Wednesday, December 30, 2009

christmas with elliot and tiffany

Peter made a surprise and very brief appearance!

high class and low brow


Yesterday we went on a field trip with our friends from Patrick's. We spent the morning at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts looking at art and art and more art. My eyes got full eventually and I couldn't tell a bowl from the Tang dynasty from a hole in the ground, but it was an education. I think I discovered that you mosey around and really look at only about 25% of what you walk by and you don't try to see everything. The place was packed, too, which made it difficult to absorb. I wanted to look closer at The Astronomer but a pack of old hens moved in and I was elbowed to the side.

The second part of our adventure was at the Summit Brewery in St. Paul. We had a very nice tour with a friendly young woman name Jeannie and then we spent the late afternoon hours in the tasting room. They were quite a hospitable bunch there at the brewery, laying out cheese and crackers and cookies and plying us with their nice selection of beer. We got back on the Govenaire's bus which either has no shocks or really bad shocks (I can't believe Minnesota's roads are that bad) and nearly shook our eyeballs out of their sockets. The Summit folks kindly sent us off with beer glasses, cases of beer, and souvenir t-shirts and hats. A good time was had by all.

Here are the pictures from the field trip if you are so inclined to view more of the debauchery.

One thing I loathe about the week leading up to New Year's Eve is that they review the news of the past year. And this being the end of the decade, we not only have to hear about all the current bad shit going on all over the world, but we have to review the bad shit from the last year and the bad shit from the last ten years. Oh my God. How did I make it through the turn of the century? I don't don't want to know about that stuff unless there is immediate danger to my own personal self. If a bad guy is coming down my street, I want to know. That's the extent of my interest in the news. That kind of news anyway.

Monday, December 28, 2009

monday the best kind

I went to the Pulse this morning for the strength class. I decided that I was going to attend some classes just for a change of pace since it's been a year today that I started exercising. (Remember our first day of swimming, Betty? We thought we'd die it was so cold.) I did the strength class and a short bout on the treadmill then came home to take a nap. I love naps in the winter. Regis and I went to the grocery store and MenRnerds. I'm sitting on the couch and that folks, has been the extent of the day.

We're taking our friend Joanne out for dinner to Dino's. I love the atmosphere there. They play that nice Frank Sinatra music and the lights are low and the food is great.

My resolution for the new year is to try and do better. That's it. One way to do better is to try and complain less. I read this poem and it made me think of it. Here it is. In case you want to complain less, too.

At the University College of North Wales at Bangor  

by Gerald Locklin

Most of my students here are very poor.

I seldom see them in the pubs: they
Cannot really afford the prices.

As winter hits they have to decide whether
To spend their shillings on the coin-operated heaters
Or on food.

I suspect that heat often wins—you can
Freeze to death quicker than you will starve.

Their incentive is that they will presumably
Have more comfortable lives if they survive
The minimalist conditions of college.

The government gives them a small grant
From which to buy books.
We are encouraged to require
Very few books.

A book is a valued art object here.

I never hear a complaint here
And no one misses a tutorial
Without the most profuse and formal
Of apologies.

In California my students and I and everyone else,
Also including the movie stars and politicians and
Pro-athletes,

Seldom stop for breath
In the midst of a constant bitching.

********************************************
Me again. It's worth a try, eh? Although I worry that my main coping mechanism, humor, will lose some effect if I have to be all sunshine and roses.

Boy, it's tempting to buy crap this time of year. On our travels through Menards, we noticed a ton of discounted stuff. Of course, it wasn't anything we really wanted when it was regular price so we didn't buy any of it at 50% off. But it's tempting. I got a catalog in the mail with great stuff at reduced prices. It's better if you just don't look.

There you go. Monday.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

dreams

I was awake between 3 and 4 o'clock this morning. Regis was sound asleep but talking in his best oratorical voice. He said, "They are always aware when quietness descends upon a region." It was so curious, I had to write it down. He has the most vivid dreams and says the most interesting things in his sleep.


