JOHN DAY - Monday, Dec. 12, our meal was pizza, salad and cake. The servers were members of Redeemer Lutheran Church. Francis Kocis led the flag salute, and the blessing was given by Pastor Roger Blesi.

Maryann Morris won the gift certificate from Len's Drug. The free meal ticket was given to Bonnie Kocis.

What happened when the snow woman got angry at the snowman? She gave him the cold shoulder.

We were served roast pork, potatoes, coleslaw, green beans and pie on Thursday, Dec. 15.

The entree was donated in memory of Thelma Asher, and served by members of the United Methodist Church. Don Caldwell led the flag salute, and the blessing was given by Marcie Collins.

The Chester's Thriftway certificate was given to Margie Conlee, and the haircut from Katrina's Barber Shop was won by Deda Porter.

Bernice Mack's nephew, David Morris, joined her for lunch today.

Mark Witty, superintendent of Grant County School District 3, was here to explain how the economy and the loss of student enrollment has affected the district's budget. He handed out an informative pamphlet to everyone.

"Rooneyism ... Things I Have Learned: That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help in any other way." - Andy Rooney

(Deda Porter is filling in for a few weeks for John Day Senior columnist Dee Hubbard.)

PRAIRIE CITY - Only a couple weeks to go in ol' 2011. Seems like just yesterday it was a matter of great concern when the year 2000 arrived. But the world keeps turning.

Got the Christmas shopping taken care of. Now have to turn to those who have birthdays in late December and early January. Gets confusing sometimes. On a related note, the hall acquired its annual Christmas decorations courtesy of Strawberry Grange. Real nice little tree.

Our set-up crew is never confused. Always do what they are used to doing and we are grateful. And our take-out delivery people know where they are supposed to go in our little town. Only thing that stops the deliveries is a locked door. Then inquiries are made. Kind of like a roving neighborhood watch.

And what can I saw about our cooks? They are simply the best. I know if I had to come up with a new menu every week for 50-plus people, I'd be nuttier than I already am.

Gene Van Newkirk was awarded the money in trade by Prairie Drug and Hardware. Buzz Harris led the flag salute, and Pastor Marvin Hatfield asked the blessing.

So today, we were treated to a little bowl of peanuts and candy kisses from Nancy Viggers. Thanks so much. We were served by volunteers Mary Brown, Georgie Hatfield and Helen Cardwell.

The meal today was pulled-pork sandwiches, baked beans and coleslaw, and for dessert, banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Our liquid refreshment included grape juice, milk, buttermilk, coffee, tea or water.

The ladies from Blue Mountain Nursing Home, Lorna and Kellyn, brought Lois and Elmer Terryberry, LaVerne Matteson and Charles Lockwood.

Assistant cook Helen had this tale to tell: They were going to replace a couple of ceiling fans in a water-damaged room. The fans were in boxes and waiting to be installed. They opened the boxes to read the instructions. They opened the booklet and proceeded to turn pages in order to find the instructions in English. There were instructions in eight languages in the booklet, but none in English. Providentially, a guest knew Spanish, and he translated those instructions into English. Now, isn't that the pits?

Son Joel was here for four days of working on the bathroom in Mom's house. Only thing he didn't take out was the tub and ceiling.

Hebrews 3:4 "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God."

MONUMENT - Tuesday, Dec. 13, was kind of a different day. Marva Walker told me we couldn't count everyone in the building because quite a few of them were busy with other things. And the ones who worked instead of eating, sure missed out on a delicious dinner.

The menu was sliced, baked ham; scalloped potatoes; hot rolls; a bean salad with four or five different kinds of beans; and a scrumptious chocolate pudding for dessert.

I wasn't working, nor was I eating. They had me stashed away at the "Hilton on the hill." I wasn't in any immediate danger of kicking the bucket, but I've sure felt a lot better at times.

Our visitors were Bruce Dunn and his grandson, Rushton McAuley, from Washington state; and Lis and Lonnie Davis from Mt. Vernon.

The certificate winners were Claudia DeRoos, free meal; John Yeager, free meal; and Sharon Falls, Chester's Thriftway.

The Hoondenpyls and Carrie Ussery gave another rendition of Christmas music after dinner. Everyone said it was truly wonderful. They also had a surprise, music-wise, from Mike Hamilton on the piano. He didn't play Christmas music, but played an assortment of "oldies but goodies." I didn't even know he could play the piano, and then he waits around and plays it when I'm not there. I think that would be worth a private concert, right?

Theda Phelps brought an assortment of books for everyone ... quite a nice Christmas treat for everyone.

The seniors received a card from Marion Fowler for "Happy Holidays" from Nebraska.

The "Cookie Caper" was a great success. A lot of people and a lot of cookies were there. I received a big plate of cookies. I love that there are always a big mixture of cookies. They made up 40 big plates to hand out.

I made a surprise visit to the "Hilton on the hill" on Tuesday, Dec. 13, but I wasn't sick enough to stay over. If they had been on my side of that story, they would have changed their minds. The "service" was fine, but they sent me home. I'm much better now, so I guess they were right.

My youngest, Petra, and my grandson, Zachary, will be here Monday and will spend the night with me. Zachary couldn't bring his guitar without buying a ticket for it. Petra told him she had his other guitar here, but he says it needs strings, and they're hard to find. They will figure it out though. And his "granny" will have her concert.

Just in case, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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