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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

christmas 2007
Image by paparutzi via Flickr
 Wishing a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of new  years from my home to yours!

Santa Clay by photofunia

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Controlling Your Inner Grinch

English: Cartoon of George C. Scott as 'Scroog...
Image via Wikipedia
Aiken at a 2006 Christmas tour appearance in W...
Image via Wikipedia
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)
Image via Wikipedia
`This post is a bit off topic. Normally, I love Christmas, but sometimes different things can try to push even the most Christmassy folks toward having a Grinch or Scrooge attitude towards the holiday season. I have chronic illnesses and I am recovering from a very bad cold and I just had to cancel an unauthorized purchase on my debit card today. As much as I love Christmas, sometimes I wish it would come at a time when I'm feeling better, have more energy or am in a better mood.  Changing your focus from what you have to do to prepare for Christmas and how you feel to the purpose of the day and just being together with friends and family may help. This and other suggestions to help control your inner Grinch are featured in articles by articles by Rest Ministries and .  Listening to your favorite music, Christmas or non-Christmas, can sometimes help also. Have you heard Clay Aiken's newest song; Bring Back My Love yet? Probably the best way to beat your Inner Grinch and Scrooge is to count your blessings. Another idea is to realize that there are people worse off than you and to try to give back. What do you do to control your inner Scrooge or Grinch?


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My First Champions Gala & More

A blend I made using a photo from On My Way Here and from the nighttime view from my hotel room in Raleigh.

  •    Mom and I got back from Raleigh on Monday night. We had a terrific time. I enjoyed my first Champions Gala for the National Inclusion Project!We didn't venture out in Raleigh but a few times, but we found it to be the friendliest city that we've been to in the United States
  • We left Chattanooga on Thursday Morning and rode as far as Statesville,NC(near Asheville) before we stopped to spend the night. I have had a cold so I went to the doctor and was given a penicillin shot and a prescription cough syrup a few days before I left home. The cough syrup knocked me out for most of Thursday, so I weaned myself of of it for a few days so I wouldn't sleep through the Gala! The only problem I had was running out of sugar free cough drops in the evening portion of the Gala on Saturday . 
  • The Gala was fantastic! Everything except the children's carnival was held within a short walking distance. I was a little shy about mingling with others because I was trying to find my way around everything. I didn't see Clay except at a distance at the evening portion of the Gala. Clay's mom and I passed by each other a few times, but she was usually visiting with someone.  I met Chris Burke in the lobby of the Marriott City Center in Raleigh and shook his hand.I met  Jennifer Breland-Dykes who works for Dragon Con.  I also met quite a few Claymates who I'd only met online.
  • The awards , presentations and etcetera were so inspiring. Clay's performance was also. You are going to LOVE the new song! I think it is his best song yet.
  • Closest that Mom and I got to Clay; Photobucket Photobucket
  • I wore a black dress for the evening program, but I didn't get any pictures on my camera, but my mom took some on her disposable camera. Cameras and cell phones were allowed everywhere but inside the auditorium  during the evening. I bid on a few things during the silent auction but I didn't win them. A 20 dollar  raffle ticket for 2 VIP tickets to next years' Gala and an opening bid for the calendars was all I made. I just wish I'd won the lottery before I went-but I'm lucky that I got to go! 
  • My mom didn't have a ticket to the Gala but she sat  in the lobby knitting dish cloths for a woman's club meeting on Tuesday morning. Still, she had some fun meeting the Claymates sand everything. She met Kyle, the guy that did the sound for the Gala. He offered to take her backstage, but my mom said she better not, that I 'd be jealous(I would be , too.)! She asked Jerome how much longer the program would be-he told her 1 or 2 more songs.Fletcher Auditorium had switched the men's and women's' restrooms for the evening since the attendees were mostly women. Mom pointed the way for the men and jokingly said that she was the "restroom manager." The staff and the manager of Fletcher Auditorium joked and said that she was doing a great job.
  • I loved the Marriott City Center. My only complaint was the Italian restaurant. The food for the Gala was great, but mom and I ate one night at the restaurant and the food wasn't that great and the prices were high. We like Olive Garden better. The motel was a bit pricier than the ones we normally stay at, but it was great to be so close to everything for the Gala. Mom and I decided that it probably would have wound up about the same cost if we stayed at a less expensive motel and had to pay for gas and parking. We were on the 12th floor. Their elevator was the fastest I've ever been in! We will be back here next year for the Gala!
  • There's so much I could say about the Gala and still not give an accurate reflection iof what it was like. We had a book and a ring that lit up red, yellow and blue as ouir favors and a goody bag. I wish I could have another ring or know where they got them, because I have 2 great nieces send 1 ring! I also wish I'd thought to bring my ring to the evening portion of the Gala. There were lots of them lighting up all over Fletcher Auditorium. 
  • We had no traffic problems throughout the trip, until we got about 30 miles from home in Cleveland, TN. A truck had jacknifed near a scenic overlook and had traffic backed up for 10 miles for about 2 hours. When we got home, we went to bed-even though it was just after 6 PM. We rode to Raleigh in 2 days and came back in 1. Most of Sunday was spent relaxing in the Motel. We did shop a bit and ate at the Olive Garden in Raleigh. A neighbor had given us a gift card. Here I am at the porch of the Olive Garden in Raleigh;  Photobucket Photobucket
    • More photos;   Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket In Raleigh Marriott City Center's Lobby Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucket Photobucket In fromt of Fletcher Auditorium Photobucket Thank you card from local camper. Photobucket Photobucket
  • Thumbnail from opening graphic; Photobucket

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Photo Essay: Clay in Neon!

Mounting Bloggif Photo by spotlightlover ` Google+ Add this blog to my Technorati Favorites! Read more: How to Get a Technorati Badge |
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Honoring the International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Is Clay Aiken gay?
Image by via Flickr
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 03:  (L-R) United Nations ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
If you look on Youtube,, you will find that today is the United Nation's International Day of Persons With Disabilities . One video features Stevie Wonder speaking at the UN. As a former special education teacher and a co-founder to the National Inclusion Project, Clay Aiken has helped his fans become more aware of children with disabilities.  

Video by lilredll

Video by Clay Aiken

Video by United Nations

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