Ah, the sounds of winter

So it is officially winter here. We have the gentle buzz of snowmobiles out on the river.  The last week has been very cold and the river finally froze over solid enough for the steady stream of machines to be buzzing up and down that temporary highway.We went out to dinner this evening and then headed over to Crystal Lake to pick up more coffee.  As we went over the bridge, we could see a parking lot of snowmobiles around Keefe’s Reef.  This is one of the many bars and restaurants that can you reach by boat or snowmobile all along the river.  Coming back over the bridge, I noticed that the parking lot was empty, except for a few cars and trucks.

I put Sascha about 8:00 this evening.  The neighbors behind us had a fire going and were huddled around the flames.  I could hear that unmistakable buzz of power machines over toward the river.  There was lots of screaming, yelling, and laughter from that direction as well.  That means a noisy evening well into the early morning hours.

The only good thing is that the dam is just above us.  That means the snowmobilers can only go down from here to get to the bars.  I don’t believe I heard of man and machine going or down the dam itself.  But there could be a first time.

We haven’t had that much snow this year.  I think we still 10 inches behind our normal for moisture.  It’s supposed to snow, drizzle, and frizzle on Sunday.  Then it’s going to warm up to the 50s by Tuesday.  What crazy weather.  I looked out on Saturday and saw that my patio gnome has quite a bit of snow on top of him.  He looked frozen and cute all at the same time.

Rich took Sascha out scootering this afternoon.  The weather was perfect for a run.  The temp was 24 and the humidity was 75%.  They were gone for so long that I was afraid Sascha had managed to throw Rich from the scooter and was dragging it off to the great white north.  I guess I mean Moraine State Park next to the neighborhood.  I figure that’s where the coyotes and any real wolves would be.  We believe there is at least a couple over there.  We’ve seen some that are larger than coyotes with beautiful coats.

They eventually returned to the house.  Sascha was at a slow trot, but I think that was a smile I saw on her face.  She just loves to run.

Next Saturday, Free Spirit Siberian Husky Rescue is doing their annual chili dinner and dog sled demos in Harvard, which is north of here.  I took her last year and she was able to harness up to a sled as one of the lead dogs and help a team pull.  She was so happy and really looked in her element.  I plan to take her back and let them hook her into a team again.  I don’t think she has forgotten her time on the dog sled team while she was with the rescue.   Pictures to follow.

The guys continue to work on the insulation in the new garage.  It’s going slowly, but pretty well.  Rick is working on it around his schedule at school and the extreme cold.  Rich is planning to take off work on Monday to help out.  It’s supposed to be in the 40s.  This will be one more day he can burn before he loses any more vacation time.

With some luck, the insulation will get done soon.  Rich has decided to hire out the dry wall job.  It would go a lot faster.  Because of the 10 foot ceiling, it would be better if a professional did this part.  I think Rich is hoping to get the electrical in by this spring.  One more step toward having the garage ready for some real work.

I usually have my vacation plans for the year made by the first of January.  I was running a little bit later this year.  I got most of the plans finalized by the second week of January.  We plan to attend the Chicago Blues Fest in June.  I made hotel arrangements and we are staying downtown for the entire festival.  This will allow us to go to Grant Park during the day and wonder around town to find more blues in the evening.  We have some places that we always want to go and this will be a primary opportunity to finally do it.

In July, it looks like we’ll be heading to San Antonio, TX for a reunion of Rich’s Air Force group.  This will be a first time meeting, so it is a small event.  It might grow, but it is only dinner right now.  Rich is very excited.  I’m hoping this grows into a full reunion later on as the years go.  I assume we’ll be stepping up to help with planning and execution.  We’ll be seeing Rose while we are in town.  Who knows, we might even see if they will let us hang out there.

In September, I’ve rented a cabin in the Gatlinburg area.  We plan to go driving through the Smoky Mountains and do some hiking.  We’d like to put our feet on some part of the Appalachian Trail.  We used to go camping at Pigeon Forge when I was a kid, so I’ve been in the park several times already.  I have some places I would like to go back and visit again.  The last time I was there in the 1980s, it was crazy.  I’m hoping we can avoid most of that.  We also have some friends in the area and plan to catch up with them for dinner one night.

