Friday, December 29, 2017

Pucker Up!!

Lots of people collect things- coins, books, stamps, you name it. My daughter Camille likes to collect nail polish apparently. Last time I saw her she had enough to treat the toenails of every circus elephant in the world and still have some left.I used to collect comic books when I was young. Back then they only cost a very reasonable twelve cents each. A fellow I knew in grade school used to receive three cents a week for allowance. At the end of the month he had enough to go buy a comic book.How pathetic. His first name was Hampton and he seemed kind of like a three cent a week fellow. He's probably worth millions now. Anyway, displayed in the above picture is a varied assortment of lip balms. They belong to my daughter Jen. I'm not sure if they qualify as an actual collection, because she uses them all. In fact I think she's addicted to lip balm. She let me keep her stash overnight and the next morning she was getting kind of panicky because she claimed her lips were drying out and getting chapped. I find that hard to believe. Unless she had a 1200 watt hair dryer stationed directly over her mouth and turned on full bore, I don't think they could possibly dry  out for the next six weeks or more. She can't go more than a few minutes without reaching in to her pocket and applying a liberal smear of balm to those sun baked lips. Just this Christmas alone she ended up with I think six different lip products- no lipstick, just balms. Lets see, there's Fruit Smoothie, Berry Explosion, Melon Medley, Peaches and Cream and Triple Tropical which I believe are Blistex products. Blistex. I don't think I would have chosen that for a name of a product that I wanted people to believe would be beneficial to the well being of my mouth. It sounds like if you used it you'd get lip blisters. Guess it must work though. She's also got some stuff in a round tin that says Lip Shit. That too doesn't sound like something that I would care to apply to any area of my body. However, the name is catchy, so who knows. The round, purple thing  that looks kind of like R2-D2 is made by EOS or maybe that's what it's called. I couldn't find any more information on it. When you take off the lid there's a round ball inside that I assume is covered in some magical feel  good stuff for your lips. It reminds me of the ball that used to be part of the roll on deodorants people used. There's some Diamond Lip Treatment in the pink tube, some Alaskan Naturals Vanilla Moose Moose Lips Alaskan Size lip balm, some Honey House vanilla berry lip butter- at first I thought it said Honkey House, but I was wrong, some Perfectly Posh caffeinated lip balm that says Lip service 24/7 sweet lemon chiffon, and last but not least some stuff that Jan bought for her that is shaped like a green candy cane. It only mentions that it was made in China, so I'd be leery of using that stuff. Anyway, when it comes to protection for her lips, I think Jen will be covered for awhile.No doubt hundreds of years from now, should grave robbers raid her coffin, all they would find would be a skeleton with lips. Empty eye sockets and a pair of plump lips. What a sight.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Who Needs A Savior?

Christmas is just a week away. Like many people in the country, especially here in Alaska where mail can be hard to send or receive because of weather, I'm waiting for some gifts to arrive. I ordered in plenty of time, but competition for space on the cargo planes or mail trucks or however the packages get transported is at an all time high, so I'm waiting and hoping they get here in a timely manner. Unless you're buying a random gift for someone you don't really care about, like the fellow whose name you drew from the hat for the office Christmas party, you probably want to give a gift that means something. If you love someone, you spend a little time searching for something that they want or need.We want to give them something that shows we care. If we, in all our flaws and weaknesses care, how much more does God care? There was a slogan some years back, I can't recall the business, I think it was the FTD florists. The slogan was- When you care enough to send the very best.That pretty much sums up Christmas. Our heavenly father didn't hold anything back. He sent His very best. John 3:16 states-For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Everlasting life. It's the ultimate gift. You can't order it on Amazon or drive down to the mall to pick it up, but it's available if you want it. You can't buy it. All the money in the world wouldn't be enough. You can't earn it. There's no way you could be good enough. All you have to do is receive it. I'm reminded of that Far Side cartoon, by Gary Larson. It shows God in the kitchen. On the shelf there are assorted boxes;birds and insects and krill. The earth is in a pan on the stove and God has a salt shaker that says Jerks. He's giving it a pretty good shake. The caption is-"Just to make it interesting." I always laugh when I think of it, perhaps because I can relate. When it comes to being a jerk, I guess I'd have a place in the Jerk Hall of Fame. The sorry part is, I wouldn't be alone. I'd have lots of company. We don't even have to turn on the news or purchase a newspaper to see first hand the results of turning from God. It's apparent right in our own towns. You don't have to look too hard. The title for this blog post is Who needs a savior? The answer is, I do, and I would venture to say you do too. I hope that in all the busyness of the season, you will take some time to reflect on what Christmas is really about. It's truly something to celebrate. I wish all of you a blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Decorating- Alaskan Style

 For the first ten years that I lived in Alaska, the only way that I was aware that it was Christmas was to look at the calendar, or perhaps take a trip into town during December. The farm, where I lived, was run by a Christian organization that didn't celebrate Christmas. At least not all the outward appearances that are so common in the country today. We had no trees indoors, except for the ones we cut down and chopped up for firewood. There were no decorations or gifts or fancy dinners. There was nothing to distinguish Christmas from any other day of the year. On the one hand I could understand the doctrine. The commercialization of Christmas that is so prevalent now bears little resemblance to the reason we celebrate the holiday. For so many people Christmas is a time of great stress- too much busyness, too much pressure, too much money spent, and for some, too much time spent alone. All that being said, here in the North country, the nights are long and cold, and Christmas provides us with a good reason to dress up our homes and businesses with tinsel and lights and ornaments. It's nice to pass by a place that has some colored lights in the window and some streamers of garland draped around the tree.  When I came to town to live, I decided that it would be fun to decorate the house a little. For thirty years, more or less, we've strung garland and lights on the front porch and hung lights and tinsel in the windows. It breaks the monotony and drabness of a dark winter night. Here in Hoonah I've seen homes with the outdoor lights still strung up well into March and beyond. More power to them I guess. I was out at the Forest Service building and one of the employees decided to add a little Christmas cheer to the usual displays. As you can see, in place of a mantle to hang a stocking, there is the open mouth of a small brown bear. I hope Santa exercises caution when he goes to fill it. An art project from some of the local kids is dressed up with a few Christmas bows, and the display of bear skulls has a ribbon of green garland framing it. Up above the cross tree on a troller down at the marine storage facility, a bald eagle serves as a sort of tree topper. Even the dog gets dressed up this time of year when it gets cold and snowy outside. He's wearing his ugly sweater, complete with little jingle bells that go tinkling with every step he takes. His biggest challenge is to keep from peeing on his sweater when he lifts his leg. Apparently the sweater is a little big. As he was walking  through the snow on his way to sniff out another dog's marking, he stepped on the back of the sweater and ended up walking out of it, right through the collar. I guess he needs something a little smaller, but kids, please don't send him any more. He's got a pumpkin suit upstairs in the closet as well as a red rain coat- neither of which he cares for. If he wasn't so old I'd try to get him a hot dog bun sweater, like the wiener dogs in the Heinz commercial, but I don't want to humiliate the poor fellow. In any event, I hope that you'll take some time this year to go out and enjoy the light displays that your neighbors have set up.  If you're with the electric company, I hope you'll be giving out generous bonuses and if you're just a schmuck like me who likes to decorate the house, thanks for making Christmas a little brighter.