Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We had a great, if short, time at home--spent Christmas Eve with Todd's parents, Christmas Day with my family, and Boxing Day with my extended family. Monday we drove home, curious to see how much snow our house was blanketed in, since it had snowed all day Sunday along the East Coast. A little of it had melted by the time we got home, but there was still 6 or 8 inches left. Todd ended up with an extra day off, because NASA was closed Monday and Tuesday, so today he headed back to work and I started tackling the mountain of laundry that always seems to come from trips away, no matter how short they are.

The last three pages of my 2010 Christmas journal:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ho ho ho!

We're heading for Ohio today...hoping for safe travels and no bad weather. Since my ability and time for Internet is usually limited when I'm up there, I'll say it now: Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Christmas journal entry for the 20th is always about unexpected surprises, and I got a great one yesterday. Living in my little oblivious bubble, I didn't find out till yesterday morning that there was going to be a lunar eclipse last night. I drank some extra tea so I could stay awake and see it.

It was so cold out, I had to pop in and out through the whole thing, staying out for a few minutes, then going back in for ten or fifteen minutes, then running back out. I used Todd's binoculars, which definitely improved the experience, but I was wishing for a telescope, too!

The moon didn't turn as red in totality here as it did elsewhere in the world--I guess we don't have as much air pollution here, or volcanic ash, either, which I'd heard was also going to affect the color. To the naked eye, the moon looked brownish-red; with the binoculars, it looked gray with a pale turquoise edge. Just beautiful.

[The photo is not mine, it came from the NASA slideshow of the eclipse with pictures from all over the world.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More snow!

We're in the midst of a snowstorm this morning--the first I've ever seen in December in this area. We're supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow, which is almost unheard of. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warmer, so we'll see how long this white stuff sticks around. It certainly is pretty. I love watching the snow fall, and it happens so seldom here, it really is a treat.

Todd's office is shutting down at noon so he'll be home soon. And I'm doing some laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and working on a few projects, including today's journal entry. Seems like a good day to stay warm inside and count your blessings.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Oh my gravy, is it cold here. I know it's nothing compared to the northern climes, but 30 degrees and a 25-mph wind is plenty cold for me! I went out shopping for hours yesterday (it was in the 20s yesterday) and got blown all over every parking lot in town. I also had to chase down a cart that blew out of the cart corral not once but twice before I just parked it on one of those mulched curbs with the little bushes.

I'm 95% done with my holiday shopping, just a few odds and ends left. But today I'm staying inside and keeping warm with other chores!

Today's journal entry is about holiday visiting, plus a random picture I didn't know what else to do with...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snowy snow.

We're actually getting a bit of snow here this morning, the tail end, I suppose, of what's been blowing through the Midwest this past weekend. It's very pretty but it's derailed my Christmas and grocery shopping plans for today. I'm paranoid about going out in any kind of bad weather right now, because we've had two collisions in two months and I don't want to tempt fate and have Allstate drop us like a hot potato!

Have I written about our collisions? Todd rear-ended someone on his way to work at the beginning of October while driving my car...and then rear-ended someone two weeks ago on his way to work while driving his car. My car was fixable, his was not. We spent about a week looking for a "new" (used) car and trying to figure out which of our cars we should try to replace: the primary (better) car that I drive or the secondary (worse) car that he drives? Usually when we replace a car, we replace the primary car, and the once-primary car moves to secondary status, and that's what we decided to do this time, too.

We found a 2002 VW Passat wagon a week ago for me to drive. We weren't planning to buy another VW (our other car is also a VW Passat wagon) but nothing we drove felt as solid and well-constructed as our Passat. So we just got another one.

All that is my long-winded way of saying that if the roads are the slightest bit hinky, I'm not going to be on them unless it's a life or death situation. Which so far it's not, although I may end up starving to death if I don't get some groceries soon!

My journal entry for today:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Julia's kitchen.

So we went to DC on Thanksgiving, and we took a tour at the Air and Space Museum, and saw the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art but this was my favorite thing.

We went to the American History Museum at the end of the day that day. I haven't been there since I was a teenager, but I don't remember it being such an oppressive place. The whole building feels like it should be filled with IRS pod-people pecking at computers, or guys in uniforms plotting a nuclear strike. The National Gallery is so lovely, and at the Air and Space Museum you walk right into a two-story gallery full of planes and rockets and space capsules...and at the American History museum, all there is to look at is stuff with boring captions in glass cases in dark tiny rooms.

Thank goodness they've hung onto the Julia Child exhibit, because it was the one of the few things I saw there that exuded any warmth, humanity or real historical interest.

I wasn't even especially interested in seeing Julia Child's kitchen, because it seemed like kind of a cliched thing to pay homage to her after Amy Adams did it so sappily in "Julie and Julia." But as with most things Julia, it just welcomes you right in and makes you smile.

They have a TV set up that plays an endless loop of Julia's cooking segments, from the 1960s through the 1990s, and it was surrounded by an appreciative crowd most of the time we were there.

It was oddly fascinating to peek at her kitchen and see what kinds of utensils she used, what kinds of magnets were on her fridge, what cookbooks were on her shelves. It's a very welcoming-looking kitchen; you can almost see all the people who must have cooked and eaten there over the years, moving around inside.

I don't really remember ever seeing Julia Child on TV--in my memory she was mostly just "that lady who talks funny"--but four or five years ago I read her book My Life in France and she became one of my heroes, which isn't a word I throw around lightly. She got excited about life and what it had to offer, and she was always eager to learn. I love that attitude.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

It's that time of year again, time for the Journal Your Christmas class. Here's my December 1 entry.

Here's the album, an 8x8" binder from Making Memories.

And here's the detail in the little window in the center:

I'm frankly amazed I found the energy to sit down and do this last night, because I am beat! Monday and Tuesday we moved everything out of the living room and dining room and I painted the living room. Yesterday the new carpet went in and we started moving things back in. I'm continuing to move things back in today. It sounds simple enough, but when you have nice new carpet, you want to make sure everything's dusted and clean before it goes back in, you want to sort through things and toss stuff you don't need or want--it's a lot of shuffling around.

Plus, I have about 8000 books in the living's where I had to stash them on Sunday!

It's ridiculous. I've been going through them as I put them back and getting rid of a few. Not enough, but every little bit helps. What can I say? I love my books! Except when I have to move them!

I am head over heels in love with my new carpet. The old carpet was, I believe, original to the house, which would make it 23 years old. It had the standard builder's grade pad underneath, about 1/4" thick. It was dirty, matted berber and it smelled like the previous owner's dogs whenever the weather was damp. We tried to have it cleaned a couple of times, but it never really helped. When the carpet guys pulled it up, you could see all these liquid stains on the subfloor...I don't even want to know what those were, although I can guess. Ick.

The new carpet is feathery soft under the feet, with a 1/2" thick water-resistant pad. It's sort of a mottled light brown, what the carpet people call a frise, I think, with lots of thin crinkly fibers. I am in love!

But I'm so pooped I have to keep resisting the urge to just lay down on it and fall asleep, like that baby in the commercial!