Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies

Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies

Whether your tastes are for chick flicks or action, classics or new twists, there is a little something here for almost everyone on my top ten list

The Quilt

It's funny how the mind works.  I was drinking my coffee this morning and poking around on Pinterest, two of my favorite addictions, when I stumbled across an Emmet Kelly figurine post under the "Everything" option in Pinterest.  So, I started looking up Emmet Kelly figurines, which somehow also added a Precious Moments clown figurine in the search.  So of course I had to reminisce and look up Precious Moments, as my aunt, my mother's sister and whom I am named after, used to cross stitch Precious Moments scenes.  Many of the PM kids reminded me of another childhood character, Holly Hobbie.  I bet you can guess what I had to look up next!

And that brings me to the purpose of this post, childhood memories.  Specifically one childhood memory, a quilt.

There are few material things remaining in my life from my childhood; my quilt is one of them.  And though it is tattered and in disrepair, it is one of my most valuable possessions.

The quilt.  It is old and threadbare.  It is stained and faded.  Much of the quilting is now flat and there are a few holes in some of the squares.

My quilt.  It feels like home and smells like memories.  It is worn and soft, and nothing in the world can compare to its comfort.

You see, when I was a baby my grandmother made this particular quilt for me.  She spent the better part of a year (so I've been told) hand-stitching from start to finish a quilt for each of her grandkids as Christmas presents.  Both of my brothers got a quilt, one in blues and greens, and one in earthy tones.  Neither of my brothers still have their quilt.  They were long since lost or discarded.

My quilt, my precious quilt, is squares of pastel pink and a light summery green.  Each and every square was decorated with needlework of Holly Hobbie, enough squares to completely cover a twin-sized bed.  The style of needlework was embroidery, not cross stitch, with beautiful stylized stitches accented with decorative knots.  I can't even imagine the time my mother's mother put into making just this one quilt, all by hand, much less three.

This is what the needlepoint work originally
would have looked like on my quilt.
Through the course of a lifetime my quilt was used to keep me warm, as padding to sleep on, comfort when I was sick, a play mat for my kids as well as the children of my friends and family, and to warm my mother when she was battling cancer.  It has silently witnessed everything from birth to death of human and furry creatures a like.  It has felt the coolness of grass on a spring day and protected me from the burning sands of the beach on a hot summer's afternoon.  It has been eaten on, spilled on, bled on, thrown up on, had diapers changed on it, machine washed and rewashed, bleached, sun dried and dryer dried, even hand washed more than a few times, used as a couch cover, a chair throw, a car and hotel blanket when traveling, a crib/playpen "sheet", a pet bed, and yes, even as a cover for my own bed.

Now almost 40 years old, the lovingly-stitched Holly Hobbie scenes are long gone, the decades-old thread having been faded and worn away to nothing.  You can still faintly make out where some of the knots and stitches us to be.  The lining and edging are frayed and have holes in them.  Life, my life, has left a few permanent stains on the now delicate fabric of the quilt.  The stains that to others may seem unsightly, to me make it all the more beautiful because of the memories of a lifetime held within each one.

My grandmother has long since passed away, and sadly so has my mother.  But I have a quilt, and because of that I will always have a little bit of them with me.

My quilt


Coffee is good for you when consumed responsibly... AKA a Fishy Tale

[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each) ]

A tale about why coffee is good for you...

We have a salt water fish tank and our fishy eats frozen fish food. Every morning I get up, let the p3 out to go potty, turn the light on the fish tank, and put a cube of the frozen fish food in a cup with some water to melt while I get coffee started. I know. I know! That process of events is backwards. Coffee should always come first. But the other is a better use of time and keeps me from walking in circles. Usually, I fix my cup, then take my coffee along with the plastic cup of fish food to the living room where Lt. Dan (our surviving fish) gets fed and I sit and sip my coffee enjoying the sunshine from the open door. This morning The first part of my routine flowed normally without problem.

That is until I went to fix my first cup of coffee.... I poured my cup of coffee, added creamer and sugar, grabbed the spoon, stirred, picked up the cup to take my first sip and paused. Thank GOODNESS fish food has a fishy smell. I had stirred the fish food and nearly took a long, not so comforting, first sip of.... fish food soup, mixed with creamer and sugar. Talk about gastric disaster. Fish cup emptied and rinsed, new fish food defrosted and fed to Lt. Dan AFTER I had a full half a cup of coffee.

Remember folks... Safety First - Coffee before anything!


Humor or Horror in Housework

[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each) ]

Remember the Steven King movie (and book) Maximum Overdrive, where all the machines come to life? Or what about The Transformers and the Spark that brings electronics/machines to life? Could that have happened already with our common, everyday house cleaning equipment?

