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30 Days of Christmas Day 30: A Pet Quiz

1. A dark science room                                                   ____Chow Chow 2. Teutonic minder of ewes                                             ____Black Lab 3. Colorful insect chaser                                                 ____Papillon 4. Pugilist                                                                        ____Mexican Hairless 5. Food-food                                                                   ____West Highland Doxie 6. French butterfly                                                          ____Husky 7. Scots mountain girlfriend                                           ____Bluetick Hound 8. Bald southern neighbor                                                                          ____German Shepherd 9. Not fat, just over-sized                                                                            ____Saint Bernarnd 10. Beatified author Cornwell                                                                   ____Boxer

30 Days of Christmas Day 29: Another Type of Quiz

Fill in the first word, which will help with the next circle  Answers to yesterday's quiz: 10,8,6,1,9,4,7,2,3,5

30 Days of Christmas Day 28: A Christmas Quiz

By this time in December you've heard all of these songs a thousand times, so match the Christmas song lyric with its title. 1. ...and folks dressed up like Eskimos. 2. You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear... 3. With the angels we will sing, "Hallelujah to the King!" 4. What can I bring Him, poor as I am? 5. "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep." 6. But the very next day, you gave it away. 7. Give him a hammer with lots of tacks... 8. I put a tack on Teacher's chair... 9. For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. 10. Let's hope it's a good one/without any fear ____ "So This Is Christmas" ____"I'm Gettin' Nothin' for Christmas" ____"Last Christmas" ____"The Christmas Song" ____"The Hallelujah Chorus" ____"In the Bleak Midwinter" ____"Up on the Rooftop" ____"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" ____"Silent Night" _

30 Days of Christmas Day 27: Simon's Reply to the Queen

Your Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth (and, by your grace, 'Highness' between us two), I was honored to receive your missive at this Christmastide, and humbled by your care for a mere subject of your great and prosperous realm. That you take interest in my life here on the outskirts of London is a source of pride to me, and I recall each single time we have met over these many year with great joy. You speak of growing old, but if I may respectfully disagree, Gloriana cannot age. You are our nation's shining light, and when light fades, the world grows dark. You spoke of holiday preparations at Greenwich, and though I have not been there, I think I can picture the stonework hung with greenery and the many candles lit for evening festivities. Things are simpler here, but since you asked, I will tell you of our preparations. My son Henry cut some holly to put over the doors, and my wife tied it with red ribbon. Its bright green leaves and red berries add a festive air

30 Days of Christmas Day 25: Her Royal Highness' Christmastide

My old friend Simon, I have thought of you often in recent days. It has been some years since we last met and I sent you off to Scotland. I am certain you have grown ancient, for I myself am old. It came to my mind to write to you of my days in Christmastide. Perhaps you will in turn tell me of yours. We are keeping Christmas now, since it is December 24th. The next twelve days will be busy ones, with parties each day until the last and largest one on Twelfth Night. Much of it is silliness, with men dressing as women and women as men. There is also gambling, which some abhor, but I believe life must offer good times to balance the bad ones we cannot avoid. I have ordered the cooks to spare no expense in feeding the household, so we shall dine on meats of all kinds, marchpanes, pies, custards, frumenty, plum porridge, and much else. I look forward to the Christmas pie of neat's tongue, eggs, sugar, lemon, orange peel, and spices. As I told you when last we met, s

30 Days of Christmas Day 22: Random Questions

1. Why are some words so hard to type? I invariably type Crhistmas and have to fix it. Also Goerge. 2. Why do we make stupid people famous? 3. Who decided that Christmas (or any holiday, for that matter) means going broke buying presents? 4. Who's Making Love to Your Old Lady (While You Are Out Making Love)?-- Sorry, it just came into my head. 5. What was I thinking when I planned a 30-day blog event? 6. What happened to being able to eat whatever I want and never gaining weight? 7. Where did I set my phone down this time? 8. Where can I find out if the 1998 Lincoln Continental had an escape button inside the trunk? (This is the kind of research question that drives authors crazy.) 9. When will I release my next book? (Only editors & cover artists know the answer!) 10. When will we learn that Peace on Earth is the only gift that matters?

