my POETRY | ANNI'S BOOK CRITIQUES | my ART | my BIRD photography | MLB | NFL | hurricanes

Stop by I'd Rather B Birdin'...
my other blog of bird photography

This week:
and more

Click on Bird Name[s] to view

The link above will be active [and new] each Saturday at noon

Got a good reason For taking the easy way out

A little over a week ago, I posted about the package that came in the mail. And that a few of us lady friends who've known each other for many years and are online buddies...we get together and draw names [hubby draws the names, he likes playing Santa] for the holiday gift exchange. The only rules are not to spend over $20 American money and not to show the gifts until everyone has received theirs. That way no one is being swayed to buy this or that for THEIR name.

So, we wait.

And wait...

Patiently. As patient as a child on Christmas morn........

Well, my gift came as I said. And I was instructed to open mine when it arrived. Not to wait for Christmas. Hey, I can live with that!!! And I've been enjoying my gift, literally, ever since.

First off the photos, I know how anxious you are to see them:

To explain it all here we go:

Inside the golden package is a wonderful, and I do mean; wonderful disk.
My Santa burned a CD of all the Christmas Carols and others of her favorite songs that she knew I'd like too! [She also added a song of Ireland]. And believe me, all of them are simply divine!! I have them playing daily!! My dear friend KNOWS how much I love music and learning of different cultures around the world.

Also part of what she's given me are napkin rings that she crocheted herself!!

And one more part of her generosity....

A beautiful Baltic Amber Pendant.

{okay so now you know, she's Danish. From Denmark!!}

The Christmas Carols are recorded in Danish....wonderfully composed and so pretty they melt a heart. The Crocheted Napkin Rings are hand crocheted by this wonderful Dane....let me add at this point that she's over 80 years young!!!! And the Baltic Amber?!!! Y'all know just how coveted the amber from the North Sea is don't you? They even have National Geographic specials about it on American TV -------And she thought of me. Her gifts are perfect!! I will cherish them for years and years to come. But I will cherish our long lasting friendship too!!! Thanks Mutti.
A little over a year ago, we almost lost our dear Mutti. She was hospitalized with a heart attack. It was close. But with her strong will to live, she came back to us. I must admit, with conversing with her son through emails, that I was scared. I love this woman! She's the soul of what life is all about. Her past, our secret spot on her beach, her wit, her laughter, her joy of living ----it's all so inspiring. So, I'd like to add that the best gift from her is our friendship!!!

My Secret Santa ---


I was tagged by Smarmoofus to participate in Crazy 8s. Oh that was one of my favorite card games!!! Let's play!!

8 Things I’m passionate about.

8 Things I want to do before I die.
    See a Broadway Show --ON BROADWAY [NYC]
    Return to Hawai'i
    Go to Ireland
    See my grandsons marry
    Be a great grandmother
    Win the Lotto [oh ya, I don't play!]
    Have my star on the Walk of Fame [giggles]
    See London [White Chapel District]

8 Things I often say.
    "Are you KIDDIN' Me?"
    "You're such a pretty kitty"--to Tahoe
    "Mr. Winston!" --to Winston
    "What a hoot!"
    "Oh Sweet Cheeks? I need you!"
    "What's there to eat?"
    "Y' think?"
    "I have miles to go before I sleep........"

8 Books I’ve recently or currently reading:
    "Virgin Lover"
    "Portrait of an Unknown Woman"
    "Poe's Shadow" [not finished, but will]
    "The Kite Runner"
    "Marley's Christmas Carol"
    "I, Mona Lisa" [not read, but it's on my nightstand]
    "Harper Lee - A biography"
    "In Cold Blood" [3rd time reading]

8 Songs I could listen to over and over:

    "Old Rugged Cross"
    "Amazing Grace"
    Michael Bolton "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
    Aerosmith "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
    Oh Danny Boy
    Rod Stewart "You're in My Heart, You're in My Soul"
    "Oh Shenandoah"

8 Things that attract me to my best friends.
    Their humor
    Their compassion
    Their devotion
    Their loyalty
    Their talents
    Their attitude
    Their keeping secrets
    Their view on life

8 People I think should do Crazy 8s:
I don't tag anyone.
But, I don't mind being tagged!!


Well, it's out in the open now. It's finally been revealed why there is no Nativity Scene at our Nation's Capital!

