The Goldsmith Christmas 2009

I should have had my camera out more, but I didn't. I did get this photo of Celia and Jack. There's a story that goes with it. When our son, Jeff, was 2 he wanted a Barbie and her Ferrari for Christmas. That was all he wanted so we got it for him. My did was not exactly happy – until he watched Jeff.

Jeff took all Barbie's clothes off (never could get that poor doll in clothes again) and he put her in the Ferrari. He'd occasionally take her out of her car and – well the best way to put it is that he would admire her form. After my dad saw that, he decided that Jeff and Barbie were OK together.

Jack loves Elanor's Barbies and he plays with them pretty much the same way Jeff did. So Celia got both of them new Princess dolls. Jack's did not stay dressed long.

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This is Jeff, Jack, the Princesses reading Jeff's new book about Stinky, the garbage truck.

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I'd share photos of the rest of us, but I didn't take them. But I have good memories of this Christmas and it's not over yet. We have a big dinner and games planned for New Year's Eve. Life is good.

Mom’s fence, continued

When I left off, we were in Oklahoma City on Christmas Eve during the blizzard of 2009. We visited on Christmas day, rather than doing any work on the fence and that was a good thing.

We did shovel snow off of the driveway. Those of you who do this often probably have snow blowers. I was using a leaf rake with the tongs pointing up and that worked surprisingly well. Steve had a shovel with a flat end. We made piles of snow. Mom is standing in front of one that I ended up moving a couple of days later. If I had to do this again, I'd know where it's best to pile snow.

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We did venture out in the afternoon to go to Steve's family dinner. Our
kids didn't drive up from Texas because of the ice on the roads. It was fun and everyone got home safely.

The next day, December 26th, we started early. Mom called at 5:30 AM to say that she couldn't get her car out of the driveway to take Christy to dialysis. You know, some things have to happen regardless of the road conditions. Luckily the truck (with the dented door) did just fine on the ice. We delivered them and went on to Lowe's at 7:00 AM to buy the stringers (those are the horizontal 2x4s in a fence).

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A lot actually happened between buying the wood and this photo. There was a lot more snow shoveling. We got Mom and Christy home. We went back to Lowe's twice to get the fence pickets – the first time they were buried under snow so we had to wait for them to be dug out. The streets were crazy and there were abandoned cars scattered here and there. 

The kids showed up after lunch. Lorna and Celia visited with Mom and Christy inside and they kept Jack and Elanor entertained. I worked outside with the guys. Jeff and Christopher unloaded and hung pickets (the vertical fence boards) while Steve and I continued with the stringers. That's Jeff in the orange hat…

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…and Chris in the blue.

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The weather was pleasant – clear and just above freezing. The snow and ice made you pay attention, but it could have been a lot worse. We were able to finish it mid-afternoon on the 27th. We were all happy!

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And then the guys had a snowball fight!

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Elanor joined in…

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I'll post a bit more from our Christmas soon.

It’s a blizzard!

We're giving my mom a length of fence for Christmas (we all agree that she does not need anything else to dust). We were warned that winter weather was on it's way to Oklahoma City so we knew that we had to hit the ground running when we got there.

We stopped to rent an auger (to dig post holes) on the south side of the city. We got to mom's house around 2:30 PM Christmas Eve Eve. Steve took down the old fence (about 220') while I went to buy posts and concrete. I got back and the fence was down. We put the Little Beaver together (that's the name on the auger) and Steve went to town.

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It's heavy and hard to move but way, way faster than using a post hole digger.

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My job was to help maneuver the part on wheels. And to be impressed – which I was.

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Steve used his chain saw and reciprocating saw to take out old stuff.

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So, this was yesterday. We quit around 5:00 and it was nearing 32 degrees. This morning it was raining when we got up. That turned to sleet by 8:00 AM. We got out and started putting posts and concrete in the holes Steve dug.

