Monday, December 31, 2012

December: Day 31...New Year's Eve...

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

My Christmas card lists the top 10 memories for 2012 for us.

Good-bye to 2012.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December: Day 21-24...Christmas preparation

"'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house..."

I decided I had to get more pictures of the holidays posted before the year was gone.  Since we were spending Christmas with Mark, we opened a few of our presents before we left.  We had wonderful relaxing time at Mark and Amber's.  On the flight over, we had rented the movie "The Avengers" which Warren liked, but I did not care for it too much.  He had to finish watching it after we arrived in LA since it vanishes from your device in 24 hours after you start watching the movie.
Watching the end of the movie.  He borrowed Amber's Bose noise canceling headphones.                                               
 Mark declared a birthday and Christmas gift truce with us, but I could not do it.  It was his 30th birthday after all...we gave him money, and a photo album of memories of his 30 years.

One of the best things about the whole trip was meeting up with old my suite mate from college.  It had been 30 years since we had seen each other.  She came to me (thank goodness--I hate LA traffic).  We had a nice lunch and a long chat (5 hours).  It was like we had never been apart.  
Barbara and Me

Still the same after all these years...well almost.  A little more wrinkles, and hair color from a box.
Christmas moments.

Christmas Eve dinner.  The old McKelvy tradition of meat, cheese, and fruit trays, stuffed mushrooms, and jalapeƱo poppers.  It was yummy indeed!
Two handsome men.  Warren (my honey), and Mark, my son!
He was growing a beard in his time off!
Mark and Amber

The best gift of all...each other.
Amber made the McKelvy Truffle Cake.  She did the whole nine yards.  Cookies, scratch cake, and frosting, and truffle layer.  We had it Christmas night... it was a 5 star cake for sure.  
It was a very relaxing time.  Mark had on instrumental Christmas music the whole time...almost the whole time.  We did watch "Mickey's Christmas Carol", and "Pluto's Tree."  That was definitely a trip down memory lane for me.
Good times, Good times...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December: Day 21...Mark's 30th Birthday...

"Birthdays are good for you.  Statistics show that the people who have the most, live the longest." Rev. Larry Lorenzoni

Yes, I am a little behind in my postings--I was out of town.  

Friday, December 21, was Mark's 30th birthday.

His little red cap had a cotton ball on the top...look really close! I thought he was the cutest baby.

Zach's not too impressed with a new baby.
(Zach, Warren, Mark, Ian)

Mark 8 months

Ready to eat


Warren, Ian, Rob, Mark (in front)

Amber asked us to come to LA to share in the celebration of Mark's 30 years, and suggested we stay for Christmas.  So we went, and we stayed.
Maggie was planning on going, too, as a stow away. 

In the Albuquerque airport we saw Santa.   Let's see I want a new bike, a new back, and lots of cookies for Christmas. 
We drove to Albuquerque, and flew Southwest Airlines to LA saving us $760!  Flying out of Roswell is so expensive.  We all went to Mastro's Steakhouse for the birthday meal. Mastro's is Mark's favorite steakhouse in all of America.   He ordered the biggest steak and ate it all.

Amber looking good...Mark, maybe still chewing his steak.


This is the complementary slice of birthday cake...Mark had a tiny, tiny bite.   We ate the rest, and man was it good!


Happy Birthday Mark! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December: Day 19...New Camera...

"Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to learn to understand art more." --Vincent Van Gogh

It has been a hard week for me.  Some I have brought on myself, and some by others.  I am happy to report that Jane is doing pretty well.  I have physical and occupation therapy working with her and she is responding.  Next, I got in my new computer, and imagine my surprise when it had no CD or DVD drive.  Seems that is the way things are going to be going.  Everything will be a download from the internet.  My iDVD program is no longer available, so I bought DVD creator which is horrible.  I have been on the phone and emailing them for two days now.  I am so unhappy with it.  My stress factor went way up in dealing with these issues.  But there is a bright spot.  I got a new camera.  I used my cash rewards from my Discover card, so the camera only cost me, out of pocket, about $15.00.  It is a Canon 5D Mark ii, and it is amazing.  There is nothing that works better for helping me destress than to go take pictures.  That is what I did this morning.  Here are some of my favorite subjects doing their morning thing.

Beard trimming time.  I like that he keeps it well-groomed.  I hate scraggly looking beards.

Maggie, looking for some mischief to get into.  She will find it.
Then I went out to see what I could find to photograph this morning at the Smith's bird sanctuary which is right off the walking trail.  It is our only little bit of water that is close, and is somewhat pretty.  Not stale, and stinky.

Yeah for cat tails.  I like cats!

I was trying to capture the sun's reflection in the water...see it in the middle of the lower third of the  picture?

The pond.

Too bad these trees are not decorated for Christmas.  I wanted to catch the reflection in the water.  
So far, I love my camera, some of my stress is gone, and I am glad I went this morning because it is blowing something fierce outside right now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December: Day 18...Little Miss E...

