Anderson/Hatgidakis/Nelson/Metcalf: Newsletter

Old news: December 2009

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Gary
12/31/09
Two good articles on last night's excellent game: One by Sam McKewon and one from huskerlocker.com.


Gary
12/30/09
Game tonight at 7 pm on ESPN.
Gary
12/28/09
Hey, have I mentioned yet how totally sick I am of this snow? If not, let me say this: I am totally sick of this snow! After three days in the house and just a little stir crazy, I went out this afternoon to move my rented car. I cleared off the windows, and backed up about two feet -- where I came to a halt. Drove forward about three feet -- where I came to a halt. Backed up, turned the wheels a tad and drove forward about two feet -- and came to a dead halt: no movement possible now. I was stuck. I went inside and called Paul, and while I was on the phone the snowplow came by -- finally! Unfortunately, it pushed up a new mound of snow against the car. Paul kindly came by after work; he hooked a chain to the back of the Neon and yanked the little car into the clear. I scrapped the two or three errands I wanted to do and only drove to the nearest food store for provisions. I thought I'd better get back soon so I could grab one of the newly-cleared parking spaces the snowplow created. Which I did. So I'm home again, but with slightly more interesting food than I had before. Is it Spring yet??
Donna
12/28/09

Happy Birthday Teghan!
Dad, Mom & Tristen
12/28/09

Happy Birthday Teghan!
Nelsons
12/28/09

Happy Birthday Teghan
Gary
12/28/09
Livy, the reviews page is working now -- sorry you had trouble with it. And thanks for the two new reviews!
The Hatgidakis Family
12/27/09

Happy Birthday Teghan!!!!! We are so proud of you and how you turned your Birthday into a day of joy for so many.
Gary
12/27/09
My neighborhood is slowly coming back to life. The street hasn't been plowed, but the snow has been driven down a bit so it looks driveable. And the snowblower crew is doing my sidewalk as I write this, so a few minutes from now I'll be able to use the front door if I want to. Free at last!
Karen
12/27/09
Teghan -- what a great article!
Erika
12/27/09
Hi everyone, I hope you all had a good Christmas! I would like to thank Donna for my earrings and necklace. They are SO pretty! :) I would also like to thank Grandma for the picture frames. They are really cool, I already have pictures in them! And Gary the webpage cup is really nice. Thanks so much everyone! =)
Amanda
12/27/09
Teghan in the paper!!!
Gary
12/27/09
Pictures of Christmas at Grandma's, thanks to Amanda (with a few of mine thrown in).

P.S. Actually, I just noticed that some of them were not at Grandma's -- but at Paul and Lori's later that night?


Marsha
12/26/09
Wow Nelsons, you have more snow than we do. We have about 4 inches of ice on our sidewalks which will probably be there till April. Yeah, winter stinks. We had a great Christmas... lots of good food and everyone was able to make it here. Olivia, many thanks for the beautiful salad bowl and cookbook and keys, I just love it all! We all are enjoying the gifts you sent, John has been reading the Beatles book Sean and he send his thanks. Zach loved the bowl of treats and blanket Mom. Sam is looking forward to using her gift card Gary and Karen, Anna is going for a collections of your blankets, she loves the one you made for her this year. Cool mug Gary. Donna, the note pad is very nice, I really like it.
Amanda
12/26/09
Haha, Gary, thanks for the youtube post of my car, I mean the Canyonero... I want to see that whole episode, did it say which season? I drove out of our neighborhood to dadís & back into our neighborhood at about midnight. It was pretty darn sketchy on the side streets. Today, I donít care if a waging war in the Middle East is making our gas go up by insane amounts, today Iím glad I drive a gas guzzling Canyonero! So, so glad we could all carry on with our plans despite the weather. Thanks to all who brought food, and for the great gifts! I am so with you on the whole ďwinter can be over now...Ē attitude. When the girls & I got home from dadís at midnight there was such a drift in the backyard there was no way Bella could get out, so I shoveled, at midnight after a long, tiring day. I need to get pictures, but some of those freakishly tall drifts are 5-6 ft high. Sheesh... Merry Stressmas! (Grandma, why didnít our ancestors settle in say Florida??)

The Canyonero appears in Season 9, Episode 15: "The Last Temptation of Krust." --Gary


Karen
12/26/09
Here are some pictures of our snow storm!

I think you said Erika took the photos, with a new camera...? If so, thanks Erika! --Gary


Karen
12/26/09
The snow has temporarily stopped here, but I think there is still more to come. Poor Brent went out this morning to snowblow the driveway. There is at least two feet of snow and some pretty deep drifts besides. Erika got a new camera yesterday and she said she would take some pictures later, so maybe we can send them in. Emily got a call from her boss and the Coldstone is closed today (can't imagine anyone would go out for ice cream today). Erika is supposed to work tonight, but I am guessing she will get the night off.
We did end up having a very nice Christmas. Took our time opening presents and then I fixed a big dinner for mid-afternoon. Then we watched a couple of movies.
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful gifts.
Ryan -- the snuggie is great! Much appreciated during the blizzard. Mom -- I love the plate and bowl -- already used them (and the towel)... The soap smells great, and the candle is very pretty -- had it on last night. Marsha -- I put the frame on the end table and now I need to put a picture in it -- Donna, thanks for the notepad and pen -- they are very nice. Gary -- I love the cup -- too perfect! Lori -- the planner for Brent was perfect. He always needs a new one each year -- he will use it every day! Sam, thanks for the socks and candy (the candy disappeared quickly) had the socks on all day yesterday -- so warm and soft.
Gary
12/26/09
Snow seems to have stopped for the moment (nearly 8 am as I write this), but the weather radar shows the storm stationary and right on top of us. The storm is supposed to just die in place sometime tomorrow morning. The sooner the better! I heard an engine revving out in the street just now and my first thought was it was somebody with a snowblower to get rid of the drift blocking my front door. (I had called the building manager last night to report this, as it's something of a fire hazard as it blocks an escape from the building.) But no: It was a pickup truck stuck in the snow, just two car lengths from where my (rented) car is parked. So if he can't get out, it looks like I am well and truly trapped for the day -- at least.
Gary
12/25/09

