Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Weekend

There is such a build-up to Christmas and then it is over...

We went to the Christmas Eve service at Trinity Life Center. It was very nice. We hadn't had supper before we went to church so afterwards we went across the street to Brookfields to eat. We weren't sure if they'd even be open. There were a few people from church there. There was a late PGR Welcome Home mission at the airport so we went to participate. Surprisely enough there were about 38 people there for the welcome home. By the time we headed home the fog had gotten really thick.

Christmas Day dawned with rain...a pretty heavy storm...lots of wind and rain. Christmas morning is the only time I fix breakfast. I had a horrible night with my coughing so when I got up Gerry was already awake. He offered to fix it...as it turned out...we did it together...scrambled eggs, sausage links, biscuits (thanks to the "dough boy") and some fruit. I cleaned the kitchen up. Then for dinner I fixed a sirloin tip roast, baked potatoes, fresh steamed green beans and rice salad. I didn't fix a dessert...we didn't miss it.

We laid around and watched TV most of the day. Sunday was a nice day...after church we drove up to Sweet Pea's in Auburn to eat. Gerry wanted their Oatmeal Raisin pancake. It is so huge, covers the entire plate. He does good to finish one of them. He tried 2 once and barely was able to finish it. I had a club sandwich. After we left there we drove north out of Auburn on country roads, driving through the towns of Mt. Vernon, Mt Pleasant, Sheridan and Lincoln. It was a beautiful drive...the fields were all green after all the rain we've had...and it is always enjoyable to see the livestock grazing in the fields. From Lincoln we drove into Roseville, stopping at Bel Air before coming home. I wanted to get some sandwich rolls so we could make some roast beef sandwiches later.

We didn't get each other anything for Christmas. Denise sent us another Creative Memories calendar. Every page is loaded with awesome pictures of all of them. I am going to cut the pages on this year's calendar and put them in an album. The calendar is made that the top is a 12x12 page that will fit in an album. The bottom part can be discarded.

We woke up to rain again this morning. It has been raining all day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas 2010 Card & Letter

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given...And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace". Isaiah 9:6

Another Christmas is upon us...to once again celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

How quickly the days go by or so it seems. Maybe it is because we are getting older that it seems that way. This year has been a busy year or at least we have managed to stay busy. Gerry continues to ride with his bicycle club and I've been busy at my craft table participating in over 25 card swaps. Most of them have been online swaps on the Splitcoast Stampers web site. I did very little with cards last year so I've been making up for it this year.

The kids and grandkids are all doing well. Grandkids Seth, Ashley and Rebekah-Elizabeth will graduate from high school next year; Seth and Rebekah-Elizabeth have plans to go to college. (Addition: I forgot this in the letter that was mailed with our cards -- Granddaughter Geraldine will also graduate next year and I'm sure she has plans for college). Nathanael is in the Army stationed at Ft. Bragg Army Post in Fayetteville, NC. This is where Stephen was stationed and Nathanael grew up in Fayetteville. He is a combat medic in the 82nd Airborne. Stephen was also in the 82nd Airborne. We've learned recently that Nathanael is engaged to be married. He took Megan Elizabeth home to Enterprise, AL for Thanksgiving and to meet the family. They haven't set a date yet. Denise said in her Facebook status that she's getting the best daughter-in-law. Rebekah-Elizabeth has a special young man in her life.

On November 1st we celebrated our 30th anniversary with a trip to the coast. It was an enjoyable time and we had great weather too.

Last year in May (2009) we drove across country to Enterprise, AL where Denise and Stephen live. Nathanael was graduating from high school. We were gone for 4 weeks stopping along the way to visit family and sightsee. We had a great time visiting Keith in Ft. Worth and ate some yummy BBQ while in Texas. The last day we were in Alabama, we all drove down to the Gulf Coast. We ate at a restaurant that was located right on the beach. The Gulf of Mexico is beautiful, the water a beautiful turquoise blue. Heading back west we spent a couple of days in Louisiana, visited an Acadian village and enjoyed the drive into Texas along the Intracoastal Waterway. While in Louisiana we enjoyed a ferry ride across the Mississippi River. We stayed in Houston for a couple of days visiting the Johnson Space Center and driving down to Galveston. We took a ferry ride there too and saw the destruction left by a hurricane that blew through the area in 2008. The trip was fantastic, however, it was good to get home. Somehow living out of suitcases gets to be a bit much and we just wanted to be able to sleep in our bed again.

