Dad

I have a friend on Facebook, ok let’s say acquaintance since I have actually met her once; whose father just passed away in the early hours of today. I heard it from another good friend of mine who is also a friend of her. I had a busy day today, taking a friend of mine to a doctor’s appointment, and doing some errands for him so I didn’t think much of it for most of the day. Than this evening in the middle of cooking dinner I read a couple of her posts regarding his passing. I started to cry. Not because I knew him personally, but for that split moment I put myself in her shoes and realized how devastated I would be to lose my father.

My husband has already lost both his parents, and perhaps the stress of flying back east and dealing with a not so conventional family didn’t have me thinking this seriously regarding my own father. I never tender sentiments, issues forth from my stoic husband either. Just her simple words of missing him, made my heart ache for her and for myself. While I have lost grandparents, there cannot be a bigger blow to a child. While it’s natural in the order of things that one will eventually have to face this issue, it’s not one that you think about until it happens to someone else.

This also had me thinking about what my Dad means to me. As an only child I tilted between the worlds of Mommy and Daddy. Mom always with the dresses, teas, and shopping; Dad with the garden, yard work, and woodworking. I loved to do it all, I could dress up and be taken to the grandest of places, or wear ratty clothes and play with Tonka toys in the dirt and help my dad build something. As I approached puberty, I believe he didn’t know what to do with me anymore, and communication and times together became minimal. It wasn’t until I got married that we seemed to regain some kind of common ground.

During my first marriage I moved into my first place. My husband was away over seas and there were things that needed to be done which I didn’t know how to do, or didn’t have the tools to do them with. Dad would come over to help out and I fixed my first breakfast in my new place for just me and him.  As that relationship crumbled he was always there, but seemed to become distant again and so it has been for several years to come. One day when I had been in another relationship for several years, I met him on the patio one morning when I was dropping my dog Dakota off before I went to work. He started prattling on about some camper shell for my now husbands Ford Ranger when all I could do was cry. He was sitting down and all he did was hold out his arms to me while I as a grown almost 30-year-old women crawled into his lap and just cried. Mom had come rushing out to the door and all he told her was to go away, that he had it handled. I told him that Paul was leaving to go home to Ohio. To me didn’t matter what it was about, it was that he was there for me at the specific moment, being dad.

He’s had his flip sides too. One day on the way to pick up Chinese food, my cellphone went off for something and he said that he didn’t understand how I lived the way I lived, or did the things I did sometimes. We got into a big argument and about the only thing I could say as a comeback was “no I guess you wouldn’t considering that you never take the time to understand me.” Which is true, but I guess for me I couldn’t understand what he meant about all of that. I didn’t feel like I lived my life with anything to be ashamed of. I didn’t get knocked up, I didn’t do drugs, I wasn’t an alcoholic; so I wasn’t sure what else he really expected.

I have to give him credit for the fact that he’s always been the sole provider for the family as I was growing up, and he still is. The things he missed out on wasn’t because be didn’t want to be there, it was because he worked. He has never worked a traditional 8-5 job, but 8 our 12 hour shifts that rotate. It’s not his fault that we drifted, it’s my fault that I didn’t make him more involved. This year we were able to finally coordinate Christmas shopping together. We haven’t done that in years and we had a good time. We had a nice lunch afterwards, and while conversation doesn’t flow, maybe sometimes it doesn’t have to. Maybe we both have had to high of expectations for each other, but I know that he shows me he cares in his own way and I sometimes just have to look for it and I am grateful to have a man like him in my life.

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Project “Love Me” 52- Weeks of Me

Ok, not that I need to add another post today, but I was on Facebook and in the scrap group that I belong to some of the girls are participating in a 52-week, scrapbook project that is all about them. I was thinking it over and at first I wasn’t that excited about it. Here’s why?

1. I don’t have kids, or a lot of close family that I need to leave stuff for.

2. I already have several scrap projects that are all about me.

3. I want to do something different with my scrapping

However, I thought I could make it different for me. I can follow along, and use it as a jumping point to my blog. What an idea! Sometimes, when you blog you wind up just writing about the mundane. I want to really try hard in this next year to make my blog more interesting and catchy to those who read it. What better way than to have prompts that will help me dive into who I am, what I am, and maybe even what I want to be. So initially this project may hopefully be a self exploration of all of that and what I hope to gain is maybe a better insight to myself and take my past to help me figure out my future.