I drove my sister, Christy, and mom to Christy's Dr. appointment because the roads were getting icy and mom gets nervous on ice (that shows her good sense). It was slick and sort of scary. The Dr. almost didn't come in – we were all glad he did. By the time we got back to the house around 9:30 it was way worse. Steve was almost done with the concrete. We cleaned up and loaded the Little Beaver in the truck to take it back to the rental place.

By the time we got there – maybe 10 miles away, it was turning into a full-blown blizzard. We decided to come home – rather than go buy wood and maybe stop at the mall. We got home before all the roads locked up.

Those of you who deal with this all winter long would not be impressed, but OKC is not set up for this sort of mess. Sand and salt and are not keeping up. Ice, snow, lots of blowing. ALL if the highways and turnpikes are closed – some all the way to the state lines. It sounds like people are stuck everywhere – in malls, businesses, in their cars, in their cars in multi-car pile-ups. I'm pretty sure the churches will all be closed tonight, on Christmas Eve. I know we are staying home!

This is the view a couple of hours ago out of mom's back door – the door is frozen shut. Those galvanized poles to the right of the evergreen are where were going to be hanging fence today.

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I forgot to say – on our way home, 1 block from her house, one of mom's neighbors was going too fast, lost control and hit Steve's truck. This is his new-to-him truck. His mom and dad gave him their 10-year-old Silverado (with only 51,00 miles!) a couple of weeks ago. He's going to be getting a new door next week. I'm guessing that the other guys Mercedes is going to cost more to fix, but Steve was still pretty cranky. At least no one was hurt and the other guy has good insurance.

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The snow is supposed to end overnight. It's going to be really cold, but clear for the next few days. Maybe the kids will make it up from Texas for Christmas dinner – or not. At this point it's just nice to know that everyone is safe and warm.

I hope your Christmas is safe and warm and happy as well!

Tiny sweaters…

I've already shown you the bird ornaments I made this year. I think I said that I have a friend or two who share ornaments with me. My friend, Janette, is my most faithful ornament share-er. For the last several years Janette has made little hand-knit sweaters. They are truly fabulous and they will go with me to the old-folks home.

This one is metal and I have no idea how Janette did it. It's shaped, with little tiny breast out-dentations!


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This one is made from yarn that Janette spun from her rabbit's fur:

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She makes little hangers for them too! Notice the hands on the ends of the hanger on this cardigan. And that heart button works!

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A knitted pattern, sort of like fair isle!

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This year's sweater is a green turtleneck with cables – CABLES! Those of you who knit, imagine the tiny little cable needles! I love these ornaments. I smile every time I touch them.

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We are on our way to Oklahoma City. The kids will join us on Christmas. Steve and I are giving my mom a long section of fence for Christmas. We're taking out the old and putting in the new. At least we have recent fence-building experience. The boys will help on the 26th. We like to be busy, I need to work off the desserts I'm going to eat, and Mom needs new fence so it works out. It may be a few days before I post again so Merry Christmas!

Pool build – day whatever..

I know that many, many of you are hip-deep in snow. I'm sorry about that if you're sorry about that. Some people like being in that much snow and I hope that you are having fun and the that the rest of you are staying warm.

It's cold here, but no snow. The guys came last week and sealed the deck. It's shiny now and lots prettier. Some other guys came to do the deco-seal – which is basically caulking. They took out the foam spacer between the concrete and the stone and filled it almost full with fine white sand.

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Then they put in the special caulk.

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Then they covered that with more sand. We were instructed not to touch it until the next day when they came back and vacuumed up the loose sand. I surprised by how finished and nice this looks. The sand on top of the caulk is set in place and should stay put for years. That's it between the stone and the concrete that looks like stone.

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They also (finally) cleaned the little glass tiles. They look almost black in some light and they sparkle in other light. The reflections are wonderful!

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I have been so busy this week that my head could explode any minute. But Jeff and Celia are on their way home as I write this (when you read it, they'll be here). We get to go up and visit with all our family over the holidays. Life is good.