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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Thanks to the anonymous person who posted this in 2007 on Google Image.

This is short. I spoke too soon about getting through the holidays healthy. Ray and I are both sniffling, coughing, and sneezing and I've been too miserable to do very much.

Other than that, all is well. I've read a few of your posts but haven't commented much. This room is a little chilly and I wanted to get back to warmth and covers.

Ray and I will open our bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider tomorrow evening and toast the New Year although we may do it a few hours early - I'm not sure I can hold out until midnight.

Have a safe, peaceful, and Happy New Year one and all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I Was In Luck!! (the missing pictures are found - see below)

Jim, Michael, Tim, & "little" Jim

This was taken while we were playing cards at Jim's early the day before Christmas. If you look very closely, you can see Jonathan peeking between the feet. At least I think that's what they are - I have no earthly idea how they got that shot (or how I did if I did it).

This is a wonderful picture of beautiful Samantha (now 18). Her boyfriend is a cutie too and a very nice young man. She was born 9 days after Ray and I married. Where does the time go?

I did get a picture of Melissa but I'll wait to post until I have a better one. I think she wasn't feeling well even the day before Christmas and she was sick on Christmas day. Bummer.

One joke, one picture post, and my day after Christmas (Boxing Day) post follow.

My Sentiments Exactly

Christmas pictures and my post follow but my local friend Janet just sent me


Christmas Pictures

Back row - Samantha and her friend, "little" Jim, and Michael.
Front Jim and Jonathan. All in my back yard.

Jonathan looking for more food

Those two bald heads again. That's Zachary with his daddy.

Grandpa and Jonathan who loves eggnog. He needed a little help with the cup.
Spunky, my constant companion and editor. She's learned how to get down and across the keyboard without stepping on the keys as she goes. Right now she's sleeping off the turkey from yesterday - still on top of the computer.

I finally learned how to write between the pictures. It only took me 1-1/2 years (or more). This is Tim and Jim (the one with no hair).
Self explanatory. I was using the washer top for storage.

Part of my table (before food)

I think we were playing with Jonathan. Jim was running around with my camera and caught us unaware. I usually hide.

I had a couple of other pictures and now I can't find them. Don't think I erased them from the camera yet so I'll go back and check. One was a wonderful picture of Samantha. I'd hate to lose it.

Check below for my day after Christmas (Boxing Day) post.

Happy Boxing Day!!

A little late for my friends "down under" of course and almost too late for the British Isles but it's the thought that counts, right?

Boxing Day here in the States involves returning "boxes" to the stores from whence they came and knocking each other down to get to the sales. I'll pass, thanks. I wonder if anyone gives presents to their servants the day after Christmas anymore.

Also Happy Birthday to Ray (and to my friend Dawn's husband as well). Dawn's making a cake for the two of them and we'll celebrate together later.

I have pictures, both of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I went over to Jim's for a while the afternoon of the 24th and played cards with them. The Zachary pictures are from that day. He and his mom were both a little under the weather the next day so Jim and Tim came over with Jonathan and Jim's kids. Melissa's three girls and her little granddaughter were spending the day with other grandparents. Extended families can be very complicated.

And I have a picture (actually a couple of them) with Ray looking happy and healthy. It will top my gratitude list for the New Year.

I'll put them on a separate post - it's simpler.

Elcie and Rebecca called right before all their cousins arrived. They were having a good Christmas and wanted to know all about ours. I'll probably hear from Rochelle today or tomorrow.

We had a good time - far too much food. Maybe by next year I'll have learned how to scale down. I kept a little ham and turkey out (enough for the next few days) and froze the rest. No cooking today or tomorrow at the very least. We'll be using up the leftovers.

Jim came over in the morning to borrow a potato peeler. I'd sent him home the other day with the ham and ten pounds of potatoes. Somehow their peeler disappeared. Threw us all a little behind schedule for dinner but he showed back up with a lovely batch of mashed potatoes and the perfectly cooked ham.

I did send a care package home to Melissa. Turkey, ham, and whatever else we thought she might like including one of the pumpkin pies. Too bad she couldn't make it but it was far more sensible to keep Zachary home if he wasn't feeling well, especially if she was a little puny herself.

