Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We Made It!

Well, we made it. Saturday afternoon at 1:00 our first group arrived, and we had the house completely decorated and clean!! We were tired, but the reaction of this group to all of our new themes was worth all of the work. The same group has been first for about 22 years, so needless to say, we have become very good friends. We always call this first tour that we do for them our "dress rehearsal." It was successful, so we are ready for the months ahead. If you have not already called to make your reservations, please do so soon. If you just want to shop at Santa's Texas Workshop, please call to make an appointment.

Friday, September 25, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas (in September, that is!)

I wanted to write about our opening of the 2009 Christmas season tomorrow, and just when I was trying to think of what to say, we received this e-mail message from our wonderful first cousin, Mickey, who lives in California. What she says just about sums it up. Yes, we have worked very hard for the past eight weeks preparing the Christmas House for this new season, and yes, as we go to bed tonight, we have a very satisfied feeling that, even at our ages, we have done it again for the 24th year. Our first tour is at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon, and I have to admit that we have a few small details and some housecleaning to finish up. But, when 1:00 gets here, we will be all smiles as we greet our guests. Maybe they won't be able to tell how late we stayed up! Here is Mickey's message: My Dearest Cousins, Well, you are now at the 11th hour of your preparations for your 2009 Christmas Season and you have been on my mind all week. I know this will be a wonderful Christmas season for all who attend and for each of you. Oh, I can't wait to see what you've come up with this year. Please take time to rest when you can. I'm sure that as you place your heads on your pillows tonight you will be exhausted, but have a feeling of wonder as it has all come together once again. And I'm sure that those planning to take the first tour of 2009 tomorrow are as excited as every little kid is on Christmas morning. My love and thoughts are with you all -- you and your guests tomorrow. Have a wonderful 2009 Christmas Season and may God bless you as you share your love for Him with all who tour the Christmas House. My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight and always. Our love, Mickey and family

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Aftermath

We think that everything has been repaired now. The last repairman finished this morning after arriving at 7:20 a.m. on his way to another job. I do have to share a funny thing with you. You might remember that in my last blog, I talked about being tied down to the fax phone since we were able to forward all 325-2068 incoming calls to our fax line 325-1969. It was only 24 hours later that it hit me! DUH! HIT MY FOREHEAD WITH OPEN HAND! All I had to do was disconnect the cordless phone base from the 2068 line and plug it into the 1969 line. VOILA! We had our cordless phone back. It does take a while, but my brain does work. So, things are back to normal--anyway, they are back to our normal which usually isn't other people's normal. We do all have our own unique lives, don't we? God tells us to give thanks in everything. We can do that, because He takes care of us through it all.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Little Lightning Goes a Long Way!

Wow, what a twenty-four hours we've had! At about 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 11, a thunderstorm rolled in from the northeast. I don't think I have ever heard thunder that loud--it was right over us. At one point, we were having lightning and thunder at the same time, and it sounded like it was in the house with us. Of course, our electricity went out, but fortunately we have a generator that came on automatically. After the storm passed, we called AEP to report the electrical outage. We also called two of our cousins who live within a mile of us and found that they, too, were without power.
Well, with our generator, we were able to resume our normal activities. That means we went back to decorating the house. Around 8:00 p.m. Dorothy discovered that we didn't have any water. Esther and I went out to check the pump, but, of course, there was nothing we could do except call Page Waterwell Service in Alice. Mr. Page assured us that he would have some one out here first thing the next morning.
This morning, we got up and discovered that our telephone is out of service. However, we have a second phone line that we had put in about 8 years ago when the only internet connection we could get was dial-up. We now have our fax machine hooked up to it. When I checked it for a dial tone, I found that it was working. So, I called the phone company to report our problem and found that they could forward all of our phone calls to the fax machine phone. Wow, are we ever used to a portable phone! The fax phone is attached to the machine, and it's hard to talk to people when you can't walk around to find a pencil, check the reservation book, or whatever. Thank goodness, though, that we have this second phone line, because the phone company said they have so many phone problems in our area that it may be Tuesday before they can get out here to fix it. You may ask why we don't just use our cell phone?? Well, we have to go outside to use it, as it doesn't work inside the house. It actually works best in the middle of our cow pens, but who wants to walk all the way out there just to use the phone!!
We thought that we'd now have breakfast and get started on the decorating. However, Dorothy opened the carport door at 6:15 to feed the cat, and we heard a loud explosion and then fire and sparks coming from the electric pole in front of our house. So then, I had to call AEP again to report this happening.
After breakfast, the waterwell repairman arrived. In no time at all he had the problem fixed. I can't begin to tell you the problem, but it was caused by the lightning strike.
An AEP repairman finally got here around 9:00 a.m. He checked things out and told us that the problem was more serious than he had thought. It seems that lightning had struck our transformer! He had to call for another truck and someone to help him, plus he had to go get a new transformer. So, they didn't get it fixed until after 1:00 p.m. We were supposed to go to Kingsville at 2:00, so that worked out great. BUT......our generator is supposed to go off automatically about 10 minutes after the power is restored, and you guessed it, our generator was still running an hour later. So, I called the technician who services our generator. He said that it should have gone off, so something was wrong. He is from the Rio Grande Valley, but he said he could come up to check it. We had to go to Kingsville, so he agreed to come at 7:00 tonight when we would be back. He did and found that the lightning strike caused something to malfunction. So, he turned it off manually. He's going to order the part and come back to fix it later. In the meantime, he taught me how to turn it on manually and then turn it off manually just in case we lose power again before he gets it fixed.
Now it is almost midnight and all is quiet. We actually got a little decorating done today. When you have days like these, you just have to praise the Lord and trust Him to take care of you. We thought about all of the damage that could have been done by a storm like that, and are so grateful that it was just "stuff" that could be repaired easily. There has been a little inconvenience, but that just makes us appreciate what we have and normally take for granted. It also reminds us of what our mother always said. When she was making plans to do something, she never did so with out saying, "If the Lord is willing, I will do it." So, if the Lord is willing, we'll go to church in the morning and then come home and finish decorating the living room.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sign Up and Follow

I hope to have more time soon to post to this blogspot. If you would like to follow and get notifcations via e-mail when a new post is available, go to the box in the top right hand corner of this site and click on "Follow." From there you can sign up. I'm signed up to follow the blogs of a friend and a cousin, so I know that it is safe to do so. Two weeks and two days... Yes, we're counting! September 26th is our opening date, and we're working hard to have everything decorated and ready. We hope that all of you who signed up for a newsletter while you were here last season have received them by now. They were mailed on Tuesday, Sept. 8. (Our parents were married on that date 83 years ago.) We're looking forward to seeing all of you at The Christmas House and Santa's Texas Workshop at some point during this 2009 Christmas season--Sept. 26, 2009 through March 31, 2010. Call to make your reservation. Also, remember that Santa's Texas Workshop will be open for shopping on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27th, from 1:30 to 5:30. Be among the first to see all of the new merchandise for this Christmas season. I think we have more than ever before, and every piece is unique and wonderful. Come and bring some friends. If you can't come at that time, call for an appointment. We're open year 'round for shopping.