Thursday, December 29, 2005

OMG....those "White Russians" really did me in!!

Hmmmm....let's see....how old am I???? At age 62+ you would think that I would KNOW not to take on sooooo many of those White Russians all at one time!!!!! They beat the hell out of me....it took me most of the day to recover from that onslaught of those Russians last night.....whew.....and my head is still pounding from them. Of course......those Russians were followed by a bottle of champagne for the 1st Lady and I to celebrate the downing of them, so the celebration just simply DID ME IN!!!! HAHAHA......live and learn John Howser!!! But......the 1st Lady fought the battle with them also.....all night long......but she didn't get "hit" as hard as I did, so she recovered quicker than I......could it be that she is 3.5 years younger than I am????? SURE......that IS it!

I stayed in a chair or on a sofa most of the day. Then this afternoon we watched the DVD..."Cinderella Man". WOW....what an intense ending to this movie. If you haven't seen it......it is worth renting. The "extras" that are on the DVD.....watch them, also......as there are some interesting details there as far as the history of the REAL man. I really, really enjoyed the full DVD of this movie!!

This evening we are preparing to head to NE Missouri, just west of Hannibal, to spend the weekend with the 1st Lady's mother. Her sister is coming over from Highland, KS, so we will have a couple of days together to visit and talk about our own respective Christmas Days.

When I am go up there I am in a cyberspace void......I cannot get cell phone service which means no blog posting unless I can piggyback onto someone's WiFi around town. It is just being isolated on some desert island or out in a Survivor jungle........it is hard to survive without my daily dose of international newspapers and writing this little cyber-diary.

I threw together some of my oh-sooo-good cookies that I baked prior to Christmas.....plan to take them with us for the weekend. Jeremy/Jay is still here with us.....he took the entire week off from the campaign he is running in SW Indiana.......it is a Congressional candidate's campaign that he is the manager of. He has some New Year's parties to attend in St Louis Saturday, so he is staying here at the house. He plans to return to Evansville Sunday afternoon from STL.

Well, for all of you that are daily readers of this journalistic journey......just in case I can't get online, I hope that everyone has a safe....a fun....and a very Happy New Year!!!! And, as always.......

Life is GREAT.......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Oh yeah....Our 34th Anniversary!!

Yep......34 years ago today we were married in Linn, Missouri. Today, after 34 years was just another day......nothing special except we are still together and with the culture being as it is.....that is something special!!

I ran Rachel up to STL this afternoon. Going to STL is a weekly event, if not more often than that, so those 80 miles are a piece of cake. Sometimes we have driven up there just for a nice dinner.......I think our average is twice each week. Should we move up there......???.....that is a thought that flows thru our heads more and more often these days.

When I returned, a friend of ours who lives across the street called and said to come on over......to celebrate the anniversary. Sooooooo, after several....well, MORE than several....White Russian drinks, some champaign and several hours of playing games with friends, we made our way across the street (NOT an easy task by this time), and here I am........blogging away. This will be short........I am not typing as accurately as usual.

Sooooo.......as usual ( and even after 34 years of being "hitched").....

Life is Great.......and I hope for all of you, also!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Survival of the fitest!!! (Is that me??)

Hey......the virus MAY have left the stick/brick HowserHouse!!!! Dr Jeni is the last one to become ill.......and she has recovered during this morning's hours......and she and her family have left for Hot Springs, AR for a brief vacation. HOPEFULLY, Meghan and little Ava will not catch it!!!!! They have not shown any signs.....and neither has Rachel, who is still with the 1st Lady and myself. And.....I am still going strong!! Wow......does age make one immune???? HAHAHA......I had better keep my damn mouth shut.....the little virus may jump inside while it is open and bite me yet!

Today has been a mess attempting to sort out the multitude of toys and gifts the granddaughters received Christmas morning.....they were EVERYWHERE. And, of course, if one little "person or animal" from some play set was missing, THEY knew it!! But....hopefully, they are all sorted and the toys belonging to Meghan left with her and Rachel's stayed with us.

