Saturday, December 31, 2005

Workin' it

Ha! All I'm referring to is the fact that I'm working on making my blog template readable; I've managed to make the font larger so my tired old eyes can see it easier. This template changeover is forcing me to learn a little about HTML and CSS and more importantly, how to upload it and where. There's bits and pieces flying all over the Internet at this moment. Perhaps I should scale the post font back just a little? Hmm? Opinions?

Friday, December 30, 2005

Back in Ohio

Love those audio books as they make a seven hour drive go by quickly. Denny drove really, really slowly down the last street before reaching my mom's house as the final CD wasn't finished, but we still have a couple of chapters to finish. But that was almost fourteen total hours of driving time for one book. We always like to listen to an audio book if we have to make a cross-country journey to get back to Ohio, whether we do it in one stretch or over several days.

Before we leave there's just one more medical test for me (the dreaded after-age-50- colonoscopy) and a visit to the ear/nose/throat doctor for my mom. She received word while we were in New York that the growth the dermatologist removed from her forehead about ten days ago is indeed cancerous, but she and I both knew it would be as we have both had areas of basal cell carcenoma removed from our faces. But she would have just continued to slap a bandage over the growth instead of having it dealt with if I hadn't come home. I assume she'll have a Mohs' procedure done, so I'll see that she has a friend go with her as we'll be back in Arizona by the time the doctor's office finally schedules the surgery sometime in late January or early February. But she told us tonight that she has finally learned that she has to take better care of herself and her own health, which was a relief to hear since we'll be leaving in a few days. That makes us feel a little better as I think she finally means it. I guess that would make a pretty good New Year's resolution for all of us, right?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Darb has to suffer his mother's gag gifts. This year's gift is the face/butt towel. Posted by Picasa

Grandma's girls, Marissa (standing) and Kara. Posted by Picasa

Denny-only the grandkids could convince him to put on the Santa hat! Posted by Picasa

My original thought was to get a picture of each family member in the Santa hat. Got too wrapped up in the whole cooking/talking/present thing. This is Zach, our grandson. Posted by Picasa

This is a lot cooler than it appears. It's a mood light/aromatherapy diffuser/fog-making machine that Net received. I used a flash and it bleached out the revolving colored lights inside the bowl. This would be great at Halloween! Posted by Picasa

Obviously, I have work to do

It looks like for the time being all my new posts will be under the "LAST POST" column until I either figure out how to get them on the left side or give up and go back to the old template. All I know is that I've had enough for two days and it's going to stay like this for the moment.

Anyone like to volunteer for some web page correction and hand-holding?

**Edited a few moments later. Okay, now I've got the current posts up but my second column is down at the bottom of the page and my comments section has dropped off into never-never land. This is definitely going to take some time. Sigh and sigh again.

***Third try two hours later. Now I have two columns and the comment link is in place but now I am totally clueless as to how to get the columns moved up so they are below and beside the main picture. Nothing I've tried works. Sigh.

Feeling better

We're waiting for the grandkids to come over to the hotel to join us for a swim in the pool. Denny is finally feeling better, although we won't be making the much-anticipated stuffed green peppers for dinner tonight as Denny is just not up for that.

In the meantime, you can see by the new background on the site that I did put our "down time" to good use. There is still a lot of cleaning up to do, as the template designer offers no assistance at all in getting the page online and I am not well versed (or even ill-versed) in HTML and web page design. Arrggghhh. Perhaps by the time it's all done I'll have a clue as to what I've done and how I did it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


We have only been in town one day and Denny managed to get the stomach "flu" bug that is going around on Grand Island and the Buffalo area. He's been in bed literally all day (and now into the night) so all our plans have gone by the wayside. No colorful nightime pictures of Niagara Falls this time around. Luckily we had Christmas with the grandkids last night as I don't know if Denny will be any better in the morning. This is one of the reasons he hates coming east for Christmas; he invariably comes down with something whether it's a cold or bronchitis or the flu. Must be germs on the plane, or cooped up in overheated houses or perhaps it's just a psychological resistance to traveling to a cold climate.