And just now back from Christmas at Grandma's. Had a great time, even without the cooperation of the weather. Thanks to Ryan's (incoming) and Sean's (outgoing) Canyonero driving skills, both Donna and I are safe and sound back in our respective homes. Very much appreciated, guys!

Thanks to everyone for the excellent gifts! I'm sure I'll be talking to you all on the phone soon. Snow has stopped for the moment but it's still cold and windy, and the snow is supposed to start in again and keep on snowing til Sunday morning. And then snow again on Tuesday. I've got a waist-high drift blocking my front door and, judging from past performance, it will be days before my street is plowed or my walks cleared. This winter is only four days old, and I am so done with it!


Emily
12/25/09

Love the Christmas Elf videos!
I am not enjoying the weather at all either! Dad just went out to do some snow blowing and it looks like we have up to 2 feet in some places and even bigger snow drifts, AND its supposed to keep snowing until Sunday!!!
It isn't going to be exactly what we planned, but we are still having a nice Christmas. We will probably be snowed in for awhile longer, but have lots and lots of Christmas food to eat and got lots of nice gifts this morning.
Gary, we all love the webpage mug and coffee! I am sure we will use it lots!
And, Grandma I LOVE the chocolate fondue set! How did you know? :) And, I have been wanting a travel mug, I am sure I will take it school on early mornings! And, the cozy socks will be keeping me warm through the blizzard! Thanks!
Lindsey (Lori), thanks so much for the billfold & gift card! I had been needing to get a new one, & will be looking forward to doing some shopping next week!
Thanks again everybody!! Hope you are all having a great Christmas & the snow isn't interfering too much!

I just heard that in spite of the snowdrifts people are beginning to gather at Grandma's. I tried to get my little rented car moving this morning, but it couldn't handle the drifts. So Sean will be here momentarily to pick me up! --Gary


Gary
12/24/09

Just got back from a really nice Christmas Eve at Donna's house. Driving home was all slippin' and slidin' and poor visibility, but not nearly as bad as the weatherguy's panicky blather made it out to be. This is, though, The Winter That Hated Christmas -- it has made Christmas shopping difficult, Christmas decorating difficult, and Christmas travel difficult if not impossible. Merry Christmas, but bring on Spring!
Livy
12/24/09

Some Holiday Fun!!! I even put the dogs in the dance!

Wrong link, Livy...? The dogs (and you?) aren't in this one. Thanks for reminding me of this site, though -- I hadn't been there yet this year. Here are some I did! --Gary

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Livy
12/24/09

Merry Christmas Eve Everybody!!!
Karen
12/24/09

Well the storm has affected our christmas plans. Brent called his sister, she is pretty sure they will be snowed in until at least Sunday. So the Nelson get together is postponed until at least next week. Poor Emily is really bummed. Jack was going to join us on Saturday and then they were both going to go to Columbus to stay with his family until new years. So I just got out the big ham (for the 4 of us) and will make a few more things and we will have it all tomorrow. Merry Christmas.......
Karen
12/24/09
We are getting hit hard with that storm. Got about 6 inches yesterday, it stopped overnight. Got up this morning thinking it was done. Brent decided he could clear the driveway when he got off this afternoon (ran out of gas for the snowblower). He headed off to the office planning to return home for lunch. He called after he got to the office and advised me to stay in the house -- said it was much worse than he expected. He is staying until the office closes -- probably at 2. We usually go to lunch for christmas eve, but due to Emily and Brent's work schedule and restaurants closing early we went out on Tuesday. We had hoped to at least make it to Pita Pit for a little treat, but now I'm not sure. Today we are to get maybe 1-2 inches of snow, but strong winds are already picking up, then more snow tonight and all day tomorrow. The Nelsons were to come to SC on Saturday -- but think we will need to put that off until Sunday. Fortuntely all the shopping is done, did make a quick stop at the grocery store yesterday, just in case, and got a few extras. So once Brent and Emily (if she even has to go in) get off of work we are set.
Gary
12/24/09
Christmas Eve! Everybody ready? It's looking more and more like Lincoln will be on the edge of the snowfall, and only get 6 inches or so (and I hope less!). Sioux City and Minneapolis look like they will get more. And luckily for Lincoln, the freezing rain and ice never really happened. If anybody does actually get snowbound, the bright side is it's over Christmas -- there's probably lots of food in the house and you'll have all your new presents to play with. :-)
Karen
12/23/09
The snow has begun here. Just had a thin coating of ice this morning, then some rain about noon and by two all snow. Coming down pretty heavy right now. Brought in lots of wood and did all my errands yesterday. So it can snow a long time.