It was good to see the grandkids. I see Samantha (Jim's oldest) fairly often but not so much the boys. Michael is a sophomore, "little" Jim a junior, and Samantha (Sammy) graduated last year, is working and going to school (I think I said that in an earlier post but oh well). They lead busy lives. I couldn't believe how the boys had changed from little kids into young men. You'll see why I refer to "little" Jim when you look at the pictures of the kids with their dad. The sumo wrestler is "little" Jim.

Ray slept in until almost ten this morning so we had a late oatmeal, toast, and fruit breakfast. Should hold us until we start in on the dressing, green beans, and sweet potatoes. And more turkey of course. I was up early sorting through, editing, and labeling pictures.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas day. Thanks for all the comments. Pictures should follow this post so you'll see them first (if Blogger doesn't have a snit).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

From Handel's "Messiah"

Let's hope this works. They were supposed to be part of my Christmas post but somehow the code wasn't working.

Yes, they do. My actual post is right below.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas

To Jarneo in Finland and Jaya in Richmond, VA, thanks for signing the guest book.
I've been hanging on to those two cartoons for several days trying to find time and energy to post.

Tonight, I've spent the last few hours catching up with as many of my online friends as I could while listening to Handel's Messiah on CD. Meantime, Ray is watching the BYU channel with their glorious Christmas music.

The YouTube is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "For Unto Us a Child Is Born". (Or maybe not, I'm having problems with YouTube). I'll try it on a separate post and see what happens). Update: It worked as a separate post (see above) and I added the Hallelujah Chorus while I was at it.

I finished up the last of my Christmas shopping today (there's always one last thing I forgot) and dropped by Barnes & Noble to say hi to Tim. To my surprise, my older son, Jim, was there with his wife Melissa and their two youngest. I didn't expect him until tomorrow. We had coffee (or tried to with Jonathan blowing kissed, trying to drink from a straw, and being generally cute while little Zachary slept through the entire thing). I never thought to take my camera along but I'll have pictures on Christmas day. They took me home and picked up the ham and potatoes Jim always cooks for me for holidays. It's really hard to juggle ham and turkey with one oven and having someone do the work on homemade mashed potatoes is a huge help.

It looks as if his three older kids will be here too. I hope so. I don't see nearly enough of them now that they're almost grown. I'll make a few extra deviled eggs and hope they still gobble them up like they did when they were younger. Melissa's 3 girls will spend Christmas with their grandparents (I think). I'll prepare plenty of food just in case.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

For the Man (or Woman) Who Has Everything

When we moved back in early September, I went through my husband's collections of tools. Unbelievable the stuff we accumulate over the years but still we didn't have a set of these. Thanks to Phila for an early morning giggle.

It's around 7:30 on Saturday morning, Ray is still sleeping (as we both should be but I seem to have a built in alarm clock), and the cat is staring at me over the top of the computer. It's like sharing space with a vulture.

Anyhow, I was trying to catch up on some of my blog reading when I ran across the above. Stopped because I knew if I didn't post it right now I'd forget where I found it.

It's cold here for California; nights are down to around freezing, but I can't complain when I look at what's happening in the midwest and now on the east coast. I hope all of you who live in those areas are getting through it. So many have lost power and/or are snowed in.

Ray had his first regular medical appointment since the surgery and it went well. The doctor simplified some of the prescriptions and wrote them for 90 days rather than the month at a time he'd been doing. It will save us about $50/$75 per month and every little bit helps. The best thing is that many of the symptoms he'd had before the surgery have disappeared along with the medication he'd been taking for them. He can go without the oxygen much of the day as long as he's indoors. That alone would make me feel much better. Amazing the difference a properly functioning heart can make.

Still talking to the girls 3 or 4 times a week and it's good to hear from them. There's a lot going on in their lives than I can't talk about here (or maybe I can but I don't want to take the chance). There's always email.

