Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bev's Favorite TV Shows

Since so many other Holidailiers have been writing entries about favorite TV shows, I will write this next-to-last entry about TV, since I am such a TV addict.  Here are my top 5
I am not a sit com person any more, but I have watched (and loved) this show since the first episode.  The story of four science nerds, living in Pasadena and working at Cal Tech.  Leonard the Sheldon are roommates, and both are physicists.  Howard is an aerospace engineer who has been to the Space Station and Raj is an astrophysicist from India who spends a lot of time Skyping with his parents.  All four have girlfriends, and now in Season 11 two are married, with Sheldon and his neuroscientist girlfriend Amy are planning a wedding.  The script for this show is sharp, and even after this long still as witty as ever.  Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is the wunderkind from Texas, with the born again mother around whom the situations often revolve and is so quirky that there is now a spinoff about his childhood, Young Sheldon which is just as funny.
A spin-off from the old series Jag, which I did not watch, I have been watching this show for probably all of its life (and if I haven't been watching from the beginning, I have seen the shows so often in reruns that I have seen each one many times).  This is an unusual show for me to like, but it's the chemistry among all of the characters that make this a must-watch for me.  With Mark Harmon at the helm of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, as Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs he commands a group of faithful which has changed over the years, though this season (the 15th) there seems to have been more changes than before.  With long-time cast members Cote dePablo (Ziva) and Michael Weatherly (DiNozo) leaving and Paulie Perrette (Abby) about to leave the show, the feel is different and I do begin to think they are not taking the scripts as seriously as they did before.  I see the end in sight, which will sadden me, but it will run forever in syndication.  I love the tongue in cheek humor (like when someone asked Gibbs what medical examiner Ducky (David McCallum) was like as a young man and he answered "Illya Kuryakin," McCallum's character in the old show The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)
This TV adaptation of Diane Gabaldon's wildly popular series about the time-traveling Claire Randall, who accidentally finds herself in 18th century Scotland, is now in its 3rd season and ready to air the 4th in the fall.  What makes this show so special is not only the plot, which is hard to define as science fiction, romance, or adventure, is the production quality.  The costumes alone are fabulous (the gowns for Claire the season they spent in Paris were gorgeous and Claire's wedding gown when she married Jamie (below) was amazing). (She also has a husband back in the 20th century, but let that pass.)  The romance is wonderful and someone says it has the best sex scenes on TV, but it is so much more than that.  I read today that STARZ may be ending which would kill Outlander, but there is such a rabid fan base for this show, it might start riots.  Fans in the US are facing the prospect of losing their favorite show as a major cable provider threatens to axe its coverage. Now stars and production staff from Outlander are joining in a new campaign to help save it.

the wedding
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is the most powerful woman (or man!) in Washington, DC.  She runs a crisis management agency and is the person you call if you are a big name and get yourself in trouble.  This is a political thriller partly based on George H.W. Bush's press aide, Judy Smith, who is a co-executive producer.  When the show began, Olivia was also the president's girlfriend and hot sex (hotter than Outlander) was a big part of each episode, as the president showed up at her apartment and while the secret service waited outside, they enjoyed each other, but the relationship has evolved significantly, with and without the first lady's permission.  (Olivia even became the public "president's girlfriend" for awhile and moved into the White House.)  Now while their attraction remains, the affair is over and the former first lady is now the president.  Olivia's parents are horrible people who wield even more power than Olivia, and her father (the incredible Joe Morton) runs a super-secret organization which keeps the current administration in power by all sorts of means, which include assassination, if it requires it.
Jeopardy is the long-running answer and question game that I started watching in its daytime version, which debuted in 1964 with Art Fleming as the host.  Alex Trebec took over when it became a prime time show in 1984 and it is the only quiz show which has been awarded a Peabody award and 33 Daytime Emmy awards.  The Trebec show is now in its 34th season.  TV Guide lists the show as  #45 of the 60th greatest shows in television history.  This is a must watch for Walt and me and if we can't watch the show at night, we record it and watch it later.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Sunday Stealing

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?
Our "Christmas" was December 26, the day everyone could get together.  We all met at the theater at 11 a.m. to see the new Star Wars before going home to do Christmas stuff.  I'm not a Star Wars fan and didn't know who was who, but seeing all three of our kids, our two grandkids, our daughters and son-in-law, all gathered together sharing 3 or 4 huge buckets of popcorn and laughing together before the movie started just filled my heart with joy.  I love that our kids are good friends to each other and that they are all good friends of mine as well.
Another bit of unexpected delight came when my mother, who has Alzheimers, started working a puzzle with one of my granddaughters.  My mother used to be a puzzle-working fiend, but that's another talent/interest that Alzheimers has robbed her of.  She didn't work on the puzzle for long, but just seeing her working on a puzzle again was magic.

