Wednesday, December 30, 2009

in the nick of time...

David and I went on a nice little hike on Monday. On the way home we pulled off the interstate and he took this picture of Mount Saint Helens about 2 seconds before the light faded out.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

'tis the season

Wow, even Mr. Tumnus and Marble are exhibiting some good will and a little peace on earth...

Will it hold for 2010?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This old postcard says it well:

Best Wishes for Christmas
To all the good and friendly foks
Who in your house abide,
The folks who live at our house wish
A Merry Christmas-tide.

The back says it pretty well too!

Hello everybody--
How are you all? We are well. How do you like this weather? There is quite a lot of sickness here. Wishing you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!
Asa & Muriel

Along with Asa and Muriel, I'm wishing all my blogger friends a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

holiday happenings

On Friday we went to Portland to do a little shopping (key word: little), dinner at Jake's (key word: yum), and a visit to The Grotto, a Catholic shrine and botanical garden (key word: pretty). (BTW, the picture above was taken on our way back to a parking garage in downtown Portland.) The Grotto has had a Festival of Lights for many years, but this was the first year we actually got around to going to it. In addition to the Christmas lights, they have music performances, a petting zoo, and a puppet show. (Puppet show, not so good.) Anyway, it would have been perfect with a little dusting of the white stuff, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. (And I shouldn't complain due to the really nasty weather other parts of the country are experiencing.)

I did just finish reading about snow though -- in the book Christmas on Mill Street. Part of why I liked the book was that it is set during the winter of 1962, when the main character was nine years old. (I was six then). I'm usually up for a little nostalgia this time of year. Anywhoo, it's a warm 'n cozy, feel-good Christmas story which I would recommend if you're into that genre.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Five: Christmas Traditions

For this Friday Five, Jan asks us to "share five things about the Christmas traditions in your family."

Since Christina and David are home (yay!), I snagged Christina to help with this while David was practicing his trumpet.

Traditions we always do:
* Some time during the season we go to the Portland Zoo to take in Zoolights.

* There are a few "must watch" Christmas movies -- e.g. PeeWee's Christmas Special, The Snowman, Muppets Christmas Carol, and Rankin-Bass specials.

* Christmas tree ornaments are put on the tree while David selects/plays the music.

* On Christmas Eve, we go to a church service, then go to Grandma's for a huge holiday food spread before opening presents.

*Oh yes, and who can forget... the cats always get catnip from Santa on Christmas morning.

Traditions we always cook or eat:
* Christmas cookies

* Fudge!

* Hickory Farms cheese spread, crackers, and meat

* Ham or turkey on Christmas day

Traditions we would like to start:
This year we bought a Germans from Russia board game (to help celebrate our ethnicity!) which we just played this evening. This has a pretty good shot at becoming an annual tradition.

Traditions we would like to discard:
* Someone always seems to get a Christmas cold. Let's ditch this tradition.

* Also, we almost always have a 'green' Christmas here in the Pacific NW -- We'd rather have a white one.

Anything about our family Christmases:
We always stay home, and have a small, but nice holiday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

crappy, cranky, christmas cold

Well, dang, worked the morning but had to reschedule afternoon patients because this is me:

I don't feel too bad, but as the morning progressed, my voice really became, shall we say, not operational. Hopefully with rest and perhaps a massive infusion of chicken soup, I can work tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Yesterday we went out in search of the quintessentially perfect Christmas tree.

This was not it:

At this time of year, it's important to slow down.
Take time to kiss the llamas...


Mr. Tumnus is in charge of monitoring water level and needle droppage.

Friday, December 11, 2009

song of long ago

A couple of nights ago I went upstairs to wrap Christmas presents but got side-tracked when I moved old photos out of the way to get to the wrapping paper. Several months ago I had discovered the trunk of old photos when my mom moved into her condo, and Carole King's Song of Long Ago had been rattling around in my head in conjunction with that. So I finally put it all together.

Basically it was done as a video Christmas card to my cousins, Keith and Cheryl. Growing up, my brother, Paul, and I used to love getting together with them. I think the slideshow is more poignant since we lost my brother some 13 years ago already, but it was really created to celebrate the wonderful times we had together 'long ago' in the Dakotas. (Mostly we four cousins are featured, but our parents and Grandpa and Grandma are in there too.)

Anywhoo, if you don't know me that well, feel free not to watch!
C&D, I made it with you in mind too, so I think you'll like it. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

holiday hoedown

It's that special time of year when Presbygal and I don our elf gear and do some holiday dancing. This year we invited a couple of swell guys -- George Clooney and James Taylor. Good times.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nothing says Christmas like frozen batteries...

This postcard was sent to Miss Maggie Ryan, Route #3, Hillsboro, Oregon by her sister almost exactly 100 years ago (at 5 p.m. on December 6, 1909 to be precise).

Seems the sisters were hit with a cold spell.

Dear Maggie, Well are you all froze in out there? I guess the batteries are frozen anyway. Don't you want some one to fix them? I haven't talked to anyone since I haven't been very well the last few days. I wrote to Ma today. Answer soon. Your sis.

(I'm wondering how one fixes frozen batteries, because I would think they would just explode and/or leak.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Five Do Nothing Edition

Sallys says: I am reading a wonderful little book for Advent it's title: "Do nothing Christmas is Coming!" So this weeks Friday Five is simple. List Five things you won't be doing to prepare for Christmas. And while you are doing nothing play the bonus, put your feet up and listen to your favourite Advent Carol, and post it or a link to it.

Hmm... It would perhaps have been easier to list what I still have to do to prepare for Christmas! But in any event, to prepare for Christmas I will not be...

1. ...eating fruitcake. This is incredibly easy since I don't like it.

2. ...drinking eggnog. (Ditto, and let me add "Ewwwww.")

3. ...not be putting up all of the Christmas decorations inside the house. (The Coca-Cola bears were never a good idea!)

4. ...not hosting our two-family gift exchange (with the Dust Bunny family) at our house since the Thanksgiving Pie Fest was here.

5. ...not going to go crazy with putting up lots of outdoor lights and decorations. C&D get to do that when they get home!

Here's that bonus Christmas song:

cartoon from here