Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Ought Decade

After reading the year and decade windup in Time, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and People I began to think about our own decade events.

  • 2001 was a pretty good year but it was the beginning of the end of my tenure at the #3 Telephone Company. I had a good run there and I loved the people I worked with. I was only a contractor (my choice) for them but I was employed by the smartest group of women I've ever encountered. Not only were they smart, they were also ethical and people-oriented. It was a great combination. My boss was brilliant, had a great sense of humor, and really cared about the people she employed. I have never worked with a better group of people in my life. Hubby and I bumped along. Wolfie was still alive and Fritzy had entered our lives. We were becoming very active in our church.

  • 2002 was a bonus year at the #3; one I didn't expect. But the great women I worked with saw to it that I had a little cushion of time to get my life in order before all contractors were dismissed from the company. I lasted there most of 2002 though I really didn't have a whole lot to occupy me. Hubby and I stepped up our church activities and the boys were still full of vim and vinegar. I think this is the year we formed a lasting friendship with two couples we had met while attending the UMKC Signature Series concerts (one of the best bargains in town).

  • 2003 was a year of change. The big event was the celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary with a concert to benefit our church. Wendy came from Houston, Lou showed up from Louisiana, and Hubby sang his heart out. The video of the event shows how really wonderful it was. My beloved Seville finally bit the dust and Hubby replaced it with The Tank -- a huge Cadillac and that never ran properly and made my existence miserable. My career sputtered. I got three temp jobs but none of them were satisfying. The worst was a weekend taking credit card applications over the Thanksgiving holiday at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Finally at the start of December I landed a job in construction which kept us from going to Houston to celebrate Christmas with family. It was a sad time.

  • 2004 saw me continuing my construction job. I had a great boss and I liked him so much that the drudgery of the work kept me entertained. We continued to step up our church activities and that helped. Hubby and the boys seemed to be doing fine. We resumed our Christmas holiday in Houston, vowing never again to spend our Christmases apart.

  • 2005 was dreary. The construction job had moved from its original small location to the Legends in Wyandotte County. I was now traveling 35 miles a day to and from work. The boss I had loved resigned. I was forced to give up my temp status with the company and become a permanent employee. I was so afraid of being unemployed yet again, that I agreed and this was a huge mistake on my part. I went through five insane bosses in a very short time - each one more dysfunctional than the last. My old boss helped us find a newer Cadillac to replace the dreadful Tank and the car ran a lot more smoothly. In October Wolfie, my heart dog, died. My heart broke into pieces. Though Gus came into our lives with his sweet ways and huge amber eyes, my heart refused to heal. We began to realize that our beloved church was losing ground and was in danger of dying. It was a very hard year.

  • 2006 really shook the ground on which we based our lives. First the Cadillac burned in Hubby's driveway. He replaced with a 1991 Lincoln that looked exactly like your grandfather's car -- really dreary. Except it ran like a top and never gave us a lick of trouble. Hubby nearly died from a cranial aneurysm the day after Easter. He took the rest of the year to recover. I was informed a month after his attack that my job at the construction site was ending. A dear friend at church took me in hand as I dithered about what I was going to do and insisted that I apply for a teaching position with the KCKS school district. I finally did and I was eventually hired -- at the perfect job for me in the perfect school with the perfect staff. So, though three quarters of the year had been horrible, suddenly, at the end, everything was wonderful. The only flaw in the ointment was that I needed to go to grad school to get SPED certification, but even that turned out fairly well when I enrolled in the local Pitt State campus for six hours. At Christmas Hubby performed his last big concert and it was bitter-sweet. Age and illness had taken away his power of singing, not his love of it, but his ability to sustain great music for more than a couple of songs. Still Hubby was alive, I was finally working at something I loved, and we spent Christmas with our beloved family in Houston.

  • 2007 found me hitting beginning to hit my stride in teaching. I continued taking grad courses. Hubby continued to gather strength. We found less contentment at church but continued to doggedly try to hang on to a dying situation. The boys were healthy, our friends were supportive, my career was flourishing, grade school was okay, and at Thanksgiving all the family met in Branson, taking in two concerts a day for four days. We had a blast and found we loved the resort town. We've been spending Thanksgiving there ever since.
  • 2008 was more of the same. Hubby reconnected with his biological sister in Washington, D.C. and went to visit her in the summer. Fritzy died of kidney failure and Hubby insisted we drive to Tulsa to rescue a little mite of a nearly blind Schnauzer only eight months old. Luie quickly became an integral part of our lives. Our church lives changed miserably with the retiring of our old minister and the hiring of a new one. I succumbed to every illness the children at school could pass on and lost 30 pounds in the process because I was literary too sick to eat most of the year.

