Christmas 2014

Trip to Orange County before Christmas and Christmas day in Sparks NV.
DSCN1044  We had an early Christmas in Orange County. DSCN1065  We spent the weekend before Christmas at Tom (my brotherr) and Dee's house. DSCN1066  The landscaping on the side of the house now has new pavers. DSCN1040  They agreed with the neighbors to help put in the white fencing. DSCN1041  The shrubs and bushes by the garage will be replaced. Looks good!
DSCN1067  We are greeted by the dogs. DSCN1070  Rikki has his favorite monkey. DSCN1073  Brunswick is about 16 years old. He has to wear a diaper. DSCN1088  Lindsey is tiny but fierce. DSCN1080  Tom and Lindsey
DSCN1083  Barbara and Rikki DSCN1076  Shire and one of her rats, Willy. DSCN1074  Willy has a bird's eye view. DSCN1077  They are smart and clean and curious. DSCN1087  Shire's other rat, Alex, was very sick.  She passed away on Sunday night.
DSCN1035  Tom and Dee had their master bathroom remodeled. DSCN1036  Beautiful job! DSCN1037  Their upstairs hallway bathroom was also remodeled. DSCN1045  We went to watch Shire at her karate lesson. DSCN1047  Fa ra ra ra ra ra....
DSCN1046  Shire is in an adult class. DSCN1048  The instructor (sensei) gives sparring instructions. DSCN1050  Shire lands a kick. DSCN1052  The sensei (instructor) does a demo with Shire. DSCN1057  Shire sparring with a lady in her class.
DSCN1062  The students meditate after the lesson. DSCN1091  After karate, Tom starts dinner while Dee is at work.  He and John have potato duty. DSCN1096  Eva arrives with booze to share.  It's some sort of chocolate liqueur. DSCN1092  She passes it around. DSCN1093  Barbara tries the alcohol.
DSCN1094  Eyeeew! DSCN1108  Shire composes a song. DSCN1099  Eva and Cristine DSCN1100  Valeri and Bob DSCN1101  Barbara Mom and Eva
DSCN1102  Tom and Dee DSCN1104  Kimmie (Dee's daughter) Rickki and Lindsey DSCN1098  Shire makes coffee. DSCN1106  Rocky has turkey duty. DSCN1113  Time for dinner.
DSCN1114  Since there were 13 of us, we used 2 tables. DSCN1115  Dee made eggplant parmesan, salmon, acorn squash, green beans, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes as well as turkey. DSCN1118  After dinner and before gift opening, we take our annual family photos. DSCN1116  L to R , top row: Tom and Donna  Next row: Kimmie (with Rickki), Eva, Bob,  next row: Barbara, Valeri, Cristine    next row: Rocky, Shire (with Lindsey), Dee (with Brunswick),  Bottom row: John and Mom DSCN1097  The Christmas tree
DSCN1121  Getting ready for presents: Cristine, Rocky and Barbara DSCN1122  Dee and Kimmie in their model poses. DSCN1125  Val gets a gift. DSCN1126  Think this will fit Barbara? DSCN1127  Dee gets and ornament.
DSCN1128  I don't remember what this is, but it might be a gift card.  Cristine seemed to like it a lot. DSCN1129  Eva gets purfume. DSCN1130  Tom gets socks and is mighty happy about it. DSCN1131  What's in the beat up box? DSCN1132  Pine cones!
DSCN1133  Dee collects them. DSCN1135  It says" Housework makes you ugly". DSCN1136  I got a necklace. DSCN1137  And some memory.  Too bad I can't install it in my brain! DSCN1140  Eva gave me this really pretty wrap/scarf.
DSCN1141  Kimmie and Lindsey open her new shorts. DSCN1142  Tom asked if they covered anything. DSCN1145  Shire helps the dogs open their gifts. DSCN1146  They get rawhide chews. DSCN1148  Dee calls them crackers.