One of my favorites was the time he dreamed that we were dressing up in the costumes of different countries and visiting their websites, like www.germany.com dressed in lederhosen. I have dreams about amorphoous bad guys chasing me. No details like names or places. Just a fearful feeling. Regis remembers names of the people in his dreams, sometimes people who went to kindergarten with him. I don't remember those names when I'm awake. It makes for interesting nights when he has dreams like this.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

being lazy like it's my job

I'm at the end of the laziest day in recent memory. I'm feeling the urge to do something that requires some mental stimulation so I guess I'll post some random observations here. Oh boy for you.

We have Showtime on Demand but every time we look at the schedule, there isn't one movie we've even heard of and therefore, we aren't too interested in watching them. We watched a couple episodes of Iron Chef but when they looked like they were going to start killing fish on the air, we abandoned that channel. I don't have the attention span tonight to sustain a movie anyway.

I sent a big bag of chex mix off with Peter tonight. That shit is evil and it needed to get out of the house. He called later and said he had just driven by an accident on 169 with four cars and a semi in the ditch, patrol cars and ambulances all over the place. I guess the chex mix and the accident aren't connected. Are they?

I hope Ella is feeling better. She made a trip to urgent care on Christmas night and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Poor baby. She got a couple shots and a prescription. The report is that she's feeling better today.

It's snowing again. Nice to have a clean cover on the icy gray stuff that survived the storm of rain and snow the past few days. We have a puddle of water at the end of the driveway, bordered on both sides by huge ice battlements. Not so easy to drive on this stuff.

I'm going to make a warm drink (not coffee) and think about going to bed soon. That was my lazy day. My back actually is sore from sitting so much. Hahahaha. Still good to do this from time to time.

Saw a funny quote today. If work was so great, rich people would keep more of it for themselves.

what i did with saturday afternoon


Here's my new diamond ring. Quite a beauty, eh?
Actually, it's a key ring that came free with a bottle of bath oil. Hahahahahaha.

 
Here's the pile of books by the couch. A couple of old favorites and a couple I'm trying to plow through.


Ella saw this on the tree and thought it was beautiful. It came from a tiny town in Missouri.


 
 This is a lily from the bouquet Regis had sent to me on the 23rd.

Productive use of my time. See below.

As you can see, I'm doing a good job of nothing productive today. I made an elf-yourself dancing elf. I have no idea why I think it's so funny.


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

ugly Christmas sweaters


I love this picture of Regis and Amber. They wanted to get ugly Christmas sweaters this year but decided they were too expensive. Apparently they've gotten to be pretty hip fashion items...so Amber found these ugly Christmas sweater t-shirts at Target. We got quite a hoot out of them. I like the way the Grinch hat on the Christmas tree is sitting right over Reg's head, too.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with good food, good friends, little kids who believe in Santa, and family. It snowed off and on all day which made for a beautiful backdrop for the events. We had some guests who came because they had to cancel travel plans...and we're glad they were safe and sound in St. Peter instead of on the roads. We missed Tiffany and Elliot on his first Christmas.

Our neighbor Julie and her daughter Ivy joined us later in the evening. They had headed out for Fargo the night before with their big dog Waldo in the back seat of the convertible. Somewhere near Delavan, they spun out, went in the ditch, and nearly rolled the car. We were glad to have them at our table.

Ella is at the perfect age for Santa belief. She knows all the details about him and is so sweet and innocent, she doesn't question a thing. She told me how he gets into their house (without a fireplace) and what he does prior to Christmas and how Mrs. Claus and the elves help. She wondered if Santa would come to our house with her toys if she took a nap here. Oh, it makes my heart ache.

Thankfully (is that a word?) I didn't wake up at 3:30 this morning since I went to bed at midnight. For some reason we have HBO this weekend so we tried to stay awake to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. Oh, it was hard to keep my eyes open and finally I couldn't do it anymore.

I put the food away last night but didn't do a good job of cleaning up so I have that waiting for me in the kitchen. I don't have any plans to do anything today and will feel like I accomplished something if I get dressed. What I like to do is lay on the couch all day and read.

It doesn't look like all that much snow came down during the night. Four inches maybe? It looks wet and heavy, though. I would say that in town, this storm was a bit of a disappointment. I know it was worse in the country and on the highways.

