Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old Year's End

2008 is almost done. Here in Washington, we are only 5+ hrs away from midnight. It is always a time for reflection. I have so much to be thankful for.
I have a wonderful sister who has been a great roommate. She is fun and loving and basically kind. We have had a few wrinkles but on the whole, no major blowups. I have a terrific brother who is wise and loving. He is married to a lovely woman who I enjoy immensely. I have a cousin who is more than a cousin: she is my dearest friend who has kept me on a even keel this year with her gentle wisdom and comments on my blog. I have many wonderful nieces and nephews but I wish to acknowledge four in particular: Lyndi, Evie, Maureen and Cindy. Thank you, ladies ,for patience and love and understanding. It has been appreciated. I have a bunch of great nephews and great nieces as well and again there are a few who stand out: The Fox Boys(John, Thomas, and Sam), The Coleman Girls(Ellie, Izzi, and Mags) and Caleb Meurer, my penpal.
I am also grateful for my special friends:Donna Turgeon, Lynn Smith, Nancy Ade, Carolyn Shoup, Ruth Gil, and Annie Wiehe. Your Friendships are more precious than all the gold in the world.
I am blessed to have a loving pet, Ms Cashew. I love being nuzzled by this happy little animal and I am thankful for her affection. I am thankful for Curves(don't faint, Sam and Jazz. I do mean it)
I am thankful for my church and those that have made feel welcome. I am grateful to my OA group. Even though I am not on any program right now, they give me the courage to keep going.
I am grateful to God in Heaven for all the blessings he has given me. I am sorry I didn't make better use of them but I will try harder in the future. I pray for our new President and hope he is able to make good choices and lead our country out of the mess we are in. I wish peace and joy to any and all who read this blog. May 2009 be a safe and wonderful year for all of us.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Day After

The day after Christmas can be a let down sometimes but not at the Colemans. We had to return somethings due to size so we went out and did that. Later towards evening, we all decided to go to the movies so we sent and saw "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" with Brad Pitt. It was delightful and we all had fun. We came home and Evie decided that I needed to color my hair and she did too. Who would have thought? It was a riot but the results weren't too bad. It was a loving and thoughtful gift from my wonderful niece.

The Rest Of Christmas

Oh , you thought it was all over did you? Oh no.
After the presents, there was the STOCKINGS!!!!!! Evie and Joe and Elinor had filled everyone's stocking with lots of chocolate, and all sorts of other nice things. The girls all got nail polishes and makeup. Elinor got a full year at Curves paid for by me(I don't like suffering alone). Elinor and I both got a free movie pass. I also got socks and gloves.
Evie made a delicious breakfast and we lazed around. We called various members of the family throughout the day. Towards evening, the girls put on the nail polish and we just had a great time. We eventually watched "It's a Wonderful Life" which is a Bailey tradition. After all, you can't have a real George Bailey in the family and not watch the movie. It was a wonderful day in every way.

Maggie's Hope Chest

One of the nicest parts of this Christmas was Maggie's Hope Chest. Evie and Joe have given each of their daughters a hope chest when then turn 16. Evie found this wonderful chest and painted it and then they filled it with things a young woman might find handy when she goes out in the world and is setting up her own home. There were pieces of silver from her Great Grandmother, aprons, bowls, glasses. All lovingly wrapped and placed in this wonderful chest.
Maggie was delighted as were her sisters. It was a lovely tradition which I am sure she will pass on to her daughters.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Great Christmas

What a bounty! The girls all received lots of beautiful clothes. Evie is an incredible shopper and her taste is fantastic. Maggie is sitting on her new bean bag chair. Joe is now a full fledge cheerleader for BYU . Heidi was so excited because she isn't an experience shopper and Evie really got her some cute things. Izzi looked really cute in her new hat. I did very well with a fantastic new vest made by Elinor. This year I drew the Colemans and I gave them each a t-shirt with one of my pictures on them and I gave Evie her own special calender with everyone's birthday. In our family, that is a BIG thing. We all enjoyed watching everyone enjoying their gifts. Joe gave Evie this neat machine that she can read books on and doesn't have to carry the books around. I think it is called the Kindle but don't quote me on that. It was definately one of the best Christmas's ever.

