Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thurs. Dec 31, 2009: HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!!!!!

Very, very short tonight. Spend ALL day loading the RV and as the day went on, it became colder and colder. I will have to let the furnace run tonight to keep things from freezing.

We are sitting here at the stick and brick with Dr. Jeni's three little ones....while they go enjoy the evening. Sooooo, we may not depart from here quite as early as I had hoped...which means possibly arriving in Texarkana in the dark.....not fun!!!

Soooo, I am needed to help corral them.....and, I am certain that the clean and neat house we were going to leave will now be messy and not so clean when we arrive home in the spring.....UGH. Ahhhhh, the joys of little grandchildren that enjoy coming to the house!!!! They are great.....but, not what the stick/brick is used to having inside it.

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wed, Dec 30, 2009: NASTY weather.......YUK!!!!

Today.....wow, it was just plain nasty outside. Nothing accumulating on the ground except moisture from a few snow flurries, BUT.....this afternoon the dreary, dismal, dripping mist and slight rain began to come down on us. I was sure glad by that time we had already decided that we would not be ready to leave for Texas in the morning.



We will leave on Friday morning........start out the new year by traveling!!! This year I have been in 24 states, District of Columbia, Canada, and Mexico(many times)..........let's see where I go in 2010!!!



Today...we took down the rest of the decorations, including the tree, packed them all up, and then wheeled them into the garage for storage for another 11 months....YEA!!!! Then...I began to lay out the items that need to be put into the RV tomorrow: files, documents that need to go with us, technology box with all of the cables, cords, chargers, etc in it, and tomorrow I will load the items back into the RV that have been in storage in the garage during the COLD weeks behind us. Clothing is a problem......it has been colder than normal in the RGV already...and soooo, I need to make certain that I have jeans, sweat shirts, and a couple of coats, I guess. THEN....I have take dress clothes for the days we will be in Mobile prior to the March 6th wedding. Hmmmmm.......

And sooooo, most of the day was completed without anything interesting to discuss......after the decorations were stored, then the cleaning of the house had to be done.....UGH. It actually took more time than we thought.....therefore, our decision to not try to get on our way in the morning. But......one more day here will not be horrible...haha!!! As always......

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dec 28-29, 2009: 38th ANNIVERSARY!!!

Yesterday.........38 years ago the 1st Lady and I were married, so off and on all day we were reminded that it was OUR day. Nothing special was planned....and nothing special was done. Just enjoyed the company of our family all being here in the stick and brick.......which oftentimes became chaotic with the four grandchildren all being here.

Jeremy and Anne-marie traveled over to Perryville yesterday evening, spending the night with our former neighbor and good friend, Jim Harryman. The rest of the household enjoyed the evening playing cards and board games.....a tradition in our house during the Holiday Season.

Today........after a noon dinner, everyone began to pack up and hit the road for their homes. Becky and Rachel to Cape, Dr. Jeni/Darrel and kids to the Washington, Misery area....and Jeremy/Anne-marie left for Mobile, Alabama. Afterwards, the 1st Lady and I began to removed the Christmas decorations from the tree and all of the other decorations from around the house. LOTS still left to do, but we gave out this evening.......will finish in the morning.

I did spend two wonderful hours enjoying this year's Kennedy Center for the Arts presentations of the outstanding artists for this year. WHAT an incredible, marvelous two hours it was!!!! And.....OMG, what a change from the past 8 years.......as this year President and Mrs. Obama thoroughly enjoyed the evening in the Kennedy Center.....a huge change from the Bush years when "W" looked like he was bored to death each year during this annual event in Washington!!!!

One of the honoree's was Grace Bumbry, the incredible opera diva who hails from St. Louis. Years and years ago, I had the opportunity to meet her and enjoy a lunch with her and a few others when she visited Lincoln University's Music Department!! WHAT a wonderful experience that was!!!!!

And soooo, as we prepare the stick and brick for our departure this week for the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for our winter journey/adventure. Not sure just how quickly we can get away.....lots to do, more decorations to pack away, and then we have to take with us the items/clothes that we will need as we go to Mobile, Alabama, the first week of March for Jeremy's wedding. It will be a week of socials, dinners, parties, plus the wedding........more about this as the time draws closer.

Two wonderful days have gone by.....our anniversary day being one of them. .....and, as always......

LIFE IS REALLY AMAZINGLY GREAT!!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Continue at the bottom into the December Archives for the post and more pictures!!!!!!!

Below: the original cactus was passed down to me...originally belonging to my great-great grandmother.

My antique Christmas Cactus....shoots from the original which came to MO in a covered wagon!!


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Dr. Jeni and Darrel with their 3 little ones

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Becky with Rachel

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1st Lady and myself with (L-R) Ava, Max, Meghan, Rachel

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Jeremy and Anne-marie with the four little ones

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Lots of squeals of joy....and never-ending chatter




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Rachel unwraps a NEW DIGITAL CAMERA!

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Ahhhh....the trash man cometh tomorrow!!!!!

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Gifts, photos, and phone calls.....

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Max enjoying the unwrapping of the morning....


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Rachel needed more sleep last night!!!

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Ava modeling her new "outfit" that she received.

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TheHowserHouse Christmas Dinner...on the 27th.

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Sunday, Dec 27, 2009: Christmas at TheHowserHouse

Christmas morning.....at least for our family....was this morning. THANK goodness...no one was up at the crack of dawn!!!! Since Santa Claus does not visit TheHowserHouse, the excitement with the grandkids was not as intense as their Christmas morning at their own homes on the 25th. However....they WERE anxious to get to the business of finding their gifts and seeing what the family members were giving them......!!