They can't find 3 wise men OR a virgin!

_ _ _

But in all seriousness, these next three photos tugs at the heart strings....

[Arlington Cemetery - Washington D.C.]
decorated by volunteers each year
wreaths are donated
[Tomb of the Unknown Solider]
photos courtesy of USA Today


Thanks Karen! I love getting this "I Love Your Blog" Award!! [if you rotate the award 90° to the left it's a "heart"] It's very much appreciated.


  1. Good Morning Anni,
    Oh I love your gifts from your Secret Santa. They are just beautiful. I have heard that Amber is a rare find. Wow, Mutti being over 80 years young and still doing all of that stuff is just wonderful. God has truly blessed her. I, too, love meeting new friends from all over and learning about their cultures. And to be able to listen to the Christmas Carols in Dutch, I bet that is just heart touching. It gives me chills just thinking about it. Yes, we should remember our fallen and present Military Personnel. I do have a Banner in supporting our Troops on one of my last week's post. If you would like to put it on yours, you are more than welcome to add it here. I was ROFLMBO about the joke with the reason no Nativity is at the White House. That is just too cute. You are more than welcome for the Award Anni. You know I love coming over here and reading your blog. You always have something that makes my day. It may be a laugh or an inspirational story, but it all just puts a smile on my face and I feel better when I leave here. Well, take care my friend and have a great Sunday. May God Bless You and Yours. "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to you and yours from our Family. JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!!

    Lots of Love & Hugs,
    Karen H.

  2. Awwwwww Anni! Mutti's gift for you was perfect! I wouldn't expect less from her! Mine is up on my blog too... :)

  3. Nice gifts from Denmark ! I am quite surprised that she is called Mutti, because that means "mom" in German. I didn't know that they use it in Denmark too, I always thought it was a german word. I have always called my mother Mutti. My grandma and my mother had quite a lot of jewelery in amber that was very in fashion in Germany too. I inherited two long necklaces and some hangers. In one a fly is still sitting. You should read about the amber room (if you haven't done it yet) which unfortunately has disappeard in Worldwar II it had been hidden by Hitler. I have read a lot about it they still hope to find it again. It must have been very beautiful ! You can read about it here

    Of course I can give you my real name but only in private emails, in Blogworld I prefer to remain Gattina, lol !
    Tomorrow noon we are leaving for Amsterdam but we are back the next day in the evening. For the moment I am wrapping the rest of the gifts !

  4. Merry Christmas..!!

  5. What a nice gift!! I would love getting something from Denmark. She was very generous to you!! I LOVE having blogging friends! I also like your Crazy 8's too. I hope that you two have a great Christmas..Sandy

  6. Anni,

    Your secret Santa is beautiful and so are all of the gifts she sent to you. How lucky you are to have Mutti in your life.

    I love the photos of Arlington. I saw a documentary about the company the other night on tv and have known that the wreaths are donated each year. This year on our way home, we hope to stop at Arlington and see them. Brandon wants to go to the Smithsonian and we plan to do that. I will take lots of wonderful photos of our trip to share when we get home.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful post. Merry Christmas. I wish you many blessings in the coming New Year, along with much love, happiness and good health.

    Love ya, girl.

  7. I just pop in to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS before we leave for Amsterdam.
    I put a french Christmas song on my blog. It is the famoust one and known by all French speaking people. I learned it from my son when he was little.
    Don't eat too much, lol !

  8. I have just made it 'round to read your Crazy 8s, and I'm so glad I finally made it! haha! We both say "Are you KIDDING me?!" Well, you drop your "g"s. Thank you for playing!