Monday, December 26, 2016

White Christmas

A Christmas morning snowfall.

The snow started on Christmas Eve, just before darkness fell. It wasn't very heavy, only about four inches by morning, but it fell throughout the night and continued until early afternoon on Christmas Day. When I stepped out on the porch around 11:00 that morning to take these pictures, the flakes were huge and gently floating down, down, down. That's my favorite kind of snow.

As it turned out, I didn't spend my entire Christmas morning alone. I went back to bed after driving Mark to work and didn't get up again until about 10:30. Dylan came over around 11:00 to do some laundry while Jake was at work. Then Mark got off work unusually early, just after 11:30, so Dylan went to pick him up and bring him home for me. Sarah and Chris came on over a little after 1:00, and then Jake got here from work about 4:00. By that time, dinner was almost ready!

Thankfully, my family provided plenty of help. After I'd woken up and started getting ready for our Christmas day activities, I noticed my stomach was feeling a little cantankerous. I was slightly nauseous, but not badly enough to worry that I might throw up. It was more like I was bloated and had about two days' worth of undigested meals sitting on top of my stomach. I had eaten a light breakfast, but after it made me more uncomfortable, I was afraid to eat anything else.

Jake, Dylan, and Sarah prepare to enjoy their Christmas dinner.
It was basically a repeat of Thanksgiving, only without the green bean casserole.

I soon discovered that my energy had been drained, as well, but everyone stepped up to make our Christmas dinner happen. I'm OCD enough to require that my dishes all be washed and put away before I start cooking a big meal. There weren't many dishes on the counter, and I'd intended to wash them up before the turkey went into the oven, but I just couldn't find the strength to do it. So Sarah emptied the dish drainer, and then Chris washed up what dishes there were to be washed.

Meanwhile, Dylan had helped me wrestle the 14-lb turkey into its roasting bag and basted it with butter before putting it in the oven for me. Later, Sarah scrubbed the potatoes, which Dylan then cut up to be boiled for mashed potatoes. Mark prepared the stuffing while Sarah heated the buttered corn and got the dinner rolls in the oven. Chris and Dylan pulled out the table, brought in extra chairs, and set out the soda. And Jake arrived just in time to set the table while Mark carved the turkey.

Sarah, Chris and Mark wait patiently to dig in.

While my family slaved away in the kitchen, I spent some time in the recliner with my feet up, hoping I'd start feeling better. And, miraculously, I did. Although I still didn't feel great, I was at least able to get up to mash the potatoes and make the turkey gravy...which came out in completely delicious perfection, if I do say so myself! (I can't always say that about my gravy adventures, unfortunately...) I was even able to enjoy a little dinner without nasty consequences, although I ate far less than I normally would have. It was a wonderful feast, and I am so grateful to my family for bringing it all together.

Sarah and Chris and Dylan and Jake added their family gifts 
to the stacks beneath the tree when they arrived.

And then it was time for opening presents! Jacob had insisted that we must Skype on Christmas day so we could all watch each other open the gifts we'd given to each other. So right after dinner, Dylan brought out my laptop and set it up so we could see each other live, although we actually ended up doing it via Facebook rather than Skype. That worked pretty well.

Dylan set up my laptop to live-stream Jacob and Danielle via Facebook.

Ironically, the first thing Jacob told us was that he and Danielle had already opened the gifts we had sent them, saying, "We just couldn't wait!" So I said, "You go get those presents right now and hold each one up and tell us exactly how much you loved them when you opened them!" And that's what they did.

Chris and Sarah open their gift from Jacob and Danielle while
Jacob and Danielle watch them from their home in Utah.

For Danielle, I sent the little bears you see in the two photos below. I thought they were so adorable that I just had to capture them on film before boxing them up and mailing them. Danielle is a serious reader and has even written a book (although she won't let us read it), and I knew she would adore the bride and groom bears, still being practically a newlywed herself.

For Jacob, I sent a big flash for his new camera and a purple Blue Ridge tee-shirt with our mascot, a yellow jacket, over an American flag on the front, and "Hear the Buzz, Fear the Sting" written across the back.

Bearfoots bears for Danielle's Christmas.

Sarah and Chris sent Jacob a box of sausages and cheeses with a cutting board and knife. They sent Danielle a nail kit, including little gems and things you can add to your manicures.