I think I'm almost ready for Christmas. I'll go through the menu and figure out what I still need (like the ham which I'll buy this week because they went on sale), cranberries, cherries, and possibly pineapple. I ran out of cloves and almost fainted when I saw the prices. My friend Janet brought me a few whole ones from her stash and Dawn will share her ground cloves. I don't use them often or I would have been watching for sales but they're almost mandatory with ham. Tim is bringing a cheesecake from Barnes & Noble, we'll make our usual pumpkin pies (no pecan this year I don't think), and I get a free Sara Lee pie with the ham. Should be plenty. I think we'll have six people not counting Jonathan and Zachary although I hear Jonathan eats as much as his dad these days. Of course, I'll probably have a few dropins, at least for dessert.

The hardest part will be scaling down on quantities but we love leftovers, I'll make turkey soup out of the carcass and white beans from the hambone on New Year's (yes I know black-eye peas are traditional, Diane, Karen, and my other southern friends, but I like white beans).

I've figured out I can seat 8 if I have to and I can put up a card table in the kitchen (biggest room in the house). The guys will probably take their plates to the living room anyhow. Or I can put a cloth over my washer and dryer and use them to hold the food. I always do a buffet anyway and my family is accustomed to my improvising.

I'm managing so far not to catch my usual holiday cold but my back has been bothering me a little lately. Nothing serious as long as I don't sit too long in one place; even here. Probably just the cold (relatively speaking) weather.

The cat got bored with staring and is now sleeping. It's hard work being a vulture. I should go start some sort of Saturday morning breakfast. We're careful with Ray's "diet" but about once a week I cook a few pieces of bacon, poached eggs, and maybe pancakes. We make up for it with a light lunch.

Thanks to all for the comments, have a good weekend, and take care everyone.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Beginning to Sound Like Christmas - Update

Went shopping this morning with Dawn and couldn't resist the two decorations above. Nothing like bobbleheads to add a little Christmas cheer.

Jim just called. Still looks like he'll be home for Christmas and for Ray's birthday the day after. I hope the Army Nat'l Guard doesn't change their mind at the last minute. He thanks you all for the kind words about the photos even though I was making fun of his bald head. We're coordinating our holiday plans.

I tried three times to post this direct from YouTube. Trying again this way. Let's see if it works. Click on the link.

This song isn't as well known as some of the traditional Christmas music but I love it.

In red, Kathleen Battle; in green, Frederica von Stade. They performed a Christmas concert together years ago and I still have my video tape.

Update: It occurred to me that they're not singing in English. See end of post for translation.

That works but this may too. Yep, take your choice. It may be a little clearer copy from the link.

I was going to write a longer post but just looked at the time. I need to feed my starving husband (and me too).

Take care everyone and thanks for the comments.

Gesu Bambino Lyrics (English)

When blossoms flower eer mid the snows,
Upon a winter night,
Was born the child, the christmas rose,
The king of love and light.
The angels sang, the shepherds sang,
The grateful earth rejoiced;
And at his blessed birth the stars
Their exultation voiced.

O come let us adore him
O come let us adore him
O come let us adore him
Christ the lord.

Again the heart with rapture glows
To greet the holy night,
That gave the world its christmas rose,
Its king of love and light
Let evry voice acclaim his name,
The grateful chorus swell
From paradise to earth he came
That we with him might dwell.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More Pictures

If you have a cat, does he or she sleep all over the house?

Spunky sure does but she's become especially fond of the top of the computer now that the weather is colder.

Merle asked for a picture of the "new, improved" Ray.

Here it is.

See the post below this for more pictures.

New Pictures

You can hardly see the first one for the glare from the top of Jim's head. The second is a little better. Tim said it took 6 tries to get that second shot and yes, Jonathan was kissing Zachary, not biting him.

"Enchanted" was wonderful. Tim and I had lunch at Home Town Buffet, went to the movie, and then walked over to Michael's (arts and crafts store). They had the perfect tree for me and it was on sale for $14.00. Dawn, Destiny, Ray, and I just finished decorating and lighting it. (Peter, you were right about a 12" tree. Remember the Charlie Brown Christmas? One ornament and it tried to fall over.

The top picture was the $1.00 12" tree. I kept looking at the pathetic little thing and becoming more depressed. You can see why. I think my second choice made more sense.

While we were at Michael's Dawn spotted tiny Christmas bell ornaments. One says Ann, the other says, Ray. Maybe by enlarging you can spot them toward the very top of the tree.

Today we're going over to my friends where I learn to play a new version of dominos while Ray watches t.v. Should be fun.

