Friday, December 31, 2004

Look Who's at VHS!


Look Who's at VHS!
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Monique and Gerrard were very impressed with the VHS campus. Then we headed on to Thriftway to buy groceries and to pick up several issues of the Riptide (VHS Newspaper) in which there is an article about Anna Rae and the other exchange students abroad. While Monique and Gerrard did get to visit Pike Place Market and the 'flying fish', they had very little time to see anything more. But I guess that is ok because now they have had a 'taste' of the Pacific Northwest and their appetite is whetted for more. And now too they know another door that is openned to them - ours!

Our New French Friends; Monique and Gerrard

In an unusual twist of events, Monique, the choir director for Anna Rae's gospel choir in France, came to Vashon Island for a 3 day visit with relatives. Meeting them was a better gift than anything I could've pulled out of the box of gifts that they delivered for Anna Rae. Although the scarf she gave me looks pretty nice as it is draped over my shoulder in this picture. Al Eggleston is their daughter in law's father. This picture was taken in his wonderful, homey farmhouse which has a sweeping view of the sound. We talked about politcs (we're on the same page here), language acquisition, and
of course about Anna Rae.

Singing a Joyful Round


Singing a Joyful Round
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
What a spontaneous, uplifting way to end our visit. It was a pleasure to be included in Monique and Gerrard's
family holiday gathering, especially considering how brief their stay was on Vashon.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Kornowske's Grand Fir


The Kornowske's Grand Fir
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Isn't this a lovely Christmas tree? I took the picture looking down into the grand entry room from the second floor landing.








Yule Log; A scrumptious dessert!


Yule Log; A scrumptious dessert!
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Oh my but this was a good dessert! The cream filling was lightly flavored with orange. We were so full that we did not eat dessert at the Kornowske's. We took our portion home to eat. I savored every bite. I wonder if the Yule Log that AR ate was as tasty.









French Wine


French Wine
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
This was our wine with dessert. We had French wine along with the Yule Log in honor of Anna Rae our 'in absensia' guest.
We called her at 1:00, our time, 10:00pm in France. We put her on the speaker phone and that was fun 'cuz we all could hear her talk. She was playing some type of Monopoly with Benoit's relatives when we called. She told us all about their Christmas Eve, opening gifts (she was TOTALLY surprised and happy to get the mini IPOD from us), going to a very unusual Christmas Eve mass, and sleeping in a very crowded 3 story house with 14 other relatives. She will most likely update her blog tomorrow when she gets back to Annecy.













Drank a 'Little' Vino


Drank a 'Little' Vino
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Here's Joe and Valerie, our host and hostess for Christmas dinner. See that BIG bottle of wine? It was a generous contribution from Penny and Emil, other friends at this holiday feast.















Teresa Holding Sweetheart


Teresa Holding Sweetheart
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Hens don't like to be held for too long.
I am really surprised this photo turned out as good as it is. I like the way our hair/feathers match. Looks like we go to the same stylist!











Galen's Gift to Lindsey


Galen's Gift to Lindsey
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
This is the sweetest little snowman!
Galen made it at school. the body is a sock filled with rice and the hat is made with polar fleece.
















9, 10 A BIg Fat Hen


9, 10 A BIg Fat Hen
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
On our first trip out to the hen house this big black hen clearly considered us an intrusion. She made the funniest annoyed clucking and gave skitterish,
darting glances at us indicating that egg laying is clearly not intended for public display.










Lindsey and Her Fowl Friends


Lindsey and Her Fowl Friends
Originally uploaded bymtnester.

Lindsey clearly is attached to the Kornowske poultry. Lindsey knows the name and temperament of each hen. She took me out to collect our Christmas gift of a dozen fresh brown eggs. All 12 hens are laying now. Their hen house is gaily decorated with Christmas lights. The Kornowskes believe the lights were the impetus for the hens to commence laying!



























The First Gift


The First Gift
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
This is what was inside Richard's gift:
a tracing of his foot, a handmade Christmas card inside of a handmade envelope (decorated with a jack 'o lantern), a chocolate covered marshmellow Santa, and a Butterfinger and chocolate Santa. In addition Richard gave me 2 other cards; handmade and thickly wrapped in tissue paper. He clearly loves the giving aspect of Christmas VERY much. I treasure his gifts that are clearly '5 year old initiated' and given 'from the heart'.
I can see why I got the Butterfinger; I always tease the kids when they have lunchables saying "Oh, that must be for me, Butterfingers are my favorite!" when I see the orange wrappered candy bar in it's lunchable compartment. But the tracing of his foot...that is a mystery!













Friday, December 24, 2004

Ma With Her Book


Ma With Her Book
Originally uploaded by mtnester.











Pa With His Newspaper


Pa With His Newspaper
Originally uploaded by mtnester.













Santa Sighted In Ballard 12-23


Santa Sighted In Ballard 12-23
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
This was taken outside a Seven Eleven on NW Leary as you head into Ballard. Do you suppose Santa bought anything in that Seven Eleven; cigarettes, malt liquor, batteries??? And why in the heck, in this day and age, doesn't he have a cell phone?


Teresa On The Harbor Steps 12-23


Teresa On The Harbor Steps 12-23
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Chris and I went to see the Spain Exhibit at Seattle Art Museum on Thursday night.
Many of the paintings brought back our visit to the Palacio Reale and the Prado in Madrid in summer 2000. I especially enjoyed the botanical watercolors and drawings. Downtown looks so pretty with all the Christmas lights. We took the Harbor Steps down to Western where the car was parked.