Dylan and Jake sent Jacob a tripod for his new camera, and they sent Danielle the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Mark sent Jacob a collection of Axe fragrances, and he sent Danielle a book called Fantastic Beasts Magical Movie Handbook and a box of milk chocolate-covered macadamia nuts.

After we had opened all our gifts from Jacob and Danielle (noted below with the rest of the gifts), we chatted a little more before we said our good-byes and Merry Christmases and I love yous. After about half an hour together via the Internet, we signed off, and those of us in Arizona began the opening of the remainder of our presents to each other.

Chris and Sarah with their stacks of gifts.

Jake and Dylan with their piles of presents.

Mark with his gaggle of goodies.

Mary with her surplus of surprises.

And, finally, Sarah and Chris with their new gifts.

Jacob and Danielle gave Sarah and Chris the Disney Frozen version of the game Trouble, called "Olaf's in Trouble."

Dylan and Jake gave Sarah a beautiful wolf blanket and a Christmas album by the a cappella group Pentatonix. They gave Chris two games for his Nintendo 3DS: "Olaf's Quest" and "Big Hero 6."

Mark gave Sarah the novel Hollow City (the sequel to Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children, which Sarah read and enjoyed recently). He gave Chris some Bluetooth headphones.

I gave Sarah  a Simply Straight hairbrush hair straightener; a "Tree of Life" pendant set with real amethyst; the book Fantastic Beasts Magical Movie Handbook; and earbuds for her cell phone. I gave Chris a 6-CD set called "100 Country Hits"; a set of Stetson fragrances; a hover ball; and two packages of his favorite candy, Reese's Fast Break. And I gave them each a purple Blue Ridge tee-shirt, just like the one I sent to Jacob.

Jake and Dylan strike a pose with their Christmas haul.

Jacob and Danielle gave Dylan and Jake a Halo Interactive Strategy board game.

Sarah and Chris gave Dylan a DVD of one of his favorite movies, Deadpool. They gave Jake a box of sausages and cheeses with a marble cutting board and knife.

Mark gave Dylan a Rocket Science rocket, capable of flying 50 feet using baking soda and vinegar. He gave Jake a Star Wars Trivia Box game. Jake is very much into Star Wars, like me.

I gave Dylan a Simon Air game; the latest book in his favorite series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid; and a giant bag of peanut M&Ms for his M&Ms dispenser. I gave Jake a Darth Vader perpetual block calendar; and a pair of Star Wars wall prints (one features Han Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, and the other Kylo Ren). I gave them each a purple Blue Ridge tee-shirt, just like the one I sent to Jacob. To both of them, I gave a crock pot; a recipe file with about a dozen family recipes already on cards; and two Star Wars bath towels. Prior to Christmas, I also gave them an Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) waste basket and a stormtrooper toothbrush holder to match their Star Wars shower curtain, so their bathroom is pretty much Star Wars-ready!

On the morning after Christmas, I cleaned up the living room and
arranged all of Mark's and my opened presents back under the tree.

Mark's gifts.

Jacob and Danielle gave Mark a model kit to build a replica of the General Lee, the car driven by the Duke cousins in the old TV show, The Dukes of Hazard (one of Mark's old favorites).

Sarah and Chris gave Mark a box of sausages and cheeses with a cutting board and knife.

Dylan and Jake gave Mark a kit to build a birdhouse with wind chimes.

I gave Mark a VR (virtual reality) headset; a Nerf-type rifle that fires discs and darts at plastic cans; a 3D crystal puzzle of a lion; a box of chocolate-covered cherries (his favorite); and a purple Blue Ridge tee-shirt, just like the one I sent to Jacob. 

My gifts, although the Wet Head game is actually a family gift from Santa.

As for me, I was spoiled this year. Jacob and Danielle sent me a plate featuring a picture of our family from our trip to Southern California in October. I'll treasure it forever.

Sarah and Chris gave me the DVD of the new film version of my beloved stage play Saturday's Warrior, which I've been wanting ever since it came out.

Dylan and Jake gave me a $25 gift card to the local theater (they know how much I love going to the cinema!) and a huge glossy book, Inside the Magic: the Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Can you tell we all loved that film?