2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?
After the movie, I came home to start dinner and the others wandered around downtown, then everyone came to our house, along with my  mother (who did not go to the movie).  My favorite part of the holidays is getting all the family together and watching the new generation learning the old traditions.

3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?
I would mostly agree.  There are lots of opinions about these silence breakers but there is a huge difference between being sexually molested/harassed and someone patting you on the tush. The lines have become very blurred and it is getting absolutely ridiculous.  Serious hard-core abusers/molesters should be exposed, but I have always had problems with Al Franken, who I think was a sacrificial lamb for the issue.  Most important thing is shining light on the issue, but it may backfire.  Will men be uncomfortable hiring women now?  I don't know.  In the short run it was a brave, important thing to do.  In the long run it may have ramifications that nobody anticipated.

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate
When I look back on 2017 it seems that my time was divided between ranting and raving about the 45th president and visiting my mother.  Moving her into a memory care unit was one of the best things we did, but watching the disintegration of her brain has been very painful.  She's had fainting spells which have required trips to the ER, so I have become very familiar with that place.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.
Go away and never, ever come back.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I started 2018 very depressed at the thought of losing a wonderful president and replacing him with....what we replaced him with.  My depression over the political scene has only increased as I watch the destruction of this country I have loved.  Repealing everything Obama ever did, whether it was protecting the environment, our national parks, our children's education, food for low income families, encouragement of violence among disparate groups, refusing to call out American terrorists, etc., etc., etc.  I have watched more and more as impeachable offenses are ignored, illegal activities ignored, and more and more eroding of everything I was so proud of that Obama did, against the obstruction of the Republicans.  I no longer have hope and that is a terrible way to start a new year.

Saturday 9

1) In this song, Barry Manilow declares New Year's Eve is "just another night." How do you feel about 12/31? Is it a special occasion or just another night?
Well, we do go to a party each year which makes it different from "just another night," but it never seems a big deal to me.

2) Barry sings that in the past year, "we've made mistakes." What in 2017 do you wish you could do over?
The year was really centered on my mother and I'd like to do over the days when I got upset with her for things that were not her fault (she didn't know it, though)

3) He also sings of happy nights with friends. Tell us about a really good time you had in the past year.
This year my 9 year old granddaughter decided to start a book club with her mother, me, Jeri and Walt's sister.  We've had 3 meetings now and it's just a delight to watch how mature she is about running the meetings.  We are reading the Narnia books and have just one more to go, then we start "The Hobbit."

4) The song references growing wiser, as well as older. What's something you learned or discovered in 2017?
The best tip I heard this year was learning that if you have champagne that has gone flat (whether a glass or a bottle), putting one raisin in it will restore the bubbles.  I also just found this handy kitchen aid:

Chef'n Zipstrip Herb Stripper
Can't wait to have a recipe where I need to use it!

5) What do you wish you had spent more time doing during 2017?
Reading.  I even set aside a time each morning to read, but looking at my list of books read, I read ~20 books fewer than I did last year.

6) What was the smartest thing you did all this past year?
I created "Benny," the teddy bear who has adventures and then writes to my granddaughters about them.

My "quiddich" picture was my magnum opus.
7) As this year comes to a close, what are you most grateful for?
While I am not grateful for the continuous eating away of my mother's brain that Alzheimers does, I am so grateful that her physical health is perfect.  She's 98 now and may well make it to 100. 

8) When this week's featured artist, Barry Manilow, was a jingle writer, he wrote the famous "You deserve a break today at McDonald's" song. When's the last time you visited the Golden Arches?
I don't remember the last time I was there, but I am embarrassed to admit that I do eat there regularly, every couple of months or so.  My standard order is a cheeseburger and small fries, with the bottled water I always have in the car to wash it down with.

9) Random question: In high school, were you more popular with the boys or the girls?
That's an easy question -- I went to an all-girls school !!!

