Sonny-Boy + Hours of JOY!

Not to detract from the post where I was to pay homage to our sweet Miss Dub, I must take a moment first and pay birthday respects to my very own baby-boy ... Sonny Boy. Today is indeed his birthday, and I am thinking of him alot. He and The Mrs. took a whirlwind trip to SoCal (while we basked in the frigid north) and Mrs. Gee made him buttermilk pancakes and a birthday cake (not in the same meal, as far as I know) and L'il Gee read to him.
So ... Happy Birthday Sonny-Boy. This month IS such a special one ... thanks to you.
But wait ... what about our trip where we indured single-digit temps and teeth-chattering cold ... all the while warmed by the antics of the Dancing Lady Dub? Yes, it was precious to see her walk and heavenly to hear her talk and worth every single layer of clothing to hold her close. She is quite the young woman (pictured above, tired but well behaved at a long awaited dinner with the T* fam.)
So ... why is it that PDaddy and I are now home alone with nary a birthday-boy or a grandchild in sight?
I guess that's why blogs were invented.
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wonder and awe

L'il Gee (decked out in his finest candy-cane P.J.s) was all agog on Christmas Eve.

We are unpacking and repacking as we speak to prepare to see our lovely Miss Dub.

And who-knows-how-many inches of snow.

(Eeeeeeeek. This Arizona girl's blood may be a tad too thin.)

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All is Bright

So ... if I have to leaving you looking at the same picture for the next ten days or so, I thought this one was best. It just does not get any simpler ... or happier ... than this.

We are off to see children and grandchildren in not one, but two states. We leave behind Sonny Boy and the Mrs. to mind the stable (and will miss them desperately.)

We wish you and yours a Christmas filled with family and love.

And a Baby in a manger.

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My Spokes-Peeps!

Let's face it people, it's less than a week until Christmas and I am just too dang tired to
be creative and/or clever.

So ... here is a gift of 4000 words.

Knock yourself out with ... awe.

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Baby ... it's Cold Outside!

So ... tell me truthfully ... when you think of Arizona do you think of scarves and gloves and hot chocolate with marshmellows?

That's why I had so much to be grateful for this weekend.
(You know ... the everything-is-relative attitude.)

Saturday night was our Ward Christmas Party. Instead of pretending it was winter while we sat in folding chairs around the Cultural Hall, we were actually outside ... wearing scarves and gloves ... huddling together ... and walking together ... and singing.
The party was held outdoors at three different homes, the first two of which were far enough away to make the walk invigorating and close enough together to make it doable. At one point we (and by "we" I mean a mass ... over a hundred strong ) crossed a reasonably busy street, carrying candles (inside plastic cups) singing carols and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. (We were polite enough not to make the traffic wait for all of us, btw.)

Were there wise men in bathrobes and picture-taking opportunities with Santa?
You betcha!

Were there homemade marshmellows and chocolate shavings for the hot chocolate?
Let's just say the hot chocolate was exquisite.

Was I happy to get in the car and finally warm up my hands at the end of the evening?
Ooooohhhhhh yes.

Hope your weekend was as splendid as mine. Do tell ...
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How Merry is this?!

So ... this little charmer sits on top of my small tree in the entry. I just love her. She became mine last year when she was my gift at my good friend's party. Every year we play the game where you pick a gift or take one away from someone else. At her party we play with the gifts still wrapped, but it's always fun. Last year this gift actually was from Glamma Fab herself which explains the exquisite taste. A surprising amount of my Christmas decor comes from parties such as these.

What's the best thing you ever won in a Santa Swap? Can it honestly beat my spritely someone pictured above? I don't think so.
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Go ahead ... start unwrapping

So ... I am taking part in another party over at Karla's house. This one is all about Christmas decorations. I am ... shall we say ... just a tad late to the party, but hey ... who is really counting those other 122 people who got there first? Many of you have already seen enough decorations from me to fill a large sleigh, but for those who are first time lurkers ... here's a peek into all things simplehappy. At Christmas that just means there is plenty of room for more!