Actually, one of the greatest benefits to the fulltime RVing lifestyle is the healthy environment. You get lots of fresh air and sunshine, are not exposed to a lot of second hand smoke or germy phones and office equipment, have the opportunity to buy fresh local produce in season and you're not exposed to a lot of sick people in close quarters. Works for me!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

RV envy

It was time to have Christmas with our oldest son and his family, so off to New York we drove. For the first time there was no "lake effect" snow blowing in Erie, PA (the cold air blowing across the warm waters of Lake Erie can create some tremendous snow storms along I-90) and we had Patricia Cornwall's "Traces" audio book playing to occupy our minds. But the audio book was not enough to distract us from the sight of all the fifth-wheels and motorhomes heading south (they are the smart ones!)

Any full-time or mostly full-time RVer will be able to explain the term "hitch-itch" to you; it's the desire or need to be in a new place. It's not the physical act of driving, but waking up to a new vista outside your window in the morning that is alluring. After almost two months of being in one spot the desire to be on the road again is almost a physical ache and as much as we love our family we are so ready to be "on the road again" as Willy Nelson would sing.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Whew, we made it through

No sniping, nasty comments, snide remarks. Yes, I behaved myself around my brother and sister this year. Darb and Net stopped by in the morning, my favorite niece stopped by in the evening and the sibs were there for dinner in between. It all worked out well so it was a nice Christmas.

Tomorrow Denny and I are driving to the Buffalo, NY area for Christmas with our grandkids; we'll cook them a requested favorite meal, take our son, Steve, a Marion's pizza and some cans of Skyline chili (two local favorites), make Christmas cookies with the little ones and have a more raucous and messy Christmas.

We've had a warming trend the last few days which will have reached NY by then so hopefully we won't have a lot of snow to deal with while driving. I'm going to try to convince Denny to drive me to Niagara Falls at night to see if the falls have started to freeze. He took me to Niagara Falls in the winter time early in our relationship and my first sight of the Falls all frozen and lit with colored lights was awesome in the truest sense. Pictures will be posted if we go!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Did you see Santa?

This Santa tracking device will only work on the Internet Explorer browser. The map and videos won't show up on Netscape and Firefox unfortunately.

Joyeux Noel!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Fun with mammography

Oxymoron, right? Let's face it, standing pressed up to a cold chunk of metal and having your breast maneuvered and then squashed by a total stranger is not high on my list of things I like to do. Today, however, I had a technician who kept telling me that she just "had to smooth a wrinkle" near my armpit while adjusting my body for the x-ray. After two or three "wrinkle adjustments" I suggested to the gal that perhaps she might re-think her terminology and suggested "smoothing a bit of skin" over "wrinkle" as I informed her that while I had to live with my facial wrinkles the idea of armpit wrinkles was just too depressing. We got the giggles when she once again said "wrinkles" while doing the second set of x-rays and then immediately corrected herself and my husband later told me he could hear us carrying on from out in the waiting room. Hey, I was more relaxed during the procedure and the technician now has a nicer way of referring to us older women's sagging skin. Wrinkles, indeed! Now, about those batwings between my elbow and armpit....

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fulltiming and Medical Care

One of the unique challenges of the full-timer's lifestyle is handling medical problems and routine care. Obviously, health care problems are going to crop up while you are traveling so some preplanning needs to be done.

The first thing we had to change when we opted to travel was our insurance coverage. Instead of a HMO plan, ours is a PPO with out of network coverage meaning we can go pretty much anywhere in the country and be treated. Of course I normally call our insurer first to see who is "in network" to obtain the best rate or we go to an Urgent Care center or Emergency room in a hospital if we deem it necessary. For our routine annual doctor/dentist/optometrist check-ups, I schedule our appointments for when we return to Ohio for Christmas and summer-time visits. Our care providers are all familiar with our lifestyle and try to work with us if any unexpected tests are needed, pushing them through quickly to have them handled before we leave town again. Our prescriptions are ordered through the mail in 60 day doses and I order them early enough to allow for the fact that they have to be forwarded to us through our mail-forwarding service. Glasses are handled by going to a one-day service or by finding a business (Wal*Mart, Pearle Vision, etc.) on the first day we arrive in town on a two-week stay so that there is plenty of time for the glasses to be ordered and finished before we have to leave.

