Christmas

A Very Delayed Post

I have to apologize to ya’ll. We took our Campbell Christmas Vacation as planned, leaving here on December 26th. While the vacation was a joy, I became very ill, and was hospitalized on our return. That will be the subject of my next post, as I am still sorting out details of the whole vacation/illness. So this will be a quick post with some pictures of the vacation aspect.

The plan was to leave here on the morning of the 26th, and we actually made it work. We piled Wifey, Son-The-Younger, both granddaughters and myself into the car and headed north. Our destination was Maggie Valley, NC. We rented a larger cabin than the one Wifey and I rented two years ago for a five night stay. The weather was good, and for once, traffic not an issue at all. We all got our suitcases unpacked and stuff put away in our rooms and away we went!

The cabin’s living room.

Friday was Son-The-Younger’s birthday and we promised him we would take him the Sierra Nevada Brewery just outside of Asheville, NC. Wifey and I visited the brewery and took the tour two years ago. Son-The-Younger was looking forward to this trip. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway over the mountains to Asheville. We stopped at many of the scenic overlooks and the girls took many pictures.

We arrived at the Brewery just in time for our scheduled tour (you have to make reservations), and Wifey and the girls went to “The Back Porch”, an open area that has food, a garden and even – get this – beer! Although there wasn’t any live music that day, they do have an outdoor stage, as well as an indoor area in case of bad weather. And is very dog friendly.

We drove home and had a great BBQ dinner, which was another “requirement” for this trip.

Saturday was a planned “quiet” day. In the morning we took the girls to do some “gem” mining. Then Son-The-Younger and I visited Elevated Mountain Distillery, while Wifey took the girls to a little store we enjoyed on our last visit.

It was a good thing that we didn’t have much planned for Saturday. I woke up about 3AM with fever and chills. So after the short morning excursions, I went back to bed for the afternoon. I think I sweated through my clothes twice that afternoon. The rest of the family went tubing (man made snow, sadly) while I basically sweated every ounce of liquid out of my body. Son-The-Younger tried to get a fire going in one of the outside fire pits, but it was rained out.

I awoke Sunday morning feeling better, but not great. I knew I was still fighting whatever bug I had picked up, I just didn’t realize how badly I was losing that fight.

But not giving up, we again went over the mountains, but this time from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. We went right through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and we hadn’t even gone half a mile into the park when we came across a herd of Elk. The girls were so happy.

We made it to Gatlinburg with no issues. We even found a Mexican restaurant that Wifey and I had tried almost 20 years ago! And it was right next to the Ripley’s Aquarium which was our first scheduled stop (after tacos of course). Then the real fun began.

The plan all along was to get me a wheelchair while at the aquarium. My legs were still heavily impacted by the back injury, so I figured I would not be able to walk the entire distance required. Turns out I couldn’t even make it into the aquarium!

Going up the steps to get to the wheelchair I passed out. I was so lucky that there was a guy right behind me who saw it coming, probably before I realized what was happening. He was a strong enough guy that he grabbed me and set me down so I only ended up with was a scrape on one knee where it hit the pillar I has holding on to. Luckily it passed somewhat quickly and by the time the kids met us with the wheelchair I was coherent, and some of my strength returned. It was nice have everyone push my wheelchair so I could see the major parts of the aquarium, and there were plenty of places that I could be parked while everyone else went to see something that would have been a tight fit. We got in a few other attractions that afternoon, then head back to our cabin in Maggie Valley.

I will leave the health issues for the next post. I knew I was sick, but I really didn’t feel any worse or better for the rest of the trip.

Monday found us in Cherokee, NC. I really didn’t expect the girls to enjoy the museum as much as they did. They were asking questions about the displays and had good comments when their questions were answered. it’s really nice to see them getting inquisitive about things that aren’t covered very well in school. The Cherokee people have an absolutely beautiful creation story. Personally, I find it every bit as relevant as any other creation story. It is no more, nor any less credible the one most of us have been force feed all these years.

Outside of the museum in Cherokee.

