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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Aftermath

First of all, I'm sorry some of you couldn't see the photos of Gypsy. I tried uploading from Picassa for the first time and they apparently didn't come through. Can't figure out why, so if any of you know... Meanwhile, here is one...

Christmas -- boy, what a time.

On the 23rd, Kevin, Greg and Molly (Kevin's squeeze) were with us for the evening (well, till Molly left for work.

It included Scrabble games...

And our traditional Christmas Eve (OK, it was the 23rd, but they're at the age where we're starting to share their time!) cookie decorating!

The next day, Greg went with us to friend Judy's for a Christmas Eve luncheon. We feel honored that we were the only not-immediate family invited! (Although when Judy found out another friend might not have plans - after we arrived - she felt really bad.)

First up was photo shoots. Judy has a great sun room and the lighting was perfect. This was my favorite of Rick, Greg and me...

And I loved this one of me with Greg.

This is my friend Judy -- good friends, old friends. Not my "oldest" friend -- but in the top five or six of the regulars!

After that, I stopped at my only remaining direct relative on my dad's side -- his cousin Marie. When I got to her house there were many police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, a city bus and more outside.
At first, I was worried that something might be amiss with Marie, but she was right out there, checking to see what was wrong. Apparently a burglar was holed up with a weapon in the house on the next block. This went on for hours. When Rick and I drove by five hours later, they were still there, but all worked out.

Molly and Kevin returned Christmas Day for presents and dinner.

We really had a wonderful time -- down to the traditional wrapping paper cover-up!

After dinner, more Scrabble. Then things went wacky. Kevin locked Molly's keys in the car with it running and we had to have a towing service break in. And I started shaking like a leaf and freezing. You'd think when you are that cold, your temp would reflect it. Mine kept going up and up. When it didn't come down by Monday, I went to the doc. Pneumonia. I should be doing better in 48 hours, but it's no fun. As you might expect, the pet therapist is by my side.

Here's another Gypsy photo that didn't show on the other post.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vacation Review -- Off to Wickenburg!

You know the verse in "God Bless America" -- "From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam..."

Well, I felt as though I might be living a verse not written to that song!

"From the mountains to the desert to the midwest, white with snow!"

We'll leave the snow photos for later -- I just can't cope! But the desert -- that's another matter!

We drove down from Flagstaff to Wickenberg and Cousins John...

... and Pat.

We got a bit of a late start -- Rick's canyon jaunt tuckered him out and left him hobbling. He needed a good sleep. But once we hit the road, it was straight on!

John and Pat live in the desert, a spot with a character all its own. No bright greens and other colors. Instead, it is a medley of earth tones. The browns range from sand and tan to sepia; the greens are soft.

But when the sun sets -- well, there's plenty of color then!

It was divine to sit by the pool, watching the sunset, catching up -- knowing full well that in Michigan it was snowing like crazy, and mighty cold.

This was part of our view...

...and so was this. The sunset made you gasp!

John and Pat have two dogs -- Tank and Gus, who found a soft touch in Rick!

I, for one, could not resist Tank. From little Ham to big Tank, quite the difference, but both were wonderful!

John and Pat collect Western art. They have beautiful pieces, but if I could have walked out with anything slipped into my carry-on, it would be this duo of chickens...

...or this horse painting -- what wonderful colors!

You'll recall Rick was limping a tad -- kind and compassionate Pat helped him out with some Alleve.

John, on the other hand, thought it would be a fine time to race my bike racer-boy.

John said he'd use his big-tire red bike and let Rick use his other.

Rick declined. I knew he had to be hurting! I don't think he ever turned down a biking challenge in his life!

But Tank seemed to enjoy it!

Eventually it was time to leave -- but what a lovely holiday.

Past the horses. Down the highway to the Phoenix airport. All aboard. Homeward bound.

A post script. We arrived home and after getting our bags, took the shuttle to the car park. Our car had a good six inches of ice and frozen snow on both windshields. After breaking a wiper, we took off, almost unable to believe we had been in 70 degree weather so recently.

I am beginning to catch up on reading blogs between holiday festivities. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

You'd better watch out, you'd better now cry.
Better not pout.
I'm telling you why.
Santa Claws is Coming to Town.



He's making a list. Checking it twice.
Gonna to find if Gyppy is naughty or nice.
Santa Claws is Coming to Town.



I do believe. I really do!



And from both of us...

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Interrupt This Vacation for Holiday Cheer!

I'm eager to show you some wonderful photos of the desert and more, but before the season goes too far, want to share some holiday cheer. And what could be more cheerful than a cat in a festive bow?

Here we are at the house -- decorated far too much for its small size. Ask me if I care!

When I was away I read an article in the Flagstaff paper about a woman who read that to really do an appropriate and lovely Christmas tree, pick one color (maybe an accent, too), and just use that color and things that reflect your theme. She tried, but then started pulling out the ornaments the kids had made as children, gifts, and soon, her tree didn't fit her blue and white theme.

I know what she means. I have multiple trees and they are eclectic and clearly an album of my life, as represented in all kinds of ornaments.

I do have a snowman tree. Not that there aren't snow folk on the others, but this little one graces my bedroom.

I've always loved this one!

You saw my "Dad" tree in a previous post. The tree in my family room has lots of ornaments mom collected, so I call this one my "Mom" tree. These storybook characters are among my favorites.

My most successful attempt at a theme tree is the Solstice tree.

It seems like if there is a surface to cover, I cover it. This drives Rick nuts. But I love looking at these things that bring back so many memories.

This year's mantle is Santa folk.

This is on the coffee table. Easiest thing ever to make -- a wreath form, a feather boa (or two, depending on the size), T-pins. Then fix it up with a candle, a figure, birds, ornaments, whatever you like!

It's almost here -- and I still have to bake, shop, wrap, organize, finish projects. I am certifiably crazy. But I will love it and am looking forward to the blessings the holiday season brings -- time with friends and family, time to be creative, to cook, to laugh, to smile, to love.

Merry Christmas.

We'll return to the desert in a post or two -- till then, celebrate the holiday!

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