This is the real Christmas letter that I send to our friends and family – enjoy!
The title is deceptive – it was just to lure you in. The truth is that not much has changed from last year. Here are the best bits
- Andy turned 60 years old in April. He is just as grumpy and annoying as I thought he would be.
- I am horribly hormonal and bark orders at my poor senior spouse. Zits and wrinkles. Piss and vinegar.
- We went to Mobile, Alabama, to celebrate the above senior’s birthday and it was wonderful despite back seat driving.
- We are both working – enough said.
- Andy traveled to California, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Kerry went to Mexico, Nevada and Arizona. I ticked the Grand Canyon off my list and it was the trip from hell.
- WE GOT A NEW REFRIGERATOR IN BLACK STAINLESS STEEL. So much anticipation and excitement only to find it just keeps food cold.
- There were no hurricanes in Houston. There was a tropical storm on one of my VERY LONG work trips across the south of Texas.
- MILLENNIALS! That references the previous point. There are no Starbucks in rural Texas; deal with it.
- Andy is about to exhibit some of his wonderful photographs on stretched canvas.
- Kerry still writes nonsense on her blog and this year the fairy stories were popular but her fashion blogs even more so. Que?
- We both had new DNA tests to clear up some anomalies. Andy has found some biological relatives in – wait for it – PETERHEAD!! I am still Mexican and Irish. I like Tequila and potatoes.
- Kerry reduced Andy’s blood sugar levels – YAY! Some of this involved barking orders about food choices but now he is no longer pre-diabetic.
- We watched a lot of Netflix.
Here we are in Brenham just after Thanksgiving this November. One of the benefits of living in Texas is that it is warm in the winter time.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
From Kerry and Andy xxx
Toffee says Howdy!
READ THE NEXT PAGE FOR THE LESS HORMONAL VERSION…
Kerry’s hormones have balanced somewhat and I have stopped barking orders at Andy… ❤ We had a lovely evening showcasing Andy’s photos that we would like to exhibit in 2019. Andy has been successful at selling some photos through Getty Images over the last few years, so this is a fun new adventure.
Andy is standing next to his piece de resistance, a 12 image composite of Arches, a natural rock formation, in Utah. It is taken without a tripod – the composites are both horizontal and vertical. Doesn’t he look slim and handsome for a 60 year old senior; all that hormonal barking has paid off? 🐕
One of the images is Kerry’s; the crow in silhouette at the Western Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This was on the aforementioned trip from hell to Grand Canyon. At least I got a good photograph out of it and potentially funny blogs in the future. I have taken a break from the blog but hope to get back to it soon.
WISHING ALL MY FRIENDS AND READERS HOPE, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN 2019
This is just for Leah – our forests look exactly the same. This was taken at Lake Bedias in Texas just after Thanksgiving. The sign at the start of the forest tells us to watch out for snakes, alligators, bobcats, coyotes (but no lions, tigers or bears…oh my!)
30th Wedding Anniversary
I married in 1982, one year after Princess Diana. Many of the dresses of that period look dated but my lucky bargain dress stayed stylish and beautiful. This photo (set) was a gift to Teddy on our 30th wedding anniversary – 6 years ago. My wedding dress had not been cleaned in all those years and had traveled across continents. It was in a plastic bag in our attic in Texas and after I lost weight, I decided to try it on. It looked amazing so I took it my local dry cleaner who made it like new for less than $10. It is ivory satin with tulle and Belgian cotton lace on the bottom. I was struggling to find a wedding dress in Scotland because my skin is really more sallow than it looks. All the bright white dresses washed me out. Finally, my mum and I went to Fraser’s department store in Glasgow and found this dusty ballgown (not a wedding dress) reduced from 100 to 15 GBP. Even then that was a steal.
As soon as the photographs were taken, I took the dress to my local thrift store so that some other lucky bride could enjoy it. I felt somewhat guilty for having ignored it for the previous 30 years… Below is the dress on the original day, 19 July 1982.
Teddy and Bunny, with our Mums at our side in 1982
So this is the original color of my hair and also Teddy’s glorious blonde hair. My hair is naturally curly and covered in confetti. My mum had sewn up the low cut neckline for modesty but the stitches burst open as soon as I stepped (elegantly) out of the taxi. At least Teddy and his grand-dad looked really happy at the view! I was 21 but looked like a teenager – nervous about marrying a virtual stranger and living in a new country.