They ask in the blog if it will make a difference in my life? Well will it? I don’t know, I guess we can’t answer that question until it really starts, and maybe even finishes. I know for most of the people participating they want it as their legacy. A gift to leave their children, their loved ones, but what will it mean to me as a non parent, a person with very little family? For me blogging it may be my way of sharing it with someone, making a difference in a unkown person’s life, making me a more creative thinker, or writer. One thing I have always wanted to do is be a writer. Maybe at the end of this, someone will see it and think that it’s worth publication. Like Julie, turning her 365 days of Julia Childs recipes into a book and then a movie perhaps? That my life experiences could be funny enough, or witty enough to share with the world. That an average person with an average life can still make huge contributions? That someone can read about things that I have done and relate to them? Who knows where this may take me. Maybe the only difference to my life is that I had something fun to blog about, that I may be able to put all of my experiences in one place and gain some personal insight.

If anyone is interested in following along and taking your own 52-week journey, visit this website: http://projectlovemescrapbook.com/2010/12/22/project-love-me-preprompt/

Our Christmas Holiday

It’s Monday and everything has seemed to go back to normal now. Very sad, it’s such a huge build-up to Christmas and then it’s over in the blink of an eye. Heck some of the neighbors have already turned their lights off. If you ask me, there is still one more week of holidays! We had a very nice weekend and it started out on Friday. Paul was off, Dad was able to be off, so we started our celebration early Friday night. I spent the majority of the day in the kitchen. I made homemade cinnamon rolls for everyone to have on Christmas morning. I pre-made some of our Christmas Eve treats like beef roll-ups and deviled eggs. The rest was easy, just plates of cold cuts like mortadella, salami, cheese, olives, marinated artichokes, chips, and dip. Paul had his favorite pigs in a blanket and we all sat around on the floor having our traditional Christmas cold cuts. Dad even made me his (or I should say Grandma’s) break and butter pickles. They aren’t the traditional sweet ones, but they are sweet, spicy, and a ton of garlic! Dad said that Mom told him that I didn’t really want them, but I have been asking for them for a couple of years now. I love those pickles. The only sweet ones I will eat!

After dinner we opened gifts. The only ones we didn’t open were the ones that Paul and I got each other. Paul got a new receiver for his stereo center. It was a Daneon and he was tickled with it. He also got money for his fishing license, a $50 gift card for Bass Pro Shop and a few other little things. I got lots of little things. A really nice wine journal, a cookbook that I can put together myself. I found that at Costco myself and thought it would make a good foundation for what I wanted to do to try and get all my recipes together. I also got a Cuisinart brand Kurig. We tried it out and it’s cool. I was hoping to replace Paul’s nasty coffee pot since he doesn’t drink that much coffee. We will have to see about that. Dad also bought me a Nintendo DS. He had asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told him I wanted something to play with on Christmas day. Didn’t know what that was to be, but that day he went down and bought me a pink one. It’s pretty cool. The gaming is simple and right up my alley.

Mom got lots of wine accessories, and we also got her the Cuisinart Kurig machine. That was funny. When we started to open ours I realized the size of the box was the same as her’s and I just knew. Way to funny! Dad didn’t seem to get very much, but his items are always high dollar, so really I spent just as much money on him as I did Mom, but he seemed to get less. However, he loved his impact driver. Dad didn’t seem to be in a big hurry to leave, but he did have to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing them off at the front patio was just very weird. Paul and I were always the ones leaving and instead it was them!

Christmas morning Paul and I took our time. We had our coffee, called family and then opened gifts later in the morning. I got everything I wanted. I got a pair of pink Sketcher shape-ups! I can’t wait to start wearing them. I got a pretty perfume, the blue-ray movie of Gladiator, a Barnes and Noble gift card, and a pretty paper punching set from Martha Stewart. Paul did a great job picking things out. The paper punch was a set that I had been wanting. Paul made out too. I got him a projector and a screen for the game room so he can have football games on and we can see them. I think I mentioned the fiasco with the neon clock, and he loved it! He also got a t-shirt for the Sugar Bowl, since his team will be playing in it, a couple of fun accessories for his work desk, and I got him a gift card to Starbucks so he can treat himself every now and then.

Mom came over around 1 and we spent the entire day watching Christmas movies. We had a small dinner with just a Prime Rib and the Yorkshire pudding (which I don’t like, so all I had was meat.) That was fine with me, because we had a lot of goodies to munch on. We didn’t need to start a fire till later in the afternoon, but that night did get pretty chilly. Mom stayed the night with us, because she didn’t want to go home to an empty house, and I think she woke me up off the couch about 2 in the morning. Typical of me to fall asleep there. Next morning I made bacon and egg sandwiches and she left about 1 in the afternoon. Paul and I spent the rest of the day doing our own thing. I cleaned up my scraproom and he installed his receiver. It was a great weekend, to bad it had to end with Paul getting a major tooth ache!

