Another month...and in this case, another year...in the books. Here are 31 rambling thoughts to wrap up December:
1. We take some back country roads to the interstate when we head for Atlanta. This time of year the shoulders are covered with stray bits of cotton from the farmers' wagons as they haul their harvest to the cotton gin. I'm always surprised how much it looks like snow.
2. One of the best things about the navigation system is if you stick with the side streets because you know I-285 will be a zoo at 5pm, it will eventually figure that out and help you get where you want to go.
3. We quite possibly had the most fun in Atlanta at the Apple Store just checking out the iTouch and iPhone.
4. Why do all my socks wear out at the same time?
5. Kayla gets to pick where we go eat when we visit her for her birthday. It wasn't any surprise when it was Outback again this year. The girl loves her steak!
6. But Grandpa fixed grilled shrimp with the steaks for dinner while they were here. She put one on her plate to taste, ate it, and promptly returned for more...twice. I think he'll have to grill shrimp on every visit now.
7. That shouldn't be a problem as he has a new grill to cook on now. We retired the old one after years of faithful service. Here's a less-than-stellar photo of him with the shiny new one:
8. Santa brought Wayne an iTouch for Christmas. I know he's enjoying it because, like a teenager, he's seldom seen now without earplugs.
9. One thing that doesn't work with the iTouch...listening to it in bed. He went right to sleep and the podcast just kept going without him.
10. Giving the wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas is OK if that's what the wife asked for. I love my new little Dyson hand-held vac.
11. I also love having friends that scrapbook. When I can't find a paper to exactly match what I'm working on in my stash, they let me go through theirs. Thanks, Charlotte!
12. I'm not a fan of winter so I'm trying to stay positive. The days are getting longer and it's only 79 days until Spring.
13. Brad takes after me and doesn't like cold weather either. While he enjoyed a round of golf with his dad while he was here, he didn't think much of the 50 degree weather they played in.
14. And I thought Kayla was cold-blooded, too, but she's off with the church youth group on a ski trip. I'll bet she's dressed like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
15. They've started pouring the footers for the new Publix grocery store. I. can't. wait.
16. Apparently I'm over my green phase...I've bought new clothes and they were pink.
17. Christmas letters from family and friends are just a delight. The world stops as soon as they arrive so we can read them and catch up on all that is happening in the lives of people we care about.
18. The Oreo truffles earned a return engagement on next year's cookie list. Yummy!
19. We ate dinner on Christmas Eve by candlelight, a first for us. I loved the soft glow on everyone's face and how special it made everything feel. It was so relaxing...a welcome respite from the frantic days that preceded it.
20. It was tricky getting all the Christmas decorations packed away, and I had to rearrange a couple of boxes several times trying to get it all in. The new things we bought at the big Christmas store in Michigan are now housed with all the rest of the decorations.
21. All this week the papers have been filled with "year in review" articles. I've skipped every one. It's my way of still rebelling against the boring lecture we were forced to endure every year in high school when the local newspaper editor gave a similar summary in his gravely monotone.
22. Chocolate doesn't make the world go around, but it certainly makes the ride worthwhile.
23. January is shaping up to be crazy-busy. But then I've thought the same thing at this point for the last seven months...and I've been right.
24. I'm feeling that new year urge to clean out and organize. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't see me acting on it. See #23 above.
25. I've been listening to the sound of fireworks in the neighborhood for quite some time. I swear we didn't shoot off fireworks on New Year's when I was growing up.
26. I saw a little of Dick Clark on TV this evening. It made me sad. I grew up with American Bandstand and I think I'd rather keep that image of him in my head.
27. I've revamped the mix of the blogs I visit daily...eliminated a few and added some new ones. New ideas and new perspectives are sure to inspire.
28. And I am inspired by a cool photo book my friend Leslie did...through Snapfish, I think. I've already come up with about ten books like hers that I'd love to put together but again see #23 above.
29. I started this blog as a means to keep in touch with family and friends who live elsewhere (and because Torm insisted.) I never expected it to be a vehicle to make new friends but I love that it has.
30. In keeping with past years, we had dinner this evening with good friends. And as the last hours of 2007 ticked away, we talked about the good and the bad this year has brought and our hopes for 2008. What a great way to end the year.
31. But our buddy Dr. Dale was home sick so we skipped the champagne. Why we drink it I don't know...no one likes it, but it's tradition. And it wouldn't be the same without him.
Here's a toast to a great 2008...Happy New Year!