Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holly and Heather's Excellent Adventure

The day after Christmas Heather arrived at Charlotte, NC airport, and I arrived at Philly airport. Both our planes were delayed an hour, due to the planes coming in late from snowy places. We met up in Minneapolis for our flight to Omaha. We barely made it- 2/3 of the passengers had boarded when we got to the gate! Minneapolis airport is huge!
The flight from Minneapolis to Omaha is only 48 minutes long, and the Omaha airport is small. Ben and his Dad, Randy, picked us up. The Midwest blizzard had just ended that morning, and the roads were pretty awful, but they got us to their house. You can see how deep their snow was! It was great to see Ben and Manda, meet Randy and Ben's sister Becca, and meet Polly again.
Monday Polly took me to 3 quilt shops, then we met up with the kids at a resturant called Heartlands. They had a display of a gingerbread village of Whoville (from the Grinch Stole Christmas).
We had a nice lunch that started out with a shared fondue appetizer. It was the first time I'd had fondue, ever. The menu was like a book, and it was so hard to choose!
To backtrack, Sunday was Manda and Ben's wedding shower. Polly's friend Pat and her daughter Kim were the hostesses. They have a wonderful finished basement. Because of the blizzard cleanup, only about a dozen people were able to get to the shower. We had delicious food, and Heather had saved her shower veil, so we put it on Manda.

They got lovely gifts, and a lot of gift cards. This is a bamboo cutting board. Ben's friend Kyle and Kyle's wife Danielle are on the couch with them. Kyle will be the Best Man at the wedding.
Ben's dad gave him a set of wrenches.
Polly and Randy gave them Hawaii honeymoon clothes!

Monday night we got a mini tour of Omaha, which seems like a nice city, and had dinner downtown at the Spaghetti Factory. Yesterday morning Heather and I flew home via Chicago. It was Heather's birthday, and she was eager to get home to Ed, Eddie and Julianna. A couple hours after we left, Becca flew out to Seattle to visit family and her boyfriend.

Last night Manda called me with wonderful news. Ben's family's family cat, Quincy, had been missing since November 1. He was an indoor/outdoor cat. They'd been searching, and checking with the Humane Society every couple of days. Last night they got a phone call.

Quincy had shown up at a lady's door, and she'd fed him, then taken him in at the first snow. Yesterday she decided to check with the humane society to see if anyone was looking for him. Luckily, he was chipped, so they wanded him and called Polly.

So Quincy is now home safe and sound, and has lost his outdoor privileges. Ben and Manda continue their visit til Saturday, then fly back to Houston and Kitten.

And the beat goes on!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

It's been a nice, quiet day. I met up with Mike, Donna, Michael and Jake at Mom's this morning for bagels and donuts and gifts. Came home to do laundry and pack for my trip tomorrow. Ralph is working- his last ER Christmas! Steph is going to Kate's for dinner, and when they heard I was alone, I was invited but declined. I enjoyed the quiet time too much to want to go out.

Heather and I both printed out our boarding passes. She flies out of Charlotte, I fly out of Philly, and we meet in Minneapolis and fly to Omaha. We hope. The Midwest is having a blizzard for Christmas! The blizzard should be ending around now, and hopefully they are better at cleanup than south jersey is! Rapid Rover picking me up at 0900 tomorrow morning.

The reason for our trip is that a friend of Polly's (Ben's mom) is giving a bridal/groom shower for Ben and Manda, and invited us. When I talked to Manda today, the house where the shower is being held didn't have power, which could be a problem!

It's warmish here, and raining. Not supposed to go below freezing tonight, which is good. I'm mostly packed, just have to throw in pj's and my pillow. I always get a slight case of pre-flight jitters.

So we'll see how it goes!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Christmas Celebration

This year we had our Christmas on December 19, at Stephanie's apartment, in the blizzard. Luckily, Manda and Ben flew in the day before! Manda always closes her eyes to the flash!
Steph and her little family. Toast is in the foreground in her sweater and Whiskey is in his fleece. He was a rescue from Georgia (or so they tell us) and is not amused by the snow! Steph says he shakes his feet!
Heather and Ed brought their two little reindeer with them.
Of course I couldn't get them both to look at the camera at the same time! Too much going on! Steph's apartment has a real fireplace!
Amanda and Whiskey were cuddling.
Pop Pop Ralph amused the kids with a sock. Julie had these jingly things in her hair that were adorable!
Amanda gave Julianna butterfly wings, which she loved.
Ben was in the real Sherwood Forest this year, and brought back a Robin Hood hat and ruff for Eddie, so of course they had to have a sword fight!
Sisters and puppies!
Toast was either exhausted or bored, so she took a nap. What a position!
Mom Florence with two of her great-grandchildren. She has a total of 8, four girls and four boys, ranging from 13 down to 2.

