Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Yea, yea.....I know it's that time of year again. Tomorrow is the last day of 2009 (WTF!) and shortly thereafter begins 2010. Unbelievable. When I was a kid, 1984 was the future, man. So what the hell is 2010? But I digress. Resolutions. We all feel the need to make them. None of us EVER keep them. No.....we don't. And if you're sitting there all holier-than-thou saying, "I did!"....prove it! My usual list of resolutions includes: 1. The universal resolution of "losing weight". Uh-huh. Who can do that with all the extraneous Holiday candy, cookies, cakes and assorted junk food still laying around? 2. Not biting my nails. But my nails are awful.....they curl over the ends of my fingers and look horrible when I let them grow long. I'm really doing them a service by biting them down to the nubs. 3. Being more Patient. HA! Patience is my middle name.....not! Mostly, I have no patience with people.....cause they're idiots. They don't deserve my patience. 4. Watching less TV. I might actually achieve this one. Because God knows there's nothing on TV despite having a gazillion channels to chose from. That is....until my favorites - Survivor, Amazing Race, etc. - start their new seasons. By that time, the mandatory two week period of "really, really trying to achieve my resolution" will be over and I'll be in the clear to continue to be the couch potato I really want to be. There's only one resolution that I think is important enough to really try to accomplish. And that is to stay in touch with my friends and family. There it is. My resolution. And I promise I'll try my best to keep it.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
On Christmas Eve, we had Hubby's kids over for dinner. Of course, 1 year old Noah was the center of attention. Christmas is hard on little children and he was pretty out of sorts when he first got here. But it didn't take him long to relax and have us all laughing. I couldn't resist posting another video of him dancing while Hubby played the guitar. Hubby made me cry by presenting me with his own hand-made "Sailor's Valentine". These are traditionally made by sailors while they're out at sea pining for their loved ones. Hubby made this one with shells he's found on our adventures, and used the colored sand from our wedding ceremony in the background. He even built the wooden box to put it in. Can you see the heart shape created by the pink rocks? Hubby, of course, enjoyed some quality time with his Tabla Drums.
Then we went to Hubby's Mom's house for Christmas there. It was crowded and noisy and so good to see his brothers and sisters again, and his mother. She's been ill, but she is recovered and always in good spirits.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Yep, all done. Shopping, wrapping, decorating. Of course, I make my life easy by: 1) not doing any baking. 2) not decorating anything except the tree and scotch-taping all our Christmas cards to our doorway. 3) not having too many people over for Christmas Eve Dinner. 4) "wrapping" most of my gifts in decorative boxes and tape so I don't have to use any wrapping paper. I do have to go grocery shopping to get the fixin's for Christmas Eve dinner with Hubby's kids. But that is going to consist of a canned ham, mashed potatoes, canned veggies and some oven rolls. Not fancy, but that's what they like. And I'm hoping that if I hit the grocery store at 7am, I can avoid any crowds. I already had one casualty of my shopping endeavors. Jamie sent me a text message with a photo. The message said, "Can I exchange this?" The photo was of the tag from the new sweater I got her. The tag unmistakeably said, "Maternity". No, she's not pregnant. Not even married. Not even seriously dating. Oops.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
For the past few years, we've had Christmas with my kids on the weekend before the holiday. Everyone has too many places to go on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so this was a nice solution to that little problem. This year we got to have the holiday at Doug and Kara's new house. We decided on a breakfast buffet. There was quiche, hash brown casserole, fruit and yogurt and a delicious peach and blueberry coffee cake. Then we got to the presents. Hubby and I both made Emmy books. Hubby's was all about the School Bus. Emily loves to go out to see the schoolbus when her friend Allison comes home from school. She teases us that the school bus is blue or green or pink. Hubby's "story" was wondering what color the school bus was. Emily loved it. My book was an ABC book in scrapbook style. Each page was a letter with a picture of Emily or someone Emily knew. That one was a big hit as well.
Kelly and Kara pose for a photo.Doug just had back surgery at Thanksgiving. Doesn't he look great?
Pepere gives Emmy another gift. We got her mostly books, since I am a fanatic on children's literature, and I know she loves books.