No snow, no nothin' here (at 4 pm). I'm starting to wonder if they blew the forecast... Which would be ok with me! --Gary


Amanda
12/23/09
I'm at work, I came in at 7, an hour early, just to beat the traffic. The roads were basically totally fine. But you're right the sidewalks & parking lots are bad. We'll see how the day goes!
Gary
12/23/09
Any Lincolnites up and moving yet at this hour (7 am)? I was just out to check the conditions and also move my car off the street for snow removal. (My damaged car, that is, not my rented car.) At the moment, it's much more dangerous on the sidewalks than on the streets. The temperature is above freezing and it's raining right now, so the treated streets are just wet while the sidewalks are pure ice. Very slick and treacherous. As the temp drops today, as it is predicted to do, the streets will get icy too. So I've decided not to go in to work today, on our last day before the Christmas break. We all kind of expected this at work, so we shut down everything yesterday in case we didn't make it in today. So if you step outside your door this morning, be very careful!
Gary
12/22/09
We had a great time. I'm tired too, and I'm not sure why as it was only half a day. :-) Yeah, lots of paper-craft, including printing off some pictures of currency on green paper. We did talk about counterfeiting and, after we explained to her what it was, Teghan said, "I would never do that!" We walked around the nearly deserted building and dropped in to a few classrooms where they wrote on the whiteboards and played school. Lunch at Arby's where we talked about our favorite parts of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." And then I drove them each to their afternoon social engagements. An excellent day!
Amanda
12/22/09
Thanks for taking the girls today! They had a blast! And they're tired!!! Teghan said you made money so I hope there's not a serious counterfeiting operation going on. :-) thanks for taxi-ing them around too!
Gary
12/22/09
The same storm is predicted to hit us too. I really hope they're wrong, but they sound pretty certain about it. On the bright side: Today the days start getting longer!

Tristen and Teghan are visiting my office today. Campus is completely quiet with no students here, so we should have the run of the place.

TRISTEN: We're making boxes for the letters...
TEGHAN: ...for the Bananagrams.


Karen
12/22/09
Teghan -- what a fun day you had! I love the pictures. The cookies look delicious. Mom, I made that divinity yesterday. Turned out pretty good and it was easy -- I'll send in the recipe if you're interested. We are predicted to get a MAJOR snow storm starting tomorrow. Maybe 15-20 inches!! Yikes! I am so glad we don't have to travel this christmas. The girls and I are planning our annual last minute christmas shopping trip, then picking up Brent for lunch.
Gary
12/21/09
Happy first day of winter, everybody -- though everybody I talk to is already done with winter and is ready for spring. Me too!

Big day here yesterday, especially for Teghan. There was a cookie baking party at Grandma's which lasted from mid-morning til late afternoon. Teghan left early for two events: first, a tea party given by one of her friends, and later, the Marines came to her house to pick up the toys from her birthday party which she donated to Toys for Tots. The Marines arrived (from Omaha) in full dress and awarded her a plaque. Pretty cool! I'll let Amanda or Teghan fill in the details when they have time. In the meantime, here are some pictures!


Gary
12/18/09
Things are moving along, and in a good way. I do have heat now (problem turned out to be a bad thermostat), and the insurance adjustor called to say they "accepted liability" and will send someone out to get an estimate for my car -- which is still sitting out in front of my house.

And today was a great day. I decided I could use a treat, so I took the day off and (accompanied by Mom and Donna) went to the opening of "Avatar." Fantastic movie! We were all buzzing about it on the drive home. Do yourselves a favor: See it on the big screen, and see it in 3D. It will still be a good movie on your TV when the DVD comes out, but seeing it huge and in 3D will blow your mind. Great story, great message, and eye-popping effects. In fact, they don't really seem like "special effects" -- it seems real and authentic all the way through, even though it takes place on an entirely alien planet. If you're wondering what to get yourself for Christmas, take yourself to "Avatar." :-)


Karen
12/18/09
Yipee..... done with school for the next two weeks. Had a very easy (and fun) day. Everyone went to the gym for a christmas movie, then back to the classroom for parties, had lunch and out at 1. As always, I was given many nice gifts. Gary, how is the heat and car doing? I really hope your luck starts to change soon.
Gary
12/17/09
My mailbox was loaded this morning, and my first thought was, "Wow, Christmas cards!" But no. I had not one, not two, not three, but four thick envelopes from chiropractors, each warning me of the dangers of letting accident-related injuries go untreated. Also received two letters from lawyers saying more or less "We understand that you were in an accident that was not your fault. Don't let some insurance adjustor tell you what a fair settlement is. Call us!" And on my answering machine was a message that went: "Hello, this is Todd Somebody and I'm the case worker assigned to your accident claim. Please call me as soon as possible at xxx-xxxx." Now, the message I listened to just before this one was from the actual State Farm case worker, so I googled Todd and his phone number and found a whole bunch of other people who'd gotten the same message and were wondering who Todd worked for. Some of the people who called Todd back reported that he was an accident lawyer like the ones above. Wow. I had heard of ambulance-chasers before, but never really seen them in action!
Gary
12/16/09
Update: State Farm called and will be sending an adjustor out soon to evaluate the damage to my car. Also, heat was repaired this afternoon and seems to be working now, though the output seems less than before. We'll see if it lasts the night.

Also, Grandma's packages went out by FedEx today. Should be at your door in Sioux City tomorrow (Thursday), and Minneapolis Friday.