DSCN1150  Shire opens my gift. DSCN1152  She is a big Lego fan. DSCN1155  We go on to the White Elephant gift game. DSCN1154  Bob gets the first one. It's a Red Lobster gift card and a necklace. DSCN1156  Rocky picks the next gift.
DSCN1157  Cosmetics, yay! DSCN1158  What's this? DSCN1159  Kitty ears, a stuffed Santa and some necklaces DSCN1161  And a multicolored kitty tail. DSCN1163  Mom gets Rikkii (not really).
DSCN1164  Chillin' after presents DSCN1167  The next morning (Sunday), Dee makes pancakes. DSCN1168  Pancake breakfast time DSCN1169  Rickki wants some too. DSCN1172  Can I help you eat that?
DSCN1174  Wonder who got the last bite. DSCN1176  The dishwasher DSCN1175  Lindsey is a mooch too. DSCN1179  Grandma has some guests. DSCN1183  They all conk out.
DSCN1181  A few play the Game of Life. DSCN1184  In the meantime, I pick lemons from the neighbors tree. The branches hang in Tom's yard, so the lemons were fair game. DSCN1185  Lemons!  Imagine that in winter! DSCN1186  They are still sleeping. DSCN1187  Kaitlyn visits with John.  She hates the dogs, so this is a rare appearance.
DSCN1190  She loves John. DSCN1193  We took an afternoon trip to a local wildlife sanctuary in Modjeska Canyon. DSCN1195  It was wheelchair friendly. DSCN1196  There were some interesting things along the trail. DSCN1199  Like these turtles
DSCN1200  A cactus forest DSCN1201  Some are like trees. DSCN1203  Some are over 6 feet tall. DSCN1206  Mom was impressed with the cactus. DSCN1202  A native plant sales area
DSCN1204  We saw a lot of sandbags in OC.  It was to prevent flooding. DSCN1197  Let's go see the bird porch! DSCN1198  It's a porch with benches and feeders so you can easily birdwatch. DSCN1218  There are many feeders the birds can choose from. DSCN1207  A Scrub Jay
DSCN1208  We do NOT have Blue Jays west of the Rockies-look it up! DSCN1209  He sure is handsome. DSCN1212  White Crowned Sparrow DSCN1215  Immature White Crowned Sparrows DSCN1217  A male House Finch
DSCN1220  There was a second much shorter nature trail. DSCN1219  We took a look in the Natural Science Center. DSCN1221  There are hands on exhibits. DSCN1224  Even John takes a peek. DSCN1223  There were also a lot of displays.
DSCN1225  Back at home in Nevada on Christmas day, John, Alex and I have our own small gift exchange. DSCN1226  Alex gets a gift from his mom. DSCN1227  A Burning Man pendant DSCN1228  I got something from my German friends, Hans and Irene. DSCN1230  Manner Schnitten!!!!  Yummmmm!
DSCN1231  John gets a German present too. DSCN1232  Hand knitted socks.  Thanks Irene! DSCN1234  Alex gets a Black Keys CD from me. DSCN1235  What did John get from his lovely wife? DSCN1236  Beer!!!
DSCN1237  There are still gifts left to open.  I didn't put up a tree this year. DSCN1239  Alex got me a cat magnet dress up set and a book called "I could pee on this", which is a book of cat poems. DSCN1241  Alex gets a New Zealand Monopoly game from my friends in New Zealand (Suzy and Carsten). DSCN1242  John gave me a gallon jug of Fireball whiskey.  Should last me for years! DSCN1243  Alex has a gift for John.
DSCN1244  What could it be???? DSCN1245  More beer! DSCN1240  Mom and Therisa show up. DSCN1246  Therisa takes over in the kitchen. The giant box on the counter on the background is the Kitchen Aide mixer John got for me. DSCN1247  Barbara and her boys also came over for dinner.  Kyle and Oscar smile for the camera.
DSCN1249  We had pizza for dinner and then pumpkin and peach pie.  The peach pie was made from frozen peaches from my tree. DSCN1250  Chillin' after dinner.