In closing, may Christmas be an enjoyable time with family and friends. And 2011 be a year filled with many blessings.

Mele Kalikimaka & Hau'oli Makahiki Hou
(Merry Christmas & Happy New Year)

Gerry & Betty Townsend

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My New Do

I went to see Brent this afternoon for a much needed haircut. I had an appointment with him 3 weeks ago, had to cancel and then I got sick. I called yesterday about noon and was surprised that he had an opening today...and that he was even working today. His normal days are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Because of the short week, he was working some extra time.

Anyway, I told him I wanted to go short...he said "how short"...and I said up to my ears. So he gave me some layers in the back and shorter bangs. He didn't do any color this time...he said the color still looked good from when he did it in September. What he does is give me some low lights blending the gray hair and still leaving some gray. The gray is mostly at my temples and down the sides. Its covered up so it can't really be seen.

I really like the style and am happy to have no hair on my neck. I'll just need to go in more often. After I uploaded the pictures to my computer and was looking at them, I thought my face looks really bad with no makeup! LOL!!

He gave me an upsweep in the back.
I posted these on Facebook too. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My first birthday

I thought I would post some childhood pictures of me occasionally. This one was taken on the front lawn of my grandmother's house at 738 Palani Street, Honolulu, HI (in Kapahulu). It was my 1st birthday. There is an apartment building where my grandmother's house was located.

During the summer of 1971, I took a trip back home with Denise. She was about 20 months old. I took a picture of her in the same spot. Rumor goes that I loved to suck my big toe on my right foot when I was a baby...I know...pretty yuck! LOL!!

I have so many fond memories of being at grandma's house. She was my mother's mother. We didn't know my father's parents as they had died by the time us kids came along.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

What A Night!!!

Gerry was told that tonight at the Roseville Galleria Mall there was going to be a "flash mob" singing of the Hallelujah Chorus in the food court or in front of Penney's. Both of us have seen different "Youtubes" of this sort of thing happening so we decided to go see.

We were having Comcast come this afternoon to change our Internet and Telephone service from AT&T to Comcast. The technician arrived on time and it didn't take him long to do what needed to be done. Gerry said the "flash mob" was happening at 7pm. So we left here about 5:30pm to give us plenty of time to get there and get a viewing spot. The traffic and crowds would be a nightmare. We got there by 6pm and didn't have too much trouble finding a parking spot. I believe I mentioned in an earlier post that there was a horrendous fire at the Galleria back in October and the part that was heavily damaged was closed off. We were on the upper level and finally got over to Penney's. We stood there for about an hour. Gerry looked at his phone at 7pm and nothing was happening. Then we overheard some people saying that there was a huge crowd over by the food court. So we walked over there. There were so many people in that location that it got kind of scary. I was starting to panic and told Gerry I needed to get out of there. There was no where to move. Gerry told me to hold on to him and he was going to try and move away from there. Just then an announcement was made that the Fire Department was closing the Mall and evacuating people. There were lots of booing going on. We managed to get away and started to walk towards Nordstroms where there is an exit to a section of the parking lot. Gerry told me to go outside and wait for him and he would bring the car around to get me. We had parked on the opposite side of the mall.

I had decided not to take a purse with me and I also didn't have my cell phone with me so I couldn't call him. He had to walk quite a distance to get to the car and then he couldn't move for the traffic. I was beginning to panic and 2 different ladies offered their phone to me to call him. The first time he didn't answer his phone. He answered when a 2nd lady offered her phone to me. He told me that he had parked the car and was waiting for the traffic to thin out. I guess at one point he had walked back into the mall. That must have been when I called him the first time. Anyway, the 2nd lady and her daughter offered to stay with me until he came. She came to the mall to do her Christmas shopping. He finally managed to get to me after almost 2 hours of waiting.

We were telling everyone that walked up to the doors that the mall was closed and what happened. Gerry said he saw a long line of ambulances and fire trucks waiting as he walked to the car. There was even a helicopter overhead. A couple of camera men walked up to the doors too.

According to online newstories, people were saying that they could feel the floor on the 2nd level creaking and popping and supposedly there were cracks in the flooring. Gerry isn't believing those reports.

The choral group went outside and performed. They were members of the Sacramento Choral Group and people from some local churches.

We went over to Mimi's across the street from the mall and had something to eat. As soon as I got in the car, I started coughing and could not stop. As soon as we got home I took some cough syrup and a cold pill. I got so cold and being sick was not a good thing.

