bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (closeup)
In this year of sometimes unnecessary drama, I'm thankful for still being close to my family, for being able to make a home with [livejournal.com profile] gmjambear, for our good friends, for the gift of song, for the ability to travel widely and experience much, and for all the little things that make life such a treasure.

I wish all who read this safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving, free of the fear and anxiety that are all too present this year in particular.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (closeup)
Christmas was fun. [livejournal.com profile] gmjambear and I each got some video footage of the family's "Jingle Bell Rock" gift exchange (everyone stands iin a big circle and you pass packages to the right on "Jingle" and to the left on "Rock") and hopefully we'll get some more from my sister and edit them all together.

Boxing Day brought a significant snowfall, after which we went outside and played in the snow with my grand-niece Alyssa and grand-nephew Aiden; there's a big hill behind my dad's place and they had sleds already waiting for them in Dad's garage. After Alyssa's mother came by to pick her up (as she got off work early due to the weather) we headed out for chili for lunch.

Thursday we had lunch at White Castle and did some grocery shopping with Aiden in tow, and that evening Gary and I headed for downtown Cincinnati to see the Cyclones play hockey against the Elmira Jackals. As usual, lots of bears in the stands and a few on the ice. Unfortunately for the 'Clones, Elmira won 4-3. As a promotion, they had the Stanley Cup out on the concourse so we got our pictures taken with the Cup.

Friday I went to get my hair cut and beard trimmed since I was done with my Santa impersonation for another year. Later we did some photo processing on Dad's computer so he's got copies of our Christmas snaps, and then hit the YMCA on Winton Road which I'd visited last time I was in town. We were pleasantly surprised to find our ActivTrax accounts work there too, since the old FitLinxx system was specific to the facility where you signed up. Unfortunately one of my contacts washed out in the pool so I have to wear my glasses until we get back home.

Yesterday we attended my nephew Andy's wedding. A good time was had by all, even if there was a slight misunderstanding when it came time for family photos, but that was cleared up by the time the party was over.

This morning I took Dad to church, where a very nice-looking otterish/bearish fellow was the lector (reader). Afterward we had breakfast at Dad's favorite restaurant, First Watch, did a bit more shopping and came home to watch the Bengals beat the Ravens, 23-14. The late game is still in progress and I'll catch up when I finish this post.

We return to Everett tomorrow evening just in time to ring in the New Year. Wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year!
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
My brother used to say that to my niece (whose name happens to be Erin) many St. Pat's Days ago.

Kind of an uneventful day. I'm still coming down from the weekend. I've taken on the lead producer role for the SMC's No Talent Show at retreat, and this weekend's show turned out just fabulously, despite the change in venue from a working theater to a hotel ballroom.

[livejournal.com profile] gmjambear told me I'd worked a little too hard on the show, as now I have a minor chest cold (mostly a cough triggered by postnasal sinus drainage). Still, I was able to get through a somewhat grueling dental visit and yet another SMC rehearsal before virtually collapsing Monday evening. This week I am also taking on overnight patching and upgrades once more, which means I am working split shifts again.

In honor of the occasion I decided to make Pig's Ass and Cabbage the way my mom used to (fun fact: at one point in my childhood I hated cabbage and Mom would substitute green beans; nowadays I rather enjoy the cabbage). Unfortunately, the third ingredient in the traditional boiled dinner -- potatoes -- had all sprouted or rotted in the pantry. So instead we made noodle soup of the ham and cabbage. It turned out very tasty and filling.

As my folks always say, "Top o' the morning to you!" (to which the proper response is "And the rest of the day to you!")

Mom & Dad

May. 10th, 2009 10:59 am
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Thought I'd post for Mothers' Day.



Taken aboard the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train, April 17, 2007.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
It's been a really quiet Christmas this year, mostly due to the snow. I've been working from home Christmas Eve and Boxing Day to give the facilities folks time to clear the parking lots around the office (they were dismal on Tuesday when I went in to recharge my portables).