30 Days of Christmas Day 21: IndieBrag Blog-Hop & Giveaway

Santa & Maggie Pill Santa was trying to get ready for Christmas, but things weren’t going well, and his droll little mouth pursed in frustration. He couldn’t find the fur-trimmed hat that went with his red suit. He needed a clean hanky to wipe away the ashes and soot after each trip through a chimney. And one of his boots had gone missing. Those were things his wife usually took care of, but she was nowhere to be found. Rubbing his little round belly, he looked in the kitchen to see if she was baking. Visions of sugar-plums danced in his head, but no. She wasn’t there. Was she in the laundry room, washing tiny elf socks and underwear? Scratching his snow-white beard, the jolly old elf peered into the small room at the back of the house. Nope. She wasn’t in the den taking a long winter’s nap, nor in the pantry sorting canned goods. When he finally found her, Mrs. Claus was in the den, curled up on the couch, reading a book on her Kindle. “What’s so interesting, dear?”

30 Days of Christmas Day 18: The Cat's Christmas

They've started again with the cruel season. They put toys all over the house and then freak out when I play with them. There's a tree full of shinies and danglies in the corner of the living room, but "NO! Don't touch!" happens when I get anywhere near it. I managed to get in a few minutes of exercise with several of the things they hung on it while everyone was somewhere else. First I had to un-stick the nice things from the tree, which was hard. Then I had fun chasing them around on the floor--at least until Dad came in and bellowed like an angry bull, "Mary! Come see what your cat did!" They put pretty things on end tables and shelves too, but again, I'm just supposed to look at them. A grouping of half a dozen figurines in a little wooden shed sits on the coffee table. I knocked them onto the floor to see if they'd roll nicely on the carpet. Only one of them did, but that one was fun to bat around until it went under the piano too far for

30 Days of Christmas Day 13: What Do You Watch?

Christmas is a time for stories, and the TV people are certainly aware of that. They show old favorites, knowing people will tune in no matter how many times they've seen the show, special, or movie. We don't seem to care if the animation is jerky or if Santa's belt and boots look like cardboard. We watch. If we do mind the zillions of commercials inserted, we watch anyway, because--Christmas! We watch with family when possible. I just read of a woman whose family is spread all over the country, so they plan a time and each family gets the show in whatever format they need to watch it at that time. That's dedication. What's your favorite Christmas show tradition? If you can't stick with one, we'll take your top 3.

30 Days of Christmas Day 11: Faye Remembers Christmas

Faye I remember Christmas. I’d start thinking in late September about what each person in my family would like for a gift. Barb was always the easiest to buy for, because…books. She didn’t much care what kind as long as it was something she could learn from. And she could learn from mystery novels about motives and justice, from classics about life and integrity, or from Bill Bryson about just about anything. She honestly didn’t care what she was reading, as long as she was reading. Retta wasn’t hard to buy for either, but for a different reason. She told you what she wanted, in detail, with directions and a price range. Sometimes it was written down, just to be sure. That left Mom and Dad, who always said they didn’t want anything. That’s such an unsatisfactory answer to “What would you like for Christmas?” but it’s what we always got. Dad was funny because for some strange reason, the man who never shopped would go out late in November and buy himself new underwear

30 Days of Christmas Day 9: A Pet Question

If you know the Sleuth Sisters, you've met Buddy, Faye's mongrel, and Styx, Retta's Newfoundland. You know Barb has formed a tenuous relationship with a stray cat. Book #2 had some horses join the family, and Book #3 took us to the family farm, where there are reindeer and peafowl. In the 4th Sleuth Sisters book, chickens are an inciting factor--Bet you never heard that in a mystery before! All this brought to mind a question for today's post: If money, space, and other possible drawbacks were somehow taken care of, what animal would you choose to get for a Christmas gift? (to add to the ones you already share space with, of course)

30 Days of Christmas--Day 6*-The Perfect Gift

Many of us start looking for the perfect gift around this time. (If you're one of those people who's had your shopping done since July 12th, I still love you.) There are lots of ways to go about finding things to make those around us happy, but I've been thinking of something you might not have considered. Why not give people the right to be different from you? Consider if you will how much stress--family, community, national, and international--would disappear if we didn't insist on being right. Football fans call rival teams terrible names, and their fans must be stupid if they cheer for them. Men and women make nasty jokes about the other gender's supposed weaknesses. Kids take note of the differences between them and conclude Not Like Me means bad. I don't think they come to that belief on their own. Internet philosophers speculate on the oddness--and therefore the wrongness--of this person or that group. People of different cultures are lumpe