Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Mindful of the reason for the season, Max & I are enjoying a quiet white Christmas day. We went out for a Christmas breakfast then drove around town to enjoy the peaceful, snow covered, town while there was very little traffic.

We were happy JR, Sarah and Calvin could come up to see us for the quick pre-Christmas visit. See post below for a view of the four generations together.

We extend our prayers to everyone for peace and good health for the New Year.

- Max & Carol

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Four Generations

Yesterday, oldest son Max Jr brought his daughter and grandson up from Selah (Yakima suburb) for a quick pre-Christmas visit. JR wanted to have dinner at the China Buffet, so here are the four generations of smiling faces, with full tummies, after dinner.

From left to right: Max Sr., Max Jr., Sarah, Calvin... (and Santa in his sleigh).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Cavalry Has Arrived

I am pleased to announce the addition of two new assistants to help me with my Wenatchee real estate business. Perci Owens, left, and Shelley Granger have both lived in Wenatchee for quite some time and are fun, smart, personable and care about doing a great job for our clients.

I've been so overwhelmed with business lately, burning the midnight oil has been the rule rather than the exception.

Max, remember me? I'm your wife! I promise to get Shelley & Perci up and running so we can leave for California in mid January.

Having landed two significant investment group accounts this year, it's time to bring in the Cavalry. Welcome to Shelley and Perci. I'm working on coming up with a "team" name. Any ideas?

Update 12/24/06: So far the only nominee for a team name is: "The TOP Team". Being as we are working for Top Properties, it seems appropriate. Want to work with The TOP Team chics? Give us a call and we'll show you how much fun buying or selling real estate can be!

For current Wenatchee real estate news, info and trends, click here.


Friday, December 15, 2006

2006: Max & Carol's Year in Review

As the year 2006 comes to a close, we reflect on how blessed we are. We are blessed with an enduring love, a beautiful place to live, relatively good health, and lots of great friends!

Here is a look back at our "blogged" year. Click on the blue links to go to the archive page for that month and enjoy all the pictures and commentary. The month starts at the bottom of each page and works up, most recent post at top... a diary type format:

January 2006: Departed Wenatchee for our annual trip to Arizona and Palm Springs, California.

February: All month in Palm Springs. Carol takes her computer, fax and cell phone and no-one even knows she is gone unless they want to see her smiling face. Call her the “Roaming Realtor”.

March: Our primary care physician retired so we both had lots of doctor appointments to get the new guys up to speed. Carol finally found a doctor who could help with her allergy problems. Breathing is a good thing!

April: Spring brought the joy of new blossoms, Carol’s birthday, a new golf season and, sadly, the loss of Carol’s dear Aunt Dottie (from Springfield, Oregon)

May: Carol’s new digital camera gets a work-out and a birdhouse collection is born

June: A trip to Oregon for a quick visit with my cousin Shirley (Dottie’s daughter) and on to Bend to see the new home our friends Jim & Kathy were having built.

July: A busy and diverse month. Carol took an overnight trip to Gig Harbor for some training for a new investor group she is working with. Son Jeff installed stones in our entry courtyard, so we now have a place to sit and relax outside the house. We drove to Cardston, Alberta (Max’s birthplace) to attend the 80th birthday gathering for Max’s sister Elinor. Later in the month, Max’s other sister (Connie) and her husband came to Wenatchee and spent a week with us.

August: We were honored to be invited to our friend Karen & Leo Garcia’s house for an authentic home cooked Mexican fiesta. This was timed to coincide with Max’s birthday week.

September: We celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary with our friends Troy & Amy who were celebrating their 1st anniversary on the same day.

October: We savored an absolutely beautiful Fall season.

November: Cowboy Max, Carol’s blogs immortalized in book, Thanksgiving with the boys.

December: Decorating the Christmas Tree, Grandma’s fudge recipe, The Nutcrackers, The Cavalry arrives, Carol suffers back injury, Four generations meet at Christmastime.

May the joy of the Christmas season be with you and may the New Year be happy!

We would love to hear from you! You may contact us at:

The Nutcracker Collection

When my friend Perci got finished decorating the Christmas tree, I was inspired to go out and find some more new and exciting decorations. The nutcrackers caught my eye, so here are three to start my collection. I hope to add at least one every year. The one on the right is a golfer. How cool is that?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grandma's Fudge Recipe

I posted this story last year about this time. It's such a good (and funny) story, I wanted to bring it forward and post again. Enjoy!