And now Dawn and I are going to goof off while she does laundry.

Talk to you later.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Guest Book

Does anyone out there know how to delete signatures/pictures on the Guest Book? I'm no prude but there's one I could certainly live without.

I blocked what I hope was the site and not the entire Guest Book but haven't found the way to remove one image. I'll keep looking but meantime would appreciate advice.

Back Once Again

Thanks to those of you who emailed asking if we're okay. We are. Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful, the food was spectacular, and I enjoy my friends but the first holiday season without the girls and my daughter has been a little more difficult than I anticipated. I haven't been able to think of much to say here. I sit down to write and nothing happens. Also, now that Ray is feeling better, I've spent more time hanging out with him and less time in here clicking away.

I have Christmas decorations in the living room but no room for a real tree. I picked up a 12" (.30480 meters) fake tree yesterday and some mini ornaments. Possibly I can make space for it and a small wreath on the door. As far as I know, I'll be cooking Christmas dinner for us, Jim and family, and Tim. Very low key this year. I went shopping yesterday and it was hard to go through the stores. I kept thinking about what we'd normally be doing.

On the bright side, Ray feels better (except for some residual pain from the surgery) than he has in years. I talk to the girls 2 or 3 times a week and they're doing well. And I still love this tiny house. We're making it. I'm not sure the sadness over the events of the past year will ever completely leave but it isn't constant.

My friend Janet's roommate went through her closet this weekend and I now have four bags of clothes that she no longer wears along with some luxurious looking items for the bath. She's taller than I but otherwise close to the same size. I'll go through them today or tomorrow. Janet and I are having coffee this morning and tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, Tim and I are going to see "Enchanted". Ray thinks it might be a little difficult for him to sit that long and I don't think it's his type of movie anyhow. I'm not sure; he'll watch almost anything. I walked into the living room the other morning to catch him watching an infomercial. It should be fun. My kid, a good movie, and popcorn. Who could ask for more. I haven't been to a movie in a couple of years. It's hard for me to sit that long and theaters don't come equipped with a "pause" button.

It's a little after 7 a.m. here and my friend Dawn just called and told me to look out my door to the north. I did and saw the rainbow I added to the top of this post. The sun isn't really shining this early, it's overcast and cold, and we didn't have rain but there the rainbow was. Perhaps it's a sign.

And, while I'm talking about the weather, sending good wishes to my friends in Seattle, WA and vicinity who are experiencing severe flooding and in the Minnesota/Iowa area which is dealing with heavy snow. Hope all of you are okay. By now the snow is hitting the east coast as well and the same good wishes to any of you. Arkansas had storms and tornado watches/warnings but I think it's settled down by now. Our temperature right now is in the mid 40's (F) (4.4444 C)but it's been down around freezing in the late night/early morning. We took the trash out wearing heavy jackets. I put a pair of socks on my hands as our gloves didn't seem to have survived the move. We'll have a couple of days of highs in the 60's but expect rain (snow around Yosemite) by the end of the week.

(Update around 9.00 a.m. - the rain has arrived. Thanks a lot to San Francisco for sending it our way. The rainbow was a result of the rain in the next town down the road but I still think it's a sign).

My friend Lyman just called. His printer is being contrary (thanks to Vista) so he's going to use mine. Fortuitous. I bought two new ink cartridges yesterday and haven't installed them yet. The printer ran for an entire year on the ink that came with it and I got a bargain on the cartridges (or they're just less expensive than my old Lexmark). $16 for black ink, $17 for tri-color. The Lexmarks were $35 each. Anyhow, I'd better close this out.

Word of warning to any of my friends who use Facebook. Beware of an application called Fandango. According to information I received, once you sign up it publishes whatever you've purchased in the way of books, games, videos, music, etc. directly to your Facebook page. It's in the fine print which not all of us read.

I haven't signed up for that particular application but it's good information to have. If you want to know how to access the Facebook page to protest, email me and I'll send what I have.

Thanks to all for the comments and Tim thanks you for the birthday wishes. I've been getting around to some of you and once again will catch up. I have a meme I've been trying to get to (haven't forgotten you Michael in England) and I'll finish that up as well. It will be a little different than what usually appears here.

Take care everyone.