Countdown to Christmas – Time is moving too fast!

I tried! LOL!

I love to blog, as a way of journaling, I wish I could find time do it every day! I really l wanted to share Christmas all month, but Christmas at work is kicking my butt.

Last night I worked my first ever “open until midnight” shift. We had just 2 customers in the two hours we were open past normal closing. I did get things done that I had been having trouble finishing up, with the inevitable interruptions when we have shoppers in the store!

I was exhausted when I got home at 12:30, but except for an aching back, I feel pretty good this morning. Tonight is another late close and then I need to be back at the store by 7:45. It will probably all catch up with my on my day off Thursday.

I have the ideas, but most of the ideas done properly require photography as well as writing. The writing I could do but the photography done right, takes time!

I think I will have to use photos I already have to tell my Christmas story if I want to move it along!

I think I left off around day 7, and now we are just 10 days out! I am ing to try and catch up and will back date my posts so they are at least in order! Cheating I know. The ideas have been in my head!


I had two days off last week, but those just flew right by. So many weeks my schedule is such that I get just one day off, and that many times is just not enough to fully recover!

10 days before Christmas and we still have NO TREE! If where up to me, I would not even put one up this year. I am just really not feeling it the effort it takes! Maybe just a tree with lights and no ornatments?

I have my Christmas cards printed…. now lets see if I get them addressed and mailed! Christmas shopping, two words, GIFT CARDS. Oh, and I just bought two gifts while I was sitting here!

We enjoyed unusually warm weather the past few days. When I came home from work early this morning, it was 66 degrees!

The photos are from a couple years ago, but I felt this post needed a picture or two!




That is all for this post!


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Countdown to Christmas – My Favorite Movies

Day #7

I have been watching Christmas/holiday movies on The Hallmark Channel since the beginning of November, yes a little early but not all of them are all about Christmas. Most are just about families and relationships. Some make me laugh some make me cry!

I do have have my “not made for TV” favorites too, in no real order

I have been “good” and have not watched any of them yet this year!

Do you have a favorite movie?

“Santa I know him!” Buddy the Elf.

  1. Elf
  2. The Santa Clause (1,2 & 3)
  3. Jingle all the Way
  4. Deck the Halls
  5. Christmas in Conneticuit
  6. Holiday Inn
  7. A Christmas Story





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Countdown to Christmas – Not a creature was stirring

Day #6


A favorite photo of a sleeping Kovu

A quick post of a favorite holiday photo.

Today was a day off for me, but little time for myself.


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Countdown to Christmas – Remembering Robin

Day #5

Today, I would like to remember my brother Robin, on what would have been his 66th birthday. Robin was killed in Viet Nam on 3.9.1969.

Memories of Christmas’ past with Robin are very vague to be the me, I was probably 9 or 10 the last time we celebrated with Robin at home. I wish I had clearer memories of us all together on Christmas morning.

The photo I shared above is one of only a few that I have found of me (the baby) and my siblings; Linda, Bill and Robin. This would have been my first Christmas. I was 10 months old, Robin had just turned 9, Linda was 10 and Bill would turn 12 just a few days later.


Kriebel Rd housed under construction/late 1957 – early 1958


Robin skating on Freddy Hill Pond. Great times and great memories were had on that pond!

I wonder quite often what Robin would have become had he returned from Viet Nam. Would he have a family? Would he be dealing with any of the trauma or health issues so many Viet Nam vets struggle with?  How different would our family be? One can only wonder how life would have been had that one moment in time been different.

Instead I honor and remember his life by sharing bits and pieces of his “history” that I uncover. You can read about his time in the Army in post I have written by clicking on the link below.

Remembering Robin
Love and Lattes,


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Countdown to Christmas – Christmas Cookies

  Today is National Cookie Day, which works well with the topic I already choose for today.
Day #4

Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie or holiday baking tradition!

I do not have just one favorite,  that is what is special about Christmas cookies, you don’t get them all year long.

Years ago my sister Linda and I would take a Saturday and bake all kinds of cookies. Spritz cookies with my favorite gadget the cookie gun, snicker doodles, snow balls, cut out cookies and several others. It was always a fun time.

Over the years I continued to bake cookies with friends,my mom, Tara and even alone. Tara always got bored after just a batch or two. Lately I have not had the energy in December to bake. We did participate in a cookie exchange for a couple years since we returned to PA. That was a fun way to get a variety of cookies!

For many years my mom has made Pizzelles, Italian waffle cookies. She would prepare several batches using her Pizzelle iron. She made them for many years and loves sharing with family and friends. She is not able to stand long enough to do too much in the kitchen but maybe we will make them together this year.

Love and lattes, Martha

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Countdown to Christmas – O Holy Night

Gwynedd Square Presbyterian Church

Day 3

Growing up in the 60s, before cassettes, 8 tracks, CDs and MP3 players and IPods,  we listened to music recorded on vinyl and a machine called a record player (for all you youngins).