As for Mark, he went all out. He gave me a small replica of the famous statue of Jesus Christ found in so many LDS Visitor Centers, called the Christus; a beautiful pair of snowflake earrings that I look forward to wearing; and the Willow Tree figurine called "Je T'aime," meaning "I Love You" in French. It's beautiful.

Oh, and the little handmade soap with the red ribbon was a gift from Gwen Green, our English department chair. It smells of cloves...mmmm.

A closeup of the plate from Jacob and Danielle: mi familia.
And the great blessings of family make Christmas so delightful!

We ended the evening by watching a movie together. By the time we were done, it was getting late and everyone had to work the next morning (except me). So we resolved to try out our new games next Sunday at family dinner and then I stood at the door and watched my kids drive away in the snow. It was truly a merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

An Empty-Nest Christmas Eve

An unusually quiet home on Christmas Eve.

I really am enjoying the whole "empty nest" thing, as a general rule. This is my first Christmas, though, in which all of my children are married and settled into their own homes. Not one remains under my roof. Sarah and Chris spent this evening having Christmas Eve with Chris's family. Dylan and Jake planned to meet up with friends to see the Christmas lights around town and then go back to their apartment to watch Christmas movies. And Jacob and Danielle, of course, live far away in Utah.

That left just Mark and me. I made us a tasty chicken stir-fry for dinner and then we settled in to watch a Netflix movie, the new version of Ben-Hur, which was actually quite good. As usual, Mark retired to his bed at 9:00, since he has to get up at 5:00 a.m. for work five days a week. Yes, even on Christmas Day. Denny's never closes. At least, not unless we're under threat of evacuation due to a nearby forest fire, which isn't likely when it's snowing outside.

With the house now truly silent, I retired to my office at the back of the house to write this blog post. Around 9:15, I thought I heard car doors slamming outside. I paused to listen, and then I heard feet clomping on my porch. As I approached the front door to see who was stopping by, I heard singing. I opened the door to find my brother Jeff, sister-in-law Dana, and several of my nieces standing in the freshly fallen snow, singing a carol. Too bad Mark missed it! They didn't stay long, having other homes to visit, but it was a joy to see them and share chilly-jacket hugs before they went on their way. Suddenly, it really felt like Christmas Eve.

My new little artificial Christmas tree on the day I set it up, a week ago.
The branches were still not arranged right because I'd given up halfway.
I was still sick and became too short of breath to finish it that first day.
The gifts on the floor beneath the tree are the ones we sent to Utah
a few days later for Jacob and Danielle.

The whole Christmas season has felt a little "off" for me this year. Some of it was due to taking on so many extra duties at work in order to be more prepared financially for retirement, as well as the non-joy of coming down with a cold just fifteen days before Christmas. (I'm doing much better now.) But I know it was mostly the adjustment to no longer having children here to make a Christmas for. They were my reason for decorating, for choosing the perfect tree, for putting up lights, for hanging stockings, for honoring traditions. Without them here, it was easier to be too busy, too sick.

Again, I'm not feeling "Bah, humbug!" at all. I love Christmas. I'm proud of my children for building such good lives and not needing me so much anymore. There's a certain level of peace and contentment in that, a feeling of a job well done and the happiness of knowing your adult children love you and will always be there for you, even after they've moved on. It's not really what I'd call "sad." It's just different.

Last Sunday, Sarah tried different configurations of our family gifts going to Utah for
Jacob and Danielle, as we tried to decide what size box to put them in for shipping.

And so I did finally plunge into the buying of gifts, going a bit overboard, as usual. I don't spend a ton of money, but I like everyone to have plenty of presents to open. That's why there are so many boxes under the tree. I don't think my family believes me, but I'd be perfectly satisfied with no gifts for myself. My joy comes from the excitement of my kids unwrapping presents and seeing their eyes sparkle with the fun and surprises.

She also tried this configuration...

The Christmas tree and the decorating of the house presented more of a challenge. In the end, I decided not to decorate this year. I just couldn't bring myself to put my clean, treasured Christmas decorations on my dusty shelves, and I simply didn't have the energy to stir up the dust that would only further irritate my stuffy sinuses and scratchy throat. Luckily, the Christmas lights Dylan had strung around the living room last year were still up, so that lends a more festive air to the room.

