The Best New Year’s Eve Ever !

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Our children decided when they had their children, that each family should be at their own home for Christmas. This, I am sure, is in response to all those years we went to grandparents’ homes in Virginia and Maryland. Another time, place, and tradition. Our children wanted to get together over this time of celebration, so they began alternating New Year’s visits. This time was the  celebration in Skaneateles at Christian’s home. It was snowy and cold in Central New York, but also in Troy.  Thankfully the  drive was doable and we arrived safely.

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Here are Christian and the newest member of their family, Chewbacca,   an 8 week old Miniature Labradoodle.  He is going to stay very small at 20 pounds full grown  and the most important characteristic is that he is hypoallergenic. There are lots of allergies in all our families and there were  no itchy eyes or sneezing over the visit.


The Skaneatles Bells had  plan an Olympic like event for the  big night.

Violet modeling the hats and horns.

Parker and Violet with the remains of Pictionary  entries.

Grace flipping small water bottle to try and have them stand at the end.

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Decorated brownies  with winners in many categories from “Most colorful ” in ages  6-7 to  “Most Creative” for ages 14-15!

The creative process of decorating the brownies.

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Finally a big smile !  Parker with his   house of cards covered with pennies !

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Chewie got the most snuggles and kisses as the New Year began.  The adults had small glasses of champagne  and  the children had  sparking grape juice.  This model of New Year’s had been celebrated in 2015 but we were on our way to India.What fun it was to be there this year.   I am so thankful for my children, the parents and partners they are in their families, and those precious grandchildren , are the joy of my heart!

Happy New Year !

This is not Chewie but is how Chris chose his puppy  on line. The woman from whom they bought their dog had three litters congruently.  Serious business this puppy business!

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Are You a Spelling Challenged Person? Check these out!

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 These Are The 10 Most Difficult City Names To Spell

06/24/2015 12:46 pm ET | Updated Jun 24, 2015

Certain places are famous for having hard-to-spell names. Butte, Montana is the butt of many a misspelling joke, while Mississippi has such a difficult name to spell that a little jingle was created to make it easier to learn.

Thanks to a new survey, we now know the 10 cities with even harder names to spell. The survey, which was conducted by Ketchum Global Research and Analytics for King Digital Entertainment, found that the 1,000 participating adults misspelled the cities below over 50 percent of the time.

According to a press release, baby boomers and millennials alike misspelled the city names with equal fervor, making us think that these names are just plain hard to spell no matter what.

10. Aquebogue, New York
Misspelled by 56 percent of people

9. Winnemucca, Nevada
Misspelled by 60 percent of people

8. Ketchikan, Alaska
Misspelled by 61 percent of people

7. Worcester, Massachusetts
Misspelled by 62 percent of people

6. Pflugerville, Texas
Misspelled by 63 percent of people

5. Champaign, Illinois
Misspelled by 63 percent of people

4. Skaneateles, New York
Misspelled by 67 percent of people

3. Saguache, Colorado
Misspelled by 68 percent of people

2. Kaumalapau, Hawaii
Misspelled by 69 percent of people

1. Meeteetse, Wyoming
Misspelled by 70 percent of people

Our son and his family live in #4.  Skaneateles is an Iroquois Native American word.  

Happy New Year! 

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Have You Heard of a Movie Tavern?

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Well,we hadn’t until spending Christmas with our son in Skaneateles near Syracuse.  It is a combination theater /restaurant.  When you enter the theater, the seats have a tray, button to call the waiter, a foot rest, and reclining seat.  The girls saw “Moana” and the guys went to “Rogue One, A Star Wars Story.”  We ordered lunch as our features started at 11 and 11:30.  I ordered a  salad and it was large and fresh. My only complaint is that I like to see what I am eating and I ate during the movie.   I think the salad was about $8 the normal price for salad/meals at family restaurants or taverns.  Breakfast is available, too.

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A full bar is available for service at your seats, if you so desire.

