Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Christmas list

1. Spend four days in Dallas: check
2. Watch three animated movies and a live ballet performance: check
3. Watch people I love open and enjoy presents I chose for them: check
4. Watch my brother do an arabesque in order to turn on the Christmas tree lights without stepping on the presents: check

5. Spend quiet time with people I love: check
6. Eat tons of awesome food: check
7. Get awesome Christmas gifts: check
8. Come home to a dog delirious with joy at being released from doggie jail: check

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More picspam

I just had to share pictures of the Box Sherri sent me because it's so very cute:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"They will pick out your nursing home"

That's what I kept chanting to myself Friday night, as I wrestled with putting together gingerbread houses for my nephews. The original plan for the second weekend in December was the same as it has been for the second weekend in December for the last four years. Mom would go down to Columbus, pick up the boys and bring them up here for a weekend at her house. We would all go out to dinner and a live performance of some sort on Saturday night, and Sunday morning the boys and I would decorate gingerbread houses. Then we would have lunch and birthday presents for Super Doughnut, whose birthday is the 18th.

This year, SD had his first Saturday morning basketball class, so Mom was going to drive down Friday night and bring the boys back early Saturday afternoon. We had tickets to see A Christmas Carol and reservations at a nice restaurant for dinner beforehand. Thursday night, my dad saw a review of the show in the newspaper that praised it as a very good, very dark and VERY scary version of the classic, so Mom decided not to take the boys. Then on Friday, we started hearing about the next big storm headed our way, with up to two feet of snow. The snow is predicted to start on Sunday, just when Mom would be driving to Columbus to take the boys home, and then back by herself. She was pretty upset and miserable, caught between wanting to celebrate SD's birthday and being afraid that the weekend was going to be a complete wash.

Friday morning, I suggested that I ask Snoopy to let Piggie Pie out and feed her, and that Mom and I go to Columbus for the day. Annabel was agreeable, and I told her that she and Jeeves could do whatever they had planned for the day and Mom and I would stay with the boys. Friday night, I was putting together gingerbread houses and making a giant chocolate chip cookie for SD's birthday, and having trouble with every step of both projects. I just kept telling myself that the boys would be the ones picking out my nursing home, so I'd better be nice to them. ;) I finally made it to bed at 11:30, but wow, that alarm felt early at 5:00 a.m.!

I had the dog locked up and everything I was taking ready to load in the car when Mom showed up at 7:10, and five minutes later we were headed for Columbus. On the ride down, I learned how to purl, and I have to practice a bit today so I don't forget! Mom had loaded all of the Christmas presents into the car so they could be hidden there. Dad and Mom are driving to Dallas for Christmas, and they'll stop on the way back, and I'll come down on New Year's Day, and we'll have our second family Christmas then.

Mom and I got to the house before Annabel and the boys got back from basketball, and we had all of the Christmas presents hidden and the birthday presents temporarily out of sight. Super Doughnut picked the restaurant for lunch, and Jeeves joined us there after his hot stone massage. We had a nice lunch, but SD started to get cranky--apparently, he had stayed up past midnight and gotten up before six.

Back at the house, Annabel and Jeeves were going to go do their holiday shopping, Mom was going to bake sugar cookies, and I went upstairs with SD to listen to his holiday story CD. Annabel was pretty sure that if I laid down with him and listened to the CD, he would take a nap.

Annabel was wrong.

I was the one who fell asleep, and SD went back downstairs and mooched around with The Awesome Nacho while Mom baked. Mom woke me up after an hour and we started decorating the gingerbread houses. The Awesome Nacho not only decorated his house but created an entire story about what was going on. He's a very imaginative young man. The reindeer and snowmen were part of a government force trying to break into the house for some reason, and they were surrounding the house while one of them was using a candy cane to force the front door. Super Doughnut, on the other hand, put a few decorations on his house, and then had an overtired supermeltdown. Tears, hiccups, misery, all of it. His big brother offered to call their mom, but Gramma just said that no, we were going to finish what we were doing and SD could either lie down on the couch or join us. We did finish The Awesome Nacho's house and I added a few details to Super Doughnut's, and then we decorated cookies and had just finished up when Annabel and Jeeves returned.

Super Doughnut opened his birthday presents, and was just thrilled with all of them. Mom and I had tried to coordinate our gifts, but we both got him the same toy in one case. SD didn't seem particularly upset, but I did tell Annabel mine came from the store and I would send the gift receipt.

Mom and I left around six, and thought about stopping for dinner at one of the restaurants on the way to 71, but figured the wait on a Saturday night would be too long. We settled for Taco Bell on the way home, and got home about fourteen hours after we left.

Even if it wasn't the weekend Mom wanted, we still got the gingerbread houses decorated and celebrated Super Doughnut's birthday, even if I did have to call Annabel from the road and tell her about the giant cookie.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

All dressed up

Last night Mom and VL took us office peons to a Christmas dinner at and then tour of a local house museum. Stan Hywet was all dressed up for the holidays, and parts of the house were set up as scenes from A Christmas Carol. Dinner was very nice, although poor VL had to wait about twenty minutes to find out if there was any gelatin in the cranberry-orange relish. The walk through the house was probably more fun for Mom and I, as she is a long-time supporter and has gone on numerous "Nooks and Crannies" tours and I used to be a tour guide there thirty years ago.

I didn't quite finish the tour--the second floor still gets incredibly hot, especially in the daughters' bedrooms, and I was sweating and dizzy, so I headed down to the first floor entrance and waited for everyone else. Fortunately, I thought to ask where the tours exited, and one of the volunteers told me that I needed to be by the family staircase. When I asked if it was the one behind the hidden door in the linenfold hallway, she looked blankly at me, and the other guide said, "I guess you do remember this place!" Another volunteer had to open the door for me, because heaven forbid a museum patron touch something, and I went through it just in time to see Goldilocks' back.

When we got outside, I could have cried at how good the cold air felt. It took at least five minutes until I felt chilly enough to put my wool coat back on. All in all, it was a nice night, and it didn't hurt that I got compliments on my new satin top from two complete strangers.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Book review

Bloodshot (The Cheshire Red Reports, #1)Bloodshot by Cherie Priest

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was so excited to have won this on First Reads, and overall, it was quite enjoyable. Ms. Priest does a little too much telling in the first couple of chapters, i.e. having the protagonist describe herself in detail, but once past that bump, when the story got going, it really got going.

Vampires, ghouls, black ops, a drag queen Navy SEAL, a venal but somehow appealing museum employee, and lots of fast-paced action overall made this an exciting read. Taken individually, all of the plot elements and most of the characters in this book have appeared elsewhere, but all together they're a thrill ride. I will definitely keep an eye out for the next book!

View all my reviews