Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Saga Part Second

I am sorry - I know I promised this yesterday, but I got caught up in the cleaning and show prep and didn't finish it all, so here it is...

In the morning when Dad went to put the dog out, we found that someone had left us four big bags of gifts - one for each of the children. Whoever it was had spelled the kids’ names correctly, and, as we found later, each of the girls received their favorite toys. Dad and I brought them in and added them to the stack in front of the tree, and the kids went wild for a little while.
Traditionally, we had stockings and breakfast together. Dad and Phil got monster sized stockings from Santa, because the little ones that had been hung out were too small. We took Phil’s to him in the hospital when we went to see him later. The girls got excited again after breakfast and we started on opening gifts. Highlights... Glady got her e-z bake oven, Juliet got a spiderman build-a-bear, Pippa got lots of art stuff. Johann got a Tonka truck from his Papa that is bigger than he is. As soon as he got the paper off of it he climbed in and started to rock his body back and forth and make motor noises. So far as I know, he’s never seen anything like it before - how do they know?
Grampa gave them the biggest gift of the morning - a computer! He picked up and original iMac for twenty dollars, but they love it for what it is - not what it cost. Phil was on the speakerphone through the gift opening and he promised the girls that he would get it up and running as soon as he got home.
The Secret Santa bags turned out to have new coats for each of them, clothes, and a couple of toys for each. The living room was full of flying paper for a while, and when it cleared, the sectional couch was full from one end to another with stuff. I have a feeling this will be the wildest Christmas they will ever see... as they got older and the toys get more sophisticated there will be fewer of them, and calmer children, too. Glady already was pretty good about waiting her turn, unlike Pippa who got very excited about the whole thing. Juliet was very cute - al she wanted to do was help her brother out.
Once they were done opening presents I let them each take a toy and go into their room. Grampa and I sat in the living room and took a deep breath for a few minutes, then opened our gifts. Nana and BoPop had sent down their gifts to us, so we had a few. Dad got me a little vacuum sealer, and I had framed a photo of his tent I had taken in the woods this fall. Nana gave me a set of Sundae glasses that came out of a Midwestern pharmacy - a hundred years old, and heavy enough to endure. Dad got a cast iron teapot that must weigh twenty pounds.
After clean-up I made the rolls I had promised Nana and got ready to go up there. We left the house a little later than planned and went to the hospital to visit Phil, taking along his stocking and a couple of gifts. We weren’t able to stay long, but that is just as well, with the kids so excited about Christmas. From the hospital we went to Nana’s for more gifts and dinner.
It was a very nice day, all in all. I regretted Phil missing all of it. But we did get to see him.

On Tuesday after Phil saw the doctor he was told that it would be Friday before they let him out. Then that afternoon he was given an ultrasound from tummy to toes, which ruled out a deep vein thrombosis - very good news. Tuesday the girls and spent in cleaning and organizing their room, and Tuesday night I went up the Steele Hill to substitute for Phil at his regular gig there. So now it is Wednesday morning. I have much to do, but mostly I think I’ll play with the two little girls and Johann until Glady gets back from Toad Hall.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Saga Part First

Merry Christmas to all!

It has been an eventful one here in Sanbornton (and Franklin, and New Hampton). It all started last Tuesday. Phil got sick. The flu, we thought, and Juliet came down with it a day later. Not a big deal - they ran high fevers and I nursed them thru it until Friday, when Phil was feeling much better - but he thought he’d sprained his ankle and pulled a muscle in his thigh getting up at some point that week. Juliet was feeling much better Saturday morning, and Grampa offered to take me out shopping, since I hadn’t left the house since Phil got sick and I needed groceries and last-minute Christmas stuff. So off we went in the van, leaving Phil home alone with his feet up.

Saturday afternoon, home in time for lunch, after the kid hurricane had settled and kissed Papa and retired to its room, Phil announced that he didn’t feel well and maybe I should talk to Jean (our doctor). So I call, and am told that he should go to the ER, as they don’t like to prescribe antibiotics over the phone. OK, fine, I’m happier having him seen anyway, as I had been trying to convince him to go see Jean all week. So off he and Dad go to the Franklin Hospital - around 4:00 pm. About 6:00 pm I get a call from Dad to tell me they think it is an infection, but they are busy and have not yet drawn blood to be sure. Around nine he calls again to tell me that it is an infection, they have put an IV in, and they’ll be keeping him at least overnight. He heads for home shortly after that.

