Merry Christmas 2020!

ChristmasScene

We had a great time with family and friends today up at Brandi’s. But I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.

Too full tonight.

 

 

 


December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas !

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Merry Christmas to Everyone!

from Jan and Greg White

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Jan and I got up this morning a little before 9 to find that the combination of heavy rain and high winds (very high – according to Weather.com – “winds at 31 mph, gusting to 47 mph”) had once again knocked the satellite off target, because the stakes holding the base down started pulling out of the soggy ground. Oh, well.

We left the rig about 10am, heading up to Brady’s Landing, a beautiful restaurant on the Houston Ship Channel next to the Turning Basin.

Bradys Landing

Bradys Landing2

Bradys Landing4

We’ve been eating here as a family on either Thanksgiving or Christmas for a number of years. They have a fantastic buffet with pretty much everything you can think of – fresh seafood, turkey, ham, roast beef, chicken, pork tenderloin, breakfast with omelets and waffles, vegetables, fruits, salads, and wonderful desserts, including large fresh strawberries and a chocolate fountain for dipping.

I’m starting to drool again, and I’m still stuffed to the gills.

Linda was being camera-shy, but I did get this picture of Piper, Chris, and Jan while we were there, with Miss Piper showing off one of her Christmas presents, the dress you saw her holding up last night.

Bradys Landing3

We finally left Brady’s about 12:30 and headed home. After we arrived, Jan fill the bird feeders while I re-aligned the sat dish, though I don’t know how long it will hold with these winds. I’m starting to see why one of the rigs around here has his dish held down with 4 big concrete blocks. And I may do that next year.

We didn’t have this much trouble here the last two years, but we were parked facing in a different direction and the rig blocked the sat dish from the worst of the wind. But here the wind hits the dish head on coming off the water.

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The push-pin at the bottom is where we are parked now. The one up and to the right is where we were the last two years.

We had thought we were in for the night, but about 5:15 our friend Maria Sutton called to see if we wanted to meet them and some more friends at the IHOP up the road in Kemah.

Well, Jan was in her jammies, and I in my cap (to keep my bald head warm), and had just settled down for a long… oh…wait. Sorry, wrong story.

Anyway, we got dressed and headed out. The place was pretty busy because it was one of the few places open, and the service was slow, but we had a great time anyway. And got a group picture out of it, too. (l to r) Bob, Maria, Jan, Me, Connie, and Herman.

Christmas IHOP

We got back about 7:30, just in time to once again align the sat dish. Whoopeee!

I’m starting to think that, cheap as I am. spending $1,500 or so, for an automatic dome dish on the roof is looking better and better.

King Dome

Getting home, I fixed another pot of the great coffee that Chris and Linda gave us, this time “Southern Pecan”. Just as great as last night.

That about wraps it up for a great Christmas Day. It’s supposed to go down to 31 degrees, and at 10pm it’s already 38. So, a nippy night, indeed. Thank goodness, for heated mattress pads.

More tomorrow…

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Thought for the Day:

My Rice Krispies told me to stay home today and clean my guns!

 

 


December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All . . .

Merry Christmas 2011

Our morning started when we left the rig a little after 10am. Well, we left the rig, but not the park.  The battery in the truck was absolutely, completely stone-cold dead. Not a peep when I turned the key.

Luckily the toad is parked right next to the battery compartment in the rig, so it didn’t take too long to drag out the jumper cables. But since the battery was completely dead, it took a few minutes to get enough charge into it so the engine would turn over and start.

The battery’s only a couple of years old and I’ve had no indication of any problems with it. The only thing I’ve done different is last night I left the power cord of my new Garmin GPS plugged in.

For a normal power cord this wouldn’t make any difference, but this is not a normal power cord. If also contains an FM Traffic Receiver. This receiver picks up traffic data that can be displayed along your route to show you traffic conditions ahead, i.e. congestion, wrecks, detours, etc. I assume that as long as the cord is plugged in, the receiver is active.