The cabin I found has a view of the mountains.  I’m hoping it is on the sunset side, but I think it is the sunrise side from the pictures I saw.  There is a hot tub on the porch, big screen TV, and lots of windows all around.  I really had to look around to a cabin that fit everything I wanted.  Now if it just isn’t in the thick of things in Gatlinburg.  Picture to follow in September.

On Wednesday, I decided to finally wear that leftover kilt hanging in the back of the closet.  Rick gave up the Stuart tartan that he had started out with.  I had gotten him a Campbell tartan a couple of years ago.  I figured since he really enjoyed wearing a kilt, he should at least wear one that represented the Scottish side of his family.  My mom’s family is Ervin.  They are part of the Irwin clan for Southwest Scotland.  The area is subject to the Campbell clan.  There is an Irwin tartan from the 1800s, but the Campbell tartan has more history and is less expensive to buy.

I was really surprised at how comfortable the kilt was to wear.  It stayed in place and fit very nicely.  I really enjoyed wearing it.  A few people were brave enough to ask about it and if it was significant.  I know, I was showing off when I could explain the tartan and what it meant.  It was fun.  Wonder why I didn’t do it sooner?

On Tuesday, the new stove was delivered.  Hurray!  The delivery guys were very quick and efficient.  They had the old one out and the new one and ready to go in 15 minutes.  I was impressed.  That night, I cooked dinner on it.  Wow!  Was the old stove that bad or is the new one that good?  Dinner cooked in no time at all.  Cooking is really about planning and getting things done at the same time.  The new stove cooks so much faster and better.  I almost couldn’t keep up!

On Saturday, I baked cookies in the convection oven.  I had heard that it was so much easier to do.  And it was.  They baked so evenly and were just the right amount of brown on the top and bottom.  Now I want to back more cookies!  I did peanut butter, because this is Rich’s favorite.  On Sunday, I plan to bake white chocolate Macadamine cookies for Rick and me.  Can’t wait.

It’s Sunday already.  I’m not ready to start thinking about work again.  However, Indiana was playing basketball today.  I was a little afraid to watch.  Louisville fell to Georgetown yesterday.  I didn’t know if I could take the heartache of a loss.  They did manage to win, but they definitely don’t look like a team that could win March Madness.  I’m watching the various games to get a feel for who has the best potential.  March will be here before you know it.

Today, Rich cooked a pork roast in the new oven.  We’ve quickly discovered that we are going to have to plan around things getting done much faster.  The roast came out to perfection!  Hard to believe that convection would make such a difference.  Now what else can I find to cook in their as a test? That would mean we need to eat it though.  Oh well, the hardships that we have to suffer in life.

Rick worked out in the garage today.  He was able to complete the ceiling.  That was the hard one because of the angles and reaching over your head.  Tomorrow, Rich and Rick will start on the walls.  Maybe they can get done in the next couple of weeks.  There’s a lot of area to cover on just the walls.


My new stove with convection oven.  So far, it has been a dream to cook with.
My new stove with convection oven. So far, it has been a dream to cook with.
Sascha checking out the new stove.
Sascha checking out the new stove.


The Stuart kilt is mine.  I think it works.










Winter is here.  My gnome has more than his share of snow.
Winter is here. My gnome has more than his share of snow.


Work on the interior of the garage begins

Now that the garage is up, it’s time to work on finishing it off.  Rick is my undocumented slave.  That and the fact that he really needs to work on his skills for when he owns a home.  Rich has a lot of techniques and experience to share.  I figure they might as well as work on this together and do a little knowledge transfer.

The first task is to insulate the garage.  Rich wants to do the ceiling and seal off the ends as much as possible.  That’s Rick’s first task.  While he was off on break, they got started.  However, it is going a lot slower than I thought it might.  Last week, Rick went back to class and is working the insulation job around classes and homework.  Right now, Rick has almost completed the ceiling.  I’m hoping that is done by the end of this week.  Then they can start on the wall.

