Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where's the Christmas Spirit?

Christmas trees are up and lighted, seasonal songs are playing, people are shopping for gifts and there's snow. With everything in place, why doesn't it have that Christmas feel, that cheery, fun feeling?  To me it seems that the in the past couple of years  it's harder to get into the Christmas spirit, and I am not alone. I look at people and ask about the season. The answers are mostly spirit lacking or so-so at best. So I ponder for the reason. Maybe its the bad economy, or the world in turmoil, or all of the negative things that have accumulated over the year that has damped the spirit. Or, maybe it's the change in our society, more complex, less tradition families and more apathetic in nature. Then, it could be that Christmas is becoming more commercalized with shopping ads starting before Halloween and Christmas displays erected before Thanksgiving. All of these have some effect on one's spirit for the season. But I think it's people in general, we've gone away from peace, harmony, giving, and wishing well-beings to a more monetary, what's in it for me, and routine holiday mind set. We tend to forget the past joys of giving and  receiving gifts, or getting together with people we like just for the enjoyment and to celebrate everyone being alive for another year. Of course, that is only my opinion.

For me, Christmas is a personal issue, I hate the commercalization and once I get over the bombardment of ads I usually rebound. Buying gifts is also an inspiration to lifting my spirit, buying quality items that bring joy no matter how small or large bring me a sense of accomplishment. My dogs also lift my holiday spirit. They have genuine emotions and their joy and excitement over simple things is a great uplift, for example, my dogs (Chili and Annie) always get excited when we put up the Christmas tree and ordiments, sniffing the tree and looking in boxes is a definite must and at night they like to lay under the tree. In the snow, they prance and play like a joyous celebration of the season.

So as I write this feeling the beginning of my Christmas spirit returning,  snow falls gently outside my window.  I think about peace, harmony, well-wishes, and an excited curiosity for what lies ahead next year. From here I should regain my spirit for another year and cherish the season, the people and other items that are important to me.
Well- wishes for all who read this in the hope of regaining your Christmas spirit.  Happy Holidays to All!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ren Fest Frenzy!

Ren Fest crazy, that's us.  The lovely Lady D and I returned from the Mn Ren Fest on Labor Day, but since our festive mood was still strong, four days later we re-packed the car and the hounds, and journeyed five hours to ORF (Ohio Renaissance Faire).  You may note from my previous blog that we attended ORF last year on the last day toward the end of September, when the temp dropped, the wind blew and the rain swept.  This year the weather was kinder and warmer, but either way we had a great time.  We saw our friends at The Yarn Wenches Affliction (maker of wool hats for winter), had a stone reading from Lady Megan, bought trinkets and jewelry, and of course, devoured the coveted smoked turkey leg along with hot pretzels.  ORF is very festive, the vendors ar very outgoing and interactive with the patrons, the products are unique well made and reasonably priced.  This year the lovely Lady D and I met and conversed with more people then at any other faire, it was a great experience.  Of course, we recited my poem, Invitation to the Faire and I handed out copies to those willing to read it.  But alas, at days end we journeyed back home with memories and treasures til our next up coming venture to Fishers Ren Fest.


Ohio Renaissance Faire is located in Harveysburg, OH ( half way between Dayton and Cincinnati).  ORF runs from September 4-October 17, 2010-- http://www.renfestival.com/index.html

Ren Fest of the North Land

Over the Labor Day weekend, the lovely Lady D and I took our faithful hounds and journeyed to the Minnesota Renaissance Faire.  Located in Shakopee,Mn (SW of Minneapolis). This Faire is very large with sixteen stages of entertainment, over 100 vendors, plenty of beer/ale/wine, and loads of food (our favorite was the popovers--excellent). Our best vendor was Amber Moon which had very fine hand carved jewelry. We had a great time, good weather, and a festive crowd, what more could you ask.  Although, I was surprised that more people weren't in Viking costume, this was the land of the cold tundra of winter and inhabited by people of Norse descent, but perhaps it's only my thought. If you do attend, make sure  not to miss the jousts, the Piccolo Pony (a huge rocking horse), and for the fun of it,take a stroll down the Hobbit Hole. So, drink, be festive and enjoy this one. 
Mn Renaissence Faire runs from August 21-October 3,2010-- www.renaissancefest.com/MRF/