I’ll know more tomorrow when I try to start the truck again.

Finally about 15 minutes later we were on our way up to Brady’s Landing to meet all the kids.

Brady's Landing 2011a

It’s really good to have the whole family together for Christmas.

Brady's Landing 2011

While we were eating Brandi showed us pictures of Landon with the new tricycle that Santa brought him this morning. He’s pretty happy with it.

Landon Tricycle 2011a

After finishing our great meal we all headed our separate ways to spend Christmas Day. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon headed out to Katy to spend the day with her BFF Shawna, and her family. The rest of us just headed home.

Everyone waited around to see if I would need a jumpstart, but no problems. I still think it was the Traffic Receiver, but I’ll see tomorrow.

On the way home we stopped by Brandi’s to pick up some laundry and let out Kitty, their 105 pound Black Lab. She was very happy to see us.

We got these pictures of Jan’s sister Debbie’s family. From left to right, that’s Debbie’s daughter Christina, daughter Tana, Tana’s daughter Gwen, daughter-in-law, Laura, her daughter Ella, her husband, Jason, and their other daughter, Avery Jane.

Debbie's Family Photo

Our Christmas afternoon consisted of a very nice nap and then a light dinner of potato skins, Jan’s Sausage Balls, and some of Chris’ Habanero Jelly spread over cream cheese, and used as a dip for crackers. For dessert we had a selection of Jan’s Christmas cookies, along with coffee made with the fresh beans and bean grinder that Chris and Linda gave us for Christmas.

All in all, a really great Christmas Day.

And Jan and I wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Thought for the Day:

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

— Thomas Jefferson

 

 


December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas . . .

AnimatedChristmasHouseLights

Well, the incoming cold front made itself known early this morning with 40 to 50 mph winds rocking the coach about 6am.

The high yesterday was 78, and the low last night was 68. But today the high is supposed to be 74 with a low of 31!

BRRR!

About 10:30 Jan and I headed over to Chris and Linda’s for Christmas dinner. Jan fixed a delicious corn casserole and deviled eggs.

As far as the eggs, we decided to try a different way to hard boil them.  We BAKED them in the convection oven.

According to the Internet (and everything on the Internet must be true, right?) you can hard boil eggs by putting them on a rack in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes, and then dumping them in an ice water bath. It worked pretty well, but a few egg whites had a partial brown discoloration, I think because they cracked.

The other problem was they were very hard to peel, but I don’t think this was because they were baked. Both the Internet and our daughter-in-law Linda said the fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel.

And these eggs were very fresh. They were being loaded in the cooler as we were taking them out. Most websites say to buy them a week ahead of time and then boil them, We’ll try that next time.

Linda fixed a great meal with a spiral ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry gelatin salad, and delicious yeast rolls. And of course, a heavenly butter pecan cream cake.

Christmas Dinner 2012

After that fantastic meal, and fighting off a nap attack I spent some time cleaning up Chris’ computer and hooking a new laser printer. I also set up Google Cloud Print on the machine, and then on Piper’s iPad and Chris’ Galaxy SIII.

This way Piper can print to her home printer from anywhere she has Internet access.

Forgot to mention that Santa brought Piper a new bike this Christmas. Apparently they’re bringing back bikes in the retro style that look like they were built in the 50’s.

Piper's Christmas Bike

Since Chris had to go into work tonight, Jan and I headed home about 4pm, still fighting a lot of wind. And the temperature was distinctly cooler than this morning.

And it just got cooler all afternoon. And then the bottom dropped out. At 6pm it was still 70 degrees here at the park, but by 8:30 it was 40.

That’s quite a drop. And it’s supposed to go down to 31 tonight.

More BRRR!

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Things you thought were true, but aren’t:

Dinosaurs were cold-blooded. Increased K-12 spending and lower pupil/teacher ratios boost public school student outcomes. Most of the DNA in the human genome is junk. Saccharin causes cancer and a high fiber diet prevents it. Stars cannot be bigger than 150 solar masses.