I spent part of this afternoon installing my new XM radio into my truck. Of course, I also received the "boom box" that it fits into for use in thehowserhouse...either one!! Anyone who doesn't have this "pay radio" has no idea how MUCH they are missing!!!!!!!!!!! It is incredible....fantastic.....PERFECT!! WOW.....the sound is sooo great in the truck, running through its speakers!!! And, the "boom box" speakers aren't too bad either.....sounds pretty good. Jeremy gave me the XM radio for the truck, and the 1st Lady gave me the boom box......they did this together for Christmas.

Tomorrow.....well, hopefully I can get our new TiVo installed and set up and connected CORRECTLY!!! Looking forward to having it........it was a gift from Darrel and the good dentist, Jeni. We are becoming the owners of soooooooo much communications technology........hope I can keep it all straight...haha!! One more item left to get.......a new Plasma TV for the remodeled family room/entertainment corner. But...not until we get it completed....soon I hope.

We took Rachel to see "The Chronicles of Narnia" (sp??) this evening. It was pretty good........think Rachel really liked it, probably better than I did, but it was ok!! We will be taking Rachel home tomorrow......she has had a really good time...even today after Meghan left she enjoyed playing with her gifts/toy/books this afteroon.

Soooo, hopefully the virus departed......and with that......

Life is Great......and I hope for all of you, also.

Monday, December 26, 2005

TheHowserHospitalHouse!!!!!

Who's NEXT????? About 2AM this morning, Dr. Jeni started running to the necessary room FREQUENTLY.....all night and most of the morning. I had to call and cancel our early morning visit from Dr. Bentinganan (Vimille) and his wife and 2 month old daughter. Just didn't think it was advisable for them to be exposed to this damn virus that is attacking those who enter our house, even though I REALLY wanted to see and visit with them!!! I was first exposed to this last Thursday night, so I'm HOPING I have missed this, but just watch......it will probably hit me within the hour....hahaha! Hmmmm...why am I laughing????

Soooo, today has just been step over toys as you go through the house, make certain that you have reservations in the necessary rooms for an extended period of time if need be, and stay away from anyone that is ill. Other than that....???

I did take a two mile walk this afternoon.....needed the excercise and needed to get some FRESH air. It was a beautiful warm day and the walk to the city lake was quiet (except for a couple of barking dogs along the way). I kept looking for the bald eagles that return to the lake shore each year, but didn't see either one of the today.

I also began to read the instructions for hooking up the TiVo that we received for Christmas. Looks easier than learning how to operate the thing.......we'll see. I have to get a phone line run from the bedroom into the family room....not difficult....just need to purchase a longer cable/cord to use. Hope to get it "wired" up through our pc router, which is possible if I have the correct equipment.

Soooo, we will see who is next tonight........and even tho we have a violent virus in TheHowserHouse.....

Life is Good......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

TheHowserHospitalHouse!!!!!

Who's NEXT????? About 2AM this morning, Dr. Jeni started running to the necessary room FREQUENTLY.....all night and most of the morning. I had to call and cancel our early morning visit from Dr. Bentinganan (Vimille) and his wife and 2 month old daughter. Just didn't think it was advisable for them to be exposed to this damn virus that is attacking those who enter our house, even though I REALLY wanted to see and visit with them!!! I was first exposed to this last Thursday night, so I'm HOPING I have missed this, but just watch......it will probably hit me within the hour....hahaha! Hmmmm...why am I laughing????

Soooo, today has just been step over toys as you go through the house, make certain that you have reservations in the necessary rooms for an extended period of time if need be, and stay away from anyone that is ill. Other than that....???

I did take a two mile walk this afternoon.....needed the excercise and needed to get some FRESH air. It was a beautiful warm day and the walk to the city lake was quiet (except for a couple of barking dogs along the way). I kept looking for the bald eagles that return to the lake shore each year, but didn't see either one of the today.

I also began to read the instructions for hooking up the TiVo that we received for Christmas. Looks easier than learning how to operate the thing.......we'll see. I have to get a phone line run from the bedroom into the family room....not difficult....just need to purchase a longer cable/cord to use. Hope to get it "wired" up through our pc router, which is possible if I have the correct equipment.

