The Calm After Christmas

I always love the week after Christmas. Feeling stuffed and exhausted from the holiday but grateful for all we have. Kids playing with all their new toys. Daddy and children home from work and school. Mommy relaxing in her new PJ’s. Making time to visit friends and family. Eating leftovers. A quiet house. A feeling of serenity and peace throughout the air. Even the dog knows it’s true. It’s like the calm after the storm.

copyright 2011; danadogooder and DMT

 

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We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry  Christmas!

And a Happy New Year!

Geez, Is it Christmas yet?????????????????

copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT

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Will it be a Charlie Brown Christmas this year?

Last year I came home to this tree and sign on the lawn. Was my husband giving me a hint? Were things getting so bad that we’d have to have a Charlie Brown Christmas? Well it didn’t turn out that way but it was certainly more stressful getting the Christmas shopping done. Who wants to disappoint the kids? In my house we understand Christmas is not about getting gifts but you have to admit getting gifts is fun, especially if you are a kid.
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I always start my Christmas shopping by summer. Spread out the money I’m spending so it doesn’t always hit at once. However, sometimes I think to myself I may end up spending more because I’ll have everything done and as the holidays approach I see all these other things here and there that I just have to buy. But as times get tougher and because I don’t want to skimp on Christmas I find myself trying to skimp on the grocery bill in order to be able to buy gifts. Eat more pasta, Buy a Christmas Gift…
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I know here in the United States Christmas is a big deal compared to other countries with all the gift giving we do. And while we are busy shopping and unwrapping gifts I think back to being told, “There are people starving in Africa.” But I can’t help to think this year while my husband and I are feeling the strains of the economy and thinking this is another “Charlie Brown Christmas” as compared to the “Good Ole Times” how many others aren’t as blessed as us as I look around and see that not only people are starving in Africa but people are starving right here in the United States.
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copyrighted 2011; danadogooder and DMT
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Do animals speak different languages and dialects?

So my best friend Michaela lives in Switzerland. Yes, born and raised there. She comes to visit me every summer and one time she even came for Christmas. We can have the strangest conversations at times. Did I also mention she majored in Linguistics and is an English teacher over there? So while on the topic of speaking about language and linguistics one day we got into a conversation and she said the animals in Switzerland speak a different language too.
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For example our dogs here in the United States say, Woof, Woof! But in Switzerland the dog says, Wow, Wow! Hmmm, is he or she amazed? Has he just seen a hot bitch (female dog), Wowwwww…..
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Here in the United States the frog says, Ribbit, Ribbit while apparently their frog says, Quawck. Sounds more  like a sick duck then a frog to me!!!
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Then the rooster here in the states says, Cockadoodle doo but in Switzerland he says,  Ki-Kiri-Keeee! I’m clueless on this one.
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So yesterday in the middle of multi-tasking; homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, and decorating for Christmas these thoughts pop into my mind from a conversation I had with Michaela probably at least two years ago. (Do I have ADHD like my husband and eldest son?) I randomly thought, “Do animals speak different languages and dialects?” Like I really have time to be thinking about these things when I have so much to do for the holidays but I needed to know if it is true….  I go to my computer to start my research….
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The answer is, Yes it’s true!!!  All animals from different regions share a call system, but that call system shows distinct accents depending on where the animals is raised.
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This has been most notably studied in primates (Seyfarth & Cheney) and bottlenosed dolphins (Reiss & McGowan) and has been extremely well documented in many avian species (Mahler, Mundinger, 1982; Adret, 1986; Sorjonen 1987).

Further research by McGowan has shown this phenomenon seems to be true of most animals species.
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In fact whale species have been found to have different dialects based on location.

Marine biologist Peter Tyack  states “We actually know that killer whales do use dialects. We don’t know what the sounds mean, but each killer whale family has its own set of calls, like a dialect in human language!”

