Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Today we went hunting for our Christmas tree. We went to a large nature preserve where thousands of trees were "put out" for us! In no time we had brought down one tree .  The weather was perfect and it took us only 15 minutes for Jim to get on point on this tree. Five minutes later, with the tree in our sights, we bagged this short-needled, pinecone carrying tree. 

Some of you may be thinking "those poor trees, they didn't stand a chance." Well, that's the idea. These trees were planted with the intent that someday some saw-carrying yahoo would boldly stride out into the field and without a thought or care, saw through the mighty trunk of this once-living oxygen producing evergreen! And for what purpose? To hang gaudy balls and bobbles from.  Yes, it is the American way!

The preceding account of the harvesting of this year's Christmas tree was written to give my brother, Bob, a chuckle! Are you laughing, Bob? I hope so because I had a good time writing it.

Today is nephew Zach's 15th birthday! Happy Birthday, Zach! Jim reports that Zach is taller than Maryanne! Don't worry about this, Maryanne. When my boys got taller than me, I just told them to sit down when I wanted to yell at them!

Sick Bay Update: Jim is feeling better! He actually went for a run yesterday and today. Of course, after hunting for a tree this morning and a run earlier in the day, he took a serious nap this afternoon. 

Our neighbor put up his holiday decorations today, including this inflatable Grinch. We were hoping that the Grinch came with a rake seeing as our neighbor has not raked up his leaves (as usual) and they are slowly blowing into our yard. However, we are big fans of the Grinch and he makes me smile when I look out my windows and see him glowing in the darkness!

I started working on my gingerbread house today. I got all the pieces cut out and baked. I did some research on the internet and  got some new things to try. I will post photos when I have it completed. 

Some of you may be wondering how we transported our Christmas tree now that we no longer have a mini-van. One of the reasons that Jim selected this particular Vibe was that the one or both of the back seats can be folded down and the front passenger seat can also go flat. This was an important feature, which would allow Corey to carry his kayak inside the car. It also allowed us to put the tree in the car easily. By this time next year, we hope to have a roof-top carrier for this car which will allow us to carry our tree and Gram and GrandDad's tree on the roof. Thule, the company that makes roof-top carriers, is currently working on the unit for a 2009 Vibe.

Hope all is well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Report from the Sick Ward

Jim is still sick. He stayed home from work on Tuesday and Wednesday and went in for a while this morning, came home for a nap and then went back for a late afternoon meeting. When he went to see the doctor on Tuesday, she gave him a prescription for an antibiotic with instructions to wait until today to have it filled if he wasn't feeling better. He had the thing filled on his way home from work today. Three pills-$54! They had better work! We did go for a walk around the block after dinner tonight because he needed to move a bit and wanted some fresh air. Hopefully he will turn the corner on this thing in the very near future. Of course I am hoping that I don't catch it!

Today was a Parent/Teacher conference day at school and I got a lot of desk work done and sat in on 2 conferences. Tomorrow is the second P/T conference day and it will be my cleaning day. I plan to dig out our equipment room and vacuum the dust bunnies, which are threatening to take over the place. It will be very quiet at school because if teachers have all their conferences done by today, they do not have to come in tomorrow. Most teachers have been at school every night this week accommodating the many parent requests for evening conferences. 

I have recently purchased two new Christmas albums. The first one is Sheryl Crow's holiday CD, entitled Home for Christmas. The second one is Faith Hill's CD Joy to the World. Both are nice additions to my collection.  I was able to listen to snippets of Faith Hill's songs on iTunes, and it didn't sound too "country" so I bought it and it is very easy to listen to. I got Sheryl Crow's CD at a local Hallmark store-I don't know where else it may be available. So if you are looking for something new for the holiday season I can recommend either or both of these CD's.

One morning recently, I was treated to this view out of my kitchen window:

I started knitting again and I think my elbows feel better. I know that in the next few weeks there will be no large blocks of knitting time so maybe I can avoid sore elbows in the future. 

