“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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It's been a busy, tiring, remainder of the week. Christmas was a fine day. Early in the morning, with very heavy, dense fog outside, we set all our candles aflame. I tellya, the longer we're married I never tire of the early morning anticipation. I truly become that little girl in me. The lights on the tree are illuminated the first thing. Our two reindeer are lighted, the candles are glowing....all making the darkness of the wonderful day come alive with a warmth that is just too hard to describe; and exchanged gifts with each other. We have never bought much of anything really 'needed' -----it's all whimsical gifts, or something that is fun. And nothing expensive. We stick to our budget. LOL And we both agreed decades ago to not take out the infamous plastic money and overspend. Which is good; why go into debt for just the one day? Besides, all year long we buy each other gifts like computers, jewelry and such, so limiting ourselves to not spend much over $100 each for Christmas, is a GOOD thing, to be sure.

So, to make a long story short, our day consisted of gift exchanges...I found an import store in town and got my sweet cheeks a couple of bottles of imported wines. A couple of books, one on Civil War and the other dealing with World War II [he, like me, loves to read]. And a long time ago, as he grumbled about beach sand in the car and all over his shoes when we walk the beaches here, I thought it'd be good for him to take along a cordless vacuum cleaner...so, I got him one [believe me, he was very pleased with this]. Now, he can tote that along in the car and afterward, vacuum his shoes off BEFORE he gets back in the car. I think I mentioned before a few times, he's very compulsive. I confess right here, right now, that cleaning the car is his forté. That's part of his duties, and he really dislikes clutter and dirt in the car.

He gave me a large Raggedy "Anni" doll. When we were just passing a lazy day last month at the antique mall here in town where they have little shops along one entire street, I spied the cutest little, old, handmade, raggedy doll sitting in an antique child's rocking chair...we couldn't find a price tag on it, so we assumed it was just for 'show'. As we were driving home I couldn't help but say to hubby that that was the cutest raggedy ann doll I'd ever seen, with pink ribbons adorning her jute curls! Well, he musta gone back sometime afterward and got them to sell the doll to him...'cause she made her way to my heart on Christmas day!!


Also under the tree for me was a biography on Johnny Depp. And a novel on Rhett Butler of the Gone With the Wind epic. I started reading Rhett Butler's People that very night. It begins with a pistol duel between Rhett and Shad Watling [Belle Watling's father? --She's pregnant and Rhett's the 'accused' father of the baby...and within the pages of GWTW, there is a hint of Belle's illegitimate child]. I'm sure the book will be a good read, but I'm hoping that there will be not too many new characters...it's a very busy first couple of chapters so far!!

This little item, I've been looking for for years; even looking at them online. But with purchasing her online, and adding the postage and handling charges, she'd be nearly $50!! Nope, not for me. No way José! I have a lot of movie memorabilia in one room of the house [i.e., Gone With the Wind, Cars, Alien, Star Wars, Shrek, etc.], and I've been wanting the Corpse Bride, bride doll. It is one of my favorite movies, an Academy Award nominated movie based loosely on a Russian folktale; it's so sad...anyway, somewhere in town my dear hubby found her! And she too was hidden inside a gift package for me on Christmas day. I now have to coax hubby to make me a corner shelf to add her to my collection, for now she and Victor grace my bed's headboard.

Lastly, ever since the maestro tenor Pavarotti's passing, I have searched high and low for a CD of his when I'd think of it while we're out shopping in town. Everywhere I looked, they were always 'sold out'. And I'm not one to buy online much anyway, so that was never a whim. Well, along comes Christmas day, and the last package handed to me, inside, was a 2 CD/1 DVD pack of Pavarotti's operatic solos! I just love his style. Each and every time I see him sing on video and at one time, live performances on PBS ---I marveled at his effortless ability to sing. He was great. And his style will never be duplicated. I love this gift. While packing away the decorations this week, I've played it over and over. My all time favorite is his rendition of Ave Maria. I have to add that I replayed that track more than once. LOL

That's it for gift-giving. Making calls to family members with wishes of a great holiday was next. That took some time to get through to them all this year, but we had nice chats and got to wish our grandsons a happy day before they left to spend a day at their father's home....

I made a traditional Southern style meal for us --Baked Ham and sweet potatoes along with cole slaw, hot rolls, and cherry pie. During the week prior to the 'big day' I made gingerbread cookies and white cupcakes sprinkled with Christmas colored sugars.

