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Christmas is over. You undressed your tree by taking off the ornaments and strings of lights and placing them in their designated plastic containers labeled “Christmas decorations.” You took your tree and put it in a “tree bag” or box and taped the box shut. You stored everything either in the basement or attic for another year.

You take baby Jesus out of his bed, wrap him in bubble wrap, and put him in a box. Wait. Take him out of the box and put him back in his crib where he lays with Mary and Joseph next to him. …

The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature. If some of our great decorated trees had been grown in a remote forest area with lights that came on every evening as it grew dark, the whole world would come to look at them and marvel at the mystery of their great beauty.

Andy Rooney

My most favorite part of celebrating Christmas is the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree.

I grew up in the city of Glendale, Arizona. Live Christmas trees came down the mountainside on trucks from Northern Arizona and sold in Christmas tree lots in front of supermarkets, hardware stores, and on corners. …

“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.”
Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf

In 1670 a choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany was responsible for keeping his young singers quiet during the Living Creche ceremony. He ordered some white candies bent into the shape of shepherds’ crooks. The children were delighted to be able to have something sweet to suck on during their quiet period. This story passes on as a legend. History cannot confirm the accuracy of this story, but it makes for a good one.

Fact #1.
Candy canes are the №1-selling non-chocolate candy during December, with ninety percent of the red and white striped treats sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Candy canes are one of the most popular decorations for Christmas trees. Children can hang them on the tree without fear of dropping them and having them break. If they break, eat them. …

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.” ― Virginia Woolf

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash[/caption]

Do you remember the first time you wrote a note to someone? Maybe you were in the third grade and were madly in love with the cute little girl/boy sitting a couple of desks away from you. The spelling was wrong, and it wasn’t a complete sentence. You folded it and put it in your pocket. …

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Mary and her siblings

Growing up, I did not feel the sting of prejudice. My parents and grandparents taught me to not feel inferior or subordinate to anyone. Unlike recently arrived immigrants, my family has lived in what is now New Mexico since the 1600’s, a hundred years before the United States became a nation. The family image of our ancestors was that of explorers, conquistadores, and “vigilantes,” the royal guard for the king. Today, as I watch the sin of racism displayed all too frequently, I see that prejudice did exist in my small community in the 1950’s. We just didn’t talk about it. Why not? …

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A swift streak of color,
A silhouette in jade,
Ultra marine!
A flash of silver underneath
On all will be seen.
~Margaret Wheeler Ross (1867–1953), “Spring Styles on the Desert: The Lizard”

Gambel’s quail

Saucy black plumes on copper berets

Stroll through the desert heat

Gambling on which route is safest

And betting on a jackpot of seeds.

Gila woodpeckers, red crowns bobbing

Pound their pickaxe bills

Persistently into the Palo Verde bark

Intent on finding buried treasure

An orange-headed lizard

Performs daily exercises in nature’s gym

Running from spot to spot on the circuit

And showing off his virility

With vigorous sets of pushups. …

“Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly arranged and well-provisioned breakfast-table.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables

Pizza for Breakfast?

My friend Myra and I met for Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. at Farm and Craft in Scottsdale. We wanted to be one of the first customers to get a table outside because of COVID19. Anytime after 8:00 a.m. in the Summer in Arizona would fry us like bacon. The waiter wearing his black face covering and black uniform led us to a bench seat close to the exit. He handed us the menus, and we began sloshing our hands with hand sanitizer. I don’t like eggs for Breakfast. I try to stay away from pancakes, waffles, or French toast, I don’t need to add on any extra pounds. …

Are you reading this in your pajamas? The sales of pajamas have tripled in the last five months, and the sales of business wear have decreased. Maybe you are wearing an old T-shirt and sweatpants? Boxer shorts? Or naked?

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

When was the last time you woke up before 9:00 a.m.? When was the last time you went out on a date? To lunch or dinner with a group of friends?
People are working from home and attending meetings with Zoom. No one sees what you are wearing on the bottom. You could be dressed in business attire and wearing your underwear. Who would know?
I haven’t dressed up since the beginning of March. …

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Milk Canister /Carol Kubota

I reach into the dairy case at Safeway and grab my one-half gallon of Vitamin D whole milk. A five-year-old little boy with big brown eyes and curly black hair sits in the grocery cart. His dad reaches in and pulls out a half-gallon of 2% milk. “Where does milk come from?” asks the little boy. His father answers, “From cows.”

I don’t know if this little boy has ever come into contact with cows. I never did until I was about eight years old. My cousins lived on a farm in Nebraska, and we went to visit them every year in the summer. My cousin, Joe, decided that this city chick needed to know how to milk a cow. He took me out to the barn and led me to the cows. His daily chore was to milk a dozen cows before he went to school or played with his friends. The barn smelled like cow poop, and I held my nose as we walked in. The cows were mooing and munching on their cud, and I thought they were filthy. They needed baths. …

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Storm (Carol Kubota)

Alcoholism is a disease. There is no vaccine, chemotherapy treatment, or radiation that will cure or try to deter the disease. It is not a disease that can be found with an MRI or an x-ray. The disease can be deadly.

My brother died from alcoholism last week. This will not be the cause of death written on his death certificate. He died from the effects of alcoholism which included poison building up in his stomach, irregular breathing, and lack of air which required the use of a ventilator, and liver malfunction.

He spent three months in the hospital for treatment and two weeks in hospice. We were not allowed to visit him because of COVID19 until the last three days of his life. He was able to communicate with a limited amount of vocabulary. He knew we were there and could tell us our names. His body wasn’t functioning and neither was his brain. …


Carol Kubota

Life happens when you take chances.

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