Because I am convinced my dryer is carnivore, or a clothivore, or perhaps just a sockivore!

Why is it every time I do laundry an even number of socks go in but an odd number comes out? Has it somehow had a spark and come to life needing a regular diet of tubular cotton fiber? Perhaps it is seeking a certain flavor, something that reminds it of some far off planetary system it's collective intelligence called home; therefore it keeps trying different socks hoping to find that reminiscent taste? Kind of how we take a bite out of a chocolate and put it back in the box because it wasn't what we were looking for. So the dryer eats only one sock out of a set, deciding it isn't the flavor it wants and therefore leaves the other one untouched? Should I be amused at the daily dietary divergence of my dryer or horrified at the mass slaughter of socks that leaves the twin sock orphaned and alone?

Either way, I am convinced that yes, my dryer does in fact snack on socks, and lint is the undigested remains of said socks.

~sierra sugar

Shattered Morals and Cracked Integrity

I posted this awhile ago on FaceBook and decided to copy it over to my blog.  Just a little venting and a bit of a rant on relationships, trust, morality, and the digital age of social media.

Social media makes it easy for people to keep in touch and to share information. In some cases too easy. The age of the internet, particularly as we know it today, has been both a blessing and a curse. Families and friends can be a part of each other's daily lives from hundreds, or even thousands of miles away, across time zones, and even continents.

However, the free access and inundation of information desensitizes people to things like respect, discretion, loyalty, common courtesy, and common sense. We wonder sometimes what is wrong with our society today, and well this is part of it, part not all. Some people need to remember that not everything in your life or the lives of people you know needs to be shared, not just on the internet, but not shared with everyone you come across in your daily life; that there are still some things that should remain private, privy only to the people directly involved. Just because I know you or know of you, doesn't mean you automatically get to know all of my business. And if I trust you enough to divulge a bit of my private life or a part of me with you, doesn't give you cart blanch to share it with the world.

In an age where information is upheld as power, and “secrets” are branded the bane of all that is “good”, I sincerely beg to differ. We have too much information floating out there. It becomes a point of information overload and people begin to feel entitled to know everything about everyone. Well I ask, what gives you the right to know every minute detail about me? Do I have something to hide? Not really. But my life is my life. Your life is your life. And somethings are just not meant to be openly shared with the world. People need to learn to THINK before they speak. Think about who they are talking to and about. And remember that the people on the other side of the screen, across town, or the other side of the world do in fact have feelings and a life outside of pixels on a screen. RESPECT each other's lives and show a sense of morals and integrity.

Openness, Honesty, and Faithfulness

Faithfulness, Openness, and Honesty
One kitty's opinion of the values of friendships and deeper relaitonships.

Disclaimer: opinion only.  This is how i feel and how i've always felt. i don't want negativity here, debates, arguments, etc... if you are an extremely closed and private person who doesn't like to share with anyone, that's fine. That works for you.  These are just my thoughts and how i work.

Faithfulness, openness, and honesty.  These are important qualities for any relationship, no matter the type.  They build a foundation of trust and security.  Sadly, it seems to me these are also qualities that many seem to have forgotten.  No one is perfect.  We all tell little white lies from time to time.  But still, open honesty is always preferred over obscured omission.  As the 80s love song says, "I'd rather hurt you honestly than mislead you with a lie". Perhaps my opinions and values are remnants from an older age.  I admit I have some strong old-fashioned values when it comes to friendship and love, relationships and committment.  Older values mixed with newer ones.  This is just what is right and wrong for me, my life, and how I struggle with and build my various relationships.

Its hard though to find that line in today's world of perpetual connection on what should be shared in good faith and what is really no one else's business.  Because of the internet, the news and paparazzi, cell phones, pda's, smart phones, and more and more advanced technology we begin to feel entitled to know everything.  I think we all are guilty at one time or another of feeling that way.  But human nature also instinctively defends our own sense of privacy.  

"Drama" as the common term for it has become, happens when we act on that sense of entitlement that we need to know and be involved in everything, every minute detail of someone else's life, someone that is not necessarily a close and important connection in our lives.  A casual aquaintence, casual friend, friend of a friend, co-worker, etc.. That we actually have a say and control, or some sort of opinion on their lives and activities we really do not.  Its not the only reason for drama, but it certain seems to me anyway, that this sense of entitled knowledge and constant input *contributes* to the cause many times.

A bigger problem though, again in my opinion only, is less about drama, which usually involves a large number of people, but rather these conflicting mindsets of entitlement and privacy as they relate to very personal relationships.  How much does one share with close friends? Significant others? Potential signifcant others?  How much do you hide?  Is it misleading to promise or show one thing, but really do another when no one is looking?  If a tree falls in the forrest and no one is around does it really make a sound?