So far, in eight years of being on the road, this has worked for us. We have met many people who have chosen to travel to Mexico for their medical, prescription, dental and optical needs and are very happy with the care they receive and the price they pay (with an ad, you can get a $10 eye exam and no-line bifocals for about $100, and dental work is similarly discounted). There again, it is simply a matter of arranging your travel schedule to have your medical needs handled in a specific area.

While it certainly helps to be in good physical condition, with the proper research and the right insurance coverage you can travel confidently despite having health problems.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

The National Museum of the US Air Force, or the US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patt (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) in Dayton, Ohio may not sound exciting to a lot of folks, but it is the best military aviation museum around and one of our personal favorites as a museum in general.

Denny and I arrived at the museum at 9:20 and after talking to the well-informed volunteer at the information desk we decided to start at the rear of the complex at the Missile and Space Gallery and work our way forward to the front of the museum in time to join the guided tour at 1:30. This meant walking through three hangars which is two more than were there the last time we visited the museum. I have loaded some pictures below, but due to the huge size of the museum and the dark lighting for preserving and dramatizing the planes many of the pictures of the more unusual aircraft did not turn out. That is more my fault than that of the camera.

The Missile and Space Gallery appears to be in the process of being built as there are markings on the floor for the placement of additional missiles. Having been to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, we were less than impressed with this area of the museum, but it would be hard to top the Space and Rocket Center missile and rocket displays; very impressive stuff. However, there is a Sputnik on display overhead, some high-altitude balloon capsules, missiles and rockets as well as an informative and interesting display of various space foods eaten by the astronauts.

The next gallery is the Cold War Gallery (we were working back to front, remember) with aircraft that carried nuclear war heads, spy planes, the B-2 “Stealth” bomber, planes that flew in the Desert Storm conflict, air/rescue craft, refueling planes and much more. We were only 1/3 of the way through this exhibit when it was time for us to meet up for the bus ride into the Wright Patterson Air Force base to view the Presidential airplanes and the R&D craft in separate hangars. The Columbine III (President Eisenhower), Air Force One (President Kennedy), the Sacred Cow(President Franklin D. Roosevelt) and the Independence (President Harry S. Truman) have been set up to allow inside viewing (although the corridor is only 17 inches wide inside the planes which is very snug). It was really interesting to see the improvements in technology and sophistication on the various planes from president to president. The R&D hangar was a fascinating glimpse into the amount of time, energy and money that is spent in research on the various facets of flight and wartime technology. The shapes and sizes of the various jets, guided missiles, drones, reconnaissance vehicles and helicopters are amazing in their variety and complexity. The whole hangar is packed nose to tail with aircraft, making it difficult to take pictures of any one model so I have included the link to the website as they have taken individual pictures outdoors before bringing the aircraft inside for display.

After being bussed back to the Museum we returned to the Cold War Gallery to finish the rest of the display and then decided to come back another day to do the second of the three hangars. We were at the Museum for four and a half hours and still have two hangars of the three to explore. Does that tell you how large this complex is? Of course, Denny and I actually read much of the information displayed about the various aircraft and items displayed, and watch the small videos available for further information. I suppose one could whip through the whole museum by just looking at the planes and displays without reading anything, but that would be such a waste as there is a treasure trove of information there.

If we have time before we fly back to Arizona I'm going to push for another day here, otherwise our return visit will have to wait until we work our way back to Ohio late this coming summer. So consider this part 1 of 3.

A sculpture of several jets on the memorial parkway outside of the US Air Force Museum. Posted by Picasa

Iron Mike, the mascot of the 317th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron of Alaka. Iron Mike was frequently abducted by other USAF squadrons and taken as far as Greenland and Vietnam, and the 317th had to arrange its own raiding parties to take him back. Iron Mike is now retired and living at the Museum and is no longer considered "fair game" to any USAF squadrons.  Posted by Picasa

The Chance-Vought XC-142A, a unique aircraft that had wings that flipped upright to lift the craft straight up into the air like a helicopter. Posted by Picasa

A picture of how the Chance-Vought XC-142A looked with its wings turned upright to imitate a helicopter. Posted by Picasa

The B-1B Lancer bomber. Just a sleek, attractive killing machine.  Posted by Picasa

The refrigerator in the Sacred Cow, which looks like an old-fashioned "ice box" to me. Posted by Picasa

