MATTIE MIRACLE VIRTUAL WALK WAS AN $110,000 SUCCESS!

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.


As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter



The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: www.mattiemiracle.com and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

December 31, 2020

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. That day Mattie received a visit from two Marines (distributing Toys for Tots) and his best friend, Zachary. Mattie and Zachary became instantaneous friends on the first day of preschool. They had a special chemistry and even though Zachary was used to actively playing with Mattie, once Mattie was diagnosed with cancer, Zachary intuitively understood that he had to play differently with Mattie. He never skipped a beat and never made Mattie feel inferior or disabled. A lot to learn from these two friends. In any case, when the Marines came into Mattie's room, Zachary was equally intrigued and he and Mattie enjoyed the experience. 


Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 19,944,307
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 345,316

As 2020 comes to a close, all I can say is once again I have seen how fragile life is and how so much of life is out of our control. Sure I could be talking about COVID-19, but my particular lens is focused upon my dad's dramatic health decline. At times I still have trouble processing how my dad could go from living independently one month, to the state he is in now. The decline was rapid. 

I suspected my dad had early stage dementia for the last 4-5 years. Whenever, I mentioned my concerns to my parents, they weren't taken seriously. I even tried emailing their doctor about my concerns. He neither responded nor did anything about it. However, in May of this year, my dad was a mess. He lost 30 pounds, had a kidney stone embedded in his ureter (requiring surgery), and a urinary tract infection that turned to sepsis. He was hospitalized for a week and during that time was given a CT scan with contrast. My dad had an allergic reaction to the contrast and developed uncontrollable hiccups. Hiccups for two weeks straight. The doctor put him on Thorazine, an anti-psychotic. This drug had no impact on the hiccups, however, I believe it contributed to his confusion and delirium. It was me who challenged the doctor by phone and encouraged him to STOP the drug and instead try Baclofen, a muscle relaxant. Which in two hours stopped the hiccups. Nonetheless, my dad entered the hospital in May physically ill, but when he was discharged we weren't only dealing with physical impairments but significant cognitive decline. We held out hope that this decline would reverse itself. But now I understand this will never happen. 

My dad was always a bright, insightful, sharp, and perceptive person. The person in front of us now is not this person. For example, today my dad asked me where Peter celebrated Christmas. My dad thought that Peter was in Boston for Christmas. Those of you reading the blog know that Peter was in Los Angeles with me for Christmas. My dad has NO MEMORY of this. An event that happened only a week ago. I reminded my dad about Christmas and told him that I got him showered and dressed Christmas day. He had NO MEMORY of that either. I mentioned this to him because he is very concerned that his caregivers aren't coming tomorrow, since it's a holiday. So I reminded my dad that I took care of him on Christmas and in fact, it was me who created the whole morning routine..... getting up, showered, dressed, breakfast, cognitive brain exercises, walking in the neighborhood for twenty minutes, etc. 

I have also noticed that my dad can't keep track of when he ate. For example, he can have breakfast with us at the table. Then we do his cognitive exercises and walking routine. When he gets back from the walking routine the past two mornings, he asked me..... did I have breakfast yet? He can neither remember eating nor does he have a feeling of satiation. Today my dad had a GI doctor appointment. Given my dad was hospitalized with an impacted colon in June 2020, it is important to keep these follow up appointments. I told my dad that we were going to leave for the doctor at 10:30am. He can no longer retain information. Instead, every 15 minutes he asked me when the doctor's appointment was and when we were leaving for the appointment. Mind you we have a white erase board near his chair that lists his daily schedule. The constant questions and repeating of myself can be exasperating, but I know he isn't doing this on purpose. So I naturally answer his questions and try to alleviate his anxiety. 

What I was pleased about was my dad got a good doctor report. The doctor commented on how physically better my dad looks from when he saw him in June. He has gained back his weight and his coloring is good. While I am here, I make sure both my mom and dad have a very balanced and full meal mid-day, and given that my dad doesn't eat left overs, I am cooking something new each day. 

In the midst of everything else I am balancing, I went to the grocery store today. I have gotten to know the store's manager. In fact, she got to know Peter too. Beatriz knows both of our names. When she saw me standing on line today, she waved me over to the self check out stand. I typically don't like doing self check out with vegetables, because I always find dealing with the register difficult. Nonetheless, she encouraged me to try it and she stood by my side as I rang up a vegetable. I got the hang of it quickly. In any case, she cheered for me when I was done and told me that Peter is a wiz at this, and she knew I could do it too. I absolutely love her. She says she loves her job and working with people. It shows. It makes such a difference to interface with someone who smiles, who wants to help you, and is so professional. I wish I could take her home as NO ONE in my Safeway even says boo to me. 

