November 25, 2008
This Holiday Season...
We are going to do things a bit differently.
First of all, Christimas morning at our house is far less the chaotic affair of my childhood. Notably absent will be the mad dash to rip open as many gifts as quickly as possible that I remember from long ago.
When the older daughter was still a small child, we would wake extra early to turn on the tree lights and prepare the cameras before quietly creeping into her room and gently waking her. Sweet One has never been a morning person, but she would instantly pop up and excitedly scramble into the living room to see what Santa had left for her.
Sweet One was almost eight when Wee One was born (three days before Christmas). Thereafter, both girls would wake early, slide quietly past the tree on their way to our room to rouse us.
First thing in the morning they are allowed to play with their Santa gifts. Because I have always insisted on spending Christmas at home, we generally have breakfast and wait for whatever family may be joining us to open the other gifts; however, once distributed, all gifts are opened one at a time so everyone can see and appreciate each and every one in front of all.
This was important to me because not only did I need to know to whom and for what we needed to send Thank You cards, but I wanted to enjoy the delight of a well received gift, too.
These traditions will not be changed; however, instead of a plethora of gifts from us, the girls will each receive a gift from Santa and five gifts from us. This will be more than plenty.
This year we will also "adopt" a child or two who has been identified as "in need" by the Communties In Schools office at our local elementary school. We will never know the child personally, but the girls and I will attempt to help make the child's Christmas a good one.
Earlier this afternoon I was contacted by one of the interns at Communities in Schools. This is all the information she gave me:
The girl you will be helping is six years old. She listed two gifts that she would like: Sorry Sliders and Barbie Mariposa Magic Wings. Her shirt size is a 7, pants size, 6-7, shoe size 13, and underwear size 8. This is information I have on her. Thank you again for helping make her holiday brighter.
We will also take food to the local food bank.
It is my sincere hope that next year we will be able to adopt an entire family and the girls are on notice that in addition to Santa, they will only receive one gift from us.
I am encouraging the girls to think of ways for us to do more.
I am well pleased they are so willing to do so.
UPDATE: Once again I have had to close comments due to spam...
October 30, 2008
Apparently I am cracked. My facade, at least...Continue reading "Cracks"
October 22, 2008
Yesterday was not a particularly spectacular day. It was rather stressful, in fact. When I got home I was agitated and in a bad mood.
The girls were sensitive to that and when I asked Wee One to collect her dirty clothes and sort them in the wash room, she did so without complaint. Thereafter, she grabbed the white towels from my bathroom and threw them in the wash with her whites. It was sweet.
Much later I was on the phone decompressing with a good friend (Thank God for the gift of good friends) and I heard the washer beep beep beep alerting to the end of the cycle. Moments later I heard the wee child ask her father: "Can you turn the dryer on for me?"
We have a stacked front load washer and dryer unit. At seven, she could not quite reach.
Just about bed time she managed to unload the dryer into the hamper, drag the hamper to my bed, dump the clean clothes, and attempt to fold them.
I definitely have great kids!
I am also extremely blessed.
October 21, 2008
Painting with broad strokes
The girls are now seven and fifteen. They have their own distinct personalities and interests. While I would like to seem them interact more, the reality is they are eight years apart in age. There is very little that attracts both their attentions; however, a few weeks ago I enrolled them in an art class for watercolor.
It was actually an adult class, but the instructor was persuaded to take Wee One on the condition that I, too, enroll. So, essentially, she got two students for the price of three.
The two-hour classes have been fine. After the first one both girls came straight home and worked on their assignments and painted for a couple more hours.
As well, the class this past week was fine. The third and last class is this coming Saturday.
Both girls are artistic, but Sweet One has really come into her own. Wee One is doing fine, but as the class is definitely geared to adults, the pace dictates she misses out on some of the finer points of color mixing and painting technique. My role has been to support her in the class and help her keep up.
The next set of classes is to begin in a few weeks. We have already been encouraged to register for the new classes. It was my thought Sweet One and one of her friends might like to continue taking the Watercolor series which would allow Wee One and me to find something else to do.
Unfortunately, Wee did not get that memo. She wants to continue taking the Watercolor classes. So, the instructor will continue to receive two students for the price of three.
At least, this is something we can do together, right?
NOTE: As to comments, I have had to disable them because 30 seconds after I posted I got hit with a wave of spam. Damn, damn, damnable spammers.
September 16, 2008
A handknit sweater when the day is unseasonably cool and the office doubles as a meat hanger...
As modeled by Wee One:
July 30, 2008
I don't know...ARE we friends?
Once again, I am hiding out here at Feisty. I'm avoiding my own blog because I know who reads it. Ordinarily, I would sort of just not worry about it. I've always figured that they don't have to click over, and it is my blog afterall.
Lately, though, all that has changed. I'm thinking of mothballing the blog and starting another just to avoid one reader.
Read more in the extended entry.Continue reading "I don't know...ARE we friends?"
April 30, 2008
January 15, 2008
A Rose by Any Other Name
It has been a while since I've posted here. That is probably a good thing since this space is usually where I post items that I can't post in the normal place because of who reads the normal site.
I'm hiding out and spilling my guts, okay?
So, for the dirty details about how Phoenix stepped in it this time, take the jump.Continue reading "A Rose by Any Other Name"
November 08, 2007
Never to be seen again
Tomorrow we head to Baton Rouge for the LSU game.