So now that I know how to speak “Rooster” when I visit Switzerland it is back to decorating for Christmas and getting all the things done I need to do. I wonder what will pop in my mind today…………….
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copyrighted 2011; danadogooder and DMT
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40’s eyes

Age takes a toll on your body, and your eyes are no exception. This year at age 44 I went from crystal clear vision to feeling like I am blind as a bat when trying to read ingredients on a bottle or see the incoming caller on my cellular phone. Matter of fact at the last get together with some of my longest friends (since elementary school) we discovered that we all needed reading glasses.
( My elementary school friends and I all pose for a picture looking stylish.)
Then this past weekend I realized I should have brought a pair of reading glasses down by the pool when I went to go time for the swim meet and had to read the stopwatch. In any event I’m glad my eyes have lasted this long as many of my friends were already using reading glasses for awhile.  I was one of the last ones to cave in and buy a pair. Not being able to see can also be quite annoying at times. And to add to the matter the discussion between moms my age and slightly older this weekend was perimenopausal symptoms. Well I may be getting old but my heart is still young and fun…..
copyrighted 2011; dandogooder and DMT
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Two Time Hair Donors

On Friday March 19, 2010 three brothers, Anthony Age 14, Victor Age 10, and Nicolas Age 7 each donated 10 inches of hair which they had been growing for the past three years to donate to Locks Of Love. Locks of Love who provides hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children under the age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. 
 

The boys had their hair put into pigtails and it was then measured. They each had approximately 14 inches and decided to snip off 10 inches each.

 


What did the boy’s think of their new haircuts? They loved them, the stylist did a fabulous job and the boys all left smiling. Not only did they feel good about doing such a great deed but they actually walked out immediately loving their new hairstyles. They also planned a surpise sneak attack on their family who were unsuspecting and coming over for dinner that Sunday.

While it’s more common to hear about girls growing their hair long, it is far more seldom to see a boy donating his hair, never mind three brother’s. 
And while mostly everyone enjoyed their rock and roll hair for the past three years a few times their long locks attracted a few snide comments. However, they were able to endure the occasional negative comments and were proud to all be all donator’s to the Locks of Love Program.

(Flashback to their Rock and Roll Hair)
About Locks of LoveLocks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. It meets a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.The organization’s mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need. For more information on the organization, go to locksoflove.org.

Again on Wednesday December 7, 2011 the boys once again showed up to donate their hair but this time decided they would donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.Pantene Beautiful Lengths uses real hair to make wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. Pantene created Beautiful Lengths because healthy hair means a lot to us, and the appearance of healthy hair means so much to women battling cancer. They want to be there for women when looking and feeling healthy is so important to them. As one breast cancer survivor put it, “It was very hard when my hair started falling out. It was coming out in chunks. It really takes away who you are when you look in the mirror.”Many of the women we help say that putting on a wig makes them feel like themselves again. When you donate your hair to the cause, you’re helping make that happen. And the boys gift was just in time for the Christmas season. While Victor age 11 and Nicolas age 8 now were able to make the hair donation sadly their older brother Anthony’s hair was two inches too short  because he had to have a trim in the past year due to the swim season. Hopefully, next time because someone would have loved to have this thick curly hair and yes we had to let his gorgeous hair just hit the floor!

In any event for more information on the Pantene Beautiful Length’s program, go to: http://www.pantene.com/en-US/beautiful-lengths-refresh/Pages/about-beautiful-lengths.aspxPerhaps you’ll consider donating?

Copyrighted 2011; danadogooder and DMT
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Thanksgiving Craft for kids

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It’s almost Thanksgiving  so I decided to post a craft that I made for my children and their classmates that was a big hit.

You’ll need:

different colored crayons

toothpicks

styrofoam balls (1 mid size ball for body and one 1 smaller ball for head)

wiggly eyes

red pipe cleaners

and a Hot Glue Gun

Secure the smaller styrofoam ball to the larger one using toothpicks.

Top smaller styrofoam ball:

Hot glue wiggly eyes on the smaller ball on top. Cut red pipe cleaner into smaller pieces and use one to stick in the styrofoam head as a beak and the other  under the chin to make a gobbler.

Bottom styrofoam ball:

Place 4 or 5 different colored crayons into the top rear of the larger styrofoam ball to make tail feathers. Evenly distribute the weight of the crayons so you don’t tip the turkey.

The children were very thankful for this turkey and they continued to use them on their desks to hold crayons and pencils even after Thanksgiving had passed.

Hope they are a big hit for you too if you decide to make them and Happy Thanksgiving!

copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT

 

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