December 30, 2020

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. Mattie was in the hospital and received many gifts from friends. Christmas stockings, a magnetic Santa for his wheelchair, a Christmas blanket, and of course a Christmas decorated Dunkin Donut! Despite all Mattie was dealing with, he was still able to smile, and we worked hard to keep him comfortable and as happy as possible. What we quickly learned from Mattie's diagnosis and treatment was that we had to live for the present. Forget the long term plans and looking toward the future. 




Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 19,722,442
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 341,964

Given that yesterday wasn't a good day, it was hard to be in a positive mood today. In addition to all the other things to manage here, I had to add garbage removal to my list. Typically the gardener takes all three trash bins out to the street curb for trash pick up. This is crucial because it is a 500 foot walk from their front door to the street curb. It would impossible for them to roll these heavy garbage bins on their own. 

Any case, yesterday I noticed all their neighbors' trash cans were outside at the curb, yet my parents trash cans were not taken out. So I mentioned this to my mom and my dad's caregiver. As I thought their trash pick up day was Wednesday. However, my dad's caregiver (the same one who yesterday insisted I needed to clean inside the kitchen and bathroom trash cans) assured me I was wrong and said trash pick up is Thursday. In any case, this morning, while walking my dad up the street for his 20 minute exercise routine, I noticed all our neighbors' trash cans were emptied, because guess why??? The garbage trucks came by TODAY! ON WEDNESDAY!!! This may sound like NO BIG DEAL, but remember I wasn't in a stable place as of yesterday. The fact that we missed trash pick, sent me on a tirade! As our trash bins were overflowing already and there is NO WAY we'd make it until next Wednesday. 

So I ran back to my parent's house and quickly called LA sanitation. Fortunately I was connected to a lovely man, who literally sent the trucks back to my parent's house. But I had to take all the bins out myself! Therefore my question is what's up with the gardener? If he planned on taking this week off, which is fine, telling us would have been helpful, so that I would have known to put out the cans on Tuesday!

My mom's friends dropped these cuties off to me today! She makes the best gingerbread, and its funny how these little fellows can bring a smile to my face!
Peter's mom sent me this photo of Sunny! Apparently they went for a walk with him, and he came back, helped himself to the couch, and took a nap. 


















Holidays are always problematic with caregivers. For the most part, I try to be flexible, because I know people have lives and families of their own. I asked my dad's caregiver about New Year's day, as I assumed she was working on Friday with us. But I learned today, that she has other plans. What would have happened if I did not ask her? When was she going to tell us? Meanwhile, both of my dad's caregivers are talking about switching days they will be working. Not what I wanted to hear! I would love for life to go back to the way it was.... living life without caregivers. However, I know that is not possible and though my dad has physical limitations, it is the great cognitive decline that makes independent living a thing of the past. 

After doing laundry, other chores, making linner (lunch and dinner), cleaning up, getting mail, and settling my dad in his chair, we decided to go out for a walk. My mom and I needed the fresh air and to clear our heads. We saw some wonderful Christmas decorations. This house reminded me of a decorated gingerbread house.


This house and the one above are on the street I lived on when I was a teenager in California. 
This house is a conversation piece! 
Santa with all his reindeer. Rudolph even had a red nose!
Light up lollipops!
Simple but elegant. 
Looked like a Christmas cottage to me. 
A tree with red and white lights. It looked like a candy cane. 
Not Christmas related, but the color caught my attention! What fabulous blossoms.... with Mattie Miracle colors! 
I love the Christmas ornaments in the trees!
Love the wreath! The one plus here in Los Angeles is that the weather is fantastic. People are out and about walking and everything is green! I don't take that for granted. 

December 29, 2020

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Tuesday, December 29, 2020 -- Mattie died 587 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. It was close to Christmas and Mattie was admitted to the hospital that day. I know this for a fact because Mattie was in real clothes, not pajamas. Mattie refused to wear real clothes in the hospital. Next to Mattie is Tricia, Mattie's favorite nurse. We met Tricia the first week of Mattie's treatment in August of 2008, and we immediately bonded. She took care of all three of us and since she had children of her own, she had great empathy for what we were going through as parents. Tricia saw us under the worst of times and she advocated for us with other nurses and doctors. Her love, care, and dedication to us will never be forgotten. Tricia is a big Mattie Miracle supporter, and helps us keep Mattie's memory alive.  


Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 19,526,228
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 337,829

Peter left Washington, DC at 4:30am with both Sunny and Indie in the car. Seven hours later he was in Boston. Sunny is borderline anxious and wasn't sure what was happening to him today, after spending 10 days in boarding over Christmas. However, as soon as he went on a woods walk with Peter, he was a happy camper. 


Meanwhile, "Paradise" was hell today. Typically I keep my anger or temper under control, but today I lost it. 

From the moment I woke up at 6am, it was non-stop work, tasks, and demands. My parents both took the shingles shot in November, but insurance covered my mom, but not my dad. So today, my mom and I were on the phone with my dad's insurer. That was enough to smack my head against the wall, but finally found two wonderful women who answered questions and helped us. Turns out CVS did not submit the claim correctly and the insurer is sending us a claims adjustment form! Perfect!!! 

Somehow life here is tough enough but with caregivers underfoot, it can make you want to scream. They are only here for four hours every day, but it is very hard to get anything done when they are here. Of course when they are not here, we really can't get things done either, as my dad needs constant support. 

But today took the cake. One of my dad's caregiver proceeded to tell me that the trash cans are dirty. At first I did not know what she was talking about. So she called me over to the kitchen trash receptacle. She pulled out the trash bag and had me look at the bottom of the can. She did this in the bathrooms too, as she wanted me to see the mess at the bottom of the cans. She noticed this but wasn't about to correct the problem. Instead, she wanted me to! She could see I was juggling a lot this morning, was on the phone, and doing other tasks. Yet apparently I am not doing enough, so why not give Vicki MORE to do!???? I truly was angered by her actions. Especially since if I noticed something, I would just fix it and not bring it to the attention of others who have other things on their minds. To me it is a sign of insensitivity and CONTROL! As this caregiver likes to tell me and my mom what needs to be done or how it should be done in our own home. This type of behavior doesn't go over well with me or my mom. 

By the time the caregiver left at noon, I was ready to blow. Yet I had to cook "linner" (lunch/dinner), do more laundry, collect packages that were delivered at the front curb (500 feet away from the front door) and open them up and dispose of garbage, and the list goes on. My head was pounding and I basically told my mom that this daily schedule is down right insane. At which point she said this is her daily life, and I interpreted what she was saying as.... I am NOT helping enough! I am only here periodically. At which point I lost it, as I am not only balancing travel to LA during a pandemic, but I have a whole other life in Washington, DC that also needs maintenance. FRUSTRATED IN LA!

December 28, 2020

Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday, December 28, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. It was a typical family tradition to walk down to the National Mall to see the Nation's Christmas tree, all the state trees, and the amazing toy train display. That year, Mattie was undergoing cancer treatment and therefore was unable to walk. So we drove to the Mall and then used Mattie's wheelchair to get around. Peter's parents were with us, and they snapped this photo of us. As you can see, Mattie wasn't in the picture mood! Nonetheless, I am so glad this memory was captured. Because over time, I unfortunately do forget some of the details. 




Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 19,257,274
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 334,514

Peter picked up both Indie and Sunny today. I hear they are both thrilled to be home. Indie was the first one picked up and thankfully she is so easy going, and always comes home in a good mood. We also used to getting a good report on Indie from our vet, where we board her. 
As you can see Sunny was thrilled to be in the car and coming back home. 
The reunion! 
Indie was sticking close to Peter today, as he was trying to work! 
Of course Sunny had to get in the act! He was sticking close to Peter today, which is very typical of Sunny. He is an anxious fellow and needs time to readjust to being home. 
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Meanwhile, last night, we had quite a rain storm in Los Angeles. It started at 11:30pm, and it involved an incredible light show and intense thunder. If Sunny were here, he'd be besides himself. I could hear the torrential rain. Which just continued all day today! When it rains in LA, it pours and floods. 

Outside my mom's office window, we can see the LA River. The Los Angeles River is a major river in Los Angeles County, California. While the river was once free-flowing and frequently flooding, forming  flood plains along its banks, it is currently notable for flowing through a concrete channel on a fixed course, which was built after a series of devastating floods in the early 20th century.

Normally the sight outside the window is dry concrete! But when it rains, you can see the overflow of the LA River. 


It was another full day today which entailed grocery shopping in the rain and a lot of time in the kitchen. My mom requested a carrot cake. She actually wanted a carrot cake for Christmas, but I decided on a coconut layer cake instead. So today, I made her a carrot cake! 

The final product!
















What's this green stuff? I made homemade split pea soup. Last week, we served a ham while Peter was here. I kept the ham bone and today worked on the soup. Given it was cold, damp, and dreary, it was the perfect soup for the day. My dad had two big bowls of this, three chicken legs, a side salad, and even a piece of carrot cake. I am happy he's eating up a storm. In comparison to April and May when he refused food, this is great progress. 

