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I put up a new web page over the weekend.

I finished my 2009 Christmas letter for friends and family.  And then, because I’m a bit over-the-top myself, I created a page and put up all the letters I have stored in this computer.

Enjoy!

…and happy holidays

Putting on snow gear before we head out to Safeway

Miss T is in Boise now. I’ve been checking Alaska Airlines’ tracker, and I see that her plane is on the ground. Hopefully Grandpa Trulove found her, or is finding her. I’m hoping for a phone call soon. ( <–worried Mom)

Roads are somewhat better, but the side streets which have been a disaster for a long time, are probably at their worst ever. For the first time since the big snow, we couldn’t get the car out this morning. I was thinking, “After all our little ridiculous trips to play in the snow because we were bored… this time we need to get our girl to the airport and we’re stuck.”

girlie and me loaded with groceries

But my man is tenacious, as well as a skilled winter driver, and we finally got the little Jetta through the piles of 8-inch-deep slush and ice (skidding all over the place, fishtailing, please-don’t-smack-one-of-these-parked-cars-please-don’t…), and onto Stark/Washington, which is clear. Then, our ONE chain slowed us down (one because the other one snapped off when we got stuck on Hawthorne that day I lost my ID), and we went 27 miles an hour all the way to the airport. Lucky for us, we live pretty close to the airport.

ANYHOW, roads are better and our mail is finally getting through again. We got a big stack of Christmas cards yesterday. Included was my annual letter from my math teacher from high school. Yep, I am from one of those tiny country schools where everyone knew and mostly liked each other. I still have addresses for several of my high school teachers. So in their Christmas letter this year, I found a URL for their blog, and logged in and they have videos like so many people have. I finally got inspired to try and include videos.

Look guys, my camera was cutting edge when I bought it. It’s no longer cutting edge. My only video options are 32-seconds (no more, no less), and there is no sound. But back in 1989 when I bought it… no, it’s not that old.

Hopefully Girlie has a splendid week with her Grandpa and Grandma Trulove. Now, why hasn’t she called me yet…

 

wintry street corner

Mmmmmm…. Day 7 of the snow. I took photos with new angles to give you guys something else to look at.

Our temperature has been wavering from 27 to 37, so every time we get some good coverage, it melts into mush, then freezes. Downtown has been a little warmer – nearly clears the streets each time the temp goes up. But out here in the Montavilla neighborhood, the snow has stayed on the ground the whole time… just sometimes it’s wet and sloppy. Or like now, it’s frozen solid slush with two inches on top of that.

The fire has been keeping us warm.

The kiddo only had two days of school this week. Funny!

Our Cookie kitty does NOT like this stuff. She was born in Scappoose and keeps poking her nose through the doorway to check and see if things have improved yet. Our Pumpkin kitty was born in New England, and he is like a kitten again. “Yay! Yay!” he says, and bounces around in the flakes and pounces the drifts and then curls up on the porch in his orange-and-white fluff that’s long and thick because he’s related to a Maine Coon. He gets a smug look on his fuzzy face and says, “No thanks, I’m good.” each time we open the door and ask if he’d like to come in.

footprints

I’ve sent out 60 of my Christmas letters and I am SO TIRED of sending out Christmas letters. Sorry if anyone’s still waiting for theirs. You WILL get one, I’m just not finding the time. They are all addressed, but I need to write a little personal “hello” on each one. Oh, I guess I could just show you. Here, have a look.

The letter is my most loved Christmas tradition. I have so many friends and family. My family spreads so far, I laughingly refer to them as the family “vine” rather than the family tree (also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the multiple couplings and nearly complete absence of stereotypical nuclear family groups). For many of them, this is the one time each year when I reach out and say, “Hello! I still think of you!” so it’s an important tradition to hang onto.

