Post-Christmas..pondering my traditions…

Over the years, I have developed little traditions of things that are usually toys to find myself or ask to receive at Christmas. I am a toy fanatic all year round, but that fanaticism really gets ramped up at Christmas. There’s other things I like, too, as you’ll see….:)


1) A Pony for Christmas.

Yep,I was one of those horse-crazy girls as a pre-teen,but, after learning how much space and expense a horse would take up, I thankfully was able to channel that desire elsewhere: Breyer Horses. I have many happy memories of checking off particular models in the Breyer foldout guides that came in each model’s box, planning my “stable” and thinking up names for the new arrivals.

I still have many of my Breyers and I have found older ones from my collecting era on eBay that I always liked but never got around to getting. A true discount buyer, I gladly take the dinged, scratched models that are offered for cheap. And at Christmas, I have found a bit of joy in looking specifically for Breyer ponies– usually older models– and either asking for them or getting them with Christmas money.

Breyer didn’t make a whole lot of ponies, though, especially in my collecting years of 70s—80s. So in looking for old ones, I often have to be satisfied with the same mold of pony, repainted as another release. Breyer’s old Shetland Pony, for instance, comes in many many colors on the same mold, and my 2016 Christmas Pony was one: a 1970s bay I named Cinnamon Roll.

On occasion, though, the Christmas Pony takes a different form and I find it as a plush toy. In 2017, for instance, when I visited Tractor Supply Company to get a gift card for my stepdad, I looked at their Breyer selection, but they were all new models, were horribly expensive, and did not pique my interest at all. I am just not into the new sculpts(not that they are not exquisitely done) done by the artists who took over after Breyer’s original sculptor, Chris Hess, retired.
However, on the way out, I stopped by the stocking stuffer bins and…

Pizzelle, my 2017 Christmas Pony!

….there he was. My Christmas Pony. A huggable,flopsy “dolly” sort of pony,bay with white socks and a face full of mischief. On sale for half off the original price, the pony was ripe for the taking and I left the store with a gift card and a happy little roly-poly bag-of-beans pony cuddled under my arm.

2)Rescued Teddy Bears.

I usually “rescue” several teddies each year from Goodwill and thrift stores and take them home and give them a good hot wash in the machine. Some I keep, and others I donate. Where I donate them is a closely guarded secret.

My favorites of these are JC Penney’s teddy bears, made in the 90s and sold in their stores at Christmas. They are large, terrifically burly,and cuddly. They also represent some of the last great teddy bears before they all began to be made with much more cheap-feeling plush, became spindly and “beany”, and their eyes all became too close together.

Steve, me and Big Cinnamon. I got Cinnamon by winning a gift certificate at the flea market holiday event we were enjoying.


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Shark Week 2017: Closing Down..



This was my list of the week’s activities..what to draw, what to research..some things I passed on in order to do them next year. And I still made sure I remembered friends’ birthdays!

I learned so much this week! Of the main things I can remember:

  1. There are both endothermic and exothermic sharks.
    The endothermics are a small group of sharks called the Laminids, and they have evolved the ability to maintain their body temperature a few degrees higher than their environment,rather than their body consistently staying the temperature of their surroundings. This group includes the great white shark, salmon, mako, and porbeagle sharks.
  2. Not all sharks have to keep moving to keep oxygen flowing to their gills.
    Some species,like the whitetip reef shark, can pump water over their gills by opening and closing their mouths while resting. For this reason they can stay hidden in caves.
  3. Sharks can not only hear, they have inner ears.
    A shark’s sense of hearing is,actually its strongest sense. Sharks can hear sounds up to a kilometer away or more.
  4. Species I learned about for the first time:
    Galapagos Shark, Pajama Shark, Copper Shark,and Porbeagle.
  5. There are nine different species of Hammerheads:
    • Winghead Shark
    • Scalloped Bonnethead
    • Whitefin Hammerhead
    • Scalloped Hammerhead
    • Scoophead
    • Great Hammerhead
    • Bonnethead
    • Smalleye Hammerhead
    • Smooth Hammerhead
  6. The Great Hammerhead is inclined frequent cannibalism.
    Because of their smaller mouths, Hammerheads are often hunt along the bottom for rays, shrimps, squids, small fish, and even other shark species. They use their heads to stamp down rays.
  7. Scientists have studied the body language of Great White Sharks .
    Studies have revealed various movements such as lateral display, parallel swim, gaping, and hunching, that help sharks communicate with each other in areas of rank and dominance to avoid all-out fighting. Some movements, such as gaping, simply are about possibly releasing frustration.

There were plenty of other new points I learned, but those stood out the most. Well, until next year, my friends,

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