"Dec 31, 2007 (12:59p CST)
By GEORGE MERRITT (Associated Press Writer)
DENVER - More than 2,000 travelers were stranded at Red Cross shelters
in the Colorado high country Monday as a threat of avalanches closed a stretch
of Interstate 70 west of Denver.
Deep snow drifted into more than two
dozen narrow ravines in the mountainsides - known as avalanche chutes - raising
the danger of potentially deadly snow slides cascading onto I-70."
Another positive point was dinner, and as usual I made way too much but I would rather have too much, and have it resemble a feast, than to have it like 'any other meal'. Even during the years I was a single parent and barely putting food on the table for the 3 kids we still managed to pull off a holiday feast. It was a pleasant meal and we both ate too much.
Another high spot -- our beautiful tree. Jim took me out to get it this year -- a live one, and he picked it out. I think its perfect.
And a very positive high spot -- I got a miter saw -- yippee!
But there were low spots. The high point of Jim making it home late Christmas eve (and me bouncing around excitedly telling him all about the activities of the last few days) took a sudden downward spin when he mentioned he was heading to bed. When I reminded him he had a stocking to fill he said "then you had better get the stuff out that goes in it." I was more than a little taken aback but I said simply that it doesn't work that way and he went to bed.
I filled his stocking and, after some reflection on a few other comments made over the past couple weeks regarding Christmas and gifts, I went to bed. I woke early (although later than the early hours I woke up at when the kids were small) and went out and logged onto the computer to see if Dallas was online yet. Jim got up soon after and I wished him a Merry Christmas. I asked if he wanted me to bring him his stocking and he said 'no'. I also mentioned that he might have to dig in his stash in the sock drawer [to fill my stocking] and I started the laborious process of getting the cameras working on the computers.
Jim did drop 2 of the 'sock drawer' packages into my stocking so once I got the cameras working in the office I asked him to come sit in by the tree and camera so we could open them. The 'sock drawer' gifts have accumulated over the past 3 years. On my birthday in 2005 he wrapped 2 but only gave me one. Another appeared later that year and at Christmas, yet another. On each birthday or Christmas he would get me something else and the gifts in the sock drawer stayed. Last year he commented that he could have added them to my stocking but he forgot about them. This year I reminded him well before Christmas and was told 'they are not stocking stuffers.'
So fast forward back to Christmas Day this year. I opened the first box and found a pair of earrings to match the necklace he gave me for my birthday in 2005. I was puzzled. Why not gift them as a set at the time? He had bought them at the same time -- but only gave me part of the set -- and 2 1/2 years later I only have the rest of the set because he had chosen not to get anything for my stocking. The second gift was another turquoise necklace but not a match to the earrings -- they clearly belonged to the necklace he had given me in 2005.
At that point, since only 2 of the 3 stashed gifts were in the stocking I asked what occasion he was saving the 3rd one for. I admit I was curious that it might be the earrings that go with necklace number 2 but that thought remained unspoken when he shouted out that I got all I was going to get. He then went on to say I got those because I wouldn't say Merry Christmas until he put them in my stocking (untrue and I corrected him) and that I don't give gifts -- I make contracts -- and that I couldn't give a gift without expecting something back. I only said 'Uh -- its Christmas'. I also pointed out that there were about 12 gifts under the tree for him and only 1 for me and I had not said a word about that. His next statements were even more confusing since he began accusing me of attacking him when he came in the door and that he should have stayed at work another day. I reminded him we had had a great evening and it was only when he was going to bed that there was any conflict and that it was dropped immediately. He agreed.
I mentioned the good dinner we had and things went better for the remainder of the afternoon. Later when I talked to Sandy and mentioned that Jim doesn't do Christmas well she agreed and said Bobby doesn't either. I guess part of my confusion is why it was so different this year. If he really does not want to do stockings or Christmas gifts then why did it just surface this year? I won't say I will agree to no gifts or stockings -- I already gave up the scavenger hunt the kids and I had made a tradition of. But it could at least be discussed -- I am not a bad person just because I expect something for Christmas.
The first year we were married he struggled with the stocking part a little because he had 'never had one and for sure never filled one', but Dallas helped him out with the stocking and I suggested some things he could put in it. The second year he had a few too many things so the extra ended up wrapped in the sock drawer. Last year he not only filled the stocking without any help but also had more than one gift under the tree, including some from 'Santa Claus'. He really appeared to enjoy the Holiday last year -- we had a wonderful Christmas. So what changed this year? And what reason could there be for him to hold back part of a jewellry set for almost 3 years and then be angry when he did finally give it to me? And why did he make the comment this year that he 'hadn't done this for 55 years so why should he start now?'
The high spots were more and better -- and outweighed the low spots -- but unfortunately they did not eliminate the confusion. This was the year Jim seemed to balk at anything Christmas -- he didn't give me a card, even though he did buy one -- and put it away.
ice on Saturday from the Texas Panhandle to Minnesota. Multi-car pileups closed
parts of several major highways Saturday in the Plains states.
We didn't get the storm but we sure got towatch it. The view from my backyard
was completely gone. The bottom picture shows part of what I usually see.