The anniversary photographer had a make-up artist so I posed for a variety of shots. Teddy proudly displays them in his office and delights in visitors saying “Is that your wife??” Yes, she is. ❤
Celebrating Teddy’s 60th birthday at a rooftop hotel in Mobile, Alabama
…and he snores too. Teddy and I rarely travel together because of our elderly cat but made a special effort to go to a new place for his 60th birthday. When we married he was 24 years old and I can’t figure out how all this time has passed. Teddy went ahead of me and I arrived at Mobile Regional Airport on his birthday. He picked me up in a rental car and we went straight across the fabulous Mobile Bay causeway . Sometimes water that close to a roadway scares me but this was just sublime. We started looking for brown historical sites signs and starting learning the fascinating history of Mobile.
View from the original settlement of Blakely near Mobile. The city of Mobile is in the far distance.
This whole city, named Blakely, was abandoned after an epidemic of yellow fever in the 1800s and everyone moved to the new settlement of Mobile on the other side of the vast bay. Five rivers create a delta into the bay. From our busy metropolis, this was absolute bliss – very few people and polite drivers. We went to lunch at an Oyster place with a great view across the delta. After two glasses of wine I decided ‘we’ would drive to just over the border of Alabama into Florida. It was wonderful. Teddy and Bunny decided that there was no reason to change the habits of a lifetime and had a spat about which direction we should be going in… There was no cell phone service deep in the country and the GPS stopped working. By the time we had dinner in the rooftop restaurant of our hotel, all was bliss in Teddy and Bunny land. 🐻 🐰
Many more posts of a place less traveled and some funny stories.
I am sorry for the blurry quality of the photograph but I was laughing so much… Despite my amorous adventure in Mexico, Courtship by an Angel…, there is only one true soul-mate for me. Teddy!!!! We both forgot about Valentine’s Day this year and he is currently on vacation in California. Yes, it really is a new brush for Teddy wrapped in pink chiffon. Many years ago Teddy made a terrible mistake and bought me a peg-bag (for hanging up washing) and a kitchen clock for Christmas. I have always wanted to get my revenge and this week I did. We really did need a new brush and Teddy mostly uses it to carefully clean up our utility room every morning at 5 am. He scoops out the litter boxes, feeds Toffee and gives her medicine. Now that is a true Valentine.
When he saw it propped in the garage, he burst out laughing, as did I, and I think that is our recipe for success. He is romantic and silly and still looks damn good naked. I was very shallow when I met him and fell for his six-pack and blonde hair. After 35 years together we have had the most romantic vacations such as falling into a bed of roses in Istanbul, getting very frisky in a mirrored room in the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs but we have also helped give enemas and removed zits from awkward places. Teddy most amuses me when he wanders around the bedroom with just a t-shirt on with his appendages sticking out the bottom. His bottom looks amazing for his age and I like to squeeze it.
As I told Angel, my husband is really very romantic, much more so than me. We love snuggling and spooning. Some sexual intimacy has faded but our erotic intimacy has not. Life changes with each decade. We play a little game each night called hand sex where we pretend our hands are having sex. Recently he initiated this in a restaurant and I was mortified. No one could possibly know what we were doing but it has become our secret pleasure.
We go out for brunch every Saturday and he holds hands across the table, looking into my eyes, sometimes whispering that I am beautiful or my eyes are so blue. We still occasionally dance in the kitchen or he has a quick feel of my boobs or bottom which results in a playful slap. Mostly I say, “Don’t touch what you can’t afford” and go running through the house to escape his clutches. What touches me the most is when I remind him of my mother; I had a complicated history with an alcoholic mentally ill parent. Teddy could see through all of that to the vulnerable, naïve, beautiful soul that was hers.
BUNNY LOVES TEDDY to Pluto and back!
Here is the backstory – I like to eat snacks in bed. On this occasion I was enjoying a juicy plum. The next morning I got up and sleepily went for my bath. Like most of us, I concentrate on the potentially odorous body parts and give a cat’s lick to the rest. I glanced at myself in the mirror as I was drying myself with the bath towel only to notice I had a bar code for a plum on one of my plums!
Laughingly, I realized that I had bathed insufficiently much like Toffee, our elderly cat, who has a medieval annual bath… It was so funny that I thought I would share this with my husband. We married long before the internet was accessible to Plebeians and although we wrote long love letters that flew across the world, we missed out on the delights of sexting. Ah ha, the opportunity to sext had presented itself. Eventually Teddy noticed his text and responded ROTFLOL. Really? Surely those plums were worth a “can’t wait to get home, baby” or a photo of his body parts that don’t include a shingles rash. My first sext was a fail.😔
It struck me that I was so lucky to have been young and stupid BEFORE sexting selfies. Now I am just old and don’t care. I would have been sexting left and right, especially after a night of ‘refreshments’. Back in the day I had an amazing figure and was more than happy to show it off, especially bra-less.