Every time I visit a museum of this sort, I am saddened beyond words how native peoples have been treated by we white people. On every continent we have hurt if not straight out destroyed entire cultures. They had a veteran’s display in the museum. It told of a Cherokee medical doctor that was on a landing craft on D-Day. I didn’t know they had any doctors on the landing craft. But it makes me wonder were there any “white” doctors on any other landing craft? Then there was a display of Cherokee Medal of Honor Recipient. I’m sorry I don’t have names for these, and the other Cherokee’s enshrined in this part of the museum. I was so overcome, and still am, with emotion I had to leave the area and just sit down in the lobby. Knowing that chances are that these gentlemen had already been forcibly removed from their ancestral homes to the squalid desperation of a reservation, but still answered the call to serve this nation (not the Cherokee Nation, but the “white man nation”) amazes me. Sadly, most of the town of Cherokee was closed for the season, so shopping was limited.

However, Son-The-Younger conquered the elements and got the fire pit going. I am told the s’mores were wonderful!

The next morning we loaded everything back up in the car and headed home. We only stopped long enough to visit with Lil-Big-Sis at lunch. There are so many more stories to tell of this trip, but I just don’t have the energy to keep this going, nor a voice to dictate to Wifey, so dear reader this will have to suffice.

But I leave you with What’s Stuck In Wifey’s Head this morning. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Ginger Finishes – 2019

It’s the last week for our mischievous little elf, Ginger.

Sunday evening found her opening the little gift the girls had for her.

How many other elves get gifts?

She didn’t waste anytime getting things going for her last couple of days. Since the girls stayed with us Sunday night, she was ready for them on Monday Morning.

And since the girls are on their winter break from school, they’ll be staying with us a bit longer. And rumor has it that Ginger will be able to stay until Christmas morning this year! Seems she has some special gifts to pass out!

YES!!! Ginger was here bright and early Christmas morning. It seems that Santa brought granddaughter-the-younger a Malibu Barbie Dreamhouse! I think Wifey is a bit jealous. She didn’t get a Barbie Dreamhouse when she was a kid! Ginger had to build it for the girls after Santa just left it in the box.

Ginger also set out all the family stockings for us.

Then Ginger suddenly reappeared with two more gifts for the girls. Where does she get her money???

And then, just like magic, she was gone. No note, no goodbye, she just magicked herself back to the north pole.

I wonder what tricks she has planned for us next year. We heard some rumors that she’s been accepted into the trainer program at the North Pole. We’ll have to see.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this years adventures with Ginger.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate from the Campbell family to you and yours.

Peace,
B

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Ginger Week Three – 2019

It’s close to Ginger leaving us for the year, but she still has a trick or two up her sleeve.

The girls had a sleep-over on Friday night, so Ginger had another lazy day. But come Saturday, she was waiting for the girls.

She knows we’re going to the mountains right after Christmas. So she showing the proper form for a downhill run on a saucer sled.

Ugh… more terrible jokes.

Why do elves make good listeners?
What do you call an elf that sings?

On a rainy, dreary day Ginger got the munchies.

The gingerbread house seemed to be a bit stale.

And since the girls are on their winter break from school, they’ll be staying with us a bit longer. And rumor has it that Ginger will be able to stay until Christmas morning this year! Seems she has some special gifts to pass out! But that will be another post.

Peace,
B

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It Has Begun!

As I have mentioned several times (most recently here), the Christmas Season can’t begin until two things happen. I have to hear John Lennon’s Happy XMas (War Is Over) in some random way and I have to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

I am (somewhat) happy to report that both of those requirements have been met. The Official Christmas Season® may now begin. You’re welcome.

Yes, I’m a Grinch. Thank you for noticing…

And as dear old dad always said, “Merry bah humbug!”

Peace,
B

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Ginger Continues – 2019

Let’s start this week off with something different. No, not Santaur.. That was scary. Here is the gingerbread house the girls and their daddy built.