Once the insulation is completed, Rich is thinking ahead to the dry wall.  It might be easier to get that hired out and done.  Someone working full time can probably complete it in a week or so.  Rich decided to do the electrical work on the outside of the dry wall so that he could make changes as he needs.  We think the code is to do conduit (metal pipe) so it won’t matter what side of the wall its on.

The stove in the kitchen has been acting flaky for a while.  Rich made chicken a couple of weeks ago and it wouldn’t hold the temperature.  It took forever for that darn bird to cook.  If I calculate it correctly, the stove might be 10 years old.  I’m not exactly sure when Dave bought it, but I do know it was part of the remodel.  That took place a couple of years before we bought the house, at least.

Rich and I bought reviewed stoves online trying to pinpoint what we wanted in the way of features.  Funny, we looked at the same features.  We wanted a convection oven, 5 burners with the center being the elongated burner, and stainless steel. I had seen the Frigidaire online and the reviews were really good.

On Saturday, we went out on some errands and stopped by the appliance store to take a long and actually do some hands-on review.  Grand carries several of the top brands and then it is easier to compare.  There was the Frigidaire along with several others stoves.  It had the features I wanted and several more that were a surprise.  After walking around and comparing, it came down the Frigidaire.

Luckily, Rich was feeling generous and agreed to purchase the stove.  Delivery is coming on Tuesday.  That’s great, because I’m home!  They will deliver, hook it up, and haul away the old one.  Can’t argue with that.

I subscribe to Mishka the Talking Husky on YouTube.  This is the cutest Husky and she repeats a lot of words and phrase.  I have to watch another talk because mine is broken.  Sascha barely communicates verbally.  She has subtle actions, but no outright direction.  She only barks when she is frustrated or extremely excited about something.  She barks when she is getting ready to go scooter.

Anyway, Mishka’s owner was showing a new trick that they are attempting to teach their dog.  They took a piece of cheese and get Mishka to twist in the air.  They call it Twist.  Rich thought it looked cool.  He started trying to teach Sascha.  Turns out, she doesn’t really care for the bacon treats.  Most of the time, she flops onto her side rather than twist for the treat.  So Rich bought cheese ends from the deli.  Now Sascha will twist for a cheese treat and almost consistently.  Who knew that Sascha liked cheese that much!  As Rich works with Sascha, we’ll attempt to get video of the progress.

This past week was long.  My PM was in from Colorado.  When Beth makes it into the office, I go in every day.  That tends to take its toll on me.  Sad to say that, but it’s true.  We have meetings and try to do some strategic planning.  Of course, there is lunch every day.  That’s a hard one.  Luckily, I was able to work at home on Friday.  I finally got some work done, but I was so tired from the rest of the week.

I did knock off on time so I could go to bowling with Rich.  Once a month, I go with him and watch while the Motorola league bowls.  I know a lot of the guys, either from work or just from the bowling event.  I like going now.  I have people to catch up with every month.  I think the guys like talking to me.  They do come around my table.  Then we go out to eat afterwards.

This week, Rich wanted to check out a place called Blues Bar.  It’s just a few miles beyond the bowling alley.  Some of the guys from work go out there for lunch.  It’s a BBQ and Beer type of restaurant and club.  They have a lot of microbrews on draft, which is a plus.  The theme is Blues Brothers so there is a lot of memorabilia around.  There are really large screen TVs everywhere for the local team games.

We got in and got seated.  The beer menu was really good. Rich started off with Flying Dog Doggy Style APA.  The waitress served it in a 10 oz glass and it should have been a 16 oz glass.  She brought Rich a free 16 oz version after he completed the first one.  Then he went for the Very Mad Cow Milk Stout from Revolution.  It was so good.  I know because I get to at least taste them, even if I can’t drink a full one.  Someone has to be the DD.

We ordered the rib appetizer plate, brisket, and pulled pork.  The food was really good.  The mac and cheese had onions, bacon, and lots of cheese.  I was impressed with both the drink and the food.  I highly recommend this place to anyone in the Mount Prospect area.  Fun and delicious.


