Sunday, December 26, 2010

A very nice Christmas Day.

Location, Home, CA

Christmas day started slow as we opened gifts from friends and neighbors here at the house. After a quick breakfast, I loaded the car with presents and food and about 10:30 AM we headed south for niece Chelsea and husband Steve’s house. Traffic was light so we made good time. We put all the gifts under the tree and waited until Steve and Chelsea came back from visiting the twins in the hospital.

A quick brunch and the gift opening began. It takes us hours as we do one at a time taking turns so everyone sees what has been opened. With a wedding in September and twins born in December, it was truly a photo Christmas.

Later, we had a ham dinner which was a community project. Clyda did the scalloped potatoes, Linda brought the Honey Baked ham and Steve made Brussels sprouts and a green bean casserole. Steve also made Pumpkin Elizabeth for dessert.

It had started to rain before dinner so we were in no real hurry to leave. About 8 PM we did leave as the rain had let up some. It did rain all of the way home but turned to sprinkles the closer we got.

It was a great day with family and I can only imagine what Christmas next year with the twins will be like. They should be walking by then as they will be 1 year old.

I checked my rain gauge this morning and we had another 1.2 inches yesterday for a total of 13.3 inches in just over a week. That’s about what we get in a normal year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain, Rain, Rain!

Location, Home, CA

I think we have enough rain to float the “Ark” now. Since Friday morning we have had 12.15 inches of rain in my backyard gauge. It has rained almost continuously during that time. Today the sun did make a brief appearance but we also had a rain shower during that time so had a nice rainbow.

I finished wrapping my last present today so that is done. Mostly I laid around all day while checking the internet and watching TV as Clyda had a couple of long time high school friends for lunch.

Yesterday I scanned old family photos which came from my mother. I had brought them back from Wisconsin in September. It is a slow process but one I need to get done. It will clear up some of the clutter in my computer room.

I just checked the RV Blogs and everyone was bragging about the great weather in Arizona. However, they did get rain today and expect as much as 1.5 inches which in the desert is a “gully washer” for sure. We encountered some of that kind of weather last year while in Quartzsite.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Help Wanted!

Location, Home, CA
Help wanted!
Carpenter skills required to build an Ark.
Must be able to covert Cubits to feet.

I’m not kidding; we may need one if this rain keeps up. Since early Friday morning we have had over 8 inches of rain in my rain gauge. So far it has been a gentle but continuous rain. The ground is now soaked up enough that water is standing in places like the back yard.

From the weather reports and NOAA weather it will continue into Wednesday with the heaviest rain expected on Tuesday.

With sadness I note the passing of a neighbor and brother Elk. Jim, better known to us as JJ passed away on December 9th. His memorial service was held on Friday at the Elks Club. I and Budd (ex next door neighbor) were asked to speak. It was a brief but meaningful service.

I am still working on my Christmas shopping. The rain has put a damper on that. I hate to go out in it.

The new twins continue to do well in the hospital. Chelsea has come home to rest up and become strong to take care of the newborns when they eventually come home.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A momentous day!

Location, Home, CA

What a momentous day!!

Our niece Chelsea and husband Steve had been expecting twins after the first of the year but the babies decided to come early, as in yesterday afternoon. We had gotten a call that Chelsea was on the way to the hospital but thought it was just a false alarm as many first babies are. No false alarm this time. They were delivered by C-section about 3 PM.

Of course, Clyda couldn’t wait to see Chelsea and the babies so this morning we drove down to Tarzana to the hospital. Chelsea looked great and Steve is a proud but slightly shocked new daddy.

Steve took us to the neo-natal unit where we had to scrub, as in doctor scrub, as you see on TV. Elbows to finger tips with a throw away soap pad imbedded scrubber then wash off with water and dry with paper towels. Steve has to do this each time he enters the unit so his arms are raw already.

Clyda went in first and later I went in with Steve. Stella is breathing on her own even though she is the smallest at 3 lbs 2 oz’s while Braeden is on a ventilator and weighs 3 lbs 10 oz’s. The babies looked really good and healthy but small. Both babies were born breathing on their own and crying so that bodes well for them. They both will need to gain weight before they can be released from the hospital. It may be as much as a month before that happens.

After we left the hospital we stopped for lunch before coming home. The temperature in the San Fernando Valley was 80 degrees when we left the restaurant but dropped to 64 when we arrived in Ventura. It also was foggy coming up the coast. What a change in a few hours. I can hear the fog horn tonight as I write this.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Counting the Days.

Location, Home, CA

The weather has warmed up into the high 60’s during the day. It may get to the low 70’s tomorrow. Even the evenings have not been too bad. Very nice!

I finished the Christmas letter this week and also made a web version to email. I don’t like to send a Microsoft Word document as many people don’t have that software installed on their computers. We send some letters with Christmas cards and some folks just get the email version.

Clyda has been busy wrapping presents with the goal of getting them all to the post office on Monday. As usual, I haven’t started my shopping yet. I do have some ideas however.

I have been modifying some small LED path lights I picked up at a local hardware. I have added an on/off switch to each light. I found the lights to be handy while camping to light the entry to the RV and to mark objects such as rocks in the campground. The lights usually need to be put in the sunlight each day to charge the battery and then placed each evening. The switch allows them to be stored with out removing the battery.

The switch is really tiny but is visible above the label.

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Christmas Party of the month.

Location, Home, CA

The tree is up and decorated and most all of the other decorations are done. As usual, we have more decorations than room to display them. It is time to “weed out” some of the old stuff I think.

Last night was our first Christmas party of the month and a good time was had by all except I returned with the “white elephant” gift from the gift exchange that I took to the party. It happens almost every year. I guess I should take something nice that I want if I am going to end up with it anyway.

I have been wading through a stack of paper work that has piled up while we were gone for 10 days. Tomorrow I have multiple errands to run which will take me most of the day.

We had rain last evening and there was about .6 inch in the rain gauge this morning. It is still cold but supposed to warm up over the next few days.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Catching up.

Location, Home, CA

I am rusty. It has been so long since I posted that I am out of practice.

We did a long trip over Thanksgiving. We drove to Walnut Creek to spend the holiday with Cindy and Gary. On Wednesday night we drove into Berkeley and attended an evening of Irish music at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse. We heard 3 bands which covered traditional Irish music with the last band doing some Cajun and a little Zydeco. Great fiddle playing and a great evening out.

On Friday, the ladies left very early for some “Black Friday” shopping. The guys watched football.

On Sunday afternoon we drove into San Francisco to Clement Street which is in the Richmond district and mostly Asian with a ton of restaurants. We ate at Java Restaurant and had a very good Satay with peanut sauce and shrimp chips.

After driving along the coast we drove to San Francisco Airport and dropped Cindy and Gary off so they could catch a flight to South Africa. They are on Safari. This is Cindy’s dream trip.

On Monday morning we drove to Tehachapi and spent 3 days with Budd and Brenda. It was COLD with snow and ice on the ground. We had several good card games and tried to figure out the TV remote which wouldn’t control the sound amplifier. Never did get it fixed.

Thursday morning we drove home. Temperatures here were a little milder than Tehachapi in fact it was 79 degrees in Fillmore as we came through.

Today it was back to reality. I took the car in for an oil change as the “Change Oil” light kept coming on. It was time.

I also got the Christmas decorations down and the outside lights put up. The tree is up but not decorated. Maybe tomorrow.