One of the 33 rpm vinyl records I remember in our family collection was Ernie Ford Star Carol. In

On that album he sang Oh Holy Night. This has remained my favorite Christmas hymn throughout the years.

I remember first spinning the album on our portable record player and later our big console stereo

Click to listen:

Many other artists have recorded this song and it is always beautiful, but this old recording will always bring back memories of Christmas past. 

The photo at the top of this post was take at Gywnedd Square Presbyterian Church in Lansdale, PA. This is the church I attended growing up and my mother still attends. I always loved how this shot turned out! It is also a favorite of my friend Karl. Karl’s family also attended this church back in the day. Some how after I moved back home from FL our paths crossed through our blogs! 

What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday song? I don’t really think I can pick just one more!! As much as I hate to admit it I have found myself singing (quietly) along with the holiday music at work!

Just THREE WEEKS until Christmas!

Love and Lattes,


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Countdown to Christmas – A Very Disney Christmas

Day #2

Tara and I lived in Orlando from 2003-2009, and hands down my favorite time of year in the parks was Christmas.  Disney had something great for every season, but for me it was most magical at Christmas.



We would attend Very Merry Christmas Parties, and visit Christmas around the world in EPCOT.  MGM (now Disney Hollywood Studios) had the Osbourne Spectacle of Lights. Downtown Disney and all of the resorts were decked out in their holiday finest.


Spectacle of Lights – Disney Hollywood Studios

We started our real Christmas celebration at Disney the day after Thanksgiving, when my sister, Linda and friend Bobbie would visit Disney on their annual girl’s week vacation. It made it extra special to have family and friends to visit the parks. We would always try to attend a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party one night at Magic Kingdom, and another night we would plan a meal a 50’s Prime Time Cafe, and take in the Spectacle of Lights. One year we even met a family from the UK that we I had met on line. We had dinner and attended the MVMCP with them.

Most times we stayed out of the parks the week of Christmas because of the crazy crowds. In 2006, Mom had suffered a broken femur and traveled to stay with us for a few weeks. She arrived Christmas Eve and On Christmas morning we went to Magic Kingdom for breakfast, we left before it got too very crowded, as Mom had to be in a wheelchair and it was a bit tough navigating.


Tara with MIckey and MInnie at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party


Mom arrived on Christmas Eve this particular year and we had breakfast in Magic Kindgom on Christmas Morning.


Chocolate and Gingerbread Carousel at The Beach Club Resort


Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian

We may not have had snow or cold weather for Christmas, but those six years were probably the years I had the most Christmas spirit ever. Looking back it was such a special time in our lives that I am thankful for the memories.

Hopefully some year soon we will be able to make a trip back to Orlando, I would love for it to be during the holidays!

Do you travel at Christmas? What is your favorite destination?



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I Heart Faces Photo Challenges – Days 7 & 8

Day 7 – View from Here – I sat outside the concert venue The Electric Factory for for 4 1/2 hours on Friday evening while my daughter and her friend were inside. I’ve become quite accustomed to killing time in my car during shows! With IPhone and portable DVD player and a few blankets it’s almost like being in my living room!

 Day 8 – Shopping – okay, so I work in retail and on my day off the LAST thing I want to do is SHOP! I did do a little on line shopping for my Mom. She choose a 15 yr old girl from the Angel Tree at her church who asked for a camera I was trying to find the best that fit for a teenager and my Mom’s budget!

Gosh, my photos are BORING! Not much you can do with a boring, no time for creativity life!!!!

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I Heart Faces Dec Photo Challenge – Days 3 and 4

Catching up on days 3 and 4 for the iheartfaces December 1 Photo-32 Days Photo Challenge. I need to step up my game and get out with my Canon, and get some better photos.

Day 3 – What you are reading. I don’t read much, I love to read, just don’t MAKE the time. No excuses, I just don’t make the time. If I attempt to read a book in bed, I am guaranteed to fall asleep in 3.3 seconds! I do keep little books like this one close by. I love quotes and motivational things!

 Day 4 (today) – Shadow Play I wasn’t outside much, so I needed to resort to shadow puppets! Thanks to my daughter Tara for her help on this one. It’s up to your interpretation of what these might be!

It’s not to late to join in!

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Elf – Day 2 Photo Challenge

iheartfaces is hosting a photo challenge for December, why don’t you join in?

Day 2 – Elf
So, I didn’t get a chance to look at this topic until after dinner on Sunday evening. I gasped when I saw that it was Elf. I don’t have an Elf, with the exception of the movie Elf, which is in my top 5 all time favorite movies. I then remembered my 88 year old mother’s Build-A-Bear collection, and that she had an Elf outfit for the holidays! She has not yet re-dressed them for the holidays, so we made quick work of finding Dexter’s Elf costume just for the photo shoot! Thanks Mom!

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