...and this one. We finally settled on a box and I got them mailed out on Monday.
Jacob and Danielle received them on Wednesday. Nicely done, USPS!

As for the Christmas tree, I surrendered to convenience at last. Mark and I had had a fake tree, an old one my parents had given us, for the first two years we were married. From that time forward, though, I insisted on real trees, which we oftentimes went out into the nearby forests to choose and cut for ourselves. Seven-footers, adorned with dozens and dozens of ornaments collected over the years, many made in school and featuring my children's artwork, hand prints, and photos. That's what I'd grown up with, you see, except for a couple of years in my teens when we had one of those silver aluminum trees (which I actually thought was pretty cool at the time).

However, the last two years of slogging up and down through deep mountain snow to find the perfect tree took it's toll on my knee and hip. I was finally forced to admit that, maybe, the time had come to purchase an artificial tree.

The box of gifts for us from Jacob and Danielle in Utah arrived on Monday.

Early in December, I started looking at the artificial trees in Walmart, Lowe's, and Home Depot. I had a list of requirements. First, I wanted a smaller tree, preferably a four-footer, so it would be easier to handle. I could set it up on the coffee table and make it look nice. Second, I wanted it to be pre-lit, preferably with colored rather than white or clear bulbs. No more messing with a long string of tangled Christmas lights. Third, and most importantly, it had to look real. If I had to have an artificial tree, gosh darn it, it was not going to look fake!

I very nearly ended up with no tree at all. There were lots of beautiful seven-foot trees for sale, but the few smaller trees they offered looked terribly cheap to me. I just couldn't spend the money, not even a mere twenty dollars, for a tree that was clearly covered with cut green-paper needles. I was pretty close to giving up, figuring I'd start looking earlier next year, maybe check online.

All the gifts are finally under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve,
including the ones added beneath the table, sent by Jacob and Danielle.

Then, one day after I picked Mark up from work, I suggested we check out Lowe's again. And there it was: four feet tall, covered with fat little colored bulbs, with realistic-looking needles. It was a $120 tree, but I was more than willing to pay it. However, as luck would have it, the guy who helped us said "corporate" had just marked it down to $83. Plus I used my Lowe's credit card for the five percent discount and got the tree for just $79! Well, $85.55 when you tack the taxes on.

It isn't totally perfect, of course. It was a bit harder to set up than I'd anticipated, although much of that may have been because I was still pretty sick at the time. And, sadly, there's no place for a tree topper, so my little porcelain angel no longer has a home. I bought a small, lighted star, but even that was too heavy and just bent the top branches over. Maybe by next year I can find a very small, very light tree topper that will work. For this year, there will be no angel or star.

I also decided not to put ornaments on the tree this year. Originally, I'd intended to hang some favorite ornaments, but since the tree went up only a week ago and I was still in school for two days of this week, it didn't seem worth the effort for such a short time. On the other hand, I did splurge on a big, sparkly-red tree skirt! I've been using the little white-felt skirt showing Santa on a train since Sarah was a baby. See? I'm already starting to move on!

A closeup of the branches shows the needles are fairly realistic.

As for tomorrow, it will be a quiet morning as my children celebrate Christmas in their own homes with their spouses. I'll be up early to take Mark to work, and then it will be just me. But that's just the morning. By 4:00 we'll all be together again for Christmas dinner and the opening of our gifts to each other. That's why there are still so many presents under the tree. We always wait until we're together to open those special ones we exchange. Even Jacob and Danielle will be Skype-ing to see us open the presents they sent, and letting us watch while they open the gifts we sent to them. Then it will be Christmas, indeed!

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Valley Christmas, by Dylan

The sun hangs low in the western sky beyond Phoenix.

It's been months since I last posted any of Dylan's photographs. There are so many awesome shots I'd love to have shared, but my life has been a bit too full since school started. So much has slipped by, not unnoticed, but also not all shared.

The Rosson House Museum on Heritage Square in Phoenix.
This Queen Anne Victorian-style brick home was built in 1895.

Early in December, Dylan and Jake made a trip to celebrate Christmas with Jake's side of the family for four days, since both boys work jobs that will keep them busy during the weeks of Christmas and New Years. While there, Dylan sent me some gorgeous pictures I'd love to share with you!

On the grounds of the Rosson House.