  • 2009 found us doing more traveling than ever. We went to Chesapeake Bay in July to visit Sister, Branson for Thanksgiving, and Houston for Christmas. We finally left our church home, though it was a very sad occasion for us as a family. I started my fourth year of teaching and completed 24 hours of grad credit towards my SPED certification -- earning an A in every course. I continued to love everything about my job. We acquired a 1995 Lincoln to replace the 1991 one damaged in December by a tow company. We all drove to Houston for Christmas -- and it was the best one yet. Family love simply cannot be overrated.

Hubby will be 75 in 2010. I will turn 64 but have no plans to retire. Gus is now five and Luie is probably around two. We are all aging fairly well except for the bad knees and arthritis. We have friends who care for us, family who love us, and we have each other. I have a job, Hubby has his health and life. We own our home and our 1995 car. It's all good.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Sitting here in the computer room with snow softly falling, I'm dipping my sour dough toast covered in Christmas fig and ginger jam into Christmas cocoa. And I'm dreaming of the Houston weather. Normally I'm not a fan of Texas heat and humidity but today, with the temps hovering near 20 degrees, the wind chill around 10, the snow still piled up everywhere in the city, I'm wishing for those 70 and 80 degree days we had in Houston.
It was a spectacular Christmas holiday full of love and cheer and good times. We ate fabulous food: fresh crab in a buttery casserole, prime rib cooked to perfection, shrimp salad, fried chicken and potato salad, ambrosia with the freshest of melon and fruits, steak, barbecued beef and pork, chocolate pecan pie, key lime pie, and chocolate bundt cake. We had fantastic entertainment: a play filled with sweet music and good acting plus a warm Christmas message, the movie Avatar in spectacular 3-D at the Houston theater where dinner is served with the movie -- a treat we absolutely loved, games of Hearts, Zion-Check, and Sorry. We talked late into every night, sharing the stories of the year, our hopes and fears, and our love. We wrapped presents and then opened presents and we laughed and laughed and laughed. It was simply perfect.

The trip down to Houston was uneventful and so was the trip home until we hit northwestern Oklahoma. Seems from Miami, OK to KC there was a Christmas blizzard while we were basking in Houston heat. The ice on Highway 69 was bad. We did some white knuckle driving for awhile until we picked up Turnpike 44 over to Joplin and followed Highway 71 home. We found Kansas City still buried under drifts of snow and the side streets barely passable. Luckily our driveway had been shoveled out or we would still be parked on the street. The trash men have found the side streets impassable and thus trash is piling up from Christmas orgies of gift giving. The temperatures are very cold and last night we got a fresh layer of snow to cover the ice that had formed.
This morning Hubby ventured out to take me to the foot doctor for a check-up. Luckily we didn't have more than a mile to go and my foot is healing nicely. I need to go for one more follow up and then I should be completely cured. The doctor was not nice to me because I had not been following his orders. Seems because I have an open wound I should have been keeping it bandaged during the day and putting on the special antibiotic oil I had picked up from the pharmacy on his prescription. Except I lost the bottle the second day I had it. And I was supposed to soak the foot for 20 minutes every morning and evening and I didn't ever do that either, especially in Houston where only showers were available. But I'm a really good healer so though the doctor was concerned the foot was a bit red, it still was healing nicely even though I didn't do one thing right.
Yesterday I cleaned up the kitchen, washed all the sundry cups and glasses and odd forks we had sitting around, and we did a smattering of grocery shopping. The frig was empty by the time we left for Houston. Now we have bread and eggs and milk and mushroom soup so we can survive. I baked a frozen ham, too, and got some Swiss cheese and pepper jack for sandwiches.

