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Thursday Thirteen #11 — Classic Christmas Books

Posted by infinitygoods on December 19, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen! You might also be interested in yesterday’s post for Works For Me Wednesday which is also a list of thirteen Christmas ideas. Happy Thursday Thirteen!! And wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

  1. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore
  2. Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  3. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
  4. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  6. The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffman
  7. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
  8. Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien
  9. Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury
  10. Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
  11. Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  12. Rudolph: The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May
  13. Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus by Francis Pharcellus Church

If you are interested in Christmas Ideas or Household Tips, just click below.

  • Reusing Christmas Cards
  • Where’s Santa?
  • Magic Reindeer Food
  • Advent Calendar Chain — Easy Children’s Craft
  • Every Cookie Recipe Imaginable
  • Favorite Christmas Movies
  • Using an Advent Wreath as a Devotional Tool
  • Write a Santa Letter to Your Children
  • Holiday Shopping List
  • Holiday Decorating Tips and Ideas
  • HOUSEHOLD TIPS
  • Ten Minute Recipe
  • Egg Tip
  • Bookcases at the Breaking Point?
  • Organizing Household Binder
  • Trading Card Storage
  • Freezer Solution
  • Large desk calendar inside guest closet
  • Child’s haircut without tears
  • Homemade bread stuffing
  • Plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder
  • Reuse plastic grocery bags in the car
  • How to increase Web site traffic?
  • 16 Blog/Web site tips
  • Toy storage
  • Every Cookie Recipe Imaginable
  • Black Friday Holiday Shopping
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    Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, carnival, Children, children's stories, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, fairy tale, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Noel, novel, publishing, reading, Recycle, Reuse, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

    Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 3

    Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007

    This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.

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    Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

    Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

    Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

    15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!

    16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.

    17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.

    18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.

    19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.

    20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.

    21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.

    22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.

    23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.

    24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.

    And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!

    25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.

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    Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Childhood Memories, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, kill god, life, Memories, Music, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, religion, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Tradition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Daylight Saving Time: Don’t Blame it on Benjamin Franklin

    Posted by infinitygoods on November 4, 2007

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    Did you remember to change your clocks? If you are a U.S. resident in any state other than Arizona and Hawaii, it’s time to fall back 1 hour because of somebody’s stupid idea of daylight-saving time.

    I already can hear some of you telling me it was Benjamin Franklin’s idea, one of our Founding Fathers and one of history’s greatest men.

    And I answer, not true.

    Ben Franklin wrote an anonymous spoof, a satire, a parody, a travesty for the entertainment of the editors of the Journal de Paris and mutual high-society, party-going Parisian friends in 1784.

    He had them rolling on the floor laughing when he wrote things like Paris should put guards at every candle shop to prevent Parisians from buying too many candles.

    “Let the same salutary operation of police be made use of, … that is, let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.”

    Remember too that Paris is and was in those days too, the City of Lights. There are more lights in Paris on any given day than there are in most U.S. cities during the Christmas season.

    They kept right on laughing when Franklin told them Paris should tax one gold Louis coin for each window blocking the sun’s light.

    “Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.”

    Their eyes must have teared up by so much laughter when the great scientist and inventor wrote that he had just discovered that the sun rose as early as 6 a.m. and not only does it rise that early, but it also gives off light that early. He even consulted his almanac to verify the truth of this concept. Of course you do remember that Franklin himself wrote that almanac under the pseudonym Richard Saunders (Poor Richard).

    “I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but six o’clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward, too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o’clock. Your readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanac, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this. I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.”

    The muscles in their faces must have ached from so much laughter and you can read for yourself the entire article in English if you still believe the hogwash we are fed by politicians each year.

    Here’s the link, http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin3.html

    Ben Franklin was much too smart to seriously want the entire country and the world to go through the stupidity of changing clocks one hour twice a year.

    Daylight Saving Time is a nuisance at best and a public danger since traffic accident rates rise sharply each time we are forced by governments to fiddle with our clocks.

    Don’t blame Benjamin Franklin for Daylight Saving Time. He laughed at the idea.

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    • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
    • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

    Posted in America, American History, blog, blogging, culture, Early American History, Friendship, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, politics, reading, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    You Can’t Trust Anybody These Days!

    Posted by infinitygoods on October 12, 2007

    As I turned on the TV news today, I was bombarded with recall after recall. On the headlines: infant cold and cough medicine with even the big names like Tylenol, more pot pies, more toys including Mattel again, baby strollers, carriers, etc. with Winnie the Pooh and made in Korea, lipsticks including name brands like L’Oreal and Dior with the prestige of Paris, but actually subcontracted just like Mattel, and the list went on too.