I'll probably end up writing more since I don't plan to move from this spot today, but for now, that's it. Enjoy the day. Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

a long time before dawn

I'm awake at 3:30 as I have been for the past couple weeks. I hear the snow plows going down the streets. It looks like a wonderland outside with fat layers of snow over everything. I can't tell how much it snowed in the night but they say that is only the first wave anyway.


I wish our boys didn't have to go out in the bad weather this morning. They should be done by 1:00 and maybe it won't snow anymore until after that. Amber and Emily and the little ones are in St. Peter. If they're leaving town, I don't want to know. I'll worry.

Cybil and Shawn should be arriving in Canby right about now, from Ohio. They're young and much more stout of heart than I am. It will be nice for Mom to have little kids in the house on Christmas Eve so I'm glad they are.

Peter has to work until 4:00 today. Who is eating Subway on Christmas Eve? Invite them over here!

Tiffany and Elliot are safe and snug in Pine Island. We'll miss them but I'm glad they aren't traveling.

Jill's daughter and son-in-law made it last night from North Carolina. Evan's luggage did not so we're trying to put together a Christmas outfit for him from donations. I said Peter had some low-hanging pants he could wear. Evan's a doctor so it might not be the professional look he's going for. Ha ha.

Joanne's son and daughter-in-law and baby are heading to the airport, intending to fly to Florida in the morning.

Everyone should be arriving by mid-afternoon. I woke up thinking about which dish to put the truffles on and such important details as that. Also wondering who is canceling travel plans, who made it safely home, who will be joining us instead of whatever they thought they would be doing.

I'm heading into the kitchen to putter with my dishes and food. I'll need a nap later, for sure, but I can work for a while. I still have some cooking things to accomplish and plenty of organizing to do.

Pictures and stories to follow!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

we're cookin' now, folks

Regis made the indoor barbecued pulled pork today while I was at work. He also whipped up a batch of peanut butter cookie dough. When I got home, we made a crock pot full of meatballs, a savory cheesecake, and the cookies. It doesn't seem like so much once you write it down.

There are a few things to do tomorrow but I think it's under control. Regis and Regis brought in the big round table tonight. I thought I was buying a 5 foot table but lo and behold, it was 60 inches in diameter. The latter seems bigger to the math disabled like me.

Regis pronounced the cookies sublime. They are supposed to have peanut butter cups in the middle but we only had one bag so we subbed crunch bells and mini-snickers. They seem to have the same soporific effect.

Here is what Accuweather says about the weather:
DO NOT take this storm lightly. This will turn into a life-threatening blizzard, especially for those that will be passing through. Those that live in this part of the country understand full well how severe winter storms can become. They tell horror stories about storms such as a person getting totally disoriented just trying to get from the house out to the barn. Those that venture out ill prepared in such weather run the risk of being found in a snowdrift somewhere a couple of days later.

The point has been made. This will be a ferocious blizzard that will paralyze northeastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. Travel through this region should not be attempted from Thursday afternoon on. You simply will not get through.


Well, holy shit. That sounds serious and I'm not going to mess around. I will be staying at home where it's warm and safe. You should do the same.

down to the wire

We went to Patrick's for a bite to eat last night. We had to order the boneless wings. When I told Brian I wanted to order some and he said they didn't have any, I whined, "Well, what will we do for Christmas dinner then?" He took pity and said he would order a box and have them by Thursday. Nice people.

Regis made chex mix yesterday and when we got home last night, we made krumkakke. We had forgotten, since we made them last, that it makes a boatload of the little buggers and takes forever. He has a couple other things on his list of things to do today so it looks like we might have things under some semblance of control. I don't advocate this kind of preparation for a holiday, it just happens. Shit just happens and in the end, it's fine.

Everybody is talking about the weather. In the conversations, if someone suggests they may be stranded here, I invite them for Christmas Eve. If you're reading this and are contemplating the day with a frozen pizza, come on over. We have a new fold-up table and plenty of food and we'd love to have you. I think we've expanded our definition of family over the years and it now includes just about anybody we want to have here. Glen joins us for lots of holidays, Joanne is almost always here for birthdays, and the kids call Tom their uncle. It really adds to the spirit to have more people to call family.

