The year was 2004 and it was our first Christmas at Oak Bridge Community Church. Pastor Tom spoke about a program called Christmas Angel where for 12 days before Christmas you pick someone and drop a gift off and run. On night one it was one of something, night two, two of something etc. The key was to not get caught and choose someone who was going through a rough time or needed a lift at Christmas. Our first angel came immediately to my mind and we bought all the gifts. We had a great time that year and on the eleventh day we were left cookies and a poem. The poem is in the family scrapbook. Over the years we have sometimes done two people. Twice the work but twice the reward. This year my Christmas angel came to me in mid July while at work. I walked into angel #19 room and I knew she was the one. It’s just a feeling I had and I looked up her address later that night. She lived fairly close and I thought score. I knew she would need chemo therapy first and then surgery. Based on the dates I knew surgery would be close to Halloween. Her original surgery date was scheduled for a day I was off work. I had the supervisor change my schedule so I would be at work. The next week I discovered her surgery had been moved to the week of Halloween. I of course was in Disney. The night before this was to start I read a friends Facebook post and I hadn’t even finished it when I felt God say do her as well. I was like are you kidding this starts tomorrow night and I’m heading into work. However my after work plans got cancelled so I went to the store and actually managed to find all twelve days in one visit. This rarely happens because odd days are tough. I work with this girl so I asked our supervisor for her address. She did not live anywhere close to my other girl or me for that matter. The next night it was game on. I worked the first night but ran home to pick up Allyson. I needed help locating the houses. Allyson looks over at me and says what if they have a porch camera. That triggered an entire new wave of paranoia. I knew my friend would recognize me and wasn’t sure about the patient. So on the nights I did it, I wore this.
I was not taking any chances of getting caught. The friend’s house always had something crazy going on. One day a car was parked in the driveway with the headlights on. Another day the car door was open but no one around. The best night I get out of the car and someone is calling their dog. I’m not sure if it’s them or not so I get back in. I get back out and someone comes out the door of the house and hops in the car. I get back in and try to act causal. The patients house was quite interesting. On the third day they put up an inflatable Christmas duck. Allyson came back and said be careful there are wires everywhere and I don’t want you to trip and fall. Also if you walked in front of the garage the super power light would flash on. I finally got smart and walked on the other side of the street and hit the doorbell from the opposite side of the porch. It was day eight that I was almost caught. As I am sprinting away I hear this “who are you?” It scared the crap out of me and I didn’t know what the rules were so I kept running and yelled “can’t tell you” without turning around. I decided it would be nice to write on day nine note “I will reveal who I am and why you were chosen on Christmas Eve (day 12). If you are not home I will leave a note with the day twelve gift. Now according to church you are not to reveal yourself ever. However, if someone angeled me and never told me it would make me crazier than I already am. So I usually place a note on day twelve, ring the bell and run. Day ten arrives and it dawns on me that I don’t think my friend lives at the address I’m dropping gifts off at. So I get home that night and get on Facebook and start looking at her recent pictures. Sure enough it looks like she is living in an apartment and then I remember a post about her dishwasher breaking in a brand new apartment. So I then found her maiden name and found her parents address which matched the gift drop off location. I also looked her up by her married name and an apartment address was revealed. I told a couple of people about the wrong address and they asked what are you doing to do? I said I’m going to drop off day eleven and twelve like I had planned as there is a reason God told me to do this. In the meantime Allyson and I decided that we would also stop on day twelve and see my friend who we thought we were dropping the gifts off for. I sent her a message asking for her address to confirm the white pages were correct. So today was day twelve and only the second time I have ever knocked on the door and waited for the people to answer. I was a nervous wreck waiting for the girl who almost caught me. They invited me in and then asked who I was. So they kind of remembered me as the nurse after I dropped a few reminders. They said they eliminated all their family and friends and couldn’t think of anyone else. They did decide that mercy had way too many patients for it to be them. (Also Mercy could not do this because of the stark law, they aren’t allowed to give any thing to a patient more than ten bucks). Apparently it was driving her crazy who it was and so the day she got the note she showed her sister. She called and texted people every night about what gift she received. As I was leaving I noticed the Christmas ornament from day one hanging on the front door and she said it was there the entire time. I said I was so paranoid about being caught I never noticed. It made their entire Christmas and gave them something to look forward to. They also gave me a gift which was not expected or necessary. I accept gifts almost as well as hugs. However this is beautiful and if I would have put a tree up this year I would have hung it on there the minute I got home.