The special elevator created for FDR's wheelchair in his Sacred Cow presidential airplane.  Posted by Picasa

The Dart aerial gunnery target, used for practice by National Guard members from Springfield, Ohio. This target was towed behind another airplane which allowed the troops to fire on it. The holes you see were caused by .30 caliber bullets.  Posted by Picasa

The B-2 "Stealth" bomber and various planes as seen from the second floor of the Missile and Space Gallery. Posted by Picasa

The experimental zero gravity razor was spring powered and had a cloth bag attached to collect the cut whiskers. They discovered that shaving cream and a bladed razor worked even better and scrapped the whole idea. Posted by Picasa

The Aerobee research rocket. See Posted by Picasa

A stuffed monkey, representing Mike, one of two monkeys sent into space in the nose of the Aerojet "Aerobee", a research rocket, in 1952 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Okay, chocolatiers we ain't


The pictures above are: on the left, a true buckeye nut from the buckeye tree which is the state tree of Ohio and on the right, a homemade chocolate/peanut butter concoction called a buckeye. Today's effort was the first time my mom and I had tried to make them and we used both the old-fashioned method of sticking them with a toothpick to dip them into the melted chocolate and then tried a device given to us by Denny's step-mother which looked like a smaller version of those little whatchamacallits that you use to dip hard-boiled eggs into Easter egg dye. Once we got the hang of using the wire dipper we decided it was the method of choice. Messy but fun and no more time consuming than making a standard batch of Christmas cookies, with the added benefit of the fact that they freeze well. That's so I won't feel obligated to eat them all before they go bad. Sigh. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 16, 2005

Another job well done

The bedroom is done! The furniture is in place, the curtains and blinds are up and all my mom has to do is transfer her clothes back into the closet. Denny and I are down to installing a closet door guide in the basement bedroom and we're done, done, done with our self-imposed job list. Until my mom thinks of something else for us to do.

So the next project for me and Mom will be to try our hand at making buckeyes. I don't know if that's an Ohio creation or not, but it consists of a peanut butter concoction rolled into a ball and then dipped in chocolate that's been melted together with paraffin to create a coating that looks like a buckeye nut. Which is actually inedible in real life. Go figure.

Next week is my birthday and I'm going to have Denny take me to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum (the official name is the US Air Force Museum but I'm going by what I've been calling it for 50 years)as a special treat. Be prepared for lots of pictures as this is a really cool must-see place for anyone visiting the Dayton, Ohio area.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Now that the paint fumes have cleared from my head those Christmas videos I posted are so not funny. Color my mood giddy at the time.

This really will be a travel blog again someday. Sigh.

Yet another version of the 12 days of Christmas

I stole this from my son, Darby. They aren't Jib-Jab, but it's fun.

The 12 "myspace" days of Christmas

A diagnosis

The cardiologist told my mom that she has a leaking heart valve or heart murmur. Checking online I see the more proper term would be aortic valve regurgitation. Treatment for now will be another pill for high blood pressure. I'm still having to nag her to take her first pill--so much for the "twenty-one days makes a habit" saying.

We're taking a morning break to go out to breakfast with friends before returning to finish off the walls of the bedroom. The weather forecast is for rain/sleet/snow today so it will be a good day to work inside. Tomorrow we should be able to finish painting the trim, putting the blinds up and rehanging the closet doors. Yay.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Chugging along

This morning we'll start to paint the ceiling in my mom's bedroom. I think Denny wants to paint the walls in one fell swoop (does anyone actually know what that means?) so we'll do that tomorrow as tonight we're invited to my in-laws' house for dinner. Since that means leaving here early to avoid most of Cincinnati's horrible work traffic, we won't get too involved in painting today.

My niece Elaine stopped by yesterday to pick up the extra pumpkin pie Mom had made in a burst of energy (you thought I was an only child, right?) She has enrolled in beauty college to obtain her cosmetology license and seemes to be getting her life back on track after a pretty rough period. There's lots of sturm and drang in our family dynamics as we are one of those "dysfunctional families". I can hear Darb saying now, "oh boy, Mom, are you the queen of understatement!" Enough of that subject.

I think it's about time for a break from the house. It's supposed to snow tomorrow night and Friday night so perhaps we'll drag my mom out to see the lights at Clifton Mill. And I'll attempt nighttime pictures although I haven't quite figured out how to get great pictures in the dark yet. Geez, I've only owned the current camera for two years now!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The best laid plans...