This morning Sweet One and I took the dogs to the groomer/boarder. They were to open at 7:30, but when we drove up at that time, all was dark behind the locked door. As the dogs were anxious, I decided to take them out and walk them a bit as we waited.
As soon as we got out of the vehicle, a lady emerged from her SUV across the parking lot. She approached and explained she had taken her husband's keys this morning and was unable to open the door; however, she only lived ten minutes away.
I gave her the blank, you're freakin' kidding me look, but said nothing.
Sweet One averted her eyes, unsure of what would next transpire.
Looking down at my watch, I finally said: "Well, I do have to get to work."
At that point the lady offered to take the dogs with her when she collected her keys. We walked over to her truck and she opened the door to the back seat. When the dogs gleefully jumped right in, I had the thought: "Well, that's the last time we will ever see those two again..."
It faded quickly and I then handed her the bags of food for each of the dogs.
November 07, 2007
I'll see your twenty-five and raise you...
So, that extra twenty-five pounds might not be such a bad thing.
The husband had a routine physical this morning. I say "routine;" however, I cannot recall the last one he had. The appointment was made after a colleague of mine came in with extremely bad news. Her forty-six-year-old husband who is a RN was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer. He had been basically asymptomatic with no family history of cancer. My father died of colorectal cancer.
As I left the house this morning, I kissed him goodbye and told him: "If you go ahead and have the snip-snip procedure (a.k.a. vasectomy), I will agree to a tummy tuck."
He just slowly shook his head and cracked up.
All is well. He called me a little while ago to tell me his blood pressure was 110/69 and everything looked great.
He has not; however, made that appointment with the urologist. . .
November 06, 2007
Mistress of Disquise
At the end of last winter I bought one a finely loomed wool shawl. I wanted something that was fairly lightweight, but still offer some warmth, as well as look attractive.
This is what I bought:
This morning the weather was overcast and blustery with an expected high in the high 60's. I pulled on a short-sleeved, but long and kind of flowy black dress. I grabbed the shawl, loosely wrapped it around my shoulders and off I went.
It is absolutely perfect.
It drew quite a few comments when I finally walked into the office (can you say seven car pile up on the loop?). In fact, one lady had me drape it around my head and across my face with just my eyes showing. She had no idea how quickly I was able to change my identity with just my garb.
Pretty hot, in a cool sorta way.
November 05, 2007
The Laundry Nazi
For a while now, the fourteen-year-old Sweet One has been responsible for washing her own clothes; however, she managed to incur the wrath of the Laundry Nazi this morning.
As she is already in school and well out of my grasp, here is the email I send her so I would not forget the infraction by the time she returned home this afternoon:
This morning I opened the dryer and there were probably six white items total in it and they all belonged to you.
When I opened the washer, there were exactly four articles of pink and red clothing, all belonging to you.
The sorter hamper was full of whites, reds, and darks.
The next time you waste energy, water, and other resources by failing to make a full load of clothes when matching items *could* have been washed with your things, you will no longer be allowed to use my washer or dryer. From that point, you will be required to take your items to a laundromat to wash them each week at YOUR expense.
That is all.
I feel better now.
Back to the Christmas wrapping. . .
At this rate...
I should be well and sick of Christmas, at least by Thanksgiving.
It is a beautiful day. As the sun broke this morning it was sixty-five degrees. I donned a t-shirt and denim skirt with my sandals as I took Sweet One to school (Wee had gotten up early enough to catch the bus).
Second stop was Home Depot for a pre-lit Christmas tree. I decided to invest in a nice nine and one-half foot one this year rather than a "fresh" one that I would have to wrap in four packages of lights.
While not that heavy, the box itself is a good eight feet long. I am praying like hell it comes in two or three sections and that box is not filled with 2,352 separate fronds.
While I was checking out I spotted a holiday edition (Holiday Menus) of my favorite cooking magazine (Cuisine at Home). After flipping through it, I realized I had to have it, too. The words "White Russian Eggnog," "Caramel Pecan Tart," "Triple Gingerbread Cake," and "Feta Pepper Dip" just screamed out at me.
Now that I am home, the huge box with the tree in it remains in my car. It must come out before I pick the girls up from school. As I am a good eighty-percent done with my Christmas shopping, I am toying with the idea of wrapping what I have and doing a little inventory checklist to make sure I am on track.
We are headed to Baton Rouge for a LSU game this weekend. While I have the girls on campus, I plan to take some shots and, hopefully, one of them will make our Christmas card photo for this year. Anal me prefers to send our cards the week following Thanksgiving so I do not have to worry about them anymore.
White Russian Eggnog, anyone?
October 22, 2007
While not in chronological order, this is part of the continuing chronicles of our fearless protagonista.
The X, the Y, and the Zee
When one’s livelihood relies on subtlety, nuance, deception, and disguise, frequent and long-lasting relations with others is not a daily reality. Living a life in the shadows requires self-reliance as a discipline. Thus, my way has not been one of placid streams set in a Zen-like landscape, but a composed, yet lethal presence in the jungle of man.
Free from the confines of a desk, my office has always been where my talents have led me. The only routine I have ever known has been the rising of the sun in the east and the setting of the sun in the west. To continue to live was to breathe in, assess the surroundings, breathe out, then and only then, to act.Continue reading "More Domino"