Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Maligayang Pasko Hyvää Joulua Joyeux Noël Frohe Weihnachten Καλά Χριστούγεννα Nollaig Shona Buon Natale メリークリスマス 메리 크리스마스 God jul Feliz Natal С Рождеством ¡Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas
Maligayang Pasko
Hyvää Joulua
Joyeux Noël
Frohe Weihnachten
Καλά Χριστούγεννα
Nollaig Shona
Buon Natale
메리 크리스마스
God jul
Feliz Natal
С Рождеством
¡Feliz Navidad

2011 December 23

            Last night was my last time as Santa at Jolly Holiday Lights.  That is by far one of the best things that I volunteer for.  I posed with babies and grandparents on my lap I also had one photo with two rather large dogs.  One little boy would not come up to see me even when his two brothers and a sister where there.  I offered him a candy cane and he was willing to sit on my lap. A future union negotiator in the making. 
            Many people that I’ve talked to about Jolly Holiday Lights tell me that they’ve been waiting for it to snow, because it is so much prettier with the lights in the snow.  Well tonight is the last night for the lights and still no snow.  We had a steady stream of people right up to the nine o’clock closing.  I was surprised to find that a nine they shut the door to ‘Santa’s Village’ even though there are still a lot of cars that haven’t made it all the way through the light show.  I would have thought that they’d keep the ‘village’ open until the last car was out of the gate.

            Ella works some extra hours today at the clubhouse because the office is closed.  Someone has to be in attendance whenever the building is open to members.  Normally she works five to eight on Fridays.  Today she works two to eight.  She does not work either Saturday or Sunday (Christmas Eve and Christmas) but does work on Monday from two to six.

            It was only fifteen degrees this morning but the sun came up nice and bright and is supposed to be cloudless all day … soaking up that passive solar heat.

            Several months ago I went to Veterans’ Hospital because I wanted to get my prescriptions through them.  I was told that I had to have a copy of my discharge papers as proof of service.  I looked through my safe deposit box and all the papers that I could find at home to no avail.  Considering the number of times I’ve moved since I was discharged and then downsizing to live in the RV, I’m not surprised that they were AWOL.  So, I went online and filled out all the information to have a copy mailed to me.  I was surprised that, after filling out all the information and submitting it online, that I had to print it out and sign the papers and then mail them.  So, really?  What was the purpose of filling out the forms and submitting them, if they had to be snail mailed anyway?  Oh, yeah, I forgot, bureaucrats!  Yesterday, the copy came in the mail.  Of course now there are the holidays to get through before any government employee will be working again.  Even then I may wait a few extra days for their ‘holiday fog’ to clear.

            I may take a couple of days off from writing the blogs.  So, Merry Christmas from Mr. and Mrs. Clause here at the Northpole.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 December 22

      I called and wished my sister, Maryann, a happy birthday.  As a Jehovah's Witness, she doesn't believe in celebrating any day more than another.  But I do.  So, I call and wish her a happy birthday anyway.  We had a nice long talk before she had to go.

It almost looks like a face with a very dazzling smile.
    I got a nice sunrise picture this morning.  It is cold today.  It's not supposed to be above freezing at all today.  However, in the seven day forecast they're talking about being in the fifties.  That ain't bad for late December in Iowa.

    My son, Adam, posted a video on youtube of my four-year-old grandson, Tate, explaining about the pilgrims coming to America.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 December 21

           Yesterday was my granddaughter Sofia’s birthday, today is my son Adam’s birthday and tomorrow is my sister Maryann’s birthday.  Then the 26th is Ella’s and my anniversary.  The day after that is my great-granddaughter Charlotte’s birthday and the day after that is my grandson Tate’s birthday.  Isn’t it nice that everyone decorates their homes and business this time of year just to celebrate these special events?
            What?  I missed something?  Oh yeah!  HIS!  With everything else going on it is sometimes easy to miss His birthday.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!
            Men’s Bible study this morning finished study on Adam Hamilton’s “Journey” series.  Very informative about the background to the birth story in the gospels.

            Last evening we were Mr. and Mrs. Claus at a daycare in Des Moines.  Then we stopped over at son John’s house for a while.  While we were there I changed out of the red suit.  From there we stopped at Arby’s for supper. 
As we were eating, a father with four young children came in.  They had seen us sitting at the table and were staring with that look of recognition.  I knew that they knew I was Santa even without the suit.  So, I greeted them with a Merry Christmas when they came through the door.  The father silently mouthed, “Thank you” as he shepherded the kids to the order counter.  Before we left, Ella went to the truck and brought in some candy canes.  I took them to their table and gave them to the dad and told the kids that he would decide when they could have them.