One of the first things they did was explore Heritage Square, one of the original blocks in the center of the town of Phoenix, featuring buildings from the late 1800s.

The Lath House is often used as a venue for weddings and other events.

Their crew also hiked to Dobbins Lookout at the top of South Mountain, which gave them an amazing (albeit hazy) view of Phoenix below. The haze is typical of Phoenix winters because of a temperature inversion that traps pollution near the surface. Crisp, clear skies are more typical in the summer months.

The view from Dobbins Lookout.

There aren't many tall buildings in Arizona, so it's easy to spot
downtown Phoenix rising from the center of the sprawling city.

A closeup of downtown Phoenix.

A winter sunset as seen from South Mountain.

They spent quite a bit of time on South Mountain, watching the sun go down and then seeing the lights appear across the Valley floor.

On one of their final nights in the Valley, they all went to the LDS Temple in Mesa to see the thousands and thousands of Christmas lights and displays on view, an annual tradition for many families. Most people, whether LDS or not, will tell you that the Mesa Temple lights are the absolute best Christmas light display anywhere in the Valley, and I'd have to agree. It's not just the lights and sets, which are stunning, but the very spirit as you walk the grounds is so peaceful and quiet. Guests tend to speak in hushed voices as they wander throughout the temple's beautiful grounds.

I love this one.

I won't post all of Dylan's pictures of the temple least, not yet. Sarah, Chris, Mark, and I are heading to the Valley next week for an appointment, and we plan to tour the temple grounds ourselves before we head back home that night. As always, I'll have my camera with me and do my best to capture the wonderful ambience through the camera's lens. Then, perhaps, I'll share a collection of moments from both Dylan's and my own experiences!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Galaxy Far Away

Mark, Jake, Dylan, Chris, and Sarah at the theater with a Rogue One poster.
December 21, 2016

Today was kinda sorta a small Christmas miracle for our family. We'd all been wanting to go see the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, which opened on Friday, but as usual everyone's work schedules were at odds. 

Then, when we checked our schedules at Sunday dinner, we were amazed to find we had a small window of opportunity in which we might actually be able to spend a few hours together mid-week! Today was my first day of Christmas break, it was Mark's day off, and Dylan and Jake had the day off. However, Jake had a meeting at 11:00 this morning at the resort where he works, while Sarah and Chris both had to be at work by 4:00 this afternoon. We anxiously checked the theater schedule. It could be tricky to fit a 2-hour 15-minute film into a roughly 3-hour period.

A funky Christmas tree and cozy Christmas scene inside the theater.

But we did it! The 1:00 showing gave Jake plenty of time for his meeting to be done, and the movie ended just in time to visit a few minutes before Sarah and Chris had to rush off to their jobs.

And what an excellent movie it was! I will say that it was the first of all the Star Wars sequels to recapture the feelings I had when I watched the original three films back in 1977, 1980, and 1983. Rogue One tells the story of how the plans to the Death Star made it into the hands of the rebellion prior to the story we saw in the first of the films, Star Wars: A New Hope, where we first met Luke, Leia, Obi-wan, Han, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. Rogue One was an awesome stand-alone film that nonetheless managed to explain or set up most of the events that occurred in A New Hope

The only thing that threw me for a loop was the fact that there were no Bothans. You know, that furry race from the planet Bothawui who gave their lives to steal the plans for the Death Star. The leader of the Rebellion, Mon Mothma, credited them when she solemnly told the rebels, "Many Bothans died to bring us this information."

Thank goodness for Google. I was reminded tonight that it was the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, that the Bothans helped to bring down, not the first. Mystery solved.

A gift of peanut butter fudge was delivered to my classroom yesterday.

I added this last photo because it's linked to a funny coincidence. While we were in line to buy sodas before the movie began, we ran into the Vizzerra family, who brought me the little bowl of peanut butter fudge just yesterday. Both of the Vizzerra boys are/were students in my English classes, their mom teaches at the elementary school, and their dad is going to be my student teacher this semester. I'm very excited to host a student teacher during my final semester before retirement. It will keep things interesting and shake it up enough, I hope, to make the time go a little faster. After we joked about how we snagged the best seats in the theater because we got there ahead of them, Mr. Vizzerra shared the happy news that he just found out he'll be starting his student teaching earlier than we'd anticipated, just a few days after we return to school following this break. I look forward to it. I believe he's going to be a great teacher.

