Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just a ramble or two

Our anniversary day. Jari came to have lunch with me at work ... and it worked out that I could join him. Well. I just told everyone I was going and did! Good greasy burgers and fries. Delish! Then I worked until 6:30 pm and was so tired when I came home that I had to take a 30 minute nap. Anniversary evening included Finnish pancakes and starting a puzzle with Tia while listening to a J.A. Jance audio novel. Good thing we celebrate things in the odd way, hey? (Good stuff coming at a later date.)

Somedays this world gets incredibly small. I mean incredibly small! Yesterday I met a couple. A Finnish man with a bride not Finnish. Anway, get this. He was raised in Virginia's Finn Town. He owned a business in the "mall" in Virginia for many years. His wife graduated from the same high school that I did. It gets better. They live here, but winter in Sun City, Arizona where he spends every day on the golf course. His golfing partner? The partner has passed away, but shared our same last name. Too funny. It was actually a gentlemen that we had gone to see a number of years back while wondering if he was related to us or not. Turned out he wasn't.  I'm telling you. The world is just closing in on me.

At the same time ... the temperature outside is creeping upward. Degree by degree. I am so ready for a week (at least) of temps in the 20's instead of hovering at the zero mark. I'm ready for snow! Lots of it! I haven't skiied once this winter .. 'tis a shame. Snow is in the forecast for the coming week and should be starting today. Jari needs to hustle up. He has some roofing material that really needs to get on before the snow flies.

Had a bit of surprise yesterday. I knew it. I forgot it. We're closed New Years Eve. Hmmm. Should I take someone's Call for them? I'm on call New Years Day from 7am to 7 pm. Should I take Eve as well? The calculator says that it would buy me tickets to sunshine if I ended up working it. Do I want to? Guess I have a few days to figure it out. Will see what today brings.

Have a great day. I'm off to walk miles in my Danskos!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

25 years ago this morning

I was racing through stores on main street in Virginia, Minnesota looking for ballet slippers. We were getting married in a few hours and I still had nothing to put on my feet. They were found ... along with some surprise friends who had come for the wedding.

We were married in the Faith United Lutheran Church in Iron. The weather was a wee bit chilly for my southwestern groom. He donned long handles under the tuxedo he wore. Who would have thought that 25 years down the road, long handles would be his regular winter attire.

It seems amazing that I am posting this from Alaska. His proposal to me about 25 years and 3 months ago went like this. "Will you come to Alaska with me?" In those first 20 years of our lives together we were mighty busy with working and raising a family. The dream of Alaska didn't cross our minds very often. We were downright happy where we were, surrounded by dear friends and family.

In the summer of 2003 we were traveling in Upper Michigan and the bug bit us. It must have been a hot summer in Phoenix. I decided that I could live in the U.P., but first I had to finish nursing school (I was halfway through at that point) and wanted 2 years of experience before I flew the coop. Therein started the dream again. The reality that we could go nearly anywhere we wanted to, as long as God had the same idea in His plans for us. And here we are.

25 years of living life with the one I love, the one I promised to love and honor for the rest of my life. 25 years don't go by as if floating on clouds. We have certainly had our share of hills and valleys. Sometimes we have existed on the plains. We have had times of incredible sadness and times of incredible joy. We have been blessed with 5 children, to whom I hope we have passed on our abilities to dream. Above all, God has blessed us with living faith. A faith that transcends all problems and to which we can cling when the inevitable trials of life become our stumbling blocks. He has blessed our life together and given us the strength to deal with whatever has come our way. I thank God for Jari's parents, who are as dear to me as my very own. Were it not for them, there would be no us. I thank God for bringing me together with my best friend.

The one I live for, laugh with and love.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It was very relaxing ....

Christmas Eve with home made pizza and then games.
This was the scene shortly before I went to bed Christmas Eve.
For the first time in our married life, no gifts were opened Christmas Eve.
We waited ..... while we indulged ourselves in sweets.

