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Kentucky Journal
December 18

Well Christmas is surely on its way at the May household.  This seems to be a time when the folk in the area go way overboard for Christmas and so Christmas shopping is the number one priority right now and the Christmas Tree is filling up fast with presents :-)

I'm told the cats don't get a Christmas present but they sure have fun playing with all the discarded Christmas wrapping paper :-)

Everyone is looking forward to David coming home for Christmas from the Navy and William from the Army. It's the first time Deb will have seen William since he returned from Iraq although he phones home once a week.  Looks like the whole extended May clan will be here for Christmas Day and preparations are well in hand to fill up their giant fridge with all kinds of goodies to ensure we don't starve :-)

I might have persuaded Deb to try out a Clootie Dumpling to serve up during the festivities.  We did have a problem figuring out what Sultanas were and ended up buying golden raisins which I think are similar. We've all had fun wrapping up the presents and I must say Deb is a real expert at the wrapping whereas I am an expert at disguising the wee tares I make while wrapping them.  In fact the other night Deb was giving lessons to her daughter Laura on how to tie up the parcels with a bow.  I enjoyed watching it although was thoroughly confused with the instructions but Laura did just fine.  Also had a chat with her boyfriend, John, who told me he is descended from the Rite's and I mentioned that they might actually be the Wright's and if that was the case we must be long lost cousins :-)

Today snow is falling so it's all very Christmassy looking in the Hollar and we're hoping it doesn't last too long so the folks can get back from work. 

I've been working hard on all the new things for the web site and Steve has been working testing out all the new services to ensure we can install all the new software for folks to play with. Today I was working on adding Christmas graphics onto the Family Tree and The Flag so even the site is getting all Christmassy.

In this area they do a lot of Christmas lights and other decorations on the outside of the homes which is certainly very different from how we do it in Scotland. Quite a few homes also do nativity scenes and other Christmas displays on their front lawns. In fact one house I saw seemed to have a whole Christmas village on their lawn.  It all makes for a wee wonderland :-)

Of course there is mild panic at this time of year as postal delays are widespread and so it's keep fingers crossed that the presents ordered online arrive in time. On thing I have noted is that here in Kentucky they have wee post boxes at the roadside in front of each house.  This allows the postal service to just stay in the van while they deliver the mail.  The other advantage of this is that you can post your own mail by simply putting it into the same box and then putting up the red flag to indicate there is mail to be picked up.  Of course in Scotland it's rather different as we get our mail pushed into the house through a letter box slot in the door but we have to walk to a post box to send out mail and these can be some distance from the house.

This week I've been treated to gravy and biscuits which I have to say for those from Scotland that this is nothing like it sounds.  Here biscuits are actually far more like our plain scones and gravy is more a white sauce.  With that we have bacon, eggs and sausage links so we have the luxury version!  I've also had a plate of pancakes with maple syrup which was also excellent. Today Steve is soaking pinto beans as the basis of what will be a meal in the next couple of days so looking forward to that :-)

I've been trying to find a couple of Kentucky Calendars but none in the area so we're planning on going to Pikeville for a few other things and hopefully I'll find them there.  Need to send a couple to friends in Scotland!

I'm told on Christmas Eve that the big Wal-Mart store comes up with huge discounts on Christmas products so there will also be an expedition to see what last minute presents might be obtained!

So.. that's my report for today.

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