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December, 2005

December 30, 2005

CBS reunion

Yesterday afternoon, I went to lunch with Linda, Lorraine and Debbie.  We all worked together at CBS and last saw each other around twenty years ago.  At least, I haven't seen them for 27 years.  We had a fun lunch.  It took the waitress three tries to take our orders because we immediately started talking and didn't stop long enough to look at the menu!  Debbie said she was so excited, she couldn't sleep the night before.  We had a good time.

Lorraine, Linda, Debbie, me

Here's a picture from yesterday, taken by Debbie's daughter, Michele. 

New Year's eve tomorrow. 


December 28, 2005

Christmas pictures

I don't have many!  I'm usually cooking for the holiday....all day!  I took a couple in the morning and Kim and Kelly took some during the day, although I don't think they've uploaded them yet.  Kim and Kelly both got digital cameras for Christmas.  Kelly took some interesting shots, like one of the dishwasher.  Hmm.  We got Kelly the camera and the docking printer so they were having fun printing the pictures she took during the day. 

Anyway, here's the tree with gifts underneath:

  Looks like I cut off the top of the tree! 

Here's everyone checking out their gifts:

I'm very much enjoying the peace and quiet of the vacation week.  It's moving along too quickly for me, of course.  Isn't that always the way?  Before I know it, I'll be back at work.

So, Christmas has come and gone.  On to New Years...


December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas eve, people

Well, it's amazing how quickly the year flies by but here we are, Christmas eve.  Wow.  Today, after I do a little cleaning, I'll spend the day cooking and preparing for tomorrow, when I'll be doing even more cooking.  This year, as opposed to last year, I can actually look forward to vacation next week and getting a little rest.  Last year, if you recall, I was a workaholic.  I plan to spend my lovely week off doing craft projects.  Sigh.  Heaven.

Have a blessed holiday.


December 21, 2005

First Day of Winter

Even though it has felt like winter for some time now, today was the winter solstice or the first day of winter, aka the shortest day of the year.  According to Science World, "In the northern hemisphere, the Winter solstice is the day of the year (near December 22) when the Sun is farthest south. It has to do with the tilt of the earth as it rotates.  So, even though the sun is actually closest to the earth during the season of winter, it feels colder because the sun's rays strike the earth at an angle, instead of more directly, as in the summer season.  On December 21, the sun is lowest in the sky (the perihelion).  The actual time of the solstice in our area was 1:35pm, sunrise was at 7:14am and sunset at 4:29pm.  The length of the day was 9 hours and 15 minutes, with the length of visible light 10 hours and 17 minutes.  Pretty interesting.  From now on, it will stay light a little longer each day.  It's really cold out but... 

  Pooh's bundled and ready.

Stay warm, everybody.


December 17, 2005

Trimming the tree

Here is this year's tree:

  Kelly, Billy and Kim "rigging up the lights".

  Looking good, a job well done.

  The very wacky looking crocheted angel.  It looks straight this year, thanks to Billy, who's nice and tall.

More pictures when I have the presents under the tree.  Tomorrow, baking!

ta-ta and happy holidays


December 11, 2005


"Santa" is making the rounds in town today on the back of the fire truck.  This was a huge event when Kelly, Kim and Billy were little.  You get a candy cane and your picture with Santa, if you'd like.  It's a really nice tradition.

  The Christmas season is certainly underway.

Happy Holidays!



December 10, 2005


Well, the holiday season is rolling along on schedule.  I always feel rushed even when I am basically on schedule.  We bought the tree today at the firehouse.  We'll set it up and decorate it next Saturday, when everyone should be available.  One or two gifts left to buy so that's working out well and I only have one package yet to mail.  I've started the baking with pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, although I don't think any of them are making it to the freezer!  They're too good.

We went food shopping today and as I was putting everything away, I started organizing the cabinets and just got carried away.  I spent the entire afternoon straightening everything from the kitchen cabinets to the pantry cabinet and freezer in the garage.  My kids think I could feed a small third-world country with what I have in my pantry cabinet and freezer.  Probably true.  I like to be prepared.  So, chores I anticipated doing today will wait until tomorrow, like finishing the laundry and such. 