The Benefit of Being The Photographer

One of the benefits of being the photographer is that you don't have to lead processions. When I was a kid, our family had a tradition of marching down to the Christmas Tree singing a carol. We always went according to height and I was the shortest for the LONGEST time. At the Colemans, they went by age.
I wouldn't have lead no matter what but I preferred photographing it.

A Christmas Story

One of the traditions in the McDonald Family at Christmas was the reading of "When Christmas Went Insane". This is a story written by my Aunt Laura who was my Grandmother Kreer's sister. Aunt Laura was a nursing sister(nun) and she wrote this lovely little book which she gave to my Grandmother who passed it down to my Mom, who passed it to Elinor who passed it to Evie who will pass it one to her three girls. It is about the Kreer girls: Aunt Laura, Aunt Evie, Aunt May(whom I am named for) and Grandmother. Aunt Laura decides to have a sane Christmas and not give presents because there is so much suffering in the world. Her sisters tease her and she changes her mind at the last minute. It is a sweet story and we always enjoy hearing it again. I didn't know Aunt Laura nor my Grandmother but I do remember Aunt Evie and Aunt May. I love family traditions.

Troll The Ancient Yule Tide Carol

If you visit the Colemans, I guarantee there will be music. Evie has a great voice and she plays the piano beautifully so music is a must especially at Christmas. We sang all the carols and songs from "The First Noel" to "I'm Gettin' Nothin' For Christmas".
We then had a rendition of the" Little Drummer Boy"(Joe provided the rumtumtum) by the guys and "My Favorite Things" by the ladies. We finished up with a beautiful song by Evie and her daughters. It was wonderful and joyous finish to a great party.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Nativity

The first time I saw the Nativity acted out at a party was when I spent
Christmas at my niece, Laura Gunn's home. That production was neat but nothing like the Coleman production. The Colemans not only had Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Kings but they had the animals as well. Joe was the donkey that carried Mary and the others played cattle, sheep and whatever. There must have been six animals on a very small stage

and they were NOISY. The young lady who played Mary was a delightful and beautiful girl named Jasmene. She had been at the Fox Family Thanksgiving so I was glad to see her again. If you look at the picture of the three Kings, the one in the center with the crown around his neck is her brother Jacob and the boy in the pink robe is her brother Isaac. It was a great production and a nice way to start Christmas.

On To Silverdale

When it comes down to it, I am a chicken. The weather report was bad and it didn't look like it was going to get better any time soon. Joe and Evie were talling us that there was no gas in the Silverdale area which is not too far from Seattle. We didn't know if we had chains or not(We did) nor did we know if we would have to have them on or not(we didn't). I have never driven with chains. We had planned to leave on the 23rd but Joe said stay put so we did. The next day did not look promising and I originally said no but Elinor said "Lets see if we can get to route I-5. So we packed up and backed out only to get stuck in our driveway.OY!!!!!!!. Two of our neighbors got us out and we made it to route 205 which leads to I-5. I am driving white-knuckled all the way. We only had a few instances where we hit slush and the van shimmied(I have never liked that dance) and one time where this nut cut me off and scared me silly but we made it. It took us 4 hours(it usually takes 3) but we got there. Joe had us park the van and he drove us over to the place we would be staying(about 10 min away). Evie had a full house with her three daughters and two "orphans". She was also giving a party that evening( four families). There was the opening of some special gifts made by Elinor:Stockings for Ellie and Izzi and for the two "orphans"-Heidi and Shelby. Everyone has got to have a stocking. Ellie got a new one because her old one had mouse eaten holes. It seems that the Colemans had a mouse problem at one time. Izzi had asked for a new stocking as well. I was glad to be in this happy home.

Christmas With The Fox Family

I am so lucky this year because I had two Christmas celebrations: One with the Fox Family and
one with the Colemans. We went over to the Foxes as we usually do on Sunday evening and had dinner and then Elinor and I gave our presents. We were not planning on being in town over Christmas so we wanted to see the boys open our gifts. Elinor had made trolls for each of the boys and I had made t-shirts with my pictures on them. We had a great time and the gifts were well received. With snow threatening our plans to go to Silverdale(where the Colemans reside)
we weren't sure whether we would get out of town or not. Oh on.

