Saturday, January 01, 2005


Well last night was a pretty relaxing night. Like I said yesterday, I stayed home with Mom and Dad, though I had a couple invites of things to do. I just wanted to take it easy since I've had so few nights of doing nothing since I've been home. I watched a few things on TV (Joan of Arcadia, JAG, and Without a Trace) before flipping to ABC for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. That has become a tradition in our household. Any year someone is home we ALWAYS watch Dick Clark. When I flipped over to ABC there were breaking for the news so I watched that and then watched some more of DCRNYE.

Let me just say.. It was NOT the same without Dick Clark! Regis Philbin was filling in and he was horrible. He showed hardly any enthusiasm to me, and with as excitable as he gets on his talk show and stuff, that was surprising. His talking about what was going on sounded like he was a robot... Absolutely no enthusiasm. And he wasn't even outside down at Times Square! Beautiful night last night, really warm and he sat in a studio all night and had two other people down street side for that. It was really disappointing. Some of the live acts were good (Billy Idol, Earth Wind and Fire to name a couple) but I wasn't impressed with the rest of it.

I tried calling Dusty at midnight to say Happy New Year but it turned out he wasn't home. He went out with some coworkers last night. But he did call me (at 3:16 AM here in PA) to let me know he was home. LOL

Today we went up to Oil City for the "Hartsell Family Christmas" with the extended family at Aunt Kathy's house. I got to see all my aunts and uncles which was nice since I haven't seen them since last Christmas and may not get to see them again til next Christmas. Most of my cousins weren't there so I was a little disappointed I didn't get to see all of them. But the little ones were all there except for a couple so that always makes it fun. Christmas just isn't the same without little kids to get excited about opening presents! They all have so much fun with it.

I was especially glad that I got to see my cousin Megan. She's 2 years old and I'd never seen her before today. She was born in November so of course that first Christmas they weren't there, though her brother Ned (who's 3 1/2 now) was brought by one of my other aunts and uncles. Last Christmas Megan was sick so none of them came. So I "met" her for the first time today. She's such a cutie and is the spitting image of her brother. The only difference in appearance is that, of course Ned is bigger, but he has brown hair and she has blonde. So that made Christmas for me getting to see her finally.

As always at a Hartsell family function there was TONS of food! We always have a lot to eat. LOL Mom made keilbasa and sauerkraut and Susan made a pretzel/jello salad that we took. Then we had a ham sliced down for sandwiches, another fruit/jello salad, macaroni salad, cheese and crackers, cake, brownies, and Aunt Mary made her "famous" chocolate/butterscotch/peanut butter rice krispie treats. I was chowing down on those as I love them and haven't had any in ages. LOL I know we had other food too but I can't for the life of me remember what.

We ate about 2:00 or so then the men of course watched football all afternoon with all the bowl games happening. Dusty called me while we were eating so we didn't talk very long. He was heading down to his Mom's for the day anyhow and we said we'd talk tonight. I guess about 4:30/5:00 the presents came out and the kids had another Christmas of opening gifts, as well as all the adults. Hartsell family functions are always wild, hectic, crowded, and kids everywhere but I wouldn't have it any other way. The entire family is all extremely close. I miss these types of events more then anything, living so far away now. Holidays just aren't the same without the family get togethers.

Anyhow, we left there about 7:00 or so I think it was but I don't totally remember.

It's hard to believe that was really the last hurrah before I head back home on Monday. Tomorrow, Mom and Dad's next door neighbors are having a birthday party for their daughter Camy but I don't think I'll make it to that. I have to get the rest of my laundry done and get everything packed up and ready to go. I also have 4 or 5 book reviews I need to get written and I want to work on Jackie's wedding present some more before going home. Time always flies on vacation. It seems like a nice long break and you blink and it's over. We're having one last family dinner tomorrow night. (Mom is making her yummy bean soup, a family favorite, specifically so I can have some before going home.)

I don't know if I'll get online tomorrow or not so I don't know if I'll get one more entry in before heading back to TX.


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