Right after Ginger went to take her nap, and I posted, we found out the girls would be spending Sunday night with us. Poor Ginger had to get out of her comfy bed.

Trying to solve the age old question; How many licks does it take to get to the center? (And we all know we can’t trust that owl!)

The girls didn’t come over until Saturday this week, so Ginger got to “sleep in”. But she had a special surprise for them when they did make it.

We don’t have a snow globe, so Ginger turned herself into one for us.

We were a bit busy Saturday, so Ginger only had time for one of her riddles.

Where do elves go dancing?

Sunday morning found her trying to be being crafty.

Guess this is better than candy jewelry?

Then it was back to riddles…

Why did the elves as the turkey to join the band?
Santa rides in a sleigh. What do elves ride in?

The girls won’t be back until next Saturday, they have a sleepover on Friday evening. I guess Ginger will have another long sleep until then! And remember, riddles only answered here on the blog!

Peace,
B

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So, This Is Christmas?

Faithful readers (I do have a couple of faithful readers, right? RIGHT??), will remember that I do not start the “Christmas Season” until two things happen. First, I have to hear John Lennon’s, Happy XMas (War Is Over) and we’ve seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

We can control when we watch the movie, but hearing the song has a more strict requirement. I have to hear it while out of the house, and it can’t be played at my request. It just has to be on a random playlist, usually while shopping. But this year, I’ve only been to the mall once, and even then I never left the little pub. I still can’t walk long distances, so I sat and had a few beers while Wifey and son-the-younger did the shopping.

As usual, I do most of my shopping, holiday or not, on-line. Since Amazon doesn’t have background music like the mall stores do, the chance of hearing Happy X-Mas is slim to none. And Slim just walked out the door.

We did go to Wifey’s office Christmas party last night and they had Christmas music playing in the background. The song may have played, but luckily they had the volume low enough that I could only catch brief bits of the music hear and there. So I don’t know if it played or not. They didn’t have the old standards playing so it may have, but I didn’t hear it.

If you haven’t caught on by now, I really, really, really don’t like the usual Christmas music. Granddaughter-the-elder had her class Christmas program earlier this week. It was quite enjoyable. Other than the hand bell part, which was the old standards, the rest of the program was new music. They even did We Will Jingle, set to the tune of Queen’s We Will Rock You complete with foot stomps and hand claps. That was cool. And even better my wee bonnie lass had a small speaking part and she nailed it!

I’m thinking we will probably watch the movie this weekend. I’m sure it’s available on one of the streaming services I pay for. If not, Pay For View is always an option. As long as I can find it without commercial interruption. I absolutely despise commercials.

Today is also the Army Navy football game. This is probably the only football game I care about. And even then, not that much. I won’t watch the game since son-the-elder is currently overseas with his Army unit. But as an Army retiree, I have to say #GoArmyBeatNavy.

What are your holiday requirements and/or traditions? Get the conversation started by leaving a comment!

Peace,
B

P.S. Wifey has the old The Monkee’s TV show playing while I’m writing this, so here’s a totally unrelated video…

My favorite Michael Nesmith song!

P.P.S. The Monkees have ended and the old Partridge Family show has come on. Wifey said she didn’t remember how ugly the clothes were back then!

P.P.P.S. This is, what day 14 of the “official” Christmas season and not a single bit of the craptastic music has been played. ‘Nuff said.

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Ginger Returns – 2019

As I mentioned in my What A Week post just last week. Our mischievous little Elf, Ginger has returned. Since this is her third Christmas with us, and the girls are only here on weekends, Santa has said she can rest up during the week. Of course, that allows her to have a bit more fun in the days the girls are here.

To recap, Ginger arrived last Sunday, the 1st of December.

Ginger came fully loaded this year with a set of elf jokes. Think of these as similar to dad jokes, only worse. I’m guessing that since she isn’t zooming back and forth between here and the North Pole every night, she feels the need to move around the house during the day to keep an eye on the girls. So we have found her in several places last weekend, each time with one of those joke cards.