Monday, December 22, 2008

God Answers A Cat's Prayer

We are postponing our trip to Silverdale. My niece, Evie, says that conditions are pretty bad up there so Cashew gets her wish. She didn't want me to go. She would miss sleeping with me in my bed and on the couch. No she isn't one of those cats but she does like her comforts and I make a very nice pillow.
We will try again later if the conditions improve. We may just have to stay here for Christmas which wouldn't be too bad. After all, Christmas is where your heart is and I already have the best gifts.........Elinor and Cashew. One can't do better then that unless you throw in Ross and Sharon but then one might say I was being greedy but that ain't so bad either. Oh, well...........

Where Are The Dogs When You Need Them?

This would be a great day for sled dogs. I would feel a whole lot better if I were driving a sled then Elinor's van. We are actually going to try this tomorrow. It is a three hour drive to Silverdale on a nice day and tomorrow is not going to be a nice day. I have never driven with chains before but I will probably get my chance as we near Seattle area. Evie says that they are needed around the hills where they live. We are planning for any problems. Food, water, blankets, pillows, flashlights, cell phones, cameras, clothes. This will definitely be an adventure.
All prayers are welcome.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Alaska Has Moved

I think Alaska had moved to the lower forty-eight. It is so cold and icy that Elinor's church has been cancelled for the second week in a row. I didn't even venture out because I don't have chains on my car and I am not crazy.
I am, however, very lucky. I have a home, a warm bed, good food, and semi warm clothes so I really can't and shouldn't complain. There are so many people without all of those things. Why should I have so much and they so little. I wish I understood the reasons. All I can do is share what I can. I try but it doesn't seem enough. I will try and do better.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Looking Through Windows

It is amazing what we see when we look through windows. Sometimes it is clear and sometimes not.
Sometimes wheat we think is clear, isn't.
Looking through windows in New York at Christmas time is one of my earliest memories. My Aunt Isabel would take me to look at the windows displays on 5th Avenue and then we would go to the Nutcracker Ballet. She was trying in her own way to give me a little culture. Unfortunately, I was afraid of her and didn't like her at all so the whole experiment was a mess. Thinking back on it now, I am grateful to her for making the effort. She didn't have to and I am sure it wasn't the most rewarding experience for her so I appreciate it now even more. I am sorry I was such a pain then. Thank you , Aunt Isabel. The window is a little clearer now.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I am sitting here listening to the wind blow outside. It is cold and the wind is making it colder. I remembered seeing Mt Hood today and there was a lot of snow on her. It made me glad that I don't live in Oregon because they had snow yesterday and we didn't have as much.
I am not fond of winter. It is hard for me to get warm when I am cold and I am cold right now. My hands and toes all get cold easily and then I have a real hard time warming them up.
I am trying something new this year......FLANNEL SHEETS. They warm up faster then the cotton sheets. Cashew likes them more too. She is cuddled up on my bed as I am writing this.

How many days until spring?????????Only 96. Burrrrrrrr. Let's hope that groundhog sees his shadow. Lord forgive me for wishing away my life but I hate winter and I hate being cold. The only nice thing is that Elinor makes great soups but we can have soup in the other times of the year as well. It just tastes better when you are COLD!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

There is a COLD FRONT moving in!!!

Burr Chilly!!!!!! It is cold here in Washington State. I have heard the east has been hit with cold but I was hoping we could avoid it a little longer. But NOOOOOOOOO. This is one of the drawbacks with being this close to Canada... You get the cold. I wish I could say that I was just going to curl up and stay inside but NOOOOOOOO....tomorrow is Sunday and I have to go to church.
So there you have it. It is cold and there is no getting away from it at this time.
Just to change the subject...Elinor and I went to a movie today: "Twilight". As far as I am concerned, they should have released Harry Potter and kept this one on hold. I am not a vampire enthusiast. I thought it was a waste. At least with Harry Potter I like the characters.
Well, bundle up, you all and stay warm and toasty and keep your garlic handy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

He is growing up so quickly

John Fox is 13 and he has grown up so much this year. He is more sure of himself. He is acting more mature. He has taken on responsibilities. He is a better teaser and he is certainly more fun to be around.
I watch him with his brothers. He plays with them but he is not afraid to say enough. He is more helpful around the house but he is still a 13 year old who doesn't always want to be with his family.
Tonight was the Christmas Concert and John played the trombone in it. He also plays the guitar but not in front of anyone. He has talent....that is for sure. He is becoming more thoughtful......not only about himself but of other people.
I like this kid. He will be a good man I think. One that I will take pleasure in knowing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Weeks?

