Coping With Grief.

From Bob Whiley(Sheila’s alias on FB):

Grief is a process that is never truly complete on this side of life. For instance, we were out shopping at the after holiday sales when I spotted a mother and her teenaged daughter. The girl was lovely, she was slender with flowing auburn hair, she had a lovely face and she was wearing pretty clothes. She looked to be around 17 and she radiated life and health. She and her mother were happily gathering tree ornaments from the sale bins and I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, it was as if I was in a trance. Then, I heard the daughter say “Oh look Mom, these will be great for next year.” For a moment, I felt sad and admittedly, even a little bitter. I moved on.

When we got to the car, I told Kent the story of the pretty girl and her mother, then, almost to myself, I commented. “How nice it must be to be that confident of next year coming, to have that kind of innocense of life” he looked at me as he does sometimes, with an expression of understanding and terrible knowing. Then, I caught myself, and for a moment, it was like all of my pain fell into my lap and I could look down upon it all lying there, so heavy, and so tiring. That’s when I took a deep breath and said to him. “I am so happy for that mother and daughter, I hope they never learn that sometimes next year doesn’t come.” He nodded with tears in his eyes and we sat there in bonded silence for a moment. I would call that progress, at least on some level.

So if you wonder how we could have gone through what we have gone through and still, it appears that we live in a constant state of elation, especially when the moment involves Bobber or Mandy or our grandsons, or why we take/post 15 pictures when one would suffice, this is why, it is because we understand that every moment is a priceless gift, that every small adventure is a bright blessing, that every tender mercy within every tender moment that is shared with family and with each other is a big beautiful exciting crazy exceptional excellent miracle. An angel taught us this.


Get Some Hygge. It’s Good For You!



How ‘hygge’ can help you get through winter

The vague cultural concept doesn’t translate easily into English, but it has helped Denmark become the ‘happiest country on Earth’ despite long, dark winters.
Denmark endures dreary winters with the help of an arcane cultural concept known as “hygge.” It’s not an easy word for outsiders to pronounce — it sounds sort of like HYU-gah — and it’s even harder to translate. Hygge apparently has no direct analogue in English, and related words like “coziness,” “togetherness” and “well-being” only cover a fraction of its nebulous definition. Still, in hopes of shedding light on Denmark’s world-class happiness, here’s a closer look at the hazy nature of hygge.
Hygge, originally a Norwegian word for “well-being,” first appeared in Danish near the end of the 18th century, according to Denmark’s tourism bureau. It has evolved into a big part of Danish life since then, absorbing connotations over time like a semantic snowball. The dark winters of Denmark helped turn hygge from a mere word into a kind of cultural panacea, manifested in various ways to buffer Danes against cold, solitude and stress.
“In other languages the word for hygge or coziness is more a physical thing, and hygge is more a mental thing,” explains Lotte Hansen, a library science student from Aalborg, Denmark, who’s interning at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. “It’s like a feeling, and it’s big at Christmastime. The candles, the food, being with your family.”
“It’s not only Christmas, though,” she adds, noting hygge is a pervasive, year-round spirit. “It’s like a mood you have. We can see hygge in many things, in many situations.”
This flexibility of hygge is a major reason why English words like “cozy” don’t do it justice. “Coziness relates to physical surroundings — a jersey can be cozy, or a warm bed — whereas hygge has more to do with people’s behavior toward each other,” writes author Helen Dyrbye in “Xenophobe’s Guide to the Danes.” “It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality and contentment rolled into one.”
To read more click on the link at the top!


Help! I Think I Have no Social Identity!

After viewing the below video, I realised that I am missing something vital, of great import in society: a Christmas jumper! Does this mean that I have no social identity? Could I wear a tag to make up for it. Is there a self-help group that could help me with this issue?

The issue has been resolved: I called my Mum and explained the dichotomy and she answered me that ‘us social non-entities'(without a Christmas sweater, that is) may very well be lucky to be ignored by those, who have been identified. In fact, she went on, if looking like a complete moron is what it takes to be socially identified, we’re better off without it(the identification and the sweater, of course).

She will send me some Christmas sock though. She’s such a dear! Anyways, happy holidays to all of you from Ralphie and the gang over here at Ralphie’s Portal.

Open All Hours returns for new Christmas special.


