Sunday, December 31, 2006

We had a good Christmas. Dianne and I had a quiet morning, and then Gwen and Kent came over for the afternoon.

Dianne decorated.
We had already opened our gifts when I took this picture of Dianne.
It's a Guatemalan tradition to set up a complete village nativity.
This is a closer picture of the village market.
I planned the dinner. We had plantain stuffed chicken, Spanish rice, and salad with mandarin oranges.
This week we had round two of the snows. We and Denver had not yet dug out from the blizzard when we got another big dump.

All the snow has to be put somewhere. I'm standing in at the edge of our driveway.

Our street is paved with packed snow. A neighbor pushed much of the snow into piles so that people could get in and out of their driveways.
The Chrysler is dry inside the canvas garage.
This is one of the piles of snow on our block. Notice Dianne's head above the pile.
I measured the snow in two places. This is after several days of melting. Here it is 16 inches, and another place measure 20 inches.
The sun came out Saturday. I took these out our kitchen window.
Notice the fence in the foreground.
This is part of the piles of snow from the church behind us clearing their parking lot. There are several long piles between parking rows. They extend most of the length, and a couple that cover most of the width of the parking lot.

This is the snow removal equipment at Target. The church also used earth moving equipment to clear the snow.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm sure you've heard about our snow. It made BBC news.

I did not go to work today. Almost no one did. Around our house we have over 2 feet of snow. I spent much of today keeping our driveway and a neighbors's driveway clear. After the snows stopped I took a few pictures.

The house is ready for Christmas now. One news reporter said that next year people might not wish for a white Christmas.
The greyhounds had trouble with the snow. Gwen and Kent had planned on flying today, but the airport closed. They left Ash with us. To the far right is May. The black spot between May and Dianne is Abby and Ash.
Ash loves snow. Our dogs don't. This morning before the paths were made through the snow Ash would go out and our girls would follow in his path.

Our shed before we took some of the snow load off.
This is the park bench we have in our yard.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

We delivered the gifts to the adopted family. We extended the budget a little further yet from what I mentioned in the last post, a friend donated, and Gwen and Kent provided a gift certificate for food. In all we were able to provide gifts for mom and son, clothes for both, a crib, a stroller, a car seat, decorations, and food. I probably left something out.

We were done shopping and gave Craig's List a chance to find the last items. One of the items we still needed was a car seat. There was one for free, so we responded. We heard nothing for a day. Then as we were headed to bed the next night Dianne looked and there was a response saying that the seat would be on the front porch, but to call first to see if it was still there. We called, the man said that he had done a blanket response to the about 50 messages he got, and that he would turn on the porch light. Thus we knew we were the first to respond, but someone else could beat us to it. We jumped in the car and raced to get it. Craig's list is great!

Accepting a gift from strangers can be awkward. Cynthia was a graceful recipient. When I talked to the case worker later she said that she had been at the apartment that morning and Cynthia was thrilled. We did not get to meet the son.

Their apartment is on the third floor and there is no elevator, so Dianne and I carried the items up the flights. Cynthia said that even though they were on the top floor there was no view because of other buildings. The building did not look to be very old, but there was broken glass in the parking lot, and a general trashy feel.

Cynthia is a tall slender woman that would be quite striking when dressed. Her apartment was clean and decorated. Though I could tell no one in her apartment smoked the smell of smoke was everywhere. Looking at her and the inside of her apartment you would not be able to tell that she needed assistance. (I have no doubt that she did need it.)

We wished her a Merry Christmas, and she gave each of us a hug.

Dianne's birthday is tomorrow. Last Saturday Gwen and Kent took us to the Summit restaurant at the Broadmore in Colorado Springs. The food was and company were great. Tomorrow Dianne and I are going to the Bolder Dinner Theater.

This makes two pictureless posts. Christmas will probably be the next time I will post pictures, but who knows.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This week there are no pictures.

I gave myself a present and want to share what it is. Dianne and I adopted a family. This week we learned who it is, and what they need. We are providing Christmas items and more for a single pregnant mom with a 14 year old son.

I can't explain how I feel. As soon as I learned about the family I had to share it with Dianne and my coworkers. I walked around the rest of that day and the next with a smile. I didn't want Dianne to shop without me.

All the mom has asked for is baby items and pots.

The son is into sports, and has a 38 inch pant inseam. A big boy. All he asked for was a member ship into the Parks and Rec., or a gift certificate for video games.

Talking to the case worker we found out that they had a fire about a year ago, and everything fabric was smoke damaged. They are still sort one bed, and want a couch. We can't take care of all their needs, but we are given the opportunity to help. We are giving them Christmas decorations including a small pre-lit tree, clothes that we can afford, a new pots and pans set, etc. We still have to find out how we can get the membership, and one of Dianne's friends is selling some used baby items.

Dianne in typical Dianne style has small gifts she buys when they are marked down, and puts into a drawer it case she needs them. Several of the decoration items came from this. Also we have the last of her mom's thing that she is cataloging for donations. We will call the case worker again and ask her which items our family could use.

When I signed up I gave the organization our budget. We have already decided to go about 50% higher, but I still I wish we could do more. Having nothing is hard. Having nothing a Christmas is harder. I hope that our little handout turns out to be a hand.

Love you all