Sunday, November 20, 2005

Preparing the House for Christmas

I have had a nice weekend, even though Saturday was a work day. We had to get ready for the parade Friday night and then go Saturday morning. By the time we'd had some lunch we were all ready for a nap. I had very little sleep last week, so even I wanted a nap. We all slept and then got up for dinner before Mark had to leave.

He had to get home because he had people coming to help him do his outdoor Christmas stuff today.

On a whim, Greg and I decided to go see Harry Potter last night. It was really good. I recommend it. Obviously, there's no spoiler if you've read the book.

I've spent the day working in the house. Other than taking some morning glory seeds out and sprinkling them around, I have not been out of the house. I have some bulbs to plant when we get a nice day. We've had a bunch but I didn't want to pull out the morning glories until they were completely dead. I think we're there after a few really cold nights in a row. The lambs ear is still going strong, though. Not sure what to do about things that are still green. I've been waiting for it to all die so I could clean it out to plant the bulbs. I may have to do a little reading about that.

I've moved things around in the house today and have 98% of the dishes back on the shelves in the dining room. I'm so glad to have that task nearing completion.

I also have another box of things to go to Salvation Army and another box of things that belong to Greg. We lived together so long that our stuff got intermingled. He moved, then I moved, and things have never gotten sorted out. So, as I go through things, I'm doing that.

The moving guys are coming Tuesday morning to move my piano and my sleeper sofa. I have some things I have to get organized before then so I've been working on that today too.

When that is done I can get things where they go for Christmas and start putting up the tree. I'm eager to see it all done. It's always a surprise how it will turn out every year.

Christmas Parade

Saturday morning was the Hutchinson Christmas Parade. As we have the last couple of years, the MHA had a float in the parade.

We gave away candy canes, with flyers on them for our Christmas tour and also a free screening we have coming up in early December.

I drove the van with Clarence the dinosaur on top. Clarence is named after the angel in "It's a Wonderful Life," which is one of my very, very, very, very, very favorite movies.

Mark came down from KC to walk and help hand out candy canes. Greg, of course, helped as always. Austin helped and so did Jesse. Jesse brought along his brother, Joey, and their neice, Molly.

Terry usually helps us by walking, but couldn't this year. But, he came over and helped up get Clarence on the van last night and then helped us take him down tonight.

Molly was quite the trooper. Obviously the mile plus long parade route requires more steps when your legs are the length of hers as opposed to Austin, who's over six feet tall. We didn't get a photo of Austin, unfortunately.

Molly walked the whole parade route, handing out candy canes. She did say she thought she might like to ride next year, and who could blame her.

Unfortunately, in Hutchinson if you want to distribute candy, you have to walk along and do that. No throwing of candy is allowed because a girl got run over a few years ago when she ran out to gather up candy off the street. She wan't hurt badly, thank goodness, but it meant no more candy throwing here.

There were lots of people and organizations in the parade. In the line up near us was the local democratic party. Kathie has been so hard working in getting things like this done. Vic, our local chairman, was all decked out in his "true blue" Santa clothes today. It was a neat looking float. Of course, I'm always doing the MHA entry so never get to see the parade or participate in others. But, it looked really neat.

We were closer to the front of the parade route this year and learned that means you move even faster. Last year I stopped on occasion. This year I never stopped once.

What that means is that it's hard for the walkers to catch up to me and get resupplied with candy canes.

We gave away about 8,000 candy canes today. Less than 50,000 people live in the whole county, so I'm not sure how that's possible, but it is.

Everyone has their own method. You can see Jesse is of the "take what you'd like" mold.

Greg prefers the one to one approach.

This is Mark handing out candy canes. This is almost right in front of the building where my office is. Westphal Jewelers is what I see out my window, across the street. Dick Westphal is on my board and is a great local supporter. He does tons of things for the community.

Greg Payton owns both buildings. He has done so much to refurbish downtown Hutchinson. His business, Payton Optical, is right beside the buildling I'm in. He has really worked to improve downtown. He and Martha were the ones who spearheaded getting the Fox Theatre redone. Our downtown is so much prettier now than it was when I first moved here.

Red Hatters were out in full force. Greg snapped this photo and it turns out it's Darlene (second from the right), who's a friend of mine. She and I were on the friends of the library board together years ago. She has also been on my board. She and her sister (on her right) have also done projects for the MHA. So, it was fun that Greg ended up having a photo of them in particular.

Few things are as Americana as parades, and today was no exception. I love the little scenes you glimpse on the parade route. I missed most of it because I was driving, but Greg had some pix I could share.

After the parade, we drove to Roy's for some lunch. Ann came out to see what was pulling up in their driveway. I pulled her over to have her photo taken with the dino. She wasn't too eager so I didn't push my luck and put the Santa hat on her. Christmas is not her favorite time of year. I'm working on her. Slowly.

Of course, someone still has to be working to keep the barbecue flowing. Mike was doing just that.

Of course, no such day would be complete without a lope sighting. He actually rode in the parade route, right alongside Clarence today, and yet still had time to enjoy posing with the Bribiesca family afterwards.