Our old friend Mary called last night. Mary was one of the nurses for Regis when he had surgery at Fairview ten years ago. She took good care of both of us over the week he was in the hospital and we have been friends ever since. One thing that makes our friendship so special is the serendipity of it. Of all the possible points in time, our paths crossed there and now we're friends.

So, off I go into the night to exercise. There's big snow coming, the lines are long everywhere you go, the liquor store looked like it was stocking up for the apocalypse, but people are happy for the most part. That's good.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

forecast is for a %#@^load of snow

Snow occurring on Dec 22 | Dec 23 | Dec 24 | Dec 25. Total amount 21.1 Inches.

I got a Christmas card from George Clooney!


It's hanging on the refrigerator alongside the card from the Boulevard beer company.

lethargy

So, I came home from work yesterday, looked at the list of things to do...and did nothing. I took a nap on the couch, had a glass of wine with Regis, had a bowl of chili, and watched television. We talked about the weather some as Regis is excited about the impending storm. Paul Douglas is predicting 1-2 feet of snow and you can read about it here. He has maps and science to go with this dire forecast. It may change a lot of people's plans for holiday travel. Paul says: Stay tuned, especially if you plan to do any extensive traveling from late Wednesday into Saturday morning. What he calls extensive traveling and what I call extensive traveling (across town) may be different.

Yesterday was the winter solstice. Thank God the days will start getting longer now. I hate the lack of light, really I do. I have been out early every day and it's dark...and I've been out at the end of the day and it's dark. Mostly it's light between 8:00 and 4:00. Before and after that and you better have a good flashlight. It's depressing, really it is. I think it's why we have Christmas lights and candles. To chase away the dark.

I told Regis I would bake some cookies but I haven't. He said he would try to do it today and I think that's his safest bet. I'm just not into it this year. I have a bagful of stuff from Trader Joe's and that could suffice, if you ask me. I'm doing a really good imitation of a lazy person this year.

I'm going to the Pulse to work out with Rachel this morning. I made coffee because it works better to lift weights if your eyes are open.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nutcracker


We had a wonderful time at the Nutcracker. Ella was enthralled and wanted to talk to the ballerinas when it was over. They all came out and sat on the edge of the stage so she wandered back and forth and waved at her favorites...mostly Clara. She asked a lot of questions (When is Clara coming back? Why is she doing that?) and grabbed the book a couple times to examine the pictures. It was a magical afternoon with my girls.

Menu for Christmas Eve


 Indoor Pulled Pork
Buns
Swedish Meatballs
Boneless Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
Savory Cheesecake
Bean Dip and Corn Tortilla Chips with Salsa
Karen’s Fruit Salsa and Tortilla Chips
Chex Mix
Spiced Nuts
Hot Spiced Punch
Sweets
Walnut Cranberry Whiskey Tart
Peppermint Bark
Chocolate Pretzels
Truffles

where are the damn christmas elves?

I spent the last hour and a half writing my Christmas letter. I love this part of the holidays. Other things are not going so well and I could use the help of a few elves around here. Hey, Regis and Peter are both done with school. I see a to-do list in their future!


I've tried to do the things I enjoy and let go of the things that are a pain in the ass. I didn't decorate much, except for the tree. Ella and Tiffany helped with that. We've had friends and family over for dinner and wine and that's been great. I gave up on the idea of Martha Stewart entertaining a long time ago, so they get us the way we are...no matching pinafores or handmade place cards at the table.

Today, I'm taking Ella and Tiffany to the Nutcracker. Tiffany and I went when she was about 5. She loved it and sat in rapt attention for the whole thing. It's snowing a little bit this morning so that will add to the magic.

I went to the Pulse yesterday and did my weight routine and my running on the treadmill. I looked over at Sandy at one point and said, "Sandy, look at me! I'm running!" Ha! It's the daily miracle. Two years ago, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without hanging on the railing and stopping in the middle to rest. Now, I can run and jump.