Completed the ceiling over the top of Sally's side of the garage.
Completed the ceiling over the top of Sally’s side of the











Rick climbing the ladder to work on the ceiling.
Rick climbing the ladder to work on the ceiling.
Little bit up close of the ceiling.
Little bit up close of the ceiling.
Work area for cutting and leftovers.
Work area for cutting and leftovers.


Survived First Week of January

This first week of January 2013 has come and gone with relatively little happening.  Not surprisingly, work was slow and not much was happening around the house.  It was a good week.

On Thursday, we went out to eat for our usual family night out.  Rich and I decided we need margaritas and we headed out to Pablo’s.  This is one of the local Mexican restaurants.  We got seated and ordered our drinks.  While waiting for them to come to the table, Rich read through the menu and noticed that they had a $99.99 freeze squeezed margarita.  Now he got worried.  Which one did he order?  Our waitress came back with two margaritas and a Root Beer.  She looked rather blank and said, “The good one, of course.”  She avoided answering which one he ordered.  Finally, the check arrived showing the $8.99 version.  Now I wonder what a $100 margarita tastes like.

We went from dinner to Julie Ann’s.  This is our favorite frozen custard place.  We have to support them so they stay open.  They closed a few years back, but a daughter of the owners reopened a new location.  Tonight, we were coming for the sundae of the month.  The flavor was Bourbon Caramel with chocolate and cookie bits.  It was awesome.

It’s definitely winter here.  Wherever you go around town, there are guys dressed very warmly.  While waiting in line at Walgreens, a guy placed a case of beer on the counter.  The cashier joked about getting more beer for the game.  He explained it was for ice fishing on one of the lakes.  At the grocery store, there were several guys in line wearing very warm gear as they waited to buy their food items.  It is most definitely ice fishing season in the McHenry area.

The ice on Griswold Lake seems to be pretty thick.  At least the ice fishers think so.  On Sunday, there were maybe 25 or so people out there on the ice.  At least the snowmobilers haven’t been out yet.  That’s probably because the river isn’t frozen yet.  The river becomes a major highway in the dead of winter with loud, roaring machines running up and down at all hours.

Rich want to ice fish this year.  He is dying to buy a sled and a hut with all the tools.  He even plans to have Sascha drag the sled out to the lake for him.  However, the weather hasn’t exactly cooperated.  It’s supposed to be warm this week, relatively speaking.  He is hoping for more freezing weather.  We have our fingers crossed again for colder weather.  Heaven knows, we need the snow.

Rick is still looking for a job.  I hope things are getting better, but he just doesn’t have any experience on his resume.  On Tuesday, he has an interview with Menard’s.  We are working on a resume for him to take to the interview.  I hope he gets the job, but the experience of interviewing will help.  Got my fingers crossed.

With an interview coming up, Rick needs a resume.  Now this is one of my favorite documents.  In a very short format, you have to communicate a lot of information.  This document needs to introduce you, provide a sketch of you as a person, and give the interviewer something to talk about.  How do you do that well in a single page?  That’s the challenge.  Rick had a resume that he had created for a class.  We reviewed for changes and I asked him to add a few things to expand his interests.

On Saturday, we had late appointments for haircuts.  By the time we got out, it had started to snow and sleet pretty well.  The road was slick and the snow was starting to accumulate on the grass.  We got home safely.  As we drove past the house behind us, I looked over and saw one of the guys who usually visits standing in the typical peeing stance.  Luckily, he had his back to us.  I yelled back to Rick that he was not allowed to pee behind our garage.  That was one lesson from an uncle he was not to repeat.

Rich decided to take Sascha for a run today.  I think she is beginning to enter her couch potato stage.  She was lying on the office floor sleeping when Rich came in with her harness.  She opened her eyes for a moment and then went back to sleep.  I couldn’t believe what I saw.  We finally got her and into her harness.  They started out on a slow note, but Sascha soon picked up the pace.  Rich took her out to the peninsula and down to the river and back.  Remember, a good Husky is a tired Husky.  Sascha was pretty good all evening.