This was a weird week for me. Some of the things that happened were good and some not so good. Wednesday was a good day. Maureen invited me to to go to Portland with her so that I could get something special for someone special. We got this someone special the coolest thing which I can't describe because she is one of my readers and one of three people that actually comments on this blog. Suffice it to say, she will love it(I hope). We also got Maureen a nice haircut at her favorite place(Rudy's). We then went to Powell's Bookstore which is the most fantastic bookstore in the world. It is a full city block(not just a block long but a block wide too. It is four floors and they have new and used books. We had my great nephew, Sam the man(age 4) and we found a Curious George book that he wanted so I got it for him.
We then did an errand for Maureen and then we went to lunch. Believe me, if you are coming to Portland, let Maureen know so she can take you on a tour. No one knows more cool places and great restaurants then my niece.
When I got home, Elinor informed me that she had left the door open and Cashew had gotten out and a gray stray cat had gotten in. Cashew came back(Thank God and I did) but Elinor didn't know if the gray cat had left. It had not. The next afternoon while I was at my computer, I saw this big gray head stick out from under my bed. I tried to
get it to come and it was crying so pitifully I really felt bad. It wanted to use Cashew's litter box. It finally came and went. I was afraid to grab it while it was in the box for fear it would go all over my room. The poor thing had diarriha.
I kept trying to coax it out and finally it went into the Chicken Room where I cornered it. It allowed me to lift and I took it to the front door and let it go. I really felt bad but I could not risk endangering Cashew. I still can't believe that Cashew didn't make a fuss or anything about this cat. She just sat up in her tree and looked.
This was also a work week for Elinor. She was holding an in-house class. Usually she has anywhere from 6-10 students but this year she thought she only had one. Wrong. Yesterday there were two and today, there were three. Oh well, that's better then none. The ladies are lots of fun and very interesting and we always have a good time. So that is my weird week.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sometimes I Do The Right Thing

I have been working on my calenders which I give as Christmas presents every year. This year, I found I had an extra one so I began to think about who I would give it to.
At first, I thought I would give it to my pastor at church but today, I realized that I wasn't really doing it for him as much as I was doing it for the praise and the recognition. I wanted to be noticed. I don't really think it would have made an impression on him since he doesn't know me from Eve but I kept hestitating and I couldn't figure out why.
Today I know. My niece, Cindy, is visiting from Miami. Cindy has alway had a special place in my heart because she has had some rough times. This morning she was talking about how disconnected she feels sometimes. I should explain that Cindy has lived in many different places like Peru, Africa, and now Kasikstan. Her husband works in copper so he goes where the business is. It has been difficult for Cindy and her kids. Her two sons have both been in prison and her daughter is kinda of drifting.
When she talked about being disconnected, I thought about the calender with all the birthdates and anniversaries and so I decided that Cindy would get the extra calender. I hope her siblings who read this blog will forgive me but she needs it more than you guys.
I want her to always know that she is loved. Everyone needs to know that.
It was the right thing to do and I am glad I did. She loves it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl

Even though there was a slight mist which turned into a drizzle, the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl did go on. The teams were ready. We had a bunch of combatants: The Foxs(Mo, John, and Thomas), The Colemans(Joe, Ev, Ellie, Izzi, and Mags), the Iturbis(Aziz, Cindy, Isaac, and Jazmene) and good friend, Bonnie. Aziz turned out to be the number one scorer. I saw him score two touchdowns. Bonnie was the number one defensive player. Even after Aziz had scored she was still chasing him. Thomas managed to get a tackled nicely by big brother, John. Izzi got it from big sister, Ellie. The Cheerleaders(Christian Fox and Cindy Foster) were loud and enthusiastic and I just kept shooting pictures. A good time was had by all.