Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays...

For those of you who don't know where we are--since I haven't kept up with my blog of late--we are in Missouri at Kan-Do Kampground in Danville, MO. We have been here since late June of 2010.
We came through on our way to Kansas from Florida, NY for Dr appointments and to see the family over the Memorial Day weekend in May.
Dad had an accident on Memorial Day about 9 miles from home. As it turned out, he had fallen asleep twice and on the third time (in just 9 miles!) he went off of highway 70 crossing an entrance ramp in the process. It was not the first of the incidents he had in the past few years in his vehicle, but it was the last. It was time to take care of dad and mom and all the other drivers on the road and be thankful that he was not seriously injured and neither was anyone else.
Tom and Nina live next door to mom and dad and had been helping them as they needed it, but now, with Dr appointments and other needs and no car, their needs were more than Tom and Nina could handle.
In the big picture of life, some things become clear over time and this was one of those times. Having sold our house and living in our 5th wheel, it allowed Jim and myself to make the decision to move the camper to Missouri so mom and dad would have someone to drive them where they needed to go. If we weren't living in the camper, we would not have been free to move to MO so quickly.
So, arrangements made, we pulled in and here we are--back where we started from in 2009 at Kan-Do Kampground!
During the summer, Kathy was working on updates around the campground. They have worked on infrastructure since purchasing the campground and 2010 was the year to concentrate on the "pretty" stuff. Among that was frogs--everywhere! Kathy loves the frogs--"it's all about the frog" is her mantra. It started in her gardens, was added to the entrance sign, appeared on the Site of the Month sign, morphed into a birthday frog who shows up at sites of birthday folks for a party, became numbers for all of the sites and even came to the doors of the bathrooms! This frog really gets around! (more on the frogs later--really!)
So, in mid summer, the campground sign got a facelift to Kiwi (frog green) with black lettering. Man can you see the sign now! GREAT JOB Kathy and Drew! Wait! Where is Drew? THERE he is--on the other side of the sign talking to Dane and Dave (two of the long-term campers!) Don't you just LOVE the color????
So, why all this background talk of frogs, you ask? Well, as with last year, Jim and I decided that we would get an ornament that speaks to where we are each Christmas.
Not wanting to be "normal", we wanted to find things that meant something to us.
Last year (in New York) was the Dunkin Donuts Snowman because there is a Dunkin Donuts on every block in New York! (and I found I really LOVE their coffee!!!!) It was a close race between the Swaravsky crystal ornament that looks like the one on the top of the tree in Rockefeller Center and the snowman. The snowman won because he was a part of our daily lives.
THIS YEAR, being near St. Louis, you might think I would choose the Arch--but, the frog is a part of our daily lives here, so I went in search of a frog ornament. I looked high and low. I even checked out the Bass Pro Shops website for a frog fishing lure!
I watched the campground for Drew and Kathy while they visited their kids and grandkids in Minnesota for Thanksgiving and when they returned, Kathy had my birthday present!
Yep--a frog ornament!
She found it in Minnesota while shopping with her daughter! Isn't he a cutie???? So happy and ready for a Christmas party!
He is front and center on the Christmas tree this year--and to his right is the snowman.
You can barely see on the right side of the picture behind the bone with Frank the Pug's picture is our TSO ornament. We went to TransSyberian Orchestra concert in 2006 in Wichita, KS with Tom, Nina and their kids. It was an awesome show and if you get the chance--definitely worth the price of admission!
Each and every one of the ornaments on the tree have special meaning to us, from the snowflake crocheted by my mom to the red bird from Jim's mom to the NASCAR #88 ornaments and the dog bones with the pictures of our 3 dogs.
Above the tree are some snowmen. I sure hope that these are the only snowmen we see or have the "snow" for this year!
On the other side of the coach is the slide. I used the opening for a wooden cranberry string along with rusted metal star garland.
In the middle is a larger rusted metal star ornament and a woodland sign that welcomes and invites all to rest their Christmas Hearts here!
Anchoring the left side of the garland are the dog's Christmas stockings.
We have our black lab (originally for Bo, but now Tank claims it) and the Fawn Pug for Frank. I have not found a black pug stocking for Tango, so he has to share with his pug brother. He says he doesn't care as along as Santa Paws knows to leave two of everything in that stocking!
At the top of the stockings is a tiny #88 stocking. It isn't really for anyone, but just our love of NASCAR. :) Love us, love our driver!
On the right side is a Christmas stocking that I made years ago. It is made from some of the ribbons taken from the floral arrangements of my Grandpa Long. Pop Pop (As he was called) used to give me Kennedy half dollars for Christmas. I still have them!
My Grandma Long (Dad's mom) saved the ribbons from the arrangements in a shoebox with a label stating where the ribbon originated. It seemed a shame to keep the beautiful satin hidden, so I asked for and received some gold and red ribbon which I made into a patchwork pattern, stitched with green thread. Green Crochet stitching holds the stocking together and makes the little loop to hang it. Yes, I did the Crochet as well. Some of you have seen and even own some of my crochet projects--some of you will find this surprising. Well, SURPRISE! hehe!
So at this time of Christ's birth, I wish you a warm Christmas with many happy times that you can look back on and smile! Merry Christmas from our home to yours!