Friday, December 29, 2017


Recreational Marijuana is going legal in California starting January 1. 
Now I am the very last person to be discussing marijuana.  I have never tried it.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I went to a party where marijuana was liberally shared.  The party was hosted by the director of our kids' nursery school.  But when the pipe came around to me, I passed it, without trying.  I tried to smoke it once (one puff) but since I have never smoked anything, I didn't know how to get it into my lungs and the attempt was a disaster.
My sad confession:  I grew up in San Francisco in the 1960s and know nothing about marijuana.
My father put such a fear of God in me about any drugs that I remember going to the movies once and noticing a guy sitting a row behind me by himself and not able to enjoy the movie because I was convinced he was going to come and sit next to me, jab me with a needle, and turn me into a drug addict.
Heck, I never even watched that HBO show on marijuana...was it Weeds?
My father probably never saw Reefer Madness, but that was the mentality he had about drugs, especially marijuana.  (This parody by Alan Cumming is wonderful)
I saw my first billboard for a marijuana dispensary after medical marijuana was legalized here in California.  It was, of course, in San Francisco, but someone told me later there are others along I-80 between Davis and San Francisco, though I have looked since then and haven't seen one.  I have to admit that a huge billboard greeting me as we got off the freeway was somewhat of a shock.
Now I assume that advertising is going to get even more pervasive.  This was the cover of one of the local newspapers today.
This paper has a large section just for marijuana advertisements.  Big full page ads to various dispensaries, places that will deliver, places where you can get baked items.  There are articles that give you tips on growing your own ("Cannabis trimming requires good vision, nimble fingers, and the ability to focus on a monotonous task for eight hours or more"). There are tips on starting your own cannabis business, and how to get your cannabis license from the state
.  And there is a full page map of where to buy your marijuana in Sacramento.
(This newspaper has been a goldmine for making junk journals to send to states where marijuana is not legal!).
Of course, marijuana is not legal nationally and that presents unique problems.  While you can grow, buy, and enjoy all you want in California, only 7 other states have legalized it and if you bring your weed to North Dakota, I assume you can be arrested if someone finds out.
There is also the problem of money.  Part of Laurel's job with the bank where she works is to deal with marijuana business persons, who are raking in literally millions of dollars that they can't bank because banks have to follow federal rules, and under the federal rules, dealing with money from the sale if marijuana is illegal!  Laurel mentioned knowing of one business person with a safe that holds a million dollars because there is nowhere else to legally put it!
Given the mentality in Washington, DC at the moment, I don't think this is going to be a problem that is going to be resolved any time soon!
Fortunately this is not going to be a problem that affects me, but I am amused and interested to read the progression from the first attempts to legalize marijuana in 1972 to 1996 when it was finally legal for closely supervised medical marijuana to be sold to 2018 when it finally becomes legal for everything.
I remember when my cousin Peach's daughter got her some marijuana to help her cope with the uncomfortable effects of her chemotherapy and how she hid it from her husband who would have been furious if he knew she was taking a dose that would have fit on the head of a pin.  Many years earlier her mother, dying of lung cancer, had to find people who buy marijuana for her to ease her discomfort. 
It's going to be interesting.  It is less dangerous than alcohol but the anti weed lobby is stronger, even than the prohibitionists.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