Hubby has hooked up the Christmas Wii but I haven't read all the instructions yet. That's part of today's challenge. Also I've got a stack of new magazines that arrived while we were away and a new series of mystery books I've started and I can laze happily under my soft quilt, burning my many Christmas candles and cuddling with the boys.
It's good to be home but I miss the love of the Houston family and friends. It really was the most perfect of Christmases!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 12 Joys of Our Christmas

I dislike singing the 12 Days of Christmas - and every year it seems I end up singing it somewhere. This year Hubby and I are not singing anywhere, so I thought, "Why not list the 12 Joys of Christmas" in lieu of singing that nasty song. So in no particular order: the 2009 12 Joys of Our Christmas.

1. An A grade in my grad course -- yeah! 24 hours of A now.

2. 2009 Christmas blessings at school with the kids and staff. Lots of food, happiness over the gifts, teachers satisfied with their remembrances.

3. Friends and a Hubby who support my efforts at school. Besides supplying my classroom with notebooks, index tabs, novels, and nourishing treats throughout the year, they hike into Wyandotte and celebrate Christmas with the kids.

3. Almost all the washing complete before the trip to Houston. I discovered when I finally ventured into the basement that we hadn't done the wash since Thanksgiving. Oh my! Maybe my joy should be that Hubby and I have enough underwear to last for a month without doing the wash.

4. A new car (to us) that Hubby brought home yesterday evening -- a really pretty 1995 Lincoln Town Car. I can drive it! Now that's a real joy! And right now, at this moment, the car is pristine beautiful! With two dogs and a Hubby who thinks that a car is only utilitarian, it won't stay that way -- so I better get out there and take pictures NOW!

5. Two little boys who bring both Hubby and me so much love and delight. Gussie, the little guy who doesn't jump, managed this morning to claw his way into the bed (he jumped, he slipped, he clawed like mad -- and made the top of the mattress) just so he could cuddle with his mama. Luie's eyes are doing do well and right now he is functioning on all cylinders.

6. A trip to Houston where all dogs and humans will be welcomed with open arms.

7. Friends and family in Houston who go all out to make Christmas a jolly event. Before Christmas a lobster and prime rib dinner is being held in our honor!

8. Employment! It's wonderful to have a job that is rewarding.

9. Employment in a beautiful school working with the most talented people I've ever encountered. The SPED department at Wyandotte High absolutely rocks!
10. My computer friends -- I may never see you but you bring so much joy into my life. Technology has made my world so much better.

11. Good health for both Hubby and me. My foot is healing perfectly. Hubby is alive and well. Last night I got the start of the stomach flu (all the miserable symptoms -- and spend two hours in the bathroom bemoaning my fate) and suddenly, the symptoms were gone. Today I'm tired and my tummy is a bit queasy, but I'm not going to have to eat chicken soup all through our Christmas trip (bring on the lobster!).

12. The resources to have a good life and share it with others.
Our home -- our family -- our boys -- our friends -- these are the most important joys in our lives.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Our holiday celebration was, to put it mildly, a rousing success. The kids had a great time. They ate and drank and opened presents -- and talked with each other and kept their computers shut and their music off (mainly). They acted like adults.

When we ran out of girl gifts, the girls gladly accepted boy gifts. When the pregnant girl, who had just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, got a bag of candy and a tool, she quietly announced to the boy next to her that she could not eat the candy or take the tool home. She was under court order to live in a group home and they would consider the screwdriver set a weapon. So the girl on the other side of her said she would gladly trade her stuffed animal and her sunglasses for the screwdrivers because she had always thought having something around the house to use to repair things would be "neat." And the trade was made. When I asked the other girl, who got a flashlight and a screwdriver what she would do with them, she said her dad could use the tools to help fix the old car they had in the driveway and maybe then she could drive it -- "It's all good, Mrs. Hubby."
The freshman girl being given the stuffed dog (who when you petted him moved his ears and forelegs) was the last to be gifted. She thought, of course, that she was being left out of the celebration and she was struggling mightily not to cry. She's a very strange child, usually friendless -- and the others, who are pretty strange themselves on bad days, tolerate her but think she's weird. We waited until all the gifts were given, then asked if she remembered what she said was the ONLY thing she wanted for Christmas but could never have - and she screamed out "A puppy!" So she was sent on a hunt for the dog and when she found him (the kids pointed the way for her) she was so delighted. She got that dog out of the box and walked around having everyone pet him. She explained he needed a name and then she cradled him like a baby and that's when she discovered that pushing his tummy caused the movement and she was beyond happy. She left the room, dog clutched in her arms, wearing the biggest smile we've ever seen.