    So what’s happening here? Are the government agencies more stringent than they have been in the past and these recalls would have been under the radar until now? Have companies gone insane and they are trying to kill consumers, the very hand that feeds them? Have some evil forces or the 9/11 Terrorists infiltrated even our formerly most trusted name brands in an attempt to kill even our youngest and our psyches? Are Communist countries like China behind it all?

    None of it makes sense, but one thing is sure, the enemy, whoever it may be, is lurking behind every product these days.

    Forget name brand loyalty. Forget Tylenol, Mattel, Dior. Spending more won’t be a guarantee of getting a decent product, let alone quality.

    Forget saving money at the local dollar store or discount outlet. You’ll surely be putting your life at stake with just about every product there being made in China.

    As my grandmother used to say, “we don’t know what to eat and drink anymore.” And what was true then, is mind boggling now. And now add “we don’t know what to breathe anymore” too, because even the smell of popcorn is killing us. (See my related blog post.)

    It’s no solution for those of us living in cities, but if things don’t get better soon, at this rate, I foresee having to grow our own food, make our own toys, revert back to milk paint, feed our pets people food — actually with our own dog having been killed by the last pet food recall, we’re ALREADY doing that!

    It’s a scary world out there. Self-sufficiency is starting to look good not just to wackos, but to the rest of us too. Horse and buggy here we come!

    Posted in 9/11, America, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Car, cars, consumers, Cooking, culture, diet, Family, FDA, Food, Food and Drug Administration, food flavoring, food products, government agencies, Health, Home, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Iraq, Islam, man-made chemicals, manufacturers, Medicine, News, OSHA, politics, popcorn, popcorn lung, terrorism, Toys, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, war on terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Infinity Goods Receives Positive Review, Reviews Sites

    Posted by infinitygoods on October 8, 2007

    Infinity Goods has received a positive review from <a href=”www.foodthatheal.info”>foodthatheal.info</a> for my post “Adventures In Barbecuing. ” You can see the comment advising me of it below my post of October 4, 2007. Foodthatheal has great reviews of blog posts about food.

    In checking out foodthatheal’s website, I discovered another blog recommended by foodthatheal . It’s another great new WordPress site at <a href=”www.frugallawstudent.com”>frugallawstudent.com</a>. It is full of tips, ideas and advise on saving money and not incurring further debt. I think my <a href=”http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/”>Works For Me Wednesday</a> (WFMW) readers would be very interested in that site too, so try it out.

    And y’all don’t forget to come back to <a href=”www.infinitygoods.com”>infinitygoods.com</a>, ya hear?

    In the meantime, wishing you a HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY!!

    Posted in Barbecue, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Cooking, Family, Food, food products, Home, Household Tip, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, News, Rocks In My Dryer, WFMW, WordPress, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Adventures in Barbecuing

    Posted by infinitygoods on October 4, 2007

    We were supposed to meet at 12:30 pm to go to the park for a leisurely barbecue, but I got held up at the store by a shopping mob and in the streets by heavy traffic, a broken down green pickup from the ’60s too heavy for three men to push through the intersection faster than a slug’s pace, and even a detour through the beaten-up path of a road construction crew.

    Result? Our son and I were an entire hour late. Yikes! It’s a good thing it was an old friend. We’ve known each other about 15 years, so we were forgiven. Good thing it wasn’t a Monday too. At least we didn’t have Murphy’s Law to worry about.

    So after exchanging hellos and hugs with our friend and her adult daughter who is about my age, we start loading the cars with the barbecue supplies, the chihuahua and a spiffy new blue cube-shaped cooler on wheels, when we realize the cooler doesn’t fit in the trunk. It would fit in the back seat if only the door was wider.

    We need to lift it high so it can go through the top portion of the door where the opening has a few millimeters of clearance. My muscles, having always been complete wimps, exclaim out loud for me, “I can’t lift that! I can try helping you,” but my brain takes over the millisecond my fingers touch the cooler and sends the mental message to those silly muscles, “Who are you kidding? Ppplleeeaasse, not even in your dreams!!”

    Then the daughter teleports that cooler right into the back seat like a breath on a feather. “Well! That’s taken care of,” I sigh to myself in relief.

    So off to the nearest park we go — in two cars because the cooler takes up the space of one person. Our son rides with our friend, and I follow her car with her daughter riding shotgun in case I need directions, because I have no idea where we are going.