From The British Comedy Guide:

Open All Hours, the hit BBC sitcom that originally starred Ronnie Barker as tight-fisted shopkeeper Albert Arkwright, is to return to screens this Christmas with a brand new episode.

Written by Roy Clarke, the half-hour 40th anniversary special will be the highlight of BBC One‘s Christmas schedule, and is expected to broadcast in a prime-time spot on Christmas Day.

David Jason, who co-starred alongside Barker as his put-upon nephew and sole employee Granville, will become the central figure in the special, following Ronnie Barker’s death in 2005.

Jason said today: “I’m really excited to be bringing back Open All Hours. I am sure there is an audience out there who would like to see what Granville has been getting up to in the corner shop. It will be a great family show for Christmas and a fitting tribute to the legacy of Arkwright.”

Writer Roy Clarke said: “This has been fun – a great opportunity to work with David Jason again and to suggest how things at that corner shop might look today.”

The sitcom was originally broadcast over four series from 1976 to 1985, following a 1973 pilot. It focussed on the miserly Arkwright, stuttering proprietor of a small but well-stocked end-of-terrace grocer’s shop in Dalby, South Yorkshire. His desire to maximise profits lead him to keep the shop ‘open all hours’ he can, constantly trying to foist unnecessary purchases onto his unsuspecting customers and concoct new and novel ways of marketing his goods and dispensing his services whilst investing as little money as possible – usually at Granville’s expense.

The original series also starred actress Lynda Baron as Arkwright’s love interest and ostensible fiancée, the buxom Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, whilst Stephanie Cole appeared semi-regularly as customer Mrs. “Black Widow” Featherstone, a seemingly joyless penny-pincher who, impressed with his miserly ways, has her own designs upon Arkwright.

The new special, titled Still Open All Hours, will see Granville now running the shop alongside his own son. Lynda Baron will return, as will Maggie Ollerenshaw, as Mavis, the customer who always troubled Arkwright with her indecision.

Mark Freeland, head of the BBC’s Comedy production department, says: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome back to BBC comedy the magic pairing of David Jason and Roy Clarke. Having the chance to see Arkwright’s beloved shop again, now run by Granville, I hope will bring broad grins to lots and lots of faces at Christmas.”

To read more click link up top!

Donations??? – Joke

English: US Capitol, Washington DC, the seat o...

US Capitol, Washington DC, the seat of government for the United States Congress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From ronanp on Experience Project.

A driver was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway outside Washington, DC.  Nothing was moving.  Suddenly, a man knocks on the window.

The driver rolls down the window and asks, “What’s going on?”

“Terrorists have kidnapped the entire US Congress, and they’re asking for a $100 million dollar ransom.  Otherwise, they are going to douse them all in gasoline and set them on fire.  We are going from car to car, collecting donations.”

“How much is everyone giving, on an average?” the driver asks.

The man replies, “Roughly a gallon.”

Dear Santa,

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Esperanto: Patro Kristnasko kaj malgranda knabino Suomi: Joulupukki ja pieni tyttö (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nothing for me this Christmas, please!

I’m perfectly happy where I am and

have everything that I need:

the lovingest of friends in a happy home,

good cheer and family all around.

What more could a body ask for?


bring joy to where lives sorrow;

a friend to those who feel alone

and peace where there is war!

Fill every hungry belly

and shelter those in need.

And don’t forget the children,

Santa, give them a happy home.

Let them be free of worries,

put smiles upon their faces…

Spread kindness all around,

also to our furry friends, who

stand by us through thick and thin!

In fact, everywhere on the planet

may love and friendship abound!

Good cheer from a very thankful Lil Ralphie.

P.S.: If you need a helping hand, I is a-willin’!



For The Children! – Pause.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Lieven Grillaert

Just found this….. nice 🙂 :::: ====> Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38   when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.   Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.   They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.   They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say. …  They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.   “Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.   “This is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at   God’s house.”   When what to their wondering eyes did appear,   the children gathered near.   He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.   Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.   And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring   Those children all flew into the arms of their King   and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,   one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.   And as if He could read all the questions she had,   He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”   Then He looked down on earth, the world far below   He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe…   then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,   “Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”   “may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”   “I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”   then He and the children stood up without a sound.   “Come now my children, let me show you around.”   excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.   All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.   and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,   “In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Kids’ mas


I’d like to send my biggest Yuletide wishes,

not to my closest friends or loved relations,

but out to kids who’ve never heard of Christmas,

the ones in all the far-off poorest nations.