When our guests of honor arrived, they class cheered. They offered up notes of appreciation and a gift that they had arranged before hand -- NOT my arrangement, but theirs. When the principal showed up they made small talk. When the SPED administration showed up, they made small talk with them.

They ate until they were full but they did not eat up everything. In every single instance, they left a little of something on a platter. With the spaghetti they left enough for the Health Community staff to have lunch after them.

And they cleaned up. When third period ended, without my saying a word, two boys and five girls stayed behind. The boys moved back all the extra chairs to the staff room. The girls got out the trash bags and made sure all the plates and cups and wrappings were disposed of. We had moved all the desks into conversational groupings and now they put everything back into my four desk groups. We had set up the food in the community staff room right across the hall from me and once the staff had eaten they completely cleaned that room.

They gave me a round of applause at the end of the gifting. They sent Hubby lots of love and kisses. And they beamed with delight as they carried their gift bags away. And teen after teen hugged me and personally thanked me. It was a sweet ending to a lovely celebration.
I am beyond exhausted.

It's All Good

The foot feels wonderful! It's too bad I was so scared / busy to take care of the problem earlier. I assumed, based on past experience, that the cure was going to be at least as awful as the problem -- and for a couple of days much worse. Instead, just as the doctor promised, there was nearly no pain involved at all. My foot never hurt worse in the last 24 hours than the pain caused by the original problem. When Hubby helped me remove the huge bandage tonight so I could soak the foot and add the required medicated drops, I had no pain at all. None. I could see only slight bruising and the actual incision site looked clean and healing.

Also got through my last class tonight. Made the final presentation and heaved one huge sigh of relief.

At school today (Thursday) the kids assembled the faculty gift boxes -- 15 total. The theme this year was "Happy to be Home" and we had cookbooks, soup mixes, Godiva chocolates, Christmas ornaments, and calendars for everyone -- as well as really special fancy boxes to arrange the items in. The school psychologist said every time she saw one of my kids today they were just glowing.

Friday we do the celebration lunch -- Hubby has made a huge vat of spaghetti, the 40 gift packages are arranged under the tree, and we are set to entertain outside guests and selected members of the administration -- as well as the kids themselves.

Yes, I'm tired. But all this effort is worth it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We spent the morning trying to work out something with the Lincoln. Hubby had it completely overhauled all through November and into December. We got to drive it for a week -- and that car was running so smooth and sweet and I even thought maybe I could drive it. But then something went wrong with the solenoid and the car started only sporadically. Once at Walgreens we had to call Triple A and get it started and then in front of the mechanics house (not his garage) Hubby had to call to get the car towed to the garage. Except they sent a brand new employee who loaded the car onto the flatbed, chained it down, and drove down the street where the Lincoln rolled off the flatbed onto Prospect Blvd -- kerplunk. Bent the frame, forced the right side tires sideways, and moved the entire engine forward (or maybe it was backward) a couple of inches. Now we have the insurance to deal with . . . and you know that no one is happy in this situation. The Lincoln is already super old, though the mileage is still reasonable considering (it's a 1991) and it did just get a new engine and many new parts. Hubby loves the car and is really holding out for a good offer from the tow company. So far out insurance company has been backing us.

In 45 minutes I trudge over to the foot / ankle specialist to get my MRSA looked at -- and I'm imagining the worst. I bet they decide to "cut" something -- on my foot -- involving needles and bruising and soreness. I've worked myself into a lather over it, of course. I'm hoping for the best - but deep down I'm expecting the very worst.

This just hasn't been my day. Insurance dickering and now doctoring. And I had to take a sick day from school to do it all.

Meanwhile we're driving around in the van Hubby purchased from the widow across the street who sold it to us after her hubby died this summer. The van has 250,000 miles on it -- a quarter of a million miles. My goodness. That's some mileage! Hubby has had all the joints refurbished and a tune up done -- s0 the van, though way too huge for me to drive safely -- runs pretty good so far. I just don't want it to be the only vehicle we have to get around in. Hopefully the garage's insurance will offer up a nice little settlement and we can begin the horror of looking for another Lincoln in as good a shape as ours was.
7 p.m. Oh yes! The podiatrist took one look and got out the needles (4 of 'em), the scalpel, and the bandages. And two hours later he was done and I was hobbled.
Now I need a bath. And my hair washed. So I figured I'd put the foot in a baggie, seal it up, and just hop in the tub. Except at my age and girth I no longer hop anywhere. I got my right (the good one) foot in the tub and then realized the only way I could sit down was to put the left foot in, too -- or fall straight backwards into the tile. I stood there one-legged awhile, contemplating my predicament and then got out and pulled the plug. I'm not willing to unwrap the darned foot until tomorrow -- when I've been ordered to soak it and put "drops" on it that cost me an arm and a leg at the pharmacy (but not a foot, of course).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Destruction