"She has the spirit of the sun.  The moods of the moon.  The will of the wind."  -Julie Perkins Cantrell

My granddaughter has been wanting to have her face painted for some time now.  I think she is fascinated with make-up, which what girl is not.  I found some fun colors with sparkles in them...yeah for the holidays, and all the glittery things... got permission from her parents, and we did it.  I have to say, my granddaughter is a perfect model.  She connects with the camera.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

So mad at Apple...

Today, I am mad at Apple.  I have used and loved their application iDVD for converting slideshows into fantastic DVDs.  I usually make yearly slideshows of my grandkids for their birthdays.  Today, I was working on a slideshow for Mark's upcoming 30th birthday, and went to go burn it to iDVD only to find out Apple has discontinued the application.  It is no longer available on new computers.  (Remember my old computer died.) Rats...Darn...and double rats.  Unless I find something else to replace iDVD, my DVD making days might be over.  In searching the web for replacement ideas, I found there are a lot of people out there equally mad at Apple for discontinuing iDVD and iWeb.  Right now I am going to bed and will be like Scarlett O'Hara, "I will think about that tomorrow."

December: Day 16...Gifts

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December: Day 15...Snowman...Maggie and blanket...

"Snowflakes are just unassembled snowmen." -Unknown

A package came in the mail today from my good friend and prayer partner, Carol.  She sent me several things, but the gift I like most is the snowman night light that is like a snow globe, and it changes colors.  Besides these wonderful things, it has the cutest face and mittens.   I am very partial to snowmen tree is decorated with snowmen, and they are a weakness when it comes to buying them.  Some women buy shoes, or purses, or jewelry.  I buy snowmen.  See how cute it is:

This is just one snowman night light, but all the different colors it changes.  So cool!
Our little Maggie is so precious to least most of the time.  We are still working on her social skills.  She loves to fight.  (I think she got this trait from Mark.) She can jump, tumble, and roll like no cat I have ever seen.  Plus she is fast.  When she gets really wound up, she bites.  We are trying to teach her to be a lady, and act like a lady.  Other times, she will crawl into your lap, and tuck her head under your hand because she wants to be rubbed.  One of her nightly rituals is to suck on my flannel rag quilt.   She finds an unfinished edge, and kneads, and is her pacifier.   I took a picture of her in the act, and videoed it as well.  Make sure you listen to her sucking noise.  

Maggie and her blanket...the design on her blanket is cats.  That must be why she likes it so much!

Maggie in action with the
 blanket she uses for a pacifier.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December: Day 14... Joy...

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." -Burton Hillis

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December: Day 12...precious gift...

"Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift--indescribable, inestimable, incomparable, inexpressible...
precious beyond words." --Unknown

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December: Day 10...Rob

"For with you is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light." -Psalm 36:9

I am tired, physically and mentally, but I think I am about to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  My 95 year old neighbor, Jane,  that I take care of had a stroke on...well sometime last week.  I took her to the ER on Saturday morning, and did not get out of there until 9 hours later.  We had to wait until a bed was available since the hospital was full.  She is a little confused, cannot use her left side very well, or see very well.  I have had to feed her all her meals, and was told she will need 24 hour care when she is discharged.  I have been busy setting up her care, and moving her from one room to another in the assisted facility where she lives.  I hate moving, but with two other ladies helping me, we got all her stuff moved and in place.  It looks quite nice, and I think she will like and enjoy her new room.  Just when things were looking pretty good, her husband had a stroke, so I have been in the ER again, and helping with him until his son can get here.  He came tonight.  Things are in place for them both, so hopefully I can stay home and get something done around here.

It was pitch black outside when I took this picture.  The only light was from the Christmas lights on the fence.   I used a very slow shutter speed of  20 seconds; snapped the picture, then ran in front of the camera and waited.  (ISO= 100; f/10,  speedlite flash)
A huge bright spot for me was the annual Christmas party put on by one of my friends.  It has to be the best and funnest party that I have ever attended.  This year we were supposed to come in an "outrageous" sweater.  We had a sweaters with Poinsettia's on them, tampon fringe, and panty liner slippers, bells, ornaments, and tinsel.   We had some sweaters with huge Christmas light bulbs in the chest (use your imagination), and ones that looked like Santa.  These girls were very creative.  Of course, there was a prize for the best "outrageous" sweater.  I did not win, but that was okay.  I had fun.

This sweater has to be 30 years old.  I cannot image why I still have it.  It has the huge shoulder pads.   I decorated it with ornaments,  a bow,  earrings,  pipe-cleaners, a high heel shoe, and a small Christmas stocking.  It is buttoned wrong on purpose.  My headband is two snowman with scarves.  
In the good and bad times, Christ is still Lord, in control, and is our anchor that holds.  He sustains, refreshes, and renews.  In Him is fullness of joy.  He is my rest.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December: Day 10...First snow for Maggie...

"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of world, and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found?" -J.B. Priestley

Maggie's experience with the first snow fall...
Oh boy, I love to be outside.  Here I go for my morning stroll...

Wait!  What is this stuff?  Cold, white...

It's Manna from heaven.  That must be it.

Thank you, Lord, for this manna.  Amen.

And may all your Christmas' be bright...

or is it white?  I can't remember what it is: either bright or white.  Okay, to cover it all, have both. 

© Rob's Blog