Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Perfect Gift


Grammy never wanted gifts, saying she did not want a fuss being made over her.

When Grammy celebrated her special birthday, everyone came bearing gifts of treats and flowers. With gratitude, she politely thanked each person for their gift.

Suddenly, her youngest great-granddaughter climbed into Grammy’s lap giving her a big hug. Grammy smiled, saying, “Just what I always wanted.”

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Quote Prompt:
"A hug is the perfect gift, one size fits all,
and nobody minds if you exchange it."
~Author Unknown


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Stella's Storm

Bill and Stella are still out on the road.They spent the weekend fighting the wind and rain across the heartland. They got as far as Checotah, Oklahoma on Saturday. Bill took this video of the torrential rain coming down when they stopped there. This same unstable storm is  bringing rain, sleet, snow or a "wintry mixture" depending upon the temperatures.

Bill and Stella put off going out in the rain for as long as possible. However, Nature calls in different ways, and Stella had to go out in the storm. Here is what she thought of it.

This was after walking in the heavy rain, flooded parking area, and flooded grassy areas. She hurried back to the truck, where Dad dried her off and made her comfy.

Stella says to be careful out there. Stay warm and dry, if you can. And pray for nice weather.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The Twelve Days of Christmas
~with John Denver & The Muppets~

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were forced to practice their faith privately. This carol was written as a catechism song for young Catholics. It was symbolic so that children could identify with each "gift" and remember the meanings. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas and their symbols

1. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
2. Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
5. The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
7. Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
8. The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
10. The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
11. The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
12. The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.  

~Merry Christmas~
I want to sincerely thank each of you. I have met some kindred spirits through blogging. I have also made some wonderful friendships here. You are each an important part of McGuffy's Reader. May you receive many blessings this Christmas season. May the Christmas spirit remain in your heart to bless you & your loved ones all year. Peace. 

~Originally shared 2013

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sugar Plum

Tucked in their beds, Mattie and Aimee just couldn’t sleep. It was Christmas Eve! Whispering, they kept asking each other if they heard bells, or reindeer feet, or Santa “ho-ho-ho-ing”. Their mother kept calling to them to go to sleep or Santa would not be able to come. She reminded them that he knew if they were asleep or not, because Santa is magical.

Finally, Mattie drifted off to sleep leaving Aimee alone to toss and turn. She was just too excited to sleep. She crawled out of bed to listen at the door. All she heard was the late news on the TV, and Mom talking quietly to Grampy. Her grandparents lived downstairs.

Aimee got her special toy down from the shelf over her bed. The seal with the ball on his nose was her favourite toy. The ball could spin, and the seal looked so real.  Santa had brought it last year.

Suddenly there was a very loud knocking sound. It sounded like it was on the big front window in the living room. Aimee froze, thinking that was not possible. They lived on the second floor!

There was a lot of commotion in the other room after the knocking. Now Aimee was worried. Her mother was saying loudly that apparently Santa knew he could not come in. Children must still be awake. This time, it was Gram who agreed, saying she would check on us.

Gram came into the bedroom telling Aimee the sad truth. As she put the seal back up on his shelf, she explained that Santa only comes after children are dreaming sweet dreams. Then Gram kissed her good night, calling her “Sugar Plum”. She slowly closed the door advising Aimee to go to sleep, and that Santa would magically know. She reminded Aimee that when she woke up it would be Christmas Day!

As Aimee turned onto her tummy in bed, eyes tightly closed, she wondered what a sugar plum was. She also wondered how Santa could knock on the big living room window!

*This is based on a true story. I know, because it happened to me. 
Merry Christmas!

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When the Dog is Away...

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Prayers, Please

Please pray for our friend, Fiona, of The Cat on My Head. 
Fiona is battling CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease). 
Her blood-sister, Giulietta, will also be evaluated,
as this disease is often congenital and hereditary.
Janet & Tom would appreciate your prayers &
kind support as they navigate this health issue
with their beloved FurKids.
Thank you!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Guest

A snow storm raged outside, but for Faith, it was just another Christmas Eve alone.

As she prepared her meager supper, she suddenly heard frantic scratching. When she opened the door, an old thin cat rushed in, ice crystals clinging to his long silver fur. 

Sitting near the warmth of the fireplace, Faith shared her supper with the hungry cat. Afterwards, as she stroked the old cat in her lap, Faith gave thanks for the gift of her Christmas guest.

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Quote Prompt:
“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, 
doesn't come from a store."
~Dr. Seuss

Though this story is fiction, the photograph 
is our very own "Bob", 1982-1990.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Setting sun burns snow,
simple warmth in Winter’s heart.
Calm before the storm.

Snow reflects moonlight.
Candlelight in Winter’s heart, 
remembering warmth.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Fill-In Fun #240

The "Follow Four Fill-In" is hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie. This meme is one of the first ones I joined, several years ago. Each week Hilary posts statement with blanks. Our mission, should we choose to accept, is to copy the statement and fill in the blanks on our blogs. Then link up to her blog for sharing. Hilary is always looking for co-hosts and more statements for us to fill in. Please visit her, and let her know your suggestions! This week’s co-host is Ellen at 15andmeowing.

The statements & My Answers: #240: 

1. Peppermint candy canes taste like happiness. 

2. Have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day? Okay, Creedence Clearwater Revival is a big part of the soundtrack of my life. My Uncle Eddie was a hero to me during my middle school years, when he got back from Vietnam. CCR was his favourite band and that had a great impact on me (as did Uncle Eddie). CCR was always known for their meaningful songs, including this one.

Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Creedence Clearwater Revival

3. My little Chloe Jo always gets mad at me for not stopping what I am doing to cuddle her when she thinks she needs it. I have to hold her close with my left arm like she is a baby. Then I must rub her belly while she hugs me. I have to; she insists. *wink

4. When my alarm clock goes off, I grab my cell phone and call Bill. I set my alarm for the beginning of his day. The time varies load to load. Sometimes he drives during the day; sometimes he drives all night. I always call to check on him, though.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Special Christmas Music

O' Holy Night
Sung by the American a cappella group: Home Free

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Hannah and Will began collecting ornaments with their first Christmas together; each had a special meaning.

This year, they found their first ornament, a red heart, shattered in its wrappings. Hannah was inconsolable, crying that it could never be replaced. 

On Christmas Eve, Will tenderly handed Hannah a box he said was fragile and very special. Carefully opening the package, Hannah tearfully found inside a heart ornament identical to their original ornament. On the attached note Will had written, “A renewal of our love and commitment.”

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Chloe Jo loves Dad

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Naughty or Nice

The holidays can be very busy,
and sometimes even stressful.

There is so much decorating to do.

And with so many fun things to eat,
we don't always eat the right things.

We may even get a case 
of the nasty Gimmes,

and then we need to be 
reminded to be nice.

There is still time to fix things, though.

Spread the good tidings 
of Christmas cheer.

Share with others, especially 
those who you know need TLC.

Take time to appreciate your 
loved ones, whoever they are.

Be nice as often as possible, 
because it always matters.

~Merry Christmas!~

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"Naughty or Nice"

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Angie and Lee had always celebrated Christmas with all of the hustle and bustle that goes with it. There was a lot of shopping, baking, cooking, and decorating to be done each year. Together, they would choose and chop down their own Christmas tree. Once home, they decorated the tree together, too. They always felt it never had enough lights. 

Lights weren't just hung on the Christmas tree, though. They also put lights outside. They strung them around the windows of the house and along the edge of the roof. They hung them on the top of the fence and along the garage's roof, too. The final touch was the big, lighted wreath that hung outside, around the stained glass window. 

Times and circumstances have ways of changing our lives, if not who we are. Lee had been forced to change jobs when the plant closed. A year of financial struggles ensued, resulting in many changes for them. There would be no lights hung outside, and there would be no Christmas tree this year. Lee knew he wouldn't be home for Christmas, as trucking usually takes you far from home for weeks at a time. It was not his choice, nor was it hers, but this is the way it had to be for now.

Before Lee left for his long over-the-road trip, he brought up the big lighted wreath from the basement storage. He then took it outside, hooked it up, and hung the wreath around the stained glass window, just like they had always done. He did it for her because he knows she loves the holidays, with their warm and welcoming lights. This love is one of their many connections, even when they must be apart. They love each other, no matter where they are. 

In the midst of the darkness, the light is there at home, burning because of him and for him. Always.

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"Christmas Tree"

Saturday, December 12, 2015



It was cold. The wind was blowing the snow across the streets, swirling down the alleys. However, she was on a mission, pushing her heavy, old cart, along behind the stores. Each dumpster was a possible treasure chest: the possibility of food, bedding, even perhaps a toy. She always held out hope.

She had been going for hours, searching for things to take home to her little family. She had found some dented cans and some scraps of food. She was happy with the pillows, cushions and blankets, too! They would be warm and have full tummies this Christmas Eve! She even came across some little balls and other toys she thought they would like.

She smiled at the full cart. She knew the little ones waited for her. She needed to get back to the old boarded-up service station. It was at the edge of the neighborhood, still quite a walk, and darkness was approaching fast.

When she entered the dark, boarded up building it was quiet. As she began singing, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, she saw little pairs of eyes peering out from the darkness. The streetlights lit their eyes. She smiled at them, “Come on then. We will be warm and fed. We are blessed sharing this Christmas, together.”

She spread out the blankets and arranged the pillows, singing carols as she worked. As she opened the cans, they hungrily ventured out. She put down the scraps for her little family of stray cats. As they ate, she continued to sing to them. 

Finally, they settled into the pile of blankets and pillows together. She was thankful for them, and her ability to share what she had with them. Making the sign of the cross in silent prayer, she softly breathed, “Amen.”

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Friday, December 11, 2015

The Birthday Girl

Maggie as a 1-year-old champion show cat 

Maggie today, an 8-year-old pampered diva

Happy Birthday, Beautiful!

Love Always,
Mom, Dad, Stella, Grizelda, Chloe Jo, and George

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Winter is here with ice and snow.
Some poor souls have nowhere to go.
Some are hungry, no food to eat,
some have shelter without heat.
Yet, Christmas comes.

Wars continue in political strafe.
Terrorism thrives; no one is safe.
Weapons abound, from gun to bomb.
Chaos reigns with tenuous calm.
Still, Christmas comes.

Violence prevails in film and TV,
firmly rooted in reality.
Many suffer neglect or abuse;
explosive incidents one can’t diffuse.
But, Christmas comes. 

Faith and hope go hand in hand,
no matter culture, religion, or land.
Whatever the crisis or situation,
peace is the answer to liberation. 
So, Christmas comes.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Fun with Paper

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Wordless Wednesday with