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Archive for December, 2008

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing but the sound of silence.  It is a wonderful sound after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas!  I enjoy shopping with money I have saved just for this occasion.  I love being able to buy whatever I want for those I love and not have to worry about how to pay for it.  I love making the Christmas cake and eating most of it myself.  I love wrapping the gifts in elegant paper with fanciful bows.  I love the lights on the tree and family and friends.  But, I love when it’s all over, everything is put away and life returns to “normal”.

We enjoyed Christmas day at Bill’s house with Scott and Trevor, Kris, Wendy and Dan .  We had a great ham dinner with garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, rolls, green bean casserole  and chocolate cream pie for dessert.  Trevor was so cute and well behaved and had a great time playing with all the new toys from Santa.  He spent the night with Papa Bill and me and Bill took him home later the next day.  We played Cootie and race cars, painted and watched some cartoons.

Greg, Vanessa and Ella came for dinner on Sunday, along with Wendy & Dan.  We had lasagna prepared by Bill, along with garlic bread, salad and a wonderful pumpkin cake that Bill made at the request of Vanessa.  He made it for Thanksgiving and she asked for it special again at Christmas.  We opened gifts, again, and oohed and ahhed over Ella as she is getting so big.  She is sitting by herself and motoring around on her tummy on the floor.  It won’t be long before she figures out the crawling thing and is all over the house.

Then today…it was silence once Greg and his family packed up and returned home to MA.  Bill and I put the bags of boxes, wrapping paper and other assorted trash in his car and took it to his house for the trash pickup as the dumpster in my area was overflowing.  Then we spent some nice quality time sitting in the sun in the glass room, feeding our spirits and souls with sunshine.  The temps over the last couple of days have been unusually warm, in the 40’s and 50’s.  It has melted much of the snow that we received the week before.  We may both make it through this winter after all.

In my previous post I talked about my “retirement chain”.  It counts down the number of units (essentially weeks) that remain before my retirement; the number now is only 33!   I actually got a little teary eyed when I was driving home the other morning when I realized that I will only repeat that action 33 more times before I don’t have to return to my job at the fire department.  I will probably be crying my eyes out on the last trip home, even though I know it is “time” for me to leave the job.

It was a good holiday and I’m already looking forward to next year.

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I don’t know how so many of you find the time to post regularly.  Try as I might, I just don’t get it done.  I want to post photos but it seems to take me forever.

Christmas was very good this year; Bill spoiled me rotten.  I wish he wouldn’t do that but no matter how much I protest, he does it anyway.  I took the day off work and we had a nice ham dinner at Bill’s.  His two boys came, along with his 3 year old grandson, Trevor.  Wendy and Dan filled out the table.  Greg, Vanessa and Ella will be coming on Sunday.

Knots and Bolts is having a year-end sale.  If you haven’t checked out this great online store, do it now.

As a rule, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because they never last and then I feel badly about myself.  However, this year I have decided to make TWO resolutions.  First, I am going to clean up my language.  After working for the fire department for over 20 years, I find that my language is very “colorful” for lack of a better description.  It isn’t very ladylike and I have made up my mind that I can express myself in a much nicer way by the time I retire in September.

Speaking of retirement…my officer’s daughter made me a construction paper “retirement chain”.

retirement-chain

You probably remember them from your days in elementary school.  It is a chain made of paper and each time a certain date or event is reached you removed one of the links in the chain.  I have 34 links, each one indicating one unit of work before my retirement date of September 17.  Each unit is four shifts, totaling 48 hours.

Resolution number 2…I am going to try one new quilting technique this year.  That gives me 365 days to get it done.

I hope each of you enjoyed a Christmas filled with family, friends, laughter and love.

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Ice, ice, baby

Ice storm 2008.  It has been 10 years since a significant ice storm and another 10 would not have hurt any ones feelings.  I went to work Thursday evening and it was already raining and freezing.  It continued to rain, quite heavily I might add, and freeze on anything and everything.  We started getting busy after 11 PM and by 1:30 AM we were running nonstop to wires down, trees on wires, wires pulled from buildings, etc.

On and on it went.  By 4:30 AM we were calling in extra help.  “Come on in and play with us.”  At one point my officer and I were cutting our way down a side street.  We had to cut and remove three tree limbs, covered with a 1/2 inch of ice making them very heavy (as if tree limbs weren’t heavy enough).

This scenario continued throughout the next day.  At least things don’t seem as bad when the sun comes up but they sure look worse when you can actually see the damage caused by freezing water.  York County in Southern Maine was the hardest hit county in the state.  There were only two towns that did not receive significant damage.  Our town was the worst hit (of course) with more than 90% of structures without power.  It truly looked like a war zone and sounded like one during the height of the storm when trees all around were cracking and falling down.

I was held over at work for an additional 10 hour shift.  I was concerned about any damage to my condo as it sits next to the only “hill” in the area as well as Bill’s house that is surrounded by trees and he was working in Cambridge (were it only rained).  We were both lucky.  There are limbs down around the property but no damage.  To top it off, my power returned Friday afternoon!

Bill’s power remains off as of today but he has a large generator so is able to keep the refrigerators cool and the frozen food, well, frozen.  He also has a wood stove which keeps the house nice and warm.  He can run the water pump off the generator so showers and toilet flushing are available (yeah).  It’s amazing what we take for granted!

Wendy and Dan are still without power today as well.  Poor Wendy, she got used to sleeping with a fan on while growing up on the second floor in Shapleigh.  It was an old farm house and the upstairs was stiffling in the summer, hence the fan.  She has not been able to sleep for the past few nights because there is a lack of fan noise.  She came over here last night and stayed with me, bringing her own fan along with her.  She is still sleeping soundly.  Good for her!

The temps today are supposed to get fairly warm for this time of year, in the 40’s.  That should melt a lot of the ice, although it is quite beautiful when the sun hits the ice covered trees and fields making them sparkle like they are wearing diamonds.  Additional power company crews should be arriving today from the Carolinas and the midwest states.  Unfortunately, the entire Northeast took a hit and crews have to come from farther away in order to help. There should be great improvements over the next day or so.

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The real estate representative called yesterday to advise me that they were going to show my condo today around 3:30. Well, I hurried home from work this morning and did my best to make the place very inviting. I put things away (in closets, drawers, under beds, in the attic) and did a little seasonal decorating. I will never find some of the things I “hid” even though I put everything exactly where I would be able to locate it later. I’m sure when I actually find something I’m looking for I’ll have to ask “why did I put it here?” Anyway, when I left I felt really good about how it looked. I actually like having everything put away although it doesn’t make it very easy to live here when I have to get everything out if I want to use it. It won’t last long this way but it sure looks nice. I didn’t really have to clean, I just had to unclutter.

I was told that the realtor would call me and let me know what the client had to say. I’m nervous on the one hand and excited on the other. What will be, will be…

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