 


December 25, 2013

Ho, Ho, Ho . . .

Lucky for us, Landon didn’t get up until almost 7 this morning. I reminded Brandi that she and Chris would try to get up around 4am, and we’d make them stay in their rooms  until at least 6. So Brandi was getting off easy.

Christmast 2013 1

 

Here’s what Landon saw as he came out of his room.

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At first he was kind of overwhelmed, but quickly got in the mood and started going through the packages.

Christmast 2013 3

What was funny is that, at first, Landon didn’t really want to have anything to do with the Kawasaki 4 Wheeler. He went through everything else first.

Christmast 2013 4

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In the middle of all this, the Ghost of Christmas Presents, in the form of Miss Piper, passed through the scene on her way back to the sofa where she’d been residing all morning. Then a few minutes later, she gave it up and went back to bed for a while.

Christmast 2013 6

 

Finally Landon began to show interest in his new 4 Wheeler.

Christmast 2013 7

 

Then about that time, Landon realized that I was taking his picture and raised his shields to protect himself from the camera’s deadly rays.

Christmast 2013 8

But then it was back to his new toy.

Christmast 2013 9

Christmast 2013 10

Here you can see his old and his new 4 Wheelers. Quite a size difference.

Christmast 2013 11

Finally, it was time for him to strap on his crash helmet and hit the track, er . . . street. His helmet also came with knee pads, but he refused to wear them.

How did we ever survive as kids without helmets and knee pads?

Christmast 2013 12

Then it was out onto the street and down to the park.

Christmast 2013 13

Of course, Mommy, Daddy, and Miss Piper were along as the obligatory pit crew.

Christmast 2013 14

Later, about 12:30, Miss Piper, Jan, and I, headed back down to Clear Lake. Then stopping off at Chris and Linda’s to meet up with them, we drove over to the Luby’s Cafeteria across from Johnson Space Center to have our Christmas dinner.

We were kind of afraid that they might be really busy, being one of the few places open on Christmas Day, but were happy to find them no busier than a normal Sunday, and we only had to wait about 5 minutes before we were going down the line.

The food was really fresh and really good, and we got a couple of turkey and dressings to go, because Jan insists it’s not a real Christmas dinner unless you have leftovers. So we got our leftovers to go.

Jan and I got back to the rig about 3:30, and after we got unpacked, naps seemed to be in order, rounding out a really nice day.

Merry Christmas to everyone.


Thought for the Day:

“Just because it’s a conspiracy theory, doesn’t mean it’s a CRAZY conspiracy theory”.

 

 


December 25, 2015

Happy Boxing Day Eve . . .

Jan and I were up about 8am this morning, not to see what Santa brought us, I mean, no chimneys in the rig, right? No, we were up so we could have coffee and a few sausage balls for breakfast before we headed out for our daughter Brandi’s down in Katy.

On the road by 9, we made a quick stop at the Chase Bank ATM before joining I-45 south. There was probably less traffic than I’ve ever seen on Houston freeways during the day, or the night time, either. So it was an easy trip and we made good time, getting there about 10:30.

Getting the truck unloaded, we found Santa Claus had already come and Landon was deep in the wrapping paper playing with his new stuff. Even Miss Kitty got a new toy from Santa.

Miss Kitty's Christmas

Landon was in charge of handing out the presents under the tree as Brandi gave them to him. At one point he ended up with a present for each of his grandmothers in his hands at the same time.

He ran out to the middle of the living room, looked back and forth, and then ran back to Brandi and said, “I’m confused. There’re too many grandmas.”

As far as Jan, Santa Greg brought her a new Amazon Fire. It’s amazing how much lighter, thinner, and faster this new one is over the old we bought in 2012. And of course she’s going to need a new cover, so once she picked one out, I ordered it right then. This time, rather than the normal black, blue, or red, she went with something a little more colorful.

