Patti & Martin's Home
 Christmas 2006                     

Christmas 2006

Halls decked?  Check!
Tree lit?  Check!
Cards sent? Check!
Presents wrapped?  Check!
Turkey stuffed?  Check!

I feel like we've forgotten something.  Whoops, a holiday note.  Looking at our website it seems we forgot last year too as it hasn't been touched since 2004.  I don't have a good excuse; just a case of the cobbler's shoes. I'll have to fix that right now.

Friends and family, we wish you season's greetings.  I'll keep this brief, so let's get down to the business in hand and I'll give you an executive summary of Patrin's (Patti + Martin - a little too cute?) 2006:

Dad, Mum, Desi & Babalu

Family: In April, Martin's Mum and Dad visited us from the UK. This was pre-empted by some work on the house and garden. We tore up all the carpet in the house to find reasonably well preserved hardwood floors hiding under there. They'd probably been buried since the 80's judging by the carpets - we didn't have them carbon-dated but when was the last time purple carpet in the bedroom was fashionable? Once the dust from refinishing the floors had settled and the roof had been patched we got some new paint put on the walls and the place looked goof enough for an inspection by Mum.

Simultaneously, we started work on the yard. I say 'we' but actually Patti did all the design and project management and the gardener did all the hard work - all I did was run the electricity outside during which I only electrocuted myself once which is a pretty good result. I know we've been threatening to do the back yard since we moved in 6 years ago but we finally did it. The huge, sloping concrete slab fenced in by a low cinder block wall is finally gone, replaced by a little courtyard oasis. Unfortunately, April was very wet and progress was pretty slow that month so Mum and Dad only got to see the demolition and excavation. For most of the their visit the back yard was a muddy, building site and no-go area. I guess they'll have to come back so to see the finished project. Patti became a garden and plant expert frighteningly quickly; one day she was as ignorant as I am about plant names and requirements, the next she was talking to me in Latin and quizzing me on the names of the many plants she had chosen to plant. It looks beautiful and is filling in quickly. The backyard is actually somewhere we sit and relax rather than a place smoking guests are banished to.

In June we went to the first Hanley family reunion where Patti got to meet many members of her extended family. Thanksgiving saw us on a road trip to Arizona to see Patti's parents. It seemed further than we remembered though but it was worth the effort. Not only did we get to see Connie and Ernie but we got to hang out with Patti's brother, Dennis, and sister-in-law, Cammie, and Patti's wonderful nice and nephew, Dylan and Connor. In less than a week Connie and Ernie will be returning the favor and visiting us for Christmas.

BabaluDesiPets: This being the web 2.0 age both our dogs have their own webpages (Babalu and Desi).  Being our fur-babies they are both spoiled rotten.  The only fly in the ointment was Babalu having knee surgery twice! The convalescence was hard; have you ever tried to persuade a young, energetic dog to just lie still and take it easy for a couple of months?  We were all bouncing off the walls until he finally got the 'all clear' to resume normal activities.

Desi is now a little over a year old and already semi-retired from his show-dog career.  Why? Have you seen the movie Best in Show?  I used to think it was a comic exaggeration. Enough said.

Work - It's too boring to say that Martin is about to start his 13th year with Oracle.  Instead, let's just say that we survived the tech-market's boom and bust and that I still have a job that pays the mortgage and doesn't involve any heavy lifting.   

Hobbies - we are now a two photographer family. Patti finally got bitten by the shutterbug after suffering years of Martin twittering on about exposure, f-stops and composition. She has become something of a PhotoShop expert and has her own Photoblog which she posts to religiously. We have both asked Father Christmas for new cameras this year.

With which, I'll sign off. We hope that Santa brings you all that you asked for and that you and yours have a happy, peaceful and safe holiday and New Year.

With love -

Hanley Family Reunion: Dylan & ConnorHanley Family Reunion: team photo Patti


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