inclined, write something you thought, or that you did. You will be glad you did, at the end of next year!

FOR THE DISORGANIZED: Get a very large box, if you are a disorganized person such as I. Get one of those photocopy boxes. Into the box, throw everything you think you might need, paperwork-wise. Receipts, notes you jot down, mail that you received. Keep it all in that box, if it has no other designated place. I used to have to dig through it constantly, but now my skills have improved and I am just comforted by it and don't often have to go rustling through it for something important. The box idea has helped a lot of young folks out on their own for the first time.

Thank'ee for stopping by! Do you know any New Year lore? What's on your mind today?

Kind regards,
Holly, The Olde Dame

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Step Right Up, Step Right Through

2022 in just a few days. Impossible!

Oh, do you remember that television special, Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella, introducing Leslie Ann Warren? As a child, I would wait for it every year! I loved the song, "Impossible/It's Possible" especially! As a college student, I would see the Prince again, this time as spoiled and sneaky Alan Quartermaine in General Hospital! Impossible that it's over 40 years ago!

You can watch it free on YouTube, with ads! It's possible! Here's the link: Cinderella 1965 Musical 

Impossible that 2022 is here. And yet, it's possible that perhaps 2022 will see the end of this COVID and a turning to the light from what I feel has been a dark two-plus years.

These gates and doors in the old Village of Mesilla remind me that the door is opening to a fresh year! I think mankind enjoys the idea of a "clean slate" very much. And 2022 is a clean slate for one and all. 

 It is so sweet, how people paint on their homes in Mesilla and many places in the Southwest. In Tucson, many people painted designs on their windows, too.

And of course, doors remind me of a favorite Bible verse, Revelation 3:20: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Bloggie frens, have a wonderful Wednesday and every day!

Kind regards,

Holly, the Olde Dame

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"Christmas" Lunch at La Posta Restaurant

I have been wanting to see inside the "famous" La Posta restaurant next door in the tiny village of Mesilla since they decorated for Christmas. They decorate in a big way for Christmas, and have many themed rooms inside the 1840s adobe building that once served as a stagecoach stop. So that was my Christmas present to myself!

The food was secondary to the setting! We were very lucky and were seated in a prime spot for seeing into some of the other areas, including a room with lava-rock walls. 

But first Santa welcomed us in. 

Santa at La Posta restaurant

And he whispered that we shouldn't be afraid of Pepe, the resident piranha, because he's just a little toothless viejo (old man) now!

Pepe, the resident piranha of La Posta restaurant

There was so much to see that I lagged a bit and was slowing down the staff. So I had to hurry and get seated. I was trying to get a good photo of a colorful Nativity scene.

Mexican wood cutout nativity scene las cruces

It's a very popular place, especially at Christmas, when many people bring their out-of-town friends for a meal. The food is not very spicy, so non-New Mexicans can enjoy it, too. 

The old vinyl tablecloths are so bright and pretty. Each table has a different cloth.

There was what I call a "títere tree" there ("TEE-tah-rah") -- a tree with many vintage "títeres" (puppets) on it, along with sombreros and woven garlands. Very bright and cheerful but I just noticed that Pancho Villa has a gun in his wee hand...

The food came very quickly. My husband ate better than I have seen him eat in several months! That was a blessing! My food was lousy, and I am glad, because it was all off-limits items for diabetics except for some vinegar slaw.

Mexican flag metal wall sconce Las Cruces

I was just on Cloud Nine the whole time. So many strange and pretty sights! I love decorations.

We must find happiness where we can. Sometimes we have to look a bit harder for it, too. But even in the midst of troubles or sadness, we can find some peace and joy. And most of all, we can have hope! What a gift God has given us, to put hope in the human heart!

I know most of my bloggie frens are having lovely times with family right now, and I am so glad for each of you! I do not mean to bring anyone down during happy holiday times. I think most are not even on the blogs right now, as they are active with their loved ones. Good!

But for those like me who may not have any loving family left, or who have seen friends dwindle away as the years have passed, or who have tribulations or health problems themselves or worse, their loved ones do, please know that I understand, am there with you, and am praying each day for happiness and peace in the world! And don't forget, whatever your religion or non-religion -- the angels and Saints are all around you! The veil is very thin during this time of year! Christmas magic is real, it is a glimpse from Heaven, in my opinion, and I hope it puts heart into you. There is always next year, too! 

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Bright and Beautiful Wanderings

Greetings, dear bloggie frens. I am continuing to run so far behind in visiting blogs! We had a pet emergency, in that my little half-feral was evidently bitten by a rat right on his face, and has had surgery but isn't recovering quickly. We know it was a rat, because Morgy fought it, and won, right on the back patio! A Pyrrhic victory, perhaps.

Poor Morgie, or Morgy as the vet has re-spelled it (!), is wanting to be held for hours, and I am glad to do it, as he never liked being held before. But not a lot gets done when you are holding a sleeping kitty. And my knee is acting very silly lately!