Relationships, all kinds, are built on trust.  Trust is built from being open and honest.  Lying is still lying, even if its just a lie by omission.  When you enter someone's life and put them in a position of importance in your life, they deserve the respect of honesty, even if the truth may be painful and/or upsetting.  Finding something out by mistake, even though the other person omitted the facts simply to spare feelings, always backfires and ends up hurting more.  You may feel that some actions are not for the general public, and this is true.  

However, when you place someone in your life into a greater personal or intimate position, the fact is they do deserve to know more information.  The higher the elevated status and perceived sense of importance in each other's lives (from friend, to close friend, to casual dating, to potential significant other, to significant other), so is the need for more openness and honesty.  If you can't trust them with that, then they should not be given elevated status in your life because ultimately you will hurt them.  If you're not willing to be open and at times almost brutally honest, you will never build that sense of trust that is demanded for a stable relationship.  And if you're not willing to listen and hear, and protect that bond of trust, then you should not allow yourself to be placed in such a position. 

It is a sacrifice both parties must make.  Honesty is not always easy to give, we are divuldging bits and pieces of our lives and ourselves to another person.  We run the risk of being judged, ridiculed, and rejected.  Neither is hontesty always easy to take.  Somethings we don't want to hear, not because we don't want to hear them but because we simply want them to be different.  But you have to be open to hear these truths and acknowledge how much less painful they are hearing them first hand rather than finding out by accident some other way.

The closer you are with someone, the more you let each other in, the more intuitive each becomes regarding the other. When friends or couples say things at the same time, feel each other's pains or joy from a distance, complete each other's sentences, these are all signs of a greater connection.  Remember that. Respect that.  Don't lie to or hide things from these people who share this connection with you because they will know it, and will be hurt by it, and the trust will falter.

Remember communication is more than just words, its actions, expressions, and even silence too. Be conscious of what you are communicating and how it can and will effect those you care about.

Humans are selfish by nature, but if you care about someone then you must be considerate of them.  You have to be open and willing to share even those things that may hurt you or them.  Becuase trust me, a little pain or shame now is so much easier to recover from than the magnitude of hurt and anger if you hide certain truths and they are found out down the road.

Don't make someone feel like they are a priority or important to you when they really are not.  Don't TELL them they are important to you and then do things that show them they are not. Actions speak louder than words.  And even if you think you are hiding your actions well, trust me not as well as you think.  The truth always comes out.

There are many different relationship constructs.  If you have multiple people of similar importance in your life, be sure they atleast know there are others, and maybe even know each other.  This is especially true for close, intimate type relationships, not so much casual friendships.  Don't make someone feel like or tell them they are the only one, when they are not.  Again, honesty wins. Don't sneak and hide.

Don't make promises you can't or won't keep.

Implied promises are still promises.  Be careful what you say and how you say it.

Don't say something that isn't true.

I guess what it all boils down to is the age-old golden rule of "do unto others"; because trust once lost is incredibly difficult to build back.  If someone is important to you, endevour every day to make them feel that way. Never let them have doubt or feel ignored.


"Something Wicked This Way Comes"

Carnival Street, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.

Old Europe Village is a quaint old-world place with little town shops lining the cobblestone streets. At its center is a town square hosting the annual Hallow's Eve Carnival. There are lots of hidden treasures to explore from dancing in the fog-covered graveyard, to riding the skull ferris wheel, a haunted tunnel of love ride, and even a haunted house guarded by zombies.  Old Europe Village changes with the seasons, so be sure to catch the carnival while it's still in town.

And you thought the post was going to end there?  C'mon, you know me better than that by now...

So its Halloween time and I've had a quote from my favorite movie in my head for some time.  It's what inspired this post.  Ray Bradbury wrote the book "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and Disney turned it into a movie in 1983.  While many know the quote, few are familiar with its interesting history.

Shakespeare is actually the original creator of part of the known phrase.  It derives from Macbeth, a line spoken by the second witch in reference to Macbeth himself.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow contributed to part of the rhyme borrowed from his "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day".  And Mr. Ray Bradbury put it all together in his wonderful little story of a twist of fate spoken by the character Mr. Dark.  And without further ado:

 "By the pricking of my thumbs, 
something wicked this way comes. 
Then toll the bells both loud and deep, 
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep. 
The wrong will fail, the right prevail,
With peace on Earth, good will toward men"

"Ill winds mark its fearsome flight,
and autumn branches creak with fright.
The landscape turns to ashen crumbs,
when something wicked this way comes.