Our intent yesterday was to work on putting a second coat of Kilz in Mom's bedroom and to take down and wash the blinds after breakfast. Not to be, as a small disaster in the form of a plugged kitchen sink, caustic chemicals and a drain hose that came loose under the dishwasher all combined to make a long, long messy morning that threw off our plans for the rest of the day. By early afternoon we had the blinds washed and drying in the basement and had started painting in the bedroom but after a short while we just said "screw it" and cleaned up the brushes and rollers and put it away for the day as we'd had enough.

So it is once again Sunday, our goof-off day, and soon the TV will be turned on for Denny to watch a plethora of sports and I'll grab a paperback to indulge in a bit of fantasy. Tomorrow we drop off Mom's new/used van to have a windshield washer pump replaced and then I'll take her to the dermatologist to have that possible/probable skin cancer looked at. Wednesday is her appointment with the cardiologist to go over test results and then we're done with her doctors for a while. I have a feeling that we won't be given a solid reason for the nose bleeds and high blood pressure, but at least the nose bleed incidents caused Mom to have some tests done that she's been avoiding.

It's snowing again today, but since we have no errand running to do I can appreciate and enjoy the snowfall. I think it might be time to go make some Christmas cookies...

Friday, December 09, 2005

We have our first serious snowfall

Because Kim asked for photos of snow, here they are.

One hour into the snow fall and we have well over an inch of snow on the ground. We entertain ourselves by watching cars trying to get up the hill by Mom's house. Posted by Picasa

We awaken to six inches of snow. Local lore says the number of days we have snow is predicated by the date of the first snow. Therefore we will have eight big snows this winter. Posted by Picasa

Since six inches of snow fell last night, our choices this morning were to dig out the snow shovels or let Mom's wonderful neighbor, Jerry, use his snowblower on her drive and walks while we stayed toasty warm working inside. Our decision was... Posted by Picasa work inside prepping Mom's bedroom for painting. Note the original 50's blonde wood bookcase head board on the bed. Mom has finally decided to give up the set and is trying to figure out what she would like in its place. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ohio State Song--Beautiful Ohio

Mom, her business partner and friend Dottie and I drove to Rising Sun and then Lawrenceburg, Indiana to do a little gambling on the "boats". Due to gaming laws, both casinos are located on the Ohio River which has areas of heavy industry as well as still-wild beauty. I mentioned how pretty the drive must be in the fall as the area is heavily treed with low hills and Mom and Dottie both agreed but said they preferred the spring as the red buds and dogwoods were gorgeous at that time. Even though the skies were leaden with snow and the river steel-gray and icy with cold, I could envision how the countryside would look when the Ohio Valley emerged from its winter doldrums.

One of the songs we often sang in choir in junior high was "Beautiful Ohio", which lent itself to nice harmony. I heard it played on mandolins at a campground in Florida two years after we started full-timing and while it made me homesick, the song translated well to that particular instrument.

So I thought I'd post the lyrics this morning, only to find that once again, politicians can't leave well enough alone. They commercialized the lyrics. Sigh.

The Ohio State Song
Beautiful Ohio

words by Ballard MacDonald and music by Mary Earl
special lyrics by Wilbert B. McBride

I sailed away;
Wandered afar;
Crossed the mighty restless sea;
Looked for where I ought to be.
Cities so grand, mountains above,
Led to this land I love.

Beautiful Ohio, where the golden grain
Dwarf the lovely flowers in the summer rain.
Cities rising high, silhouette the sky.
Freedom is supreme in this majestic land;
Mighty factories seem to hum in tune, so grand.
Beautiful Ohio, thy wonders are in view,
Land where my dreams all come true!

Adoption of the State Song
Beautiful Ohio
Courtesy Duke University

The song, 'Beautiful Ohio', words by Ballard MacDonald (1882-1935) and music by Mary Earl was adopted by the Ohio Legislature as the official state song on October 14, 1969.

