Archive for November, 2009

Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

November 28, 2009

Five days later I am just about done decorating the Henderson house for Christmas. A Tree Trimming Party this Sunday will hopefully finish up the 3 of FIVE trees still bare. As in the title of my blog— Judy’s Too Much— our house looks like Twinkle City meets Nativity Nation. I think I have 20+ Nativities. There are big ones, musical ones, two tiny ones on the edge of my bathtub, imported ones, and pretty much every size, shape and color ones. Garlands abound, as do Santa hats and bright red bows. It’s a whole lotta whimsical winter wonderland with ho ho holly and different themes or styles for each and every room. I LOVE IT!
I have an Angel bathroom, a Mary Engelbreit tree, a Victorian room, a Snowman themed tree, a blue and silver style in the toile room and the family room is all red and green. This is our 8th Christmas in Nevada. The pre-lit top of the line trees of 2002 are getting old and if the house sells, we won’t have anywhere to put this accumulated mountain of decorations. Sadly this could be the end of an era.
But for BO thus year we have gone once more to see what lies “over the top.” Glenn and Matt have helped me with repairs and re-assembly. Together with Mark they hung the outside lights. The annual professional lighting display went the way of my acrylic nails —- outta here!
The little touches are all back with another $$$ Michael’s trip or two carrying coupons.
SPOILER ALERT—- I’m also NOT sending out Christmas cards this year (gasp! What? No Hibbs Holiday Happenings Newsletter, no photos, no personal note on 250 oversized extra postage cards). People will think I died!
Please tell them otherwise.
I’m just circling the planet in December (Vegas to Catalina to Vegas to San Diego to Scottsdale then back to Vegas). Our mail will won’t catch up to us til mid-January. That bites!
But it can’t be helped. Sean & Nicole still don’t know if they are coming Dec 25th. Both had to work last year which really takes the fun out of things. Nobody told me going in that our children wouldn’t be with us for Christmas or 30th birthdays. It wasn’t in the Parenting Book that sons would be closer to the wife’s family or that we would just get boring and run out of things to do with each other after all these years. I’m soldiering on but it’s tough! Nobody even looks for the Christmas pickle to claim the prize— although I continue to hide it year after year. Nobody wants to sing carols in the Nevada neighborhood or drive around and look at house lights. Been there, done that.
Is there any hope for the next generation? Is there a live wire grandkid or two to pick up the gauntlet and do the fun things I love????Gingerbread house decorating, anybody? There’s candy involved.
It doesn’t get any better than that!

30 Years Ago

November 24, 2009

Early Saturday morning Nov 24, 1979 I went into labor and barely made it to the hospital before giving birth to Twin A– Sean Joseph 6 lbs 11 oz and a reluctant Twin B— Stephanie Kay 7 lbs 13 oz twenty-seven minutes after her brother. It was the only time EVER that Stephanie was hesitant about anything!
Our world changed forever. They were such individuals from the get go. STEPH was early to sleep for her 2-3 hour “night”. Sean wanted to stay up late (midnight) before getting his 2-3 hours of shut-eye. Do the MATH— It was a wild and crazy time.
Now they are in their 30’s. Gosh!
Time flies when you’re having FUN!

BO = BLISS

November 22, 2009

We made a beeline to see Bo and Steph when we reached Henderson on Friday. It was mid morning and he was in fine form running around, chuckling and giggling anxious to be chased. He knows me now and always laughs when I make faces or pop out in peek-a-boo. The dogs were running around excitedly and Bo was catching Oscar’s tail and trying to get close to Kit. At our house he loves the single steps up and down —- only went splat! once and didn’t cry. He played with my glasses and a small coffee table knick knack with 3 drawers. Everything he does amazes me. Today I babysat from 9-12 while Steph flew to LA for her birthday bash and Mark was at work. Bo is in constant motion. He runs from room to room always coming back to Sesame Street on the TV. He loves it!
He is pure delight. What a wonderful diversion from the Ranch mess. G is still on the phone to the attorney all day but is lighthearted and laughing at times. STEPH had the new Star Trek movie from NetFlix and he’s watched it TWICE already. Sci Fi therapy!
I bought a new electric blanket. Since it’ll be so nice and toasty lying in my preheated bed I decided to drag the two smallest Christmas trees out of the guest room closets and put them up — one in our room and the blue/silver one in the Blue Toile Room.
Burned out twinkle lights and mashed branches aside I fluffed and fixed them up to enjoy glancing at as I now read a suspenseful Jeffery Deaver book.
Little blessings are BEST. BO, a warm blanket, a good book and my dogs asleep nearby.
God is good!