Little Luie is nearly two years old. In dog years he's nearly an adult. He's behaving in more adult ways, too. He almost never has accidents indoors anymore unless his humans aren't being vigilant. He speaks his mind (Schnauzers DO talk -- just ask their owners) and lets you know his wants and wishes. He no longer chews up expensive shoes and more expensive eyeglasses or burrows in the trash unless . . .

And it's the unless that catches you off guard. Leave him home alone and everything in the house is fair game. Take him in the car, though, even if you must leave him alone for a couple of hours and he's fine. Gussie, of the even temperament and the innate desire to be the "good boy" never destroys anything -- his, Luie's or ours. But Luie, if left to his devices, has a natural curiosity he simply can't seem to control.

It's been cold here, bitterly cold. So the boys have had to stay home if we venture out places they can't go. The Chinese dinner last night was just such an occasion. I had carefully moved the kitchen trash to the top of the stove -- a place a blind Schnauzer cannot reach even on his best day. And we left for a two hour dine and chat with dear friends.

On our return, Luie had appropriated the stuffed Schnauzers from the top of the living room couch but otherwise the kitchen, living room, and bedroom were in neat array. Then I entered the computer room where I had stacked (on the floor -- but atop a huge pile of presents), the addressed Christmas cards, the still to be addressed Christmas cards, the printed Christmas letters, and on top of that -- a huge 10 pound box of chocolates we had found in Branson to give to one of the faculty members. Luie had lunged at the pile until he had toppled it. I'm sure the toppling must have scared him silly -- he'd not be sure what had fallen on him. But he quickly found that most of it was calendars and paper so he happily set to tearing off the cellophane on the calendars and rooting around among the cards until he smelled the chocolate.

Chocolate to most dogs is lethal -- AND addictive like crack cocaine. They crave it -- but can't stand it in their systems. When we opened the door on arriving home the house was strangely silent. Two wiggling, wagging, jumping boys were not there to greet us -- it took about 30 seconds before they both charged the door. Luie had just reached the stage on the chocolate box where he managed to get all the cellophane removed and had finally made inroads on the cardboard container -- BUT he not yet reached a single chocolate.

We helplessly looked at the disaster that was the computer room -- Christmas cards strewn everywhere, 10 calendars for teachers all unwrapped, and a 10 pound box of chocolates with the ends chewed off and the chocolate just peaking out. I sighed and began picking up the pieces. Hubby took the boys for a little walk and Luie pranced outside like he was king of the household.

It was a good thing we hadn't had dessert with our dinner. We each ate chocolates for a bedtime snack.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

10 - 9 - 8

Well, Christmas IS more than ten days away, but our countdown has begun. Once the grad papers were typed, printed, and submitted (one to submit but it's written) then we could start Christmas preparations in earnest.

I spent the morning doing Christmas cards. I had thought I wouldn't bother this year. But I love the cards we still do get so much. I also love picking out the perfect card. I'm not so found of writing the cards and composing the letter. But once again, when I get a beautiful card with just a signature inside, I always feel disappointed. This year so far we've only gotten three cards, and of those, one came with a letter and pictures. The second card had a sweet drawing inside. The third was just a signature. I always feel so let-down when I don't learn about family news. So I sorted through the cards I purchased last year and I thought long and hard about the Christmas letter. In the end I went with a collage of photos from the year -- I think grad school had written me out. Then I began the assembly -- choose card, sign with simple message, fold letter (picture collage), seal, insert, stick on address label and return label and stamp. Repeat. This is truly a labor of love. I know that e-cards are more eco-friendly and gaining in popularity but it's just not the same opening e-mail as finding a creamy (or crimson) envelop in my mailbox and inside that a velum paper card with sparkles on it.

We started celebrating with a warm, loving and tasty Chinese share-all supper with dear friends tonight. We had the dinner for four or more (five in attendance) at the local Chinese eatery and we caught up and shared stories. Always a good way to start off the holiday countdown.

