Seriously. It is so COLD! I lived in Florida and never thought I would, well, I never did get used to the heat. What I now realize is how I am so not used to tolerating the cold.
Having lived in Montana I know Winter cold, freezing temperatures cold, Chinook winds with a Below Zero chill factor cold. But after ten years in Florida heat to relatively mild winters I am now an offical, more than ever before, Wimpy-girl.
Little Boots, a Shetland Sheepdog, is from Ohio. He was about two years old when a family with an autistic child decided they needed to give him to a good home. We were fortunate enough to be the ones to take him in and he has been a wonderful creature.
We moved from Ohio to Florida when he was four. Being an Ohio dog the heat was pretty tough on him. We had to shave him down during the warm months. It helped us to keep the shedding somewhat under control even though for the first few years it seemed he was embarrassed, feeling rather exposed without his puffy coat of fur.
After years in Florida we moved to Montgomery, Alabama. But let me digress for a moment. It was in Florida we rescued our Lab, a puppy, from the Animal Shelter in Titusville. So she was born and raised in Central Florida for 5 years and some months before relocating with us in Alabama.
Our first year here the heat was different, and the winter was not bad. It was somewhat dry with spurts of cold. Totally different from this year with rain and now freezing cold and snow.
Boots is in Heaven, so happy to wander around outside as the snow gently drifts down from the sky fully clothed in his warm, fur coat.
The Honey-do, well, he is on his third trip here and spent the last three winters in Ohio at Wright-Patterson so though it is not heaven, he is able to tolerate it.
Janie Belle is most happy laying on my side of the bed with the electric blanket on level 5 or higher.
Guess that tells you how well I tolerate the cold weather these days.
Today was the last day of the Montgomery Interfaith Nativity. My friends were singing this evening so after the Honey-do got home from Church we spent a few moments reflecting on the day, closed out our Fast Sunday with a prayer, quickly grabbed a bite to eat and then headed out the door.
We made it just in time to support our dear friends, Lana and her Grandpa Marty, singing at 5:30 p.m. They were wonderful and absolutely charming together. It was lovely to see them, as family, working in harmony to share the Spirit of Christmas with the Interfaith community.
Then we stayed for the next performance by the Christmas Trio, a women’s trio, who sang several Christmas lullabyes.
We made it home in time to feed the dogs and watch the Christmas Devotional from home. What a lovely Sabbath day of worship through music and the spoken word.
One thing that I really love about volunteering as a hostess at the Montgomery INTERFAITH Nativity Exhibit is meeting the people who attend the event. It always is fun to watch those who hunt for the Nativity set they freely share with the community. And it is especially fun to ask them to tell their story about their Nativity set. The stories are as varied as the sets on display. Some are whimsical, some surprising, charming, delightful, and some are deeply moving and sentimentally wonderful.
Let us begin with the ceramic piece that is about 30 years old. Two daughters came with a friend and shared how their mother used to do ceramics on the table at their house. They spoke so tenderly on how this particular piece was loving made by their mother. They giggled recalling how their father could not stand the dinner table being covered with mother’s crafts and how they eventually would take things to the shop where mother would finish an item.
The woman who owns the painted Nativity wall hanging was with the aforementioned sisters. She is the Godmother to one of the sister’s daughter. You should have seen the pride and joy on her face as she lovingly spoke of that daughter’s Nativity gift to her.
Carved by a rice farmer in Laos, the man made several Nativity Sets and sold them to many Americans he knew through a church connection. He used the money to help pay for his children’s education.
The woman who owns the lovely snow globe got it from Cracker Barrell for nine dollars about eight or nine years ago. Nine dollars! A battery in the base provides the energy needed to move the snow around in the globe! How cool is that! Elegant, inexpensive and practical so those little hands in her home do not have to shake it to see it snow.
Some of my favorite conversations come from sharing these stories with others at the exhibit. Their reactions to these stories are priceless. It is as though I can see the lightbulb pop up over their heads, and see the wheels spinning in their heads. Sometimes they share a creative thought, or they get excited to seek out Nativity sets in places they never thought of before. But my favorite responses are always those jogged memories that lead to visitors sharing a personal history story.