Anyway, great movie! We all highly recommend it!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A New Mattress

Mountain Mattress is one of our local stores here in the White Mountains.

Since moving back in with us more than nineteen months ago, Mark has slept on the floor, the couch, a variety of air mattresses, and finally the bottom half of our boys' old bunk beds. That includes the thin little children's mattresses that came with the bunk beds, which have been worn even thinner over the years that our sons slept on them, from childhood.

A few weeks ago, Mark (who isn't much of a complainer) began complaining that his mattress was uncomfortable and didn't provide enough support for his back. He broached the idea of buying a new mattress, but I told him mattresses could be expensive. Where would he find the money? Then, as luck would have it, he suddenly received some checks from his father's estate that we were beginning to think would never be released. I still didn't think it would be enough money, but he suggested stopping by Mountain Mattress after I picked him up from work yesterday.

The store is chock full of unique bedroom sets in a variety of rustic styles. 

I was amazed. First, I was surprised to learn that Mark could get a decent twin mattress and box spring for only $129. Second, I had no idea what a treasure Mountain Mattress is! I have driven past that store hundreds of times over the years and thought it was only a tiny mattress factory. Instead, I discovered that it was full of beautiful rustic furniture that I instantly fell in love with.

Mark checks out this bedroom set.

Although I'm not currently in the market for any new furniture, and I'm extremely happy with my old bedroom set which includes the world's most comfortable king-size mattress, I will nonetheless keep this place in mind. You see, I have long-term goals. I expect to finish writing my novel within six months of retiring in June. Someday, after my book is published, I'd like to buy a roomier house. Not huge, just more space for family to come and stay whenever they like. And more storage. And a garage. And paved roads and a paved driveway.

In that house, I plan to have a living room and a family room. The family room will be a "Magic Room" to share with family and my closest friends. I will fill it with whimsical memorabilia related to the fantasy stories I love to both read and write: wands, wizard staffs, dragons, faerie folk, elves, castles, the One Ring, a Marauders Map on the wall, books of magic on the shelves, fanciful Elvish-inspired furniture, and so on.

The living room, however, will be representative of our mountains in the Southwest. Rustic furniture and decor influenced by both Native American and Cowboy artistry will be featured. I actually began collecting those types of furnishings when we first moved here twenty-seven years ago, and I'm always looking to add to my Buffalo-dancer kachina, rabbit-fur-lined cradle-board, wood-carved black bear, and other mountain-folk items.

The staff at Mountain Mattress was warm, friendly, humorous, and helpful. When I think of them, I remember their big smiles and their laughter. No pressure at all. As we left the store, I told them there was a good chance I'd be back someday. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future. After my book makes me rich and famous. Or at least debt-free with a slightly nicer house.

They had more than beds available, too, including couches, recliners, and
dining room tables like this one that I thought was very, very cool!

By the time we'd left the store on Friday, we'd made up our minds to return the next day so Mark could purchase a nice, firm mattress. And that's what we did today, just as soon as he got off work. We hauled the mattresses home and he reassembled his "new" bed, including a crisp, new set of sheets he bought for himself when we went Christmas shopping later today.

I'm very partial to black bear carvings. Even the prices on their little sculptures
were quite reasonable compared to what other stores in our area charge.

While Mark was paying for his mattresses, I spied these adorable coasters
and just had to have them for my living room. It was love at first sight!

As you can see, they have more than bear carvings!
This huge bear was taken on Kodiak Island, Alaska, in 1959.
This is the sight that greets you right as you walk in the front door.

Mark helps the guy get the mattress into the back of my car.

They got both mattresses inside. It was a tight squeeze, but they were in!

Out with the old and on to the new!

Once the mattresses were home and Mark had hauled them inside, he spent some time making the switch and dragging the old mattresses out of the house. Eventually I went into his room to check it out, and I immediately burst out laughing. The mattresses are now taller than the head- and foot-boards! In fact, the new box-spring alone is the same height as both the old mattress and box-spring were together!

And how does he like it? He reports that it's a huge improvement. Far more firm and springy. Now we'll see how much better he sleeps tonight!

Obviously the new linens were put on by a typical man...
If I'd done it, the lines would be crisp and straight with military corners!