  Bill and I went to see the new Yours, Mine and Ours movie yesterday afternoon.  It was cute, the kids were cute and the ending made me cry.  I know, I'm so easily manipulated.  And, I might mention, I STILL haven't seen RENT.  I'm also interested in seeing Pride and Prejudice, although Kelly says she's hesitating because is it really possible to top the BBC miniseries?  Colin Firth?  Hmm, well, we'll just have to find out.  I do like Keira Knightly, though.  So, I'm sure I'll enjoy it on some level.  Just love those Jane Austen stories where the young ladies are obsessed with finding the proper husband.  I guess they had nothing else to concentrate on.



December 4, 2005

  Good morning and welcome to December, 2005.  I apologize for my tardiness in getting this switched over to the new month.  I kept putting it off until I had a little more time. 

We're just into the month, it's not winter yet but we do have some of the white stuff on the ground here on L.I.  It's not much but it looks pretty, especially with the Christmas lights outside.  I'm starting to get into the swing of the holiday season, have most of the shopping done and wrapped and intend to get the Christmas cards ready today for mailing tomorrow.  We've been busy, beginning with a trip to Chicago for Thanksgiving.  Bill and I drove to Chicago Wednesday, Nov. 23 to spend the holiday with my cousin, Mary, her husband, Ken, and their family, including sons Phil and Patrick.  The drive was 16 hours long due to the snowstorm we drove through in Ohio and Indiana.  But, we stopped at two Cracker Barrel restaurants on the way so all was right with the world.

We had a great time, catching up after 18 years.  The last time we'd seen each other was Jim and Shari's wedding in August, 1987. 

  Mary and the turkey.  Of course, there's a story about the turkey.  Dinner preparations were going along beautifully, the turkey in the preheated oven 5 minutes ahead of schedule.  An hour later, we discovered that the turkey was still white and cold.  Hmm.  The top oven was preheated and the turkey was in the bottom oven.  Ok, so a little off-schedule but it was fine.  You'd think we'd notice the lack of turkey scent filling the kitchen but there was stock cooking on the stove and that threw us off.  Incidentally, I was fascinated watching Ken suture the turkey closed after stuffing.  So cool.

On Friday, Mary's brother, Kevin, his wife, Nina, and their kids, John and Katie, visited and we all went out for Mexican food.  As we were in the restaurant, some snow fell outside, making it feel more holiday-like.  Once back at the house, a little Christmas caroling was in order.

  Nina, Mary and Katie

Of course, I was looking for a group portrait.  What else would I want after 18 years, right?  I actually brought a tripod.  I'd never used it before and wasn't sure how to extend the legs.  Nina and I were puzzling over it when Katie came over and promptly showed us how it was done.  I probably should have asked Katie how to set the timer on the camera because as I was figuring that out, I took one not-quite-ready picture.

  Katie's the only one ready for the picture, Mary and John are demonstrating a little known sign.  No, I don't know what it means, either.

Ok, so once I got the timer working properly, we took a picture where everyone looks great.  How often does that happen?  Made it all worthwhile.

  back row l-r:  Philip, Ken, Patrick and Bill.  front row l-r:  me, Nina, Katie, Kevin, Mary, John.

The trip home from Chicago was only 14 1/2 hours, minus the snow.  Not bad at all.  Since we were away for the holiday, the Honigs celebrated "Thanksgiving observed" yesterday afternoon, cooking the 21 pound turkey Kim got from her job.  Yes, 21 pounds for a family of five plus Carl.  I will be forced to use my cooking creativity this week to use this leftover turkey, starting with Turkey Soup with Parsley Dumplings, one of my favorites.  We took the opportunity to put up the Christmas lights outside since we were all here together.  Dinner was yummy.  We tried to take a picture of all of us together with the timer.  Billy kept insisting he wasn't in the picture.  I kept insisting he was since I saw him when I looked through the viewfinder at the table.  He was right.  When I set the timer and sat down, I was blocking him.  Weird.  Anyway, I just took one of all of them at the table.

  Here we are enjoying dessert, including Kelly's yummy Oreo pie, cheesecake and the usual pumpkin pie.

  Kim, Kelly and Billy in front of the decorated house.

  Kim and Carl

  Kim and Kelly (and Lorelai, due to make her debut in February).

So, I hope that's a good wrap up of what's been happening here.  It's noon already (I actually slept until 9:30 this morning, a record for me) so I'm off to continue the laundry and finish the other chores I had planned for the day.  ta-ta, all



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