The one toy we did give her was "Farm Uno". It's made for younger kids. She's even a bit too young to play this as a game but she loved playing with the little ball-shaped colored animals. Uncle Nick and Auntie Jamie are giving her a hand.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Hubby did some Christmas shopping today. He left work a bit early for an appointment and headed to the mall. Yes, the mall. He got a $50 gift card to the mall this week and decided he'd use it to buy some Christmas Gifts. Specifically, Christmas gifts for moi. And some for his kids. Now, I'm very proud of Hubby for doing his shopping a whole week before Christmas. That's a giant step up from his former practice of shopping on Christmas Eve at the drugstore. What Hubby always forgets (even though I've told him several times) is that....if he uses the debit card.......I will know how much he spent and where he spent it. Because I do all my banking online, and I can see on my account every time a card gets used. Usually I go onto the banking site every other day or so to keep up with recording our expenditures. But since I really love a good surprise....and I really don't want to know what I'm getting for Christmas, I'll have to forego doing any bill-paying or record-keeping or banking of any kind until after Christmas. Darn it.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
How iz it that people come into the office to get our famous AAA triptik, cause they can't figure out how to map out a trip for themselves, and when we give them our best professional advice about what route to take, they go with the route that "someone told them would be best"? How iz it that I go to bed exhausted and can't. get. to. sleep. I don't do caffeine, I don't do chocolate and yet I lie there with my eyes wide open and my legs going a mile a minute like a dog in the midst of a dream about chasing rabbits? How iz it that one of the best hospitals in the country just outside of Boston feels the need to charge $8 to park. For everyone....visitors and patients? How iz it that that same hospital has dial up credit card machines to take the aforementioned $8? How iz it that someone can come into the office and tell me I'm wrong when I try to explain to him that any VISA gift card of $50 or more is fee-free......and he thinks that means he can buy two $25 gift cards and we'll waive the fees?? How iz it that I've used up all my Christmas fund and I still have things to buy? And have a nice day.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
My niece Laura is turning ten years old this week. For the past several years we've taken her on an excursion so we can spend time with her, rather than give her a gift. This year, we decided on the Museum of Science in Boston, mainly because the special exhibit is Harry Potter. As a special added treat, we took the train in. Laura loved the train. And so did we! After the train, we had to hop on the "T" (the subway) for one stop. Laura waited patiently for the T to come while visiting with a tiny little bird friend. (look closely in the lower right-hand corner)
One of the first things we did when we got there was go to the cafe to eat. Very expensive, but convenient. The Museum is right on the Charles River and we could see a cityscape from the windows of the cafe.
Most of the exhibits in the museum were "hands-on" and Laura just loved that. In this room you could take down a box devoted to a certain subject and check things out. This box was about snakes.....Laura is measuring the length of a snakeskin.
They have models of the Apollo spaceships that you can go inside and pretend to be an astronaut.
The Harry Potter exhibit was a bit disappointing to me. There was just a couple interactive components to it.....the rest was just walking around looking at props from the movies. Laura did get to sit in the chair under the "Sorting Hat" and get sorted into Griffendorf House. No photography was allowed in the Harry Potter exhibit.....so no pics.
We said goodbye to the gigantic T-Rex on our way out.
The whole day was fun and exciting with things Laura had never done before. It's always so much fun to see her bouncing around and squealing with excitement as she investigates everything. We've promised to take her back sometime to see some of the exhibits we didn't have time for, as well as to see the Planetarium and the Omni Theater.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Everyone knows what time of year this is. It's "Can I get everything done before Christmas?" time. It's taken me a whole year to feel like I've got some sort of system going for working full time and also keeping up with housework, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. I felt in control for about a week. Then The Holidays came and I seem to be right back where I started from......looking around and seeing my house deteriorate in front of my eyes. I have no kids at home. I did it back in the day when my kids were small. I don't remember being extremely stressed at the time. Maybe I'm just blocking it out. But I feel a bit out of control now. The house is a mess...the laundry is piled high.....the cupboards are bare.....I haven't finished gift-shopping and haven't even begun wrapping. However, the tree is up AND decorated and the cards have been sent out. So points for me on that.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The air in Hubby's tires were low on his way to work the other day. So he swings into the gas station down by his workplace, where he's gotten air for his tires before. The sign says 75 cents to get air, but Hubby always goes inside and just asks them to turn it on, so he can get free air. (and rightfully so......why should we have to pay for air?) This time, the kid at the counter tells him, "We're not allowed to do that anymore....we have to make people pay." In this day and age of debit cards, we never have any cash on us. So Hubby has to buy something, so he can get cash, so he can buy air. He choses a jug of window-washer fluid (a wise choice) and brings it to the counter. The kid rings it up, and Hubby slides his card through......but there is no choice to get "cash back". "Hey, how do I get cash back?" he says to the kid. "Uh, I guess we can't do that here." is the reply. It's at this point I would have said to the kid, "Hey, idiot....why do you think I just bought your overpriced ($2.75 for a gallon) window-washer if not to get cash back so I can make change so I can go out and pay for air which should be free in the first place???" But Hubby is more patient than I am. He left the store, stashed his window-washer in the back seat and went to work. After work, he went to a different store. This time he bought two big Symphony candy bars (a not-so-wise choice) and got his cash back. $20. I asked him why he got $20. Why not just get $5. or even $10. He says, "The machine didn't have that choice. It just had $20, $40, $60 or other. Ohhhhhh! Other!" He goes back to the same gas station and goes to the door to go inside and get change. The doors are locked. The gas station is clearly open, but the sales clerk must have been out back having a toke. Hubby drives home. The next morning, he goes to the gas station down the street. (Even though I told him that the gas station up the street has FREE air......but does he listen? Nooooo.) He goes inside the station, gets his dollar's worth of quarters, and pays his 75 cents to put air in his tires. When he gets back in his car, he takes the extra quarter and puts it in his console to save for the next time he needs air. And notices 3 shiny quarters sitting there in the console.