Tag Archive | Christmas

Thankfulness #29: Words


Today I am thankful for words. To be specific,  10,853 words. That’s how many I managed to write today – wOOt! – which leaves just 7,859 to reach the 50,000 required by NaNoWriMo, and I have two days to do it in. This should be gravy.

I thought I was farther behind than I was. The last word count I remembered was 28,000, but apparently I got it up to 31,000 the other night (who knew). So I started 3,000 ahead today, which helped a lot.

As to the writing itself, sadly a lot of those 50,000 words will get deleted come December first, but I’m on chapter six, maybe chapter seven. I have a bit more of the plot, and then I have to figure out what to do. I know where they are going to go for the big climax, but I don’t have much planned to fill the middle. I think they need to run into the bad guys a couple times – I might go back and add that into one of the previous chapters in fact, so we can start “meeting” them. But I don’t know. As usual, it’s all up in the air.

I did promise Christmas decoration pics yesterday, so here they are.

First, the cute hat ornaments we made:

And now for decorations:


We’re mid scraping on the frontroom, so the tree had to go in the dining room this year. Because of the in flux nature of those rooms, we barely did anything else to them,  so the bathroom is crammed with lots of Christmas stuff, as is the kitchen. Someday I am going to have this house done and really do it up.

I tried to stick to a themed tree this year, as I’ve been discussing, but I didn’t make it. We ended up having to add several ornaments that are sentimental. I mean, what is Christmas without a zombie on your tree?


And I leave you with a squishy chicken in a santa hat!



Have a three-thousand-extra-words kinda day!

Jo 🙂

What Happens to Old Film

Long ago, in the dusts of time, I used a camera with *gasp* film. Towards the end was a time of great activity (aka I was short on time) and when time was available I was short on funds and, well, anyway, I never got the last several rolls developed.

I’ve planned to do it. I’ve said I need to. Then this year for Christmas Dad gave me my usual Walmart gift card. For a change I didn’t need to spend it on a) the thing I wanted that no one got me or b) groceries, so I am using it to get those rolls of film developed.

I sent in two test rolls, to see if anything would even come off of them because I had no idea when they were from. To my surprise some photos did come off, and they are from 2005. Even more interesting, the two random rolls I grabbed happen to go together.

As I said there were photos, but that doesn’t mean they’re GOOD photos. One roll isn’t too bad but the other…It’s so bad that they sent me a card about how to avoid light pollution to my film and suggested I may have changed the roll in full on sunlight. Ouch.

Anyway, I thought I’d share them for a sort of throwback fun day, and to show you what happens when you wait 10 years to develop film. Also of note: Walmart did NOT return my negatives (there were a lot of arguments about this online when I tried to find out whether they even developed pictures anymore.) I did get a cool picture CD though so I didn’t have to manually scan anything off.

These are from December 2005. We stopped at Shyla’s Christmas event, got to go to Branson and get a motel and see Ray Steven’s last show thanks to hubby’s work, had the big family Christmas, and then our family Christmas, as well as my birthday and my brother’s birthday. And of course there’s some cats.

So let this be a lesson. Do not let film sit for ten years. And now, I need to get some more developed.

Have a pink and yellow bonfire explosion kind of day!

Jo 🙂

Christmas Lights in Omaha

Hubby has the hard drive imaged but now comes figuring out how to…do whatever it is needs done with the image to…make it into a hard drive. Yeah, I don’t know ANY of the terminology here. Long story short, the hard drive on this laptop has bad sectors – has had since I got it three years ago – and so he originally tried to clone it, but it wouldn’t clone right so he had to go to the next step, which makes an image of the drive (like a virtual disk – with an image of a disc you then mount it in a virtual drive to access it.) However, I have no idea what he does now to make the image into the actual data on the hard drive. I’m sure he knows, but…

Anyway, so I still have the drive with errors, but at least I have a drive. I got some photo editing done of the Omaha Christmas Lights we went to see last week. There is a light show in the park in front of the Mutual of Omaha building, but we missed it. Maybe next year.

If, for some reason, you want MORE Christmas lights, you can check out my flickr album of the trip OR there’s the Christmas Lights folder which may have some of dubious quality – I need to go through sometime and weed some of the older junk out. It’s just so time consuming!

Have a happy new year everyone!

