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Fri, Jan. 24

Column: Party like Babylonians, return borrowed equipment

By now the presents we had carefully wrapped have been ripped open. The tree is probably drying up. No doubt we ate and spent too much, but what the heck, Christmas only comes once a year. It might have been a bit stressful, but at least I wasn't cutting metal mixer blades out of my hair.

That's right, a woman (name withheld to protect the embarrassed) in Prescott was using a new electric mixer to make her "special" cheesecakes for a Christmas party. She took the blades out of the batter, holding them upside down and turning them off while she was adding another ingredient, when disaster struck.

She ended up inadvertently bumping the "on" switch and the evil mixers grabbed the ends of her shoulder length hair, working their way up to her scalp. She finally unplugged the beast, but now had two metal mixers sticking out of her head. Screaming, her husband came running, but all he could do was laugh (another beast) and it took him 20 minutes to cut the blades out of the poor woman's hair.

Yikes ... imagine being attacked by a mixer! The thought could cause some of us to never bake again!


On another note, did you know that Santa's sleigh was pulled by a bunch of lady reindeers? A woman in Chino Valley emailed me to point out that Santa's reindeers have to be an all female crew. She said, according to Alaska Fish and Game, only male reindeers shed their antlers during the winter months and the females retain their antlers until after giving birth in the Spring.

She went on to say that "we should have known that only women could drag a man in a red suit around the world in one single night and not get lost!" Let's give credit to the girls! Hmm, Rudolph is really Rubie?


This season reminds us that a brand new beginning is just around the corner, another year is upon us, and it's time to celebrate, reflect and make a few resolutions (not particularly in that order).

Did you know that there's been some sort of new year celebration for over 4,000 years? This is the oldest of holidays and was first observed in ancient Babylon with a festival that lasted for at least 11 days! It was those party-animals, the Babylonians, who first came up with the idea to make New Year's resolutions. What would those ancient resolutions consist of? The most common were promises to return borrowed farm equipment. (If you have a few garden tools in your garage that belong to your neighbor, this might be a good time to give them back.)

Human behavior dictates that people are far more willing to do something that they know is right (start exercising) than to give up something that they know is wrong (eating too much).

So, let's not focus on what we could give-up, but on what we might start doing. Being kinder, more patient, more loving, more attentive with those around us is a nice place to start. Stopping to appreciate the special moments in our daily lives could be uplifting. This is supposedly the essence of happiness - finding joy in the common happenings in our lives.

For example, there's a man in Williamson Valley who has two horses. One is over 25 years old and has recently gone blind. Scared and confused by just trying to move around the corral, the horse never wanted to walk or leave his stall.

A younger mare coaxed the old horse into trusting her to be his eyes. After much trial and error, the blind horse now rests his head on the mare's flank, and is led around the corral. Walking in perfect unison, the mare is a "seeing-eye horse" and has given the old gelding a new zest for living.

The New Year brings with it the promise of renewal and rebirth. Be brave and don't let a little thing like the looming threat of a runaway mixer, keep you from making a beautiful cake.

Have faith in the power of hope, goodness and friendship. Make an effort to help those who cannot see the light and have lost their way.

If one old, blind horse can find his way through the darkness, then so can we.

Celebrate like the Babylonians, return all those borrowed garden tools and live well in the New Year!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor who lives in Skull Valley. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at

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