Breezing Through the Last Week of the Year

It’s hard to believe that my vacation is almost over already.  Two days from now, I’ll be driving back to Connecticut.

Last December was the whitest in Kentucky since Leive and I moved here in 2006.  Now we’re in the greenest December.  In both Kentucky and Connecticut, we have not had any snow since winter began.  And earlier this week, Lexington broke the record for its wettest year ever, at almost 66 inches of rain for 2011.  Today the high was 57 degrees.  By comparison, it’s so cold and dark in New England at this time of year, that even Kentucky looks pleasant.  Now I’m wondering why so many people live in Yankeeland in the winter.

On Tuesday I went to a doctor’s appointment because I felt my prescriptions had gotten out of balance.  Well, they did need some adjusting, but according to the doctor, the real reason why I had some health issues in the past two months, like losing nearly thirty pounds, is because I have come down with diabetes.  I’m assuming it is type II, because Leive and my brother Chris have that, so it’s not the end of the world (it can be controlled, after all), but it’s not much fun, either.  My main concern is the expense of the testing equipment, and costs of visits to the specialists.

I blame the disease on being away from Leive’s cooking for too long.  When I went to Connecticut last June, she packed enough meals to last me for three weeks, but since I’m not a very good cook myself, I was living off processed stuff from the grocery stores and restaurants for most of the time after that.  This time she is preparing enough meals to last a month, maybe two.  She thinks I can get it all up there because it’s so cold at this time of the year; the ice in the cooler won’t melt right away.

Aside from that, we’ve been shopping, getting a bunch of things done that won’t get done when Leive and I are separated again, and so on.  Today we visited three retirement facilities in the neighborhood, because it looks like my Dad will be selling his house and moving up from Florida to join us next spring.

Altogether it has been a busy week.  The next time I write, I will probably be packing my bags at the same time.

Lexi’s Christmas

Okay, this was not my granddaughter’s first Christmas; she will be two years old next March.  But this is the first Christmas that means anything to her.  Here is your dose of daily cuteness, in the form of two new videos that Lindy and Adam shot at their home in Georgia.  In the first one, Lexi is caught speechless when she sees all the toys under their Christmas tree.  The second shows her in the pink Disney princess tent; she figured out quickly what to do with that!

Santa Claus Causes Stuffed-up Chimneys, and Tipis


It’s raining here in Kentucky this morning, and the temperature is 39 degrees.  Still, having recently driven from New England, I know it could be worse – and it probably is back there.

Anyway, over the years I have heard classic Christmas songs, Jazz Christmas songs, rock-n-roll Christmas songs, reggae Christmas songs, and even new age Christmas songs.  Now here is a Native American Christmas song.  Shoshoni Elder Oldhands sings about how a visit from Santa brought his family cheer, though not in the way Santa intended.  Listen and enjoy!

The Rest of My Christmas Eve Story


Okay, now I can tell the rest of what I have been doing for the past few days.  Thursday was really rough, because I found that three of the bogus charges on my debit card that had been reported to me on Monday had gone through, even though I had warned my credit union about them.  Also, my new debit card had not yet arrived, and I didn’t dare leave Connecticut without it.  Finally, Thursday was my last day of work for the year, and my supervisor kept me nearly two hours late to meet as many of his goals as possible.  Consequently I was so tired by the end of the day that I made some dumb mistakes, the worst being that I forgot to fill out and turn in my timecard.  I had to come back on Friday morning to straighten that out.

Friday was much better.  First, I caught another mouse in my apartment, the third since October.  I was cleaning out as much food from the refrigerator and cupboard as possible, and when I saw I had a handful of the unsalted peanuts left, I threw them into the bucket that the other mice had fallen into.  It turned out to be great bait; at 3:15 AM on Friday I was woken up by the thrashing sound of a mouse trying to jump out of the bucket.  If it had been a more convenient hour, I would have disposed of the mouse in a smarter way; as is, because I wanted to go back to sleep, I simply threw both the mouse and the peanuts out the door.  After that there was dead silence in the kitchen, so I’m hoping that’s the last of the mice.  The next morning I did not see any peanuts outside, so I’m guessing the squirrels got a treat.

At 11:30 AM the debit card arrived; whew!  Then I got the rental car, ate lunch and packed.  I was finally ready to go at 3:30 PM.  First came a stop for gas, then on into New York.  I remembered a $1.00 toll at the bridge where Interstate 84 crosses the Hudson, but curiously, they only charge the vehicles going east; I did not have to pay this time.  At 6:15 I entered Pennsylvania.  Because I had been chasing the sun, the sky did not get completely dark until now.  After passing Scranton and Wilkes-Barre I took a different route from the one I followed to Connecticut last June.  To get away from the mountains as quickly as possible, I headed due west on Interstate 80, towards Ohio.  You wouldn’t think a state as important as Pennsylvania would have remote areas, but as long as I was on I-80, I did not see even a medium-sized town; most of the time I was driving through mountains.  At 8:30 I started looking for a motel worth stopping at, found one near Clearfield, PA at 10 PM, and stopped there for the night.

I was so tired from the past two days that I didn’t get going on Saturday until 10:45 AM.  I entered Ohio at exactly 1 PM, continued west on Interstates 80 and 76 until I reached I-71, and then turned south.  Akron turned out to be a large town with factories but no skyscrapers.  The mountains I had been driving in became hills in the last stretch of Pennsylvania, and the hills became flat land between Akron and Columbus.  Columbus did have skyscrapers, so to me it looked a little bit like Atlanta.  Still, the state capital is a smaller city than Cincinnati, and after passing through the latter, I entered Kentucky (7 PM).  Finally I reached the house at 8:20.  My route turned out to be the best way to go, because I did not have to deal with any bad weather on the way.

This may be the best Christmas we have had since we moved to Kentucky, five years ago.  We did not decorate or exchange gifts, we’re just glad to be together again.  Today we celebrated by going to Leive’s favorite Chinese restaurant in town.  I’m also glad to be home because Connecticut is so cold and dark at this time of year, compared with Kentucky.  See you later!

Going Home


Today at 3:30 I left Danbury, CT, and am planning on spending the last week of the year in Kentucky with Leive and Brin-Brin.  I drove as far as northwest Pennsylvania, and stopped at a motel in a remote area there.  I’ll tell you more after I arrive; now it’s after 11 PM so I should get some rest for tomorrow’s drive.

Comparing Solstices

In the past five years I have done more traveling/moving than I did for most of my years in Florida.  And one thing that I learned right away is that the seasons are different in different places.  For example, I found out today how different winter solstice can be in different places.  Today it was ten degrees warmer in Kentucky, and twenty degrees warmer in Florida, than it was here in Connecticut.  Luckily we haven’t had any snow in nearly two months, but that could change on Friday.  And here is how different just the day length can be:

Location Sunrise Sunset Day Length
Danbury, CT 7:16 4:27 9 hrs, 11 min
Lexington, KY 7:49 5:21 9 hrs, 32 min
Winter Park, FL 7:13 5:33 10 hrs, 20 min


Well, the next time I see you the days will be getting longer, anyway.  Maybe I should put up a summer solstice table in six months, now that it looks like I will be in Connecticut for that.