Friday, January 4, 2008

A New Year

We had a wonderful time in southern California. But, the drives there and back were gruelling, as usual. We brought our toy poodle along to save kennel costs. He isn't a good traveler and tends to whine a lot. So I got some sedatives from the vet, hoping this would settle him. From what we could tell it made little to no difference, except he needed to pee a lot more often. *sigh* He did seem quieter on the way back though. I think because he refused to eat breakfast both mornings, so took the sedative on an empty stomach. On the way down Hwy 14 was closed at California City (in the Mojave Desert) because of strong winds and dust. Two camper trailers had blown over on the northbound side of Hwy 14.

So we had some dinner and they opened the highway after about an hour. The delay meant we didn't get to my parents' house until almost 8pm on the 26th. Happily they held the traditional hors d'oeuvres until we arrived. So we all settled in for a late snack and a flurry of belated present opening. After telling all of us they weren't going to give many presents this year, Mom and Dad ended up giving each of us at least three things. In their favor, some of those were things from around the house that they didn't want or need, that we could use. For instance, I had mentioned I'd like a set of wine glasses. So they gave us 7 random wine glasses Dad had picked up from various events over the years. It was a fun idea and fits right in with the rest of our mostly-unmatched household goods.

It was good to see my family and get to know the nephews and niece a bit better. My brother just got a new puppy, a wire-haired German Pointer named Brissy. She's 11 weeks old and seems hungry all the time. She was chewing on the walls, the rug, furniture, tablecloths, you name it. Cute puppy, but they really need to start giving her some obedience training or she'll be a terror.

Hubby and I went to the Getty Museum in Malibu on Friday. This is the older one, built as a replica of a Roman countryhouse, the Villa dei Papiri, buried by the Vesuvius eruption in Herculaneum. Wonderful collection of Greek, Etruscan and Roman artifacts and statues. Beautiful grounds and building and a gorgeous setting overlooking the coast. They have an amphitheater on the grounds where they put on Greek dramas in the summer.

We also spent a day in Santa Barbara, poking around in shops and eating seafood at the Santa Barbara Seafood Company at the end of Stearns Pier. Fresh oysters and a steamed crab. Yum!!

Otherwise we spend a lot of time socializing with family, shopping at Trader Joes, and hanging out. Lots of folks down there were wearing their Northface jackets and kept exclaiming at how "cold" it was, and we kept laughing at them. Oooh! 50F - I'm freezing! (not) It seemed positively balmy to us from the Intermountain West. We had left behind freezing temps and snow. The orange tree in my parents' backyard had ripe oranges on it, and there were roses, geraniums and paperwhites blooming in the garden. Seems crazy to me now, even though I lived down there for nearly 20 years.

So here we are back home, and back to work. There's a big windy rainy storm blowing through, and an 80% chance of snow on Saturday. But that's nothing compared to the three winter storms hitting northern CA this weekend. I've heard predictions of a foot of rainfall! Yeow!

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