Thursday, January 04, 2007

And a Happy New Year

Sorry about that, folks, things suddenly got crazy.

Lots of company, special dinners for the Christmas weekend, then we too Mom back home Tue-Thurs after Christmas. Parties Friday, Saturday, & Sunday. Had to go back to work so we could get some rest.

Vicki did very well with her non-Christmas list (you know, the one I didn't give her). I don't like to "ask" for things for Christmas. To me, it takes the "giving" out of "gift". It comes off like more of an expectation of, or an obligation on the part of the person being asked.

Anyway, she got me three books pertaining to how and why we have certain names, phrases, and other sayings for things. That stuff's always fascinating. A very nice sweater as well. And Volume 1 of The Best of Fractured Fairytales. The most mystifying one, though, was this rectangular box about half the size of a bed pillow that must've weighed 35 lbs. I couldn't begin to fathom what it was. Lead for re-loading bullets?

It was a two volume hardback set of The Complete Far Side. Awesome! There are well over 4,000 cartoons for me to go through!

I got her a bunch of jewelry, and a couple of movies. Kevin ended up with movies and a computer game, Brian was deluged with ... a bunch of movies. Movies are big in our house. Brian and Kristin were over in the morning, Kevin and Angela later that afternoon. Had the traditional prime rib, red cabbage, cinnamon pears, and wild rice. Vicki had an incredible idea for the dinner table. And she thinks she's not artistic. It was a winter wonderland type theme with a rumpled silver mesh runner and perl and clear glass balls, clear glass marbles, and silver candles.

After taking Mom back home, on Friday we went to the Elks Club with some friends to watch the Tigers in their bowl game. They did really well. Had a 14 point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, and then they just stopped. No offense. No defense. They lost by a point on a two point conversion they couldn't stop. Went out to a party after that. Got home late. Went to Mark & Cami's in Kansas City for their annual Holiday party -- "Formal Pajamas" was the dress code. Ate way too much food and hung out with a bunch of pretty nice people. Until 3:00 am. Got up at 9:00 am. Left at 11:00. Got back home at 1:00 pm. Ran the vaccuum. Went to the grocery store.

Joel & Dawn, & Tom & Betty arrived at 5:00. Tom and Betty brought a bunch of stuff for Mexican food. Joel brought Gran Marinier for the margaritas. And a good time was had for the -- what is it, the 15th annual "Bro-Fest"? It might go back even 17 or so years. And that lasted until about 2:30 am. Got up about 8:30, made monkey bread, breakfast cassarole and coffee. We all had breakfast. Tom & Betty went over to Nancy & Van's about noon, and Joel and Dawn lit out for St. Charles. We basically did nothing for the rest of the day. Watched the Boisie State bowl game in the evening (we have some connections there). They did very well, led the whole game (they were supposed to lose big) and blew an 18 point lead in the 4th quarter. Oklahoma tied it with 1:26 to go, and then Boisie State threw an interception on the first play of their drive to try to win it and Oklahoma returned it for a touchdown with about 1:15 left.

I turned it off. Beat. Tired. Boisie State sure to lose this one.

Of course we woke up the next morning to find that the actual finish to the game was spectacular and Boisie State won in overtime using some very well-executed mis-direction plays. Wow!

The other night I also did some Nativity Scene repair. Mom gave me their old nativity scene a few years ago. It was the one I grew up with. It had belonged to Grandma & Grandpa Buechner, I believe. Anyway, over the years various things had happened to it. Joseph's hand was missing. Jesus' right arm was gone from the elbow down. There were some big gouges in the paint on Mary's cloak, as well as a few smaller ones on Joseph.

I started by drilling small holes and inserting brass pins to mount the missing limbs on, then used epoxy putty to fashion new ones. A needle to make impressions to suggest fingers. Curved Joseph's hand. Jesus' hand was made into a little fist. And I mixed paint as best I could to match the colors. I did a fairly decent job, I think. I didn't want to cover up the original character of the pieces, including some of the age, so the painting was mostly a touch-up job on areas where the paint had been completely scraped/worn off. The rest of the original paint-job was left intact. You can still see a crack in Joseph's neck where his head must've come off at some point, probably when I was a boy would be my guess.


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