Personal history stories are a great way to #LightTheWorld. And it easily begins with simple things like a babe, laying in a manger in a Nativity exhibit.
There is so much going onin preparation forthe Montgomery INTERFAITH Christmas Nativity this year. Volunteers put in a few hundred man-hours to prepare for this spectacular one week exhibit.
If you have a child between the ages of 5 and 13 years then please have them join in the Christmas Art Contest. The artwork can be submitted on Saturday, November 18 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. or on Monday, November 20 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The entry is free! KidsArtContest2017_letter_2pages-2
WEDNESDAY, November 29,2017
~ from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m.~ The Exhibit opens to the Public
THURSDAY, November 30,2017
~ from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. ~ Seniors & Veterans Special Program
Here is what you need to know now: We are off and running!
VOLUNTEERS from the Faith Community share their Navivity Sets with the public for one week’s time. (See Saturday, November 18th.)
Volunteers help with the pre-display set-up, registration of the Nativities, and the take-down and clean-up of the event. Volunteer musical performances take place every hour with everything from vocal solos to bell ringers to ukulele players. Last year there was a group with bagpipe players and drums and they were marvelous.
So here is the rest of what you need to know, for now:
Monday, November 13th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Nativity Setup begins daily through Monday, November 27th.
Approximately 6-8 Volunteers, with irons and ironing boards are needed daily.
Saturday, November 18th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Nativity Check-in begins.
Children’s Art Submission begins.
Monday, November 20th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Nativity Check-in continues.
Children’s Art Submission continue.
Nativity Designers begin daily through Monday, November 27th.
Thursday & Friday, November 23rd & 24th ~ Thanksgiving… nothing on these two days but….
Final preparations will take place on Saturday and Monday, November 25th & 27th as needed.
TAKE DOWN BEGINS MONDAY DECEMBER 4th and runs through the 6th so I will post more about that later for several volunteers are needed then too!
EVERY Sunday as I leave Church, I turn right, then left and straight ahead of me is anabortion clinic. And every Sunday it makes me feel sick to my stomach because it is located in one of the most troubled areas of town, Zone 11 in Montgomery, Alabama.
I am thankful for women like Star Parker who fight the good fight. It must take an amazing amount of courage to tell and retell the tragic story of a personal nature over and over again.
Tonight I got to know someone a little better. She is new to the area. Her family is adorable, as is she but more so she is an absolute hoot. She is forthright. What you see is what you get. And what I got was a whole lot out of her story.
It was sweet to hear of her conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. To learn of the sacrifices she made to do that which she knew was right, things not supported, let alone appreciated by her family, was touching. It was inspiring.
She has a can-do spirit. She understands the efforts that one must put into living the gospel daily. It is not always easy. It is very often difficult. Yet, it can and must be done and one must make oneself do the work to progress.
Probably my favorite part of the conversation was her insight of doing too much for some people. I loved how she spoke of not feeling guilty for what she has because she and her husband worked so very hard to get what they have. They sacrificed so much along the way to be where they are that she does not feel the need to give it away for some foolish, misplaced guilt trip.
I am pretty nervous and excited about the opportunity to sing on Thursday, November 30th at 6:30 p.m. for the2017 Montgomery Interfaith Nativity in Montgomery, Alabama. My friend, Tina Gann, has graciously agreed to accompany me. She is a fabulous accompanist and quite the accomplished pianist. We will be getting together this week to talk about our twenty minute musical lineup.
One of my favorite songs we are definitely performing is Gesu Bambino, text by Frederick Herman Martens, music by Piertro Alessandro Yon, and edited by Charles J. Cardin.
Another song I want to sing is Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabelle however I would love to learn it in French as originally published, Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle.
Today I have been listening to two different YouTube versions of the song in order to translate the French phonetically so I can learn the pronunciation. Then, I will have myFrench-American CrossFit Coach Charleshelp me make any final corrections to my pronunciation before I commit it all to memory.
Pretty amazing technology. And how cool is that to have a native French speaking CrossFit Coach to help me in the middle of Alabama?
Awesome I tell ya! Simply Awesome.
And it will truly be Christmas miracle awesome if I can learn it in French over the next few weeks!
259/365 …. argh… missed posting this by a minute or two… oh well. The new norm.