December 27, 2020

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. That day, Mattie's art teacher dropped off this Christmas wreath. She designed it and each kindergarten student wrote a message on the leaves. We were all very touched by this gift and we hung this wreath on the inside of our front door. It remained there for years. While Mattie was undergoing treatment, our support network was absolutely incredible. It was daily gifts of love and kindness, which will never be forgotten. In fact, when Mattie died, we did not only lose him (which was awful enough), but we also lost a large percentage of our support community. 



Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 19,111,443
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 333,069

Peter's day started at 3am. Which is an absolutely horrid hour! At the airport, he sent me a photo of the tree and toy train (by the arch on the right)! Somehow seeing these two things together reminds me of Mattie. 

When my dad woke up today he was disoriented because he wanted to know if Peter had left! He didn't hear Peter walking around or the front door opening when he left, so he assumed Peter was still in the house. Needless to say, my parents were both out of sorts that Peter left. He brought a certain left of energy and life to the mix. Clearly something that I don't do, perhaps because I am constantly working, doing tasks, and putting in 12-14 hour days. But I agree, Peter's presence is missed and it helps to have a companion to share the daily grind in "paradise."

I truly should record what a typical day looks like here. In fact I may do this tomorrow, because I feel almost manic here. Jumping from one task and demand after another. I don't know how my mom does this when I am not here and this is my greatest concern. How long will this be sustainable..... my mom doing this day after day or me flying out here every other month, staying a month at a time. I don't know if I am coming or going. Though my dad has physical limitations, they pale in comparison to the cognitive changes and decline. The constant asking of the same question over and over again, looking like he's in a mental fog, his lack of engagement verbally with us, and his lack of insight in how his constant demands impact us. Literally it is impossible to get anything done, because my dad needs supervision, and when he asks for something he wants it instantaneously. Sure I could give him feedback about this, but unfortunately 5 to 10 minutes later, he will forget what we discussed. 

What did today entail..... getting up at 6am, making breakfast, doing brain games and a 20 minute walk with my dad, a 3 mile walk with my mom, cooking linner (late lunch, an early dinner), serving food, cleaning up, two loads of laundry, opening up mail and packages, throwing out garbage (which at this house getting mail and dealing with garbage is a journey --- 500 foot walk to front of house), mopping bathroom floors, scanning and sending in caregiver notes to caregiving company, and the list goes on. 

Though Peter left the house early, he was kind of enough to unload the dishwasher and put things away, as well as cut some fresh roses in the garden. Beautiful gifts for me, which I did not expect!

December 26, 2020

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. Mattie was in clinic and not feeling good. He had a high fever and was being admitted to the hospital. While waiting to go to the pediatric in-patient unit, he received a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Thanks to Linda (his child life specialist), Santa knew exactly what to bring Mattie. Legos and toy cars!!! Mattie was so ill and depleted that his head was resting on the pillow in his lap. Yet Mattie gave it his best, lifted his head, smiled, and posed with Santa. I remember this moment in time and though it may look like a sweet photo, so so much was happening behind the scenes making this actually a very sad and heart breaking sight for any parent. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 18,943,541
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 331,754

Yesterday morning, as my dad was heading out to the patio (always with supervision), his foot got caught under a portion of an area rug. If I did not stop him, he and his walker would have keeled over on the floor. So my mom and I discussed removing the area rug, getting it cleaned, wrapped up and stored in the garage storage closet. This morning, I was on a mission to find an oriental rug cleaner, so I started calling around. I landed up working with a lovely man named Daniel. Daniel showed up at the house today, we talked through the process, and he rolled up the rug and carted it out. One less accident waiting to happen. 

It was a typical day in paradise, starting at 6am. I am beyond tired from managing Mattie Miracle work, flying back and forth to Los Angeles, and then working hours upon hours here. Catching up on chores, doing non-stop grocery shopping, cooking, serving, and cleaning. 

This afternoon, I served the last of the Christmas dinner I cooked yesterday. Cooking a holiday dinner takes time and energy, and I really don't mind doing it if it is enjoyed. But today my dad told me turkey isn't his favorite, he wasn't wild about my sweet potato soufflĂ©, and also did not like my three layered coconut cake. Certainly I can put this in perspective and I understand, but unfortunately I am human and when tired, I have trouble putting this into context. Needless to say, I am NOT investing time cooking wonderful meals if he doesn't like what I am cooking. That would be counter productive. 