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kudos to Arizona

Give credit were credit is due, Arizona took a stand on illegal immigration, something that the federal government has been side stepping for years.  If you want a case for controlling illegal immigration, start with the cost that every tax payer has to burden every year for illegal immigrants and the tremendous burden on our social and justice systems.  According to The Center for Immigration Studies, here's what cost  tax payers for illegal immigrants (2002):

  • Medicaid--$2.5 Billion
  • Uninsured Health Insurance--$2.2 Billion
  • Food Stamps, WIC, and free school lunches--$1.9 Billion
  • Federal Court & Prison--$1.6 Billion
  • Federal Aid to Schools--$1.4 Billion
Today (2010) our country is in recession, our financial status is unstable, foreclosure of homes and unemployment are at an all time highs our federal debt is in the trillions and states are going broke.  We don't need the extra burden of paying for people who are here illegally. 

We do need immigration reform and let's start with controlling our borders.  Almost every country has control over their borders and strictly enforces what and who goes in and out of their country, why don't we?  We're wasting money and resources trying to control vast open border areas with limited manpower, let's solve the problem, fence the borders and put the border patrol, national guard or whoever to secure it and get the job done.
Second, let's start rounding up the illegal immigrants and send them home.  We need to take a harder stance, other countries wouldn't give a second thought about it, your here illegally--you get sent home.  Besides, what about all the other immigrants who came here and worked hard to become legal citizens, isn't doing nothing about this problem a slap in their face?
Third, let's amend the child section, you know, the one that states if your an illegal immigrant and you birth a child, the child is a U.S. citizen. Let's change it to if you birth a child, the child is denied citizenship because the parent is an illegal immigrant.  This way when you deport the parent the child will automatically go with them, this way we won't break up families and our welfare system won't have to burden the cost.
Fourth, here's something worth thinking about, if your an illegal alien and you commit a crime are convicted and sent to prison, then bill the country of his citizenship and let them pay the court and incarceration costs.  Isn't that fair?  Countries like Mexico are concerned about the treatment of their citizens, so they should pay for their wrong doings. 
Fifth, stop giving jobs to illegal immigrants.  It takes away jobs for legal citizens.  It's a fallacy that illegal aliens takes jobs that no one else wants to do. Instead, it's the business owner who can get away paying cheater wages, no benefits, etc., if he hires an illegal alien.  I know a lot of people who would do just about anything to work and with the minimum wage is now around $8-$10 an hour, a lot more people would probably be interested in doing different types of work. 

But let's get back to Arizona.   You can't blame Arizona for enacting their immigration law, look at what's happening, drugs are pouring in from Mexico and there are drug wars all along the border.  Phoenix is now the kidnapping capital and innocent people are also caught in the crossfire of these drug lords, and what has the Feds done--nothing to solve the problem.  Yes, the federal government has put more federal agents and prosecutors to adjudicate the overload of cases, and now they have given some aid  to try and secure the Arizona border, but bit's all reactionary steps.
So what's the big issue about Arizona's immigration law or immigration reform?  Is it racism or human rights?  No it's-POLITICS.  No one wants to stand up, man up, or commit to correcting this problem.  No one wants to be "the bad guy" because of the large Hispanic population (in this case)  and the potential votes.  All you hear is stupid things like let's make everyone who's illegal a U.S. citizen--what a joke.
Arizona makes the federal government look bad, it puts illegal immigrants in the spot light and brings to the forefront these issues that the politicians have been trying to suppress.  It has also inspired other states, communities and citizens to take on their own legal actions in  regards to this problem.

The issue of illegal immigrants has been a problem for a long time that has been ignored, side stepped and buried through various administrations ( both Democrat and Republican) for years, at last someone has the guts and foresight to do something to correct it--kudos Arizona.