Soooo, we will see who is next tonight........and even tho we have a violent virus in TheHowserHouse.....

Life is Good......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Day.....

Merry Christmas Day and Happy Holidays to all!! I've posted a few pictures from this morning in TheHowserHouse (stick and brick) so those of you who know us will see our morning here. One depressing item.....Dr. Jeni's husband (Darrel) now has the intestinal virus.....just GREAT news!!!! The little Christmas virus is calling on our family and leaving not-so-nice little gifts for us.....hehehe. Oh well........on the positive side, it is a GREAT way to lose some of the Christmas Calories!!!!!

More later....

As is quite evident, for the three little ones, it was Christmas Chaos for about an hour this morning as the gift paper and ribbons were ripped and went flying as the excited trio of girls....well..only two of them.....tore into all of the packages. It was great fun for them....and the rest of us.....as this exciting riot continued until all of the gifts had been opened. And then the fun began as the toys began to be explored and played with.....which continued throughout the day until about 8:30pm this evening. Then......they fell into bed and were gone in a few brief moments.

Santa was good to the 1st Lady and I as I got an XM Radio for the truck/car and for the house also. Then we received a TIVO unit......something we had discussed purchasing for the last couple of months. I got the radio up and running here in the house......and tomorrow will begin on the TIVO. Beginning to feel like we are beginning to catch up on some of the technology toys......finally!!!! Now....if I can just keep it all going...and keep all of the "stuff" that comes with it organized and plugged in. It was a good Christmas Day!!

Medical update: Darrel seems to be reviving after spending 90% of the day in bed....or in the necessary room......and it WAS necessary.....hahaha!! He is now on the sofa watching some movies on the tellie with us......we have about given up trying to spray Lysol and wipe everything down each time someone breathes in this house. Everytime one of us feels a little twinge......the others move away from that person...hahaha!! Nothing like being isolated in your own house!!

We are having a "house call" at 8AM tomorrow from a medical doctor!!! Yep.....the doc called tonight and said he would be here in the morning for an hour's appointment.......Dr. Vimille Bentinganan. He is a former student of mine....an excellent trumpet player, piano player and singer, and I'm sure will be an excellent physician. He and his wife and daughter currently live in Chicago. Perhaps he can offer advice to whichever one of us is ill by tomorrow morning.....hahaa!! I haven't seen him for a couple of years.....so am anxious to have a chat with him and his family. A few short years ago, I took off from teaching and flew to the Philippine Islands where he was married and did the music for the ceremony........a wonderful time with his family and just being together in the Philippines!! Ahhhh....such great memories and experiences during that week in that beautiful country!!!!!!! Sure is great to have these former students wander and weave in and out of my Life.......amazes me how many keep, or get, in touch with me so often.......it is great fun and very rewarding!!!!

Well......I need to get a cup of hot tea and it is like running through an obstacle course to go through one room to another with all of the toys EVERYWHERE!!! But......that is part of Christmas. The house cleaning can come later.......it is not important at this point in time. The granddaughters come first.....always!

And sooooo..........

Life is GREAT on this Christmas Day......and I certainly hope it is for all of you, also!!

I got up first this morning!!!

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Bean Bags for both of us

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I LIKE this bean bag

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GREAT Smiles

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Hurry up!! Let's open the presents.....

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WOW....uhhhh,....what is it?

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I LOVE this!!

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Where's Ava???

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Do we have any more??

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They are all unwrapped!

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Twas the Night Before Christmas at the HowserHouse

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Christmas Eve

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Twas the night before Christmas.....finally!!

The 1st Lady has recovered....not 100%, but about 85%......time will take care of the other 15% ....probably by tomorrow!! After a couple of cups of hot Fr. Roast, I made an errand run. First I had to pick up a Bean Bag for one of Rachel's gifts......the one we ordered was way tooooooo little, so it will go back to Penny's. Yesterday I called the local furniture store, and yes....they did have one left, so I had them put my name on it, and told them I would pick it up today. Soooo, as man of my word, I did!!! Then it was off to SuperCenter for some last minute items for tomorrow's dinner. The place was PACKED!!!! The lines were long and so I was gone longer than I intended to be. But......I got everything that was needed.....I think.