And now, even though it's ridiculously early in the evening, I'm going to bed!


Amanda
12/16/09
Gary, you never know, you may end up on top with insurance. I once had a car "totaled" but not a salvage title. I got a check for MORE than I paid for the car & I kept the car & they told me to fix it or not, they didn't care (it was hail damage). I also don't think you should feel guilty jumping into the Neon, there's nothing I miss about my Neon that would make it feel like a luxury to jump into! Merry Stressmas!

Thanks for that ray of hope! The "guilty" part is not about the Neon, it's about my poor old car sitting there in the cold with the tail smashed in and me not doing anything about it. It's like neglecting a pet. :-) --Gary


Karen
12/16/09
Paul-Lindsey (Lori) your box came yesterday -- thanks for sending it :)

Gary, what a miserable time you are having. Glad you at least got a car (Emily has a Neon). What is the deal with your car?

Nothing worse than being cold -- reminds me of last year at school. The boiler wore out and no money to replace it -- so for about 2 months we were without heat for half the school. Came home frozen every day. A hot bath was all that helped me. Hope they can fix it soon. The other good news is it is to warm up a little.

Yeah, the Neon is fine. At least the heater works! :-) My car is still in limbo. No communication from the insurance people, so I haven't even had it towed anywhere. It's sitting out in front of my house. I feel a little guilty every time I glance at it and then hop in the Neon. I like my old car, and my hope is that it can and will be repaired -- I really don't want to shop for cars right now, and I really don't want to start making payments. But I'm pretty sure the car will be written off as totalled, and State Farm will write me a check for a fraction of what I paid for it.... --Gary


Gary
12/16/09
I rented a car yesterday ('03 Dodge Neon), though still no word from the insurance people. And by the time I got back home after picking up the car, the heat in the house was working again. So far, so good. So I went to bed last night looking forward to a good sleep, after being up for the past nineteen hours. But, guess what: At 3:00 am I woke up, freezing cold. Furnace was out again. I called the building people, and they told me the maintenance guys had gotten the furnace to work "for a little while" yesterday, but they had to "order a part" and they hoped to be able to fix it later today. So I'm heading in to work early -- to warm up!
Emily
12/15/09
Gary, that sounds awful! I hope you have a Snuggie!! :)

I don't, but I did fill a hot water bottle and kept it near my feet under the covers. Here it is, seven hours after I called early this morning (I called again about two hours ago), but still nobody here to fix it. And no car for an escape to someplace warm. The insurance people said it would be "at least a day or two" before they could authorize me to rent a car, so I decided to just rent one myself and send the bill to them. Unfortunately, there are NO rental cars in Lincoln. I've called every single rental agency in town, and get the same story: Because of all the ice-related accidents, there are no cars left. I've got one place that said they would call me if anyone turns in their car early. Bottom line: I am kind of done with winter; bring on spring! --Gary


The Nelsons
12/15/09

Happy Birthday Lindsey
Donna
12/15/09

Happy birthday Lindsey!
Ryan, Amanda, Tristen & Teghan
12/15/09

Happy Birthday Lindsey!
The Hatgidakis Family
12/15/09

Happy Birthday Lindsey!!!!!
Gary
12/15/09
Brrrrrrr! The heat was working fine when I went to bed, but sometime in the night it went out again. I woke up at 3:30 (it's 4 now) with teeth chattering. Freezing cold in here! Called the building emergency guy just now, and they are sending someone as soon as they can. May I have a do-over of the past 24 hours, please?
Karen
12/14/09
Gary, what a lousy day you had! What will you be doing for your car? Is the heat on yet?

We had that icy stuff under about an inch of snow too. Roads were a bit slick this morning, mostly it's just COLD! On the plus side only 4 more days of school, then off for two weeks.....

Heat is on now. Somebody came over shortly after my note below and fixed it. As for the car, it is driveable-but-not-quite. It runs and drives ok, but everything behind the rear tires is loose and clattery and I think I'd leave a trail of pieces if I drove anywhere. So best case, tomorrow works like this: The other driver's insurance people call me to work out the details, then I have my car towed to the shop and have a rental car delivered to my place. Hopefully it's that smooth, but.... --Gary


Gary
12/14/09
And wait, there's more! After the collision I came home (it happened only a block from my house), turned up the thermostat, and sat down to make the necessary calls. About two hours later, I suddenly realized it hadn't warmed up very much. So I put my hand on the baseboard heater: cold as ice. Arrgh! I called building maintenance, and they said they would send someone out "as soon as possible." I do hope that means today....
Gary
12/14/09
And for a continuation of this morning's adventures with cars and ice, there's this: I just got rear-ended one block from my house. Bleah! I'm okay, but it was quite a collision. As I came up to the stoplight, I had a bit of trouble stopping -- I hadn't noticed any black ice before this. But I did get safely stopped. Then I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a white van coming up, and coming way too fast. I couldn't pull away from him because of the cross-traffic, so I just sat there and braced for impact. The van (a heating and air-conditioning repair truck) was higher than my car, so his bumper hit above my bumper, wrecking both my tailights and crumpling the trunk so it won't close now. So now I'm waiting for the insurance companies to weigh in -- should be calling me back any minute now.
Gary
12/14/09
Okay, that will teach me for not keeping aware of the weather forecasts. I hadn't heard about any precipitation for last night, so when I went out to my car this morning I found it encased in ice, like an M&M in its thin candy shell. ("I'm surprised you didn't know that." Tommy Boy fans...?) Took me half an hour to chip the ice off my windows -- with the added plus of a -10 windchill.... When I finally got in the car and turned on the CD player, the first song to play was "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." And then on the drive in to work, I got to practice my Christmas cheer by giving plenty of room for those lunatics who left their side and back windows completely covered and only cleared a tiny porthole in front of their faces. Ho ho ho! :-)
Karen
12/13/09
Anna, I just sent in the recipe. Those are my new favorites -- in fact I plan to make more today.
Anna
12/12/09
Hello everyone! Karen, we got your box, the goodies are delicious, it isn't Christmas till we get a box from you. Do you have a recipe for the peanut butter candies, I loved them.
Amanda
12/11/09
Correction: Livy loves to wrap, I'm pretty sure she doesn't live to wrap. Stupid tiny keyboard.........
Gary
12/11/09
I've got a couple of YouTube videos that I wanted to include in the Advent series, but couldn't as they are coded so that you can't "embed" them on your own pages -- you can only watch them on YouTube. But they are both really good, so I present to you these two bonus videos.

