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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Two Days to Go / Healdsburg Christmas

Two days ago the official start of winter and now there are two days to go before Christmas. But there are hourly changes to the weather. We are trying to make our travel plans coincide with the least amount of rainfall as possible . . . what travel plans . . . the ones to the post office or to the supermarket, those are the most likely places we are planning on traveling to in the next few days:


When I started to write this post, this was the scene that I saw outside my window -- it happens now to be bright sunshine though -- that will change shortly I presume. We are not minding the weather and aside from gutters that remind us that they need cleaning it is like having a sound machine on -- set on a steady rainfall.


In the last twenty-four hours the above are some of the different skies we have seen from either the front windows or the back -- Dino is looking through a back door . . . the skies have gone from bright sun with white fluffy clouds to dark foreboding ones in a matter of minutes. It reminds us of a drive through the Texas panhandle a few years back when Gail remarked about the beauty of the "white, fluffy" clouds surrounding our car -- as we crossed into Oklahoma though the clouds became darker than night and shortly afterwards we were in the midst of a tornado . . .

We are not expecting violent weather just very wet and some windy weather. In the one picture above you can see a crescent moon shining yellowishly above the arbor. The grapelights have come on during the daytime due to the darkness and then go off after a few hours only to come back on later . . .

We know that so much of the rest of the country is receiving precipitation as well -- only it's staying put after falling . . . which requires some form of removal . . . our cousin Jeremy in Viroqua reported just receiving 18 inches of the white stuff -- in time for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas

Probably one of my favorite movies about Christmastime is "A Christmas Story" which came out in the 1980s and every once in awhile I still enjoy watching it . . . to me there were a lot of similarities to the actions and times of my childhood -- with some modifications -- it could have taken place in my family:


As a matter of fact as you can see in the above scenes from the movie -- I fit right in as the kid in the lower right -- that is me in about 1949 sitting on the front steps in La Grange, Illinois.  I am pretty sure that I "knew" all the other kids . . .

Though I have not seen it yet -- there is a new Christmas Story out "A Christmas Story 2" and it carries on with Ralphie as a teenager. I suspect nothing can compare to the original, but it might be worth taking a little "look-see" and when the DVD arrives, I will . . .


Above is some info about the movie and "A Christmas Story House & Museum". The movie was mostly filmed in Cleveland (and Canada) to represent an Indiana town. You can get more information from the website listed above. I love the look of the house and the "beautiful" lamp prominently displayed in the front room's window -- as was the practice to do . . .

Another Christmas House

While reading the paper the other day, a picture of another "Christmasy" house caught my attention -- this one comes from the Seattle area and there a local architect created an eye-catching tree display.


I have to say -- "Why didn't I think of that?" It probably is a good thing that I did not. But I think we can all say that it is pretty clever -- we see so many houses decorated with thousands of lights and multiple video displays attracting all the tour busses, but this one is different -- what will they think of next. It reminds me a little of the Chevy Chase movie when they unleash their freshly cut tree from the wild . . .

Dino's Week

During our training this week at GDB, the pups were exposed to the very cramped conditions of a room in a Roundtable Pizza in Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa.  It was the annual Christmas party and it was good for the pups to experience a crowded environment -- they all did really well -- and we had a great time.



Above you can see Dino is his Christmas finery and a flavor of the setting at Roundtable. There were gifts and certificates awarded to all. We had our fill of "eats" and after a couple of hours we all headed home. On the right are a couple of last year's pics of Dino's first Christmas -- we are not sure where Dino will spend next Christmas, though we may start to find out more next month . . .

Grandparents Night 2012

For almost 20 years we have been celebrating "Grandparents" night a few days before Christmas -- a chance for us to get together with our grand niece and nephew and share the evening AND have a gift exchange in relative quiet -- as opposed to "not quiet" conditions when there might be a much larger crowd.
This year we did include the "parents" too -- maybe to the dismay of the "youngsters".


The above is a sampling of the evening. A good time was had by all and we even promised to maybe do it again next year as we have been doing for so many years. For dinner we had traditional Christmas ham, green beans and scalloped potatoes along with delicious salad and fresh rolls. For dessert, specialty ice cream along with home made mini cupcakes . . .

When it was all over -- we felt like Christmas had come and was now gone -- but, we still have Christmas day coming up very quickly -- Gail and I have exchanged a couple of pre-Christmas gift items already to off load the load coming on Tuesday morning -- and to highlight special items e.g. the "fathead" gift item that Gail treasures . . .

That is a bit of our week. Last night we did have burgers, tonight, a roasted (in the Ninja) chicken.

Have a great Christmas! See you all in a few . . .



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