Saturday, December 27, 2008

Elf in a Bag

GL and The SF had decided to run away for Christmas - yet to whence dost we goest? Argentina had been in the running, however it turned out that Christmas can be quite hot and humid in that part of the world. The conundrum was solved when Barbara and Ron invited us to Springfield for the Holidays. Our situation became even better when it turned out that Ron was a college bowl football fan (see "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode at Amy and Robert's house with no television at Thanksgiving dinner.)

Traditions past, present, and a touch surreal began with the building of the Gingerbread House. We began with a three-generation sojourn through the Springfield Wildlife Preserve, locating a very cooperative Great Blue Heron and several interested white-tail deer. On Christmas Eve, the Blessing of the creche ("Holy Water is not magic, just sacred") at St. John's Episcopal became a family affair with both kids chosen to participate. Then when Father Williams released the elf from the garbage bag, it was a mind-altering encounter for many of us. Apparently elves have no particular gender. We learned more than we had ever realized about the relationship betwixt angels, elves, Santa Claus and God's helpers.

Christmas morning had us out on the lookout for Children's Advil and we arrived on the home front just in time for the opening of the presents. So what do you give a geologist? Answer is here.

The Day After we were on the road again, heading up to Saddlebred Country to visit with Jan and Don, including a trip to our new favorite steak house, The Longhorn. The next day Bonnie visited the H.S. Truman Library as well as the Truman Home after dropping Mike at the Mid West Genealogy Center - it don't get any better than this.

Summary: There was much to do in Missouri, even without visiting Branson. Every day was an adventure - the weather was cold (one morning we woke up to 4, yes, 4 degrees) however the roads were clear and sunny. Let's run away every Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let There Be Lamp

Prior to Thanksgiving, some extensive furniture acquisitions and moving and the transfer of electron transmissions from Comcast to the Qwest-DIRECTV partnership within the ol' homestead produced a flurry of comments by the extended family of the GP. Yes, they all loved the Media Room - however what was that we still see in the Conversation Pit? What was the bad-looking lamp with the too-long lampshade doing in there? Brother Pete had discovered a fowl underpinning to the entire event (see photo at left). Even Brother Jerry from Perkasie was appalled - what are we going to do about that #*%@ lamp?

Fear not, brave family - unbeknownst to you, the Magnifique Marmot (Ms Bonnie) had been out shopping for months and yesterday she hit the jackpot at Tuesday Morning, one of her favorite stores. The lamps she has been tracking for months were on sale - take a look at this in situ photo - these are $225 MSRP lamps, and Bonnie got them for a song - following a little negotiations - would you believe less that $40 each? Wow! Is this woman a shopper or what?

We are both very happy with them as they preserve and enhance the masculinity of the GP's conversation pit. The lamp-lighting occurred just in time for this month's Last Thursday Book Club meeting - I can't wait to see what the guys say!

In truth, this lamp switch out was in the works for some time. Meanwhile we thank all of you for your comments and continuing interest.

For our Christmas-Holiday image, we offer a semi-traditional Southwestern crèche - from the Elena collection.

Happy Holidays to all.