Jo 🙂

Random Photos

I found some more rose photos from 2012, as well as a few clouds and some Japanese Beetles. I know, none of it is very Christmas-y, is it? I should post lights and trees and snowflakes; eggnog and cookies, but alas I don’t feel very Christmas-y, what with the weather and… and I don’t know. I don’t know when the last Christmas was that I *did* feel it. 1990 stands out as one of the most Christmas-y Christmases ever. I was in fifth grade and I remember we made construction paper socks to hang off our desks, and when we were good we’d get a piece of Christmas candy to put in it. We made the socks in art class (in a room in the basement) and somehow they got mixed up – or at least mine did – and I ended up with someone else’s. So I took it home and spent the evening decorating it up to my standards. I recall using a paper punch to make the holly berries and cutting out individual leaves for one side that the original owner had drizzled random glitter over. And the other side I drew Santa in front of a fireplace. It looked pretty good when I was finished. That was also the year I had a bad cough and my Dad, determined that if it tastes good it doesn’t work, bought me Luden’s honey lemon cough drops. I got slightly addicted to them and faked the cough for a week or more afterwards in order to keep getting the cough drops.

But as for why that year was extra-Christmas-y…I don’t know. The classroom was very decorated – there was tinsel on the windows and a tree – but then they did that in every classroom. And our house was always very decorated, so there was no change there. Regardless, that was the year where I felt the absolute most Christmas-y I have ever felt. It’s sad to peak when you’re ten.

Though I haven’t put photos here, I have made cookies this year, and we cut out snowflakes and hung them from the dining room ceiling, and we have a light up Santa and noel candles outside (with lights!) and of course there’s the tree we cut down ourselves, and we bought plenty of nice (though not super expensive) presents and we made Christmas cards and sent them out and we’ve even watched Rudolf, and National Lampoons, and several weird Christmas shows, including Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny (DON’T follow in our footsteps. It’s horrible.) but still I’m stuck in “bleh”.

Oh well, moving on to those random photos I mentioned.

I will say that on the cloud with the lightning I had to clone brush out several electrical lines and I then accidentally hit the flip button. The pic looked WAAAAAY cooler upside down, so upside down it remains. It’s my favorite of this bunch, with the red rose with the water dripping out of it a close second.

And since it is almost three a.m. I leave you now. Have a good one and I hope you feel more holiday cheer than I do!

Jo 🙂

A Merry Vampire Christmas from TTTC! – Blogophilia 43.4

It’s time for Blogophilia again, that fun blog game where participants use prompts in a weekly post. Check out the other participants!

This week’s prompts are:

  • Blogophilia 43.4 Topic: “Shopping at WalMart”
  • Bonus Points:
  • (Hard, 2pts): quote a line from a Beatles song
  • (Easy, 1pt): mention ‘address book and holiday shopping idea’

Last week I started back on my Vampire Morsels stories, and had planned to do Kariss this week, but I’m not going to have time. I’ve been too busy shopping at Walmart, or not. This year we got people expensive gifts because my husband went insane, so it was all over Springfiled – and what a mess! People running round it’s 5 o’clock , everywhere in town is getting dark, everyone you see is full of life, looking for holiday shopping ideas! I still need to get my Christmas cards finished (late, huh?) and dig up all the addresses.  I do have an address book, but it’s outdated and falling apart. I need a new one.

and now that the pesky prompts are out of the way, here is this year’s Terrible Turtle Conspiracy Christmas Special. If you don’t know, you can read – and subscribe – to the weekly webcomic at http://terribleturtles.com . You can also see previous Christmas Specials.

Click the images to see full size – you’ll miss all the details if you don’t 😦





Song driving me insane for no reason – “The Logical Song” – Scooter

Christmas Collab Poem

(originally from December 2007)