We were so bummed in not hearing the choral group and then the whole nightmare of trying to connect. I've sung the Hallelujah Chorus many times and always enjoyed doing it...it would have been fantastic to have been able to hear it tonight.

On the rain storms, we had some sun today, lots of wind, no rain. I think tomorrow is suppose to be nice with more rain tomorrow night and Wednesday. Clear on Thursday and then more rain for Christmas. The lunar eclipse is going on right now, the skies were clear when we came in at 10:30pm and the moon could be seen.

I think I'm going to take more cough syrup and go to sleep.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake

I follow several food blogs. One of them is called Plain Chicken. The blogger posted this recipe a few weeks ago. I made it tonight except that I made it without the chicken. It was very good, a little rich with all the different cheeses.

Here's the recipe:
1 - 16 oz package of penne or elbow macaroni
2 - 10 oz containers of refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 - 8 oz container of sour cream
1 - 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups of cooked chicken, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and return to pot. Stir together all ingredients except mozzarella cheese. Spread mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


Rain and More Rain. etc.

It started raining yesterday and it continues. According to the weather people, it will be raining into next week. And after these storms are over, another storm is expected Christmas Eve. The wind has been pretty strong too. Supposedly it is going to be a wet winter, thanks to a La Nina weather pattern.

The coughing lingers on...it is mostly bad at night. I have been sleeping better and that's a good thing. The wet weather certainly doesn't help matters. At least we're not having real cold temperatures.

I need to clean up my craft table. I came in from our shoebox swap 2 weeks ago, dropped everything down on my table and there it still sits. I have a couple of SCS swaps that are due the first part of January so I really, seriously, need to be working on them. Somehow I can't get into a mood to even think about them. Of course being sick hasn't helped getting motivated.

Two weeks ago I had a hair appointment...cancelled it because it was raining that particular day. I desperately need to get another appointment made. Its been 3 months since my last appointment and my hair is back down on my neck. It is driving me crazy. I was watching "What Not to Wear" last night and the lady that was getting a makeover had her hair cut short. It really looked cute and I decided I'm going back short...not real short...just off my neck. I know I probably can't have a cut like she got...my hair is too coarse and wavy...I'm sure Brent can come up with something cute. I just need to get in to see him.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Quick Post

I am still fighting my cold. Actually...I think I've had a relapse. We were out Saturday, Sunday and last night. I think the cold air didn't do me any good. Then Saturday Gerry started sniffling and coughing. At the Christmas play we went to Saturday night and the Christmas concert we went to Sunday night, there were a lot of people around us that were coughing. I hate being sick and will be relieved when all this is over.

The concert we went to Sunday evening was really good. It was presented by the Music Department at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church. The church is pretty big with a balcony and it was packed. They had folding chairs set down the aisles and had set up chairs in the foyer area too. The youth and children were also involved along with the adult choir. The young band played too. One of our neighbors sings in the choir. Every year we say we are going to go and then something comes up and we don't make it. We made it this year and it was well worth it. I sat there thinking about all of the years in my life when I was involved with choirs, ensembles and the like. It was always so much fun...it was hard work learning all the music yet such an enjoyable time participating in concerts.

Last night we made a quick trip out to the airport. The PGR had a mission welcoming some families back from a weekend in Dallas, TX. It's called the Snowball Express and every year the children and family members of fallen military are given an all expense paid trip somewhere. I'm not sure who sponsors it. This was the second year they went to Dallas. Gerry said there were 14 families from Sacramento that went on the trip. American Airlines provides the transportation.

Oh, yesterday we lost phone service and our internet since we have DSL. It was fixed by this afternoon. Gerry got so frustrated with AT&T yesterday that he called Comcast and next Monday we'll have cable for the internet and our home phone. When I finally logged on to my Hotmail account, I had over 100 messages...which I didn't think was very bad.

It has rained all day here...it is really not that cold though. Sunshine hopefully tomorrow, according to the weather people.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cough, Cough, Cough!!!

Its been a week since I got sick with this crazy cold. The cough lingers now and I sure wish it would go away. Elizabeth told me that Delsym works good for suppressing the cough so I got some the other day. It supposedly works for 12 hours too. Well, that may be true...it certainly hasn't worked for me. So today I got some Robitussin for cough and chest congestion. I'm going to give it a try tonight and see if it works. Here's hoping...

