Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas

I think I am ready for my family tomorrow. The house is as clean as its going to get. The table is set and dishes are out. Dan is asleep in his chair so he doesn't know Santa has left a little something for him under the tree.

As I write this, I am thinking about my Dad. This will be the first Christmas without him. We will all be thinking about him as we gather for prayer because we turned to him on those occasions. We will laugh alot and talk too loud because that is what our family does. His legacy lives on.

All Is Well

Merry Christmas, Sue! Posted by Hello

Ice Festival

I know---I have a ton of stuff to do today & here I am on the computer. I had to check my emails, though. Kathy sent me an email with some fabulous pictures. Thanks Kathy!

I thought it was cold here this morning (-3), but this has Kansas topped. Enjoy

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I received help today on the route so that I would not get into overtime, which was great with me. I need time here at home to get ready for family on Saturday.

Once again I must tackle the house--at least I have the decorations up. I would like to wash some windows, but it is very cold today (16 above). Don't think I want to be dipping into a bucket of water outside. The porch is very warm because of the sunshine, so I am
going to work out there this afternoon. Heck, I might just fire up the stove, put on some music, get a beer and take a short soak in the spa. No, that would not be smart--I must keep to task!

The menu for Christmas will be ham, potatoes, oyster corn, green beans, and rolls. The family is bringing salads and desserts. Dan is stopping by the store to pick up my groceries. I sure appreciate him taking over the shopping.

Well, it is time to "hit it." Will post my progress tomorrow afternoon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

1st Annual Route 2 Bakeoff

As I said earlier, each year I receive gifts of cookies, cakes and candy from my customers. I don’t know how I could have a group of such good cooks in one area.

So, I am going to have a contest where I pick the entries and the winner. In all fairness, there are some gifts that I just haven’t been able to taste yet. The entries below have been tasted and in some cases completely consumed. They will be in no order of tastiness.

Kathy was the first in. Actually, she brought her warm, gooey cinnamon rolls in to the post office the first of December. They were wonderful.

John has the reputation of peanut brittle. Actually, we kind of work him on this. We start around Halloween with a reminder when we see him about how much we love his brittle. Tom, the Postmaster, and I both received a sack and it was superior as usual. He spares no peanuts.

Jeanne and Nancy are a mother/daughter team. Their cookies are excellent in that it is a creative, yet simple plate. Every entry is superior in flavor—it is hard to beat a plate where every cookie is good.

Sandy gets a nod because of her sheer volume. She doesn’t just bring at Christmas. We have delicious entries from Sandy all year. Her brother is a fancy chief so she has secret ingredients which pull her entries up a notch.

Geneva’s plate is a hard one to beat because of her use of the best ingredients. Her cookies taste like pure butter. She uses some kind of pastry thing that makes little butter cookies that are excellent. Also, I love those cranaisins (I think they are dried cranberries) with Black walnuts in an oatmeal cookie.

John’s muffins—what can I say—they are absolutely the best. He makes some kind of basic muffin recipe and then crams in a ton of stuff such as butterscotch chips, walnuts, and who knows who else. They are wonderful. I also “hint around” for these anytime I see him out at the box. (I am not proud)

The last entry is Dale’s cookies. Dale does not get fancy. He specializes in just one kind. These cookies actually melted in my mouth. They are so good, that I think I will freeze a few to take to Colorado Springs so the family (all excellent cookie makers in their own right) can taste them. I am not sure what basic recipe Dale uses, but he puts dates, nuts, chocolate chips and possibly the kitchen sink in these bad boys. He told me today when he met me at the box with the cookies that I would not be able to eat only one. He was absolutely right.

Dale Wins!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Christmas Planning

Oh, Oh--I fixed something to eat this evening and then decided to "rest" a short while. That was two hours ago! My list for the evening does not have one item checked. No writing tonight----


Monday, December 20, 2004

"A Baby Changed It All"

I have felt the excitement and joy of the approaching Holiday each day. Even though my job is more demanding, it is a fun time to work. Customers are excited to get their mail and some of them are waiting at the mailbox with cookies, candy or munchies. I spend time on the route thinking about what gifts to buy for my family and friends and I look forward to cooking for family on Christmas Day.

There is one thought, however, that is keeping me from completely feeling the joy of the season this year and that is the hideous crime that occurred in Missouri by a woman that only lives about 30 minutes from my home. I need not even mention the crime because it has been on National news and in newspapers all over the world. My thoughts have been with the family of the victim and the baby. I can not imagine how the mother that found her daughter is dealing with this tragedy. And, as I think about the family of the lady that committed this crime, I wonder how they are dealing with the future.

The CNN news article had an interview with the minister of the church in Melvern. He mentioned the name of his Christmas sermon yesterday was "A Baby Changed It All." He had written his thoughts several weeks ago, but hoped it's message would help comfort his congregation in this time of disbelief and sadness.

The message of Christmas is the story of the birth of Jesus and the hope he brings to each of us. Let us pray this is comfort for everyone, including those dealing with a tragedy beyond belief.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sunday Family, Friends & Food

The day started with me waking up to a little red head shaking me and saying, "Nana, get out of bed." Needless to say, I hopped right out of there!

The kids left around 10:30 am and I was just starting on the kitchen when our neighbor brought honey from his own hives down. It is a delicious gift that we enjoy well after the holidays. We had a great visit with Chip, as always.

We then met with our Card group for our Christmas dinner at 3:00. It was delicious food and good talk. Everyone was ready to play cards when we left for Kansas City to meet with our friends from South Carolina.

We have known Dwight & Cheryl since we were married. Within the first few months of marriage, they moved across the street from us in a trailer court in Emporia. We were going to college at that time. We have remained friends since, and until the past 7 or 8 years, have lived in the same area. When they moved to South Carolina, I feared we would drift apart, but we have stayed connected by always managing to get together when they come here. (Their son lives in KC) We have been to South Carolina three times also.

I could spend a lot of time writing about our friendship with Dwight & Cheryl, but I better save it for another time. I see it is late and tomorrow will most likely be the biggest mail day before Christmas.