If athletes get athlete’s foot, what do elves get?
What kind of music do elves like best?
What kind of bread to elves make sandwiches with?

When the girls arrived after school this Friday, they found Ginger in her igloo. Seems she found a little snowman that they were making but didn’t finish. So she finished it for them, and of course made a big mess.

There’s supposed to be a snowman here somewhere. Promise!

Saturday morning found her making some kind of snowflakes from toilet paper.

Almost as bad as a kitten.

We found her in several spots all over the house the rest of the day.

What’s the first thing elves learn in school?
What kind of photographs do elves like taking?
Why does Santa owe everything to the elves?

I guess she felt like she needed some exercise on Saturday. This is how we found her Sunday Morning.

Elf bowling!
Ginger the #elf hanging out in her igloo watching our version of Food Network Live #Christmas #Cookie Edition!

When the ladies took a break from making cookies, she got a little pushy!

At least she said “please”.

Then she was back with the bad elf jokes.

What’s Santa’s tax status?
What kind of cars do elves drive?

So that was Ginger’s weekend. The girls have returned to their other home, and Ginger is napping until their return.

Note: If you want the answers to her riddles, you will have to ask here on the blog. I’m not going to answer any questions on other social media. I realize that you have to have an email address and register to post comments. This is to stop the spam comments that I had to deal with when I started this blog. Your email is not stored or used in any way.

Peace,
B

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Just leaving this here.. because.

WTF???

Ginger’s Last Week – 2018

Our silly little elf, Ginger will return to her home at the North Pole this week. I wonder just what she has planned for us this week!

Elf with a construction paper countdown sitting on top of a cat tree.
Saturday, Ginger climbed the cat’s tree with a construction paper countdown.
Elf tangled in silver garland. ELf had strung the garland across the bedroom doors.
Oh my! On Sunday morning she trapped the girls in their rooms with garland she took off the tree! Is this an Elfie Crime Scene??
Elf made a Christmas tree and a heart with read & green M&M's
Christmas Eve and Ginger made a Christmas Tree and a heart with the green and red M&M’s.
Elf in a Christmas wreath with her suitcase.
Christmas day, and Ginger has to return home. She has her bag packed and off she goes.

Sadly, Ginger now has to return home to the North Pole. We will miss her, but expect even more silly things next year!

Ginger hopes you have enjoyed these two years of pictures and stories. And, we hope you come back to see next year’s posts. Don’t forget to search for “Ginger” to see last years stuff! And we admit that most of these ideas came from Pinterest. There are a few originals, but not many.

And I thank you for your time in reading this very random blog. I realize there are many blogs to choose from, some serious, some (most) more humorous than mine. I do appreciate every time you stop to read, like and even more so follows! Thanks to each and every one of you.

Peace,
B

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As Close As I Can Get

In case you haven’t heard, I absolutely despise Christmas Music. It’s old, worn out, and just plain boring.  Having said that, this is a close as I can get to playing a Christmas tune..  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Ginger – Week 2 2018

Here’s what the crazy little elf, Ginger has been up to this week.

Elf climbing a rock wall made of Christmas bows
Saturday – I didn’t know she was into outdoor sports. She made a rock wall out of bows!
Elf replacing the creme in Oreos with toothpaste!
Sunday – What a naughty little elf!  She’s replacing the creme in the cookies with toothpaste!!!
Elf watching a little TV while the big TV is on behind her.
Monday – Watching her movie on the little screen, while Grinch is on t he big screen.
Elf sitting in a hand-made sleigh.
Tuesday – Just like back home!  Ginger is in a hand-made sleigh ornament!
Elf finding odd things in between the couch cushions.
Wednesday – Look at the stuff she found in the couch!
Elf wrapped up in Christmas lights.
Thursday – I think she was trying to help us decorate.
Elf with magic seeds for the girls to plant.
Friday and Ginger has a magic trick for the girls. She has some “magic seeds” for the girls to plant!

And that ends week two.  Next week we’ll see just what grows from these magic seeds!  What has your elf been up to?

Peace,
B

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