 We had breakfast/brunch at about 10:00 on Christmas morning
and then hit the gifts about 11:00 a.m.
I didn't get any pictures of the wrapping paper laden floor,
it still looked the same as it always has.
We then had Ryan & Amber with family and Shane, Liz & Jade over for a
dinner of ham and the fixins.
Delicious with plenty of game playing and visiting afterward.

If the dreams and plans of some in our household hold true ...
this may not happen again for awhile.

Today is Monday and the 4th day in a long weekend for me ... which means ....
Christmas tree out the door
Pay those electric bills
Post Office (found more Christmas cards!)
Labs and mammogram
Spruce tree needle vacuuming (do they ever end?!)
More laundry (where does it come from?)
Kids to work
Paint with Tia (it has been a long time since the caps came off the watercolor paint tubes)
Leave the rest of the Christmas things up to enjoy them.

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Traditions of Christmas

This Christmas Eve morning I am home and free from the duties of a working mom.
With the special treat of a Christmas Eve morning lounging in pajamas,
the laundry is spinning, the last of the gifts are wrapped, the grocery menu and shopping list is ready ...
and I set off to walk down memory lane and share these with you.

One of our Christmas traditions has been the sharing of Christmas greetings with friends and family. They usually involve a photo ... although we have several years where we barely managed a card to immediate family.

Many years I ago I received a gift from a dear friend, Katie.
It is a book called The Family Christmas Book.
The book holds 25 years of Christmas memories.
Some years the writing has been sparse ...
other years they are filled with excitement.
What I do have are all the Christmas cards with life changing moments captured.
Our growing family ....
 some cards included our travels or just days of wonderful play.
some years we used a drawing by one of the kids and never added a picture at all.
The later years of children growing but still available for family photos.

A big family move to the Great North ... all those captured in that years Christmas card.

We all have many treasured memories of our own childhood Christmas traditions. I hope that, as our children are all getting dangerously close to adulthood, we have instilled some of those traditions in our own children.
I hope someday this book will be a treasure that they cherish.

Today as we prepare to celebrate the Birth of Our Savior we share our
wishes with you for a season blessed with peace, love and joy.
May your home be happy,
your hearth warm
 and the peace of the Christ child fill your hearts.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I think I must go into hiding for a while ...

if I don't take some time to clean the receipts out of my purse ...
pay some electric and assorted bills ....
I won't be on here at all!

In the meantime ... enjoy!

(click on the photos to see them enlarged)

And the weekend ends with ....

Jari is home safe and sound!
The Christmas Program was a delight as always. There is nothing like little children delivering the Christmas Message.
Tia turned 14 and it was celebrated in our typical family style surrounded by food, friends and family.
With the exception of Christmas stockings ... I am done Christmas shopping!
Christmas Eve and Day is planned ... I just need to let everyone else know. :)

I used all the toothpicks in the house putting my tarts together on Friday evening.
Don't know what I'm going to use to prop my eyes open today.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Life on Montague Island

Montague Island is probably an incredibly beautiful place in the summer time. I'm not sure about right now. (If you click on the link it should take you to a satellite view of the island. The longer island in the middle of the page.) Track the water up the page and to the left to hit Whittier. That is where the truck is sitting in subzero temps ... maybe it will start when they make it back there.

I just got a call from the Coast Guard in Anchorage. Jari is still with the Auxillary Coast Guard and has a radio with their frequency. He contacted them ... they contacted me to let me know they were fine. At least the CG knows there are people out there ... they won't leave them there.

In the meantime, I believe this is the cabin they are staying in. At least a summer time view of the cabin. Looks downright cozy, doesn't it? Maybe for a summer getaway with your bride. :) Looks dry and I know he brought a chainsaw along ... they have wood.

An aerial view courtesy of Google.

Juha ... want to join them next year?
I did learn something yesterday from someone who has been there many times.
This is NOT the time of year to be going.
Go in August or September ... at the lastest October.