Jan's New Fire Cover

One thing I noticed is that apparently Amazon has just shut down all shipping until Monday. Normally if I order something on Friday evening, it will ship on Saturday and I’ll get it Monday or Tuesday. But now, nothing will ship until Monday, even if you select One Day Shipping.

Another thing I discovered with this is that there is apparently a new name for imitation leather – ‘Vegan Leather’

Funny, I thought all cows were vegans.

Chris, Lowell, and I received Air Swimmers. These are helium balloons shaped like fish or birds.

Chris and I got these.

Air Swimmers

A Shark and a Clown Fish. Should I feel insulted that I got the Clown Fish?

And Lowell got the Angry Bird from the Angry Birds game.

Angry Birds Air Swimmers

Here’s Chris with his.

Air Swimmers - Shark 1

Air Swimmers - Shark 2

And here’s Lowell with his Angry Bird.

Angry Birds Air Swimmers 2

Angry Birds Air Swimmers 3

Filled with helium from a small tank, and remote controlled, they have a moveable weight system that heads them up or down, and the tail flips back and forth like a real fish to provide propulsion.

Really neat, and fun to play with. But I wouldn’t really know.

Because I was the last to put mine together, and Chris’ ginormous shark bogarted the rest of the helium, there was only enough left in the tank for me to inflate mine just enough so that it would hang upside down just like a real dead fish.

Air Swimmers - Me

I wonder how long before it starts to smell?

About 1pm, the food was laid out buffet-style and we all dug in. Turkey breast, Spiral-Sliced Ham, Cornbread Dressing and Turkey Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, Candied Yams with Marshmallows, Scalloped Potatoes, Corn Casserole, Baked Potato Salad, Cranberry Salad, and probably a few others I missed.

Christmas Dinner 2015

But it was all really delicious, and we ate until we hurt. Or maybe that was just me. But I did hear others moaning and groaning, so maybe not. And it seems like a lot of people disappeared for naps. Or was that just me too?

We got back to the rig about 7pm, bring home a lot more food than we took there. So we’ll be having delicious leftovers for a while. Nice!

So another really nice Christmas can be marked off the calendar for this year. Hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas as much as we enjoyed ours.

Merry Christmas from Jan and Greg White

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Thought for the Day:

Peace On Earth

 

 


December 25, 2017

Family Traditions . . .

Christmas Wreath

First off, Jan and I want thank everyone for their many Christmas Wishes. We hope ya’ll had a really nice Christmas and have a great New Year!



Finishing up last night’s visit to the Houston Magical Winter Light’s, we got here about 6pm and found it even more amazing close up, starting off with these two lovely ladies.

Houston Magical Winter Lights Brandi and Piper

The whole area is made of these ‘set’ pieces, with many different themes.

Houston Magical Winter Lights 3Houston Magical Winter Lights 4Houston Magical Winter Lights 5Houston Magical Winter Lights 6

Jan especially liked the dinosaurs which are about 50 feet tall,

Houston Magical Winter Lights 7

as well as this Chinese dragon.

Houston Magical Winter Lights 9

Houston Magical Winter Lights 10

The detail on these is just fantastic.

The lights and decorations here are really something, and well worth a visit. Besides the lights they have a complete carnival ride area for the kids.

It’s open through January 2nd.

The only suggestion I could make is that it would be nice if they scattered more benches around other than in the ride area. Us old folks would appreciate it.


This morning we were on the road about 9:15 heading up to Katy and Brandi and Lowell’s.

Brandi has two trees, this smaller one at the front door,

Brandi Christmas Tree  2017 1

and this larger one in the living room. Somehow I forgot to turn on the lights before I got the photo.

Brandi Christmas Tree  2017 2

The cute redheads are Zoe and Zander, Lowell’s niece and nephew, who are here with their mother Grace from San Diego. The cute blonde, of course, is Miss Piper.

Zoe Zander and Piper

Landon’s showing off his Magformers with a heart he made, kind of like large Legos, but they’re magnetic.