And according to this article I guess I have bragging rights... being
one of the 1%
You probably won't get a card from the Bushes -- chicagotribune.com: "You probably won't get a card from the Bushes
By Patrick T. Reardon Tribune staff reporter
December 14, 2007"
The White House recently announced that George W. and Laura Bush are sending out 895,000 Christmas cards this year. That means one of every 128 American households will get one.Not mine, I suspect. And probably not yours.Still, that's an awful lot. It means that if you fly somewhere this month, the odds are one of your fellow travelers on the trip out or back is a White House card recipient. In first class, I'd guess.
It means that if you're at the mall, a goodly number of people among the hundreds swirling in and out of stores have gotten or will get the cards. That number, of course, will be somewhat lower, say, at the Sears on Lawrence Avenue in heavily Democratic Chicago than at the Sears in the Oakbrook shopping center in deeply Republican DuPage County.
But why send the card to just some people? If you're going to make it something of an official act (as opposed to doing a private mailing to close friends and family), why not make sure every American gets one?The way it is now, the Christmas cards -- which have been dispatched in large numbers from the White House by Democratic and Republican presidents going back more than a quarter-century -- are an exercise in exclusion. Their message is: This 1 percent of the population is worthy of a card, and the other 99 percent of us aren't.
ABC's Barbara Walters Slams White House Christmas Card for including Scripture: "ABC's Barbara Walters Slams White House Christmas Card for including Scripture
I guess I made it onto the list for the second year in a row. Here's my
card. And I was quite happy with it just the way it is.
Here is what Barbara Walters had to say about hers...
By Colleen Raezler of the Culture and Media Institute
LOS ANGELES, CA, December 14, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Barbara Walters likes to receive Christmas greetings from high-profile celebrities and leaders, but apparently not if they refer to the Bible.
On Thursday's episode of ABC's The View, Walters expressed dismay that President and Mrs. Bush would send out greetings containing Scripture.
During the segment, Walters showed the other gals some of the 'highfalutin Christmas cards,' and explained the White House card:
'First of all, let me show you the cover of the White House, which is nice and bland…So that's pleasant enough. This is what interested me, that it is a religious Christmas card. Usually in the past when I have received a Christmas card, it's been 'happy holiday's' and so on- And this says:
''You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You gave life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.'
'That's from Nehemiah in the Old Testament. I don't remember- and I'm sure people will remind me-getting a religious card. Now does this also go to agnostics and atheists and Muslims and -'
Moderator Whoopie Goldberg and co-host Sherri Shepherd tried to steer clear of controversy by joking that the Scriptures were about Walters, but Walters persisted in her critique, asking, 'Don't you think it's a little interesting that the president of all the people is sending out a religious Christmas card?'"
wltx.com Woman Charged for Cursing After Home Toilet Backed Up:
Major Snowstorm Socks Colorado - Local News - News : Grand Junction, Colorado:
These are the headlines -- and the picture is my view of Grand Mesa but down here in the Grand Valley we have had no snow -- just a lot of rain for the past couple days.
Therapists at a rehab hospital in Edmonton are using Nintendo's Wii videogames to treat patients who have movement and balance problems.
As part of Albert Liaw's rehab at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, a boxing video game has him punching into thin air in a battle with an onscreen opponent.
Instead of using a joystick or keyboard, Liaw's onscreen character's actions are controlled by his real life movement.
"When I first played I was in a wheelchair, now I'm standing and I can box normal," he said."
more...Wii-habilitation has Edmonton patients on their toes:
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - C.S. Lewis
Michelle Malkin » Stop before you gripe: "My column this week reflects on pain, compassion, gratitude, and some simple Thanksgiving advice. Feel free to share your favorite Thanksgiving traditions, recipes, and prayers here. I’m making a Thanksgiving tree with my kids. We trace their hands on colored construction paper, write down the things they’re thankful for, and tape up the tree and the hand leaves in the dining room. My kids are my greatest blessing."
Click on the heading above to read the entire column and information on the
Johnson family -- a family that has endured the worst -- from severe head
injuries in an IED attack to the loss of lives in a car crash.
activity diverts blood from the brain to the digestive system.
Godey's Lady's Book has been described as the most popular women's magazine of its time. As its editor--and as the first female editor of a major magazine--Hale influenced the attitudes, fashion, and manners of her Godey's Ladies Book readers. She is also famous for her well-known children's verse Mary Had a Little Lamb, published in 1830.
Americans digest their holiday meal while watching football games on television. High viewership of these games has made football an American Thanksgiving tradition.
However, neither of these descriptions mentions cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, or chestnut stuffing as being part of the feast.
I'm the woman standing behind you in line at the grocery store, eyeing the newest Support Our Troops magnet. The look on my face is unworried but my thoughts are miles away on some military base I've never seen.
I'm the woman in the next car with the windows rolled up. The radio is playing "My Wish". But you can't hear it because you're talking to a family member or friend on your cell phone. You see the U.S. Armed Forces sticker on the back window of my car but you don't know that by the end of that song I am fighting back tears and missing my baby boy.