Dear hubby,

you can come home any time now.
I have learned a few things while you've been away.
I've learned the value of a well pump.
I've learned how to replace the headlights on a vehicle.
I can actually start a mean fire in the wood stove ...
although I still can't get it hot enough to set off the fire alarm.
I'm still not doing a very good job of cooking dinner on the nights I work.
I've nearly gotten the Christmas preparations ready,
although I still don't have a clue what we're eating for Christmas dinner.
Your laundry is washed and I've hung a fresh towel for you
because I'm afraid after almost two weeks of cabin living you're
going to desperately need it.
I'm skipping the hospital Christmas party tonite because you can't go with me,
and I don't want to go alone.
We have a whiz bang group of people coming over tomorrow evening
to celebrate the Christmas season and the fact that your
baby daughter turns 14 years old today.
She'd really like you to be here ... really, really.

Then there are the things I can't do.
I really don't know how to get the Volkswagen running again.
It quit nearly a week ago and Brock has done what he can.
I really can't fix Blayde's truck either. That one is now parked in the "garage".
Your truck still runs. I even go out there and run it for you once in a while.

We miss you at home ...
where the warm fleece sheets are on our
feather stuffed bed ... and piled with pillows.
where we still have about 7 pounds of coffee beans waiting to make
a mean pot of coffee ... just for you.
where the Christmas tree still has some needles and looks beautiful.
where we're waiting to hear your stories and hope you're writing them down for us.
where I watch the internet every day to see what the sea is doing
between you and me.
where I wait and hope you'll be here sometime soon.

If there was any way to get you home sooner ....
I'd be on it ... yesterday.

Love you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I might just need that item before August

I got a bit of a late start this morning, so off the list went the thrift stores.

Fred Meyer ... I'm still shuddering at the price of the item I was looking at. I have to still decide whether to keep shuddering and go elsewhere or just pony up.

Target ... "We usually carry that item when kids head back to college. You can check with us in August." August?!?!? Maybe someone forgot to tell them that Christmas isn't in August. It's in 9 days!

Off to Jo-Anns. So far I'm batting about nothing. Should have just given up pitching and kept on driving. "We use to carry that. We don't have room anymore. We have purchased the lot next door .... so if we add on to the building ... we'll be carrying it again."  I am not kidding. For reals. That is what she told me.

By now you'd think I'd just go home, right? There is something to being a hard headed Finn.

Next I went to the doctor. Why, oh why, do they need to weigh you first? Always? That wasn't that bad. We're on a serious slippery slope in that department anyway. The shock was the height. When was the last time your height was measured? Seriously think about this now. Do you renew your drivers license and tell them how tall you are? Do you fill out other forms and tell them how tall you are? When was the last time you held a measuring tape to the wall. I'm warning you. It could be disastrous. I get off that nasty scale after having my height documented and said, "No, that can't be." "I'm an inch taller than that. I always have been!" I'm feeling frantic by this time. Back on the scale again to check the height ... just to be sure. Okay. No denying it. At which point she recommends a bone density test. Now I have some serious indigestion starting up because I have an active imagination. Off to the room and that sweet little gown where the nurse checks my chart. Hmmm. They did check my height last time ... and it was only a year ago. And .... I wasn't the imagined height then either! By the time the visit was over I had forgotten the prescription I was after when I went in, but the rest of the stuff was done. I'm seriously contemplating some dementia testing, but we'll save that for next year's visit.

Off to the library and the post office. Both pleasant experiences. Then to the parts store to find some lights for my headlights. It is rather dark here for much of my driving time. (By the time I write this we have gone back to the store to exchange them for the right ones .... and I have learned how to put them in!) Then to the building supply store which replaced the car dealer (on my list .. not the store front). The 2nd key for my ride has disappeared. I now have a spare. Whew!

Enough. I needed to unwind for a moment. This height thing still has me convinced I'm losing my mind. So I went for a quick detour before I went home.

Okay. I feel better now. Maybe that's why I have this serious fascination with bridges ... because I'm getting shorter?

Sounds like the house took its glucosamine last night.

The wind has died down. We now have an occasional little burst. Thank goodness.
The dumpster is due down at the end of the driveway this morning. Maybe it will stand upright today.
The wood pile on the porch is gone. Maybe we can get some more hauled up here .. instead of blown up.

Blogs hopped this morning.

