01/17/10 - Year-End & New-Year Tidbits We've been up to a lot recently so I thought it was time to sum up the recent events for a quick blog update.  The backyard project has picked up a very tiny bit of steam over the past week.  The pond has been completely dug out and the bottom/sides have been filled with a layer of concrete (to seal out anything creepy-crawly from eating through and creating a leak in our pond).  All the grass around the edges of the yard has been uprooted in order to make way for new vegetation, plants, and trees.  It looks pretty dreary now, but hopefully, in a few months, it will look more like a landscape and less like a graveyard.

The Luces invited us to a Brahmas game a few weeks ago and we got to see our first overtime followed by a shootout.  The Brahmas went six rounds against the Louisiana Mudbugs before the Mudbugs pulled out a last second victory (bummer).  Nevertheless, it was a great game and lots of fun!   Speaking of the Luces we've started planning our cruise for March and both of them are going to join us!  I think this will be a blast and certainly a neat twist on what has become an annual vacation favorite for Susan and me.  We're going to Central America this time with stops in Belize, Honduras, and Mexico - the cruise departs from Florida.  We already have one stop planned and it looks exciting!

Our friend DeAnna released her new CD, "From the Ashes" in December.  It's a splendid and creative collection of acoustical guitar and vocals - she does it all herself!  If you want to listen to her music you can visit her Myspace profile.  On the upper right there will be several songs available for streaming (no Myspace account required). 

If I'm going to plug DeAnna I figure it is only fair to also post a link to Carey's website.  She published a new book, "Creations of an Altered State", in early December.  I would offer up a review, but I'm saving this collection of short stories for cruise reading in March =D.

Christmas has been halfway postponed so I can only post a half-update of our visit with family this year.  We originally planned our tour-de-Oklahoma for Christmas Eve; however, we were interrupted by a winter blizzard.  We almost decided to go forth with the trip, but fortunately, better judgment prevailed and we stayed home for the holidays.  I was definitely guilty at first (especially with my brothers giving me a hard time for canceling at the last minute); however, after I received several reports of friends stranded on I35 (along the same route we would have taken) for over 16 hours, then all the guilt faded away.  Spending Christmas morning in my car on the interstate is not my idea of a happy holiday!  I'm certainly grateful Nina, Papa, and Jeff made a trip down to Fort Worth the following weekend (because guilt or not guilt I was still bummed at missing Christmas).  We shared presents, company, wine, and good food - it was a worthwhile and pleasant visit (and wonderful surprise since we weren't expecting it).  Susan and I are planning the rest of the festivities for later in January.  We'll spend a few days with my Mom and we'll also get to see Jonathan, Kahle, and family.

Last, but not least, we've been enjoying the occasional game night again (something I've certainly missed).  We've traded nights with the Kupferles and we've also had a few over at the Golden's house.  Susan and I sincerely hope these evenings continue!

- Nathan