The thing I hate about coughing is that it wakes me up at night. I did sleep a lttle better last night...only woke up a couple of times. However, I woke up about 6:15 this morning coughing "my fool head" off and couldn't go back to sleep. I did go back to sleep about 8:30 and slept for about an hour and a half.

It was a dark gloomy day with overcast skies. There was quite a bit of fog last night and it didn't completely clear up. We came in about an hour ago and the fog was starting to get thick in some areas.

Tonight we went to a Christmas play at the church where Elizabeth and her girls go. Hannah and Emily were both in the play. It was pretty good...they presented the play last night too.

It is rather strange to be in the building where the church is. It use to be a Bel Air Market and it is where I shopped when we first moved to Citrus Heights back in the early 1980's. After Bel Air closed that store, it was a health club and there were some other businesses on the side of the building. The church has the entire building now so the sanctuary is quite large with classrooms surrounding it.

Several of the mobiles right around us have decorated the outside of their mobiles. Sure is pretty. I noticed driving down Madison Avenue, on the way home tonight, that there were a lot of homes decorated. I love to see what people do in the way of decorating the outside of their homes. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen here. Hopefully I can get a little bit of decorating done inside. How about y'all...do you go all out decorating?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm Sick

I have a cold...I don't usually get one...when I do it is usually a bad one. I started with my throat feeling kinda of scratchy on Friday. I had a Shoebox Card Swap to go to Saturday so I couldn't be sick. Saturday morning I woke up and my sinuses were draining...I didn't feel bad.

I went ahead to the Shoebox swap and then after it was over, I came home and got Gerry and we went to St. John's Craft Fair. It is held every year the first weekend in December...Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is huge, all the classrooms of the Catholic school are used besides the cafeteria and auditorium. And it is always very, very crowded. The parking is horrendous. Gerry was able to find a spot very close to the entrance.

We were there for an hour...walking through about half of it. I told Gerry I wanted to leave...I was completely wiped out. We stopped by Walgreens on the way home and I got some stuff to take for my cold. So for the last 3 days I've spent quite a bit of time in bed. Sunday it was raining and cold so it was a good day to stay in. Gerry drove me to Bel Air yesterday afternoon to get a few things and I went back to bed soon as we got back.

Sure hope I get to feeling better. I managed to get a couple of loads of laundry done yesterday...have more to finish...towels are on the sofa that need to be folded and there's a load in the dryer that needs to be folded also.

I hate being sick. Hope none of you are sick...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holly Jollies, Christmas Candy on a Budget, In a Hurry!

One of the food blogs I follow, Southern Plate, posted this recipe yesterday. My stamp group is getting together on Saturday for a Shoebox Card Swap and we are going to do a cookie exchange too. I didn't know what I was going to make until I saw this recipe. It looked super easy and quick. The blogger, Christy Jordon, lets her children make these. On the left are chocolate ones with rice krispies, then white chocolate with chopped up apricots and then white chocolate with dried cranberries. I am having one with apricots right now and it is yum!

Holly Jollies
1 package Almond Bark, white or chocolate
36 mini muffin papers
2 cups of one or more of the following:
  • Salted peanuts
  • Rice Krispie Cereal
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Other salted nuts
  • Your favorite dried fruit, chopped to the size of raisins

Line a mini muffin tin with the papers. Place almond bark in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for a minute and a half, stir. Return to microwave and microwave for about 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until the bark is smooth and creamy. Remove from microwave and stir in 2 cups of your choice of add in. Spoon into mini muffin papers and allow to sit until cool and hardened. (I used some wax paper too because I only have 2 - 12 cup mini muffin tins). They can be put in the refrigerator to speed up the process if you like.

Note: Take special care not to allow even the tiniest drop of water to get into the bark as it will clot up if you do.

Add this recipe to the Christmas goodies you make. I think you will enjoy them.

Recipe by Christy Jordon of www.southernplate.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Evening Sky

I looked out the kitchen window just before 5 pm and this is what I saw. I was starting to fix dinner. So I grabbed my camera and went outside to take these pictures. What a beautiful sunset!!

Within a few minutes, the sky completely changed and it was all gray with a little bit of blue by the time I walked back into the house.
I shared these pictures on Facebook too.
Note: the time stamp says a few minutes before 6 pm. I hadn't changed the time on my camera and it was still on daylight savings time. Its on Pacific Standard time now. :)