Landon Magformers

The Christmas dinner spread was as delicious as usual, and bountiful enough that there was plenty for everyone to take home.

Brandi Christmas Dinner 2017

This was Landon’s big gift, a Nuvison 10 Duo Draw.

Landon's New Laptop

It’s a 10” Windows 10 laptop with a touchscreen that you can drawing on with a stylus. Plus the screen detaches for use as a tablet just like the Microsoft Surface Pro. Brandi got a really great deal on it from Costco.

I ended up bringing it home with me to finish setting up. Since it was several months old, it’s got hours of updates to download and then finished setting up.  Landon was OK with it since he has so much other stuff.

Tomorrow’s going to be a nice stay at home recuperation day, that we’re really looking forward. Then it’s back to work on Wednesday.


Thought for the Day:

“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. – Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)

 

 


December 25, 2019

The Good Stuff . . .

Jan and I were out the door about 9:30 this morning heading up to Brandi’s in Katy for our Christmas family get-together. Along the way, we made a quick stop at the local CircleK for some coffee, since they had Jan’s favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I was surprised to see that they had new coffee machines, ones that grind and make your coffee to order.

Valero Coffee Machines

Each machine has 3 different coffee flavor/types, so you have 9 choices. I guess it works kind of like a large Keurig machine. But it does make good coffee. And it ‘s always fresh.

Then we made a 2nd stop right down the road at our storage room to pick up Brandi’s suitcase to take back to her. Then it was on up to Katy.

We got there and found Brandi’s home as beautifully decorated as usual. The big tree and the living room,

Brandi's 2019 Christmas Tree

Brandi's 2019 Christmas Living Room

and the nicely laid out dining room.

Brandi's 2019 Christmas Dining Room

Jan commented on the beautiful garland underneath the TV stand and found out Brandi had made it herself.

Brandi's 2019 Christmas Garland

Right after we got there Brandi heard me coughing, and knowing about my stuffy head/hearing problem, gave me a Sudafed.

This was the Good Stuff. The locked up behind the counter, sign your life away to even look at the package, promise not to make meth with it, stuff.

So I took two, hoping for the best.

Then while I was setting up Landon’s new laptop, Lowell gave me a couple of ounces of this.

94 Proof Stranahan’s Snowmelt Single Malt Whiskey

Lowell Snowflake Whiskey

This too, is the Good Stuff.

Aged for at least two years, made from high in the mountains snow melt, and only sold for one day a year, people line up and camp out in freezing weather to buy their two bottle allotment.

Lucky for Lowell, he has a friend out in Colorado who buys it for him.

Now in hindsight, it probably wasn’t a good idea to mix Sudafed and alcohol, and I don’t know which good stuff it was, the Sudafed or the Whiskey, or both, but as we were all walking into the dining room all of a sudden I felt a Snap! Crackle! Pop! in my right ear . . . and I could hear again.

It’s A Christmas Miracle!

We had a great meal, and a great get-together.

Christmas Dinner 2019 Finall 468

From the front on the left, it’s Landon, Brandi, Jan and me. And from the front on the right, it’s Lowell, Lowell’s sister Sherry, and Sherry’s friend Steve.

And through the magic of Paint Shop Pro, I also took the photo.

When we got there Landon was riding all over the house on one of those Hoverboard Electric Scooters that you’ve probably seen.

Landon Hoverboard

And we were surprised to see that Landon was riding it like he was born on it. He could turn, reverse, rotate in place, and stop, all without falling off.

Landon's 2019 Christmas Hoverboard

Since I hadn’t seen it before, I assume it was a Christmas gift, so I asked if he had been practicing on a friend’s or something.

Lowell said, No, he just got on it and took off, and that they were surprised too. In fact he even served everyone with dessert at the table, carrying a plate in each hand, and never a bobble.

Impressive!


Thought For The Day:

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.” — George Carlin

One Response to Merry Christmas 2020!

  1. Chris says:

    Loved reading all of your Christmas pasts! Happy Boxing Day!
    Chrissie

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