Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gabe prepared a snack for Santa; a glass of milk and chocolate chip cookies. Santa was very happy to have a little break at Gabe's house, leaving a personal letter for Gabe telling him that he had been a good boy this year.
Here's Tony.
Grandma with Scarlett. She's a really cuddly and sweet child.
Cathy and Sasha
Steve and Marta: they are really busy right now preparing for their move to Florida where Steve will soon begin a new job. Also their baby girl is expected in about 6 weeks.

It was a wonderful holiday!
More pictures are here.

It's Christmas Eve and 4 year old Gabe is so excited about Santa's visit that he can't stand still!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here's Scarlett at her church's Christmas program.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just a couple of weeks ago I got a new washing machine, a front loader, and I started thinking about how women's work has changed in my lifetime. I have memories of Mondays at my childhood home, my mother's washday, and laundry was done with a wringer washing machine. Hot water was run into the tank of the machine, the agitator was turned on so the clothes swirled for a few minutes, then rinsed in a tub of clean water, and the wet clothes were put through the wringers at the top of the machine, coming out damp and ready to be hung on the clothes line in the back yard. It was a badge of honor if a housewife could be the first in her neighborhood to have her laundry out on the line on a Monday morning.

A wringer washer was considered dangerous because little fingers could get caught in the rollers, could be smashed as the water was wrung out of the wet clothes. I don't remember ever being asked to help with this work even though there were several steps and it took much of my mother's attention for the Mondays of my youth.

In the basement of my childhood home could be found a washboard, a rough rectangular flat board that previous generations would have used to hand scrub clothes resulting in rough red hands, I'm sure. Perhaps a generation or so before that, women would have carried the family's dirty laundry to an outdoor well or riverside for hand washing. I'm sure that's done in many parts of the world to this day. Women's work has always been labor intensive.

My new washing machine replaces a machine that has served me well for 28 years. In fact, the old machine is still quite functional so I am passing it on so to be used in a friend's house. The improvements over 28 years are amazing! The new machine has a many choices of settings so that clothes can be washed to my exact specifications. A delay option enables the washer to start at my convenience. Tumbling the clothes around and around results in a more gentle process with minimal energy use. Removing the clothes at the end of the process, they are clean, sweet smelling, and barely damp with very little effort on my part.

What are the inventions of the future? Will the next generations have even greater improvements in their lives?

We can only wonder.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Winter Storm

This is the view in front of our house this morning as Tony cleared the snow. The storm began during the night so we awoke to a white world. As the snow falls there is a stillness that is sometimes broken by the sound of snowplows and other machinery being used in the neighborhood to clear the snow. Everyone has lots to do especially in these last few days before the holiday so we're all hoping the storm doesn't last too long. In the meantime I will stay inside, cleaning my house, maybe doing some baking, and just enjoying the quiet day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Preparing the Thanksgiving TurkeyThe chefs consulting on the turkey. How much wine???

Tony enjoys preparing the Thanksgiving turkey and in the last couple of years Steve has become a turkey chef as well. One of the best things about Thanksgiving day is the aroma of the turkey roasting in the oven.
Marta prepared green beans with Spanish ham.
This will be Steve and Marta's last holiday season in their present house because a move is in their future. Steve will soon begin an exciting new job in Florida. Tony and I wish them well and plan trips to Florida in our future!

Happy Memories of Thanksgiving at Steve and Marta's House
Marta prepares the tables.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Here are my two beautiful daughters in law. Marta, on the left, will have her baby girl early in February. Kelly, on the right, will have her baby in the middle of March. Kelly and Tom will learn if the baby is a boy or a girl on Christmas Day.

Watch my three little elves dance!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gabe checks out the Lego Exhibit at the Library