On Friday, Rick put on his red Star Trek shirt.  I thought it would be funny to get him this t-shirt for Christmas.  It was to remind him that he is expendable now.  Just like in the Star Trek TV show, the storyline doesn’t revolve around him.  He was frowning in the picture I took at Christmas, but I think he took it pretty well.

This week will be busy for me as I start up the next project and try to get the information I need to complete the documentation for it  My new minion, Karen, should be getting a lot more information and introductions to a lot more people.  I guess I’ll earn my keep now.

Rich told me that he entered a contest to win a trip to the Tampa Blues Fest.  This festival is coming up the weekend of the 18th through the 20th.  We would get round trip air fare, hotel arrangements, and tickets to the festival.  I haven’t checked to see who was there, but it should be fun.  Now I’ve my fingers crossed that we win that one.  I assume Rich will take me.

Wait, I’m running out of fingers to cross here!  Oh yeah, I’m still not writing 2013 yet.  Maybe Christmas next year.

The red shirt in the house.  This is the expendable guy.
The red shirt in the house. This is the expendable guy.
Sascha is settling down for a nap in the office.
Sascha is settling down for a nap in the office.
Sascha is ready to go run.  Where is Dad?
Sascha is ready to go run. Where is Dad?

Our holiday season 2012

The holidays are winding down.  We had a great Christmas, twice.  New Year’s Eve has come and gone.  Now it is 2013.  Hopefully, it’ll be another great year for us.  So let’s get caught up on the holidays.

Christmas is a quiet, family affair at our house.  It’s just Rich, Rick, and I.  Oh yeah, I’d better not forget Sascha in there.  We had a quiet weekend before Christmas.  This year, the guys had completed their shopping way ahead of time.  All the gifts were wrapped and waiting under the tree.  Me?  I’m usually done by end of October and only buying odds and ends that come my way.  My gifts were wrapped and ready a couple of days after the tree goes up.

On Christmas Eve, we had a quiet night.  We observed the eating holiday with Polish foods.  We had pierogi, sausage, and Rich’s homemade rye bread.  We did take a really cute picture of ourselves wearing Santa hats.  Even Sascha wore a hat.  That was definitely a memory keeper.

Christmas dawned with cloudy skies.  That’s doesn’t dampen the Christmas spirit though.  Sascha and I got up early and started coffee.  I almost had the paper read by the time Rich and Rick got up.

The first gift we opened was for Sascha.  She got a new set of tennis balls.  She loves to toss them and roll them around the house.  Trouble is, she loves to shred them.  Her gift kept her busy while we opened all of our gifts.  Rick acted as Santa and distributed presents out to everyone.

Rich did pretty well.  He got a New Mexico care package that contained green sauce, red salsa, spices, and other goodies.  We had wanted to put up a mural of a mountain scene in the bathroom.  I got Rich a wall decal of Swiftcurrent Lake in the Many Glacier region of Glacier National Park.  It’s very nice and represents some place we have actually seen.  It fit on the wall above the tub very nicely.

Rick picked up a Ganesh statue while we were in San Franscico.  Rich has been wanting one for a while.  Besides these things, he got his annual beer calendar for his work desk, Blues CDs, and a couple of beer related t-shirts.  He also got a new Kansas polo shirt to wear for NCAA tournament time this year.  Also, he received the usual undies from Santa for being a good boy.

Rick did very well.  At Ren Faire this summer, Rick saw a norland axe that he so wanted.  I couldn’t think of one possible reason that he needed such a thing.  Rich thought differently and wanted him to have it.  I had to order it from their location in Minnesota.  This turned out to be the prize gift this year.  I still wonder what he needs with such a thing.

Among the Christmas treasures were Aperture Labs items, Various t-shirts from video games and sci-fi shows, Code Complete reference book from Rich, assorted root beers, teas, and hot chocolates.  I was being funny this year and got Rick a Red shirt from Star Trek.  Just trying to let him know that he is expendable now.  I also found him a retro handset for his phone.  No idea why that was a popular thing.

