Another Christmas has passed us by.

We spent Christmas at our house much like we have many that came before with just the three of us. We did open one present Christmas eve at my insistence. In years past, we did this to satiate Jesse’s desire for opening presents, but this time it was out of necessity. He opened the family’s new Nikon D40 so we would have it to use on Christmas morning.

Jesse may not be the kid he was, but he was up early and in the shower and ready to get to business by 8 am. We started with stockings and Jesse wasn’t too pleased to get razors and shaving cream in his. Renee’s funny stocking stuffer was a GIANT chocolate Santa. We found chocolate in her stocking from last year when we took the decorations out this year. I got some WWE trading cards in my stocking. Oooh yeah!

Our major presents this year included a new desk chair for Renee with built in massage, new PC speakers for Jesse and I FINALLY got an iPod. The cat even got in on the act with a big fur mouse that she promptly gathered in her teeth and ran off with. We had a ham dinner and then watched the Lakers beat the Celtics. The wind blew quite hard most of the day and I even had to chase after wrapping paper when the lid to the recycle bin blew open. Renee used the new camera to capture a double rainbow out the back door.

The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet though we did venture out Friday to make sure the gift cards were promptly spent. I also enjoyed my Sunday night as the Chargers eliminated the Broncos and surprisingly made the playoffs despite being 8-8.

I will be watching the “Ed Hochuli Bowl” next Sunday night.

After a very dismal season where a blown call by Referee Ed Hochuli seemed to set them into a tailspin, the San Diego Chargers have a chance to make the post-season by beating the Denver Broncos at home next Sunday night. In the second game of the season, referee Ed Hochuli blew an obvious Denver fumble dead which ended up costing the Chargers the game. Now they will meet in the “Ed Hochuli Bowl” in San Deigo to determine the AFC West Champion. I sat mesmerized as San Deigo came on strong to beat Tampa Bay 41-24 in an early game. I then watched the ticker for the Buffalo-Denver score in the late game. Buffalo beat Denver to ensure a rematch with a playoff berth on the line. Thanks Buffalo. Go Bolts!

Two days off…due to over a foot of snow!

My wife loves the snow and is always happy when it comes. Monday I was at work in Barstow and it began coming down. Much to her dismay, they only got rain at the house despite being at a higher elevation than where I work. I eventually was sent home that day as it continued to accumulate. Surprisingly, once I hit the freeway, there was nothing but rain all the way home.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning, I awoke to falling snow and that continued to accumulate throughout the day. I called in to work and stayed home. Renee and I ventured out to check the mail in the midst of the snow and were coated with it. Halfway through the day, we lost power, but it returned a couple of hours later. I had to use the broom on the Direct TV dish several times to return signal to the TV. The snow kept falling into the night.

Thursday morning, we awoke to over a foot of snow. It was quite beautiful. We eventually went out and cleaned off my truck so I would be ok to drive in today. We also tried to make a couple of snowmen, but found the snow to be less than cooperative. It had dried out overnight and no longer packed. As the day went on and temperatures warmd, we finally got the snowmen built. The temps kept warming and they were pretty droopy by sundown. When I left the house this morning, the roads were still covered with snow and ice. We will see if it sticks around for Christmas.

Snowing in Barstow

Yesterday, we had a rare heavy snowfall in Barstow. On average, it snows once every five years there. Unfortunately, I was already at work when it began to fall. It was beautiful to watch, but very hard to get anything productive done. As a kid growing up in Barstow, the moment you saw snow falling, all activity ceased. We would walk right out of class, right out of school and start playing in the snow. Even if it didn’t stick, we left becase it snowed so seldom. So with the snow accumulating, offices began to close. First the BLM office closed and then the Mojave National Preserve. We were going to be left alone until we were told that we too could go home. Funny thing was that by the time I hit the freeway and made it to Lenwood Road, it was nothing but rain. It rained all the way home to Apple Valley. Renee was disappointed that there had been no snow at the house. She has her hopes set on some falling there soon.

16 more shopping days!

It seems this year will be another year of last minute shopping. I know people that finish their shopping before Thanksgiving and I have never been able to accomplish getting mine done that early. Every year I have good intentions of getting it all done early and life seems to prevent it from happening. Bills come first and always seem to make things interesting come the holidays. If you have managed to get all of your shopping done, I applaud you. I just ask for you not to sneer too much when you see me out there at the last minute doing mine. We did get our newsletter done and will mail it out as the cards arrive. I will also post it to our website for those that want to read it. I hope everyone is getting their holiday cheer this year. Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.

Turkey Sandwiches for all!

Thanksgiving was a quiet day at our house with just the three of us around the table. I know for a lot of families it is a gathering of relatives far and wide, but that has been the exception rather than the rule for us. We live in California and Renee’s family is in Texas. My family used to be in California, but is now scattered from Florida to Oregon to West Virginia. When we lived in Kentucky, we went to West Virginia for a big get together at my Paw Paw’s (my grandfather) farm. Cousins, aunts and uncles were all around, but that was not our usual Thanksgiving. We have moved so many times over the years with our living in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky before moving back to California that we rarely spent a Thanksgiving in someone else’s house. I don’t mind it, it just changes the way you view the holiday when it is normally portrayed as at least a dozen relatives and extended family members gathered under one roof with the kid’s table set up on the side. We don’t partake in the Friday morning madness of standing in line to battle your fellow man for the best deal either. We did stop by a store Friday, but it was around 5 pm and the store was very quiet by that point. The day after Thanksgiving is when we set up the Christmas tree and hang our lights outside. This year, I did so wearing a t-shirt as the weather was in the 70s. The remainder of the weekend was spent eating turkey sandwiches and watching football.