Yuletide Visitors

Last evening, Sylvia and I had a couple of visitors.  It was our neighbors, Curt and Meghan.  It has become a tradition to visit with them and swap some Christmas treats.  (FWIW, Meghan makes a supper yummy banana bread. :food: )

Neighbor Meghan, but where's Curt?

Neighbor Meghan, but where’s Curt?

In addition to their dogs, they also have cats. Then there’s the goats, sheep and the llama.

I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of Curt.  He’s a great guy–a computer genius, competitive sport car driver and hobby farmer among his many talents.

They also brought a gift for Nellie.  It was perfect–just the thing for our kitty.


Nellie stalks the mousie

Kitty went crazy over the little toy mouse.  She stalked.  She pounced.  She batted.  She held and clawed.  She chewed.  She swatted.  She stalked again, etc.

So we all say thanks Curt and Thanks Meghan. :tiphat:   Merry Christmas.

My Question

I’ve been thinking lately about how unaware we can be about so many things. It brings to mind a question.

 While we sleep,
Do angels weep,
As innocents bleed,
upon the idol’s altar?

I am particularly grateful for those who are awake at night so that we may sleep in peace and awaken to the same.


Shepherds visit the new-born Baby

Shepherds visit the new-born Baby

This is the Christmas reenactment scene on our mantel.  It will stay there until mid morning on December 25.

After the shepherds have left, the scene will change.  The baby is replaced with a young child.  The angel is no longer in the sky above.  A large star is suspended above the scene.  Magi, bearing gifts, are now paying homage.

This scene will remain in place through January 6 (Epiphany aka Three-Kings Day).  After that we pack the figures and put them in storage for another year.

Stop by 4 a Byte



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Big Question

Santa & Mrs Claus

Santa & Mrs Claus

Mrs Claus is seen more these days than in the days of my youth.  (aka the dark ages)  And since I’ve been seeing her image more often, I find myself left with “the big question.”

The question is not, “How did they meet?”  Nor is it, “When did they marry?”  It is not, “Do they have children?”  However, that last question is getting very close to the big question.

“What is it?” you ask.  Simply this, “If they do have children would they be considered, for income tax purposes, to be dependent Clauses?”

What do you think?


I recently read the following in the online edition of the Washington Examiner.

The Internet is revolutionizing news consumption, with more than seven in 10 telling Pew Research Center that they are better informed than they were five years ago because of the news websites they visit daily.

In Pew’s latest survey of Internet use, 75 percent said they are “better informed” about national news, and a near equal 74 percent on international news.

Just as importantly, 72 percent said that having so much information at their fingertips was a good thing and didn’t make them feel overloaded.

I’m with the majority on this one.  Most of my adult life I relied on radio or TV for news.  Newspapers and magazines also played a role, but served mostly as a source of paper to recycle.

A couple of years ago, I made the break.  I stopped listening to broadcast news, and I’m glad I did.  Now I use a few news sources and a couple of news aggregators to scan headlines and quick summaries of stories.  I click on links to stories that are of interest, and only the ones that are of interest.  No longer does an unnamed producer determine what news I’m informed of and to what level.

Long live the Web!  ¡Viva la telerana mundial!

Coming Up

Briana receives the BSN degree from GVSU president Haas.

Briana receives the BSN degree from GVSU president Haas. (photo by Barbara — aka Mom)

Yesterday, I told you about the start of Briana’s busy weekend.  That story ended on Saturday evening with Sylvia and I headed toward home as Briana and her parental units enjoyed some much needed rest.

Briana had told us that after church on Sunday she would begin studying for the RN licensing exam crash course that would start on Monday.  She’ll be taking the exam soon.  After that?  I’ll let Briana tell you in her own words, which she wrote just before graduation weekend.

I am so blessed to have family and friends who support and encourage me in everything I do! I wouldn’t be me without you! Excited to graduate tomorrow and start a new journey.

P.S. I am happy to share I’m moving to Madison, WI for a big girl job at the university hospital in February. I will be on an adult general medical and progressive unit through their RN Residency program.

So if you see me with a big ole grin on my face, that’s the “I’m Happy & Life is Good” look.

Her Busy Weekend

Briana is now an alumna of Grand Valley State University.  On Friday evening, the Honors College had its ceremony.  Briana, and the other grads, received a stole, a medallion and a pin to honor their graduation from the Honors College.

Saturday morning, was the university wide graduation ceremony.  This was held in the huge arena in downtown Grand Rapids.  There was some talk that Briana graduated last in her class, because she was the last student to walk out on the stage for recognition and presentation of the BS in Nursing degree.  You know that’s not true if you read the previous paragraph.  (Her Uncle Scott said, “They just saved the best for last.”)

Saturday afternoon, the Kirkhof College of Nursing of GVSU, held its recognition ceremony.  Sylvia and I were there for that one.  The venue was the Performing Arts Center (auditorium) at East Kentwood High School.  We had no trouble finding our way there.  The auditorium is in the same building and directly across from the pool where we had watched Briana and the team play water polo.

Dean, Cynthia McCurren, PhD, had some excellent words of encouragement.  There was no “main speaker.”  The students had opted to share their reflections with us.  That was excellent as the student’s short essays dealt with the full range of human experience from humorous to heart-rending.  Briana told about climbing a mountain in Ghana to visit a family that had never received professional medical attention–ever.

Degree recipients were individually recognized by name  as the presenter read their words to their friends and family.  Seven persons received Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.  Three had earned MSN degree and about 86 received BSN degrees.  Several of the degree recipients have already done some excellent work.

Briana has her moment on stage

Briana has her moment on stage

Briana was not last this time.  They were called alphabetically by surname.

There was an informal reception in the huge entry area after the official proceedings were concluded.  I saw a lot of love between faculty and students through it all.

Afterward, we adjourned to the home of Briana and her parents for more family time.

Bryant, Briana and Barbara

Bryant, Briana and Barbara

Briana had a white stole, medallion (hangs on a white ribbon) and pin (next to the white ribbon) from the Honors College.  The blue and white cord is from the Student Nurse’s Association.  The red, yellow and green stole is from her study abroad in Ghana.

We shared good conversation and food.  Then more conversation before we left for home.  They were all tired and Sylvia had things to do for Sunday.

What’s next?  Come back tomorrow and I’ll share that with you.