Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Reflections

It's hard to believe that this blog is now 5 years old. In reviewing the last five Decembers I find that only in the first year did I manage to write anything on December 31st. I thought it a bit odd since the year end is an obvious time for reflection. Back in 2002 when I started this blog, I wasn't sure where it would lead to and in fact I'm still not sure. It's taken turns in all sorts of unexpected directions, following a life of equally unexpected turns. Sad, happy, angry, joyous... it's pretty much all there. I've never gone back and deleted any entries. We can't erase life, although we may choose to hide certain elements. So, I leave what was written in tact with the hopes that anyone who might dig into this journal of sorts will understand that everything was written as I felt it needed to be expressed at the time. Things change. I know not to regret the past and to always hope for the best future.

So what did 2007 bring?
  • January: I rang in the year with the best of friends, listening to the best live music ever. I continue to carry the music with me through all good times and sad times.
  • February: Little J turned four on Valentines Day. Big J turned 33 on Ground Hogs Day. I see the bonds between father and son and am thankful we can provide a safe meeting place for them.
  • March: Our annual Snow Train trip to Reno. On the way back, just after we passed over a trestle near Sacramento it went up in flames. We are thankful we made our trip in safety.
  • April: It seems that birthdays often trigger the need to bring some new things into life. This year, it was line dancing. I continue to struggle with the movements, knowing it keeps my mind sharp but realizing that my body doesn't necessarily conform to the rhythm. I accept my limitations and just do the best I can.
  • May: Mothers Day was a day of ultimate joy as we were able to bring my dearest friend out to hear Tom Rigney one last time.
  • June: A time letting go as my dear friend, Micky, passed away. We may have only shared a small slice of our lives together but this short friendship was my most profound friendship. More than ever, I realize the value of true friendship. She will always be a part of my soul.
  • June: The cat named Wanda arrived to fill our house with mischievious maneuverings, delight, laughter, lots of trouble and a few tender moments.
  • July: We visited our youngest son's family in Las Vegas. It was a good visit with a bittersweet end... our son and his wife divorced shortly after that.
  • August: The legal guardianship of Little J was finalized. It's a challenge to bring up a little one at our age, but we feel blessed that we have this precious child in our care.
  • September: We cruised to Alaska. Hubby had a few shipboard duties in his role as tour guide for Key Holidays. Little J had the time of his life with the Princess Pelicans. It was a wonderful 10 day retreat.
  • October: Halloween brought out monsters under Little J's bed and creatures in grandmas bed. With a bottle of Monster Spray and a can of Spiders Be Gone... poof they disappeared!
  • November and into December: Closing one month and bringing on the last month of the year with a Palm Springs Red Hat convention. The Red Hat Society continues to be a big part of my life - bonds with new friends, travel adventures, fun and escape.

And so another year ends and we look to the new year... we make plans, anticipate the joy and prepare for some sadness. All will be well.

Wishing for the Happiest New Year to All.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dangerous Tigers on the Loose

On Christmas day San Francisco Zoo, once known as Fleishackers Zoo, had tigers on the loose. By now most of the world probably knows the sad story.

We discovered our tiger had escaped from the bathroom and nestled up next to Wanda under the Christmas tree at just about the same time of day. Just a coincidence... honest.

No one is sure why the tigers escaped on Christmas day.

Wanda thinks Santa brought her a new Mama.


The favorite Christmas gift this year for little J... from Great Uncle Don... the remote control realistic looking tarantula, a useful toy for waking Grandma up in the morning and chasing Wanda away from trouble and much more. 4 days later and it still remains the top contender. In fact most of the rest of the stuff has ended up under the sofa, behind the sofa, under the bed and stuffed into the overflowing toy box. Yep, it's a winner.

Other favorite presents... one of Grandmas clients left a penguin package at the front door. It was full of goodies. The racoons had a party. Candy everywhere. They left a few caramels in the bottom of the bottom box. Grandma checked the individually wrapped candies very carefully to determine that there were no stray toothmarks before she ate the candies. No one else dared touch them. Too bad... they were quite yummy.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Gingerbread and Chipmunks

Little J is pleased with his gingerbread masterpiece and Grandma thinks he did a pretty good job too. It is a bit worrisome about the amount of candy and frosting that was ingested in the process considering the cement quality of the frosting after a couple of hours. Hoping for the best "outcome".

