Our dinner will be at Daryl’s house today. My friend Glenda and her husband Doug will join us. Brian’s family are eating with Carrie’s parents, then joining us later for pie (and leftovers). When I talked to the Holsingers last night, Ken said it had been snowing there non-stop for 18 hours. The snow was deep, dry and powdery.

We are most thankful this year for Lauren’s successful transplant recovery. Her outlook right now is very good.

God bless you all on this special day!

I have been trying to get in several movies these past couple of weeks before going back to work tomorrow. I went to Dreamer, Elizabethtown, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Harry Potter and today I saw Walk the Line. Walk the Line was definitely the best one of the five; it is Oscar worthy – especially Joaquin Phoenix’s performance – and one I wouldn’t mind seeing again. That’s the true test of a good film for me — if I come out of the theater wanting to see it again. One of the things I liked most was that there was lots of music. Not just snippets to represent the performances, but full songs and lots of them.

The other four were also really good. I loved Dreamer, more a story about a girl and her father than a girl and her horse. Elizabethtown reinforced just how cute Orlando Bloom is, whether he’s wearing pointed ears and shooting arrows, or planning his father’s funeral in a small town. The Greatest Game Ever Played was on the order of Remember the Titans, and very inspiring with lots of tenderness, competition, and humor. Carrie and I have a tradition of going to see the Harry Potter movies together, and we were really prepared to not like this one as well because of all the evil and violence reported by the reviewers. However, we both felt is was not as bad as we were expecting, and we both enjoyed it more than number 3.

Tomorrow is D-Day. That’s Dreaded (or Depression) Day, when I must rejoin the working world. Oh well, it will get me out of the stores where I have been spending way too much of my time — and my money — these last several weeks. I’m glad this is a three day week and the holidays are coming. I can’t imagine anyone taking their sabbatical in November and December and then having to go back to work with no breaks in sight for several months. Now THAT would be depressing!

Lauren turns 5 on Tuesday, and Carrie had a party yesterday morning to celebrate it along with her one-year post-transplant. It was at Rolly Pollies, a little play gym for kids. Many family members were there, along with a few close friends. I posted some pictures of the festivities. We all had a good time, including the grown-ups who got to play in and on the toddler equipment.

Then we took a drive out to the house to see this week’s progress. We found granite countertops had been installed, and lots of the floor and bath tile has been laid. They are into the final stretch, and everything that gets done makes a big visual impact now. It’s fun to watch this final stage and see the home really take shape.

I posted some pictures of the inside of Brian and Carrie’s house. They were installing cabinets last weekend, countertops and tile this week. I’ll get more pictures next weekend. They are on track to move in by the end of the month.

My sabbatical is over. I’m now on vacation for two weeks. This somehow seems less exciting. I think it’s because I have to log it on
my timecard and use up my banked hours. Those 8 weeks of sabbatical time were free, but these feel like they’re costing me something. Well, I’m going to make the most of them and try not to think too much about what lies ahead.

Some of you have asked about my friend Wendy who lives in Evansville. She and her family are fine, but the tornado destroyed the home of a friend of theirs. They are thankful no one they knew was hurt. It was too close for comfort, she said.

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