First kiddo to the bus. We have exactly 23 hours and 30 minutes until the last bus run of the year. Not that I'm counting or anything!  24 hours and 20 minutes until the last high school run of the year.

Guess what we've been doing this week? Working on getting things ready for a special day in May ... and maybe doing a little walk down memory lane. After a very frustrating hour of trying to get 3 scanners to work ... mine finally did what we needed it to do. It's always been my fave. Isn't he just the cutest little guy you ever did see?!

By the way ... hubby can come home now. His gift is wrapped and under the tree. :)

Today ... Thrift stores. Target. Fred Meyer. Jo-Anns. Car Dealer. Doctor appointment. Post office. Library. craft corner. Craft Corner. CRAFT CORNER!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Need a bit of weather?

Weather. We have it here.
If your life is a bit dull and mundane with slight breezes and sunshine, this is the place to be.

74mph gusts of wind at the airport in Palmer this morning.
We have one of those patio heaters out on the porch.
The nice big tall one that really doesn't do diddly squat up here, but worked well in Arizona.

Pretend you're blowing into a pop bottle for just a minute. Got that sound?
Now imagine 74 mph wind blowing into the holes in around the base of that heater.

It seems to hit here and there and is a tad bit eery.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wind, wind go away ...

The. Wind. Is. Here.
My house is creaking and groaning under the strain of it.
I'm not even going to try and bother lighting a fire in the wood stove.
I can't manage it on a good day let alone today.

The Palmer Airport reports gusts of up to 55 mph with a wind chill of -7.
Actually quite warm! Just kidding.
It is nasty. I still have to go pick up Anna from work at some point tonite ... and I'm down to using my bright lights on the Tahoe. How on earth did I lose both head lights in the space of 2 days?

As for the dear hubby.
He certainly will NOT be home this fine evening.
By the looks of it ... I'm guessing they'll be sitting on that lovely island until at least Thursday. Let's hope I'm wrong. I have spent a fair amount of time on NOAA's website this evening.

From NOAA this evening ....


400 PM AKST TUE DEC 14 2010


It looks like they might be safer just staying hunkered down in the cabin they're in. I hope they aren't out of coffee. That would be a near disaster!

As for me. Today I decided that I couldn't live in a place where this was the norm. The hospital was built in the middle of a wind tunnel. Beautiful building, but when the wind is in rare form, it just whips. It whistles down the halls. It whines. It shrills. It so grated on my nerves today by the time 10 hours was over ... that I was ready to scream. Seriously. I couldn't stand one more minute of that sound.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Saturday in the kitchen.

I probably had half intentions of going to the Colony Christmas in Palmer yesterday.
Is it freezing cold this same weekend every year? Last year it was. I remember it well.
Instead, I chose my kitchen after a run to Walmart, drop off Anna at work and hit the post office.
Does every post office have a line that wraps around the building at this time of year?
That is a bit of exaggeration, but really!
We have been printing our own labels at home and paying for them online.
It is wonderful!
I still stand in line to pick up my packages if I get a slip in my box, but at least the rest of it I just plunk on the counter and leave. Yesterday I got to stand in line. It was worth it. (Later in post.)

Then I came home and started the dough business. Frans lived with us for years and his favorite cookie was ginger snaps. I don't think I've made them since I moved here. I did yesterday. Just for him. I think I'll send him a message every time I eat one ... just for him.

I don't remember a time in recent years where cookies were baked and decorated in the same day. It may look a bit pastel around here, but they sure taste good!

Can't have Christmas with a Kiss Cookie. I started making mine in the mini muffin tins several years ago. Keeps the cookie from spreading all over the place, keeping it confined in the tin. 

By the time evening was over ....  we had listened to a lovely Christmas audio story called Finding Noel while baking cookies. One more Saturday or a few evenings of kitchen time and we'll be set! Tarts and coated pretzel sticks, to name a few, yet to go!