If you are unfamiliar with "SCTV," it was a Canadian comedy show from the 1980s where many big names got their start: John Candy, Rick Moranis, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Harold Ramis, and others. Martin Short created his "Ed Grimley" character there which he later took to Saturday Night Live (he's in the second clip below). John Candy had many ongoing characters on SCTV, but one of the best was Yosh Schmenge who, along with his brother Stan Schmenge (Eugene Levy), made up the polka duo "The Happy Wanderers" -- whose biggest hit was "Cabbage Rolls and Coffee." Here they introduce you to the Christmas customs in their native land of Leutonia:

Christmas in Leutonia

The Fella Who Couldn't Wait For Christmas


Amanda
12/11/09
Hey grandma, were the elves helpful yesterday in getting the tree decorated? Did they clean up after themselves? I told them later they should have helped you wrap because I know how much you love doing that & Livy said "ohhh I live to wrap" so, you have a helper in her sometime! Thanks for hosting them & giving them something to do, hope it helped you too!
Karen
12/10/09

The box is already there? I mailed it yesterday about 4 -- glad I didn't pay extra postage for overnight -- Gary if your car isn't too stuck go over to Moms and get your goodies :) (Donna -- you too).

She described the goodies to me -- which sounded pretty good after three days of eating whatever's in the cupboard! -- but I think I'm in for the night. :-) --Gary


Karen
12/10/09

Wow, you guys are still snowed in! We were all back to school today. Roads were actually pretty good, it was nasty cold though.

Yeah, very cold this morning, but temp climbed to around 20 by noon. I dug out my car a little while ago, and then drove around for a bit to warm it up. I drove out of my spot okay, but when I came back I got sorta stuck trying to park it. Had to rock back and forth several times to free it. And the sidewalks at my place are still buried after, what, two and a half days after the snow stopped. I called the apartment managers about 20 minutes ago (3:45 now) to remind them (I also called them yesterday) that it was difficult to get in and out of the building. They apologized, said my building manager was out of town and some other manager was doing double duty to cover him, and that a crew would be over soon. But no sign of them yet. Oh also, I spoke with Mom a while ago, and she mentioned that your box arrived. Thanks, Karen! --Gary


Amanda
12/10/09

Gary, did you go to work? Girls are home doing jobs & I'm at work getting caught up...

No, I didn't go in today. Still too buried here. As soon as I finish this note, I'm going to bundle up and go out to the car to see if I can plow my way out. A few others from my office stayed home today too (I learned by email). --Gary


Amanda
12/10/09

Hey grandma, try to check your email sometime today, thanks!
Amanda
12/9/09

No school for LPS again on Thursday, wow.... Iím going back to work though, just shut the girls alarms off while they slept. I had them go to bed as normal thinking for sure there would be school. Ryan is off Thursday nights so he shouldnít sleep as much tomorrow day so they girls are good to go with him home. Theyíve probably been OK to stay home these past two days, but I could barely get out of the neighborhood (didnít even try--my cars been parked in the garage for 2 days) & I had work at home, so it was a good excuse. But, Iím ready to get back to normal! Sheesh.... Probably no snow day pictures tomorrow!
Karen
12/9/09

Fun snow pictures. We had a big drift by our back door this morning, must have been 4 feet deep. We all enjoyed our day off. Brent made it into the office about 9, only two others were there, so not much getting done. Emily and I did venture out this afternoon and mailed boxes to Lincoln and Minneapolis. So hopefully they will be arriving by Friday or Saturday. Marsha -- did you stay home today too? How much snow did you get? Mom, the basement looks very nice, couldn't even recognize a few spots :)
Gary
12/9/09

Bella should be able to get to the doghouse now, after Tristen and Teghan have mashed down all the snow. See these even newer snow pics!
Gary
12/9/09

