The Christmas Missives

HOLIDAY TALES

Christmas 2007

Ho-Ho-Ho!

Here it is –the latest and greatest of our fabulous Christmas Letters!  And my-oh-my what a year it has been!  Travel was down a bit this year!  Only San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York.

Las Vegas was a lot of fun.  We met a group of friends there for five days of revelry for Victor’s Birthday.  Saw some great shows (The Beatle’s Love is fantastic!) and ate, ate, ate.  Since both of us worked for casinos at one time or another, we’re not huge gamblers, but we did find time to put a few pennies in the machines.  And we only lost half the money we budgeted for gambling, so we figure we did quite well!

We had some fun times around the house this year.  We moved furniture around, ripped up the carpeting in the office, and repainted and installed crown moulding in the living room, dining room, and office.  Question:  When is a 45° angle not a 45° angle?  Answer:  When it involves crown moulding.  What is with those crazy angles?!? Tim got really good at using a compound mitre saw.  And wood putty hides a multitude of sins.

2007 will be known as the year of medical bills, too.  On July 25th, Victor had surgery on his Achilles’ Tendon.  He had a bone spur growing around it and causing lots of pain.  Surgeon worked on him for more than three hours getting everything fixed. Two days later, on July 27th, Tim had a wisdom tooth pulled.  On July 28th—Tim’s birthday—the two of us were blissfully stoned on our Vicodin or Percoset.

Victor’s recovery progressed well.  Tim’s did not.  Victor was up and walking immediately.  Tim was writhing in pain.  He couldn’t eat properly, was popping pain meds like he was Rush Limbaugh,  and 2 months later landed in the hospital with an intestinal bleed.  All better, now.

Victor has been progressing excellently, and while the recovery process is a full year, he’s doing much better than expected.  He’s relentless about doing his physical therapy and is down at the pool and on the treadmill 7 days a week.  It helps that there’s a great Sauna for relaxation afterwards.  Motivation is key.

The good thing to come of all of this is Tim got a prescription for the miracle drug Chantix.  Yes.  Tim has quit smoking!  It’s been about 8 weeks now.  Victor has also started taking it and is right behind him. With the money we save, we might be able to afford our oil heat this winter.

And since Victor had joined the local Health Club for therapy on his foot, we converted it to a couple’s membership. Tim has also lost 35 lbs this past year—just by eating smaller portions.  No diet of any sort—you know his feelings about fad diets—and had no desire to gain anything back from quitting smoking. He had never, ever been inside of a gym before.  Ever.  He always took a left turn at the weight machines and headed straight for the masseuse and steam room.  So, he also bought a Personal Trainer.  He thinks this kid used to work for the State Department at Guantanamo Bay.  He’s relentless.  Tim’s in pain.  He’s learning all about the various muscles he should have and just how out of shape his sad body is.

One of these days he will be trim and fit.  In the meantime, he’s looking forward to being able to touch his toes.

Victor is still working in corporate travel, helping multi-billion dollar companies save mega-dollars on their travel budgets while watching them raise their rates and prices to the general public. He handles the online booking tool—think of it as Travelocity for businesses—a job that has not, yet, been outsourced to India.  Tim is still putting little pieces of food in little paper cups for the great unwashed masses at Trader Joe’s.  It beats having to get a real job, and some of the people he deals with are just so totally … different.  Who knew that all those “Valuing Diversity” classes would actually pertain to his predominately Caucasian clientele?

Sadly, it has not all been fun and games, this year.  We’ve lost some very dear and wonderful relatives and friends…  Uncle Rudy and Uncle Dick, Cousin Margaret, Kay, and Ellen… All of them left us too soon, but the world is brighter for them having been here and the skies are brighter with their stars shining down upon us.  You’re with us always.

We had a couple of weddings in the family—Tim’s niece Jessica married Matt in May, and Victor’s niece Leah married Ross in June.  The good news is Jessie and Matt are expecting.  The bad news is Matt is being shipped off to Afghanistan before the baby is born.

Don’t even get us started about politics and this current administration.  Suffice to say we are not pleased with how things have been run and are really looking forward to a change in about 400 days.  We are not looking forward to 11 more months of political commercials, however.

Our sweet little (okay, 80 pound) puppy dog, Cybil Shepherd is still spoiled rotten and loving every minute of it!  Daddy Marshmallow (Victor) and Daddy Means-It (Tim) are lucky they never had children of their own.  So are the children, for that matter…

We’re looking forward to 2008.  We’ll be in San Francisco for Pop’s Birthday in February, and again in April for Tim’s nephew Jacob’s Wedding.

We’re also looking forward to two weeks in Paris next Fall.  Friends of ours are renting flat for a few months and we’re going over to visit.  Tim is extremely excited about being able to go grocery shopping and actually cook!  A kitchen in Paris… How tres fabu!

So this is it for this year.

We hope that 2008 brings you everything you hope for and in November, do remember to vote Democrat.  Our country can’t afford another administration like this.

Love and Holiday Kisses!

Victor, Tim, and Cybil…..