Next stop was the apartment. I asked if she knew it was me and said not until I posted about trying to do something nice and it turning into a comedy. That made her kind of suspect me. Her parents and she wondered if it was supposed to be for her based on the gifts. She has a five-year old so I had a blast finding stuff for kids. My favorite was day one, it was a gingerbread bat cave and bat car. She told me her son would call grandma every night and ask what the angel left. It brought her parents closer together. After we saw her we did our last drop and run at her parents house and I left them my note about who I was and the story. And as we were driving away I realized I experienced what this is all about. To show people love and kindness during what can be a stressful time. Yes Allyson and I would leave the house knowing we wouldn’t be back for at least two hours. All kinds of crazy stuff happened, like almost getting caught, seeing a deer on the sidewalk, driving around the block three and four times till the front was clear, getting out of work late every single time causing me to barely make it to second house before nine. However all kinds of cool stuff happened too. Allyson and I debated blonde Oreos vs chocolate. I ate these yummy white chocolate peppermint covered thin pretzels almost every night. Allyson got to meet someone she had always wanted to meet and wrote him a huge letter. She had a story to tell! But the greatest part of all was being able to see what a little bit of kindness made such a huge impact. I give up as I cannot find words to describe it. I would encourage every single person reading this to do this just one Christmas. It is the part of Christmas we most look forward to. We have family memories that will last forever. I will do this until I can no longer run fast enough not to get caught.
Mole moral ~ If you move please notify your employer, you never know who might need your address or why.
I had always heard that at Disney you go to bed on October 31 and the parks are decorated for Halloween and when you wake up the next morning they are decorated for Christmas. Because I live in the show me state I wanted to see this for myself. It worked out well because Halloween was on a Wednesday when we visited. Our back stage tour was on Tuesday so one of the other couples asked our guide and she said yes it would happen. She said everything but the trees would be up on the first and the trees would be up on the second. I found this totally incredible considering the park was open until midnight on Halloween and probably closer to one before everyone got out of there and then opened again at nine am. We went to Magic Kingdom on the second and since pictures speak a thousand words I’m ending this with them.
There are three blogs that I have delivered via email so that I never miss them. They are by far my favorite. A couple of weeks ago I thought to myself, where is Beauty Beyond Bones? so I went to her site and read that day’s post. I didn’t think about it anymore until yesterday when I was checking my spam folder for something else and I realized nothing from WordPress had come through in three weeks.
Fractured Faith Blog writes daily and I can’t believe I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting his. He lives in Ireland and has been writing a book for months. I wish he would just self publish so I could read it already. He also writes about running and his struggle with faith.
Just another weight loss story maybe publishes once a week but they crack me up every time. She puts a spin on diet and exercise that is like no other. I sometimes forward them to my friends to read as well. She is also up for an award for best blog in South Africa. I of course voted for her.
I cannot believe that I get every type of junk mail, that I cannot get unsubscribed to, but yet my favorites were all sent to spam. It’s ridiculous. So I just spend ten minutes marking them all as not spam and I best start getting them back in my inbox. Until then I have twenty-four to catch up on.
Mole Moral ~ Check your spam every once in a while, you never know someone may have slipped through the cracks!
If you haven’t seen this show, you should. I think it ranks right up there with This is Us. I started watching mostly because I am a Facebook junkie and I thought how cool would it be to get a friend request from God. Miles who gets the request is an atheist and is convinced someone is behind it so of course his Indian friend is a computer genius and is busy trying to trace who keeps sending the friend requests. It is so well written and it just keeps tying one episode to the next. I usually binge watch TV shows but this one I watch every week.
Although I am sure when the show ends they will discover a person is behind it. Someone is sending him friend requests of people who need his help. I have always felt if a person is quiet and listens (not audibly) they can hear God and things he would like you to do. My Christmas Angel yearly program has always been chosen by God. It’s hard to describe but I just know when it is the right person. I’m thinking about it because that starts again on December 14. It is one of the things I look the most forward to.
Mole Moral ~ Just like This is Us, you need to start from the first episode. Another great show is A Million Little Things and also needs to be started from the beginning. This may be the year of the great TV shows.
Part of my love for Disney is the costumes that they have. I was very excited to go behind the scenes to see where everything is made. Now the workers uniforms that work say in Space Mountain are made off site by another company. The others like Woody, Jasmine, all of the outfits on the dolls in It’s A Small World are made on site at Creative Costuming.
The outfits hanging up as prototypes were fantastic. They even find stuff to look like leather to make costumes lighter weight. They couldn’t find the right fabric for the sash in this picture so they sewed the red and white material together to make the stripes. I can’t even imagine what a nightmare that was.
They do a lot of embroidery work. However they have big machines to do it that are run by computers. Someone has to program them to do what they need.So at creative costuming not only were real people using real sewing machines but other real people were working on computer programs as well.Emily said I needed to get a job there. I said heck no, my neck is on fire just thinking about being hunched over a sewing machine, sewing stuff together wrong and having to redo.
I was blown away by all of these thread colors. I cannot imagine having access to all of this at once. Go big or go home I suppose.
Mole Moral ~ My job at Disney would not be in this place, I better stick to being a nurse.
First of all I will confess I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It was about two months ago when my boss requested rice krispy treat turkeys for our Thanksgiving teamwork reminder. Our one word for the year at work is Teamwork between women’s health, mother/baby and labor/birth. So each month the Professional Governance committee that I am on comes up with different ways to remind the unit of the word. I had thought about the turkey request but made the mistake of getting on the above mentioned website and found these.
