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This Day in My History

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Thank you guys so much!  I guess if you stick around long enough, you achieve legacy status!  I am truly humbled. Thanks!  Now go congratulate the other winners!

2000: Mom's Christmas Crisis
 Lost and Alone on Some Forgotten Highway
2002:  Fizzbin
2003:  Sensory Overload


My friend Diane sent me this link to gorgeous photos of the Northern Lights from Iceland.

My Amazon
Wish List

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Picture 1 of 3.
She's trying to torture me by hiding this ball in this little rubber thing.

Sheila Videos
"See Sheila Run", "Meet Barkley"
"The Green Monster", "Sheila's Tongue"

Today's Search Engine queries:
(how people find this journal)...

  • picture of Charles Shulz [sic]
  • resolution to discrimination
  • 866-849-3243
  • vaginal ball speculum
  • "until one feels the spirit of Christmas there is no Christmas"
  • "early morning bike ride"
  • Fog by Carl Sandburg
  • funny x-rays
  • Seven Old Ladies
  • giant labia


CHRISTMAS LETTER.  Once again, I've posted our Christmas letter on the Internet.  It may not be as personal as holding it in your hand--but it's a lot prettier on the net! 


22 December 2004

I sat down to look at my Christmas list and realized that except for one thing, I am finished.  Everything purchased, most things wrapped and, as soon as we set up that 3' tree Walt bought yesterday, and get the pile of his mother's discards out of the living room, we might actually start to think that Christmas will happen this week.

This was avery strange year with respect to Christmas gifts.

It has become much easier since the kids became adults and since we no longer have little kids or foreign students here for Christmas.  Several years back, Walt's sister-in-law complained that there was a disproportionate share of cost in the family, since they always bought something for each of our five kids and, since there were only two of them, they had to buy 7 gifts for our family and only got two back.  While the rest of the family didn't express that sentiment, that was really true for everybody.  We were the only one with kids and the rest of the family felt they "had" to buy a gift for everyone.

(Not only did it involve a huge expenditure, but it took forever to open gifts, when you add all the gag gifts and the foreigners who joined our celebration for many years.)

She suggested at that time that we draw names and only buy a gift for one person.  In truth, I was quite relieved that she made that suggestion.  I had been feeling guilty because I was quite aware that having all these people were buying gifts for us and for our kids while we only bought one gift for them was really not right.

So now each year, on Thanksgiving, we draw names and when Christmas rolls around, we are only responsible for buying a "good" gift to only the person whose name we drew.  If we want to get something for someone else, that's OK, but we are really only expected to buy the one gift.

Walt and I, of course, still give gifts to each of the kids, but unless we have drawn their name, the value of the gift isn't huge, the extra money spent on the person whose name we chose.

The person whose name I drew turned out to be quite easy to shop for this year.  Amazon.com handled all of my choices, and everything came in record time.

From time to time, I would look for things on the Internet, or I would see things in one of the bazillion catalogs that come each day and then check them out on the Internet.

I've been listening to reports about the crowds in shopping malls in Sacramento, the impossibility of finding parking, warnings about thiefs who may steal things out of your hand or out of your car.

I remembered a couple of years ago, when Walt and I braved one of Sacramento's larger shopping malls.  We were smart.  We got there just as the shops were opening and easily found a parking place in the garage.  What we didn't anticipate was that the garage would fill up, the parking lot would fill up and that the day would be spent trying to move cars in and out of the center.  We were stuck in the "exit" line so long that I actually took a nap and when I woke up, it was still another 30 minutes before we actually got to the exit.    (Some enterprising soul should set up a gas station in the mall parking lot--I wonder how many people run out of gas while waiting in line to exit the mall parking lot!)

So this year, I started ordering things on line.  A thing here.  A thing there.  A purchase at Amazon.  Then another purchase at Amazon.  Then another purchase at Amazon, etc., etc.

When I checked the list I'd made for the second time, I realized that I had filled in all the gaps.  I had purchased something for everyone and hadn't gotten out of the house to do it!  Every single thing has been purchased on line.  And, with three exceptions, everything is already here, wrapped, and awaiting the tree to put them under.

The closer I came to finishing the list, the more I hoped I could actually do it all on line, but there is one thing I have to buy here in town, but that won't be a big deal.  The place where I have to go has easy parking and I know it won't be a problem getting in and out.  The only problem is having a car, since it's in the shop today.  If it gets back tomorrow, I may say that I've had my one hour of holiday shopping and that I am finally done.

(And by the way, I had a great experience with Amazon.  I usually get the Sierra Club desk calendar each year and for some reason I can't find it in town this year, so I ordered it from Amazon.  The second I ordered it, I realized I had ordered the 2004 calendar by mistake, but when I tried to cancel the order, the "cancel" page was not working.  I went ahead and ordered the 2005 calendar anyway and sent a note to Customer Service explaining my problem.  They responded with an e-mail saying they'd managed to cancel the 2004 book, but weren't fast enough to cancel the 2005 and instead they had credited my account for the price and could I just return the calendar when it arrived.

But I wanted the 2005 calendar, so wrote back and explained the situation.  To my amazement, an Amazon rep actually called me.  She said they never call customers, but she felt this was so complicated it would be easier to discuss voice-to-voice.  The upshot was that they decided to give me the 2005 calendar as their gift.  I'm sure that's because I have singlehandedly kept them in business over the years and they are loathe to lose such a major backer.)

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I just loved this photo of Steve and Jimmy
Merry Christmas from them and me


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