Then just before I was to go see Mike and pick up Rachel in Bonne Terre, the 1st Lady decided to go instead. Therefore, the afternoon was spent just hanging out around the stick/brick and waiting for the day to end. Jeremy was here also so we watched a couple of movie DVD's.

Rachel and Grammy returned early evening and now the waiting begins for the Moser family to arrive. Knowing them as well as we do, it will probably be midnight before they make it down here. Oh well......nothing new as they are always late for everything.

The lights will have to go out soon as I am certain that Santa will be descending upon our roof before toooo much longer........the girls will be every excited all night......and as usual,

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Looking GREAT for 92 years young!!!!

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This OLD man's sister and her S.O.

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Former student, Sheryl with Chrisha (my niece)

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Rachel and "Little" Great Grandma

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Grandma and grandson, Jeremy (Jay)

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Twas the night before the night before Christmas....

Yep....one more day, tomorrow, to get things done in preparation for the annual Christmas celebration and gift giving.......the BIG DAY for all of the little ones awaiting the arrival during the night of the large man in the red suit.

But....today the man in the red suit came a bit early in Eldon, MO. I left here about 6:15 AM, drove to St Louis and picked up our granddaughter Rachel, and then drove on out to Eldon to spend the day with the "ever ready battery"....my 92 year old mother. The 1st Lady was still tooo sick to make the trip, however, our son Jeremy, drove over from Evansville, IN, to join the family. My sister and her s.o.(significant other), my niece and her daughter,and plus her mother-in-law, and later a former student of mine all gathered at the little house where my sister and I grew up and where my mother as lived for over 50 years.

A HUGE order of pizzas and breadsticks were brought in for munching at our luncheon prior to the opening of gifts. But....the best part of the day was the visiting and laughing and telling of stories of recent and long ago times. Mom does soooooo well for 92......I actually believe her mind is sharper and more accurate than my mind is right now!!! While she loves to look at the thousands of pictures she has accumulated over the many years, she is also VERY, VERY up-to-date with the goings and comings of ALL of her family and their friends.......and all with a wonderful open mind to everyone's lives and problems.....nothing shocks her at this age because she has seen and experienced soooo much since 1913. She is a rare jewel that can never be replaced.......a real "one of a kind"!!!

By late afternoon, the small house had suddenly become a bit larger as little by little the many talkative occupants began to drift back to their own dwellings........many with things to get done before Dec. 25th. Jeremy left for Fredericktown prior to Rachel and I.....and he did get down here before I did. I came back through STL to drop off Rachel, and then grabbed a Starbucks grande cappuccino before turning south for our little town in the valley. By the time I got back down here I had driven over 450 miles, visited for about six hours, and ate toooo much pizza.

The 1st Lady's tummy flu urged on a LARGE migraine sometime today and so she was in bed STILL when I arrived back home about 8:30pm. Hope she gets better by morning......as there are some presents to be wrapped, and THAT is not my forte!!!! But.....it will just take her some time to recover from a severe bout of the intestinal flu AND a huge migraine.

Sooooo, my sagging old body is dragging as well as sagging, so I will close this little report, and as usual........

LIFE IS GREAT......and I hope for all of you, too!!! Don't forget: Success comes in Cans, Failure comes in Can'ts!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Twas 3 nights before Christmas.....

Yep.....the BIG day is fast approaching and the little ones are getting more and more excited!! Our granddaughters have put in a very special request: At Rachel's and at Meghan/Ava's houses, Santa will make an early arrival.....arriving sometime on Friday night at their respective houses. Soooo, tomorrow night is their "Christmas Eve".......and then on Saturday, they will all come to our house and spend Christmas Eve night here so we will all be together on Christmas morning/day.

