The holiday season has been both a blur and a tortoise all in the same breath.  It’s been so long since my last post I don’t remember where to begin.  This is certainly no way to build blog readership and respectability, that I can assure you.  So, in the context of the season, I’m here to give you a resolution (NOT a New Years res, I’m not foolish enough to make those).  I, speaking as a purveyor and self-appointed poet laureate for MPV, hereby proclaim my new-found dedication to this blog hereto after.  Two posts a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on fodder availability. 

We cruised through Thanksgiving without incident.  Just a few days after, our house transformed from annual clutter to seasonal.  Day after day more and more appeared seemingly from nowhere.  If you ask Chuck his opinion will certainly differ, seeing he hauled box upon box in from the garage.  Santas, snowmen, candy canes, nativity sets, multicolored lights, ceramic towns, fake snow, wreaths, banners, tin boxes, Christmas books, ornaments, sleighs, countdown calendars, Christmas bears by the dozen, tinsel, tablecloths, dishes and many other things I cannot recall.  Santa’s workshop exploded on MPV!  Which was for all the better, because gifts soon began arriving.

After completing the sign project, Chuck rooted about until deciding to work on the shed.  At the bottom of the westernmost Merlot vines, next to the driveway, we have a seemingly dilapidated structure.  Its gone by a few different names, the bunk house, the fruit stand and most recently, the shed.  It’s painted a worn red, with shingles that look as if they’ve melted.  The windows were crudely boarded over and the eaves drooped with the weight of bird/critter nests.  Inside it smelled of mildew and the potentiality of crudeness.  Separated into two rooms, one side contains kitchen cabinets that have surely never been used and an oddly placed toilet, the other random junk.  On the kitchen side we store vine netting used after the grapes attain varaison and on the other we’ve begun storing supplies.  Since the window boards had been placed incorrectly, open space remained on either side which allowed weather and grime in.  Chuck removed these panels, painted them and reinstalled them to block Mother Nature.  He nailed the awnings and eaves into place and painted the doors to match the barn.  In the spring we plan on replacing the roof and painting the entire structure.  It looks awesome so far, thanks for your tireless efforts Chuck.

Liv continues to develop and mature by the microsecond.  Her vocabulary is assuredly larger than mine and soon she’ll be able to vocalize coherently.  She walks faster and faster each day, sometimes too fast.  Her personality is strong and effervescent.  She takes things apart, fixes them and repeats the process.  An engineer in training we all say.  She is very particular (a trait of mine I’m afraid) and likes things her way.  She still looks like the centrifuged synthesis of Martha, Patty and Brooke (all beautiful women I may add).  Her Nanny and Pa from Illinois spoiled her supremely for Christmas, which was the gravy on top of the spoiling grammy Pat and grandpa Chuck handed down.  We are all better for having her presence and aura surrounding us, her goodness and unspoiled imagination.  I feel lucky she’s my daughter. 

Christmas Day came and went like a whisper.  The planning, wrapping and anticipation all evade like exhaled air.  We unwrapped gifts and enjoyed the morning.  Unfortunately we were unable to see my family, but that would’ve perfected the day.  The post-holiday hangover still clouds me today, I just can’t shake it.  I need to power through this week, enjoy New Years weekend and start 2011 fresh on Monday.

Also on Christmas Day MPV received a troubling call.  Grandma Jane had fallen ill in Las Vegas.  Chuck spoke with his brothers and they decided to meet there.  Unfortunately, Pat and Chuck received the news of her passing as they were driving on I-15, somewhere outside Richfield, UT.  Jane was the most inspiring person you could ever meet.  Her positive vibes could cheer a grumpy mood, her intellect could carry any conversation and her love for family never waned.  She lived at MPV for a short time in the summer of 2009.  I believe she enjoyed her stay, I know we did.  She was able to see us function and operate as both a family and a corporation.  I’m sure she was proud of Chuck, we certainly are.  Most of all, I’m grateful she was able to spend time with her great-granddaughter.  She told me more than once how blessed she felt for that opportunity.  I know in my heart Liv was touched, forever better and forever grateful.  Jane, your light still shines.

I think its time to do three of my favorite things, hang with Liv and Brooke (you to Greg), cook some food and drink some wine.