It got up to four pages the year I went to Greece and Turkey. I simply couldn’t cram everything into the one- or two-pagers I had been doing. Ever since then, it’s been four full pages and is basically a journal of our lives for the preceding year. I tend to lose sight of what the letters do to keep me in touch with others, until someone inadvertently gets off the list… or when I’m behind schedule and someone thinks they’ve been forgotten. They let me know right away: “WHERE is my letter?! Don’t I get a letter this year?” ha ha. I’ve had girlfriends tell me they set aside an afternoon with a glass of wine each year, just to savor it. Ha ha.

How simple it is to share the love I hold for all of you. If this small gesture keeps our relationships alive, I am glad to do it.

SE Morrison Street, December 14th

Well, this is exciting.

I’m from snow country. I’ve lived in 11 different states and nearly always in places where the winters are brutal (except Eureka, CA, which was usually quite mild)… but still, this is exciting to see snow in Portland. It’s not the 4 inches predicted last night, and my girlie won’t be able to sled on this grainy thin stuff, but it’s very Christmassy and we are all a bit giddy this morning nonetheless.

Grandpa scraping windshields

Mom and her husband decided to leave today instead of Monday. They’re from Moyie Springs, Idaho. Their forecast high at home today is zero, -11 tonight, high -1 Monday, and -17 Monday night. There is no excuse for cold like that. It’s completely unreasonable. Anyway, they’ve got animals outside and they’re worried about keeping them alive, as well as worried about traffic which would likely be heavier tomorrow than today. It’s probably a good idea that they’ve gone now, but that certainly made their visit brief.

Mom and I had a splendid time at Jimmy Mak’s on Friday night. I had to go to see one of my favourite artists: Marcus Eaton. Eaton was opening for Intervision, which I had not heard of. Intervision turned out to be a fabulous band that sounds like they could easily have been visiting from a major music city like Athens or Nashville or LA, but instead they pumped out this awesome jazzy funk brewed right here in the City of Roses. My mom has fallen in love with Paul, the lead singer, and all his quirky fun energy. Jimmy Mak’s has an excellent menu – even the hamburgers looked amazing. I had spanakopita and my mother had salmon. We split a bottle of MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir, which was splendid.

They brought a load of firewood from their property up north, as well as a lovely Christmas tree they cut right before they left. We have been snuggling up beside the fireplace every moment since then – when we’re home at least.

Skywalk from Sak's

Saturday we spent hours in town. Portland is so lovely. We went through lots of shops, and even found the skywalk from Saks 5th Ave. across the street to the mall. We looked like a ragamuffin bunch in our country folk garb walking through those places, but the skywalk was bright and fun. We ate lunch at the Macaroni Grill which was a perfect stop the last time we went there as a family, but this time was rather awful. They crammed way way too many tables together, so we were all squashed and the waitresses had to continually ask diners to please move so they could get through. Maybe the restaurant makes more money that way, but I won’t be in a hurry to go back now, even though the food is good.

Grandpa and girlie sharing a smile

Furthermore, a couple of tables away was a little boy about 3 years old who was banging his fork and knife together for a full 10 minutes. When he finally got bored, and I was sighing with relief, his horrible mother who hadn’t prevented it in the first place, encouraged him to do it again! She apparently thought it was adorable, and every time the kid would stop and give other diners some peace, his horrible mother would get him to start it up again. SOME people’s parents, I swear.

We then walked to Pioneer Courthouse Square to catch Tuba Christmas with 200 tubas in concert! Our favourite tuba was one in the very back row, which had dragon spikes down the length of it, and it was all black and green and scaly. Very awesome, and actually looked dangerous. We met up with a co-worker of mine, and got to visit with her little twin girls.

Mom, me, and the girlie

Grandpa bought my little girlie a bike!  It’s blue and beautiful and fits her growing body. Now let’s hope she remembers to use her lock this time, and doesn’t get it stolen like the last one.

Can’t think of any kind of weather which seems more Christmassy! Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Let it snow, and blow, and rage out there. I’ll be sitting by the fire.

One of my many guises

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