Christmas Jail Break

He narrowed his eyes, his gaze was intense,
Black blinking eyes filled full of offence.
A lovely cold feeling, in his evil hamster heart
as this Christmas Eve night slowly grew dark.
The little girl laughed in his small hamster memory
as she poked through the cage with fingers so scary
and she laughed – how she laughed – sent a chill through his heart
then she hissed, “You’re my captive, ’til death do us part.”
Then she’d gone away, left him caged with his excrement
and so in his malice, his rage at his treatment,
he started a plan that would make them all cry,
“Merry Christmas to all, now you’re all gonna die!”
They deserved it, of course, he knew it was true,
some days he had no water, other days no food.
They’d forget about him in his small hamster cage
and this was the source of his cold hamster rage.
So on Christmas morning, when the girl came once more,
she opened the cage and he leapt to the floor
and the girl, how she squealed as he darted off fast
and she shouted out, “Mom!” as he ran right past.
her mother just screamed, and and moaned for a moment,
then a circus ensued as they chased down the rodent.
The father fell down, tripping over his robe,
crashing into the large free-standing globe,
which fell from its stand and rolled ‘cross the floor
and ran right over the little girl, who stood in the door!
She let out a scream and was bowled straight over
while Mom climbed on a chair and shouted for Rover.
Drool flying around, the dog entered the fray,
and he knocked over the bookcase in search of his prey.
But the hamster just giggled from his dark hiding place
as he watched Dad wiping his now-bloody face.
He laughed uncontrollably at the man’s bloody nose,
and he howled as the mother set fire to her clothes.
She’d fallen from the chair, knocked off by the dog,
and landed in the fireplace, a curly haired Yule tide log.
“Oho!” thought the hamster. “this scene is divine!
Seems you have got your games and I have got mine!”
When at last our dear hamster had had enough fun,
he scampered away, with his old life he was done.
But soon he discovered the empty house didn’t feed him,
and on cold lonely nights, there was no one to need him.
So at last he surrendered, on new Years he was found,
covered in lint and soft pillow down.
He looked at the little girl, his gaze unblinking and long,
trying to say, “Take me back, where I truly belong.”
Then back in his cage our dear hamster went,
’til the next time he revolts over food never sent.

Some Lines from: Prynezza, Glenn, Barb, Cheryl, & Pink Sapphire


As scary as it is, it won! 😀

Ode to Chris

(originally from November 2007)


It’s time for another Harris-Naylor Family Photo Album! Oh boy!!!*listens for cheers and hears only crickets and one lone person clapping way in the back* ah well, I’ll be excited for the rest of you!

This one is on siblings as requested by Manic. Yes, I sorted through a lot of pictures to find/pick these, so I hope someone kind of enjoys it.

My brother, Christopher, was born when I was two years old. To be honest I don’t remember a time before him. In my earliest memories he is a baby.


(this is me at two and my brother at two months)

My mother says that before my brother was born they were worried about how I would take it, especially since I kept climbing in the waiting crib and stealing his teddy bears. But, when he was born I apparently took to him right away and, in fact, was very eager to help with all the menial chores like changing diapers and feeding and all of that. I don’t remember that, though, thank goodness!


I couldn’t decide on a baby pic so you get two)

What I do remember, though, is feeding him m&m’s. He was so little he couldn’t even stand up on his own and was in a play pen. I can clearly see the scene – I had M&M’s in a snoopy bowl and every time I ate one I would throw one into the play pen for him since I couldn’t reach over it and, in fact, was standing on the couch to do this. He’d drop to his knees, search amongst his toys, eat his m&m and then use the play pen to pull himself back up in anticipation of another one. My mom caught me and made me stop because it would make “bubby” choke. Funnily enough he choked on everything else, but not those.


This is his first birthday and my third – adults are my dad in the ugly sweater (you will see that sweater again) , my Grandma Mutchler and my Grandma Harris

My brother is exactly two years and five days younger than me, which means not only are we both Capricorns but we’ve had a lot of birthday parties together over the years. There were years when I resented this, but when we were really little I didn’t know what resentment was, yet. We were the kind of little kids that make people ill – we didn’t really fight and the idea of “name calling” was completely foreign. I learned about it in kindergarten and for awhile we would practice it. It used to make Mom mad.


Our last Christmas in the “Little Green house” in Shenandoah

Besides living in happy Walton land we were also pretty spoiled. No, we weren’t rich, but we always got the things we really wanted. Like for my third Christmas I got a cabbage patch doll – this was the year that people got trampled to get them. Funnily enough my parents bought mine in August before they were popular. I had seen it in Woolworth and wanted it because it looked like “bubby”- a bald baby with blue eyes.

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me at four and Chris at two

We moved out of the little green house – so called because it was little and green – to the “big” house in Coin the winter when I was four. This meant we each got our own rooms! Before that we were sharing a room since we were both too little to know any better but it was coming to the point where we needed separated since he was a boy. For the first winter after we moved out there  I’d  wake up in the morning and find Chris curled up on the floor by my bed – he’d sneak in there in the middle of the night with his blankey and his pillow and curl up on my rug. It drove Mom and Dad nuts, but he eventually got used to the idea of separate rooms.