As for New Year’s I’m really stumped this year. It’s just going to be our normal quiet affair. Paul has made sure that Craig and Chery are invited, which they have been to many of our celebrations and sometimes it’s one of the few times I get to see them throughout the year. I always look forward to it and I know they do too. I guess I am just trying to think of something different. the menu is always the same. Homemade pizza, shrimp cocktail, Chicken wonton, and other normal snack foods. It’s a lot of prep and cooking in the kitchen and since I have done Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now New Year’s, I want something supper easy, fun, and good! I know I signed up for all of it, and I have enjoyed every minute of making these holidays special for the family, but I want to relax this week. I have enough to do next week when all the decorations come down. I also have to start weeding more stuff out for another yard sale and start planning my trip. All the websites want to complicate things, or do themes. Well I have a theme, I have lots of silver and gold decorations that are not marked with the year and I re-use them because they are expensive not to re-use for one day a year. I thought about driving down to Rancho Cucamonga (which is 45 minutes away) ordering PF Chang’s takeout, and bringing that back and I would if New Year’s Eve wasn’t falling on a Friday! Yuck I can just imagine that traffic. So I will rack my brain and see what I can come up with, of course I have asked for opinions and all I got from Paul was Mac and Cheese….Really??? Such a white boy! Will keep you posted on what I come up with, if I come up with anything!

Christmas Spirit Continued

I have to admit, I’m not doing very well with the Christmas spirit while I am out and about. I did finally have a checker at Stater Bros tell me Happy Holidays, and I was like, oh yeah, Merry Christmas! Man I’m not on the ball.

I think it just becomes difficult because there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of cheer in the air. Now when I am home, that’s another story. I have my music playing, the fire is going, and I am baking and having fun being around my holiday atmosphere. It’s hard not to be in this house. However, out in the world things still seem really grim. I had a friend on Facebook tell me that some guy gave her grief for saying excuse me so she could get by to take her baby to the bathroom. How very sad that people can’t even just be gracious. Wasn’t like she was trying to cut in, just needed to get by.

Well it’s 2 days and a wake up till Christmas and I have things planned for myself in the next couple of days, and we will be celebrating as a family on Christmas Eve. So I have things to get ready for. I’m hoping that my husbands other gift makes it here in time. With my luck they are either going to cheat me. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, because of the weather across the states. Let’s hope…..

I remember the days when small businesses used to paint their windows and the stores had way more decorations. The mall does pretty good still, but individual stores, there just isn’t very much that makes you feel like it’s the season.

The Big Storm of 2010

It’s no wonder I’m not sleeping well, it’s been raining for 6 straight days and my activity levels have decreased. I’m still busy in the house doing chores, but I think I am finally getting cabin fever. My sleep hours are sporadic because like Paul says, I’m not spending enough energy. I’m not sure about that one. I moved wood yesterday, took the trash out, finished laundry, made dinner, but maybe he is right.

I want to say that the last time it rained like this, was back in the winter of 95. I could be wrong, I just remember that year being particularly bad. I was living in my first little duplex in Redlands and the water was so high in my back yard that I had to do laundry barefoot. Yes, barefoot and I will tell you why. My washer and dryer were in a shed at the back of the property and in order to get out there I had to roll up my pants, and not wear shoes. Shoes would have been pointless because the water pooled up in the yard to a few inches high and they would have been soaked anyway. I also remember having a major leak in my back entrance porch due to the fact that the landlord hadn’t removed any of the vegetation that piled up on the roof. Ah those were the days!

I have to say that I am very VERY grateful for where I live now. Funny how I have always judged every house that I have lived in by how my parents house was. Of course with my parents being here for almost 30 years they had lots of time to make things pretty nice here. My dad spent lots of money and time cementing everything, installing drainage, and making sure that lighting was available even in the furthest reaches of the back of the garage. So when I lived at Tara, my trash area and wood pile was only accessible through a muddy back yard and an even muddier side yard. Here I have cement that doesn’t puddle up because of the drains. At Green Tree I finally thought I would have a great covered patio that the dogs, who get very warm because of all the fur, could lay and be cool. Nope, it leaked, and anything under the patio in a heavy rain would just get soaked. Now I have a real covered patio that allows me to put them out if they want and I don’t have to worry about them getting wet! I love it. I have to say that there is something so comforting knowing that you are safe and secure and can at least take your trash out in the rain and not come back with 5 inches of mud on your shoes.

