MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 1995

After so many things happened to us last year - marriage, new home, and kittens - we had a hard time believing life could be more exciting. This past year we went through the normal newly wed changes (You fold your clothes how? Why didnít you tell me THAT before we got married?), both received promotions, gave the house a face lift inside and out, squeezed in a few weekends of fun, and the kitties have grown into cats.

Our biggest mistake was watching too many home improvement shows which resulted in a few minor projects. We started the year with a small simple project: a facelift for the main bathroom (it only took a week!). It went so well that we decided to put sprinklers in the front yard (a nice weekend project). We designed in detail, marked meticulously, stripped sod, trenched trenches, and proceeded to plumb pale plastic PVC pipe. The cats and God, however, had their own agenda. The cats started running and filling in the trenches and God decreed (in biblical proportions) "the rainy season ainít over yet." Our weekend project turned into a month of moving mud!

In August we recruited (conned) everyone at work (only 2 suckers showed up) to help paint the outside of the house. The dull red exterior was transformed to Plymouth Gray with Teton Blue accents. We had fun but operating the sprayer caused Mike to go prematurely (Plymouth) gray. And last (but definitely far from least) we lovingly built an oak mantel for the living room fireplace. (Has anyone seen our yardsticks?) Wait, did we forget anything? Painting over the avocado green master shower, purchasing actual dining and living room furniture, moving 3 tons of rock, planting 3 dozen plants, replacing inside doors, and buying Murray the mower. Now the house feels like OUR home.

Despite all this work, we did manage to scare up a little time for fun. On one of Mikeís many excursions to the far reaches of Melbourne, Florida on business, Lori joined in and we went SCUBA diving. After arriving 30 minutes late to the boat with no gas, food, weight belts, or towels, we were lucky to even be let aboard at all. We saw a 5í nurse shark sleeping in a crevice, schools of fish, and cool coral formations. We went snow skiing in March (since the roads to the dive sites literally washed out to sea) and water skiing throughout the summer. For our anniversary we spent a week in the Napa wine country and became wine connoisseurs. (You mean there is more than White Zinfandel?)

The kitties are so big! Cleo has grown 2200% since we adopted her (8 oz) and is now heavier than Magic. If she wasnít fixed, we would swear she was pregnant! Magic is still her long, slinky self and will only eat out of one food dish, when it is at a certain location inside the house. Talk about picky! Every morning Cleo dries out the shower after Mike is done, dries herself off on Loriís side of the bed, and then gets in the sink to prevent Lori from getting ready to go to work. Magic, on the other hand, is truly an outside cat. After her morning pats sheís ready to go out! She loves to tunnel under fences, climb to the tops of the tallest trees, and generally cat around.

We are looking forward to the new year: new projects, trips and surprises. We wish you all of the happiness in the world. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.