PJ Day

Around about 3:30 today, when Walt and I were fixing ourselves lamb sandwiches for lunch, I decided there was no point in getting out of my pajamas.  We expected no visitors and couldn't go anywhere because Jeri was borrowing the car, and the flannel jammies and new slipper-sox that the girls gave me were just too comfortable to think about taking off.
There were a few tasks that Jeri and Phil did that were very helpful.  One involved the gift they gave me.
This is page 1 of two framed pages.  It is the arrangement Jeri wrote for a song for my mother's 90th birthday and it's based on a tune my father wrote for my mother (when they were still married) for the party to celebrate her retirement from the Bank of America.
(Interestingly, it was at that party that she confessed to me she had fallen in love with another man and was going to divorce my father, but he didn't know that yet. I told her I was thrilled for her.)
The original song title was "Grandma Won't be Working Anymore" and it was written so that each of the kids had a verse to sing (David was 5, which would have made Jeri about 11 and she told me today how terrified she was of singing the song in front of all those people she didn't know, but all five kids came through like a champ and Grandma was very pleased.  Grandpa too, I suspect)
When my mother's 90th birthday came around (by this time both of her husbands had died), Jeri decided to rework that song and present it to her, this time nobody was embarrassed to perform because by now they were all seasoned performers).
Anyway, she came across the music the other day and decided I would like to have a copy.  I would!!!  I just love it and today, the two of them hung it up on the wall over the piano on which my father wrote the original song, so there is all sorts of meaning when I look at that wall now!
Sadly, my mother can't appreciate this any more and I wish my father were here to see what he wrought, but it's only me to get all warm and tingly inside when I look at my gift.  (Of course part of being warm is those toasty new slipper-sox that I'm wearing!)
Jeri also solved two crises this afternoon.  The first was Lacie's lost watch.  I mistakenly thought it was Brianna who had lost the watch and said that I knew she had it here in the house because I was going to ask her if it was a FitBit.  So a grand search of the house took place, with no results.  Then I discovered that it was not Bri's, but Lacie's and so Jeri went to the theater to see if maybe she had lost it there yesterday.  She had.  Crisis resolved.
I was also having problems with my hearing aids.  I needed to change what they call the "wax guard," which is this infinitesimal ring which snaps inside of the piece that connects to the microphone.  This was carefully and growing-less patiently explained to me by the rep who contacted me after I sent an e-mail.
When you are clumsy to begin with and when your vision is so bad you can't see the damn hole where it's supposed to go, you get very frustrated.  Tears and swearing were involved and I wasted three ear guards.  Finally it took me holding a magnifying glass for Jeri to find the hole and get it snapped into place.  The hearing aid then worked.  I asked Jeri if she could please come back every 3-4 months to replace the wax guard for me!  Next time I'll get Walt's help, with his arthritic thumbs!  I don't foresee a good outcome!
She also had a coup while downtown.  She stopped in Logos and was able to find a copy of C.S. Lewis' "The Last Battle," which is the final Narnia book, for our next book club meeting.  When she sent Laurel a message showing her the great find (the only C.S. Lewis book in the store, by the way), Laure said she should go out and buy a lottery ticket!
But possibly a good idea she didn't since when she went to get in Ned's car, which she and Phil had borrowed, to go to Ned's house (Phil had gone earlier by bus), she discovered that Phil had the car keys with him.  She had to borrow our car to drive to Sacramento, get the car keys and then drive back here to leave our car and pick up Ned's.
Jeri, Polly and I sat here for awhile visiting this afternoon, and Jeri tried to get a good picture of Polly, who has really been unusually mellow this Christmas.
Neither Walt nor I felt like dinner, since we'd had such a late lunch, so we just caught up on unwatched Jeopardy shows, had our nightly ice cream bar, waited for Jeri to get back with the car, and now I'll put these comfy pajamas to good use and see about sleeping.
Christmas is finally over.  But it was a good one.  It's always a good one when we get to be around the kids -- and when my mother is having a good day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Whoda Thunk?