Catalina Dreamin’

November 14, 2009

Back in Avalon I hit the ground running. FOB— as we say, “Fresh off the Boat” I raced out to the Casino to make calls and take pledges for the Catalina Island Museum’s Telethon. You can see me on the phones by going to the web site catalinamuseum.org. $41,000 was raised.
Chocolate doughnuts were the Friday the 13th treat for Annette’s Special Ed class this morning. The kids get taller every time I visit. Look on FB and See Angel, Annette and one of the classroom’s Bearded Dragons (Spikey and/or Speedy— don’t know which is which?). Both are creepy.
Transitioned right into a quick trip to Catalina’s interior to monitor my burn area fence. The Conservancy is studying plant re-growth when bison and deer are excluded. It was a beautiful balmy day with incredible views of a placid ocean. It was so quiet. Few cars were on the road. Such peace and loveliness. God’s little acre.
I’m getting organized for the upcoming Catalina Ladies Christmas Brunch on Dec 5th—my next trip to the island.
Tomorrow I am working an Aid Station for the Eco-Marathon in the morning and starting my secretarial duties in the afternoon for the Museum Board of Directors meeting at the Country Club (formerly I was Veep).
Island life is moving at a more sedate pace. Some places have closed for the winter. The harbor looks austere without the extra floats and docks. The Island Co has started it’s downtown remodeling, my neighbor Linda’s deck is taking shape across the street and I am loving my 10 new lamps and energy efficient bulbs. Just before leaving in October— I volunteered at the Energy Efficient Lamp Exchange. 10 old ones of mine for 10 new ones from Edison.
Good friends all around. Lots of good stuff on the TiVo. Happy Days!

Fly often?

November 12, 2009

I want everyone to know that I hate those people who bring huge suitcases plus 2-3 other carry ons for flights. I only bring what I absolutely NEED and I schlep it myself including cramming it into the overhead un-aided. But I do always secretly hope that other passengers have BIGGER bags or MORE carry-ons than me!
Daughter-in-law Nicole had her small roller bag taken away by Delta in Boston. Those people were Nazis. They’d look at a bag and yell, “check”.
No recourse but to hand it over!
I’m hurrying to Long Beach to catch the last boat to Catalina tonight (5:45). Its the Museum Telethon tonight. My Jet Blue flight is already on the Board as 20 min late– landing at 4:35 pm now. That’s WHY I HAVE TO CARRY ON. I’ll already be running through the little LB Terminal like an old OJ Simpson Hertz commercial. Hope I don’t pull a hamstring or split my pants hurdling small children.
And the cab may have to be Mr Toad’s Wild Ride to get me to the boat in time.
And why the heck can’t travelers take LIQUIDS out of their x-rayed luggage and “personal items”??? You are allowed one piece of luggage and one “personal item”. Yada yada yada
A sampling of today’s contraband — Gatorade, Big pink (Costco sized) bottle of baby lotion —- no baby (?) and best of all a SNOWGLOBE. Two business men were waiting for their bags to come through on the X-ray belt When TSA gal says, “Snowglobe???” whose bag is this? No answer. More emphaticslly she asks, “Which one of you belongs to this bag?” The culprit looked sheepishly embarrassed. Hey Snowglobe boy, take it like a MAN. Hand over the snowglobe and nobody gets hurt. Egad.

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

November 9, 2009

Too Cute

November 9, 2009

I had a joyous homecoming and reunion with Steph and BO. He recognizes me. He loves to be chased and tickled. He runs in his stiff legged gait and chortles with laughter. He looks over his shoulder to see if I’m still in pursuit. He even waits for me then runs on, usually peeking around a corner of the kitchen island.
He eats like a “food fight” shoving it in his mouth with both hands before dumping his bowl in his lap or on the floor.
He roots through cupboards pulling out all of the DVDs from one or spinning the plastic baby dishes on the Lazy Susan on another corner cabinet.
Bo is Having a haircut today. Photos to follow!

Home from Hanover

November 8, 2009

Our lovely New England vacation is nearly at an end. We saw Dartmouth beat Cornell in a deadlocked double overtime. It all came down to Dartmouth’s defense — shaky at times in the past but today they gutted it out and got the WIN. Kyle played so great. It’s scary how poised and consistent he is in only his second season. He’ll go far.
Nicole and I drove to Boston and are bunking at the Courtyard Marriott for a quick zip to the nearby AVIS dropoff at the Airport and then our 6:30 AM (UGH!) flight. It was the Big Empty along unlighted freeways for almost 3 hrs to get here from New Hampshire (see photo). No gas for 125 miles, no fast food, no Rest Areas.
We took one wrong turn on MA 1 instead of MA 1A and ended up doubling back over the Tobin Toll Bridge. $3 for that little excursion to nowhere.
But we had such a great trip. Happy memories, fun family times!

Molly’s Birthday

November 5, 2009

We spent the day at Dartmouth.  Nicole and Damon went to class with Kyle in the morning and then we met them at 11:30 to walk around campus on a sunny but brrrr brisk November day.  Danny led us to the Football field and Florren Varsity House where we ventured up to the top floor to have a look-see.  The defensive line Coach Cedric – something  (sorry!) recognized the Cooks and soon more Big Green-ies were glad-handing us including Head Coach Buddy Tevens.  Coach Tevens and the others talked glowingly about Kyle, his work ethic, his hair (ha ha) and how he is becoming a team leader while still doing well in his classes.  We all beamed.  A special tour of the facility was arranged and we saw and  took pictures in the weight room, locker room, and pretty much every other room that had an unlocked door.  We also met the Equipment Manager and he and I talked “laundry”.  He does all of the teams’ wash.  How does he keep from losing a sock or mixing up a shirt with 106 players?  I have the inside track on that now — I was fascinated — since as my family knows — laundry is my life!

We ate lunch at Lou’s, a downtown eatery that could have been a “Happy Days” set, toured the historic Baker Hall and library and then stopped in at the Hanover Inn.  Molly is already thinking ahead to Kyle’s graduation in June of 2012 (where to house the family for the celebration?)  A beautiful fire in the lobby beckoned me to sit and write more postcards (I’ve sent 20 and I’m done!).  The men went to watch Kyle practice in blustery 38 degree temperatures.  Pa stood for 2 hours (IRONMAN) but Danny and Damon sat on the grass and later had to be thawed out and dried off.  The ladies went to the GAP.  Buy a pair of jeans and you get a $20 thermal for only $5.  Molly got two pairs of jeans (birthday booty) and Nicole and Nana got another layer for Saturday’s football game.

We toured Kyle’s bachelor pad.  Its a big ol’ house with a warren-like floor plan.  Every room has a mattress in it.  The basement where Kyle and Grant share living space is an 8 x 8 room that is so low both of their heads brush the ceiling.  The unused floor space is where they keep the ferret, Sticky’s cage.  Ol’ Eagle Eye (Heather) immediately latched on to Sticky and her superior sense of smell kicked in causing her to comment, “he smells like pee”.  Kyle regularly gives his ferret a bath (she swims) so Sticky was exonerated and loved by all.  She quivered quite a bit when the gals were holding her but curled up in Kyle’s big hand and practically purred.  She loves Kyle.

How to describe Kyle’s house?  Definitely “Animal House” meets football fraternity.  A bit overwhelming to anyone with OCD , germ issues or an aversion to clutter.  But the guys posed for photos and weren’t the least bit concerned that we women were cringeing over the dishes in the sink,  no heat, toxic bathrooms and lack of closet space.  It’s fun for Kyle to be there with his teammates and friends.  Since he’s thriving on the football field  and in his classes I won’t elaborate.  He’s happy.

We went to Jesse’s for dinner to celebrate Molly’s Birthday.  Danny toasted Molly as the perfect wife and mother, followed by the kids who each spoke eloquently of their love and admiration for her.  Pa and I added our accolades and I know I was in tears hearing it all.  This family LOVES and EXPRESSES it despite their reserved personalities.  A wonderful thing.

Delicious dinner, a candle in  a serving of chocolate mousse for Molly to make a wish on.  I later asked Nicole who tried the dessert, “How was your Mom’s mousse?” and she looked at me funny and said,”She had BBQ ribs”.

Another late night, up til 12 visiting in the Lounge by the wood stove.  Me reading and Nicole calling Sean.  I wake up so darn early (5-6)  I’m going to just give out when this week is over.

Happy Birthday Molly.  Get your cards and e-mails out to her.  Her special day is Tuesday.  When you are with her, everyday is a special day.

Hangin’ in Hanover

November 4, 2009

We have at last arrived at the reason for our fun trip— to spend time with Kyle and explore the Dartmouth campus.  We left Cape Cod and rolled into Hanover after a 4+ hour drive on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.  We have two rental cars.  Damon drives the van with his wife and parents while Nicole and I are chauffeuring Nana and Pa.  We never even turned the radio on — our conversations were so rich with talk of Nicole’s childhood, Nana and Pa’s fasacinating lives, travel and more.  Great stories were shared and the miles just flew by (partly because Damon has a lead foot and I had to go 80 on the freeways just to keep the van in sight).  The cop cars are brown and look like a regular vehicle with a luggage rack on top until you are alongside them.   I teased Damon that after he blows by the trooper I would be the one pulled over to receive the ticket, being behind but still over the speed limit.  He just smiled his big ol’ Tom Brady lookalike smile and shrugged.

Our headquarters here is the Dowds Country Inn, a family run Bed & Breakfast about 15 minutes north of Kyle’s campus.  It is delightful.  No TV (gasp! say it isn’t so!)  in the individually unique guestrooms but we sat in their lounge with a roaring fire and could have watched the boob tube but instead drank tea, ate scones and talked while Nana whipped through a crossword puzzle and we took turns petting the resident dogs — Missy and Teddy. 

We met Kyle after his football practice for dinner at a local restaurant called Molly’s (hey! cute name) and had a good visit hearing about his football fraternity, the house he’s living in and all doings at Dartmouth.  Nicole and Damon (who haven’t been here before) are going to class with Kyle on Wednesday from 10-11.  Its a  lecture for about 80 students on Russian Fairy Tales.  Kyle is so low-key, I teased that we would all go-  he was mortified.  Next year we plan to have matching shirts and wear them around campus.  That’ll kill him.

 Later we will choose one of the many directions out of here (hopefully to better cell phone service)  for a possible excursion to the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, the Vermont Country Store, a Shaker Village or a working farm.  We want to show Heather a covered bridge before dark and will just enjoy our adventures on the road until we meet Kyle for dinner.  Molly will be celebrating her 50th birthday on November 10 so it’s time to make a big fuss at dinner tonight with Kyle, and it being Heather & Damon’s last night (they fly back to CA Thursday early).  We are going to Jessie’s a great place in Lebanon, the next town over.  I am looking forward to singing, and eating something we can put ice cream on after blowing out the flames.

Snow is expected Thursday.  It rained pretty hard last night and we had to break out the umbrellas in Hanover.  But they say here — “If you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes because it’ll be changing”.

A beautiful day awaits.

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