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This is my last column for 2010. In a few days my husband and I will leave our completely re-done humble abode and drive out to our daughter's to spend some time with them. I'll be back after New Year's.

As per Sarah-she's got every single minute planned. We'll be driving there and arrive around dinner time. Friday-we're going to have fun with our grandsons while their parents are working. On Christmas (which we personally do not celebrate, but our "cashews" do both Hanukkah and Christmas), our son-in-law and my husband are using some passes he got at work and enjoy a football game somewhere in the Phoenix area. Our daughter and I will make Christmas dinner and be with the kids.  

The next morning, at some horrible pre-dawn hour, we're leaving for the Grand Canyon. I believe Sarah has written in 2-3 hours for us to see this wondrous sight that neither of her parents have been to before.  

From there-we're booked for a trip on the real Polar Express. The next morning-we'll head to a local deer farm. My best friend from middle and high school and his wife live close by, so they're going to meet us there. After which our whirlwind tour of the Northern part of Arizona will head us back towards our daughter's home. Tuesday, my husband will have to drive back home.

He has to go back to work and our niece/nephew will probably be looking forward to returning the care and feeding of our elderly Lab mix and our middle-aged tabby to their father.  

For the first time in 30 years-I won't be able to celebrate my husband's birthday with him. Seems our daughter and son-in-law's employer believes in staying open for any last minute loans that need underwriting-while their pre-school/day care does not.

That's fine by me-I'll reap the rewards of being able to cuddle with my most precious grandsons for a few more days.

2010 sure had its ups and downs. Literally-on day 11 of 2010, I took a pretty good "down" and broke my writing hand, dislocated my shoulder and evidently took off a pretty good chunk of skin on my knee. I know this because I still have the scar.

2010 also saw us officially welcome our daughter-in-law into the Nadel clan! I took my first vacation away from my husband-the "up" of that was spending a week with our daughter and grandkids, the "down" was being away from home.

Our home decided to get back at us for only paying attention to the top floor in 2009. Water damage made us move out of the house for 3 weeks. All in all-it wasn't too bad. We love the 1200 square feet of new maple flooring, the new walls and paint, the new (and last possible) bathroom vanity and the updated lighting in the kitchen.  

I'm sure there was more, but I'm blocking it out.  

This year was my first colonoscopy-I'm sure that was TMI.

Our tabby had some mighty expensive dental work-at the same time as my PT Cruiser and my husband's Crossfire needed major automotive work.  

I came close, twice, to a full-time job in the media. Close-just not close enough. However, I've been able to work my way into some regional magazines and be part of a brand new news website. It's all good and interesting.

Next year-We're already booked for a romantic 30th Anniversary cruise on our favorite Celebrity Liner-well, its sister-the Eclipse! Hard to believe we're hitting yet another milestone year of wedded bliss. It's gone by so fast that some days I look in the bathroom mirror and wonder just who the h-e-double hockey sticks is that old lady? Then I remember, sigh.

Since this is my last "Carine-what's cooking?" blog of the year-I want to wish you all a wonderful, happy, fun-filled, healthy and safe holiday season and the most Happy of New Year's.

May we all look forward to a more positive and secure 2011!

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