When I considered everything we planned to do for our "Christmas day" (a day late), I didn't know how it was all going to work.  Miraculously, it did.
It started with breakfast.  I got a cheese strata put together the night before (only setting off the fire alarm once, waking everyone in the house).  It's brioche bread cubes spread in a pan, covered with pieces of crisp bacon (what set off the alarm), and cheddar cheese and then an egg/milk mixture poured over the top.  You let it sit overnight in the fridge and then bake the next morning.  It was impressive and delicious.
...and best of all, there was enough left over that we will have it for breakfast today too.
Next, we headed off to the movie theater, where we were seeing the new Star Wars.  We got to the theater early, so we could be sure to get good seats.  In actuality, that didn't seem to be a problem!
Seats did eventually fill up, but probably nt more than 1/3 of the theater was full...but given that this was a Tuesday, and that it was 11 a.m. that probably explains it.  We were fortified for the 3 hour movie with plenty of food.
I am not a Star Wars fan and don't have a clue who is who, so I missed most of the finer points of the movie, but sad to see Carrie Fisher and I enjoyed the movie over all more than the last one, though I didn't know the good guys from the bad guys or what they were fighting about.
After the movie, Walt and I raced home so I could get a leg of lamb in the oven.  The others stayed downtown for awhile.  Eventually, Phil and Jeri (I think it might have been Ned and Marta) showed up with my mother, who looked more "with it" than she had the night before.  In fact, the two days were a perfect example of her life these days.  Yesterday she was at her worst, today she was at her best.  She began to fade after dinner and during the gift exchange, but she had been going and interacting with everyone for a good 3-4 hours by that time, so it's not surprising.
I LOVED that she seemed to get interested in Lacie and Jeri working a puzzle (my mother was always a puzzle fiend)
And then the most amazing thing happened...when she was sitting alone, she started working the puzzle by herself!
Santa had brought Bri a camera for Christmas (she's almost the age I was when I got my first camera!) and Uncle Ned was there to help her figure it out...together they made a movie during the evening.
I had expected my mother to be getting antsy by the time dinner was ready, but she was ready to eat (though she had eaten about 80% of all the hors d'oeuvres on the table, just kept scarfing them up by the handful!) and so joined us for dinner.
I loved watching Bri and Jeri deep in conversation.
When dinner was over, we had gift giving before dessert.  I finally got to give Tom the 49er Christmas sweater I'd purchased a long time ago.
And I was tickled to give Marta the otter tape holder I found after Ned told me that she was "into otters" right now.
Jeri and Phil gave me the best present, but I'll write about that tomorrow.
My mother did start to fade during the long gift-giving process and started to decompensate slightly, so I knew she had hit the wall.  After dessert of the backberry pie we bought at Apple Hill earlier this year, Ned and Marta took her back to Atria and the rest of us, amazingly, had our book club meeting, discussing "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and "The Silver Chair."
First, though, Lacie, who has become a real "reader" since I last saw her, wanted to read us a book.  A long book.  When she asked if we wanted her to read a second book, we unanimously told her no!  But she will soon be reading these book club books by herself.
And then Brianna started the meat of the meeting.  Alice Nan, who was not able to join us, was there by cell phone from Santa Barbara, listening and participating in the discussion.

(Alice Nan is circled on the table there)
And then it was over.  We'd done it all and I hadn't fallen apart.  It was wonderful having the whole immediate family together, a true blessing that my mother was able to enjoy it unlike she was last night. 
Christmas 2017 is in the bag now and I have a whole year before I have to worry about it again!
My only disappointment was that I wanted to get a family picture, but there just didn't seem to be the opportunity (or room) for it.  But I still treasure the one from last year

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Quiet Christmas

It was a more or less quiet Christmas, with bits of frenzy here and there, but overall, quiet.  Mostly because today wasn't really Christmas for us.  That will be tomorrow when we start with an 11 a.m. showing of the new Star Wars, then back to the house for...whatever, which will include drinks, hors d'oeuvres, present opening, dinner, and a book club meeting.
My pumpkin pie got finished at 5 a.m. last night.  I took a nap after dinner and then started it.  At 5, I took a 2 hour nap and then got up at 7 or so to make my brie-cranberry pinwheels.
This is puff pastry rolled out, brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, spread (or dotted, depending on consistency) with softened brie cheese, over which you spread dried cranberries, then roll tight, cut in 1" slices, brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkled with remaining cinnamon sugar and bake.
I was getting ready to cut them when I saw the unused brie, which I had forgotten to use, on the counter, so I had to unroll the pastry roll, take off all the cranberries, spread with brie, replace the cranberries, etc.  When they were about 10-15 minutes from being done, I realized I had NOT brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled with the remaining cinnamon sugar, so I quickly pulled them out of the oven and did that.  They turned out OK and tasted fine, but lord am I a dunce these days!
Next both Jeri and I did heavy duty reading trying to finish up our Narnia books for discussion tomorrow.
I kept reading while Jeri and Phil went out visiting friends and Grandma.  Walt and I (mostly Walt) continued to straighten, organize, clean and hide what couldn't be organized or straightened.  But I finished my books and, as I did last night, had a text chat with Walt's sister about the books -- she won't be here but will facetime in for the meeting.
Around 4:30 or so, Phil and Jeri arrived with Grandma, who didn't recognize me at first and then was shocked to see me.  In truth, I was shocked to see her too.  I had not been to Atria at all this week and I swear she's aged 10 years in 7 days.  I had set up some photo books on the coffee table, hoping that might be a conversation starter, but discovered that even with Jeri's patient explanations, visual aids no longer help.
But that didn't seem to matter.  They had a good time together anyway. 
I was in and out of the living room, as I was working on Cornish game hens.  When they were nearly finished, I asked Jeri and my mother to come and make salad.  She always offers to help, and I figured that with Jeri working with her, she might actually feel helpful.  That was my mistake and while the next hour or so was essentially fine, I lost much patience and was not a very good daughter.
For one thing she could not understand how to hold the knob on the salad spinner.
Jeri is so wonderfully patient with her and showed her over and over again how to hold the knob, not just lay her hand flat on it, and how to move it, but she moved it at a snail's pace.  She never did spin lettuce, but Jeri made a big deal about what a good job she'd done.
When the salad was put together and the rest of us were getting dishes ready to go on the table -- the table wasn't even set yet -- my mother started piling salad on a napkin and eating it with the serving fork.  I finally got her set up with a placemat, silverware (which she never used) and a plate and then I saw her unscrewing the top of the salt shaker. I took it away from her twice and showed her how the salt came out the holes in the top and then I put it far away from her on the table, but when I wasn't looking she reached over, unscrewed the top and poured a mound of salt onto her salad.  Not surprisingly as soon as she took a mouthful, she grimaced and started yelling that she needed WATER.  That's when I started to lose it.
"Can I do anything to help?" Jeri asked.
"Yes," I said.  "CURE Dementia!"
Dinner more or less went OK, but she began to get nervous about getting back to her apartment and said she didn't want any of the pumpkin pie because she was sick to her stomach.  So Jeri and Phil started to get ready to take her and then she decided maybe she would have a small piece of pie.  When I served it to her on a plate, she got a napkin and asked if it would be easier for me if she just put it on a napkin.
I think the main problem was that she was here too long  We're going to have to judiciously plan when to bring her over to the gathering that will be significantly more chaotic with more people and two little kids in the mix tomorrow.
It's only 10 p.m. as I write this.  Thanks to Jeri and Walt, the kitchen is clean and everything is put away.  My dessert for the big dinner is baked, I'm almost ready to make the bacon/cheese strata for breakfast tomorrow morning and there is an excellent chance I will be trying to get to sleep before midnight.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A fondue Christmas eve

