Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in Louisiana

Josh and Randi have gone back home....and it is quiet here. Sophie has been sleeping nearly all day. She seems rather depressed, too. Rainy, sad day. The long awaited Christmas has come and gone and soon the decorations will be gone and it will all seem like a dream.
We had a lot of fun about this time last was almost too warm to build a fire. Josh and Randi were tired of holiday food and felt like having cheese burgers so we grilled out and ate on the deck. Then he got a hold of his high school/college buddy, Pat and his wife, Lindsi and they came over and we roasted marshmellows and made s'mores. Yum. It was fun talking about ol' times. They have a cute little doggie, Holly, but she was not with them. Maybe next time. Sophie would have liked that. I am looking forward to many happy times such as this on the deck.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dog gone was a great Christmas!

Josh, Randi and Gatsby got Sophie a pink parka for was totally her.

Winslow and Merlot got to hang out quite a bit. They love each other....and are both so sweet.

Randi's brother, Ross and his pup, Merlot. She is a beauty with her two different colored eyes!

Little Gatsby is starting to relax and enjoyed Christmas morn as much as we did.

Here I am out on the deck as usual. That is what I considered my BIG Christmas gift!!!

Randi's parents, aunt and uncle and cousin.

Jim just gave Sophie a bath....she smells wonderful and is sound wore them both slap out! Jim is starting a puzzle with 1,000 pieces. Jelly Beans!!! Randi found this one for him. She and Jim are puzzle folks. Josh and Randi are heading over later for hamburgers. Randi had a craving for a cheeseburger....and we still have plenty of deserts and cookies. We might even do the little deck fire pit deal and have smores.

Above are some holiday pics....... notice all the dogs.....but we are missing Gail and Dan's kids, Ace and Missy. Come on over and we will take shots of your dogs, too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Celebration

I have an affinity for holly and Randi brought me this...a little something to hang over the door right when you enter the house. It is sooooo cute. I just love it!!!!

It has become some what of a tradition to have Randi's parents and grandparents for Christmas eve. It is always a fun evening. This year Randi's Uncle Tommy, Aunt Melody and cousin, Travis will be joining us, too. It will be a wonderful evening for sure. There have been many such Christmas eves. We especially remember the year when my parents were here and we celebrated Josh and Randi getting engaged. It was such a fun night. Everyone was so thrilled about the event the following summer.

Tonight there will be another milestone to celebrate....Randi and Josh are expecting!!!! Jim and I learned this news yesterday and the news has spread throughout the family and onto facebook and hence around the globe. We were surprised, but not shocked as so many of their former classmates and friends have either entered the realm of parenthood or are just heading in that direction. We are just tickled and anxious to have a grandchild we can actually live near. We have several other grands, but this will be the first one we will be able to see on a regular basis. Josh and Randi are just a couple hours away as opposed to twenty or more!

Although this will be a fun night it hurts my heart that Josh's brother, Jer, and his family, his sis. Elizabeth, in Florida and her family, my parents, sisters, and brother and their families are not closer so they can be here to celebrate. They too are thrilled with the news and we would love them to be here as well.....although we might have to rent a hall of sorts if they were to come.

Better get back in the kitchen. We are having baked potato soup and craw fish soup with roast beef sandwiches for dinner. I made a pecan (pronounce it however you like) pie and a lemon meringue pie. Ross (Randi's little bro) and Randi are making a bread pudding. They both have a talent for that so their combined effort ought to yield an exciting finished product!

I will post pics of the gala tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all.... I am praying the reality of the Christ child's entrance onto the stage of human history is as much a reality to you as it is to me.

P.S. Today is Jim and my 29th wedding anniversary! I am wondering if he has remembered. Neither of us have said anything...he is probably waiting to see if I remembered. hahaha.... stay tuned.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa loves pups, too!

I have been looking around the web and it seems that dogs have taken the place of kids in a lot of people's lives. Dog gifts have never been so popular and people are getting their dog's pic taken with Santa. Dogs have spas and some have wardrobes bigger than mine. Have we.....the human race.... gone nuts?

Now as much as I love my Sophie girl I just don't think I am going to drag her out to have her pic taken with Santa. I know Jim is not going to do it. I must admit she has become a big part of our life, but we don't want to be the "crazy dog folks". Yes, I do talk to Sophie, but I don't think that she understands me all that much. She is watching me and waiting for the "c" words to pop out. (CHEESE or COOKIE!) She certainly has not teased to go see Santa!