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This video  is of one of the theaters in Pennsylvania but it  looks just like the one we were in  New York. My guess is that it is a franchise.  The organization was started in the south and slowly covering the country. We were bummed that there is not one in Albany, the capital city of New York.  We don’t have a Costco, or a Wegmann’s ,  Bass Pro Shop, and now s Movie Tavern!   Oh well, maybe someday!

Please let me know what you think or whether you have experienced a Movie Tavern.


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Christmas Market Shopping in Roma, Italia Piazza Novona

Piazza Navona Christmas market in Rome  is  on the list of best European Christmas Markets.   It is on the ancient site of the Circus of Domitian and has the shape of a stadium because of the games played  there in ancient times.  As the Christmas season nears, the vendors set up their  toys, ornaments and delicious Italian sweets. One of my favorite items were the Christmas figures for the manger scene.  It is very difficult and terribly expensive to get the hand-carved wooden  figures, but I did see them for sale in the shops near the Vatican. The ones on sale at Navona were plastic but the gifted Italian artists worked their magic with plastic and  the expressions and details  of clothing etc. are wonderful and the price is much more reasonable.

The last time I went with my husband  for a semester in Rome, the  students were frantically finishing their design project  spending lots of hours on “charette”. ( French word meaning working night and day to finish a project. )  This seems to be the model for architecture students in all countries .. . . .  .finishing at the last minute. Well the students didn’t want to be doing this work and missing their  last days in Roma.  The professor went daily to Navona and bought sweets for a treat for them.  He would sit and read in the studio to “encourage work and perseverance!”  A posting and exhibition were planned for the last few days where students from other Roman studies’ programs would visit.  Quality work was and is important to the professor!   One day, Emily called out to David after his candy delivery, “David, are you babysitting?”  Which was exactly what he was doing!

Here are some images of Piazza Nanona at Christmas time!


Pinocchio was started in Italy and is a popular children’s gift as well as other puppets.


Puppets are very popular in Italy. I remember traveling around and coming into a small town, going to the piazza in the centro and there would be a puppet show. The most popular are slap-stick stories of Punch and Judy.  Men , women, and children would laugh, wildly,  at the foolishness!


Stuffed animals galore. . .  . . .

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Here are some of the delicious sweets!


Decorations and some of the manger figures. . . . .


Beautiful, delicate tree ornaments. . . . .  .


Yummy. . . .  .


Kid heaven. . . . .  . . . . . .


I loved the columns instead of the stable or cave. We bought some columns to use in our nativity.  Not bad for plastic figures, right?

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Lots of styles and sizes are available. . . . . . .


Buon Natale. . . . . . . .


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Christmas Shopping in New York

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This is the Rockefeller tree which stands  just above the famous ice skating rink.

My favorite part of Christmas, as a little girl in Virginia, was driving to New York on Christmas Day to spend a week in this magical setting.  Notice all the animation in the  windows of  the department stores, the colors, the lights, the skating, the tree. . .yes  a capitalists’ explosion!   But wait until the last image filmed at the Radio Center Music Hall  the . . ..Living nativity. . . . The Reason for the Season has not been forgotten  in spite of the  over the top  shopping !


Merry Christmas! 

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Pentatonix . . . . “Hallelujah”


  1. 1.
    God be praised (uttered in worship or as an expression of rejoicing).
    “He is risen! Alleluia!”
  1. 1.
    an utterance of the word “hallelujah” as an expression of worship or rejoicing.

    This will warm your heart on a cold, snowy Saturday in December!


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The Price of Freedom



My brother is buried in the American Cemetery in Cambridge, UK.  As you watch the video notice the number of  brave heroes buried in each of these  cemeteries which are American property used as burial sites  now for our soldiers.   Today is no special day to honor our soldiers, just a regular day of our free life thanks to these boys who gave so much.. . . . their lives.

One thought I had was comparison of cemeteries to concentration camps in Europe.  There are many of both. Thank you seems so inadequate for all they lost. . . their youth and life. Thank you for brave soldiers willing to lay down their lives for strangers, faraway, whose freedom had  been stolen!

Thank you to all who served and continue to  serve today.. . . . . the price of our freedom !



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