The one "person" I had no Christmas gift for was Benny.  Poor Benny has been neglected lo these many months because I haven't been able to think of an adventure for him, but I wanted the girls to see Benny on Christmas so I went off in search of a Santa hat for him.

This took me to the Dollar Store, where I easily found a hat and a bunch of other Christmas-related games and puzzles, which I bought for the girls so they'd have something to amuse themselves with while here on the 26th. 

They I found some nice Star Wars bags, at $1 each, so bought a Darth Vader and one with R2D2 and C3PO on it and divided up the toys and games in to the bags, including Christmas cups for them to drink out of at dinner, and then have a bag for each to give to them when they arrive on the 26th.

Next was a riotous visit to the local supermarket.

It was a zoo.  All aisles were filled, the lines at check-out were so long that you couldn't actually tell which line you were in until you got closer to the cash register!  But I was determined not to let it get to me and decided the only way to deal with it was to sigh and keep a smile on my face.

I was interested in one cart that had a HUGE prime rib roast on it.  I cooked prime rib last year and remembered how expensive it was. I had to sneak a peak at the price on this one: $264!!!

When I got home, there was some time to spare, so I did some heavy-duty reading.  I had finished Narnia book 5 that morning and still had one more book to go before our Book Club meeting on the 26th.  By the end of the day I had finished half that book so I'm in good shape.

Jeri and Phil got home from Ned's party last night and wandering around Davis today and we had drinks and peta chips with hummus and then went out to check the Lights of Davis.

There were lots of pretty houses, pretty amazing houses, and one house that even decorated its car.

But of course the pi─Śce de resistance was Derrick's house, the home of my former boss a the Enterprise, whose house is always a salute to cartoons.  It used to be just Peanuts cartoons, but now it has expanded to include other cartoons as well.  It is the show stopper of his neighborhood and he even has a radio station with a one-block range where he plays music you can listen to in your car.  I was happy he was outside so he could see Jeri, whom he has not seen in years....maybe decades.?

It's almost a crime to post this photo because it shows a teeny, tiny segment of the whole house, which is impossible to capture with my cell phone camera.
We came home and I prepared Swiss fondue for us for dinner.

I hadn't had fondue in so long and was really craving it and it seemed a good special dinner for four to close out Christmas eve.  As I write this, it is 3;30 a.m.  I napped for about an hour after dinner, wrote this, and now will get started on my pumpkin pie for tomorrow night's dinner.

Oh yeah...and my printer broke this afternoon.