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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Missed blessings

We put up the Christmas tree tonight. I made fondue in a fondue pot that we must have gotten as a wedding present -- it was the 70's, so that makes sense -- it's enameled in red, and there were skewers that came with it, each topped with a different color handle so you could tell which one was yours (something like the wineglass charms you see everywhere now). So it's nearly 30 years old, which seems incredible.

Some of the Christmas tree ornaments are nearly that old, too, of course. When we were first married, I made some "stained glass" ornaments--you bought a kit with little metal frames and poured in plastic pellets, then melted them in the oven. Barb was into crafts then, too, and there are some cross-stitch ones she made, and a little stuffed Christmas tree with bells on it.

There are also little round dated porcelain disk ornaments from Disney World, one from every year that we've visited. I guess I should count them sometime, or try to find the oldest one. I imagine there are about twenty.

In addition to the Disney World ones, I try to buy a dated ornament every year. Some have gotten broken over the years -- I'm not as good about protecting them as I should be -- but it's always fun to decorate the tree every year and look at all the ornaments we've collected. There are several white cat ornaments that people have given us, and we always say, "There's Doña's ornament!" when we put one on the tree.

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We got an incredible deal on the tree. Since we always go to Florida in December, we always wait until we get back to get a tree. We've tried artificial ones, but Dinah has destroyed, I believe, two of them, so we're back to real ones. The pickings are sometimes slim this late, but Bob wanted to try WalMart this year, so we went by today and they had about a half dozen trees, and they were marked down to $10! And they were fine. About 6-1/2 feet, I guess, a really nice shape, and not dry at all. I was amazed.

I spent the entire weekend, basically, shopping, got up early this morning and wrapped, and while I still have a lot of wrapping to do, I'm mostly finished shopping. Just a couple of odds and ends left to do. While I would, of course, prefer to have everything finished weeks ahead of time, I always feel like I've done well if I'm not out shopping on Christmas Eve. It's just one of those things I've come to terms with.

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We had a great vacation, although it was FREEZING. They were having record cold temperatures in Florida, and on at least one day it was colder there than it was at home. I'm philosophical about it, there's never any guarantee of good weather no matter where or when you go, and at least it didn't rain, which would have been miserable.

Barb met us there, so it was fun running around the parks with her and having someone to shop with. I didn't actually buy very much stuff. I almost always buy a watch and a hat, and this year was no exception. The first night we got there I bought a hot pink plastic Minnie Mouse watch in the gift shop, and the next day I bought a baby blue Minnie ball cap in the Magic Kingdom. I told Bob that I'm in a girly pink mode right now, because everything I was drawn to seemed to be pink.

I kept looking for a pink sweatshirt, but never found one. I had brought several little knit jackets, but they weren't really warm enough. On Tuesday we went to MGM and I ended up buying a heavy sweatshirt with Grumpy on it. Grumpy has traditionally been my totem character, but I bought the sweatshirt because it was a pretty French blue. I was really glad I had bought it, too, because that afternoon I went golfing with Bob, and by the time the sun went down, it was really cold.

I didn't play, I just drove the cart and was the "putter girl," as Bob said. He would tell me where to park the cart and tell me to meet him at the hole with his putter, and I got to pull up the flag when he putted. It was a fun day, just the two of us. It would have been nicer if it had been warmer, of course, but if it had been warmer, there would probably have been more people on the course, so it was a mixed blessing.

It was a lot of fun. We saw a deer on the course, and Bob tried to hit it with a golf ball. He wasn't successful, all he did was startle it, thank goodness.

All in all, a very good week.

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