This year, I made out my Christmas list on Amazon.  All Rick had to do was purchase everything on the list and get the money out of his Dad.  I needed a couple of items for standing desk, so I ordered a new chair and an articulating keyboard tray.  I got new slippers and my usual Beagle and Quilt calendars.  The guys were thoughtful enough to get me Mint Meltaways.

Christmas dinner is always a rib roast with Yorkshire pudding.  This is one of Rick’s favorite meals.  I have to say, it is really good when Rich does the cooking.  We ate and ate. Then it was a quiet evening around the house with all the new toys.  Rick put together my keyboard tray.  He had already assembled the chair in advance.

Rich decided to treat Sascha to a scooter run at the local preserve.  The state park was closed for the holiday so this was new territory for Sascha.  We rode over in Rich’s truck.  This was Sascha first trip in the new truck.  She didn’t seem to mind the new arrangement.  Now the truck has been initiated with Husky hair.

See our Christmas photos at the house at:  Christmas Holiday Hills Photos

On the 26th, we packed up and dropped Sascha off to the kennel on our way out of town.  We headed to Michigan to have a second Christmas with the Michigan Zureks.  We got to almost Kalamazoo before we ran into the Winter Storm Euclid that was sweeping through that part of the country.  It was slow driving for a while.  It only put us an hour or so behind.  The wind was horrible to drive in and the blowing snow blocked the roads at times.

We got to Okemos and checked into the hotel.  Then we had to trek over to Alex and Kelli’s house.  The roads were pretty bad.  Rick was staying at their house, so we had to make our way over.  We still went back out for dinner.  I think I was getting used to winter driving again.  All said and done with, there was about 6 inches by the next morning.

We slept in a little and then headed over to Vanessa’s house to check out the new renovations in the basement.  Very nice.  It was a nice space for them.  Then we headed out for lunch.  The first place was closed, but that sent us over to Zukey Lake Tavern.  This was a nice restaurant and bar right on the chain of lakes.  I loved their t-shirts:  Zukey Lake Tavern on the road to Hell Michigan.  Just had to have one.

That evening, we all ended up at Alex and Kelli’s for dinner and just to hang out.  I know I’m supposedly getting old, but the volume in the house was turned way up.  I was having trouble with, but the Zureks seemed to be fine.  That’s OK.  They all seemed to be having a great time.  At one point, each person was telling an embarrassing story about themselves.  Rich’s was about me and not him.  That wasn’t fair.  Oh the things that I could have said and didn’t.

On Friday, we slept in again.  I didn’t have kids and I was tired.  Vanessa and Chris brought the kids over to swim and we headed to the house for the day.  Jon, Patty, and Patrice had arrived.  We hung out and ate some more.  After dinner, we had our second Christmas with the Michigan Zureks.  I think everyone was pretty happy with the outcome.  After Vanessa, Chris, and the kids left, the night wound down slowly.  Most of the Zureks were watching an old Garbo movie. We had been worried about Rich’s reaction to the cat at the house.  He reacted a little, but not much.  Unfortunately, I reacted quite a bit.  I never know when this will happen.  It seems to be sporadic, but enough that I could hardly sleep that night.

Oh yeah, Pete D, the contractor, called us during breakfast on Friday morning.  He wanted us to know that the column caps for the garage didn’t turn out at all.  He was having the aluminum guys come out on Saturday to wrap the columns.  The catch was that he would be coming by on Sunday to pick up the check.  Oh no!  Rich was dreading the big check and here it was time to write it out.

The next morning we had to get up and at them.  We checked out of the hotel and swung by to have breakfast at Alex and Kelli’s.  After that, we headed down the road to South Haven and lunch with Busia.  For 90, Busia still does pretty well.  We took her to Clementine’s in downtime.  It’s been a while since we’ve been able to go there.  It was still very nice.  The food was pretty good.

Then it was time to hit the road again and head home.  On the way, we ran into lake effect snow twice.  One time was bad enough for all of the traffic to slow down to a crawl.  We finally got through Michigan, across Northern Indiana, and into Illinois.  Thankful to be home, we emptied the car and collapsed around the house.