When I first moved to our conservative part of Texas I was amazed that the letter page in our local paper was full of our neighbors’ outrage about a large Victoria’s Secret poster on our turn off the interstate. Wait for it…..she was wearing a BRA! According to the letter writers, this was a likely cause of accidents and moral degeneration. Then I discovered that nipples were vulgar and wondered where I had moved to. Amish country? Thirteen years have passed and now I flinch when I see a hint of nipple. We adapt to our surroundings. When we lived in Egypt decolletage caused both expats and locals to gasp in horror. Well now my reputation is completely ruined. Next stop, Sodom or Gomorrah.
During Hurricane Harvey, my husband, Teddy, was stuck in Utah because the flights were cancelled into Houston. We had talked the day before he was due to leave and he was running out of Gabapentin because like most of us, we only pack a couple of days extra medication. I suggested he call our health care provider and see if they could send a prescription because it is dangerous to not taper off this medication, which was prescribed for his migraines. Like everyone else, we had no idea that Harvey was going to be such a catastrophic weather event and initially I suggested he taper his drugs by one third.
Then he complained about a rash from bug-bites. Not so; it was undiagnosed shingles! He noticed it the day of the eclipse where he was outside in very hot temperatures taking photographs. Somewhat ironically, Gabapentin can be used to help with the nerve pain of shingles so he probably didn’t feel the nerve pain initially. After the hurricane hit, Teddy was still stuck in Utah. When he called me, I asked him if he could talk me through using the WII Fit which I haven’t used in years. Like most married couples, technical issues can create a divorce inducing argument. Teddy raised his voice at me (during a flipping hurricane!) and I immediately shouted back. It is his fault for provoking a Hispanic/Irish wife…
During our ‘conversation’, I realized that Teddy was very upset and I backed down, concerned for his health. Eventually he traveled from Utah to Denver to Austin and intended to drive home from there. The weather conditions were still too bad for him to reach our home with most roads blocked. By this time he had to go to Urgent Care for more blood pressure medication and then the rash. Curiously, the Medic diagnosed it as bug bites and prescribed an antibiotic cream.
Finally, he made it all the way home and suddenly his strange mood made sense. We were both a little tearful when he returned because no matter what I said, it was really scary not knowing what would happen next with the weather. When he showed me the rash I recognized it as shingles. Our own doctor prescribed anti-viral medication for him which helped reduce the spread of the rash which was also hurting at the front of his chest. Shingles is infectious and you can spread the chickenpox virus. I caught chickenpox when I was about 30 and I thought I was dying – it is much more serious in adults. He is now well on the road to recovery from this second bout of shingles and he will get the vaccine when he is better. (I have stopped quarantining him…and removed the red cross from the door).
On a much lighter note, we went to Nordstroms’ Rack a few weeks ago for Shrek size shoes for Teddy. He insisted on buying these Psycho Bunny boxers – what do you think he is trying to say to his Bunny??? They are extra cute, though.🐰
PSYCHO BUNNY PANTS
New flannel sheets!
My husband used to travel much more frequently than he does now but he recently went to Austin for a conference. By happenstance, the new flannel sheets had arrived; they not only look lovely but feel amazing. Why flannel sheets in the subtropics, you ask? Teddy was a
Princess Prince in another life and I discovered decades ago that he could really feel a pea under 20 mattresses. The bed has to be soft and comfortable, yet perfectly made. My mum knew how to look after him with perfectly ironed sheets and underwear…
SO FLUFFY I COULD DIE!!!
In the back of my disturbed head, I have a secret fear that he will leave home and live in a hotel if I don’t provide a clean, freshly made bed on his return. Teddy hates hotels so the fear is not based on truth but more of my own distaste of returning to an imperfect bed after staying in hotels (which I love).
Wine and soap
On the dresser you can see a bottle of Pinot Noir and some handmade soap that were my gift for his birthday. Shortly after I moved to the USA, I started a new anti-depressant that made me ‘high’ and I was finally able to make soaps (a long held desire). I am so good at it that friends asked me to sell them. There were a couple of orders for baby shower favors which made me gasp with horror. Not only did they know the sex of the baby but they had chosen a name! In the UK we only gave gifts after the birth just in case the baby did not survive. How do you know if she is going to be Apple or Peaches or Trixiebelle until you see her adorable little face? Eventually I had to come off the euphoric medication and realized I am allergic to the soap fragrances (even the best quality). Now I just make them on special occasions and never use them myself as I have a prescription Sulphur wash.
So what is the point of this blog? I love my husband so I make him comfortable and that is one of the secrets to a long marriage. I make him soaps even though I get a headache and I can’t drink red wine but buy him his favorite. That said, Teddy is currently in the wilds of Utah, Idaho or Montana – I don’t monitor his movements. When he comes back, he will have another fresh bed but he is going on a diet because his shirts are tight… Guess who is going to eat all the meat and booze that he can in Brokeback country???