Tomorrow, the 1st Lady and I plan to go to Eldon to spend the day with my mother. We will pick up Rachel in StL and take her with us, BUT.....she has to be back home early in the evening to get ready for Santa to come. Now......a few plans may change as the 1st Lady seems to have allowed a tiny bug into her system.....and she has a big of the tummy bug which is keeping her busy running to the "necessary" room. She is NOT feeling well......it seems to have started around 7pm with not-so-good feelings.....and then it progressed to nausea....MAJOR nausea!! Hope she gets better quickly, but I know doubt that she will make the trip tomorrow. Just hope it isn't "catching"!!!!

Today flew by very quickly......finished cleaning the house and getting things ready for the weekend. The 1st Lady returned from the Moser Estate this afternoon, after a few shopping stops in STL. We went through many pictures that I have stored on my picture program........it is getting really, really full, so decided to transfer many pics to CDs for storage. That took some time!!!!

Then we just watched a bit of the tellie......prior to her getting sick. Guess I will close this for now......she needs to me to do a couple of things for her........and as usual.....

Life is Great(except for the 1st Lady this evening)......and I hope it is good for all of you, also.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Hmmm.....warmer in SE Missouri!!!!

Yeah....it got up to around 45 degrees today!!!!! And the forecast is for more of the same for the next 2-3 days....and possibly warmer than today. Ok.....this is more like it, especially since today was the first day of winter!! NOT ME.....I will NOT complain.

Well, I stayed awake last night, or rather in the wee hours of this morning, reading.......not sure how I did it because usually the moment my head hits a pillow, I pass out. However, I did read quite a bit last night and then I didn't get up until a not so early time this morning. Sooo, my morning passed with a hot cup of Fr Roast in my hand, reading the newspapers and checking my email.

This afternoon.....well, I had watched the Paula Dean show on the Food Network the other day and she made some cookies that really looked and sounded great. Soooo, I went to the SuperCenter, picked up some "cookie supplies" and came back and within an hour, the counters were a mess.....and there were about 4 dozen cookies on platters.....tempting me. Yeah.....they are REALLY good. TOOOO good.....at least for my calorie intake.....hahaha. But, I had to taste them from time to time to see if they were holding up laying there on those Christmas cooke platters........wanted them to not crumble, not get wimpy, etc., etc. Soooo, they had to be tested at various times during the remainder of the day!!

The 1st Lady remained at the Moser Estate today and tonight. She, too, decided to do some baking for Dr. Jeni and family and thought she would just hang out there tonight. Called a couple of times for me to read a couple of recipes over the phone for her to write down.......

This evening I pan cooked a cube steak......not anything fancy by all means, but I haven't cooked on for a LONG, LONG time. Threw some garlic cloves into the pan, floured the meat, and then seasoned the glorified hamburger. I also cut up a large portabello mushroom and threw it into the pan along with the meat.....and, WOW....were they ever great. I sliced off a big slice of Tuscan bread......a rather crusty and course bread that is fantastic!!! Put a dollop of Dijon mustard on the bread, laid the garlic encrusted steak on the bread, poured a glass of the dark red medicine and had a great meal!!!! Of course........afterwards I fixed a cup of steaming tea and tested the cookies ........again.

Soooo, with nothing on the tellie tonight, I spent most of the evening in relative quiet.......reading a novel. And now......the midnight hour approachth....and my eyes are giving out from all of the strain of reading recipes, a novel, and a bit of the tellie. And as always.....

Life is Great......and I hope is for all of you, also!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How much LONGER until summer in the Tetons????

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Hmmmm.....what's new to discuss???

Yeah......the title says it all about today!!!!! It was a rather uninteresting day.....rather hard to believe, I know.....but today just slipped by without one exciting event. Let's see.....

Oh yeah.....I got out of bed successfully!!! Guess that is a good cause for happiness, isn't it??? Sometimes it is a bit difficult.....would rather lay there and drift in and out of conciousness than have to get up, but Life requires me to raise my aging body up from its horizontal postion and get on with the day to see what I can contribute to the human race. Hmmmm.....that sounds rather egotistical, doesn't it? HAHA.

I did spend some time this morning sucking up all of the dust balls, crushed leaves, slivers of Christmas wrapping papers that are scattered around the table where presents have been wrapped, and then I also mopped the kitchen floor. Yep......getting things in clean and spiffy shape for the Holidays.....being political correct here.