The presents are purchased, just not assembled into gift bags and sorted by person. The faculty gifts will be dragged into school on Monday and Tuesday so the kids can make gift baskets to distribute. Hubby is creating the "kid" gifts for every student from the presents we purchased in Branson and throughout the year. Some of my kids wouldn't have a Christmas without the little trinkets we give at school -- this way everybody has something to open.

On Friday we host a spaghetti lunch for the kids. Hubby brings in the main course and the kids bring what they can -- usually lots and lots of sweets, but it's the last day before the winter vacation so what's a little sugar high?

Over the following weekend we assemble Houston gifts but I wrap things in Houston. I've learned that unwrapped presents take up a lot less room in the car than protecting all that gift wrapping from snoopy dogs. On Monday we get the rental car, stop the mail, throw enough clothes for a week into the car along with the requisite gifts -- and we're off.

The time frame seems very short with lots to do. We may need to mainline the gin and tonic while singing along with "White Christmas" to make it through.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I just typed the last few phrases into my next to final paper for grad class. Whew! I feel so relieved. It only ran 30 pages -- I thought it might go longer. I have one form to send home from my school computer to paste into the adendum and I'm all wrapped up. The final-final presentation is already in the can -- created, printed, and copies run for the class (because we have to stand up and present the dang things). This time around I'm not sweating out the grades -- so far I have 100% in the class, so even if I blow this final paper, I should be okay.

I'm not taking a spring course. Instead I'm concentrating of building curriculum for the two English classes I'm teaching. Spring semester will be English 1 second block and English 2 fourth block. The English 2 class is pretty large but I know a lot of the kids already so that will help. The English 1 class will be the pain in the patoot. These are really, really low Special Ed kids and I'm not the most patient of people. I may need to take up meditation. I'll also be collaborating in American History.

Our weather is blasting cold air. We were predicted to have a heavy snow, once again the really awful weather skirted us and we only got a misting. I'm going to have to dig out the thermals for tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. though.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Never Post When You're Tired -- and the Osmonds Get Me Readers

Yes! To every responder from the last post.

Yes. I do not recall the exact first name of the any of the Osmond Brothers from the Branson show -- and I didn't look them up. The only one I know is Donny. And Maria but she's not a brother. And they both were in Vegas. Not in Branson.

Yes. Rolls are NOT roles. Silly me. You eat rolls. The Osmond who came for the rolls did play a role in the show. I clearly do not know his name. He had white hair. A lot of it.

Interesting to have so many anonymous readers. I never knew . . . I don't keep stats, I have no idea how many times this poor little blog is accessed, and lately I haven't been posting. I write only for me and the "family" so if you happen along, please respond nicely. My feelings get hurt easily (NOT!). Actually, just finding responses is kind of cool. So write anything you want. I've been teaching for 26 years now -- my hide is so tough I can't even see the slings and arrows, much less feel 'em.

No posts lately because grad school is kicking my butt. Big time. It's awful the amount of work required in the last four weeks of this semester. Up to now things haven't been bad and so, of course, I should have been doing the work all along (writing massive papers) but I wasn't and I haven't and I didn't . . . and now I'm overwhelmed. I did the final, final paper for a final presentation over the weekend but I have a huge project due on Thursday. The final presentation is due a week from Thursday. I'm not so worried about the grade this time -- I've gotten 100% on everything so far.

Last Friday I got diagnosed with a mild case of MRSA. My doc says he's been seeing a whole lot of these skin infections lately. I've got a referral somewhere to a specialist to have the offending problem looked at . . . but I've got to get this grad stuff done first and I've misplaced the referral. The infected area is on my foot so I just can't wear pretty shoes -- which I don't do anyway anymore and it only hurts when something touches it.

The school kids are hyped for Christmas. We put up the classroom tree and strung the fairy lights everywhere and we plan a big party for the last week -- with the 20 boys. Should be interesting . . .

We've read over half of Huck Finn and boys are really into it. They can even identify irony now without a prompt. That's a real achievement!

The Houston presents are ready for Christmas travel if I can just remember where they all are stashed when we're packing the car. Thank goodness sister-in-law does all the decorating. That WOULD be the last straw.

So mea culpa on the previous post. I'm NOT fixing it. The comments about it were just too priceless . . .Happy Holidays everyone!