And even more new snow pics!
Gary
12/9/09

Thanks to Amanda for these new snow pics!
Amanda
12/9/09

I'm home again with the girls today, luckily had enough work to do from here. I feel bad for not getting into work, but no one seems to mind. Ryan got stuck coming home this morning. He called me & said he was walking to the house & I looked out & saw him pulling the snow blower & carrying a shovel around the corner. 45 minutes & some neighbor help later I see his truck parked a block away, but at least I can see it. Heís got to leave it there for the day. I went to let Bella out & the back porch was completely drifted, and she just stared at me like, ďuh what am I supposed to do here?Ē It was either she walk straight into it, which for us would be like walking straight into an 8 foot wall of snow, or she jump over it to get out there, but once sheíd jump over she'd be lost, you wouldnít see her.... It's 2-4 ft depending on where you stand. Last night just the snow alone was almost a foot & I shoveled her a path to the doghouse, but that was gone this morning. So I grabbed the shovel again & tried again. It was way too much work this time (especially considering I was wearing pajama bottoms, no socks, crocs, no gloves, a t shirt with a zip up sweatshirt over top-that was unzipped) I did the best I could, but gave up after I fell backwards into a drift. My god! Ryanís home now, but snow blowing the driveway. Not that doing that will do any good, you canít get anywhere on the streets once you get out of the driveway. If his truck got stuck, my trailblazer doesnít have a wing & a prayer!

Karen, today we opened the word magnets, too fun! Iíve always wanted those but the classic ones are like $20 for the box, so I never bought them for myself & no one ever got the hint that Iíd like some.... Then Donna told me she took hers down because it cluttered up her fridge & I lost interest. But then when we put my set up on the fridge this morning itís already a lot of fun. The words are hippy like words, so flower child, peace, bell bottoms, one hip cat, dig it, etc. But then, thereís one word thatís freaking Tristen out, she canít figure out why itís there: crunchy....

Anyway, enjoy the cold & snow everyone. Minnesota-eans? Whatís it look like there? Dad landed in Chicago this morning so it canít be too bad there.


Donna
12/9/09

Got a note from our COO today that said our grounds crew has been working since 4AM trying to get snow cleared and they can't do it. Roads leading to Gallup have 3 foot drifts and are not passible even with SUVs so they are telling us to please work from home today at least until noon.

Someone I work with lives in Bennet so she decided to stay in Omaha (at her expense) last night, slipped on the ice and thinks she broke her arm. Had to wait for a snow plow to dig out her car before she could drive to the hospital.


Karen
12/9/09

I think we got about 8-9 inches. No school for anyone around here today. Brent will have to go to the office (the City never closes), but he can go in late. Emily and Jack did make it to the Nutcracker. I was hoping it would be canceled, but it was on schedule. Jack came over early and ate with us. They left plenty early and didn't have any trouble. She got home about 10 and Jack called soon after saying he had made it home (although he did have to leave his car in the street and walk an extra block). I think she had a good time. Planning to have an extra cup of coffee and maybe even bake a few christmas cookies today.
Gary
12/9/09

The snow has stopped -- total here in Lincoln approximately 10 inches -- and the sky will be clear and sunny when the sun comes up. But the wind is blowing the snow around and causing drifts. Watching the local channels this morning, they're all saying "Don't go out unless you absolutely have to." It's "very, very dangerous" out there, one said, and they showed footage of a snowplow stuck in the snow. Main streets and emergency routes are being cleared, but other streets are "impassable" according to the police. And the windchill right now is 15 below!

Emily, did you make it to the Nutcracker?


Gary
12/9/09

Lincoln schools and Omaha schools are also closed today, and even more amazing -- UN-L is closed today! :-)
Karen
12/8/09

It's official, just got a call from the principal -- no school tomorrow!!
Gary
12/8/09

Wow, until I read your question about the basement curtains, I had completely forgotten that I took some photos of the re-painted basement last Saturday. In the excitement of the snow-day I forgot to put them up. Until now. Take a look!
Marsha
12/8/09

We are on the path of the winter weather you all have had. Snow started about noon and now at 5:00 it is getting white and a little windy. Met up with Anna after work for some coffee and green tea and dropped her off at the salon for her shift there. I think I will stay home tomorrow if the weather is bad, brought home plenty of work with me if that is the case. It has been fun hearing about the 75(!!) presents from the Nelsons to the Metcalfs. Alway loved that idea!

Our house is decorated, but the snow really makes it seem like Christmas. Sam, Anna and I want to do a cookie day on Friday.... they (along with Mark) are taking our neighbor Shayla to Disney Princesses on Ice on Sat. We also are planning a trip to the Swedish Institute as usual before Christmas, love to buy the rice pudding for Christmas eve there, and the decorations are so pretty.

Gary, I didn't think you could top the Christmas singing cowboys, but my new all time favorite Christmas card is the Wonderful Life card. Wow, Uncle Billy!!

Mom, did you get the curtains in the basement hung up?


Donna
12/8/09

Just realized my phone isn't working. I've been online all day so it must be my phone. It was dead this morning so I've been charging it all day and it's still dead. When you call it, you just get a busy signal. Glad I have my cell phone.

Thanks for the dog. ;-)

Yeah, I tried calling you this morning and got the busy signal again and again. I just figured you were on the phone. --Gary


Donna
12/8/09

Yep, I worked from home yesterday and today and pretty sure I will tomorrow as well. I went out around 2 and shoveled the drive and sidewalk but I wonder if that was a waste of time with the prediction of blizzard conditions tonight and tomorrow. While I was out shoveling, I met my mailman at the sidewalk and he almost fell trying to give the mail to me. Poor guy. And my neighbor had trouble driving and just left his car parked on the street. I offered to push him but he said he'll worry about it later. It's pretty but it could stop snowing any time now to suit me. I'm sure we already have 6 to 7 inches total.

