Christmas Eve is my Christmas

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As families grow, change, and blend…some traditions have remained the same.  Since the boys were 10 and 12, we’ve claimed Christmas Eve as our Christmas.

Early morning breakfast of sensible and clearly non-sensible foods followed by a lively gift exchange with some jumping up and down and gratitude expressed.

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After gifts are given, we dash off to the bowling alley for our “Christmas Bowl.”  Yes, you read right.  We bowl every Christmas Eve.  It is as funny as it is fun.  We cheer for each other and there is the tiniest bit of competition.  (I mean there are awards – teehee).

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Cousins help each other, especially if little ones are just learning the ropes.

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After bowling, there’s Christmas spaghetti for lunch.  More laughter, good stories, and play.

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Families pack up in late afternoon and head out to other homes for other celebrations.

For Robert and me, it was a very good Christmas.  We feel lucky to have family and friends near and stay connected (Marco/Polo) with those far away.  Merry Christmas.

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Making Puns

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Recently my nine year old grandson, Jack, has taken an interest in Linda Silvesti’s wonderful sketches with puns.  He wanted to give it a try.  So, with pen and paper he went off to make a sketch.

This guy, he explains, has confused his shoe with a taco.  So, he’s wearing the taco and just put his shoe in the microwave.  “Where’s my taco?” he questions.  He imagines a can eating his taco not realizing the taco is on his foot.  The can, wanting the taco is a

CAN-NIBAL !

So there we have it.  The beginning of a new pun-ner.  (He told me to type this.)

News vs Hallmark Movies

It’s important to be informed, I tell myself, as I read various articles and tune in to PBS or the BBC.  Don’t turn away…keep involved.  There is a lot to be discouraged about in the news with conflicts, natural disasters, and those disasters of our own making.  Sometimes I’m overwhelmed.

So there’s the Hallmark channel where you know what will happen in the first three minutes, the comforting archetypes showing up time and time again.  Sometimes I do long for a happy ending where everything turns out right in the end.

But the world is more complex than that.  No one is all villain or all heroine.  The villain never knows he or she is in the wrong while our heroes often slip off their perches.

I’ll keep watching, listening to and reading news, because I think there’s a responsibility I have as a citizen of the world.  I also try to remember that there are people and organizations doing great things with their power or money to make this planet better.

Still….the pull of fake conflict and the perfect ending.  It’s not real.  I know it’s not real.  Yet sometimes I just need a break.

Squirrels Won’t Stay Still!

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The other day I entered the dining room to find my dear husband, binoculars in hand, getting a close up of the squirrels and birds feasting a few yards past our deck.  Not satisfied with the details a smart phone picture would include.  He spent the morning shifting between his glasses and binoculars to practice some wildlife drawings.

Although admittedly biased, I think he did a lovely job!

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Fall Leaves Falling

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Goodbye Halloween mantel; hello fall!  I kept a few of the pumpkins around and added some leaves, flowers, and keepsakes.  The ceramic covered corn bowl on the left is something from my youth.  It still holds the mini-ear spears inside.  The goal was to eat the buttery ear of corn without wasting butter on your fingers.  Ha!

To the right is some golden wheat in Lucite, a gift from my sister years ago when I was homesick for Kansas.  The centerpiece is a print from the inspiring Kelly Rae Roberts with the following quote:

“Giving opens the way for receiving.” — Florence Scovel Shinn

Enjoy the Season!

Pumpkin Love

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Visits to the Pumpkin Patch, creating your own pumpkin, and seeing them light up is all parts of our Halloween tradition.  Included are family pumpkins.

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There’s something about taking a pumpkin and with a little creativity and effort turning it into something quite magical.  And if it happens to be a kitty pumpkin, you might just fall in love.

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What???

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What do you do when you learn that the people who put up your house division made a critical building mistake on the construction that would cause dry rot and water damage that would not show up until a few years later?

This happened to my son and daughter-in-law.  A neighbor found the mistake and passed on the news to the rest of the neighbors.  Solving the issues cost a lot of hard work and money.

When you find out your house is in danger…..”Who ya gonna call?  Dad!”

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Tom tore the siding off until he removed the dry rot.  Dad showed up with all the tools and lumber one would need to finish the job.  They worked hard together, removing the window, putting it back in the right way, trimming it and putting on new siding.  Took them a few days but they did great work.

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Once the job was done, it will need sanding and some new paint.  It will be as good as new (actually better than new).  I sure hope they can find the workers who made the mistake and did the damage to the whole neighborhood.

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Father and son…..a good team.

Celebration

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Our oldest turned 39!!  We felt like Oprah… you get a pizza and you get a pizza and you get a pizza.  Bryon introduced HIS kids to “The Last Starfighter” and we all dug into the pizza of our choice.

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Ice cream for dessert and the evening was a success.  Cards and gifts were opened and wishes made.

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Father and son…a birthday filled with laughter, fun, mugging for the camera and making good memories.