Crystal water turns to dark,
where e'er its presence leaves its mark,
and boiling currents pound like drums,
when something wicked this way comes. 

A presence dark invades the fair,
and gives the horses ample scare,
for chaos reigns and panic numbs,
when something wicked this way comes."

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Shopping List:
Skin: Nomine Aether - Latte
Hair: /Wasabi Pills/ Ahiga Hair - Silver
Eyes: FDM-Alive-Succubus-L-Light
Lashes: Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01

Sinfull Aaryanna horns Black
Wings: ::{Favole}:: Entangled *Version 3*
Tail: Chained black tail stomach attach
Gloves: ELEMENTAL glowing electric hands +Fallen Gods Inc.+ PITCH BLACK

Steampunk the Bird (aka, Happy Rez Day Maxwell Graf)

A faint breeze drifted through the partially opened window carrying in the smells and sounds of the not-so-distant port. The over-sized brass hinges held the weight of the heavy stained-glass pane of abstract design. The sunlight, finished with its game of chase with the clouds, fell upon the window and a cornucopia of color burst through breaking the dusty haze of the workshop, and caused the man inside to lift his head.

Perhaps this was the first time since his day began that he found his mind no longer focused on his never-ending work, only the man himself knew. His concentration broken, he gazed around allowing his eyes to fleetingly acknowledge each of his creations then move on to another. Some were finished, many others in various stages of completeness. All crafted with genuine passion for his trade and a tender touch that comes only from one who’s work becomes so much more to them than a mere means to earn a daily copper.

His eyes focused on the open window just as a breeze picked up and ruffled his mussed dark hair. He sighed softly as the same breeze cooled his skin. Then he heard it, the faint clack-clack whir, clack-clack whir. A  repetitive sound, rhythmic, faint but seemed to be slowly intensifying in volume. Somewhere beyond he could hear the earthy cry of the gulls to the men on the wharf for a bit of food. He could hear the sharp snap of sails being pulled quickly to attention from a gust of wind. And even could hear the deeper sounds that were more thump than clack that the large corkscrew airships made as they hovered above the docks.

But there rising above all the din and bustle of the port was the clack-clack whir, clack-clack whir, and yes it was indeed getting louder. The man removed his half-moon, brass-rimmed glasses then pinched his soft wool shirt around the glass in an attempt to wipe away the dusty splotches that accumulated while he worked. When he placed them back on the bridge of his nose he gave a resigned smirk that for all his efforts, they were still dirty, however the splotches had become smudges. Tonight he’d have to wash them in the basin.

The clack-clack whir, was quite distinct and audible now, and seemed to be approaching the half-opened window. The man maneuvered around various desks and piles of work and stepped to the window to see if he could locate the source of this noisy interruption. Just as he fully opened the second pane of glass a gust of wind blew itself in ruffling his hair more and he heard several sheets of parchment take flight landing against a wall or floor behind him. Then he saw it. The little brass flyer as it mightily flapped its wings and made a bee-line for the window.

He stepped back in wonder and surprise at the flyer with its brass wings ablaze in warm colors from the late-afternoon sun. Clack-clack whir, clack-clack whir, he heard again and again until the little flyer was hovering, rather noisily, above the windowsill. There was a longer whir as the wings retracted and a slight clatter when the minuet flyer landed on the sill with its little brass feet. Much to the man’s amazement its movements were more delicate than normally seen by mechanical contraption, and such the clackity bird placed on the sill a glass-blown yellow rose with intricately crafted brass leaves.

The tiny, wondrous flyer then began a bell-clear chirping as it shook one of its legs at the man. There was a miniature scroll attached with coarse hemp binding to the little flyer's leg and he wanted it off. A single tug unraveled the bow, and the scroll rolled to the window where the man scooped it up before the wind could catch it. Opening the scroll, the man read with a smile.

Dear Maxwell Sir,

As you labor away through your various works and projects, remember to take a moment to catch a breeze, hear the birds sing, appreciate the small things, and smile at the beauty of the day. Today is your day, a mile-marker to be celebrated (or not) as you see fit. Peace and prosperity be with you my friend, as well as happiness beyond measure.

The little bird sang with its bell-like chirps once more then leapt from the sill taking flight back towards the way it had traveled. The man stood quietly, watched and listened as the clack-clack whir faded into the silence of the approaching night and smiled.  

                                                                                                       (c) sierra sugar 10/09/2011

[Just a fun post to wish Maxwell Graf, the creator of Rustica, a happy 5th Rez Day in Second Life.  His works to improve sculpt maps as well as pushing towards a better, more usable Mesh are appreciated by many throughout SL.   Thank you, Max, and very happy rez day!]