The 1st Lady arrived home around noon.....school is out now until Jan. 3rd. Soooo, she took care of some final school work and then packed a bag and headed to the Moser Estate to sit with Ava tonight and all day tomorrow. Dr. Jeni has office hours/appointments on Tuesday evenings, and Darrel had to run to Kansas City to pick up a new truck and won't be back until tomorrow afternoon. Soooo, Grammy has to sit with the newest granddaughter!!

I did attend a meeting given by Mo Dept of Transportation concerning the new bypass of the highway that currently runs through the center of town.....and the actual city center/business area. BUT....BUT....God forbid, they are re-routing the highway/bypass to pass within ONE BLOCK to the north of our home!!!!!!!!!! CRAP....SHIT.....truck noise for the remaining years of my Life!!!!!!!!! Guess that might be reason enough to sell the house in a couple of years and move to a Loft apt. in STL?????? Pros and Cons on that idea, but it is toooo damn late tonight to think this through rationally and write about it at the same time.....hahhaa.

Soooo, came home with that horrific news.....and just decided to sit down and muddle throught the evening in front of the worthless tellie!!! NO AMAZING RACE tonight.........my God, I miss it already!!! It is SUCH a GREAT show for those of you who have not spent any time with the show. When it comes on again......tune it in.....give it 3-4 weeks/episodes and see if you don't get hooked!!!

Soooo, it is getting a wee bit late.......I turn into a flabby, sagging, dried up pumpkin here in 30 minutes.....god forbid that you try to visualize THAT sight!!!! Heehee.....

Sooooo, I look forward to tomorrow and perhaps something really exciting will happen in my Life, but nevertheless........

Life is GREAT......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Quickly....the day flew away....

WOW.....time is going soooo quickly.....my Life is going faster!! This morning was a day to finish up the Christmas/Holiday cards and get them mailed. OF COURSE, I didn't have nearly enough stamps so off to the Post Office I went. Parked the truck, and up the stairs until I saw that the people standing at the top were standing IN LINE to get to the one lonely postal employee who was working behind the counter......ONE employee!!!! 28 minutes later I had my stamps in hand and was paying for them.....and then stamped each envelope and was on my way. BUT, the line was still stretching to the cold, breezy outside........

Then.....back to the stick and brick and several hours of research on antivirus programs for computers. Mine went by the wayside......after only using four months of my renewal!!! NO tech support from Symantec Norton......no help at all. Soooo, last Friday I spent almost 7 hours uninstalling the Norton program from my lappie.....leaving it open to those virulent viruses all weekend. Back to today.......I finally decided on a new software program...one that seemed to be recommended by many reviews and rating systems, along with Consumer Reports. Sooo, made my payment and then downloaded it. NOW.....let's hope it does the job that it is meant to do!!!

This evening....6pm....was the monthly Board of Education meeting. Then at 7:30, the annual Christmas dinner for board members and spouses along with the school administrators at one of the local eateries. Food was pretty good.....better than normal that is usually served at this place!!! The Board members are received a gift from the school.......all of use received a laptop carrying case/shoulder bag!! A real nice gift!!

Soooo, after a quick stop at the local SuperCenter for the 1st Lady to pick up some last minute things for some of her students, we headed back up the hill to the stick/brick. Tomorrow the school is dismissed at 11:15 in the morning for the Holidays. She then has a Doctor's appointment and then she heads to the Moser Estate to sit with Ava on Wednesday. I have a meeting at 4pm tomorrow........a meeting designed to inform us of the proposed bypass around F'town by the highway. It may come a bit close to our stick/brick.....we'll see tomorrow!!!!!

But......no matter how busy the day is......

Life is GOOD.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

"Grammy" and granddaughters

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Granny with Ava

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GreatGranny with great grandchildren (2 not able to be here)

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Granny with grandchildren (4 not able to be here)

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Grandchildren w/spouses (4 grandchildren not here)

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Granny with 3 children and spouses ( 1 child not here)

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Great grandchildren opening gifts from Granny

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