    Just a few blocks later we arrive at a beautiful park with a lush lawn, shade trees, clean tables and hardly anyone in sight. The park is practically all ours. When what do we discover? What is the No. 1 thing we need for a barbecue? That’s right! There were no barbecues at this park. So back in the cars we go. The chihuahua tugs at the leash as she’s not ready to leave. Did we just get here? She looks at us, determined this is going to be her day at the park. She gives in, but not without a bark, “You people are loco! Loco, I tell you!”

    Only a block later we are at an even prettier park, with a pond with resident ducks and geese and a golf course as a backdrop. Our son is excited to see so many beautiful birds. And look, there’s even fishing! What have those kids caught? They look like they’re struggling with it. It must be a good catch … of duck?! … Catch by the webbed foot and release! The duck flies away. We move on. We drive through the entire parking lot in search of that all-important barbecue. We strike out a second time.

    After a short discussion we decide to go to the same park we went to for the Fourth of July. At least we’re positive there’s what we’re looking for there.

    We send our son running to reserve a table and barbecue, although by now it’s about 2:30 p.m. and I figure everybody has already eaten. My stomach is growling. We’re even sitting at the same table we sat at on Independence Day.

    And so, what do you do when you find yourself at the park with two other women and a child, ready to barbecue, but the person in charge of bringing the starter fluid left it at home?

    Well, my stomach growls in a wild panic, and three women and a child go on a hunt for anything that burns. How about the paper napkins? They’re hiding out with the starter fluid! The daughter hunts down a few bits of paper and a paper sack. It burns well, but not long enough to start the charcoal. We’re back to square one. We gather leaves and small twigs, when the October wind starts picking up. The four of us huddle over the barbecue, but the lighter and the few mini-flames we get are immediately blown out.

    By now we must look so comical that an old woman who was sitting a few tables away with her husband comes over to lend assistance. She too gathers brown leaves, twigs and huddles over to block the wind. Nothing works. Four women and a child cannot get a fire going.

    Now a fifth woman comes over to lend encouragement and make conversation. She talks to us about her two terriers and our friend’s chihuahua. The dogs introduce themselves the way dogs always do. She tells us it’s good the chihuahua is on a leash, but our terrier should be too or the park rangers will stop us.

    All fire building attempts stop. Our terrier? Isn’t he her terrier? The one on the leash is, but the friendly white one is ours, she claims. Well, he’s very cute, but where’s his owner? He has tags and a collar, so we figure the owner must be close by and return to our fire building attempts.

    The fourth woman’s husband joins us and gathers more leaves and twigs. I go to my purse and rustle up some old unneeded receipts from my wallet and my last kleenex. By the table I find some dried redwood tips and add those to the fire too. The kleenex and the redwood really burn well, which gets the older man thinking. They used to use pine needles back in the days when he was a Boy Scout!

    So four women, a child and a man are now in search of redwood tips. The wind is still blowing. The child never had more fun in his life. My stomach is snarling like a rabid wolf when our friend’s daughter notices that the friendly white terrier is searching for food. In unison, we all agree he’s hungry, and our friend checks his tags and calls the number while we continue our attempts to defy the wind.

    Our friend finds out the little dog is a rescue dog. Apparently he escaped. They are sending someone to get him, so the well-behaved chihuahua loans her leash to Little Houdini.

    The fire is roaring, the very kind and helpful senior citizens leave, and up run a woman and three children in tears, demanding to get their dog back. At first, they think we are stealing their dog. Our friend calms them down by telling them she has already called the rescue place and calls again.

    Fears are calmed, emotions are soothed and the children hug their dog and the chihuahua. The woman tells us they just rescued the terrier last week. She was going to get him a tag with her phone number on Friday but decided against it. They left him in the backyard adjacent to the park and went out. Upon their return, Houdini had vanished. The woman talks and talks. She sounds like she had a real scare. It’s only been a week, but the entire family is already very attached to the friendly Houdini.

    As I check on the fire and the food, our friend calls out, “Does that barbecue turn?” Those things swivel? Sure enough, they do. We should have done that earlier when the wind was blowing.

    Finally our food is ready, the woman, the three children and the dog leave and we eat, we talk, we have fun. The rest of the afternoon and early evening are fun and comfortingly uneventful, but when we pack up for home we all remark that the best parts of the day were our adventures in barbecuing.

    You would think this is fiction, but no, no, you can’t make up stuff this good, as they say. Nope, this ladies and gentlemen, is my life!

    Posted in Children, Family, humor, life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »