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So I came down to Virginia for a quick visit as my Aunt and Uncle from Florida were up. My aunt has two Westies as well, Kira and Hammish. It was her and her Westies that got me interested in the breed actually. Her’s are a bit bigger than Princess though. Poor Nikko was the odd man out among all five. It was fun watching them all play with one another in my mom’s yard (video below, Aunt’s Westies have the blue and yellow scarves, Princess has her summer cut).
Poor Ebbie tries to keep up with the big kids, but can’t move as fast. Princess and Nikko have this game where they race out my mom’s back door, down the steps, take a flying leap off the porch and run to the back of the yard to find and chase squirrels up a tree. Ebbie can get up the back steps, but down is another thing. So we have to carry her down, and she gets so upset she’s not with the others that she starts squirming to jump down. I need to get a video of it because it’s so cute!
My Aunt and Uncle have left now, and I’m returning to Jersey soon. I was hoping to meet up with an old friend from High School I haven’t seen in twenty years. We reconnected on Facebook. However she has a sick dog of her own right now, so it’s hard for her to get out of the house. I’ll probably see her in September though at our 20th year reunion . . . I can’t believe it’s been 20 years! Ack! I have yet to officially pay to attend though. I’m waiting to see if a few other friends from that aren’t local to the area decide to go. If they do, I’ll go. If they don’t, well I can meet up with the few who remained in the area another time now that we all reconnected on Facebook. My high school didn’t get it’s act together quick enough, so our reunion is a family friendly day at a local park in Manasssas. Yeah, sounds thrilling!
I have not been in the Christmas spirit much this year. I have a lot going on with work stuff, and once again John’s plans for the holiday are up in the air. It was so nice to have him in Virginia last year and finally spend Christmas with him (after 10 years apart!), however it seems his family (i.e. his mother) wasn’t happy about it. So this year, I don’t know what will happen. She has a daughter and grandkids here, but it seems last year was just the worst Christmas ever because John wasn’t there. I think they are trying to convince her to stay the night with the sister and the kids, which she should have done last year, but who knows! She was not alone mind you, she just went over to their house Christmas Day, and of course John wasn’t there.
We did put out tree up, and I put some of the lights up outside. I was hoping this would get me into the spirit some. However we still haven’t finished the lights outside, which I need John’s help to do that last part of. I also have got nothing else up in the house. I still have the villages to put up and nativities to put up. I have no idea when I will get to it!
I tried to get myself into the holiday season by buying some vintage Christmas stuff I found online. One piece I got was this scary Santa. My grandma used to have one exactly like it and put it on her coffee table every year. It was one of the things I looked forward to playing with when we went to her house. However after she died, my dad packed her stuff up and I don’t know what happened to it. I have some of her Christmas stuff, but forgot to ask about this. So I don’t know where it is. Therefore I was happy to get one online for fairly cheap, and in good working condition, given it’s from the 1950s.
I also scored another surprise last night, but it’s for home in Virginia
So we survived the storm that was Sandy, and were very lucky. We live far enough away from the shore, which got the worst of it. We also are about 20 miles from the Delaware River, so we didn’t have to worry about it either.
I spent the bulk of the weekend before preparing as everyone in the area was. I bought my water, I got my canned goods, I tried to pack my freezers as best as I could. I also had to clean up my yard. I pulled in almost all of Halloween on Saturday, but stored it in my spare bedroom on the first floor. I just didn’t have the time to get the boxes out and properly pack it away. Then of course Sunday comes along, the winds start picking up a bit, and I realized I ignored the back yard entirely . . . where all my gardening and grilling supplies were scattered. So I quickly rushed out to clean it as best as I could. Of course I also ended up making about 5 runs to the store all weekend cause I constantly was forgetting something!
Then it was preparing the house. Getting out candles, both real ones and the fake battery powered ones. Scattering flashlights and making sure they had batteries. Of course making sure the basement was prepared too. Moving things away from the walls in case of flooding and the like. That basement STILL needs to be properly cleaned, and half of what is down there hauled to the dump. Fortunately we got new gutters this year, and that has almost completely resolved any basement flooding we normally had at the slightest above average rainstorm. We only really have to worry when hurricanes or blizzards occur. We were lucky because of how the wind was blowing that we got minimal flooding down there.
Monday and the storm hit, and of course what little of Halloween I left on my porch thinking it would be okay . . . wasn’t. So I got a bit wet bringing stuff in or tying it down. Let me also say getting the dogs out and walked that day was NOT fun.
Last Christmas John bought me a small portable battery/generator after our power went out during Irene. It has a USB port, an AC port, a flashlight in it, and a hand crank to charge it. There is also some other inputs for charging like an AC adapter (not included) and solar input. However I never bothered to read the actual manual, or if I did I forgot what it said . . . . Like “to charge it once a month to keep the battery life optimal” and “before major use charge for 14 hours via an AC adapter.” Oops! I did find an adapter among the many we had and charged it. Fortunately it’s never really been used, so I don’t think the battery life was affected.
Monday we did lose power. A tree down the street took out some power lines earlier in the day. However that didn’t seem to affect us. Later thought something exploded, probably a transformer, and that did us in. Fortunately my little generator worked to charge our phones. I didn’t try it on my laptops. I have one 6 year old laptop that has a battery that only lasts 45 minutes if I’m lucky, so there was no point using it. My netbook can last a good 4 hours, but runs some applications slooooowwwwww. It might be time to get a real laptop again. Fortunately I printed off a lot of stuff to work on in anticipation of having no power.
Also having no power on Tuesday, made the house very uncomfortable. It was not only FREEZING, but with no air circulation the smells of the basement were wafting upstairs. Normally there are exhaust fans sucking that smell out of the house! We do have 5 cats for example . . . . Halloween that was in the first floor bedroom was also smelling a little musty. Since the winds and rain had calmed down, I just put it all back up. It didn’t take long, and it took less time than trying to pack it away in the dark stinky basement. Plus I had no power! I was quickly running out of things to do, and didn’t want to yet use the laptops because I didn’t know how long things would be out. Oh yeah, that generator I forgot the instructions for . . . it takes 6 hours of hand cranking to fully recharge it from 0. Oy!
We now have power, Halloween is back up, and all is good here again. We were very lucky with the storm. We had a lot of limbs come down, some fairly large, but they all missed the house. Actually something thumped on our roof Monday night, but it didn’t do damage. After 2 hurricanes we really need to look into having some of the trees around our house taken down. Two are dead or dying, one needs to be pruned, and another is just way to big to be so close to our small house in these cases. Other places all around us, even down the street from us, are still without power. One of John’s employees family had to leave their home in the middle of the night when a tree fell onto it. They are still not able to get into their house because of it and the power lines the tree also took down.
Last night was Halloween, but we had no creatures come to our door. Halloween was officially put off till Friday, but now our Governor has delayed it until Monday. Noooooo! I don’t get home till 9pm on Mondays, and John probably won’t be here till 7:30 or 8pm. If anyone comes to our house, nobody will be here I was really hoping that I’d get some lawbreakers last night. I even bought a bunch of candy to give out too after we got a record 9 or 10 kids last year I figured we might get more this year, especially since I’ve had so many people driving by to see the house or bringing their kids to see it. Anyway, here is my yearly video showing what I did this year.
Just cause I need something to fill blog space I did a second one, I just didn’t post it here. You can probably find it through this one I’m sure.
Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!
So yes, as usual, I’ve been terrible about keeping this blog up to date. I thought I’d make a fun video blog post, but not just any video blog post. In case any old “Days Page” fans drop by from time to time and wonder if I still watch the show . . . the answer is YES! Here is a video blog I made with my thoughts on the current characters and storylines. Sorry it’s a tad long!
I made this for my friend Shannan, who constantly goes on and on about how much she hates the band Journey . . . .
So I made it home to Virginia today. As usual I spent the night decorating the sci-fi tree. I have some photos on my camera of all the Jersey decorations. Once I take some photos down here in Virginia I’ll make a post. I got almost the entire village of Bethlehem up this year, I was short on space for six freaking figures. Grrrr!
I have a lot of work to do this week, it will be interesting to see how much gets done. Some of it, like grading final exams, I really would rather not do. Other stuff I have to get done before I can get on that big boat in January. I did finally book our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, so aside from packing and a few new articles of clothes, the vacation is pretty much set.
Till I can post more, I leave you with this amazing Christmas Carol. You’ll be singing it all this week, which will make you very popular around the family, especially the kids.