I am also wondering if Rome, just before the fall, didn't try to humanize their pets. Is this a sign our culture has gone nuts? Just another cultural indicator. There has always been pet stores and pet products, but from what I can tell with the pet specialty stores, we gone totally bonkers.

Well, I need to get going....Sophie needs me to help her type her email to Santa..... bless her heart she keeps adding to her list...and I can't wait until Christmas morning to see her face when she sees her gifts!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We are at War!

We have a lot of squirrels in our yard and they have been ignoring our new deck and furniture until NOW!
These are just a few of the squirrels we spotted out on our deck.
I saw something white on one of the chairs and from a distance it looked like bird do do. I went out with a wet paper towel to clean it off and found that it was bare metal.....the aluminum was shiny! Then I thought maybe the big tree limb that fell on the deck did it, but Jim said it didn't fall near this particular chair. Finally, we decided the squirrels were to blame. I can't believe they could do this!
I have heard squirrels are destructive, but I have always thought we had enough acorns around here to keep them busy and from doing damage. This is evidence of them trying to sharpen their teeth. I googled aluminum +squirrels and sure enough a lady had written a letter about squirrels chewing on her aluminum patio furniture. The "expert" she wrote to said he didn't think they would do such a thing, but if it was from squirrels they must be trying to sharpen their teeth and also wear them down. Their teeth, like hamsters and other rodents, will keep growing and if not attended to will grow through their skull...ouch! Surely there are better places to whittle down your teeth than on my new deck furniture. Jim, a true Reaganite is a proactive defender...the best defense is a strong offense so he ran to get Josh's BB Gun.

We also looked up home remedies so he mixed red pepper, Tabasco and soap together and sprayed that around. He won't spray it directly on the furniture cuz he is afraid it will eat off the paint. That Tabasco is strong stuff. Fox urine is suppose to keep them away. If you have a supply of that handy let me know and I will take some of it off your hands. Maybe we just need a pet fox and keep him on the deck all the time. There is a pretty red one around here, but we rarely see him and he is obviously falling down on his job cuz the squirrel population is growing (literally) by leaps and bounds.

We will keep you posted on this new war of ours. If you have any recommendations we are all ears! We are not willing to do what one guy wrote about ....getting a large plastic garbage can half filled with water with a skinny board across and sun flower seeds floating in the water. I am not crazy about the varmits, but drowning them seems a bit extreme. Experts say that catching them and relocating them is just as fatal. They usually don't live long if you move them. I guess they are little home bodies. We probably have had this family or families in our yard for generations.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Decorating the Tree....FINALLY!

This is our 25th anniversary crystal ball.....and an angel made by Betty in Illinois.

This church looks almost identical to the Episcopal church I belonged to when I was young. And the tiny quilt was sewn by my daughter-in-law in PA. It is so cute!! I just love it.

Josh made this ornament in kindergarten. I was in the classrooom that day helping those in the class glue....trying to glue with the glue gun without burning my was tough!

This was also made by our granddaughters .....with help from our daughter-in-law, Jeannie.

I love this little book...just so sweet and clever.

Every year while carefully placing the ornaments on the tree I remember where we got each one. Some were made for us, some were gifts and some Josh chose at the Hallmark store. Quite a few of them Jim and I bought our first Christmas in Illinois. Many of them are glass commemorative balls. One is Ruston High but my Mom and Dad gave us several of buildings from our home town. One of which is the building where we met, The Canoe Place Inn. There is our old hospital, the library, our grade school, which was torn down and also the old city building which is also gone. I love making their acquaintance again.

Why am I so sentimental about these ornaments? I am not sure, but they are very precious to me. There is a little red sled with a penguin on top. I have a thing about sleds and I just love penguins, so that little Avon ornament is on my top ten list. My parents gave us a beautiful, engraved crystal ornament for our 25th wedding anniversary. It is so pretty.....then there are the ornaments Josh made in grade school.....and Randi has made several beautiful creations. The little felt book my librarian friend, Marsha, sewed and the book worm sitting on a stack of books from another librarian are on my top ten list for sure.
Sometimes I dread decorating the tree.....just looks like a huge task. I try to find the perfect spot for each one of my special ornaments and it takes time and energy, but each time I realize it really is a journey through the years and a chronicle of sorts.
On a darker note...It makes me to sad to think of these ornaments someday being pitched....or sold in a garage sale, but then what in the world do I want people to do with them when I am gone? hahaha.... Hopefully, someone will give them a new home when they have served their time with us.