Time to watch The Office.

Hope all is well.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Historic Event

Jim stayed home from work today because he is sick and that is a rare event. Jim has been fairly healthy for a long time. Even when one of the boys or I brought home "school" germs, Jim seemed to have the immune system to shut them out, but something got to him and he has a whopper of a cold with an occasional fever, ranging from 95.9 to 101.7 degrees, and a sore throat. Corey, Dad thought you might be interested in the temperature data! He even went to the doctor's office today to get a strep test. The quick strep test came back negative, but they did the 24 hour test and will get the results of that in a day or so. Jim may not have gone to the doctor's but he has a big race in 11 days and really wants to be healthy for it. He may even stay home tomorrow too (doctor's orders). Hopefully a couple days of laying low will work wonders on him. 

I am not knitting for a couple of days because my elbows started to ache a bit last night and I realized it may be from all the knitting I did over the Thanksgiving break. Hopefully this short break from the needles will get me back to normal. 

Guess that is all for now. Maybe I'll start our Christmas cards.

Hope all is well. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

End of November

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone and tomorrow is December 1st, Christmas will be here in no time! Yikes!

I did get one of my holiday traditions taken care of today and that is I've started making Candy Cane Candy and tonight Jim and I took all of the out-of-town boxes to the Post Office. So if I usually send you Candy Cane Candy, watch for it in the mail this week. If it doesn't show up it means one of two things, either I forgot or you have done something to get removed from my list!!! Either way, get in touch with me and we'll work it out!

We had an interesting thing happen at the Post Office. You may know that I love the self-serve postage machine-it lets me mail packages on Sunday night without waiting in a line. Well, I had just started getting the postage on my 12 packages when another guy came in with one big box. I asked if that was all he had and then let him jump in and get the postage for his box, thinking it was my good deed for the day. He didn't take long and thanked me again before he left. Then I continued getting postage for all my little boxes. However, when Jim went to put the boxes into the container, the door would not open. Apparently, the other guy's box filled the container to the point that the door would not open any more! So I finished getting the postage on all the boxes and will put them in the mail at school tomorrow! So much for doing a good deed! 

Corey went back to school last night. He will be home again on December 13th. Before he left yesterday, he and Jim went out for a run. I saw that as an opportunity to get a photo of the two of them. I grabbed my camera and told them to stand next to each other on the sidewalk, and this is what I got! Wise guys! 

With a bit more encouragement, they turned to face the camera and gave me a better shot!

I got some good spinning done in the past 2 days, both on my bike and on my spinning wheel! I continue to spin on the blue-face leister fiber and the plastic bag from which I pull the fiber, never seems to get any less full! 

Tonight I cooked a turkey breast, made some stuffing from a box and homemade mashed potatoes and we had another Thanksgiving meal. There was enough left over, intentionally, so we can have a turkey casserole on Tuesday night. 

The Buffalo Bills looked bad today and lost. They had such a good start to the football season and now are just falling apart. The college football scene was pretty exciting yesterday and we watched several really good games-of course the Syracuse game was not one of the good ones. Mercifully the season is over for them and we can now look forward to the Orange basketball season. 

Rain, sleet and snow are in the forecast for tonight. Should be an interesting drive to school tomorrow. 

Did anyone get any good deals while shopping on Black Friday? I got a bargain on the sneakers that I wear everyday and I didn't even have to wait in a line to pay for them at Dicks. Of course I was there at the very reasonable hour of 11:00 AM. I was very sad and mad after reading about the poor person who was trampled to death at a Walmart as early shoppers broke down the door and overran that employee. That whole situation is wrong on many levels. And then did you hear about the 2 men who shot each other in a Toys R Us when their ladies started fighting over a toy? What is wrong with these people?

We enjoyed having Corey home for a few days and will look forward to his Winter break when we can have both boys in our nest. 

Hope all is well.