My living room, complete with the infamous (and cheap!) blue Santa.

Ode to Birds.

Close up of my small tree. A little candy. A few dots. Simple perfection.

I have always loved how this tree reflects on the table as if it were on an island in a lake.
Yes ... I have a very active imagination. It serves me well.

My frosting-on-the-cake Santa.
He just wants you to be happy.
Merry Christmas!

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Ding Dong ...

So ... Saturday was indeed a Bing-would-sing-about-this kind of day. I needed to finish my shopping for the Dub's and for my sis, as those are both packages that I want to mail today. I actually went to a ... mall ... and after searching for a parking space for 20 minutes, I ventured inside and just felt warm and cozy as I stood in line with many what-appeared-to-be-crazy people. I hurried home to do some wrapping, something that I have loved since my sister and I were the official family wrappers for most of my childhood ... all of which involved a lot of curling ribbon.

But first ... I stopped to get the mail.

There was a padded envelope in there from my daughter, Mrs. Dub. Inside that envelope were two CDs -- one for me and PDaddy and the other for Sonny-boy and the Mrs. I took one look at it and gasped. Then I put it in the CD player and teared up just a little. Then I wrapped presents and giggled.

You see, when the kids were little, their most lasting memory of Christmas music was from a free tape I got with some Avon products. It included Dolly Parton singing Winter Wonderland, John Denver and the Muppets doing The Twelve Days of Christmas and a song by Bing himself called Round and Round the Christmas Tree. We played that tape until it was pretty much shredded. Over the years, we had all talked about trying to find it again, but we never did. Until this year when our lovely girl hunted it down on Ebay and made copies for us all.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
One last note on traditions. You might want to take a peek at Ms. Vespa's blog to read about one of her favorites. She is indeed a gifted story teller. Please know that no family members (uh ... that would be me) were harmed in the making of this tradition. In fact, I have come to look forward to that precious "alone-time" after the hustle and bustle of the Holidays.
One last question: Does anyone else have memories of Avon Christmas?
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You'd Better Watch Out ...

So ... I may or may have not mentioned before that I'm a collector. Mostly I'm just a collector of ... stuff ... but at this time of year, when collecting reaches OCD status, I actually try to set limits. (These limitations do not apply to the collecting of cookies and/or anything else with sugar and/or butter in it.) Several years ago I realized that I had quite a few Santas ... and voila ... a collection was born. (Collecting snowmen at that point was no longer an option.) The above announcement of Santas to come is part of another block exchange quilt, (although that particular square was done by moi.)

These Santas pictured above look old and antique-y, perhaps passed down through generations. Oh ... I got them at Marshalls. But let's face it ... my Marshalls is getting pretty old.

This little charmer was purchased at a Craft Fair. So, I do think I can honestly say that it was hand made.

And this baby was purchased just this year ... at The Dollar Store. Just guess how much I paid for him? I love him because he has a blue coat ... something hard to come by. I also love him 'cause he only cost a buck.

So ... what are your Christmas Collections?

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Cat and Bag no longer together ...

So ... when I first heard the news that my own Mrs. Dub was expecting the lovely Miss Dub (around late October '06) I wanted to come up with a fun way to spread the news that I was moving into that most important realm called Grandmotherhood. I would simply ask the question (and this was in March/April of '06) "So ... guess what I'm going to be for Halloween?" Since I am neither a big costume person ... nor a person who plans ahead more than an hour and a half ... this question caught people by surprise. When I announced my answer: "I'm going to be a Grandmother", a good time was had by all.

So ... let me ask you this: What am I going to be for the Fourth of July?

If you are thinking that our lovely Miss Dub is going to be a big sister ... you are absolutely correct. You can also see how surprised ... and happy ... she is with the big news. As for me and the PDaddy:

We're over the moon.
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I've seen the light ...

