Saturday, December 26, 2009


The photo of the nutcracker is among the decorations in our living room. The Christmas tree was at the splendid new Ritz-Carlton Hotel where we had a wonderful lunch on Christmas Eve day. The hotel setting is in the Tortilita Mountains north of Tucson and is quite spectacular. We had a quiet Christmas Day at home, with lots of phone calls and e-mails. Hence the news notes that follow!


The traditional gathering at Dad's house was well attended, and was much enjoyed by Dad and his guests! The weather was cold, with about five inches of snow, but did not deter traveling. Dad received lots of food as gifts, and will enjoy the plentiful fare for quite a few days! Mavis had taken Dad to Bismarck on December 23 for a medical checkup, and he was talking quite happily on the phone when I interrupted the festivities after the gifts were opened.


Stan and Marilynn also had a quiet Christmas at there home in Ft. Bragg, California (32961 Tregonning Lane, 95437). Stan is now fully retired from his work as a security official for public buildings. Marilynn continues to work full-time, but headquarters at their home and travels widely in CA and Orgeon. Stan travels with her. They are in process of down-sizing their home situation to decrease the care and maintenance. Stan had a knee replacement in 2007, but otherwise both of them are in good health. Glenn is about the same as when they visited him last October in Spokane. They both enjoy the blog!


Mat and Maureen went partying with friends on Christmas Eve, and hosted a party and feast at their house on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, bad weather hampered things a little. They have plenty of snow. They are planning for trips to New Orleans and a Costa Rica cruise in the Spring.


Mollie celebrated her 13th birthday on Christmas Eve, and got a new bed (among other things) for her room. She is in a play at school, as a "nice witch," and is thoroughly enjoying the experience. She plays saxaphone in the school jazz band. Dione and Saul have a couple of weeks off and are enjoying the chance to relax at home, while enhancing their house a bit. Dione will be helping direct a play (the Wizard of Oz) at her school in the Spring. They are planning a spring trip to New York for a visit with Saul's family.


They spent Christas Day at home with some of Sherill's family as guests, for one of Derek's special dishes. He was a chef in several restaurants in his younger years, and still enjoys cooking for special occasions. He is glad to be back at work with the highway department, although is not able to do some of the things he formerly did--because of surgery on his shoulder.


They are on a cruise to Mexico for a week, arriving back to Los Angeles today. We can't wait for their report! The ship had 14 stories and carried 5000 passengers.

We thoroughly enjoyed lots of Christmas letters and cards from friends and family--among the things that make the Christmas season special!

Happy New Year,

Bill and Marie

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It is cold in North Dakota, with snow--just the stuff for Christmas. On the other hand, it is warm and dry in Arizona, just the stuff for Christmas, for some of us!

Fortunately, the calves have been put in the feed lot, according to Mavis, so Dad has some entertainment outside his door, and the calves can keep each other warm. The cows are out in the fields eating beet tops--a rich and warm diet.

Abbie has been watching Christmas programs with Dad, and entertaining him all the while. She lights up his life, and he seems to light up hers as well.

The oil drilling activity is really thriving, we hear from many sources. The national news indicated, as you may have heard, that Williston has the most vigorous economy of any town in the United States! North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate of any state, and the fastest growing economy. People are moving to North Dakota from many states because that is where the jobs are. Good news!

Notes from Dione and Maureen indicate they are staying put for Christmas, as we are. We haven't lighted our fireplace yet, because it has been too warm, but Dione, Saul, and Mollie enjoy their's every day for heat and coziness. Maureen and Mat will be spending Friday rooting for their University of Montana football team playing in the national championship game.

We spent the day (Sunday) getting our Christmas letter ready for mailing, which means you should be receiving a copy soon. It will bring you up-to-date on our life in Tucson.


Bill and Marie