Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday season comes to an end

Hi everyone. Isn't it nice to be able to put away the decorations, take down the trees, etc. We worked out at the museum today taking down the tree and packing away the decorations. Decided that tree has seen it's day, and we really should get a different one, one that is easy to tote there, and easy to assemble.

Then when I got home I took down the rest of the decorations and packed them away. I'm ready for spring. LOL Seriously, we need rain in California. Last year we had it in abundance. But this year is really dry. And cold. There was only a little sunshine today, and it never really warmed up, but the nights are getting warmer, so the days will be too. When it's grey and gloomy it is hard to feel cheerful.

I'm on a Project Runway marathon watching afternoon right now. The new season will start in another week or so and I'l be ready to watch with the same high hopes as I have every year, to see something amazing or special. While I have seen lots of good fashions, I don't always agree with the judges. Fortunately I have some friends who watch the show and we do our own critiques. We more often than not, agree. And when we don't agree we at least listen to each other's ideas and opinions.

Only two more days left of this year. I've got to set some goals, and also reread the blog for the last year on New Year's Eve. It's my own little celebration of all that's happened during the past year. Join me for the count down?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When it rains it pours.

Can anything else go wrong around here? I hope not. I've had my fill of it. First the leaf blower died. Right in the middle of leaf blowing time. It's one of my favorite chores, and I love my blower. It's electric, light weight, and just strong enough to move them around without blowing down the fence. And it is much quieter than the gas ones. Then the can opener refused to open tomato sauce. Well, I'm making spaghetti sauce and I need that sauce for the base. Grandson brought up a hand held one and opened cans for me. What was next? Oh! We had the fire department out to detect where the smell of smoke was coming from early one morning. I was awake when the furnace started and immediately smelled smoke. The smoke detector battery was dead, and it did not go off. I called the kids downstairs thinking perhaps they left something on the stove, but no one was up. I went down, checked the stove and the garage, then woke people up when I could not find the source. I decided to call PG&E as it seemed to be associated with the furnace. They told me to call Fire Department. They were already on this block just finishing another call so fortunately they came without the fanfare of sirens. Some leaves had fallen down from the attic onto the part of the furnace where the flue hooks into the housing. Why are there leaves in the attic? A mouse? Hmmm... we don't know yet. They shut it down, said the leaves had caught fire and the furnace needs to be checked out by a professional. This is on a Sunday. Monday late afternoon a service person comes and says we need a new furnace. This one is old and the connection between flu and furnace has rusted out and can't be fixed. My son is working really long hours, so he has not had a chance to check it out for himself. And I turned the project over to him. He can book the appointments and get the estimates. It's too stressful for me trying to coordinate with him and his wife to get times when the right person is home. We are using space heaters and when he is free again after the holidays, he'll get on it.

One of the things I do when it's really cold and it helps keep me warm is bake. I started a new loaf of wonderful cranberry/almond extract bread in the breadmaker. Loaded it with good smelling cinnamon, nutmeg, butter - the works. Pushed the button and off it went. But sometime in the middle of the first cycle of mixing, the blade quit turning, it was locked up tight. I didn't know that until two hours later when it finished baking! A glob of goo and flour! It all had to be thrown away. all those wonderful ingredients. I can't move the blade. I can't figure out why it froze in position. But, I guess this machine is dead too.

At this point I'm almost afraid to touch anything electronic or mechanical. Hopefully this run of bad things happening is over. If not, I'll be back to complain some more.

We are all healthy and happy, so it could be a lot worse.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nativity exhibit

My friend Sally's church has an annual exhibit of Nativity scenes. Over 500 sets from around the world are shown in beautifully decorated rooms. I was there at the right time to see a living nativity program put on by a Hmong group of youngsters. It was lovely and right in keeping with the season. I love to hear the sound of children's voices.

I watched a TV movie today "Nativity" about a school in England where the children put on a rather updated nativity program. Charming story and the sound of their voices and seeing their faces made my day. You can watch a trailer here.

Candis turns 16

What did she want? A big party? A cruise? A car? Yes the car was the first pick. Here it is. Needless to say she is thrilled.

Grandma of course was set against it, thinking it was something she should have to work for. I guess times have changed and I'm an old fashioned fuddy duddy.

Candis has her Daddy tied around her little finger and he wanted to see her happiness receiving this wonderful gift.

Nikki finds a sunny spot

It has been pretty chilly here. For California. On warm days my solarium gets to around 75 degrees which suits us just fine. Here is Nikki sunning on my favorite chair where I work on my arts and crafts.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Annual meeting of friends for fun

Oh my, this was a sweet day. Some of us had not seen each other for such a long time. Not all of us could be there, but those that could had a wonderful time. We included a few new people this time too, so that is always fun as well. Here is the group at lunch at Buffalo Chips Emporium in Amador City. We also cruised some shops in Sutter Creek.

Decorating the tree for Micke Grove

Three of us volunteered to decorate the Art Center's Christmas Tree for the Festival of Trees at Micke Grove. Here is the tree and Suzie who was the Chief Volunteer.

Candis is turning 16

Next week my youngest grandchild is turning 16. I asked her if she would like to invite her mom and a friend to go to the beach house for the weekend, and sure enough, she jumped at the chance. Here are the girls at the beach, Candis and Jessica at Zelda's in Capitola, and one of Candis. We all had a wonderful time on our girls get away.

tis the season - streets of gold

Here's a pic of the driveway looking out across the street. We have big old street trees on this block, and when fall comes, the leaves come down. Looks like we'd better get out the big rake.