So ... I have to look back on my last post with a little bit of shagrin. (Is "shagrin" still a word?). That's what I get for blogging while still in the throes of an off moment. My weekend was filled to the brim with decorating for Christmas ... and with rain. A lot of rain. Thirty-six straight hours of rain. And lights. A lot of lights. Umpteen packages of lights.

First of all I have to say that although the rain caused some inconvenience at times, it provided the perfect setting for all things Christmas. If I squinted when I looked outside, I could almost pretend it was snow. I had Bing on high volume and I was good to go. First I undid all of the little white lights from our tree and replaced them with the the new and improved multi-colored ones. Oh yes, they are LED. How green am I?! (This little exercise took me no less than 5 hours and I won't say how many Advil, but hey, it was worth it.)

In the meantime, PDaddy had gotten started outside on the house lights. This was during a short lull in the rain, which did not last. As we stood out there with a long metal pole, attaching lights to the eaves, hearing a little thunder in the background and the rain began anew, we thought, "Hmmmm, maybe we shouldn't stand out here in the rain with a long metal pole," and put that on hold. When it finally quit raining it was pitch dark outside, but we perservered and finished. I can only speak for myself, but I actually enjoyed it. (Then again, my job is just to hold the string of lights, PDaddy does the bulk of the work.)

And then, on traditional cue, we decorated the tree last night. Complete with a fire and some (lowfat, nonalcoholic) eggnog. I'm not certain how crazy we are anymore about eggnog, (this particular carton was a little too lowfat, if you get my drift) but it wouldn't be Tree-Decorating-Sunday without it. You know, I have come to realize that Bing is a very astute man.

There is no place like home for the holidays.

How was your weekend?
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I promise it won't happen again!

So ... a really weird and ... totally uncharacteristic thing happened to me tonight. I'm not sure I can talk about it, but in the interest of self therapy, here goes:

I hesitated ... for about a half an hour ... when I had the chance to go whole-hog with the Christmas decorating. All the boxes were out of the attic (thank you PDaddy), I had the time, I had ideas as to how I was going to mix it up this year, but still ... I hesitated. I laid on the couch for about a half an hour to muster up the incentive.

What is with that?!?

Of course, once I got going, I ran back and forth between rooms lugging Santas and mini-trees and ribbon. The tree-tree will wait until this weekend, but I pretty much finished everything else. (That is until tomorrow when I will tweak to my heart's content.)

Please ... someone out there in blog-land tell me that they too have hesitated to do something that they love. Please contribute to my request for free therapy.

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Once there was a snowman ...

So ... the decorating begins with the stuff that isn't in the attic, because ... well ... that's just harder to get to. So I started with the stuff in the top of the closet in my sewing room ... meaning ... quilts of course. This little number above is indeed little ... maybe 18" square. I like to make small quilts ... I like to hang small quilts.

These two pics come from the same quilt ... a block exchange done oh-so-many years ago. The above square came from the late Laurene Sinema (the grande dame of quilting in Arizona) and I have always loved it. Those below are from the same quilt.

So this is my answer to snow shoveling, but at this time of year, I swear I would do the real thing if called upon. Which brings us to the questions of the day:

If you live where there is snow, are ya glad??
If you don't ... how do you conjure it up for Christmas?
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Bird Tales

So ... the transitioning begins. Orange to Red. Dressing to Wrapping. Food Overload to Decoration Overload. Our T-Day was lovely, centered of course around the antics and grins of L'il Gee. The jello jelled, the gravy graved, but the turkey was indeed a ... turkey. It was moist, it was evenly browned and it tasted like ... nothing. I mean, no flavor, seriously ... except maybe a little weird aftertaste. There was a unanimous decision not to save any for leftovers which was kind of disappointing. Except that this fabulous friend, as if like a magical fairy godmother, shows up at our house that night with a fresh-from-the-smoker smoked turkey.

Thank you my Fabulous Friend (and Mr. Fabulous.)

Here are just some of the other ornaments. I ultimately ended up being very happy with them. Now it's time to move onto the serious business of decorating. Which I love. With a passion.

Oh ... fa la la la la ... la la la ...


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