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Afterward, we, along with nearly the whole city, ended up at the 16-plex theater. The parking lot was jammed and finding a place to leave our car for a couple hours was a drive-around a couple of times before we found a place. We saw a musical --Sweeney Todd. Excellent movie. It's a dark, and very sinister story, supposedly based on a real life character/barber who ravished "Fleet Street" in London in the 1800's. Tho, gory in some parts of the movie, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp once again made a good movie. I liked this one better than "The Book of Secrets" that was released the same day this past week. Being that it IS rather a dark movie, it did come up to #5 for all the showings over Christmas, so all in all...it was worth the money to see. My opinion of course, and I will be sure to buy the DVD when it's released.

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Wednesday we began tearing down all the decorations. After all, from Thanksgiving to Christmas is quite long enough for the house being a virtual Santa land. For me, the holidays begin on Thanksgiving and end the day after Christmas. I have never been 'big' on New Year's day....In fact, I like our home back to normal for the beginning of the new year...I start fresh. When Christmas is over, Santa is no longer "the guy" any more and back recouping at the North Pole for another year...it's back to our regular life style here too. We tore down the artificial tree, got it all packed and cleaned of tinsel. The hundreds of Santas are stashed in their hidey holes and boxes for another eleven months ---resting, the reindeer are back in their pens --the wreaths, the candles, the light fixtures, the poinsettia accents ---all put away. All the holiday dishes are washed and put back in the hutch, the sweets are about all consumed, my dolphins are back out in the open...hubby's pirate and mermaid collection is put back out where the Santa's once stood ---we're back in business now...back to our old lifestyle. It feels like home again.......house is scrubbed. It took us about 16 hours to get it all torn down and packed. I think we did good. There are a few big items yet to be stacked and stored, but all in all, it's done.

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This morning about 5:00 A.M. we were on the road to Houston. In the dark...we don't like it, but hey....it's about a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive. We arrived there before 8, and stopped to have breakfast and called our son from there. He, as we figured, was still in bed; taking some much needed rest from his working hours and schedule. But, he did finally show up about 20 minutes later, where we were and had a cup of coffee with us and off we went to his apartment. If he didn't come to us, we'd still be lost in the maze of overpasses, underpasses, on ramps, off ramps, street exits...you name it. Every time we hit Rosenberg, just outside the city limits of Houston, I'm reminded of what Mario Andretti said about Houston traffic "I feel much safer driving at high speeds, racing, than I do driving inside Houston Texas" [And I swear this area, near Rosenberg, has been under construction for the last decade or more!!!]....driving in Houston is only for the maniacs of this world. And a few of our family, at one time or another have resided in Houston! I've driven through it many times back then, and continue today--it's NOT improved any!! LOL Our son's apartment?-- It's a typical bachelor's place....let's just say I couldn't live like that. Too cluttered and too messy. I realize his lifestyle of teaching nights and working at the broker's office during the day leaves little time for cleaning...but really, can't a grown man at least make a bed? Besides, he's been on a waiting list for this 'fancy' gated complex for a couple of years, and at last an apartment there opened up for him and he's in the middle of packing for his move in February. At least for a short while, his new apartment will be clean and organized...won't take long tho, before it's back to a bachelor pad. He needs a wife. LOL

We took him for an early, Italian, lunch and then headed back home. We always leave after lunch since neither Bud NOR I can drive safely at night...we wanted to make sure we were home before sunset. Now it's HIS turn to drive our way. rofl. He's younger, he can handle the stress of driving out of Houston metro. We arrived home around 3:30 - 4PM. A long day for us, but always fun to see him and enjoy his ever-so busy lifestyle, and marvel at youth wondering just how we did it too 'back then'.

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Mary sent me a wonderful gift for Christmas. She emailed me, and told me that she found something while out shopping, and thought of me. It was a 'spur of the moment' purchase, and boy howdy, was I ever so surprised, and so glad....the box arrived, and I didn't have a clue as to what she found. It is fabulous! She saw a Santa at the store while she was shopping, and thought of me --------

Thank you, Mary, ever so much. It's something I'll treasure for years and years to come. And he'll always remind me of our friendship online. As with you, I hope we will meet some day!!