Listening to the news they are saying that Big Bear is loosing all the snow since it’s only raining right now. While they say this is the cold front of the storm it’s still not that cold. This storm marked as the Pineapple Express hasn’t come from the north like a lot of our winter storms, but straight across the Pacific. Where ever it came from, this has been some of the most amazing rain that I have seen or can even remember in years! For the last 4 days, there has been always a constant flow of water coming from the sky. Yesterday it finally would just fall off and on, but it howled and rained hard all last night.  I can hear that the rain has started up again and according to the weather, we may finally have an end to it later this afternoon and clearing for the Christmas holiday. I just hope that it won’t warm up to much, would be nice to have winter weather for a winter holiday.

Day 20 through 26

Holy cow, where has the time gone? It’s 3 days till Christmas Eve! Well I haven’t been doing a whole lot since the last posts because it’s been raining, and I don’t want to go out there in the rain if I can help it. So brief run down. Last Thursday Paul and I stayed in by the fire all day (raining), Friday didn’t do much, Saturday friends came over in the evening and the girls played Wii and the guys played pool, Sunday spent the day by the fire and had dinner with my mom and dad (still raining), Monday, went to get my nails done and run a few errands and did all my wrapping (still raining) and today paid bills, moved some wood, did a few other household chores and…..still raining. Whew, that’s a lot of rain!

In fact this afternoon I got two calls; one from the county and one from the city; informing us that because of all the rain and the expected forecast overnight is supposed to get worse there may be some evacuations. Now I think it’s great that the they are on top of everything and very aware of the surroundings, but I’m not sure I have anything to worry about. Maybe at some point I would have to eat my words, but seriously, I don’t live near any hills. I mean they are there, but if something comes down that hill it would have to plow over a couple of miles of homes before it got to us. We did have a couple of large fires in the area in the last year or so, but the hills even closest to us were not effected. Still a little weird to get a call like that, but good to know that they are thinking safety.

So I guess there really isn’t very much to write about. Personally I think I am more in the Christmas spirit than ever with this nice cool damp weather. Usually it’s 70 degrees by Christmas and a fire is usually only on because it looks cozy, but the doors and windows are wide open. Well can’t say that the front door isn’t open now. We have a wood burning insert, and when it’s been on multiple hours it still can get pretty hot in here, so we have to air the house out a little bit. I love it though, I don’t mind. Just trying to take the most advantage of my time off and one of my favorite things in the whole wide world is to be snuggled up to a fire, with a good movie, book, or even computer, and a nice cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa (which I had tea earlier).

Tomorrow I am going to clean the house up a bit and then do some more baking for the holiday coming up. Looking forward to having the holiday in my home, which is the family home. Will be weird to see my parents be the ones leaving that night instead of us! Well that’s the latest update. If you don’t hear from me in the next day or two, you may need to send a search party after all. Be sure to include a canoe, we may have to float out of here!!

Christmas Journal Completed Pages

Here is what I have created in my Christmas Journal with all the pictures I have been posting online here about my holidays!

Ode to My Christmas Coffee

Years ago there was a place in downtown Redlands called the Daily Grind. It used to sit in a small shop right on 5th street and it was a busy happening place. For years mom and I had our own table and would meet after work or weekends to share coffee together. We had a lot of moments at those tables, some great memories. One thing always stuck out above all the rest and that was their Christmas Traditions coffee.

This coffee was literally like drinking everything that Christmas was all about. We would wait in anticipation every November waiting for that first smell of the spicy sweet aroma. The first sip was something to be savored and the last would make you cry when you realized it would be another year before you would smell or taste this wonderful blend.

When Daily closed down, Mom tracked down this coffee blend at some coffee shop in Missouri and for several years I could look forward to a couple of pounds in our Christmas basket. Paul and I would meter it out to just weekends and during the holiday it’s self. We tried to make it last as long as possible. Well eventually that source dried up as well, and we haven’t been able to find it since. Until It’s a Grind came along.

This little coffee shop in Highland carries a “Winter Blend” but dang it if it isn’t almost the same blend of spices that make up what used to be the Christmas Traditions coffee. Nice this is that she sells this coffee year round, but as much as I love it, I don’t think I would want to drink it 365 days a year, because it wouldn’t be so special anymore. I look forward to my coffee once a year and enjoy it will all the relish I can. Mom and I stopped in last night for a cup of her Winter Blend mixed coffee, which was very yummy and I picked up probably my last 2 pounds of coffee for the season.

