The Last Bear Standing

Monday morning I posted on Facebook that I’d successfully packed away all of my Christmas decorations, joking that even though I’m pretty thorough I’m liable to find one small piece of Yuletide decor hiding in plain sight come February or March, maybe even August.

Well, I’ve already discovered one item that somehow escaped my notice. Yes, it was hiding in plain sight, but it isn’t a exactly small:

My 3 ft. tall Christmas bear was just hanging around in his customary seasonal spot beside the front door. Never mind that I pass by this spot dozens of times each day, I didn’t notice him until a UPS delivery guy knocked in the door yesterday afternoon.

He’s so cute, I almost feel bad for putting him back in his closet with the winter coats and old board games. I’ve never named this bear. How about Yule Brenner?

Now I can say for certain that everything Christmas related has been put away. Well, maybe.

Peace, people.

The Last Bear Standing

Monday morning I posted on Facebook that I’d successfully packed away all of my Christmas decorations, joking that even though I’m pretty thorough, I’m liable to find one small piece of Yuletide decor hiding in plain sight come February or March, maybe even August.

Well, I’ve already discovered one item that somehow escaped my notice. Yes, it was hiding in plain sight, but it isn’t a exactly small:

My 3 ft. tall Christmas bear was just hanging around in his customary seasonal spot beside the front door. Never mind that I pass by this spot dozens of times each day, I didn’t notice him until a UPS delivery guy knocked on the door yesterday afternoon.

He’s so cute, I almost feel bad for putting him back in his closet with the winter coats and old board games. I’ve never named this bear. How about Yule Brenner?

Now I can say for certain that everything Christmas related has been put away. Well, maybe.

Peace, people.

Christmas Climb

Studly Doright and I celebrated Christmas with our daughter and her family in Port Byron, Illinois. We laughed, exchanged gifts, watched the grandkids’ delight as they explored their new acquisitions, and ate way too much. Our daughter’s in-laws came today, and we really enjoyed our visit with them over lunch. I am so happy knowing that our grandchildren are loved so much by so many people.

I could’ve shared a great many photos from today, but my favorites, by far, were these taken by our son-in-law:

That’s Studly and our youngest grandchild exploring in the woods behind our daughter’s home. The two took off on a walk, crossed a creek via a fallen tree, and climbed the steep banks rising from the creek bed. When they returned to the house their cheeks were rosy and one of them was severely out of breath. I’ll let you guess which one that was. (Hint: It wasn’t the one wearing the unicorn bike helmet.)

We’ll start our trip home tomorrow. I’ll be sad to leave, but we’ll take with us wonderful memories of time spent with the ones we love. I hope your Christmas Day was filled with love and laughter.

Peace, people!

Christmas Eve in Port Byron

Is there anything more wonderful than a Christmas Eve spent with grandchildren?

Studly Doright and I basked in the glow of our Illinois grandkids’ excitement. What a wonderful night spent exchanging gifts and remembering Christmases past! Lots of laughs, smiles, and exclamations of joy filled the night. I’m such a lucky girl.

Peace, people.

Still More Photos from the Road

Technically, Studly Doright and I weren’t driving today. We’re staying at a hotel in Le Claire, Iowa, across the river from our daughter’s house in Port Byron, Illinois. Still, though, we are away from Doright Manor so any photos I take are fair game. Plus, I’m worn out, so coming up with a new title was beyond my present capabilities.

Our hotel is right on the Mississippi River, and our room has a river view.

We have a lovely balcony, but the weather is a bit too chilly for hanging around outside.

Last night my daughter, granddaughter, her friend, and I attended a dinner theatre production of Annie. The evening was part of our granddaughter’s birthday gift–her big day is December 26, and often it gets kind of lost with all of the other holiday activities. The dinner theatre was a perfect way to celebrate.

Today is Christmas Eve, and we plan to bring the grandkids to the hotel for a swim while the parents take care of other important stuff.

In other news, this kid loves bacon.

Cat Christmas

The only reason I put up a Christmas tree this year is because the cats guilted me into it. Studly and I are spending Christmas at our daughter’s home and I told him I didn’t think we’d need a tree. Apparently the cats heard me and they went on strike–no purring or cuddling until the tree was up. They looked pretty cute with their protest placards, but wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to snap a photo.

At any rate, Studly and I learned our lessons, and we have a small tree. The cats are back to giving us lots of love, so everyone’s happy. They asked me to find a bunch of cat Christmas comics, too, and rather than make them get their signs out again, I complied.

Here’s Scout admiring the tree. It’s her shift. Patches is hiding somewhere.

A Hundred Dollars

This afternoon I shopped at Target and spent a hundred dollars without even thinking about it. Some of the items I purchased were necessities (e.g. toilet paper), while a couple were “wants” (e.g. hot chocolate flavored marshmallows). I didn’t even blink an eye when the clerk hit the total button.

There have been many, many times in my life, though, when a hundred dollars felt like a fortune. Past Christmases for our whole family were often funded with less than what I spent in one silly Target run.

I still remember the first time I saw, or at least paid attention to, a hundred dollar bill. I was only six or so, and I was hanging out with my beloved grandaddy at the coffee shop. Before he paid the check, he leaned over and showed me the contents of his wallet. There were a bunch of hundred dollar bills in there and I remember being in awe. I figured Grandaddy must be rich to have that much money, and I asked if he was. He just laughed, and told me no, saying, “A hundred dollars doesn’t buy what it used to.”

I have to wonder what Grandaddy would think about the value of a hundred dollars in 2018. He was a pretty savvy businessman, so I doubt he’d be surprised. One thing’s for sure, it certainly doesn’t buy what it used to.

Peace, people.

Ugly Sweater Update

Concerning the ugly sweater contest held at Studly Doright’s office Christmas party, I have some good news and some bad news. As a firm believer in getting the bad news over with first in these situations, that’s just what I’ll do.

The bad news–Studly Doright did not win the contest.

The good news–he wasn’t arrested for crimes against decency and good taste.

The funny news–the winner was a woman who wore a feminine version of Studly’s ugly sweater. That was also the gross news. She was too shy to let me take her picture, so here’s Studly in action.

Now, THAT is an Ugly Sweater

Thus far in my 62 years on this earth I have never knowingly worn an ugly Christmas sweater. I say “knowingly” because I acknowledge there have been some questionable wardrobe choices in my past, and certainly an ugly sweater might’ve been one of them. I’m just saying I’ve never worn one on purpose.

Tonight, however, I will intentionally don an unattractive knitted garment, adorned with a gaudy, and unnecessarily sequined Christmas appliqué in the shape of a reindeer for my husband’s office Christmas party where an ugly sweater contest will be held. I don’t think my garment will win or even place in the top ten. I couldn’t go full on ugly.

Studly Doright, though, might’ve found the most heinous sweater of all time:

Is that not the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen? I told him he can wear it once, then it’s going in the dumpster. Or maybe I’ll keep it around as proof that his judgment isn’t always sound.

Peace, people.