I'm the woman who visits the Air Military One Source web site at odd hours of the day and night to find some kind of comfort for that lost feeling that has been a part of my life everyday since my son left for basic training.
I'm the woman who has fought an inner battle, trying to accept the path that the son I love has chosen.
I am the woman who said a tearful "good-bye" to a boy on his way to join the Army.
I am the woman who knows that her boy is now a man.
I am the woman who spends hours on the Internet learning everything she can about the Military and the life that her son has chosen.
I am the woman who finds herself crying and not really knowing why.
I am the woman who looks at the calendar to see how many days must pass before her son comes home on leave.
I'm the woman who swells with pride every time she sees her son standing tall and proud in his uniform.
I am the woman who cried real tears of pride and joy on the day her son graduated.I'm the one who spots a US Military sticker, license plate, or flag and feels some sort of connection with its owner, knowing that I'm not alone in this bittersweet situation.
I am the woman who carries her cell phone with her everywhere she goes.
I am the woman who is proud every time that cell phone rings and it is her son taking time out of his new life to say "I love you Mom."
I am the woman who tries her hardest to go about her everyday life.
I am the woman secure in the knowledge that she has raised an awesome son.
I am the woman who has found a new relationship with God.
I am the woman who hates going to bed at night while her son is not in his room but rather in a JSS many miles from home.
I am the woman who tries not to miss her son, the woman who tries not to cry whenever she hears his name or even the mention of a soldier.
I am the woman with a new found love for her country and its flag.
I am the woman who now cries when she hears the National Anthem.
I am the woman that is embarrassed that she didn't "get it" until her son took his oath to serve our country.
I am the woman who wears her Blue Star Mother pin with pride…everyday… because her son is in the United States Armed Forces …everyday.
I am the woman with a small red and white banner with a blue star in the middle of her front window.
I am the woman who never wants to cover the blue star with a gold one.
I am the woman who was terrified when her son was sent off to war.
I am many things.A mother, A wife, A daughter, A sister, A friend
But now, I am also the proud mother of a Soldier.
I did not compose this, nor do I know who did. It arrived as an email"From a Canadian Cadet to an American Soldier: I am that Woman:
forward and had several edits and crossovers. I have cleaned up some of the
typos and present it here -- because I am that woman.
Analysts say the high-flying loonie, which hit the 110.02 cents US mark, shows no sign of landing anytime soon.
The currency set a modern-era record last Friday when it rose to 1.07 cents US, the highest it's been since 1950.
Analysts say the latest surge is credited to an impressive run-up in the price of crude oil, which is now flirting with the $98 US a barrel mark Wednesday.
Analysts also point to surging gold prices and solid returns for other commodities, particularly wheat.
The weak American dollar is further boosting the loonie."
Three people were killed and one critically injured when a Greyhound bus rolled in northwestern Alberta early Tuesday morning, trapping some passengers beneath it, RCMP officials said.
Those killed were a 72-year-old woman, a 20-year-old woman and her five-month-old son.
The RCMP said the bus, carrying 28 passengers and one driver, rolled off an icy highway into a ditch at 6:20 a.m. MT Tuesday near Bezanson and about 50 kilometres east of Grande Prairie.
RCMP Const. Scott Hagarty said some of the passengers were pinned underneath the bus. "
More... 3 killed in northern Alberta bus rollover:
Mount Garfield is found just to the north and east of Grand Junction Colorado. It rises to an elevation just above the six thousand foot level. In respect to the local topography it is two thousand feet higher than the floor of the Grand Valley. It is five thousand feet lower than the top of the Grand Mesa which attains a height of eleven thousand feet above sea level. It must be noted that the Grand Mesa deserves the title GRAND by virtue of it's own merit. It is the largest flat topped mountain in the world, and lies to the south and the east of Mount Garfield. The Colorado river lies between. The original name given to the Colorado River in the early days was the Grand River. It was from this name that the valley, the mesa, and the City of Grand Junction received their names. The first buildings in the city were near the junction of the Gunnison River, and the (Grand ) Colorado River.
and Grand Mesa
The truck loaded yesterday really quickly and I managed to get everything washed up and the carpets vacuumed before we loaded Jim's truck and headed 'home'.
On a sad note -- my fish didn't all make it. The little ones are fine but lost my 3 big tinfoils and my 2 big cats. The first tinfoil met his demise when he jumped out of the bucket -- I found him under the aquarium on the carpet. His gils were still moving so I put him back in the water and added more before putting the lid on. When I checked a little later he was dead and the other 2 were swimming upside down. By the time we got here the 2 cats were also dead. Its pretty hard not to overcrowd in a 5 gallon bucket wehen one fish was too much.
Tomorrow we get the keys for the house and I can do some painting before the inside stuff arrives.
About 80,000 former students can apply for so-called common experience payments — $10,000 for the first year they attended the once-mandatory schools and $3,000 for each subsequent year. Cheques are expected to average $28,000."
More... Alberta teacher receives 1st residential schools cheque:
The drive back on September 25 was beautiful -- with all the snow.
I have yet to make this trip that it is not completely a new view from anything I have seen before.