11 comments :

  1. Good Evening Anni,
    I'm glad you got all your Christmas decorations taken down and put away. Wanna come and do mine for me next? LOL. We always leave ours up till the first of the year. Hubby started this tradition when we first got married, and it's been that way ever since. We still enjoy the tree all lit up on New Year's Eve. I've even told him I would just leave the tree up year round and decorate it for each season and other Holiday's. LOL. He gave me one of his funny looks. Well you hubby got you some very nice gifts and you him as well. Last Friday night when hubby and me were out shopping, hubby seen some cologne he wanted and he got it and said it would be from the girls. So, I found a back massager that you put in your chair and that was from the girls to me. I have to take it back tho because there are parts that are missing from it. Me and hubby don't usually buy each other anything because we get stuff thru out the year anyway. We take care of the girls first. Girl, I would have to have me a KEG and a PIPE going thru Houston. ROFLMBO. Ain't now way I could handle that. And what gets me is all them overpasses that go over each other, that just makes me a nervous wreck. I am very skeered of heights. I'm glad yall had a good day with your Son. Glad yall got to have some time together and enjoy each other's company. Maybe he will get him a wife one of these days. LOL. My hubby used to do his own laundry before we met. He would just put everything in one load. After we got married, I told him you don't wash that way. LOL. He tells me that he may wear the pants in the house, but I tell him which pants to wear. ROFLMBO. Take care my friend and have a great evening. Thank You for sharing your last few days with us. May God Bless You and Yours.

    Love & Hugs,
    Karen H.

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  2. I'm glad you had a nice Christmas and a safe trip to and from Houston.

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  3. Your Christmas sounds lovely and you got some wonderful gifts! I am taking our tree down tomorrow and everything else on the first. I like to start the new year off with the house nice and clean!
    Hugs,
    Kelli

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  4. Hi Anni. Undoubtedly you had a memorable Christmas. How sweet of your husband to give you those gifts. They are lovely.

    Wishing you a blessed New Year ahead. God bless.

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  5. What a nice Christmas. Thanks for sharing your day with us. Glad to hear the movie review, as well. Maybe we'll find time to go this weekend.
    Hugs,
    Nan

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  6. I love this doll ! and it is so nice of your hubby to buy it when you didn't expect to get it. You saw the gifts I have got and I was very happy with it too. For a lot of people Christmas lasts until the 6th Jan. because then the 3 kings arrive with their gifts to offer to Jesus. Mr. Gattino in Italy never got gifts at Christmas but on the 6th and they were offered by a witch called Bephana ! That's why I had to add a witch to Christmas who brought little gifts to our son when he was a child. (Besides Christmas where he got the important gifts) I long gave up to be amazed about my messy son, apparently this is international ! You should see our guest room when he is here, I publish the picture tomorrow for Photo Hunter's "messy"! Making a bed ??? why ? you sleep in there every night anyway, lol !

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  7. Oh, such a great gifts you got, very thoughtful - as it should be :-)

    Simply beautiful Raggedy Doll, so I totally understand that you wanted her badly!

    In Sweden the xmas decoration is supposed to stay up a long time after xmas, until Twelfth Night (Trettondagsafton in Swedish). Though people start to cheat and take it down earlier too. Though some of the lights can be up to the end of January, since we have such a dark (and long!) winter season in Sweden.

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  8. I enjoyed seeing your Christmas gifts and catching up on the last few posts.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Mama Bear

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  9. Sounds like you have a wonderful husband, very thoughtful. That is so great! I got all my Christmas down today (the 29th). I left a few things that I leave year-round ike a Christmas china plate that my mom made me and some snow-people. I also have a set of wooden Christmas trees that nestle inside each other that I will leave out for now. It's funny, my living room has a lot of green and red in it. I have red curtains and my couch is green and red and one leather chair is reddish and one leather recliner is green.

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  10. I just love your pics Anni...and hope I can take part in the Phriday pics in the New Year.
    Why do people write biographies about people who haven't lived yet? I'm sure Johnny Depp is only in his 30's??
    Hope your New Year is as good as your Christmas.
    Cheers from Canada.
    That Cajun meal got my mouth watering! It sounds like a fun meal when they plunk your food on the table! bet they gave you a lot of napkins..or are you supposed to use the table cloth?

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  11. I read every word. I am happy for your happiness now. Someday I am going to have a Christmas again and share it with somebody I love again. I hope it is soon.

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