My brother also didn’t talk – at least not to my parents until he could speak in complete sentences. He must have spoken to me, though I don’t recall it, because I was his parental liaison.  I clearly recall arguing with my dad that Chris did not like spaghetti TV diners and wanted the macaroni and cheese instead. I also recall another incident trying to get him a glass of water while they both said he had to ask for it (of course they finally gave up), as well as other times of being frustrated when they’d tell me I was just making up Chris’s opinion when I knew I wasn’t.


me and Chris and our beggy faces – circa five and three

Moving out to Coin was the start of a lot of “changes”. Besides suddenly having a huge yard and a “big” house- not to mention a staircase that was so handy for many of our games, I started school the following fall.  I remember the first day of school my mom and Chris came to get me and he brought me a rose – we only had one that ever bloomed. It was in front of the front porch and the plant was so old every year you’d get one single blossom and that was it. He talked mom into letting him pick it for me since I’d been gone all day. I still have it in a plastic container in the freezer.


Christmas – I’m jut ready to turn six and Chris is four. That’s Grandma Mutchler’s leg in the chair and mom from the waist down

Chris’s last year “at home” wasn’t a pleasant one. He spent the whole winter sick – it started with scarlet fever, then pneumonia, then scarlet fever then…etc. etc.  The rollaway bed was set up permanently in the front room (which is why the tree that year had to go in the dinning room) so Chris could watch TV and such in the day time without taking up the couch day in and day out – Mom still got company back then in the day time. I don’t remember really knowing how sick he was, though I know now he nearly died several times. Luckily though, the squirt made it through on a steady diet of scrambled eggs.


outside of Dairy Queen – Chris five, me seven

This is Chris in his favorite coat – we went to Burlington Coat Factory that year and got our winter coats and Chris had an “Air force” coat. He wore it all fall, all winter, all spring and as much as he could in the summer because it was “cool” I used to have to help mom and hold him down while she peeled it off of him. He loved that coat…


me eight, chris six in the kitchen – I have no idea why the Koala is in a baby outfit

My brother was always exceedingly precocious – for instance when he was four he did not “toys” instead they were “creative utensils”. He found “toys” or being told to go “play” demeaning. So we always had “projects” more so than games. Sure, we played, but they were more what they now call “role play” games and were almost all played with he intention of turning them into stories later on.

That was another thing we used to do for fun – write stories. We always had piles and piles of paper – it was cast offs from the Shenandoah elementary schools and so only one side was blank while the other had worksheets and such on it. But we would sit down at the table in the dining room with our big tub of crayons and piles of paper and we would write “books”- aka children’s books – complete with the illustrations and when we’d finished mom would staple them together for us. I still have some of them, though Chris took so long on his pictures he rarely finished any of his. He was always such a perfectionist while I tended to fly through things.

pupet show.jpg

one of the infamous puppet shows

Really, though, every summer we had a new “project” – like one year we made an entire set of “superhero/fantasy paper dolls, another year we made his gumby figure a house out of boxes and decorated it with sticky labels, another time we made teddy town from cardboard and drew and cut out hundreds of inhabitants, and yet another year were our puppets. We went crazy with paper bag puppets and made an entire town’s population of puppets. We then wrote scripts and made backdrops and would then torture our poor parents with them. By then Chad was coming over all the time as well as some of my friend and they quite often found themselves drug into whatever we were doing.

halloween 88.jpg

Halloween 1988

Being siblings we often ended up with matching Halloween costumes. The coolest ones ever though were the prince and princess set mom made us. Funnily enough as kids we didn’t truly appreciate that mom made all our costumes and I remember how trilled we were the year we got mail order clown outfits – until we got them that is. God they were ghastly and cheaply made too, might I add.


Me – 12, Chris – 10, (the guy hiding in the back is our cousin Shawn -13 or 14) – recognize that ugly sweater?


me at 14, Grandpa Mutchler, Chris at 12 and Uncle Mike in the back at Wabonsi state park

He may have taken after mom on the inside, but on the outside he was dad – tall and skinny while I was short and – in his word- squabby.


me – 17, Chris 14 at the last picnic before Grandpa died

That’s one thing though, even in the worst fights (and god knows we’ve gotten into ones that ended in stitches or knives being thrown or chipped teeth) he never made fun of my “squabbyness” He’s probably made fun of about everything else except that, though! But, that comes with siblings.

grad 98.jpg

me and Chris at my graduation – he got me a single rose to end my school career since he brought me one to start it with – I think that’s Kevin McLaughlin in the background

Mom and dad split up when I was seventeen and mom moved across he state. Initially, I refused to go while Chris said he would go with her, but when the time came he changed his mind. That summer before my senior year I got a wild hair and decided to move with her after all – and Chris was pissed. At that point it was still a given where I went he went so he had to move too. In Mt P I ended up making a whole batch of new friends – back in Coin despite us being two years apart all our friends always ended up lumped together anyway. we were having mixed sex sleepovers when I was little – we slept in separate rooms of course – and so in Mt P when my friends didn’t like him it was a weird thing. I got pissed off at them and told them we were a packaged deal – but by then Chris refused to have anything to do with them.