I am shocked, but not really, at Hobby Lobby: They have consolidated what's left of Christmas onto two aisles, and have Valentine's and a bit of Easter up! The Christmas items must have sold in record numbers this year. I tried, but couldn't find, any boxes of unbreakable ornaments and lights after the first of December. I did get some adorable retro plastic deer, 90% off because they were missing something from their heads. Here are two of them, along with some marzipan:

marzipan and mid century modern deer

Frens, don't forget, you can always ask for a discount at stores, including Big Box stores! I wanted 90% off those deer, not the 50% they already were, but the cashiers are usually limited to 10 or 20 percent off, so just ask for the "manager on duty" and see if they'll bite! You know who asks for discounts all the time? Wealthy people! That's where I learned it.

An aside: Have you ever made a big pot of soup and have it not turn out very tasty? I am now stuck with eating a yucky, but healthy, soup for the next three days! I need to stick with a recipe. I think the cauliflower fought with the other flavors.

I'll leave you, dear bloggers, with some photos of my travels home from church. I love the lights of Christmas! Sorry if I repeat any from before.

Leaving San Albino Basilica after Mass...
san albino at christmas
(Yes, I got that piece of trash up!)

Side view of a house near Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral:
las cruces christmas near IHM cathedral 2021

This house was full of music and inflatables: A labor of love for the children of Las Cruces, found out on a county road. All are welcome to wander the grounds, so I did:

A pretty house in the part of town known as Mesilla Park. I love it when people light up their palm trees:

And here is a reminder that be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. See the doggie on the back porch? He was so smart and good! Home is where the heart is! 

Hoping your season is going well!

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Free "Merry Mix" Printable Tags, Attack of the Age Spots, and A Rosary Rescue

December Greetings, dearies! 

Here are some free downloadable tags, safely saved on a Google Drive. Use this LINK <---- instead of saving the image, as Blogger shrinks the big files and they won't print nicely. I call it "Merry Mix" because it has a smorgasbord [Smörgåsbord] of vintage images.


free printable diy christmas tags download

Oh boy, last year I posted about the movie White Christmas, which I dearly love, PARTICULARLY the smorgasbord scene in the middle of the night, when Bing and Rosemary went to the big den area and were enjoying the snacks that were always available. 

It reminds me so much of a lodge I stayed at one night at the Grand Canyon. It had a huge fire, 24/7, and a smorgasbord all night long. I just walked around and snoozed in the den the entire night! It was forty years ago, and I mention it in the blog and in person entirely too much! It was just magical, that's why. One of the best nights of my life! What can I say, my life is pretty lowkey!

In the movie, Bing and Rosemary sang the pretty duet, "Count Your Blessings." Oh yes, that's a good song to memorize and sing to yourself! I like to be real, not have a Pollyanna attitude, but having an appreciation for what you do have can be so important. I wanted to just cry yesterday, I was feeling so blue about not getting that job and in so much pain when I walked. And then I thought, "My gosh, but I can still WALK! I can WALK, what a gift!" and it gave me strength and off to Walmart I went for some needed groceries! Mainly, chicken tenders to bake for the silly dogs! They love their chicken.

When I was throwing my purse into the back seat of the car, I looked down and there on the driveway was a single-decade Rosary I have been missing for weeks. Right on the concrete, with tire tread marks going over it, and broken glass beads around it and crushed pinecones all around!

I had parked back a-ways on the driveway, unusual for me. I don't think I would have found the Rosary had I not been parked so far back. I must have dropped it. I don't make "bracelet" Rosaries although they are popular. I think that a Rosary ought to be firmly in hand or nestling in a pocket, not put around a wrist and forgotten! But the danger in that is not being aware enough! 

I set out to repair the Rosary. Amazingly, both the Holy Medal and the Crucifix were intact, although the tire had clearly rolled right over them. It was just a matter of replacing some of the beads and doing a bit of straightening!

broken Rosary before repair

Two beads are missing, and five more are cracked


repaired Rosary, Czech druks and garnet

Repaired! Under the medal is the Glory Bee charm I put on all my personal Rosaries.

At night, with the execrable Hallmark movies playing (yes, some I LOVE, some make me just CRINGE), I am making lots of Rosaries. I'm putting them at the churches with a note in Spanish and in English, and I do not let myself hang around to see people react to them, because that would undo the good of giving, I feel. But they are gone quickly. 

I am "repairing" something else, too! What price vanity?! I am attempting to remove some "age spots" from my hands and face. Dear friends, do not try this at home! It involves wart remover. I use the chemical one, not the freeze one. I have done it before, and removed some really big age spots, or liver spots as my mother called them, on my face that the dermatologist didn't remove despite using a laser. But being a desert rat for so long, they are on me a-plenty. The ones on the hands don't seem to be doing as well as the face ones. This is my first try on hands and arms.

Age spot liver spot removal at home with wart remover

The chemical is applied and drying in this photo...Ow!

I've taken some before and during photos, and I'll show the "after" photos when the process is over! Usually, I don't like wearing a face mask, but for now, I am happy to wear one and I pull it up to my eyes! And I have those fingerless mittens on when I go out! It looks pretty bad right now!

It is going to be so busy at church! So much going on!  Tonight, a Vigil Mass because tomorrow is The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

If you get a chance, please share what you're doing in the evenings! I'm always curious!

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame