Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Favorite

Here is my favorite Christmas picture. The trip to Chicago was fun, our Christmas celebration fantastic and now we're resting up for the New Year.

~Hippo Hugs~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

As we leave for Christmas trip to Chicago to spend Christmas with our daughter, Paige, I want to wish all my dear friends in Blogland a very Merry Christmas. You have been a blessing to me during this past year and I look forward to continuing our bloggy friendship in the year to come.
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son
And she wrapped him in swaddling clothes
and laid him in a manger, because there was no
room for them in the inn."
~Luke 2:7~
~Hippo Hugs~

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Day for Rejoicing

In the midst of the joy of the Christmas season, I have another cause for rejoicing. Yesterday, we found out that our friend, Shelly's, cancer was totally self-contained, stage one and gone. The Doc says for insurance she needs to have three chemo treatments. When we think of what this diagnosis could have meant, we are shouting for joy. Before the doctor left the examining room, she told him how very relieved she was. He turned to Pat and I and said with a big smile on his face, "She does know about the chemo, doesn't she?"

The past nine weeks, since Bruce and Shelly's accident, have been a nightmarish blur most of the time. As awful as this accident was, and considering we still don't know the outcome for Bruce, we also know that without it, Shelly might well have lost her life to cancer. Does anyone see the hand of God in this? I sure do.

So, today, dear bloggy friends, as you continue to pray for Bruce's recovery, which is very, very slow, take a moment to thank God for this life saving news about Shelly.

~Hippo Hugs~

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hitting the Wall

I will start this post with apologies for being away so long, but the past eight weeks and the trip to NY finally caught up with me and I hit a brick wall.....hard. I knew I was tired Tuesday when I took three, yes three, naps during the day. BUT that was nothing to what I woke up to on Wednesday. Wednesday was the Loser Housewives, (something like the Ya Ya's, Dagmar) annual Christmas Shopping Day. I woke up tired, achy and feeling like I wanted to cry. I tried to hide it from the Losers, but they all know me too well and I soon had to confess how I was feeling. Oh, did I mention, the indigestion and over all yukky feeling.

I walked around the mall all morning feeling like I had cement in my shoes. On top of how I was feeling, I found none of the things on my shopping list. By lunch time, I felt like a total failure. HOWEVER, lunch was wonderful. We had a leisurely lunch at an Italian restaurant in the mall. The soup and sandwich was delicious and rejuvenating for me. I'm sure the company helped too as I just love these ladies whose friendship make my life so rich.

The afternoon proved to be better and by the time we arrived home in the evening, I had only three things left to purchase from my list. Although I was beat, I did feel better and managed to stay awake until at least 9 P.M.

So, now I'll finish part two of Kacy Meets NY. I think I left off on Thursday evening. By the time we went to bed on Thursday, we had already scrapped the idea of getting up at 5:30 A.M. to try to go to the Today Show. Instead, we slept a little later and walked to Radio City Music Hall for the 10 A.M. show. Of course, I have no pictures of the show, as my mother taught me to obey rules and that means taking no flash pictures. Must be that hundreds of people in the audience didn't have a mom who taught them well, as the flash cameras were going off all the time.

The show was wonderful, as usual. The Rockettes are such fun to watch. We were in the upper balcony and seeing them dance from above is a delight. They always end the show with a Nativity Scene which includes live animals, camels, donkeys, sheep. I am so happy that Radio City hasn't become politically correct as this is the best part of the show to me.

Did I mention that it was a beautiful day, once again. We signed up for one of the open air tour buses that run around the city.

Some of the sights from the bus, a pretty poor picture of the famous Flat Iron building, the water towers that bring water the apartments in Greenwich Village, Christmas tree sales on a city street, and Times Square.
These buses are great because they go all over the city and you can hop off and hop on as you please. We hopped off in SoHo and walked to Little Italy for lunch. My brother-in-law says you can't find a bad restaurant in Little Italy and we sure found a good one.

After lunch, we shopped. First in Little Italy, then SoHo, then China Town. I guess we would all say China Town was the best. The merchants there are willing to bargain, and bargain we did. It was such fun.

It was dark and quite a bit colder when we arrived back at the hotel. One of the tour guides had given us some good advice about restaurants. We were into American food and found a great little bar and grille on 8th Avenue and 46th St. We enjoyed the food and the atmosphere at The Joshua Tree. Then it was back to the hotel and off to bed.

Saturday dawned cold and rainy. We started at Macy's for breakfast.

Talk about busy, this store was mobbed. I had claustrophobia just trying to get to the bakery. I did manage to buy a couple of items and then did my best to get out into the street without being run down by shoppers.

After a quick stop at the hotel, it was off to more fun things to do. Kacy and Deb were off to China Town again to shop, while I was about to experience the best part of my trip to the Big Apple. An old family friend (old because I've known him since birth, not because of chronology) is living and working in NY and we made arrangements to meet at the hotel where he is the pastry chef for tea.

I met PJ (now P. Julian) in this lobby. What a beautiful and elegant hotel. Thinking I might like to stay here in fashionable SoHo sometime, I asked him about the rates. $500 - $3,500 per night might just a little too rich for my blood. The tea, however, was outstanding and the two hours I spent reminiscing with this delightful young man was precious to me. After tea, promising not to wait 15 years to get together again, Julian walked me to the subway and I was on my way to Times Square to stand in line for cheap tickets.

By the time I reached TS, the rain had turned to huge wet snow flakes. I stood in line for over an hour with my umbrella up only to find when I arrived at the ticket office that the shows we were interested in were not offering any tickets. **Sigh**.

I was wet, achy and tired. I phoned Deb, who was on her way back from China Town, and told her to meet me at the fabulous Joshua Tree Bar and Grille where I would be having a glass of wine. When they arrived we had some more wine (Kacy had Sierra Mist) and some potato skins. This was enough to get me back to the hotel for a little nap while Deb and Kacy went back to Macy's.

I was beat by then and was determined to skip dinner, but Kacy and Deb shamed me into getting dressed as it was our last night in NY. We found another little restaurant on 8th Avenue, this time a European one. We had a great dinner, with Kacy and Deb even opting for dessert. By the time dinner was over the rain had stopped and I was truly happy that I had not been a wet blanket (literally) on the last night.

Too soon, it was Sunday, and we were back on the train heading for Rochester, NY.

If you have read through this lengthy post, I give you my hearty thanks and many, many

~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, December 7, 2009

New York, New York - A Heck of a Town!

What a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend we had! I said to Deb yesterday, on the train coming home, that I couldn't believe we had planned it for so long and it was over so quickly. We certainly made the most of our time there. I think I left off somewhere in the middle of the night the morning we were leaving. Although no one slept much, we were up and ready to go at the appointed time. Kacy was excited, and spent some important time the night before preparing to look her best.

She is really a good sport. She knew when I took this picture that it would end up on my blog, but she didn't mind at all.

We arrived at the train station with plenty of time, but the wait didn't seem that long and before we knew it, we were on the train speeding (well, maybe not speeding) along to New York.

I'd been sleeping, so I think that might account for the hairstyle. At this point, we were travelling along the Hudson River and I was pointing out the sights to Kacy. I really enjoy this train ride.

Our hotel was directly across from Penn Station, making it really easy to get from the train to the hotel. Check-in, was a little less convenient, but after a wait in line, finding out that we couldn't check in, and stashing our bags (for $4 each) in the luggage room, we were off and exploring.

They both loved the bright lights, hustle and bustle and excitement of Times Square. And then we travelled on to...

Radio City Music Hall where we would go on Friday to see the famous Christmas Show with the Rockettes. Next was.....

Rockefeller Center. This was such fun. We saw the tree, the crowds of people, the ice skaters, the angels, toy soldiers, etc., etc.

From there we walked down Fifth Avenue to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Saks 5th Avenue, to Central Park where we took a horse drawn carriage ride around the park. It was a balmy and lovely evening and the ride was such fun. We walked down into the park to watch some more ice skating. I was dying for some coffee so we stopped at an outdoor Kris Kindle Mart - sorry, no luck. But before we knew it, we were walking into a Starbuck's for some yummy coffee treats.

By this time, we were pretty tired. We did manage to have some dinner and stop at Macy's before going back to the hotel and to bed. Stay tuned for day two of "Kacy Meets NYC."

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New York Here We Come

Tomorrow evening my SIL, Deb, niece Kacy, and I will be viewing this beautiful tree in person. We will be leaving at 5:26 A.M. for the Big Apple. We were really excited tonight as we watched the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center knowing that we would be there tomorrow.
Actually, I guess I shouldn't be saying tomorrow. I went to bed earlier, about 10:30, set my alarm for 3:40 and laid in bed, and laid in bed, and laid in bed, my eyes wide open. I turned from my left side to my right; then from my right to my left, tried my back, back to my side. I guess you get the picture. About midnight I decided that sleep wasn't coming soon so I got out of bed and came downstairs. Since then, I've paid my bills, read all my emails and Facebook posts, played solitaire and now I'm posting here. In about an hour I'll take my shower and make coffee for the rest of the clan
What is it about these nights? This doesn't happen to me often, maybe twice a year. But it always seems to occur when I really, really want to be fresh and raring to go the next day. I am really quite frustrated, but knowing we have a 6-1/2 hour train ride to the city helps. I know I can sleep a few hours on the train. The frustration in that is that I was looking forward to sharing Kacy's first train ride with her. I guess I'll just drink caffeinated coffee and try to get through the day. I think the adrenaline will flow once we get into NY.
I'm hoping to take lots of pictures and post them when we return home. I have been remiss in posting about the happenings in my life recently.
We had a great Thanksgiving. I left my camera home and am waiting for Kacy to email me some pics. Hopefully, that will be soon. I want to share the great time we had with Kacy's cousins, Mason (age 8 months) and Garrett (age 5). Not having boys of my own, I am totally fascinated and enamored of little boys. Garrett is a really bright and outgoing lad and we had a delightful time together.
Upon our return home, we busily decorated our house for Christmas (once again, pictures to follow) as I knew this week would be a busy one.
On Monday, my friend Shelly, who was in the terrible automobile accident in November, had a hysterectomy. Can you believe what these people have been through? She came through the surgery well and is recovering. It is amazing the advances they have made in technology for surgery. She had a laproscopic surgery using something called the DaVinci Robot. She was literally hopping out of her bed the following morning. The doc did find a malignant growth which he removed. We are waiting on the pathology report, but the doctor feels it was a very early stage tumor and self contained. In many ways this accident was a blessing as they found this growth because of a CT scan they did at the time of the accident. As I'm off to NY, she is recovering at home in the very good hands of her friends and family.
We had an inch or so of snow on Tuesday, but it was quickly gone as the sun shown and temperatures rose to near the 50 degree mark. It was a gorgeous day today with temps in the mid 50-s. It's hard to believe that it is just three weeks until Christmas. I don't know about you, but I have much to do before then.
Jim has been busily baking our Christmas cookies. I am so grateful that he is willing to do this. If not, we just wouldn't have any this year and that would be sad. Cookies are such a big part of our Christmas celebrating. I've pretty much decided not to send cards this year. I think I'm going to wait until Valentine's Day and send a valentine to everyone on my Christmas card list.
I talked to my Gretchen today and she said if it wasn't fun for me to make and send my cards this year I absolutely shouldn't do it and I agree. So if you don't hear from me in December, look forward to February.

Well, it's now 2:23 A.M. and I doubt it would be worth my while to go to bed for an hour. Guess I'll raid the cookie jar.
Until I return from NY, remember to "Be Kind to your Chuthers."
~Hippo Hugs~
P.S. Blogger hates me tonight. It won't let me double space between my paragraphs. So, please blame Blogger and not my excellent English teachers.