Self-Indulgence or Self-Control?


We are fast approaching the New Year.
The commercials resonate with promises of programs to lose weight, to
quit smoking, to get healthier, to look younger, slimmer, and….

Shannon and I found these little gems while shopping in Chicago, and I
just remembered that I still had that nice little bag with my three
choices tucked inside.

All of the Christmas candy, cookies, and goodies are gone. All that
remains is an unopened bottle of gift wine and these little gems. I
think one square a day must have some health benefits, and with the New
Year soon here, I have decided that I need to get a head start on taking
care of myself…

12-30/365 ~Nancy


The Marquee


The week between Christmas and New Year belongs to the movies.

In Shelbyville, it is just a few blocks to see current films, and during
the Christmas season, Saturday matinees include a free holiday movie.
Otherwise, four dollar tickets will buy you a comfortable, brand-new seat
surrounded by friends and neighbors.

This evening it is raining, and ice and snow are rapidly melting.
Even with weather this unpleasant, the Roxy is warm and inviting.
With that and the smell of hot, buttered popcorn, you can bet there is a
full house inside.

12-29/365 ~Nancy

AshtonMarieSmith dot Com

This Christmas I bought my daughter her very own dot com.  Who knew that was already taken by the “voice over” guy that announces the previews to many of our favorite movies at the theater.  And it is a guy.  Honestly, when I named my baby girl, I had no idea that Ashton was ever a boy’s name.  (Sorry Ashton Kutcher, at that time you were only an underwear model with no name attached to that handsome mug of yours.)

Obviously it is pretty hard to tie a bow around a dot com.  So I did what all geeky teacher parents do.  I made her play hangman to reveal her gift.  And I can’t say that I was disappointed with her reaction; a big hug thrown around my neck.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like your very own dot com.  At least in a geek household. 

12-28/365 ~Shannon

Mr. Black


The very first time we took Ashton skiing, she was five. She referred to the big beginner’s hill as “Mr. Green”. We loved going down “Mr. Green” all day long. A couple years later she wanted to try “Mr. Blue”. While I was a little hesitant to allow her to go down this more difficult hill, I went ahead and gave in to the pleas and followed her down closely behind yelling, “Be careful,” and, “Watch Out!”

And this year, she is all over “Mr. Black”. She is loving the terrain park and the “chute of death”. Yes, my friends, my daughter and her father are referring to the hills they are skiing as “Devil’s Urine”, and I am not sure I like it. As we get off the chair lift, I head left, and they head right. You see, “Mr. Blue” is still my BFF.

12-27/365 ~Shannon

P.S. I find that I love skis the most as they are placed in the second picture while we rest between sessions.

Opa’s Manger


My grandfather made many of these little stables, but this is the last
one he made many years ago. He never owned power tools, and everything
was made by hand. Each Christmas setting it up was just as exciting for
us as decorating the tree. It is hard to believe that my grandchildren
can still enjoy the work made by the hands of their great-great

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12

12-24/365 ~Nancy



I am not a collector, but…
every year I would look for a special ornament with the date on it.

In 1984, Shannon and I walked to the Hallmark Store uptown, and we found this little pink Victorian House. Little did I know that it was going to become the first of many.

Without even making that request, the shop owner has always held one back for me. Then as soon as school let out for Christmas, Shannon and I would look forward to walking uptown to pick it up.

Today I unwrapped this year’s ornament, and set it down next to the original.

I have promised her the collection.

And now here is the proof of that promise in print, (or rather “digital ink”.)

12-23/365 ~Nancy

Baby Cakes


With two more days of school left, I still agreed to help watch my three
granddaughters while my son staged a surprise birthday party for his

Early today, I received an email that he had posted on my Facebook wall,
“Baby Cakes!”

When I arrived home, I set my usual stack of papers down on the table
and found a little box with “Nana” and a big smile drawn on the outside.

“Baby Cakes!”

12-21/365 ~Nancy