Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas is Almost here!!!!

Can you believe it's only days until Christmas???  We have not yet decorated, because we will be leaving here tomorrow to head back to Wilderness Lakes for the next three weeks.  I do have a Christmas wreath I made hanging outside, but everything else will have to wait until tomorrow.  Tony is coming to visit on Wednesday, so I hope we can have everything festive by the time he arrives.  I may have said this before, but it still amazes me.  I always thought that when we retired we'd have tons of time to do things...........but it still seems like there are just not enough hours in the day for all the things we want to do.  And now I wonder how I ever found time for the job I worked at before retiring.  Alas, I guess I have to start getting up earlier...........and maybe spend less time playing solitaire on my computer.

It has been warm most days here in Palm Springs, but the night are pretty cold (for California, I mean).  The dogs are in no hurry to go outside early in the morning, especially Millie.  But doesn't she look cute anyway?

Last week the news reported that we were going to have heavy rain in many parts of southern California.  Some places got a lot of rain, and they worried about mud slides in "burn scar areas".  Here in Palm Desert we only got light showers, but the next day we were treated to this blessing.  
On the way to pick up mail at the post office we saw this beautiful double rainbow.  I'm sorry the picture isn't better, but the sight was spectacular! 

We got our first Christmas card this week.  It was from our dear friends Ray & Carol.  WOW.  It was a really pretty card.  Thanks guys!  Since we only get our mail forwarded once a month, and we usually get our December mail around the 15th, we usually get most of our cards in the mail in January.  But that's NOT a bad thing as it extends our enjoyment of the Christmas season through an extra month!  You can't complain when the happiest time of the year lasts a little longer.

In regards to our furry kids, I feel I need to make a few comments now.  First, as always please keep your pets safe during this busy time of the year.  With guests, and maybe delivery people, coming and going from your homes, please make sure your pets don't get outside without you knowing it.  Many Christmas plants, like poinsettias are lethal to animals, so place them where pets cannot get to them.  Likewise, holiday foods can make your pets sick, so keep them out of reach.  If you are hosting a party, with lots of guests, it might be best to put pets in a separate room where they won't be frightened by too many people.  Also, some of your friends might have animal allergies, so that might protect them as well.  Please make sure your pets have an adequate supply of clean water, and only pet appropriate foods to eat, and that they stay warm and safe at all times.  Last, but not least, I would like to advise against "surprising" someone with a pet for a Christmas gift.  As you know, I am ALL for pet adoptions, but not necessarily as a Christmas gift.  This is a hectic time of the year, and not the perfect time to try to introduce a new member to a family.  Also, I think the selection of the perfect furry family member must be made BY the family that is going to have the pet.  We always hope adoption will result in a FOREVER home for an animal, but if the pet is not a good fit for the family, that will not be the result.  If you want to give a pet for Christmas, why not give a card indicating that you have paid the adoption fees so the family can go select the pet they want AFTER the holidays are over and life has slowed down a little???
  They should get the right pet for them, like our "perfect for us" pair of loving pets.

 I promised to share a tip in this email.  This tip was sent to me by my friend Nancy Clark in Garden Grove.  You may already know this, but I didn't.  Many of us live in areas where we may experience power outages.  These are especially common in RV parks and campgrounds.  More than once we have come home to see clocks flashing because the power went out and came back on.  We never knew how to tell how long it was out, and if food in the freezer may have defrosted and then re-froze.  With this tip, you will know if food needs to be discarded or if it is safe to keep.  Place a cup of water in your freezer and let it freeze solid.  Then place a coin on top.  If you come back and discover that your power has been out, check the cup.  If the coin is still on top of the ice, your freezer didn't defrost, and your food is safe.  If the coin is on the bottom of the cup, your food has been compromised, and should be discarded.  If the coin is part of the way down in the cup, larger pieces of food are probably safe, but smaller pieces may have thawed and could be at risk.  I think that is a great tip and I thank Nancy for sharing it.  Please feel free to share it with others.

Before I close today, I would again like to remind people to be a little kinder than you need to be.  Unfortunately, many people are extra stressed this time of year.  They are looking for the "perfect" gift for someone special.  They are trying to clean and decorate their homes, send out Christmas cards, and prepare special meals, and desserts for friends and family.  Sadly, instead of enjoying Christmas, they make it into a list of chores they think they MUST get done by December 24th.  May I suggest that instead of trying to do it ALL, you pick a couple things that mean the most to you, and let someone else worry about the rest?  If you are hosting a party, you could ask someone else to prepare some of the food, or even maybe buy some of the foods ready made.  Your guests shouldn't be coming to inspect your house, so don't worry if it isn't perfectly clean.  What needs to be clean is where you prepare foods, and where people are going to be.  Clean the kitchen, bathroom and living room.  Forget about the bedrooms, and relax.  

Jim and I, and the furry kids wish you all a wonderful, Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.  Stay well,  and love your family and friends.  That's what Christmas is all about.  And if you are traveling this Christmas, please stay safe on the roadways.

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