This past week I worked on Christmas cards and came to a decision. My goal is to do them every other year ... and not feel guilty about it. I so enjoy receiving the Christmas greetings. They are such a big part of our celebrations. It seems like every year I try find somewhere new to display them. This year I used 3 frames that I had picked up at yard sales. They are sort of roughed up a bit, the glass covered with scrapbook paper and then the frame is wrapped with twine. They will in no way hold all the cards, so I've strung a piece of twine beneath the frames and will add more as I need to. So, while I'm throughly enjoying receiving the greetings .... yours might be getting closer to mailing. I ordered more cards this week. That problem sort of cropped up while I was addressing them. 

Hoping that Jari will be home tomorrow. Bryce has had sketchy cell service so we know they are doing fine. They had snow on Friday that then turned to rain! An Acquire game was packed in that truckful of goodies so they're occupied. Doesn't sound like I need to run out and buy another freezer. Nor does it look like I'll be hiring a taxidermist ... unless they had a very successful day yesterday!

Off to find a Ginger Snap.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A sense of humor is a must.

Last night it must have been around 10pm when one of the girls went to the kitchen faucet to get a drink and said, "Why isn't there any water?" "Water?" I promptly went to the basement to look, like it was going to make a difference in the water scheme. It didn't. Wondered for a moment if Fred was already sleeping and met him coming in the door as I was heading back upstairs. His shower was incredibly short lived as well.

Thank goodness for Fred. He checked out the power related issues. Power everywhere and all the way to the wires at the well. After that we sort of assumed it had to be the well pump. A quick look at Lowes online gave me a guesstimate at price ... without labor or markups. I dozed in a living room chair, trying to be of some help somewhere and failing miserably.

This morning I had a meeting at work and got the name of a well driller. (For a moment I had a pining for city water.) Came home from the meeting and waited for him to show up. The first marvelous cheap fix find didn't do the trick. New pump needed.
Maybe there would have been a cheaper way to get this whole thing done, but we would have needed a rig anyway to pull the thing out and put it back in. So while this was going on in my front yard, I logged onto Facebook and played many games of Bejeweled (my new addiction) which were pitiful. It helped though. Mindless distraction. I called Jenny and told her to grab her coffee and have a cup with me. She said something like, "are you here?!" "Nope, I'm pretending this thing in my yard is a cactus, because I just paid him the price of my plane tickets." (Mind you, I didn't have the money for plane tickets anyway.)
 By the time noon rolled around, we had water running in the house. It needs some serious filtration. Fred has spent the evening changing filters and getting us some clean looking water. I could have cried when I watched the muddy water gushing about into the yard before we hooked back up again. So, I have learned a few things today about well pumps. They're sure small things for as critical as they are. It stops and life sort of screeches to a halt!

In addition to playing games today, I did manage to get a few more Christmas things spread around the house. I love using things I find in the cupboard combined with Country Living or Martha Stewart.

And I must be honest. For my grumbling about the bill today. For the lack of sleep last night. For the learning experience. For all of Fred's help. For the gallons of water that Blayde brought home last night so I could have coffee this morning.
For all of that, or in spite of it, I am thankful.
Thankful that my home is warm.
Thankful that my home has food.
Thankful that my home has family.
Thankful that God has blessed us with the ability to work.
Especially as I remembered taking this photo yesterday. 
Knowing that his existence is probably chilly ..
in addition to not having the creature comfort of a shower.

Even if the view is a million dollar one.

My dear hubby got to escape all the fun ..
won't he be surprised!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Today was stunning.

I'm so glad I left the house.
You'd have never known it looking out the window.
Off to Palmer to run errands and then a small detour.

Is it any wonder I tend to get distracted?

So bright you have to put the visor down in the car,
yet clouds just hanging low in some spots.

My hubby is out hunting on Montague Island with 3 other buddies.
It is one of THOSE places.
They packed like they were women heading on an explore.
Every time I look up something on the Island I come up with sights like this one.
Jari would be thrilled to find a bear to bring home for the wall. Actually, so would I. Not thrilled to find the bear. Thrilled if HE finds one.
Montague Island, at the 2000 census, is the largest uninhabited island in the United States. I fear is it quite inhabited ... just not by the human species.
I just heard a few minutes ago through text message that they are doing fine.
Their mission is to bring home deer. So far ... they're still looking for them.