Worried

All week long I have been too worried to sit down and focus on posting an entry. I mailed Anna Rae's gifts to France on Dec. 3 and it has been a long, and for me, a tortuous wait till their arrival on Dec. 23. Chris kept telling me to no avail, "I don't want to hear about it, STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS BOX!" What follows snippets of the emails between AR and others as I fretted about the whereabouts of her Christmas box.
12-15 (to AR) Has the Christmas box arrived?
12-16(to AR) Has the Christmas box arrived? (I emailed Marion with the same question) As above, please answer by tomorrow (Fri.)
12-16 (to Marion) This is Teresa, Anna Rae's mom. Has our box of gifts for Anna Rae arrived at your house yet? I am thinking they should be there by Friday at the latest. Let me know if it does not come by Fri. Once you or your parents tear off the label listing the contents she can open the box. I think she will be a surprised and very happy girl on Christmas day. Anna Rae has had such a wonderful time being part of your family.
12-21 (To AR) I am trying really hard not to think about your box but it is always there nagging my brain. Of all the losuy things; no box from your parents!
12-22(from AR) Yeah, I really am worried about the box too, I'll be upset if it doesn't come ( but I KNOW you loved me, I KNOW you tried!!! don'tget too worried!!!) The Liz├ęs are now constantly asking me if it has arrived too. Benoit says itll come thursday (the day before we leave).
12-22 (in an email from me to our friend Kim) We miss her so much and you want to hear the real burn...she has not yet gotten her Christmas box from us and I mailed it on Dec. 3 It makes me just sick; we bought her an ipod mini! I did insure it but I think that is just for damages not loss. Chris is tired of hearing me worry about it. He thinks it will still arrive. I think someone stole it. Let's hope I am wrong.
12-22 (to AR) I went to the post office and did my whining there so it would not bother your dad and now I have a glimmer of hope that you will get your gift, just maybe not on time. First of all, I did insure it for $350. and if I fill out a claim saying it is lost, I will get paid for the loss and do the shopping all over.
BUT the post office clerk said it was likely that it was held up in customs (probably opened and rumaged through) because I listed a value above $200. This also means that you (we) may need to pay a duty fee on it once it arrives. Anyway, if you, with the help of Benoit or Catherine want to go to the post office /customs office (I am unclear which one because he seemed to use both interchangeably) and ask about the box, this is the number you will need:VE 676 826 336 US
12-23 (from AR) And good news! The box is here! Well, its somewhere nearby, I may not get my hands on it till monday when I get back in town. Apparently they tried to deliver it yesterday but no one was home. AND I have to pay them 32€ (like 40 dollars) or some customs fee. Thanks mom! lol, its no problem, I'm just happy I'll have it soon, even if its not there on xmas day. there is a possibility charlotte can pick it up this afternoon, but im not sure.
12-23 (to AR) Nothing ever gives me more joy on Christmas than seeing you open gifts; to think that ours would not be there for you, it has made me so sad. But now I am happy, happy, HAPPY! Sorry about the $40. We will pay it. Never again will I insure a box with the postal service.
12-23 (from AR) i have it! charlotte and marion picked it up, ill find an atm and attempt to get out enough money to pay them back tomorrow. I'll try to make a blog entry tonight.
12-23 (to AR) Great sweetie! I wish I could see your face when you open the gifts. You will be so glad they arrived on time!

So went the week of a worried mom. And now, Christmas can begin!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Red and Silver on White


Red and Silver on White
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Well, this is as decked out as it is going to get this year. I really must say that this is certainly easier to decorate and less messy than our traditional Christmas trees which are Noble firs that we hunt for at a tree farm on Vashon. Chris certainly didn't miss being a sawyer; squeezing under a wet tree in a muddy lot is not exactly his favorite holiday tradition.

Deck Decor


Deck Decor
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
I really like having these lights around the garden window. They pretty well light up the kitchen as I pour my first cup of coffee in the morning. With the leaves off the trees and new homes 'kitty corner' beyond our lot, we see more holiday lights as we look off our deck this year. On the left I have wrapped this string of lights around an urn; the same urn that was home to 2 goldfish as I explained in an earlier post.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Ouch!

Yesterday I went to the podiatrist for very persistent heel pain (like since last Spring). I have already been through the physical therapy, stretching, ibuprophen, icing, no running routine and I finally decided to go for the big shot - cortisone. For those of you who know what a needle ninny I am, this was a big step (no pun intended). It hurt like hell to get and even the beefy doctor had a time pinning my leg to the table as he gave the shot. Anyway this morning I notice a quarter sized bruise at the site of injection but other than that it feels pretty darn good. I hope this is the solution. He said I my need 1 or 2 more shots. I go back in a month and if the heel feels good then I am getting orthodics for my running shoes and I will be back to morning runs. Off to school now. The kids are higher than kites this week. Lucky for us, we have an 80 minute planning block this morning and the principal and another teacher take on all 55 kindergarteners to teach a literacy lesson.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The First Gift of Chrismas


The First Gift of Chrismas
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
This is Richard. He has given me the first gift of Christmas. The bow, as you can see, is as big as his head. His gift sits with that glorious bow, under our very white, ala Shag, Christmas tree.

Surprise! it's a flame retardant Christmas!

We have never had anything other than a real tree, usually a Noble fir selected by the 3 of us after much searching at a tree farm on Vashon Island. A few years back I bought a tree at an end of Christmas sale and never took it out the box. Obviously I did not read the label on the box either. This is the tree. Were we ever surprised!
Chris seems more animated and excited than if it were green and fresh cut. That figures, since he was always the one that did the sawing. So Anna Rae, what do you think? Don't be too alarmed, it looks alot better with the red and silver ornaments. That picture coming up soon.