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Sunday, January 4, 2015

After Christmas and Starting the New Year!

We made it through the Christmas Holidays in pretty good health...  we also made it through the grandkids' school concerts, the tree cutting, the house decorating and the family celebrations.  It was wonderful....   and as it all came to a close, our health declined and the flu bugs and/or colds took over.  We are both sniffling and snorting and coughing and hacking today as I type this!

Our little Binney, the rescue dog, is fitting in nicely.  She is slowly learning all the rules and routines of the house. She has walked around on a harness and leash, and did a lap around the block.  She seems to want to cuddle a lot and hide out in the "safe spot" on the couch next to me. We are bringing her out of her shell slowly as much as we can, and Finnegan is teaching her to follow him around too.  She seems to be really attached to me, so Steve is bribing her with bacon and giving her lots of attention when he is around too. She is a good sport with the photos and dress-up.  LOL

She is not yet playing with toys, but we have gotten some tail wags, some raspy barks (she has been surgically debarked by her previous owners) and some twirls and whirls in happiness as we come down the stairs.  She also discovered that each morning is a great time if we plop them up on our bed for morning snuggles!

It will be a slow road to get her to acclimate to walks, people, other dogs, and camping.  We are sure she will adapt, but we will take on one thing at a time. While we were gone for Christmas Day and then again on New Years Eve, both dogs were safe and sound at Stockbridge Critter Sitters Day Care and Boarding Kennel.  Owner Lisa Martin took good care of them, and let them sleep together in the same crate at night too. Binney is still an escape risk, so it was best for them to be safe at the boarding kennel while we were gone. A strange dog in a strange house and people in and out can be a recipe for disaster.  Best she is at a secure kennel where she can be safely watched while we are gone.  We adopted Binney through the owner of the kennel, who also runs the Wisconsin Sheltie Rescue program.  Lisa is very aware of the needs of a newly adopted sheltie and takes great care of our dogs.

Before the holidays started, I was frantically finishing up three quilts for our grown kids... two king sized and one queen sized.  Whew! I was sewing almost every day, evening and into the night.  I managed to get them all done in time!!!

This is Steve's new toy that he got for Christmas. It's called the Flame Genie and runs on compressed wood pellets. Great for a portable campfire to take along camping!  We have emerald ash borer infestation in Wisconsin and cannot transport firewood for camping. It will also be good in the desert on vacation where firewood is scarce.  Lit up in just a few minutes. Full flames in 10 minutes.  Safe to cook on and smells like a real campfire but no smoke!  Nice....   we got it via Amazon from http://www.pelletfirepit.com/

Here is a little video clip of us lighting it in the driveway on Christmas:

Christmas Day was pleasant and great weather for driving.  We headed down to Belgium, WI to have a family celebration with the other Pfundtner's at Steve's sister Lynn's house.  We gathered for a nice meal, and lots of family laughter and some silly games and gifts of course too.  Since losing Steve's mom two years ago, we all have a sad spot in our hearts by not having her there on Christmas Day. It doesn't seem the same, but we forge ahead and create new memories. Sigh.

On the weekend after Christmas it was time for our family celebration with all of our children and grandchildren.  Our daughter Erin has a very big house, with more than enough room for all the kids and toys and food and sleepovers for everyone!   We dropped the dogs off at the kennel for an overnight and headed on up to Oconto.  It was raining and all of the snow has melted. We didn't get a White Christmas at all.  

It was so nice to see all of the kids and grandkids....  we piled up some presents under the tree and our daughter Erin put together a great meal, with everyone bringing something to share. The house was decorated nicely and the tree was splendid..... and started out like this:

and soon it was looking like THIS:


and here are all of our little Packer Fans in their jammies 
from Granmuddah and Granfaddah Pfun!   

It took until midnight for the wee ones to slow down and I magically got them ALL asleep at one time... on sleeping bags on the floor of the kids' bedroom.  Shhhhhh  I tiptoed downstairs to join in the adult fun.  We played card games, drank, laughed and had a great time....  With Steve leading the way at the head of the table!
Erin's friend Waylen made chocolate pudding shots in these cute little tiny red solo cups. 
The card games were fun and the family had a blast...  
We are missing our son Mike on these type of family gatherings, 
wishing there was one more couple, 
a few more grandkids to add to the pile,
and more laughter and beer for Mike! 

We managed to stay up to about 2 or 3 a.m. before heading off to bed...   but the VERY BEST PART of the whole weekend was when five little Packer Monkeys came jumping in on our air mattress in the play room at 7 a.m.!!!  Oh JOY!!!! This is what I live for, of course!

New Years was the next holiday on the horizon...  we made some hotel reservations up in Iron River Michigan for the family and dropped the dogs off at the doggie daycare again for an overnight.  My sister Linda and her husband Fuzz, along with their brotherinlaw Dave bought the old Mid City Bar in Caspian, MI 2 blocks from where we grew up.  I recall going there as a child and getting penny candy in little brown bags and handing over a dime to old bartender Steve or Rose who counted out our candy to be sure we only took 10 pieces.  Great memories.  Now the bar is owned by my sister and family. This is their first week of operation since taking it over.... and we decided to surprise them! 

We came in masked and decked out in New Years celebration garb... and shouting and hollering about where was the party!!! What a surprise!!! 

 We brought them an antique neon Old Style sign for a "bar warming" present that we all chipped in on.  Old Style is Fuzz's brew of choice, so it really fit the place quite well.  

Family and friends gathered for the evening at the bar
and soon it was time for MIDNIGHT


I was the Designated Driver and got everyone back to the hotel safe and sound.  whew....  In the morning we headed over to my old stomping grounds, Mertin's Cafe.  I worked there from 1975-78 all during high school.  It's now called Main Street Cafe, but to me it will always be Mertins.  We gathered around the "big table" and had a nice goodbye breakfast before it was time to head on home....

and we drove back home to pick the doggies at the day care!   
Colds and flu or whatever overtook us now,
and we have been sick since. 
Made up a pot of chicken veggie soup
and we are taking it easy after a very busy two weeks! 


  1. Great Christmas! Your dogs have such sweet faces. And having completed three simply lap size quilts for great grandkids, I have a great appreciation for your three big finishes for your kids. wow! Good to see all is well, and hopefully the sniffles pass quickly.

  2. Steve looks scary at the head of the card table.
    Nonetheless, I would like to someday play cards with you.

  3. Steve looks scary at the head of the card table.
    Nonetheless, I would like to someday play cards with you.

  4. Well, at least you were well and had fun during the holidays. I did the opposite and was sick, but now I'm feeling pretty much better. The quilts are gorgeous! And finally, I can't imagine what it must be like for a doggie who has been de-barked. I take it that it's an irreversible procedure.

  5. Great holidays! Good job getting THREE large quilts finished in time for Christmas!

  6. Hope you are both feeling back to normal real soon.


  7. I'm so glad that you know the secrets of settling in the rescued sheltie who needs you so badly! Reading about the progress you made and the boarding kennel, is wonderful!

  8. Sounds like great times for the Holidays except for the flu part. hope you are feeling better real quick.

    Happy New Year.


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