I spent my day doing paper pile shuffling. Is there any easier way to do that? We don't hae an office. We don't even have space for what might qualify for an office in a corner of our room. Ugh. I shuffled sufficiently. Another day of that and then I can start getting ready for that April 15th thing. Like Christmas isn't enough??!!

Shucks. Gotta run. We have no water. Aaaagh!!

'Tis the season of

muffin tops.

and I haven't even started Christmas baking yet!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Preparations for Christmas

I don't have much in the way of Christmas decorations.
It comes whether or not we deck the house out with oodles of stuff.
While stuff is fun, it requires storage ... and dusting. (shudder)
We did start hauling out the things we have.
Stockings are hung in the dining room with care,
wondering what Santa this year will share.

Last Christmas we went for the Charlie Brown look. Let me tell you about Charlie Brown. Last year he was a bit on the short side. Not really, but in comparing it to last year's tree it most certainly was.
This year, Tia & Dad did the hunt for the tree.
She was so thrilled.
She found the perfect one!
When I asked how big around the tree was, meaning tree trunk, I got the picture.
The trunk was going to be very skinny ... getting progressively moreso as it hit the top.
They went out and cut it down, and then brought it in.

Then out came the ladder.
I did the only smart thing one can do in a situation like this.
I handed over the responsibility for tree lighting and
took a nap.
I said I really didn't care ... just get it done.
I hadn't increased the life insurance policy and have no long term disability
policy on Jari. It was looking quite sketchy when I hit the pillow.

Somehow the star made it on the top of the tree.
It has lights ... on most of the branches.
It looks like I don't have any ornaments.
It has charm.
It has character.
It stands almost 15 feet tall. 

It is beautiful ... and it is done!
I may sneak some more lights on branches. I found BOXES of them left over!

Yesterdays blog comments included a link to an advent calendar that is absolutely beautiful! I tried to get just a page of it yesterday to share and celebrate the Independence Day of Finland. It didn't work.
Go over and take a look ... you'll love it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ....

from the front door step ....

to the drive down the road ....

even the trampoline edges are covered with snow.

I had great intentions of going for a drive today.
HAD great intentions.
My cold is on/off again driving me insane.
Today was an ON day.
I didn't drive.
Mercifully, the wind has stayed away ....
while the thermometer has dipped to single digits. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Get Well Wish for Dad ...

who had a new hip put in on Tuesday.
who is in a hospital MANY miles away from my computer.
who silently suffered with that hip of his for a long time.

I wish I could pop in and see him for a visit.

I can't, though, so I'll send him oodless of well wishes ... with a boquet of irises.

May his recovery be blessed ... and the road he travels be lighter and easier.

Note to self: get these digital photos organized so that you can find one when you're looking for it!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shopping ... Christmas ... Cars ... Trees

Can you tell that I don't really know how to use herbs in my cooking?
I really need a class. The things are drying naturally outside in the "breeze". Snow has slid in through the screen over the weekend ... and now the wind is back again. Yuck.

We did enjoy some Black Friday shopping. Anna, Tia and I went out early in the morning on Friday. It felt like I did more shopping over the weekend than I've done in the entire year. Have to say that I joined the rest of the country in "shopping sales for myself". I was pumped to find this little goodie on sale at Target. My pictures are now safely stored on an external hard drive that should have enough room to store photos for me until I've reached about 100 years old. My computer is still limping on it's last leg ... no Cyber Monday shopping. 

Daylight is getting shorter every day. Today my window to the world at work got frosted stripes over it. I could have nearly cried. I love those big sheets of glass. It's from there that I watch the sunlight moving across the parking lot at work. I can tell what the weather is doing outside at just a glance. Not anymore. Now I'll really have to work at seeing it. Or lay on the floor. I might just do that!

It's dark by 4:30 pm and all I know is that I go to work in the dark. Another 22 days until Winter Solstice ... and then the light of summer is around the corner. Days like today (dark and gusting 75 mph winds) make me wonder what on earth I'm doing living here. Come the quickly increasing days of sunlight in our world, and increasing heat in yours, I'll remember why I'm here. For the moment.