I've been digging through my recipe collection for the things I want to make for Christmas Eve. I have a pile of recipes, not cookbooks, but recipes in binders, folders, and on pieces of paper...that is seriously two feet high. They aren't very organized so it's a fair amount of work to find what I want. I did this one night last week and now I can't find the list I made for the menu. I'll have to recreate it sometime soon...like tonight. Peter said he would make meatballs (Grandpa Estle's favorite recipe) and Regis is going to make pulled pork. We went to Trader Joe's yesterday and I bought some sweet things so I think I'm off the hook for baking.


We went to St. Louis Park yesterday to visit a friend who has cancer and is in a nursing home. This kind of thing puts a different spin on the craziness of the holidays and helps me keep in mind what the important parts really are. Betty and Tom are giving Michelle's cat a new home so we had to fetch Bonita and we decided to make a day of it.

We had lunch at a great place called Laredo's and then stopped at Trader Joe's. What a hoot. If it hadn't been so dang busy, I could have spent some time in there. We bought: Peppermint Bark - $9.99 for a 16 oz. box Crushed peppermint candy layered between white truffle fudge and peppermint infused dark chocolate... deep breath...[sigh].







At Laredo's, we had a sampler of: Tijuana Torpedo Sliders (cola-braised shredded pork carnita with melted american cheese), Cowboy Sliders (shaved smoked bbq beef brisket & whiskey bbq sauce), and Santa Fe Sliders (mini-ground beef burgers with pico de gallo, chipolte mayo & pepper jack cheese). Just in case you wanted to know.

Now, I have to print my letters and start getting a package ready to mail. Oh my.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

plan of the day

Regis likes to float through the day and do things as he thinks of them. I like to have a plan. I gave up lists a few years ago, but I like to have a plan. My plan for today is: make muffins, make banana bread, finish menu and grocery list for the coming week, finish Christmas Eve menu, pay bills. There you go. That's my plan.

Jingle Bell Jam


Here I am ready for the Jingle Bell Jam. I have on my Grinch Santa hat, a string of battery-operated LED lights, and a few bells. They gave us a flashing red light that I attached to my hat. Hard to see in the daylight.


 Here I am coming up on the finish line. Regis said he could see me from a mile away with the LED lights! I didn't get cold in my two layers of fleece and the Cabella's down coat but I sure was wet underneath it all!
I was glad to have the hood when we got to the top of the hill.

 
That's me crossing the finish line...see the Santa hat and white shoes on the left? And that's my time...1:01.18. I didn't want to be competitive about my time but I got that way. I didn't want people to pass me so when I would hear them coming behind me, I'd shuffle faster. All in all, it was a hoot.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

finding things and losing them again

I hope I never find out how much time I have spent in my life looking for things. Usually more than once.

When I switched from my old e-mac to a PC a few years ago, I didn't really know what I was doing and therefore, lost a lot of things by trying to be efficient. I deleted them from where I didn't think they needed to be and they disappeared entirely. I should have kept the mac on the shelf for a few weeks but it went on its way to Wisconsin and all my thoughts were gone with it.

The other day I found one folder of things. When I opened them, they looked like some ancient language. Phoenician, maybe. I was able to find a program that made sense of them and I published Edith below. It didn't make me feel better to find those few pieces, though...only made me feel worse about the ones still gone.

This morning, I had the thought that I had found a white folder with writing in it. A shiny white folder with University of Iowa on it. Sometime this week. On a shelf. But now when I look in all the places that fit that description, it's not there. Now I'm not sure I really did find it or if I dreamed I found it.

This probably seems very strange if you are reading this and you are an organized kind of person. A person like me has no good system for getting rid of things. What if I want it next week? Shouldn't there be a purgatory for stuff before it gets thrown away? A place where I can fetch it back if I decide I really need it after all? So, I end up with boxes and shelves and tubs of things that are not necessary in my life anymore today but may be next week. They're just waiting for me to decide.

Throwing things away and regretting it later...those are not my only organizational issues. I can't sort things very well so I have books and magazines and folders of tax records all mixed up. I believe this is a math deficiency like my inability to pick out patterns in jazz or classical music.

I realized yesterday that I have been, in the back of my mind, obsessive about the Jingle Bell Jam today. I have been worried about feeling good, eating right, wearing the right clothes to stay warm, and going fast. I don't think to worry to this extent is the point. So, this morning I'm going to have a massage then I'm going to relax until we have to leave. Trying to make this fun, you know.