Chris 18, me 20. chucky (aka the hubby) 21

After graduation I moved out and in with Chucky and Chris got kinda pissy at me for a bit, but he would still drive u town at two am to bring me a Danish roll (I’m paying for it now – the toad calls me next door to turn his light on for him!) But when I moved to Missouri – after he graduated – he got a bit prissy at me for awhile and to be honest for several year there I didn’t see a whole lot of him, not until he moved down here in 2004.

grad 00.jpg

Chris’s graduation party, me, him and Dan)

In conclusion, by modern standards we are an odd set of siblings. Hell, probably even for “oldy days”. I guess we’re more like twins, despite most certainly not being twins. I don’t know why that is, though. We weren’t particularly isolated as children despite living in happy pony land. I guess it’s just because we are too much alike, not to mention that both our personalities are geared to balance the other one – he’s a perfectionist, I’m impatient – when I draw a picture I make him critique it and it always ends up lots better. He’s depressive, I’m cheerful.etc. Not to mention that even to this day he is my “little assistant” for all those things that hubby runs away from – like turkey cooking. In all actuality I can’t imagine not having a little brother.

Wasn’t that fun? I bet Chris will kill me when he sees this….

TTTC Special Christmas Message



Click the images above to see what diabolic gifts Day & Dark has planned in a 13 page Christmassy Special!

visit http://TerribleTurtles.com

Blogophilia 43.3

It’s time once again for Blogophilia. No longer limited to Myspace, it’s the blog game where Marvin gives participants prompts to use on their weekly blog posting. This week’s prompts are:

Blogophilia 43.3 Topic: “All Around The Christmas Tree”
Bonus points:
(Hard, 2pts): interweave a historical event
(Easy, 1pt): include one of the lines mentioned in the Twelve Days of Christmas

My user ID is standard everywhere, but since we have some new people: “Hi, I’m Jo. I’m a freelance artist, photographer for fun, Indy Author and all around fun person.” wasn’t that fun? If you want to know more there are link s all over everywhere (It depends on where you’re reading this!) I joined Blogophilia earlier this year at DJ Myke’s invitation, and am I glad I did!

Since most of the Blogophiliacs have made a wordpress blog, I’ve done the same. I’m going to be reposting some of my old posts – only the ones that were worth it, though, since MySpace doesn’t have any kind of export feature, which sucks. Oh well, I guess it lets me weed out 98% of the crap and do some editing.

After the Holidays I’m going to start a series of short stories for Blogophilia, I hope. I refuse to guarantee anything. Meanwhile, this is going to be a crappy blog. Lucky you guys.

I’ve been sick the last few days, and I am supposed to be working on the Terrible turtles Christmas special (relax, Jonathan, it will be done in time! I promise!) We’re doing something very cool, and it does not involve a partridge in a pear tree. There may be a turtle with atomic breath, though. 😉

My dad is coming for Christmas. We’re going to the inlaws Christmas day, though hubby has to work so our Christmas Eve party will be Wednesday night, instead. As for the family Christmas, between everyone’s work schedules it’s going to be sometime in January. Yeesh! All around the Christmas tree? More like Christmas Trees all around – for months. But that’s okay. They’re pretty, after all, and I’ve always said the Christmas season is too short.

Though I’ve noticed things aren’t very Christmassy this year. There aren’t very many decorations anywhere, and even the stores have a reduced stock of stuff; much of which is still there, might I add. It’s like no one is buying Christmas stuff. I know I haven’t even done cards yet, so people will get them after Christmas, if I send them at all. I wonder if this is what Christmas was like during The Great Depression? Actually, I imagine it was worse – or maybe not, since I don’t think they had this level of commercialization to the holiday back then, so you can’t miss what wasn’t there before hand, if you know what I mean.

Regardless, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

And now for the segment I like to call “Random Things from My Hard Drives”. I still haven’t taken my photos off or edited them, so you’re going to get some more fun and exciting book covers. Oh boy!



Zombie Fight Song


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Song playing at the Moment – “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” – Chicago Pops Orchestra

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