We took a break from our Christmas projects to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. Little J's favorite part - seeing that the chipmunks watch Sponge Bob. Grandma's favorite part - sneaking in a nap without Little J noticing.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sad Endings

It was a mixture of tears and glee today as the children of Happy Times Preschool celebrated their Christmas party. It's the last party as well as the last day of this preschool. Mr. Flagg and Miss Wendy, with heavy hearts, helped the children through many many caroles, doing the best they could to celebrate in the same fashion as Mrs. Flagg would have done. Sadly, Mrs. Flagg passed away earlier this week so Happy Times is closing as of today. Little J had a wonderful experience there. We will all miss being a part of the Flagg family.

Monday, December 17, 2007

So This Is Xmas

Little J and Wanda are thinking a lot about the Xcess Xmas situation.
Is this all there is?
They keep insisting there really is a Santa Claus.
P.S. Grandma thanks Big Brother that there is something under the tree.

Xmas Xcess

We have tried to give Little J a bit of an environmental lesson this year. Early in the day on Saturday, we purchased a live spruce tree figuring that Little J could plant it in the yard next month.

Saturday evening we spent half a tank of $3.55/gallon gas, to drive to where the lights are in abundance. Miles and miles of houses in this neighborhood put out enough energy to light the entire town for a full winter season where I grew up. We ignored the little canisters begging for utility donations. Heck if they can afford to put out the displays, they can afford the bill. What we are wondering is this... must they sign a neighborhood agreement to light up the holidays when purchasing the home in this area?

We chose one of the more energy efficient displays to photograph.
Oh, and about Wanda trouble... somehow she is getting the angel off the top of the tree, not a difficult task since the tree is only about 3 feet tall. That wouldn't be so bad except she has buried it in a pile of dirt next to the tree twice. Is there a message in that?

Angels in the What?

When I was a kid we made angels in the snow. California kids must improvise. They make angels in the sandbox. Poor Mommy, look what Grandma let Little I do right after she washed her hair. VBG (Very Bad Grandma)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Down Through the Chimney

Up on the housetop I hear the paws
Scratches of good old Wanda Claws
Down thru the chimney with lots of suet
Gonna have to give Wanda Kitty the boot

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Gonna give Wanda to good Saint Nick

First comes the stocking for Little J
Wanda doesn't let it get in her way
Once past the screen and in the flu
She hides in there pondering what to do

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go?
Upon on the housetop, click, click, click
Gonna give Wanda to good Saint Nick

All of a sudden there's a giant splat
Down on the grate flops Wanda cat
All full of ashes with paws of gray
Soon little Wanda may be a stray

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Gonna give Wanda to good Saint Nick

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Big Happy Family

All day long I work work work. Or if I have a day like to today I get to spend it doing a little work work, doing a lot of housework, shopping, taxi-ing, and cleaning up after these sweet little things. All while they sleep the day away on my bed so they can torment me all night with the saved up energy. I caught Rusty and Minnie trying to have a little romance while Wanda was sleeping. Notice how their colors blend. Notice how they all get along so well. Not bad for an "adopted" family from mixed neighborhoods.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Planes and Trains

Flights into Palm Springs are a trip in themselves. After a bit of a delay in Los Angeles, my red hat friend and I boarded the crop duster type plane for the balance of our trip. It may have been a short flight but with all the vibrations, bumps and whooshes I was even thankful for the less than gentle landing. So, it hadn't rained in Palm Springs for 5 years they say. Well it has now. Just send me somewhere and the clouds follow. Note, the sun did come out the day we left. Ah well, a good time was had by 502 red hatters in attendance.
Meanwhile, back at home, hubby was checking out the site of our honeymoon departure 37+ years ago. Trains won't be leaving 16th Street Station again.

It's being reduced to mere rubble for earthquake's sake...