They are so cute and look so easy. Looks can be very deceiving. I had to make them in three batches and I ended up with chocolate everywhere. Six hours later this was my end results.
The next issue was just exactly how was I going to get them all to work. So I decided to put them on a tri-fold science project board, folded up. That worked well, except they were heavy as all get out. I covered them tightly with Saran wrap and put them in my car. I hadn’t made it three miles from my house when there was an accident on the highway and I hit the brakes. That sent my turkeys flying into the floorboard. I thought I was never going to get to work to assess the damage.
A few lost a leg, a few lost an eyeball and three lost their entire face but all in all they survived pretty well. My boss loved them and the general consensus was I have way too much patience to put that much work into something. Actually by the time I realized how time-consuming they were, I was in over my head and decided I had no choice but to finish what I had started.
I could not figure out what I wanted to make for Thanksgiving when it popped into my head to look for a carrot cake cheesecake recipe. I swear you can find the kitchen sink on pinterest. So here is what I found and the article said the ingredients made the cake look initimitating but do not be afraid it was pretty easy.
Well the way it said to layer the cheese cake with the carrot cake did not work out at all for me. And after I had the cake in the oven I realized I had forgotten to put the sour cream in the cheesecake portion. It was too late. So we finally cut into around four this afternoon and I baked in a 9×13 pan so mine looked like this.
It tasted really good and my mother in law told me to leave it with her. Now she had made my favorite cheesecake of all, Jello No Bake Cheesecake so I took a chunk of that home for later tonight.
Mole Moral ~ So many things to be Thankful for, I can read, I can follow directions, all of my family is healthy, I can taste, I can see, I can enjoy good food. I love my job (most days) and I have patience to do crazy crafts.
Every time I have visited Disney, I felt that Epcot was by far the lamest of all four parks. The rides are mostly educational and nothing at all in the thrill category. After the Backstage Magic Tour, I have a brand new appreciation for Epcot.
For starters Epcot and The World Showcase were suppose to be two separate parks. I believe it was a financial decision to make them one. The World Showcase was Walt Disney’s idea of how to show people not to be afraid of other cultures. In the original park design America was supposed to be between Canada and Mexico and a five-story building. However where the showcase joins Epcot is where America should have been so they had to move it across to the opposite side of the showcase. However a five-story colonial building would look like a huge eye sore between Japan and Italy. Here is a picture of it and it is indeed five stories.I will share the Disney Magic with you. First of all the first floor is underground. If you pay attention when you are walking towards the building, the ground goes uphill. More magic of how four floors look like three. It’s call forced perspective. From a distance and if you aren’t paying attention the doors on the outside look normal size. Now look at Emily standing next to the door. They are huge.On the inside it looks like there is a cathedral ceiling.However the ceiling is actually flat and it’s painted that way. Above this is the theater that presents a show about the history of America. There are no windows in the next level because it’s actually between the third and forth floor but the outside makes it look like the second floor.When we had our tour Epcot was not open but they were doing a test run on the show. The show has a movie in the background with animatronics that pop up. George Washington and Ben Franklin are the hosts. There was a cast member watching to make sure all the animatronics were working and all the clothes and things were in the right place. We then got to go back behind the screen and the stage and see how it all runs. It is still run by a computer from the 1980’s. Those huge ones that are as tall as people. It runs the scene changer which starts completely under the seats and moves back one scene at a time. The animatronics pop up in time with the movie. It is huge and yet you cannot feel or hear it moving when watching the show. Someone asked why they didn’t update the computer. If they updated computer they would have to update the scenes, the animatronics and on and on. It works just fine so there is no reason fixing something that is not broken.
If you ever wondered why Epcot had sponsors for the rides and things we learned the answer. When they first built Epcot the way to save their money was to offer up cooperate sponsorships and get part of it paid that way. Why pay for something, if you can find someone else to do it. We also learned that in the nighttime show Illuminations Reflection of Earth there are two people in the earth that floats across the water. The earth eventually opens up into a flower with a torch in the center. Emily and I had to watch the show after hearing the back story. Somewhere there is a lead-lined sitting area that two people are in during the entire show. This is how they drive it across the lake. They do not come out until everything is cooled down and they get the ok. That alone would send me into a claustrophobic panic attack.
LIGHT THE NIGHT Spectacular fireworks customized to a symphonic score burst above Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon during IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Lasers, a revolving Earth Globe and leaping flames co-star in this 13-minute spectacle. IllumiNations is the nightly finale at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Computer-generated image). (Copyright 2001. THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY.)
Our tour girl was totally into pyrotechnics so we learned a lot. No, Disney does not make their own fireworks but it is heavily regulated and they must have all sorts of permits. If it is raining they can get the entire firework show set up in two hours, otherwise they normally take their time. It was interesting during the day to watch the lake and see as the fireworks had been added. We even got to see where the flower is kept during the day.
Mole Moral ~ It only took five trips to Disney for me to appreciate Epcot which stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.