Sunday morning I talk to Phil and he tells me that the doctor is going to keep him in ht hospital until Wednesday. The girls are upset - especially Juliet, who is devastated that Papa won’t be home for Christmas. They all talk to him on the phone and feel better for that. Then we get started preparing to go and visit Papa before we go to Christmas Eve Service with Nana and BoPop that night. In the midst of our day, BoPop and Uncle Austin drop by to drop some things off, and I actually have the house clean enough to invite them in! I feel really good about that. So off we go to visit Papa - taking along a couple of presents for him to open. I made him (with lots of help from the girls!) a bathrobe, and we also took a picture of Pippa that Nana and BoPop had taken and framed that was her gift to us.

At the Christmas Eve Service I spent most of my time in the fellowship hall beneath the church taking care of Johann, who had decided it was his personal mission to say HI! to everyone in the church, starting with the priest. He had come out behind the congregation, and since Johann was sitting on my lap facing me he saw him first. His eyes got big as saucers when this man stepped out in shiny gold robes (I’m guessing they were special for Christmas). Then he waved and called Hi! to him. So after we sang a carol with Johann sticking his hand down my throat every time I tried to sing, and he decided that now was the time to drop the shy act and say hello to everyone, we went elsewhere. Dad says the girls were good, though.

That night after we got home Dad and I finished wrapping the last gifts and made all ready for Santa. The girls had gone out into the pasture and picked reindeer moss, so in addition to cookies and milk for Santa there was salad for his deer! Too cute. Anyway, I was in bed by nine-thirty, and Dad says he was down by ten, but at some point in the night someone quietly shut the outer entryway door - the one that sticks and has to be closed just so.... and left inside the entry....

Well, I am exhausted. More on this later!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Long time since I wrote...

It has been so busy - the few times I have sat down at the computer I have been writing marketing materials and had no time to blog. But, finally, I am seizing a few minutes to update you all...

Let's see - going way back, Thanksgiving! The meal was good, as always, and it was a blessing to spend my day calmly cooking and playing with the kids. I felt as though we had turned back the hands of time as I stood at the sink washing dishes in the early afternoon and they were playing with a top on the floor behind me. Phil had a twisting gig from noon to three, so we ate late. Actually, we started nibbling as soon as he got home and stopped eating around 8:30, so no-one went without! We had our usual Cider-brined Turkey center stage, which was so moist and good even Phil liked it, and he isn't a turkey fan. I could'nt believe how easy my day went. I did most of the cooking on Wednesday and had everything clean - even the dishes - by the time I went to bed Thursday.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving both Phil and I made our annual trip to the Loon Center open house and he twisted while I face-painted. What a fun gig. We were busy right up to the end, but Phil was out of balloons, so we had to go.

Let's see - since then we have been getting back to the routine of school and getting the Holly Jolly Magic Show launched. The Happy Birthday, Jesus! show will go out on the 12th, so I have a little breathing space to start marketing for January. I have to keep on that - we have decided that we have to refocus the 'business' end of our business. The performing end is doing well, but without marketing, advertising, and publicity we are dead in the water. So - I labor in the office. Actually, it is kind of fun. I like coming up with new ways to tell people what we do, and trying to talk Phil into different shows like the anti-bullying show we did last year that is still being asked for.

The kids are well - mostly. Johann has a head cold today, poor little bud. He was up about four times last night fighting to breathe through his nose and coughing. And then, about 3 this morning, we ran out of oil, thank goodness the checks from this weekend have cleared. We'll be getting a drop this afternoon. Pippa is off with Nana and Bopop, they took her with them to Portsmouth yesterday and kept her overnight. Juliet and Glady are at school at the moment. Glady has a special event coming up - her class is going to carol at the Veteran's Home on Dec. 12.

Well, I'm going to put a loaf of bread in the oven to keep the kitchen toasty. My fingers are having trouble typing while cold!