Sunday, November 30, 2014

not wasting any time

The Christmas gifts are here and all wrapped.

In 2008, we went on a week to Florida with some friends in the weeks of December, and I had to have everything ready early.

It really allows us more opportunity to enjoy when the pressure is off.

We do have to shut the fan off on Santa and replace the bulbs that burned out.  His face was lit a couple days ago, and is not now.   Tomorrow.

Open house, pointing to the crawl space.


Won't be happening.

This is that goofy ball Jay and Don have been passing back and forth for a year.  p.j. was excited to find him on the front steps Thanksgiving Eve.

 Yeah, she has the right idea, snoozing where she does.  Don't step on her.
And that's the end of that. 

Tomorrow is the fist day of December, and life is nothing but good.

love always, Val

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Not gonna lie.

Shopping is not my favorite.

But we're working on it.


love, Val

Friday, November 28, 2014

decorating for christmas

That's a picture of  Kirsten and Little Jay. 
A couple years ago we gave up going to the tree farm and just buy a tree at the nursery instead.  It helps simplify and streamline.   They have nice trees, five minutes from home.

 Thanksgiving had to go away:

 Then we got to work on the Christmas Village.

 They decorated the hibiscus.

 This is blurry, but it's a little kid favorite, the swinging animals. 
Tim was all about these candle lights in the window.  I don't know why this mattered to him the most, but it did.

Julia was excited about these guys, and this is the thing I noticed tonight:  My family is so growing up.  I don't have babies anymore, or even little children.  It's quiet around here most days.

And I observed that all this Christmas crap is just that, trinkets and crap, but it apparently links us to something more, some kind of shared history and affection and fun.

An inflatable Santa from Walmart, a fancy, expensive nativity scene from the 70s, flimsy nutcrackers that have never cracked a nut, two dollar window candle lights, and what does any of it even mean?

I don't know. Symbols of something bigger, I think.  It has to be that, like how Jay and I are each fond of our own mother's Christmas trinkets.

Here we are heading into December, and hoping the final month of 2014 is wonderful.  Always love.    love, Val

Thursday, November 27, 2014

look who is back

love, Val

thanksgiving pictures

 Not very many, but that's okay.

We were thankful, and it was a great day.  Onward, December is ready.

love you all, Val, aka Grandma, aka Mom

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

eleven hour miracle

We made the miracle happen, and we're ready for tomorrow.

See the picture of the upstairs bathroom?  

Well, there's more to the story. 

Years ago one of those things that cover a plug in fell into the toilet tank and was swept into the porcelain of the bowl.   It never worked quite right after that, blocked the flow of water through the channels.

Last week, he replaced the toilet while I was off working.   I was happy. Everyone was.

But the next day I had to ask him, "What did you do with the tank set?"

"I don't know. What is it?"

I said, "That fuzzy rug thing that was on the tank and all."

"Oh.  I threw it away."

"You threw it away?"

"Yeah. I mean, what's the point of it?  Plus it was hideous."

Okay, then.  Pointless AND hideous.

So I found the old rug in the linen closet and the old seat cover in the towel basket.  No lives were lost. We'll be fine.

A view of the girls' room:

 Okay, this is James' light fixture.  It is full of coins and dead bugs.   Apparently they throw the coins in there for fun somehow. The dead bugs appeared on their own naturally.  

This is not a problem I will be dealing with today.

 Lydia and Maria did the flowers:

 And it is a miracle.

Time for bed.  It's almost tomorrow.

love, Val

making a miracle happen

Well, we used to have a neighbor who was a very casual housekeeper.  She had other priorities and they are a great family.

Anyway, one of the kids was over at their house when they were having company coming in a few hours.   The place was fairly trashed, and the kid knew how very nervous this would make me if it were my situation.

This mom was so fantastic.   She told the kids, "Okay, right now I'm going to take a nap, and then we're going to make a miracle happen."


My kid about fell over:  Take a nap?

I know, right? 

We are hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow and we're not taking a nap at this point, but we are going to make a miracle happen.

 Why does the air conditioner cover keep on popping off?  I have even used box tape and everything, and yet there it is:

 What happened to the end of the couch?  Why is it dented like that?

I will look into it. 


Maybe I can stuff a pillow in there and pop it back up.

 This dining room table attracts clutter like nothing else.  OH, and that brown wrapper?  It was a box of gifts from Renee.   The kids are intrigued, and so are we.  They have Christmas paper on them, so we have to wait.

 Thinking about that miracle!

She's taking care of the nap, I guess.

 The list.  That was Maria's first instruction:  Make a list.

 This is in the kitchen why?

 What's with this basket?   I see a naked doll, a Barbie cash register, a scary mask, Raggedy Ann upside down,  a gold shoe from the dress up bin--my mom wore those on New Year's Eve, 1962.   Kirsten's maroon high heel and those silver sandals she gave the kids for dress up.  

Maybe we won't deal with this at all.


This plaid shirt is someone's, but nobody in this family.  We don't know where it came from.

One thing already done--the turtle tank was dealt with yesterday.

Okay, someone is vacuuming.   I have to go.   This miracle needs to happen.

Happy Thanksgiving!   love, Val