New year’s eve

Unfortunately Jen, Ron and the grandkids decided that it would be best for them to stay in St. Louis for NYE too. The weatherman’s calling for falling temperatures and mixed winter precipitation and Jen needs to start work on Monday so I think they assumed better safe than sorry. So I had to flip and move the train table myself so I could continue to move things along. It wasn’t easy but once complete it was all worth it.

I went out to the store to get pizza rolls, something Jen says is part of their tradition, and we had a quiet evening alone as we have many times before. We did have a bit of company as Corona decided to join us for the festivities and take advantage of the presents being gone from beneath the tree.

New Year’s eve prep

The Parres clan is coming to the farm again for New Year’s eve so I spent the whole day wiring the new train layout. It took longer than expected but played out as planned.

I figured it would be fun to have it running when the kiddos got here but in the afternoon Jen texted that Dustin and Niki’s neighbor tested positive for COVID and they decided to tuck themselves in for the long weekend to be safe. So I tied up the wires and will get it all together tomorrow.

Train time

Now that Christmas is past it’s time to begin building on the train set. I started working with it last year and have designed a multi-year project to build a rather advanced layout. Because doing the initial wiring will be a bit of a mess I waited until after Christmas this year so it wouldn’t be in the way of everyone at the farm.

When I was a child my father and I would setup a train set every Christmas and I loved it. It was also something special we did together. There was a loop around the outside and a figure 8 inside of that. We used Super O that I still have stored at Rosewood but am now using N gauge to conserve space. The basic layout, shown below, is reminiscent of my childhood layout with some advances allowed by the smaller gauge.

This year will focus on wiring the layout. Next year I plan to cover the board with cork and start adding more landscaping so I don’t have to disassemble the track each year. Everyone is coming back for New Year’s Eve. Not sure I can get it finished and running by then but will try!

Boxing day

Day after Christmas and I got out and walked again. It’s been two days so overdue. Shortly thereafter the family got up so we shared breakfast casseroles and not long after mimosas when Dustin, Nicki and Zoey got here. Then we opened presents before Dustin went to Jane’s and made us all a dinner as she would have in years past. It was a great meal of beef tenderloin, twice-baked potatoes and many other delectables.

Ron and Jen surprised us with a portrait of Corona. Very funny and yet just as fitting.

Count Corona

Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone!

Christmas is here

Got up Christmas Eve and did a bit of cleanup before making us breakfast sandwiches. Then it was back to St. Louis for lunch at my sister’s house. It was great to see Barbara, Mark and Janey again and they had a wonderful spread of food and drinks for us all. Jen, Ron and the kids were there as well and it was a relaxing afternoon, much different than the usual Christmas rush. Since temps were in the low 70s we spent most of the time on the patio which, again, was very atypical. Late afternoon we went back to Rosewood to wrap some presents and then back to Oak Moon.

I awoke Christmas morning and it was still shorts weather but there was cooking to be done so I never really got to spend any time outside. Made a lasagna from scratch, sugar cookies and roasted some chestnuts. Kathy and I watched the last few episodes of the most recent Great British Baking Show until the kids got here late in the day. Then eating and drinking started in earnest and continued into the evening. We’ll open presents tomorrow when Ron’s brother and his family get here so kind of like Thanksgiving, we’re prolonging the celebration over several days but Santa certainly snuck in at some point when we weren’t looking.