Wednesday, December 23, 2015


I can breathe a sigh of relief now. I have all gifts purchased, wrapped and sent. We have one Christmas celebration under our belts already. On Sunday we celebrated with our daughter, Amy, son-in-law, Steve and Olivia and Max, the grand kids. For some strange reason there were no pictures taken except the one above that Olivia snapped with her phone. It says a lot that we were so absorbed with each other that we just forgot the pictures.  I realize that our time with Olivia, a senior in high school, and Max, a freshman is dwindling and therefore, precious. She will be off to college next year and Max is very involved in cross country and track. Isn't it ironic that when the kids finally grow into the independent people that you want them to be and that you enjoy being around you see less of them? They are off to Colorado today to spend Christmas with their other grandparents. I wish them a safe journey.

We have a house guest this week so things will still be lively around here. The kids left their dog Calypso to stay with us while they went west. Our Calliope (Callie) is a happy dog whenever her sister, Clyppie, comes to visit. The two of them always enjoy having each other to romp with and they are finally at an age where they keep the craziness to the outside. The two black labs dash and dart across the lawn chasing the toys that we toss for them. They often go after the same large rubber ball and end up in a tug of war.

Callie and Clyppie last July 
They two girls look so much alike that I often find myself commanding, "Callie, sit!" while Calypso stands in front of me in a puzzlement and Callie is actually in the background, already sitting. So this time I tied a small red ribbon to Callie's collar and a green one to Clyppie. This visit, at least, I know which dog I'm yelling at! They play so hard and non-stop when we go outside that when they come in they both collapse in exhaustion and immediately drop off into one of their frequent naps. I often find them sprawled in a mirror-like formation on our living room floor.

We have two more Christmas dinners, one at our house with Rich's mom and dad and his brother Dan. The final one will be on Saturday, down the road at one of Rich's other brother's house. I took the easy way out this year and for the kids I had Rich pick up some smoked pork and brisket from City Barbecue and I made the sides. For Christmas day, we got a ham from a great little meat market in the country, Hasselbach's, near Fremont. The party is so much less stressful for me if I buy the main dish and just fix the sides. (Thank you, Ina Garten) This is one of those tricks I learned from watching all those cooking shows that Rich makes fun of. This way I can spend more time with my guests.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season! No matter which one you celebrate I hope that you get to be with the ones you love. If you can't then try to spread some of that love to who ever you encounter on your life journey. I wish you love, joy and peace for the new year.

By the Rich and Linda log house construction team.

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