However, the song adopted in 1969 was not the same song that serves as the official state song today. The words have been changed. Thirty years after the song was adopted as the official state song, in 1969, a bill was introduced and passed changing the words of 'Beautiful Ohio' as adopted by the state. New words were written by Youngstown, Ohio attorney, Wilbert B. McBride. This is why, above and in the statute below, 'special lyrics' are attributed to Wilbert B. McBride. The original words to 'Beautiful Ohio' follow:

Long, long time ago
Someone I know
Had a little red canoe,
In it room for only two.
Love found its start
Then in my heart,
And like a flower grew.

Drifting with the current down a moonlit stream,
While above the Heavens in their glory gleam,
And the stars on high
Twinkle in the sky,
Seeming in a paradise divine,
Dreaming of a pair of eyes that looked in mine.
Beautiful Ohio, in dreams again I see
Visons of what used to be.

Not only are the current words to the Ohio state song different than the words to the song that was adopted in 1969, but Mary Earl is not Mary Earl. Mary Earl is a pseudonym, or pen name, for Robert A. 'Bobo' King (1862-1932) of New York City. In 1918, he went to work for Shapiro-Bernstein Music Publishers under a contract to produce 4 songs per month. One of the songs he produced during that period was 'Beautiful Ohio'. The music for the song was adapted from a waltz of the same name.

Ohio Revised Code

The following information is excerpted from the Ohio Revised Code, General Provisions, Chapter 5, Section 9. The words are included within the statute.


Monday, December 05, 2005

We meet our grand-dog

Meet Calli, our grand-dog (that's her mom, Net, holding her). Darb, our youngest son, and his wife Net have provided us with grand-cats and a grand-dog that assuage our pet ownership urges. Like grandkids, we can play with them and get them all wound up and then walk out. Nice.

Darb and Net visited over the weekend while in town to help out Net's dad. Sunday Denny made popcorn in the afternoon as is our habit and he and Darb watched the Bengals/Pittsburgh game (what else would we be watching in Ohio?). Of course, after the popcorn was made Darb remembered that he had brought the popcorn he purchased for us at the Beavercreek popcorn festival this past fall. Sigh. Good, home grown white hull-less popcorn from Arcanum. Denny and I grew our own popcorn for two years, sitting in front of the TV in the evening after work stripping the kernels off the cob which is very hard on the thumbs but oh-so-worth-it for great big fluffy popped corn. We've looked for home-grown popcorn all over the West this year but couldn't find any so it was great that the kids not only discovered and bought us a ten-pound bag (thank goodness I brought an extra suitcase for Christmas gifts!) but also got an order form for future purchases. This kid knows the way to his mother's heart!

Net has a new job with the State of Ohio working phone lines with senior citizens answering their questions about the new Medicare prescription plan choices. The position may be a springboard to a different job later, but she's looking forward to working with folks over the phone instead of driving to their homes as a change of pace. The research grant that funds Darb's job is due to expire so his office is waiting to see if their request for renewal is accepted, otherwise he'll be looking for something new also. Since he's bright, verbal and personable (and a lesbian, he claims-don't ask) I don't worry about him as he'll always land on his feet. Which is all a parent can ask, right?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The 2005 version of the antique ornament-filled Christmas tree at Mom's. Complete with antique toys below. Note the hung-one-at-a-time lead icicles; next year I may just drizzle artificial snow on the branches as I really don't have the patience to hang individual icicles anymore. Posted by Picasa

The Christmas Tree Challenge

Okay folks, here it is; SHOW US YOUR TREE! I've included some close ups of some of my favorite ornaments and decorations. Every year some change, but some ornaments and decorations are "must haves". These are all Mom's decorations; those I saved from our house are packed away and include a large number of Lenox carousel animal ornaments that may get slipped in one year.

Our tree in the rig is a two-foot fiber optic tree, just the right size for the dining room table. If I had room and storage space I'd have a real tree every year, just because I love the smell and the fun of cutting down our own tree. For several years we purchased a live tree that we would plant outside after Christmas and today they are huge (we drove by the old place for shits and giggles the other day). We not only enjoyed the trees that way but we also enhanced the value of our property.

But I've become acclimated to artificial trees and can even appreciate white ones with blue balls. Perhaps I should reword that last line...

One of many antique clip-on bird ornaments on the tree. Posted by Picasa

The icicles got in the way of this blown glass candelabra; even the candles are glass. Posted by Picasa
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