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Hot Cocoa or Hot Chocolate: A Matter of Taste
It's hard to find good writing now a days. But you have done a great job with all these sharing hot Cocoa and hot Chocolate. That's interesting. Thanks for sharing.
The Best of Christmas Sitcoms
My top favorite Christmas Sitcoms: All from M*A*S*H , Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley. Step By Step - I'll Be Home For Christmas
His Name is Bud
love this story! Thanks for sharing your memories.
The Best of Christmas Sitcoms
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I will do that fresh cut of the trunk.....that was my problem last Christmas.....the tree lost so many needles....even tho it was fresh....the problem was....since I didn´t cut the trunk....the tree...
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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
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Smile, Though Your Heart is Breaking

Posted 10-26-2013 at 11:28 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 10-26-2013 at 11:34 PM by Jeff Westover

My mother is dying.

It has taken me a lot to get to the point where I admit that.

I have written about her a great deal but here and on my personal site over the course of the last several years. Her journey has been a long one.

Over the past two months Mom has been in several hospitals and through two stints in a rehab facility. At every step of the way she has done nothing but decline.

Her health issues are complex and it seems trite now to boil it all down to dementia.

But dementia is not a cause of death...it is a symptom of winding down, of saying goodbye.

Recognizing all this is what leads me to admit that Mom is leaving us, and likely soon.

As a person of faith I am not uncomfortable with the concept of death. As we've explored together a bit this year with losing Louann how we deal with death is something individual to us all.

But as Mother dims for me I cannot help but...
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My Part in the War on Christmas

Posted 07-17-2013 at 05:47 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I had an experience in college that long ago tainted my belief in editors and journalism in general.

I was assigned to write a piece about a student rally being held on campus in opposition to Affirmative Action. (This was California in the early 1980s).

The assignment wasn't my cup of tea but it involved my grade so I did what I had to do, carefully following instructions that I was given.

To be honest, my heart wasn't in the article because I had no real interest in writing news. I wanted to do well in the class, yes. But I've always been more of a writer who composes from the gut -- I write from belief, conviction and emotion. That's just who I am.

I had another problem with the assignment: a horrible personal bias.

To make a long story short my acceptance into the California college system at the time was derailed after years of planning, positioning and saving through high school simply because I was a native Californian...
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Farewell Our Beloved Friend

Posted 07-02-2013 at 01:53 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 07-02-2013 at 02:02 PM by Jeff Westover

Sam passed away peacefully today after a long illness. Born on Halloween 2001 Sam came to his family on Christmas morning as a present for our 9 year old daughter but he ended up becoming a gift to us all.


Sam was one of a litter of 8 short hair border collie puppies found from a rescue in Ogden, Utah. He was the smallest and most social of the bunch. Sam spent the bulk of his first car ride from Ogden to Draper, Utah on my chest, shaking and whining nearly the entire way. His welcome on Christmas morning was glorious and he basked in the activity, love and energy that a family with seven children would provide.


Sam was a bird chaser and a mouse catcher. He was intolerant of cats, squirt guns and carbonated beverages the kids would sometimes slip him for entertainment (he barked at them). Sam was athletic, loving to run for long periods of time. He was a tireless explorer, a fearless wanderer and a hopeless carnivore.


...
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Great Women

Posted 06-01-2013 at 10:53 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

As spoken of in the most recent podcast these past two months have been a time of great discovery for me concerning my family history.

It has come about due to a summer activity for my teenage daughters called "trek". Trek is the reenactment of the pioneer trail.

Every July 24th there is a state holiday in Utah called Pioneer Day. It celebrates the pioneers of 1847 who first came to settle these valleys. Many of my ancestors on my father's side were amongst them.

I had no idea, honestly, of how many of them there were.

Family History is a big deal to those of the Mormon faith and though I never really thought or heard much of my father's family while growing up it wasn't because they weren't important. It was that their "work" -- or historical information -- was pretty much done generations before I was born. I spent much of my youth and my young adult years discovering my mother's side of the family (none of whom were Mormon). ...
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A Wonderful Life

Posted 04-07-2013 at 10:33 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I continue to have many conversations with folks about Caninemom3. It never ceases to amaze me, this power of community here.

I have some concerns though. As I observed earlier there are different ways we all deal with death. I recognize we can't see it all the same.

I also recognize that there is no real way to "make it better".

Through other sad experiences I've learned that mourning is a process and we need to go through it, awful as it is.

There are those who are telling me that some feel now a need to take a break from MMC in light of these recent events.

I understand if you feel this way.

But please reconsider your actions.

One of the things that has been suggested to me by many is that we'll never be able to replace Louann.

Well...of course not. Why should we even think of such a thing?

I can't help but pondering on Clarence's words to George in It's a Wonderful...
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