The kids who struggle daily for survival,

who never heard of Santa or December,

to whom a gift is simply one more morning

without the loss of one more family member.

Those kids who grow despising all religion,

with anger in their veins and hate a winner,

infused with venom searching for a victim,

not once to see the love of Christmas dinner.

Those waifs in countries still without a future,

no sleigh bells to bring smiles to hungry faces,

in Africa, Afghanistan and Asia,

the Middle East and countless other places.

So spare a thought as you unwrap your presents,

the season to be jolly – money driven,

and say a prayer for kids who don’t have Christmas,

then thank your God for what you have been given.

Fruit Cakes – LOL – Pause

English: A neatly decorated Christmas cake.

English: A neatly decorated Christmas cake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Brenda Lewis Chaney

 I don’t want much for Christmas,
I just want the person reading this to be happy.
Friends and family are the fruit cake of life –

some nutty, some soaked in alcohol, some sweet –

but mix them together and they’re my friends and family.
Love them all!
Send this to all your fruit cakes

Divorce! – Joke

Publicity photo of Constance Bennett from Star...

Publicity photo of Constance Bennett from Stars of the Photoplay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


From “funny jokes & pics “


An old man in Miami calls up his son in New York and says, “Listen, your mother and I are getting divorced. Forty-five years of
misery is enough.”
“Dad, what are you talking about?” the son screams.
“We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” he says. “I’m sick of her face, and I’m sick of talking about this, so call your sister in Chicago and tell her,” and he hangs up.
Now, the son is

worried. So he calls up his sister. She says, “Like heck they’re getting divorced!” and calls her father immediately. “You’re not getting divorced! Don’t do another thing, the two of us are flying home tomorrow to talk about this. Until then, don’t call a lawyer, don’t file a paper, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and she hangs up.
The old man turns to his wife and says “Okay, they’re coming for Christmas and paying their own airfares.”


Diary Of A Snow Shoveler. – Joke

Snow Cat

Snow Cat (Photo credit: clickclique)

From DinahMoeHumm on Experience Project.

December 8: 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the
season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma MosesPrint. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow! 

December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow
covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight!  Can
there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks.

This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a
disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we’ll definitely
have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. l don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14: Snow lovely snow! 8″ last night. The temperature
dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. l didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish l wouldn’t huff and puff so.

December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4
Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels.
Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the
electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska,
after all.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in
the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for
an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go
anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the
blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but
won’t admit it to her. I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe
I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20: Electricity’s back on, but had another 14″ of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Dam snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it’s so cold it probably
won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to
go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he’s too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

December 23: Only 2″ of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24: 6″. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the
shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son
of a bitch who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the dam snowplow.

December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to kill her.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.

December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is driving me crazy!!!!!

December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. 9″ predicted.

December 31: Set fire to what’s left of the house. No more

January 3: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills
they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Next Messiah German or Dutch?


Read all about it!

The Christmas star was witnessed by millions and even recorded on video and pictures for all posterity. Why the second coming has decided to wear clogs is a mystery though(or possibly lederhosen). Asses flocked out in droves to watch this amazing spectacle and a stable has been prepared, just in case!

In the Netherlands the hunt is on for a female, who might loosely be described as a virgin! What with wise men having become such a rarity, one wonders who will show up to greet the little bugger? 2011 + 33 = 2044 We still have over three decades before we can mess for up the second time, folks. No need to worry just yet.

Huge Fireball recorded over Germany and The Netherlands on Dec 24, 2011.

It Slithered

It slithered from the toilet

and across the bathroom floor

It slithered down the hallway

and then underneath my door

It slithered into my bedroom

and right past my teddy bear

It slithered onto the blanket

and it caught me unaware

It slithered and it woke me

as I laid there in my bed

 It slithered onto my pillow

then it kissed me on the head

I wondered what it could be

that slithered over my face

I hoped that it would slither off

to someone else’s place

It slithered up my nostril

and then out of my left ear

It wished me Merry Christmas

and a Slithery New Year!

The Heartache of Being Merry (for the holidays)

This IS the season, isn’t it?  A happy time, a time of magic and wonder, a time of laughter and fond family memories.   A time of snow kissed holiday romances, of sugar-plum fairies, of unending familial feasts.  