Looks like t&T are having fun. Amanda, nice you got to stay home today. We should all be home on days like this. Omaha station showed traffic on 80 at noon today, too many cars and just creeping along.

I have fish stew in the crockpot and it's starting to smell good. Remember those cute little dogs you used to add to our notes on snow days? I'd like one of those, please.


Karen
12/8/09

We are all home now and watching it snow. I called Erika in this morning, did not want to have to go up the big hill to pick her up this afternoon. Brent does not drive the truck if there is much snow, so he dropped me off at school, then headed to the office. Once he got to the office he canceled his evening meeting and cleared his afternoon. At 10 we heard there would be an early dismissal, so Brent got me and we were soon home. Must have about 6 inches and it's still coming down and now the wind is picking up. Emily still has the Nutcracker tonight -- doesn't look like it will be canceled, they are here for just one night. So Jack is coming over later for supper and then hopefully they can make it there and back without any trouble. Doubtful that school will be on time tomorrow. Donna -- I assume you stayed home today. Amanda -- looks like you are all having a fun day.
Emily
12/8/09

Right after I sent that Mom called me and Sioux City Schools (& St. Pauls) are call closing at noon! So, I guess only half of Erika's snow day was "unofficial." I'm still hoping I get one tomorrow!

It might be a snow-day here tomorrow, too, The snow is supposed to taper off in the morning, but the winds are supposed to increase -- they're calling it a "blizzard warning" for tomorrow. --Gary


Emily
12/8/09

No official snow day here. But plently of snow, and Erika & I are home. I don't have any Tuesday classes, so I am planning on baking some Christmas cookies today, then going to the Nutcracker at the Orpheum with Jack tonight. And, Erika decided to make her own snow day today.

It looks like it is supposed to keep snowing and get a lot heavier with wind tonight...... So I am hoping for a snow day for me tomorow :)

Have a great (unofficial) snow-day, you two! --Gary


Gary
12/8/09

Just got an email from the Chancellor saying UN-L is shutting down at noon. Nice. After having all those teachers and staff bundle up and trudge in this morning, now they get to bundle up and trudge home. (Unless they were were smart and stayed home, like me!)
Gary
12/8/09

If anyone wants to check the street conditions without actually going out there, click here for a list of all the Lincoln traffic webcams.
Amanda
12/8/09

The girls of course are off today & were in snowsuits by 9:15. Theyíre outside playing with Bella & hot chocolate awaits their return indoors. They were so excited to get out there, though there was a little part of Tristen that didnít want school cancelled today, she wanted to go to dance tonight as itís parents night & we get to go watch & they get to get costume information for the recital. But, I think in the long run sheíll settle with a snow day. I decided to take the day off, but when I called it in mentioned I might come over to work to get some stuff to bring home to work on. By 8:30 my boss called me back & told me my Sgt would bring me whatever I wanted that it was supposed to get worse between 9-12 & heíd rather bring it to me. Wow, what a great place I work, not only will they let me work from home like that, but bring it to me! Anyway, Ryan hadnít come home from work yet, so I had them get it together & he went & picked it up for me. So, Iíll put in 8 hours here & not miss any vacation time.... And I get to be here to make hot chocolate, take pictures & help get snowsuits on & off.

Grandma, I doubt that weíll come over for dinner tonight since dance got cancelled weíll probably not venture out at all. I hope you didnít make a big meal, let me know if you did & weíll put on the snowshoes & head over. :)

Karen, I did get Emilyís email, thanks for sending. Yesterday we opened Christmas ornaments with jingle bells on the bottom, too cute. Today was a pretty blue towel for me (that ironically says Let it Snow and it looks great in my kitchen) and the girls got the little mirror lipstick size purses. The other day they got the Chinese yo yos & those were a big hit! I think I mentioned before but they have put all 75 (or what started as 75) presents under the tree upstairs & every day I see theyíve ďstagedĒ the area with the next day or twos presents in a pile. This is the highlight of their month, they donít even care about the advent/candy calendar weíve had for years that normally is the highlight to Teghanís day.... :)

Anyway, enjoy the pictures, more later maybe!


Amanda
12/8/09

This is what happens here when school gets cancelled for a snow day!
Gary
12/8/09

Hey Lincolnites: With around a foot of snow predicted, does anyone remember the last time Lincoln got a foot of snow in one day? You probably do. It was the great October storm of 1997. In the coming week we would almost all lose power at some point, with the power lines snapping under the wet heavy snow. That Sunday morning I woke up to what I thought was gunfire -- which turned out to be all the tree limbs snapping off under the weight. Hopefully we will be spared that this time!

P.S. Here's a Journal-Star page with some interesting memories of the 1997 storm.


Gary
12/8/09

Yeah, LPS wisely made the decision last night -- but the University is still on the fence this morning. It's not too bad out there right now (at 6 am as I write this), but it's supposed to start dumping down around noon. And there's a blizzard warning for tomorrow (Wednesday). I think I'm going to take my own snow-day today, and see what tomorrow holds. Enjoy your snow-day, Lincoln Public Schoolers!

Hey Livy, be sure to look at today's advent page. (Click on #8 on the string of Christmas lights on the front page.) I think you will like it!