On the way home from Arby’s it started misting.  Very lightly.  Almost like a fog settling in.  Since it was already below freezing, I was very careful on the drive home.

After arriving home I was going through Facebook’s suggested friends and found several people that I knew.  So I sent out friend requests.  One of them replied that she saw I had several gigs as Santa.  She teaches girls with emotional problems and wondered if I was available on short notice to deliver gifts to the classroom tomorrow (now today).  I replied that I did have a spot in the schedule where I could do that.  I just needed to know where and when.  Sadly, I never heard back.  I kept checking last night and this morning but did not get a message back.   

Late breaking news:  I got a Facebook message this evening.  Teri had not checked her Facebook to see that I had said I would be available.


This morning we awoke to a light blanket of snow on the ground.  The big blizzard that came up through Oklahoma just grazed us.  It stalled out to the southwest and used up almost all of its moisture before getting here.  The sun came up bright this morning and has melted off all the snow that is not in the shadows.  It’s going to be in the forties today, so the snow will be gone before Christmas gets here.  I heard on the news that out of the last ten years we’ve only NOT had snow for Christmas twice.

 We are going to get a visit from our youngest great-granddaughter today.  As a matter of fact, they just pulled into the drive.  So, gotta go for now.

- - - -
Okay, great-granddaughter has been here.  Climbed all over me.  Told great-gran’ma Ella to stop taking pictures.  I, however, managed to catch one shot that shows her face.  She is much quicker than the digital camera shutter.  She has gone home again and the dust has settled once more. (grin)

            We made a run to Sam’s club to pick up cookies for church.  Ella needed some more rice for a recipe that she is making.  We had our choices at Sam’s.  We could buy rice in 12 pound or 25 pound bags.  Really?  Okay, I know that they cater to small restaurants etc.   Apparently Ella really wanted rice, ‘cause we now have 12 pounds of it.  Guess what’s for supper?  And breakfast?  And lunch?

            I have a little time before I need to be at church for the Worship Committee meeting.  We are going to put together plates of goodies to deliver to businesses around our church that are open on Christmas morning.  We’re doing it as a way of showing that we appreciate the service they provide throughout the year.  We are calling it a Shepherds' Run after the story in Luke where the shepherds, after visiting the manger, go through the town spreading the good news.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 December 20

                    The furnace is fixed.  Thanks to Travis who replace the old ignition board with a new one.  It lights, it runs, it heats and then it shuts down until the temperature drops enough for it to repeat the cycle.  

          Here are some pics of me and my niece and family. Interestingly, for some reason I don't have pictures of the little kids on my lap.  Hopefully Krista will send some to me.
Russ ... in a couple years he might be able to fill in for Santa




                    Yesterday, Mrs. Claus and I did a bit of running taking care of getting things ready for some visits from Santa.  We picked up some gifts to be given out tonight at “Round the Clock Daycare”. 

Derik and I
                    We also picked up some gifts that we delivered last night to Daniel and Derik.  I had mentioned Daniel the other day as a single dad raising his son on his own.  I’m not sure who was happier to see the Clauses at their door, Daniel or Derick.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 December 19

Since I didn't post a sunrise pick for Saturday, I took this sunset pic.

Then I did get a sunrise on Sunday.

And a sunrise this morning.

         Sunday was a great day.  Sunday school and church in the morning.  
        Then I quickly came home and put on the red suit and went over to Cutty's clubhouse.  The dining area of the clubhouse had been rented to a family for a Christmas party.  When I came in, the kids all came to sit on my lap and tell me what they wanted for Christmas while Mom and Dad took pictures.
        We had just finished up with them when my niece Krista and her husband Russ came with her daughters and grandkids.  We got the pictures taken and the Christmas wishes heard and then got to have cookies and visit for a little bit.  They couldn't stay long because Stevie works nights and had to get home and to bed.
        Later yesterday, Ella got a call from a friend who has a son that is a single father.  He is having a rough time of it at the moment and a group has donated gifts for his son.  Ella's friend wanted to know if we could deliver the gifts as Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  We will go into town today and get the gifts and then deliver them tonight.  He knows that we are coming to see his son.  He does not know about the gifts that we'll be bringing.  This should be real fun.
        On another note:  we have called Travis this morning to let him know that our furnace still is not working.  Hopefully that will get taken care of today.  Our electric heater and fireplace are doing the job of keeping us warm.  However, I want to have the furnace fixed and running in case we were to have a power outage.
       That about brings you up to speed on what's happening here at the North Pole for now.