We received this box of fudge from Amy & Troy last Christmas. This is the story of Amy's efforts to get the fudge just the way her Grandma used to make it:

The enclosed note read:

"Dear Carol and Max,
Here is some FUDGE I made from the heart. I was thinking about my Grandma and some of her Christmas cooking. I remember her making holiday cookies, popcorn balls, and fudge. A few years back I helped her make fudge for the family.

So… my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be a good idea to make fudge and put it in small tins as a part of gift baskets for both sides of the family and close friends. It was a well thought out plan with good intentions.

So here is the FUDGE STORY: (I am now convinced that FUDGE is a very bad word)I dug through many boxes to hunt down Grandma’s recipe book. Found the fudge recipe and scurried down to the store and bought all the ingredients. Everything was going as planned until the actual fudge making process began.

The instructions said to boil until it forms a soft ball and folds. So I kept boiling and boiling until the crap started to crystallize! I took it off the burner and as it started to cool it turned into one massive concrete ball! I ended up with this rock hard blob that adhered itself to the bottom of the pot. It was stuck in there so bad I literally had to throw the pot away. Somehow I missed the “soft” ball stage!

Round Two: I dug up an older pot to cook with just in case round one was repeated. This time I cooked the liquid until it started to fold and then I took it off the heat and stirred it for awhile until I realized it was getting very hard in a hurry. This batch did make it to the cooling pyrex but after it was completely cool it was hard enough to break every tooth in my mouth. I think we could use this batch as additional blocks for the retaining wall.

Round Three: I felt I was getting closer to making edible fudge. All I had to do is pour myself another drink and cook the liquid for a shorter amount of time. That should do it right? Mmmm…..well, I stuck to my plan of more drinking and less boiling. I took the liquid fudge substance off the fire much earlier this time. As it cooled I stirred, and stirred, and stirred. I was so confident that this batch was going to be perfect I added a bunch of expensive walnuts to it. I poured the warm fudge into the pyrex and waited for it to cool. As it cooled it was supposed to harden. I waited, and waited, and waited. It did harden some but not to the classic fudge consistency that I had expected. The fudge looks more like a soft brownie but it is edible and does taste good. I cut it up and individually wrapped the pieces just like Grandma used to do (which was an ordeal in itself that I will not go into).

Round Four:After a semi-successful batch, I got the urge to make one final attempt at the perfect fudge. I scraped the bottom of the butter barrel and used every last teaspoon of sugar in the house. This was it, there were no more ingredients to do another batch after this. It had to be done right. I thought about this “soft ball” thing and realized what that means. You drop some boiling liquid onto a plate and when it cools it should form a soft ball. That is the point when you take the fudge off the burner and start beating it until it “folds”. Brilliant! So, I boiled the liquid for awhile and then started making splatters onto a plate. They were not making soft balls, but they sure did taste good. I think my theory was correct with the soft ball idea, but I kept eating all the drippings before they became totally cool enough to make a ball, oops.At this point I was totally “FUDGED up” and just wanted to eat a piece of my creation and be done with the project. I got nervous that the substance would crystallize again so I took the last batch off the burner and started to beat it. I had used all the walnuts in the previous batch so this round would be nut free. I poured the last of the fudge into the cooling pyrex for the final attempt. This might have been it? Well, as close to “good” as it is going to get. It is still a bit soft but at least you won’t break any teeth!

Final Conclusion:I now know why Grandma always had drinks while making fudge. I learned that making fudge is no easy project but love my family and friends enough to attempt making gifts that are truly from the heart. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!
The Greenhalghs "

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Decorating The Christmas Tree

Today we had our Christmas tree "professionally" decorated. My friend Perci (left) loves to decorate so we let her have some fun with our new 4 1/2' tree, with fibre optic lights.

Max & J.R. went shopping for a new tree a couple weeks ago, and Perci and I went shopping for new decorations last week. Today was decorating day.

All was going according to plan until we tried to get some of the decorations out of their packages. It seems like a simple enough task, but turned into more of an ordeal. You can see me on the floor literally tearing the packaging away from the ornaments. I was afraid I would break them just getting them out.

Perci worked for nearly 3 hours making the tree absolutely beautiful!

(You can click on any image to enlarge, to get a better perspective)