Archive for December, 2014

“O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra from tom stiles on Vimeo.

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This year Husby and I did something new for a little holiday cheer.  Charlotte and Paenney invited us to join them to visit the Union Depot in St. Paul, MN to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.  I’d heard of it, but have never seen it, and now with the new Union Depot all refurbished and spectacular it would be an opportunity to see that too.

The newly refurbished Union Depot in St. Paul, Minnesota

If you’ve never heard of the CP Holiday Train, I’ll turn you over to Canadian Pacific’s description…

Think of them as brightly-decorated railcars full of Christmas cheer. A fund-raiser for food banks in Canada and the U.S., our Holiday Trains — one travels through Canada, the other in the U.S. — have covered over 100,000 miles and raised close to $9.5 million and 3.3 million pounds of food since the program started in 1999.

The Holiday Trains make stops in communities across our service area, offering free concerts and seasonal festivities from a boxcar we’ve turned into a travelling stage. Over the three weeks of the program, the musicians on board the trains will play more than 150 free concerts from their boxcar stage. This year we are lucky to feature the star talent of Tracey Brown, Kira Isabella and Home Free. 

The concerts are free, but you’re encouraged to make a donation to the food bank—either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay within your local community.  ~  via Canadian Pacific Holiday Train website

We bundled up, donated a bagful of food and stood by the tracks waiting.  The night was cold and damp, but when the train pulled into the yard Christmas spirit warmed the hundreds of people anticipating the spectacle.

The bright nose of the engine

Just when the breath that’s been taken away by the splendor is restored and the lump in your throat from overwhelmedness has dissipated, the side of one of the boxcars is lowered to reveal a stage…with more lights!  And live Christmas music!

And what would a holiday train be without Santa?  Of course he was there!

Santa, rockin’ out

I’m so glad I got to see this spectacular vision.  Everyone there was in a good mood.  The train itself was thrilling.  The music was festive.  And it was all for the benefit of local food banks.  I’m already looking forward seeing it again next year.

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Mary Ann.  I’ve known her since 7th grade when we met at a sleep-over at a mutual friend’s house.   We’ve been friends for decades and have so many shared experiences from high school romances and marriages, births and deaths.

One of the things Mary Ann and I have in common is a love for the sappiness of The Brady Bunch.  Quite a few years ago I wanted to give her the movie A Very Brady Christmas for a gift, but it was way too expensive – over $50!!   I didn’t buy it because nothing Brady is worth that much money.  But because I had cable TV and she didn’t, I taped a showing of A Very Brady Christmas that aired.  You heard me, I said “taped.”  Video tape.  Remember those?  I took great care to delete the commercials and did a pretty good job.

I haven’t seen the movie since that night I taped it for Mary Ann, and she’s watched it every Christmas season since.  It didn’t seem fair.

Mary Ann and I had lunch the other day and she gave me a pre-Christmas gift.  That’s right, it was a DVD of A Very Brady Christmas.  At first I thought she actually bought it for me, but she told me no, she’d taken the video tape I gave her and copied it onto a disc.  How’s that for friendship?!

Bobby and Peter discuss the very complicated situations in their lives.  Complicated situations are pretty cut and dry to the rest of us who aren’t Bradys.

Homemade gifts are the best, and Mary Ann outdid herself with this DVD.  I watched it that very evening.  Husby joined me even though he doesn’t have the affinity for The Brady Bunch that I do.  Actually, he has no affinity for the Bradys at all, but we both had a blast watching it!  The sappiness didn’t disappoint.

Jan and Phillip rekindle their dying marriage and do the nasty while everyone else is downstairs having breakfast on Christmas day.

Bobby quits graduate school to become a race car driver, Mrs. Brady gives Jan and her husband permission to miss Christmas breakfast for sex, Peter decides it doesn’t really matter if the love of his life makes more money than he does, and Alice takes back her husband, Sam the butcher, who left her for a younger woman whose rump roast he seasoned.  Above all, Mr. Brady is saved from a collapsing building with a Christmas carol.  Oh, what a fabulous mixture of drama and unadulterated absurdity!

Many thanks to Mary Ann who proved to be one of those friends who never fails.

The entire Brady clan singing O Come All Ye Faithful, which apparently gives Mr. Brady the super human strength to save himself from a building that collapsed around him.

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Light Mites

Man…don’t you hate it when this happens?

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The Bad Jokes Feet Play

As much as I love the season of ice and snow there are two things that make it a little difficult.  Ice and snow.

On his daily trek to get the mail, carefully walking on the icy road in front of our house, Husby’s feet decided to slide out from under him and down the rest of him went.  It’s a trick our feet like to play in the winter ~ no matter how careful we are once in a while they’re in the mood for a little slapstick, making us a laughing stock to any neighbors looking out their windows at the time while simultaneously hurting the rest of our body.

Husby landed on a hand, then elbow, then face.  Poor thing.

Yikes! A nice little gash, some very colorful bruising and a lot of puffiness. Nice work, feet.

He says he’s okay, it’s not bad, he’s had worse.  Pfft, I say.  I immediately checked his pupils for signs of a head injury and although he said everything was fine he assured me he’d summon me to take him to the emergency room if necessary.

When people ask what happened Husby will respond, “you should see the other guy!”

Husby is indeed just fine, suffering only from soreness on the arm on which he landed.  His eye never got so puffy that he couldn’t see out of it.  The thing is, we both kind of hope that cut leaves a scar, because nothing says sexy like the remnants of a battle, even if that battle was with ice and snow.

** Update** Today the bruising as traveled to Husby’s lower eye lid.  His eye looks like a big, red Christmas ornament.  Ho ho ho!

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