Things I find around my house when I'm looking for other things:
  • folders full of recipes
  • a box with three Christmas cards and two old stamps
  • a pile of receipts and brochures from a trip to PA in October
  • three Cooking Light magazines
  • Tiffany's baby book
  • a box of pictures not in albums
  • sticky notes with phone numbers but no names
  • a 2009 calendar, never used
  • a manual for a cell phone, long gone
  • a George Bush cartoon on NCLB
  • prescription receipts
I think I know where that white folder is...at school. Oh good grief.

Happy Saturday.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

decorating for Christmas


Edith

11-2-96


When I was ten, I lived across the alley from an old lady named Edith. She looked like most old ladies I knew then, not fat, but soft and a little lumpy, her gray hair thinning on the top so her pink scalp showed through, and hunched over, like she was still carrying a basket of eggs from the chicken house.  She lived in a small white house with a tidy lawn that my dad would mow because she was too old to do it herself and her men were too busy farming. She would make us a loaf of homemade bread every time he mowed. Her house smelled like that bread, and sugar cookies, and laundry soap.  And it smelled like family secrets, like my Grandma's cedar box, like scrapbooks and newspaper clippings and old letters.

About once a week, especially in the heat of summer, when it was too hot to ride my bike out on the gravel roads to look for meadow larks, red winged blackbirds and wild roses, I went across the brown, parched lawns and the narrow  alley to visit Edith. She alway invited me warmly into her cool, dark house.  Her shades were always drawn and the doors tightly closed. My house was hot and bright and loud. Edith's house was cool and dark, and so quiet I could hear her Big Ben alarm clock ticking from her bedroom when we sat in the living room drinking lemonade and eating the sugar cookies she had baked that morning.  Sometimes we played Parcheesi on an old board with glossy marbles.  The set we played on at home had come from the Ben Franklin store and was made of cheap cardboard and plastic poker chips, but this one had been made from a thick piece of wood, the squares painted  bright red and black, the holes for the marbles worn smooth.

Edith's husband, Harold, had died a few years ago and she still talked about him every time I visited, usually to tell me that it was his birthday, or that he especially liked sugar cookies, or that on a day like this he would have been out in the barn taking care of their horses, making sure they had enough to drink in the stifling heat. Once when I was there, she asked if I wanted to see pictures of Harold and I said yes, expecting a picture of him with the horses that were so prized, or maybe on the front porch of their farmhouse where they had lived for almost fifty years together. Instead, she put into my hands a small pile of pictures of Harold taken at his funeral, in his polished white coffin with the cover propped up to show  the  quilted satin pillow and Harold in his new black suit. His gnarled farmer's hands were clasped together on his chest, a thin gold wedding band on the finger of his left hand.  Even in the picture I could see the thick callouses on his fingers where they came together to hold the yellow rose that had been laid there.  Edith said she'd had beautiful flowers on the farm, especially roses, and this one was from her garden. Harold's  face, not familiar to me in life, was startlingly white and almost pale blue in death. The color of skim milk. She tells me the details of his death and the things about the funeral; the songs they sang, the people who sent flowers, and what they had for lunch.  I had never been so close to death.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas binder of recipes seems to have disappeared

My Christmas binder seems to have disappeared. I have a binder for each holiday and keep favorite recipes and menus and even a couple of old grocery and to-do lists. The Christmas one seems to have taken a powder. I hope I didn't drag it to the thrift store last year.

I wore my vintage faux fur to school today and got rave reviews. It's really warm. One friend pointed out that the lining and the label really hint at quality. Oh, my. It must be one of the first permutations of faux fur because it's really plush and not like the pile they call faux fur today.

I'm watching the 1972 version of Scrooge with Albert Finney and Alec Guinness. I like very version but this is one of my favorites. I haven't learned to operate the tv with the new remotes (Jill, I can relate to all the remotes!) so Regis has to come in and get it started for me.

I made a triple tomato soup for dinner. It has whole tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried tomatoes in it. We love it on a cold night. Now have beef stew meat (from a chuck roast) bubbling on the stove. It smells good in here.

