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Sunday, December 24, 2006

One thing hosting the family Christmas dinner has given me is the fact that my house is the cleanest itís been in about five years. I did all the work, but still, itís a gift. Thanks. Really.

I can feel it, too, mostly in my back. All those nooks and crannies are awfully hard to reach, but thatís where the dirt hides. And I kept finding new ones, every time I thought I was finished. Iím at the point now, though, that if I find another nook or cranny, itís going to stay the way it is. I canít turn into an obsessive clean freak overnight, no matter how it looks.

I have to admit that even though Iím not doing much of the cooking, Iím a little nervous about the festivities. Iím not exactly an experienced host, and I probably wonít know what to do without some prompting. And I donít have candy dishes or wine glasses or forks in sufficient numbers to entertain more than three people at a time. We are having, at last count and barring illness or injury, eleven humans and one dog.

Somehow during the week I managed to get the last of my shopping done. Suzanne and I took Mom to lunch Tuesday, on her actual birthday, and the two of them helped me with some last-minute stocking-stuffer ideas. Friday night I stayed with D.J. while Tammy and David went out for a while, and then I took him to do some shopping of his own. That was an unexpected treat that helped break the tension of the week.

I donít actually mind cleaning my house. I mean, it has to be done every so often anyway, and this was a better excuse than anything else I could have dreamed up. The other task is clearing all the debris from my job out of the great room, so that we can fit that many people in here, but that wasnít a bad idea, either. I think my files are better organized now than they have been for about five years. Itís like a bonus gift.

2 December 2006

David made this ornament for me in 1985, when he was four.

D.J. kept me quite entertained Friday night. We played dominoes, but he made up the rules and they had something to do with storm troopers and battle bunkers. I had a hard time following him, but I played along the best I could. He told me he was letting me win because I was his family. I wouldnít have known the difference, win or lose, but I guess it mattered to him.

He also informed me that when he gets older he wants a pet skunk, and he wants to name it Jesus. ďIf thatís okay,Ē he said. ďDonít you think Jesus would be happy to have my pet skunk named after him?Ē If itís a girl skunk, he plans to name it Doodleberry.

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Mr. Claus, the folks at Disney would like you to take your white beard and round belly and move along, because they own you. Please donít confuse the children by saying more than one ďhoĒ in a row. Have a merry Christmas, but keep it under your furry red hat.

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One year ago: Vacuum
"He didnít miss a spot, although some limits had to be put when he wanted to bang the vacuum into the hall mirror or the sliding glass door."

Two years ago: Remorse
"What Iím saying is, 'I think you can use one of these,' not, 'Stop borrowing mine.'"

Three years ago: Do You Hear?
"And when I squeezed his ear, he sang 'Hakuna Matata.'"

Four years ago: Merry Measure
"Even if you're at war for a cause, what you're fighting for is victory, and then peace. Some day, somehow, peace."

Five years ago: Cheerful
"I dragged myself out of the morass this morning and reminded myself 'what it's all about.' And that if we let the pressures of the season or the sagging economy or even the weather get us down, 'the terrorists win.'"

Six years ago: Right This Way, Your Table's Waiting
"Remember, you can't spell slovenly without love."

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