On an aside, do you see the poinsettia tablecloth in the background of this photo? This tablecloth belonged to my grandmother and she used it when I was a child. It is hard to believe that this tablecloth is that old. It looks brand new and though it is bold, it is very festive, and it reminds me of my grandmother and how she made cooking and cleaning look so easy.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Friday, December 25, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken on Christmas of 2008. Though this photo looks cute and fun, this day was anything but that! Mattie was dealing with pain, depression, anxiety, and medical traumatic stress. These are things we did not always share with the outside world, but it was devastating to witness this and to feel powerless to change the situation. 

That afternoon, friends dropped off these cute Christmas items for Mattie. As you can see, Peter put on the red nose and hat and encouraged Mattie to do the same. It was a moment of laughter and lightness, which was greatly appreciated. 



Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 18,756,360
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 330,246

When I think about big holiday dinners, I am reminded of my maternal grandmother. By the time I was born, my grandmother was already living with my parents. As her husband died from colon cancer at an early age. 

My grandmother was a great cook and somehow how I had the where with all to observed what she was doing and at times she did instruct me. Which was an honor really because my grandmother did not like people in her kitchen. 
All I know is there is NO way I can cook a big Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner all in one day. Instead, I take on a dish a day, and I started on Monday. This is the only way that it is doable for me, on top of supporting all the other activities I do here. As usual, my day started at 6am. However, I gave my dad's caregiver the day off, so I took on getting him up, showered, dressed, breakfast, 4 loads of laundry, his 20 minute walk, cognitive exercises, and the list goes on. 

I set up a buffet in the kitchen and tried to make the dining room table festive. We are fortunate to have family friends who joined us today to celebrate Christmas. It made it festive, memorable, and it is good stimulation for my dad. 
When I was in Los Angeles in November, I decided to decorate the house for Christmas. I figured this would cheer up all our spirits, as there is something magical about seeing lights. Ironically, I refuse to decorate at all in my own home. But when I know it is for someone else, I will do it!
Fortunately I have Peter with me, and having my talented sous chef makes everything in the kitchen go MUCH more smoothly. As I find it challenging to do a big meal without an extra pair of competent hands. Since Peter was managing the cooking of the turkey, I was able to go for 4 mile walk with my mom. Along our journey, I saw Santa!
Another neighbor was giving out Meyers Lemons for Christmas!
Peter snapped a photo of me with my three layer coconut cake!
A photo of me with my mom!






















My dad is enjoying his time with Peter! It was over 70 degrees today! An absolutely beautiful day and my dad was enjoying some time outside. In front of him is a golf course. Many of the players wished us a Merry Christmas, which was lovely!
While my dad and Peter were sitting outside, a big hawk flew into our tree!

Peter's turkey! It was perfectly cooked, which is a feat in my parent's oven. I learned from Thanksgiving that their oven is off by 15 or more degrees! Which is a lot when cooking a big bird or roast. 

December 24, 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2007. Mattie was 5 years old and he started a tradition of wearing his red antlers, a Christmas sweater, and pose with his Christmas train in the background. This photo was on the cover of our 2005 Christmas card. 



Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 18,634,141
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 328,849


Another busy day in "paradise." Things are challenging here as I start every morning at 6am. It is just non-stop chores, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and the list goes on. My dad and I have a routine, of brain games and walking up the block and back (which takes him about 20 minutes) right after breakfast. We then had his weekly visit from the in home nurse. Who is in my perspective a piece of work. Full of herself and everything has a way of coming back to her. 

Given that Peter was cooking dinner tonight, it freed me up to walk with my mom. We walked about four miles, but it was rainy and raw today. 


This evening, Peter and I baked the layers for a coconut layer cake. Which I will assemble tomorrow. Given my parent's small oven, I literally can only cook one thing at a time. It is very frustrating, not to mention that it doesn't keep a consistent temperature. So literally I never know what I am going to get as a result. 
Peter's dinner tonight! A roasted pork loin with carrots, butternut squash and potatoes. 
I cleaned the turkey tonight and it is bathing in a bath of lemon and orange juice in the refrigerator. 


Last night we went for a walk. Here are some of the fun sights we saw. I liked the Christmas tree images projected onto this house. 
This snowman has a light show going on which was adorable. I also loved the candy canes lining the sidewalk.
Frosty!
How do you like this candy cane arch?
We met the owner of this house last night. We told her we admired her display. She said that her husband put it all together himself. In California, there are companies that will decorate the whole outside of your house for you! I got to see some of these folks at work in November when I was here. 
Beautiful in white. 





















My favorite! They even had Christmas music playing from a speaker. 













The whole driveway was lit up in red, green and white. It screams out Christmas!
I love the swans!


Peter posing with Frosty!