Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful Christmas eve...our annual tradition of celebrating with the Osto clan almost didn't happen this year as Nana was pretty sick earlier this week. She rebounded like a champ and the festivities were underway!

We went over to Nana and Papa's (in a snowstorm) for the appetizers and the annual family photo. Then it was off to 4:00 mass where we jammed in like sardines and celebrated the reason for the season. Then we trucked back for great Polish food like kielbasa and golabki ("guwump-kee" or cabbage rolls for you non-Polocks!) that Missi and Riley made this year. Bobo and Mike joined us for dinner and dessert ~ this year it was five types of cheesecake ~ and who can forget the presents!!!

Of course we ate too much and cried a little and make a lot of noise and just had fun with our family. What better tradition is there than that? Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We are having a blizzard. The weather geeks have confirmed this by color coding my county RED on the tv, instead of blue. It IS snowin like a mutha out there today. Since Friday we have received about 20 inches of snow. Maybe work will be canceled tomorrow?!

I guess it is time to get to start baking some Christmas cookies.

Stay warm and shoveled out!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not so Currier and Ives

Last Saturday, the family loaded up in the Yukon to head to our favorite local tree farm. It was time for the annual cutting of the Christmas Tree. In my head this is my perfect Currier & Ives or Norman Rockwell moment, (In fact, my "dream job" is to own and operate a Christmas Tree farm, even though I know zero about this) but alas, this is no perfectly scripted Christmas card we are talkin' about!

So we arrive, the sun is shining on the freshly fallen snow and we make our way back to the blue spruces. (I like this picky stiff tree because it really can hold up my heavy ornaments). After several minutes of negotiations, we finally settle on "the perfect tree". Osto goes to task on cutting the bugger down, while T-bird proceeds to throw a snowball in Chooch's face, sending him crying (but only a little...I would have cried too). Meanwhile the kids are fighting and being loud and crazy. Then each kid wants a turn at the saw, which is not an easy task since the branches reach the snowy ground and it is difficult to maneuver. Bird makes little progress, Cal can't move it at all, and Chooch wails because he doesn't get a turn, which leads to another little breakdown.
We finally get it down, and then swing it up on top of the truck because it is too far to drag it to the barn where you pay. (This is where I am saying, "If I owned a tree farm, there would be a horse drawn wagon to load your tree on to pull it back to the barn. They would have a roaring fire where you could sip complementary coffee or hot chocolate with marshmallows...I digress).

Since our tree is not tied down yet, Osto suggests I stand up through the sun roof and hold on to the tree. Fine. Until he proceeds to take the bumpiest route at a pace way faster than he should with an unattached tree on the roof his car and his lovely bride sticking out of the sunroof holding on for dear life (ok, that's a stretch), getting her ribs smashed with each rock and roll of the Yukon. Swear words ensue, even the "F" word! (gasp).
Upon arrival at the barn, the tree is stuck in the shaker, shoved through the binder and thrown back on top of the truck, where Osto proceeds to "instruct" me on the art of tying down a tree, while proclaiming his vast knowledge of tree tying down knots. (Which, if you ask me, he makes up on the fly and do not constitute "real" knots anyways). So, I am cold and I am not doing it right and I get in the car. More swear words, this time one with a "A" are said.
So on the way home, everyone is mad or tired or upset or on each other's last nerve. Exactly the way I envisioned it in my head! HA! Luckily, apologies were made and the day was salvaged with the help of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. The tree was trimmed and turned out to be our most beautiful tree ever (of course).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Ideas

In the 250 catalogs I have received this December and in my perusals of the Internet, I have found some strange things pawning themselves off as Christmas gifts. So if you are in need of any last minute ideas (not for me) for that hard to buy for person on your list...
Find your way with a belly button light.

Tattoo Sleeve

The Moo Mixer - my kids would love this!

Crime Scene Scarf

Beer Bra! Handy for work, probably!

Dog Poop Calendar - ah yes, one for every month!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Papa Hunter

Warren J. Hunter
March 26, 1921 ~ December 1, 2008

Saturday we laid to rest Papa Hunter, who lived to the grand old age of 87. In life he said what he meant and he meant what he said. If he thought the world of you, he told you so, and if he thought something else, well, you'd hear about that too with some "colorful" words thrown in for good measure.

I only knew him the last 13 years of his life, but I knew he loved his family and how much he appreciated the things people did for him. His youngest daughter, Kathy, took special care of him. She was his chef, chauffer, personal shopper and assistant...his window to the outside world. And the papergirl or the mailman who would stop to visit with him or the cleaning lady who did more talking than cleaning. Or the neighbors who would stop in to say hi or drop by with their pets. A dinner, a card, a phone call from some old friend and their stories are the things he would tell me about.

He loved my kids, his great grand children. He loved to hear about stories from school, tales of good grades or Tyler's fishing trips. Cal's cartwheels would delight him and he often asked to see her dances. Chooch loved to play with his large die-cast cars or scratch his back with the long handled back scratcher or "drive" him up and down with the remote control from his chair. All around his home were the photos of his family, grand kids and great grandkids.

It is hard to say good bye to people, no matter how old they become or how ready they are to move on. It is nice to know he is at peace. I'm sure he gave St. Peter a real earful about how long it took too!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

40th Anniversary Celebration

Last Saturday, we celebrated Nannie and Pop Bob's 40th Anniversary
by having a nice dinner with the whole family.
Congratulations on this great milestone, Mom and Dad! We love you.