The time of torn gift wrap piled to ones knees.  A time of scents…pine sap and cinnamon aromas in the house that smell so heavenly one could cry!  A time of snoring Grandpa’s and baking Grandma’s. A time of church bells and church plays, a time of red velvet dresses, patent leather shoes, bb guns, big soft dolls, and peanut butter fudge. The wonder of the holiday season, no matter what you call it, is a time of sweet merriment, a time for giving, receiving, loving, and being loved, right?

Well, not really, not for everyone. It’s also a time of sadness, of deep throbbing sorrow, of loneliness, of heart ache that begins after Thanksgiving (in the USA) and continues until after January one of the next calendar year and beyond. 

I wonder why no one told me the awful truth as I was growing up, why was I not prepared that people would begin to die away? That they would be here one season, and not here the next. What crap, what awful, heartless beasts they were to keep that fact of life a secret until I discovered it all on  my own.

I think to myself “Maybe it isn’t that others have it so good, it’s just that YOU  have it so bad?” (a line from the movie “As Good As It Gets”) but for tonight, I simply had to borrow it.

This witch is not a crier, no-no no. However, honestly, I “fake” it this time of the year. I do an awfully lot of hiding, tear swiping and make up retouching.  I cry daily, I cry while I cook, I cry in the bathtub, I cry before sleep.

 I go numb when I am shopping, right in the middle of an isle, I freeze when I see something precious and perfect, something wonderful that I would love to buy for someone who I love, but, I can’t do it because that loved one is that is no longer here on earth to receive my gifts.

You see,  I sorrowfully miss our youngest daughter, my Daddy, my two brothers, my Grandparents, several dear friends as well.  Truth is, if I allowed myself, I could howl continually this time of the year. How truly “Merry” am I? NOT!

There is no wonder that suicides go up dramatically at holiday time. It’s all of the emotion involved with the decorations, the shopping, the scents, the weather, the music…oh God, the music!  You get all softened up like warm butter, and then you look around and there is the empty chair at the table, the quiet unoccupied rooms of the house that once rang with excitement, it’s all quiet now. How am I supposed to feel, MERRY?

Our sweet daughter that is no longer here with us, she was always the first one up, running excitedly with her long pony-tail flying, up and down the hallway, waking everyone at five in the morning.  Her river water green eyes sparkling with fun.

Now, the dogs snore, the clock chimes, the door is to her vacant room is closed. I weep.

My two brothers with their laughing, flashing, Irish eyes are no longer sneaking out to my parent’s garage on Christmas Eve for a smoke and a nip of bourbon during the family Christmas gathering.  I could hear them through the furnace vents, I could hear it all, all of their laughing and lying.  I knew that they were down there hiding from the rest of us, telling one another fantastic lies, taking a big drink, a big draw, and getting on with a new tall tale. They were like kids again down in that cold garage, sneaking their booze and cigs, even at age sixty they were naughty brothers… more, no, no, the old garage is forever silent, it is lie, smoke and booze free.   I weep.

My Dad is no longer cutting the wrapping from his gifts with his super sharp pocket knife, every cut precise, like a surgeons cut. He always cut those boxes and the paper too, then painstakingly placed the rubbish in neat little stacks around his chair. I don’t know why this was so important to him on Christmas Eve?  No more, no sliced boxes and wrapping paper in their neat little piles at his slippered feet, no laughing dancing “fathers eyes” to mesmerize me. In my mind yes, but, not in his recliner where I want him to be. I weep.

Yet, in all of this sorrow, there is one new and shining star. We have a toddler Grandson and he wanted rubber “farm boots” for (Solstice) this year.  He wanted gloves and he wanted to bake cookies with Granny, and make punch with Poppa.  He wanted a tricycle and a train engineers hat, he got all of it and much more, he is only two, so we had to complete his list for him.

What a blessing he is, what joy to behold, his eyes so bright, his mind so quick. The way he says “Thank You Granny” makes me swoon, makes me dizzy with grandmother love. So of course, I cannot shoot myself, or worse. I cannot leave Poppa or our sweet surviving children, these are my beloved ones. I must dry my eyes and get on with the holidays, for there is this life to continue.

Life is a sacred gift, and no matter how sorry I  feel for myself, I must carry on, it’s a rule you know.   I want everyone and anyone who ever reads this sad little holiday post to realize that “going on” is a rule, so do it……but, still, I weep. (and I don’t blame me)

Jace and Gran on Solstice