And......it didn't take long before the living room was totally trashed....with ripped wrapping paper, bows, bits and pieces of paper, torn cardboard from getting to their toys, etc ., etc. And, all of this is an annual event at our home when there are children here for Christmas......as I am certain it is in every one else's home.

Breakfast, or, perhaps brunch was about mid-morning for the eleven of us......and then the kids were trying out their new gifts.....enjoying them all!! Soon, the kitchen was busy with the preparation of Christmas Dinner.....which was finally enjoyed about 3pm. And then....somehow, the rest of the very blustery and very cold day slipped away from everyone here.

And.....now, it is time for these young ones to get to bed......will there be quiet here before long???? HAHA......I doubt it!!! It will be time for the annual board and card games in TheHowserHouse..........GREAT!!!

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dec 26, '09, SAT: Cold outside, but lots of warmth inside with the kids here

Yesterday.....I DID get some cookies bake.....about 8 dozen of them. A bit of work in getting this all done with icing on them, but they are good....and seem to be rapidly disappearing...haha.

Becky and Rachel arrived about 9pm last night.....and then about 10:30, Dr. Jeni and Darrel, Meghan, Ava, and Max were here. By the time everyone unloaded luggage, sleeping equipment for Max, and the many gifts to be opened......the house was really quite busy and full! We all talked and ate until about midnight when we finally got the kids in bed......as well as ourselves.

TODAY: Showers and breakfasts.......and lots and lots and lots and lots of activities within the house as it is way too cold to take the kids outside. Besides....after about 7 inches of rain, the yard is a total disaster with mud and icy grass. The 1st Lady and I are now sitting with the four grandchildren......the three girls can take care of themselves, but MAX....OMG!!!!! We shouldn't have even put decorations out.........I TOLD the 1st Lady that earlier this month when I was bringing the boxes.......as everything has now been placed above his reach, or.....completely removed.....OR, broken by now!!!!! THANK GOD she listened to me and did not put out her Christmas Village with all of the little people, horses, house, etc., etc.

Dr. Jeni and Darrel and Becky have gone to see Mike......and will be joined later by Jeremy and Anne-marie who are on their way up from Mobile, Alabama today. They called a while back and said they were in Greenwood, Mississippi.....so, they are getting closer and will be here in the stick and brick by late evening.

Tomorrow, as I have stated, is our Christmas.....when the tons of gifts under the tree will be opened......UNLESS Max can get a minute alone without us watching him....and then all of them will be opened quickly as he has been wanting to tear into them about every 10 minutes. He is everywhere in a blink of an eye!!!!!!

And soooo, tomorrow, I should have some pictures on here at some point in time. Right now, I am needed by the 1st Lady to clean up a mess of spilt water that Max did.....found a glass in Dr. Jeni's bedroom and immediately turned it over under the bed. OK....time for me to get the sponge, the towels, and get it cleaned up.

As always......

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS....HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!

WOW....what happened to the last three days??????? I guess, as always, that the events of the season(finale) as we go into today and this weekend always entail more "things to do" than we thought!!! At least, THAT is the excuse....yes, an EXCUSE.....I will make this morning!!!!! A very brief update......

Wednesday: I went up to Griffon's Trailer Town in Park Hills and picked up my Cedar Creek....it having been up there for a week to get the necessary comestic repairs made that were still lingering from the super storm we experienced on May 8th. Huge rear window replaced(tons of shingle scratch marks all over it), a hole in the front cap's fiber glass from the storm, and the front decals replaced from the damages of the storm. Nothing serious that has kept us from using it, but just things that the insurance paid for....totally, no deductibles....and I wanted it done.

While it was there, I asked them to check on the "lip" edge of the overhang where the silicone caulking keeps pulling apart....and, there is no good news there. The service man told me that I need to get it to the factory in Indiana, as inside that little edging...he removed the plastic/rubber along the edge, the screws are rusted and one was broken off!!! It has been bothering me as it is fine when it just sits, but when I hook up the truck, it pulls apart a least 1/4 to 3/8's of an inch.....NOT GOOD. Guess there are some structural things going wrong in that overhang. It only happens on one side.....????!!!! However, not trip can be made until we return from the winter...........and sooooo, just ANOTHER thing to worry about each time I hook it up...and, of course, my eyes will only be looking at THAT area of the RV!!! DAMN!!!

Rains began that afternoon......not hard rains, but rain!!!

THURSDAY: Yesterday we went down to see Mike during the morning....and had a great visit with him. And by the time we had left here at 7:30AM, the rains had dumped at least 2 inches on us.......and until after I went to bed around 11pm, it POURED hard. I understand there was as much as 7-8 inches fell in this county!!!!! Flood warnings were issued....and the creeks continued to rise. Returning to F'town late yesterday afternoon, it was horrible driving with the hard rains, the fog, the smoke from wood furnaces/fireplaces, and the dark wet roads.....UGH!!!

CHRISTMAS MORNING:

We will have our Christmas over the weekend when all of our family arrive. Jeremy and Anne-marie are in Mobile and will drive up here tomorrow during the day. Dr. Jeni/Darrel and family will be here LATE tonight.......as well as Becky and Rachel. They both want to do their Santa Claus "tree" at home with the kids.....and that I totally agree with!!!!! We did that always when the kids were growing up....and it is important that Santa knows where to deliver the gifts from him....and that should be at their homes!!!

Today....I have some more cookies to bake and a few necessary detailing to do to the stick and brick before the wave of family arrives here. HAHA.....but, only a few minutes after they arrive, the so-called detailing/cleaning will be for nothing.....haha!!!

And soooooo.........MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!

LIFE IS REALLY INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bauhaus Kaffee



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