Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Sunday

Another Sunday after church
Talking with family
Doing computer stuff



Next week church starts at 9:00 a.m. Hurray!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Today we went cross country skiing. It was about zero at home when we left. It was 32 up in the mountains. It was perfect!
Below are pictures of the apartment. it is finished except for furnishings and filling nail holes in the trim.

Window coverings

Kitchen sink


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Things I Remember About Christmas

Here are some of the things I remember about my Christmases as a child:

1) My Mom and Dad were there to open presents, but Mom always had to go to work at 3:00 p.m.

2) There were non stop Christmas specials on television during the month of December. We really enjoyed watching them.

3) We would get out of school early on the day of our Christmas program. I don't remember my parents coming to a program because they always had to work. I never felt resentful. It was just the way things were. I was just thrilled to get out of school early.

4) In Jr. High and High School I had Christmas Band Concerts. (We didn't have to call them "Winter" concerts then.) My Dad always came.

5) On Christmas Eve my family didn't do anything but watch TV. We never played games together, read the Christmas story, or talked. It was very lonely. I always yearned to have some family gathering. That is why I started having Christmas Eve parties when I had kids.

6) My Grandma was a Jehovah's Witness. We never bought her presents, received presents from her, or celebrated anything with her but her 50th wedding anniversary.

7) I had a beautiful gold and green formal that I made to sing in the High School Philharmonic Choir. We got out of school a ton to sing during the Christmas season. I LOVED it!

8) The Christmas of 1968 it snowed. and snowed, and snowed. There was about three feet of snow. The snow piled up in the middle of the street. When driving, there was a wall down the middle of the street and you could not see the other lane. Then, the temperature plunged to well below zero and stayed there until March. We still bundled up and took our toboggan down the hills behind our house. We could only make about two runs down the hill before we were frozen stiff. I went sledding with a neighbor friend, Karen Hooper.

9) When I was about four, I had scarlet fever during Christmas and slept in the front room. I guess I was in quarantine. I got a sled for Christmas that year, but there was no snow.

10) My parents always told me there was no Santa Claus, but I believed anyway. My Mom set me straight on this point again when I was four. I was so bummed.

11) The Christmases I liked best were the ones I had after I married Dad and we had our own family.

12) The Christmas after I married Dad, I was so sick of opening presents from our reception that opening Christmas presents was a chore!

These are the best times. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Tail of Burning

Thursday afternoon found me scrubbing pepper spray off the walls of an outhouse at the fairgrounds.

It all began my when delightful friend Charmaine decided last week’s hike should be an urban hike. Eloise, Charmaine, and I decided to walk from her upper west side home to the fairgrounds. Our walk took us to Spring Meadow Lake, across the golf course of a private country club, down a railroad bed, and across a field, and through a hole in a chain link fence. Yes, three over-fifty women army crawling through a ground level hole in a chain link fence. The worst part of the fence was that the deer crawl through it too, so there was deer hair all around the fence and on the ground. Yuck.

So after four miles of walking, crawling, and adventuring, it is only natural that an outhouse offers a welcome respite. And why should I remove my back pack? I can use an outhouse while wearing a back pack. Or, I thought I could until I discovered the safety had bounced off my pepper spray. AGAIN! I heard an unusual sound and turned to see: pepper spray all over the toilet lid, and the wall. Having previous experience with pepper spray, I didn’t even wait to get my pants all the way up before I burst out of the outhouse door and ran for it. I made Flash Gordon look like an ADA candidate. We all backed off and waited for the noxious vapor to dissipate. Then, Eloise ventured inside to use a baby wipe to clean off the toilet lid, but there was nothing that could be done with the wall.

We propped the outhouse door open with a garbage can and resumed our urban hike. But the worst was yet to come. Eloise began to have burning under her fingernails. I soon noticed a burning cheeks. The BIG cheeks. Evidently microscopic particles of pepper spray had infiltrated my underwear. Even though it was only 20 degrees, I was reaching for snow and packing my rear end with it as we walked along. Thank heaven, we came to the bathroom at the other end of the fairgrounds with running water. I had to take soap and water sponge bath and Eloise needed a hand wash.

Lucky for us, the walk back was only about three miles and the weather was cold, but just what the hiker ordered for a peppered behind. At Charmaine’s I had to wash and dry my under wear, so that I could stay there. We had planned to make some Christmas candy.

So the next afternoon, armed with a bucket of soapy water, a scrub brush, and various cleaners, I ventured back to the fairgrounds to wipe the pepper spray off the inside of the outhouse. If you ever need a long lasting wall coating, I recommend pepper spray. Nothing I did made a dent in it. Even with the door open for 24 hours with a 20 MPH wind blowing the entire time, I still coughed a little as I cleaned. But at least my rear end was a reasonable temperature.

All I have to say is, I am writing a letter to the pepper spray manufacturers. They need to come up with a better safety.