Christmas Eve [livejournal.com profile] gmjambear and I made the trek to Federal Way for our friends' traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Once we'd left Everett the roads weren't all that bad. Christmas Day we spent at home, listening to music and surfing the Net. I chatted with my folks and my sisters on the phone. We're chipping in for a new stove for Mom and Dad's place; the insulation on the old one is so deteriorated that my sister thinks it's a burn hazard if not an outright fire hazard.

Boxing Day (yesterday) after I got done with work we went out in search of a snow shovel (they have been out of stock for two weeks now and they don't know when they will have more) and looked at a few more things we'll eventually need around the house, and ended up buying some doormats and a plunger. Any excuse to get out, I suppose.

While we were out we had dinner at the Buzz Inn on Broadway in downtown Everett. The first time we drove by the place we thought it was a biker bar because of all the motorcycles parked alongside; we later learned it's the flagship of a chain of 14 restaurants all around the north Puget Sound region. The food was really good; they had 16-ounce T-bone steaks with all the trimmings on special for $14.99. As we were waiting for dinner to arrive I called up my folks to let them know we got their Christmas cards, and found the new stove had been delivered.

Today it looks like the clouds overhead can't decide whether to rain or snow, so instead we are getting fog and no precipitation to speak of. (Hence my joke post.)

Hope everyone's holidays are going well.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Friday night I left from Sea-Tac Airport for Cincinnati to attend my nephew Steve's wedding.

Read more... )

This is getting really long so I'll continue later with the events of overnight and the next day.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Just a quickie post from my folks' place in Cincinnati. I'm finally here, having arrived at CVG (across the river in KY) about 8:45 last night and waited until nearly midnight but my bag never made it to baggage claim. I left the folks' address with Delta baggage service so hopefully they will schlep it out here before I have to leave for the airport. Comair (the small airline that provides all Delta service to ROC) has canceled all flights nationwide today and tomorrow, because there were so many flight changes and cancellations that their poor computer keeled over and died.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
I'm off to Cincinnati way too early in the morning tomorrow, provided they don't cancel my flight due to today's snowstorm. Just wanted to wish all my LJ friends a happy holiday season, whichever your favorite holiday to celebrate. In other words, Merry Chrissolkwanzakkah!!! ;-)

Update (12:03 AM Thursday): Yup, they canceled my flight. It is taking literally hours to get someone on the phone to rebook -- hours I'd much rather be sleeping. I'm surprised they don't have some means of rebooking via the delta.com web site.
bigmacbear: Me squatting naked in the Miller River (naked)
Where: Desk at home
Wearing: Nothing
H Factor: 6
C Factor: 8

I got back in from my folks' place in Cincinnati yesterday afternoon about 2. Gary ([livejournal.com profile] gmjambear) came to meet me at the airport, which was a pleasant surprise. We went to dinner at the home of a friend from church and had a very good time.

While in Cincinnati, I got the opportunity to chat with my folks and my sisters and their families. However, there were some other relatives (mostly cousins of various degrees on my mom's side of the family) who were essentially holding their family reunion at my folks' place, which made the place crazy-busy for the weekend after Christmas and limited my opportunity to be with my immediate family to a degree.

Although I've been disappointed with the way scheduling worked out this year with respect to Gary, and I know he's been pretty down lately, I think my cousins' presence would also have made Gary and I very uncomfortable had I been able to bring him there for the holidays. I jokingly suggested to Mom that she and Dad could avoid this next year by coming to Rochester for the holidays. We shall see. ;-)

Anyway, gotta go. In case you don't hear from me before then, I wish a Happy New Year to all.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
I'm just about to sign off LJ for the holidays (as my folks' computer just isn't up for much surfing as yet, I probably won't have an opportunity to check E-mail or LJ while I'm there). I have to pack for a 6 AM flight and finish Christmas cards, which probably means no sleep whatever tonight.

I'll be back on Boxing Day. [livejournal.com profile] gmjambear has to work, so he'll be here.

Just want to wish you all the happiest of holidays. "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
OK folks, I suppose I should have done this as soon as I returned from the festival last Monday while the events were fresh in my mind, but since I only got back from Cincinnati about 1:30 Monday morning I was in no shape to do so. So here goes...
Read my travelogue from Cincinnati... )
In sum, a very interesting way to spend a GALA weekend. Next post: the weekend to come -- an embarassment of riches.

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