We ended our weekend with a most frustrating game of Scrabble. Ever played one of those? They go on forever and don't seem to get any better. You could just cry with relief when they're over? That kind.

Monday is nearly over. Thank goodness.
** The truck to the shop today for something vital that cost a pretty penny.
** The solitary key to one vehicle went missing over the weekend and it (the car, not the key) got towed home today. Read that as Open Checkbook Wider ... Again.
** I need a massage in the worst way. I hunch over in the cold and pretty soon my hunched over back muscles feel like they're squeezing my lungs. I just need a massage. It has pretty much moved from the want category to the need category.
** Dentist appointment tomorrow for Tia ... which means I'm also off of work.
** Laundry pile is heaped and unfolded at last glance. Don't really want to glance right now. Have a hunch that it didn't miraculously fold itself since Last Glance.

On a bright Monday note, I must share a blog for you to read. The Christmas tree saga. We still don't have one this year. For the first many years of our married life, we had a real live tree. Growing up in Northern Minnesota, it was just not tolerable to have a fake tree, even if I was living in the desert. Then a family died in Chicago one Christmas from a Christmas tree that caught fire. That was it. I promptly moved to a fake tree. Sure was cheaper and it felt a lot safer with a houseful of littles.

Now we're in the land of trees gone wild. The first several years we were here, we actually ran to the Feed Barn in Palmer and bought a tree. Don't ask. Silly. It was more of a time thing. Tia and I were not going to cut down a tree somewhere. This roughing it only goes so far. Last year ... it was a fun Charlie Brown Tree from our yard. This year it will be the same. Should have done it over the weekend before the hurricane blew in.

I ramble. So, first we have Carol's saga. The family Christmas tree meets mouse tragedy. It could be interesting trying to find a tree to cut down in the metro Phoenix area, but at least there are the tree lots. All. Over. The. Place. (Just don't try finding a tree on Christmas Eve.) While we mourn the family Christmas tree ... it's probably time for a new one anyway. Happy Shopping Carol!

Then there is the other end of the earth. I never really thought about how you get a tree in tundra country. What do you do when there isn't a tree growing anywhere?! I found out what one family does. Check this out! I was quite impressed. I'll probably never pack my luggage for travel again without thinking of tarps and Christmas trees.

Off to set the alarm!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving ... with so much to be thankful for.

It has been a crazy past 3 days. Crazy, I tell you.
Thanksgiving, though, was nicely quiet.
Not quiet in the way of not busy.
We spent most of our day with just our immediate household.
Plenty of food ....

enough to feed the hungry young men who live here ...   

and love stuffing ... along with the mother who loves her white dishes.

Turkey that still isn't all gone 2 days later. 

China and linen ... aahh. My favorites. Complete with the dying art of starch.

A fresh coat of new snow dusting the earth and making our world so beautiful. 

So much heat going on in the kitchen that the window next to the front door
even had the nerve to fog up!
Haven't had that happen since Brock took a shower as a much younger kid
and the kitchen window would fog the moment he opened the bathroom door! 

Wonderful naps to settle turkey. Some longer than others.
Mine was especially long.  

Alyx worked on Thanksgiving. We waited until she got here shortly before 4pm to
try and get a family photo.
It is now dark by 4:30 pm and getting photos proved to be a bit difficult.
We did it.
I'm not thrilled, but they will have to do.
No acceptable "family" photo because I didn't want flash used.
Maybe on Christmas?
Regardless, these three are some of my precious ones I'm so thankful for.

Then on to an evening of company and visiting.
An evening of reading the newspaper ads and deciding where we were going
to shop bright and early on Friday morning.
One thing was for certain.

Now it is Saturday evening. We're just home from an evening of out for pizza and then fireworks in Palmer. A bit chilly, but not bad at 22 degrees. The fireworks were spectacular, followed by some nice hot chocolate and visiting at Kevin & Renae's.
 I am thankful that tomorrow is Sunday and I don't have to do anything.
I need a day of rest.

I think I also need a piece of pie.
Catch you later!