Livy
12/7/09

It has just been confirmed that LPS has no school tomorrow! Which I thought was kind of weird since it's not even snowing yet, but I don't care, and a lot of other people of LPS probably don't either! Woo!
Livy
12/7/09
Hey Gary--I did love that Where's Rob video but didn't have time to write about it. That was pretty funny!! Geeze the snow is really coming down! I've heard from some that we could get up to 12 inches! That's crazy! I could really use the snow day though ;)

Ya we did talk about Pearl Harbor today--very sad. My world history teacher talks about Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th (obviously) every year. I thought that was kinda cool since I've never had teachers who really approached this day.

Anyways, that's all I had to say so I'll talk to you all later!!!


Karen
12/7/09
We are getting that same storm as Lincoln. Got about 2 inches yesterday and flurries today. I am hoping for a snow day...... Gary -- we've been enjoying the advent calendar -- always the first thing I check out in the morning. Also got a cool christmas card from you today -- thanks. The shopping day sounded fun -- wish I could have gone with you two. Amanda, Tristen and Teghan what did you open this morning? I have forgotten what was in most of the packages. Oh, Amanda did you get the email from Emily? Emily has a fun night tomorrow. She is getting an early christmas gift and is going to the Nutcracker -- she has always wanted to go, but we never did get there. So she is going with Jack.
Gary
12/7/09
Update on the weather: The forecast keeps getting worse. They're now saying accumulation of 7-13 inches (1-3 tonight, 4-6 tomorrow, and 2-4 tomorrow night). Supposed to start in around 8 tonight and snow straight through tomorrow until Wednesday morning.... I'm thinking tomorrow may be a snow day, whether the University declares it or not. :-)
Gary
12/7/09
A snowy day (but not a snow day) here in Lincoln. After light snow most of the day yesterday, we've got what looks like about two inches on the ground. And it's a powdery snow, so car cleaning and sidewalk cleaning is easy. But stay on the lookout, Lincolnites: Another bigger storm is on the way, and supposed to arrive in force about this time tomorrow (8 am) and dump six inches or more on us. I'm glad my Christmas shopping is all done. :-)

Remember Pearl Harbor!


Gary
12/5/09
Game tonight: 7 pm on ABC.
Gary
12/3/09
Just got back from a Christmas shopping trip with Grandma, so I thought I'd report on it. (No spoilers here -- I won't mention what was bought for who.) First, on this 10-degree-windchill day with snowflakes blowing around, we went to Nebraska Bookstore, where my 20% discount came in handy. Next stop was the Haymarket, where we hit 10,000 Villages and also the "Everything Nebraska" store (is that the actual name...?). Then to Billy's for lunch: asiago chicken with penne pasta for Grandma, a cup of corn chowder and crab cakes for me. Yum! Then to Ideal Market, where we realized it was a good idea we'd had lunch first -- otherwise we would have bought everything we saw, as everything looked good! After that, to Open Harvest (another food store) where we mostly just looked. And finally, to Barnes and Noble. A great day! (But it does feel good to be back inside and warm.)
Emily
12/2/09
Haha! I loved the 'Where's Rob' video!

And Donna, I think they called the cat in the second video on the Advent calendar Mojo! :)

Glad to hear Teghan is enjoying the 25 days presents! We had a lot of fun shopping for them!

That's why I included that second video: Somewhere in England there is a Christmas-tree-climbing cat named Mojo. :-) --Gary


Donna
12/2/09
Where's Rob? is great! I had to watch it twice.
Gary
12/1/09
Hey, here's something good I ran across today. If you have 4 minutes and 59 seconds and you need to laugh, check out this video of a couple of guys who play a good-natured practical joke on several thousand people at a basketball game. It's funny!

(As I'm writing this, the YouTube connection is real herky-jerky and full of pauses -- so I hope it's working better when you read this...)


Karen
12/1/09
I am so glad you are enjoying the gifts. Some of the days aren't as exciting as others (although hopefully better than rocks). Glad to know that will be helping you get up early :) I am doing very well on the Christmas season. Shopping is done, decorating is done (with lots of help from Emily and Erika), wrapping is done, and I even mailed cards this morning. Hoping to do a little baking this weekend.

Gary, love the advent calendar, always the first thing I check out in the morning. Need to look at the webcams.


Amanda
12/1/09
Karen, we opened your day 1 gifts today. Teghan has been sorting, organizing, stacking, unstacking and planning for 2 days. She couldn't wait til today. She had all 3 laid out on the table & had wrapped accompanying gifts (rocks from her room) for a second gift for all 3 of us. She asked me last night if we could do it in the morning & I told her yes, if we were on time/early, that we definitely wouldn't do it if we were late, so she got ready in record time, even asked me if I needed anything done. So, it's a nice little inspiration for her! For a kid who loves Christmas as much as she does, the 24 day thing is the best for her!
Emily
12/1/09
Gary, I am already loving your idea for the Advent calendar this year!

Amanda, Tristen, Teghan, don't forget to start your 25 days of Christmas presents today! :)

Thanks for your kind words. Stayed tuned -- there's some interesting stuff coming up! And I know Teghan was very excited about the bagsful of gifts a few nights ago when they picked them up from Grandma's. I'll let them comment, but I'm sure they won't forget! :-) --Gary


Gary
12/1/09
Welcome to December, everybody. Hopefully the weather will start to feel more season-apprpriate. And, the Advent calendar starts today -- hope you enjoy it.

Is there anyone else who wants to order magnets? If so, could I urge you to order them today? After tomorrow, it will cost me another ten bucks to keep the shop open for another month -- which would be a waste of money if no more orders are coming in. So, right now I'm planning to close the shop tomorrow. Order those magnets today! Thanks.