It was a lovely day, in spite of the blizzard. We rarely celebrate Christmas on December 25, because of the nurses in the family. Those darned hospitals, they insist on being open 24/7! Heather is working Christmas Eve and Christmas night, and Ralph works Christmas day. This will be Ralph's last Christmas to work- he'll retire next September!

Ben and Manda flew out this morning. They were worried that they wouldn't be able to get to Omaha, where there is also a blizzard predicted. I just spoke to Manda, and it is overcast in Omaha at the moment, and they are getting ready to take off from Houston to Omaha. They'll be with Ben's family for a week.

Heather and Ed drove home yesterday to NC, where there is no snow, at least in their town.

Merry Christmas everyone, no matter how or when you celebrate!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowy Solstice

This is our end of the street, on a slightly rainy day. I took it from the front landing- the driveway is on the left, and the street goes up the hill, then slopes down and up again at the main road. We're 1/3 of a mile back from the main road.
This is the same view Saturday morning, when it had been snowing for several hours.
Also Saturday morning, looking to the right from the front landing. The road ends where that little piece of lattice is.
Our back deck on Saturday morning.
Our back deck on Sunday morning- the total was 20 inches of snow!
Our street is buried under there somewhere!
That's how deep it was on top of the railing!

So Mom is home and fine, but hasn't been out of the house since she was discharged. Brother John came up for a real short visit- last Saturday night til Tuesday morning. Then Heather and Ed and the kids got to the O'Flynn's on Thursday night, and Ben and Manda got here Friday around noon. They all went to a local bar for a concert Friday night. Late Friday night the snow started. And it snowed, and snowed, and snowed some more.

Presents and dinner were planned for Steph's apartment. She worked very hard cooking and decorating, and after many phone conversations, we decided to go for it.Mom Mary Jane said we were all nuts, and she wasn't going out in the blizzard. Mom Florence was more adventurous, and we picked her up. There was about 6 inches at that point, and the roads were not bad. We got behind some fool who was driving 8 MPH, and had to stay behind him for several miles. We got to Steph's around one, and Heather and Ed arrived shortly afterwards. We had a lovely get together, then headed back into the blizzard.

The roads were in lousy shape going home, and we weren't sure we'd make it up the hill to get into town. We could smell the tires, and hear them spinning, but we made it! We were afraid to try to get to Mom Florence's, so she stayed here all night. Yesterday, Sunday, Ralph used the snowblower to dig us out, and took Mom home in the truck and did both Mom's driveways. The rest of us stayed in all day.

We ventured out a while ago. Once you get off the side street, the roads are fine. We trekked off t the diner for lunch, then Steph, Ben and Manda went off to do a few errands. I'm hoping for more cleaning and melting tomorrow, so the family can come see Heather and Ed before they head back to NC on Wednesday, and Ben and Manda before they take off for Omaha on Thursday.

And tonight is The Longest Night! Melissa Etheridge has a cool song by that name on her Christmas CD. A Peaceful Solstice to all!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another quick update

My Mom came home from the hospital yesterday, and is delighted to be home and sleeping in her own bed! So far the sinus rhythm is maintaining.

My brother John gets in tonight (Saturday) for a short visit with Mom and us. He hasn't been up since last December, and had made these arrangements weeks ago.

I got my Christmas letter written, and half the cards addressed! Then I ran out of cards and have to get more.

After work, I laid down around 7 and fell asleep til after midnight! I'm almost ready to go back to bed- lots of things I have to do tomorrow and Sunday.

I had a dream that I was outside with Steph's dogs, and one of them was down a rabbit tunnel (is there such a thing?) and coming toward me, and behind her we could hear digging. As she emerged, we saw a skunk behind her. As it started to spray, I grabbed the dogs and ran into the house, where Steph was. Steph was looking for a screwdriver for a new friend. I know, it doesn't make any sense- that's why it was a dream!

Good night!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quick update.

Mom was cardioverted successfully today- she's back in normal sinus rhythm. She may come home tomorrow, on a med to keep the sinus rhythm.

We're supposed to get a storm tonight, but it should be all rain for us. We had a dusting of snow over the weekend, which looked pretty coming down.

Today is my son-in-law Ed's birthday. Happy Birthday!

And the beat goes on!


Thursday, December 3, 2009


We're not starting out the month real well. My mom was admitted to the hospital today with a fast and irregular heartrate. She's hoping to be home in a few days.

I can't believe Christmas is 3 weeks from tomorrow! How did that happen? I guess I haven't been paying enough attention. This weekend has to be shop weekend.

We have December birthdays! Ed's is on December 8, David's is the 19th, and Heather's is December 29. I have two friends who have daughters born the same week as Heather.

It rained very hard all night, but today was almost 60 and nice. Better that than snow!

And so it goes!
Holly (and I made sure I'm on my own blog this time!)