On Sunday, I was still reacting from the cat and had to have Rick take me over to pick up Sascha.  We walked in and had to wait as another customer was ahead of us.  The conversation at the desk turned to beagles and I had to join in.  Sascha must have heard my voice because she began to bark and howl.  At least I knew she was still there.  We gathered up stuff and headed home.  We did stop by the car wash on the way back to clean off the slush and grime.  Sascha wasn’t too sure the car wash was safe for huskies.

True to his word, Pete D stopped by in the afternoon to sign off and pick up the check.  I guess this means that the garage is done.  In the spring, the concrete guy will be coming back out to treat the floor for stains and wear for free.  We have to wait for the temperature to be above 50.  That might be April.   So the garage is completed!

Rick took my photos of the garage and created a cute montage, which I posted at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFd9AGukxjU

New Year’s Eve day, Rich took Sascha for a 3 mile run over at the state park.  They were going to be closed the following day and the temperature was supposed to be very cold.  I rode over to hang out and help with the departure and arrival.  Sascha was so tired, but quite happy.  They say a happy Husky is a tired Husky.

On Monday evening, we prepared our snacks and headed over to Diane and Pat’s for a New Year’s Eve gathering.  It was small, but lots of laughs.  There are posters up throughout the house to collect sayings, thoughts, and resolutions.  We end up writing down bits and pieces of the conversations.  It makes for interesting ready next year.  It took a while to decipher the phrase, “No bunnies in 2012.”  We filled 3 posters with saying this year.  Thanks, Diane and Pat for a great New Year’s Eve!

So here it is New Year’s Day.  We hung out and were very low key.  Rich cooked a duck dinner for us.  He can sure cook a duck!  By the way, Rose, Rich says you have to master duck before you can call yourself a domestic goddess.  I think there is more to master, but doing duck would be a sure sign.  So now the dinner dishes are done and we are trying to decide what movie to watch on the TV downstairs.  With streaming Netflix, we have a lot of choices.

Wishing everyone out there a Happy New Year!  Back to work tomorrow. Oh yeah.

Rick with his beloved norland axe.  Every good Celtic warrior should have one.
Rick with his beloved norland axe. Every good Celtic warrior should have one.
Rich got his annual beer calendar for his desk at work.  Happy man.
Rich got his annual beer calendar for his desk at work. Happy man.
Rick got a Star Trek red shirt for Christmas.  Just a reminder that he is expendable in this household.
Rick got a Star Trek red shirt for Christmas. Just a reminder that he is expendable in this household.
Sascha playing with her new tennis ball.  Just a matter of time before the fur starts getting pulled off of it.
Sascha playing with her new tennis ball. Just a matter of time before the fur starts getting pulled off of it.
Sascha was waiting for Christmas to start.
Sascha was waiting for Christmas to start.
Our Christmas dinner this year.  Rib roast and yorkshire pudding.
Our Christmas dinner this year. Rib roast and yorkshire pudding.


Rich took Sascha for a run on Christmas day.  I went along for the ride.  This was in the cab of the truck.
Rich took Sascha for a run on Christmas day. I went along for the ride. This was in the cab of the truck.










Guys cooking dinner





Alex and Jon were cooking tacos while Chris was helping.  Vanessa snuck in to do guacamole.

The older kids got stuck with dishes.  It might be a new tradition for the holidays.
The older kids got stuck with dishes. It might be a new tradition for the holidays.














Final picture of the garage.  It’s done.  Sascha approved.

Diane and Rebecca enjoying the social time.
Diane and Rebecca enjoying the social time.











Diane and Pat had glow in the dark bracelets, necklaces, and globes.  Rick took full advantage of these and dressed in modern glow in the dark.
Diane and Pat had glow in the dark bracelets, necklaces, and globes. Rick took full advantage of these and dressed in modern glow in the dark.











Diane, Rebecca, and Rick were doing it Gagnam style for New Year's.
Diane, Rebecca, and Rick were doing it Gagnam style for New Year’s.