Man, on this movie they have little kids dancing around with a dead duck from one of the store windows. The duck still has its head on and most of the feathers. Gross.

I still have the raven(as in black bird) statue on the table. Tonight, I hung a Bah Humbug glittery sign around his neck. There you go. In honor of the season. Happy Festivus. Ha!

monday morning


some words from a song by The Smiths:

If you must go to work tomorrow,
Then if I were you I wouldn’t bother.
For there are brighter sides to life
And I should know because I’ve seen them,
But not very often.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

decorating the tree

Couldn't decide which picture I liked best so decided to use the slideshow. I wish we had remembered to take pictures when Tiffany and Elliot were still here!

oh crap i meant to post more often

Really, I don't know where the time goes.

We had a busy weekend. But not that busy.

I see the damn weather channel is forecasting storms. That's all I need.

I must have made a large trip to the thrift store last year with Christmas decorations. Man, I don't have much left. One tub of wrapping stuff, one tub of kitchen stuff, and one tub of tree decorations. Even some of the stuff I liked is gone. Hey, maybe we had a robbery.Thieves out looking for Christmas decorations. I'd like to meet those dudes.

Ella came over today and helped decorate the tree. I unwrapped the little things from their tissue paper and she hung them on the tree. All at her eye level, of course. Tiffany tried to encourage a more holistic look but she wasn't in favor of that. Guess I can't blame her. She went home with a bag of steamed sweet potato squares. Some grandparents send cookies...we send vegetables.

I'm in training for the Jingle Bell Jam. That means I have to round up the Grinch santa hat and sew the jingle bells on my clothes. I'm not carbo loading or anything. Not that kind of training.

Tiffany was here this afternoon and asked about the box of ornaments that belonged to her and her brother. Oh my God loud moan of horrific anguish. I rescued those things from their dad's house ten years ago and asked ten times (a year) if they wanted them. When the response was always a disdainful no I assumed it meant no. So, some of them must have gone the way of the thrift store last year. I did find a few and maybe enough to be meaningful. How did I know that having a baby would make you care about things that never meant anything before? I talked to a friend the other day about how a woman's need to collect stuff peaks in her forties, then declines dramatically. I wonder if that's universal.

The tree looks pretty. It's why people have Christmas lights. To chase away the winter shadows.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

hey how come it's so dark outside at 5 o'clock

Now when I leave work at the end of the day, it's getting dark already. Oh, my aching back side. I hate that.

I made dumplings for the last of the turkey soup. It smelled good and tasted great but now the turkey that's still left in the refrigerator can be gone. We've had enough for a while.

We debated about going down to the bar to play trivia tonight. I suck at trivia. I don't have a fast retrieval system even if I have the information in my head. It just won't pop out when it's out of context. It's the same reason I suck at word finds and crossword puzzles. I like my words strung together in sentences.

Regis has been working so hard on his spread sheet class that he dreams about it. Last night he must have dreamed about a dog, too, because he kept shouting, "We have to get rid of the chihuahua! That dog is a pain in the ass!" We've had two dogs that might qualify for that description but neither of them are chihuahuas.

I went shopping at TJ Maxx on Sunday. Actually I browsed around so long that Regis thought I was either dead or imprisoned so he came looking for me. I debated about a pair of boots and a jacket but decided against both of them and bought some lingerie instead. That evening, I decided the lingerie wasn't right but I really wanted the jacket and boots so the next day, I made a diagram and Regis went back to TJ Maxx, returned the lingerie and bought the boots and jacket for me. He said an old lady at the cash register asked him if anything was wrong with the lingerie and he said they cut him under the arms. She got a big charge out of that. What a character. But what a nice guy to do that for me.

I gave up on the book I was reading and started The Farmer's Daughter, Jim Harrison's new book of three novellas. I love his writing and if I'm ever marooned on an island, I'll take his books and those of Kent Haruff and Louise Erdrich. I thought it was odd that he used the phrase gag a maggot, though. Gag a maggot? Isn't that a little middle schoolish? Yeah, and when was the last time I had a book published?

That's my rant for the day. Happy hump day tomorrow.Harrumph.