I had to laugh because Starbucks has a Christmas coffee. One day through the drive-thru the girl asked if I liked it and wanted to buy some. I politely told her no and she asked me why? I said Starbucks doesn’t know what Christmas coffee is. She looked horrified, but I proceeded to try to explain that Christmas coffee should be about the spices and oils that make up a unique and savory flavor, not just a blend of beans from South America, Africa, and Columbia. Than she proceeded to tell me that Via’s came in flavors. What part of this conversation was she not listening to? I know she was trying to make a sale, but one refusal, two refusals, 3 refusals, should  make you realize I wasn’t buying! Don’t get me wrong, I love Starbucks coffee, but usually the blended. Not to many of their beans are anything special. I do buy one kind of bean for my espresso machine, but most of them are strong, and bitter. Also, nothing will ever compare to my new-found Winter Blend!

Making it Good

Good Morning Bloggers!!! I am loving the weather today. Woke up to rain and damp and of course for me that means morning fire. Of course for some reason it took about 2 hours for the fire to take off and a whole lot of smoke through the affair, but finally I can say I can sit here and be warm! Anyway, remember me telling you about the broken Christmas gift for my husband? Well finally I received a call back from them regarding the problem. That doesn’t account for the fact that 3 e-mails and one phone call I didn’t get a response until I opened a case up through Ebay. I guess however you have to do it, at least it’s getting done.

So about 2 1/2 hours after I opened my case they called with information that they opened up their claim with UPS and that once I call UPS and they pick up my package they will mail another one. So I am hoping that this means I will still have the gift by Christmas. Honestly though, it wasn’t UPS’s fault. They were the ones that poorly packaged the item with no anything to keep it from being jangled from side to side and upside down. Nor did they even mark the box as fragile. So let’s hope the next one comes in better shape.

Yesterday was a good day. Mom and I shopped all day. Well not all day. We headed to the mall to Bath and Body so I could collect on my Secret Santa gift. Mom had me in the secret santa draw and didn’t want to go to the mall and I didn’t want a gift card, so we went down there together. They had a buy 3 get 3 free sale and then I had a coupon for another free item. It cost me $17 out-of-pocket but I don’t think I have been there and bought anything since last Christmas. Than we went to Sears to get my Dad’s gift, and then got out of dodge and headed back closer to home.

We had a nice lunch at Red Robin and if you haven’t had a chance to try their Gingerbread Milk Shake….OMG, it’s Christmas in a cup!!! We did a little more shopping or I should say window shopping. The local scrapbook store didn’t have a lot and then I spent $140 at the pet store on food and goodies for the kids stockings. Ok, well maybe more for Brutus, he’s the only one that still plays with toys. I mean what do you get for two old dogs, who you can’t trust with a bone due to the little one? So I bought a bag of pig ears and thought I would put a couple in their stocking…let’s hope that doesn’t incite a fight.

The main thing is that I am almost done for Christmas, and it looks like I will get some satisfaction from the place I got the broken gift from. I have other plans for Paul’s birthday in January and didn’t want this to be that gift. Though it’s not like he doesn’t know that he’s getting a projector and projection screen, but I can at least pretend he doesn’t know. Of course he still hasn’t done his shopping and I would think this would have been a good time for him to do it while he was home. Not that I have anything on my list really. I would like a couple of Wii games, a pair of those Sketcher fit shoes, or whatever they are called. What do you get for the girl who already has everything she needs? I like to give anymore and see the great looks on everyone’s faces when they got the perfect gift.

Christmas Day 15 – 19

Friday December 10th I believe is where I have left off. I have been so busy in the last 5 days, I almost forgot where I was at. Friday was the night of our Live and Let Scrap Christmas party. I had most everything set up the day before so all I really had to do was get the meal and the cake at Stater Bros later in the day. Funny how they don’t tell you that the meal needs to be reheated for at least an hour or I would have had it picked up earlier in the day. They even almost lost the order, and stuck it in the wrong day. Thankfully the meat wasn’t frozen!!

Mom and I got a lot of fun appetizers for the girls. Different cheeses, salami, shrimp, tapenade, and dips. We had a lovely dinner and the cake was to die for!!! We had a Secret Santa exchange. Mine was funny because I handed Cynde her bag that just had a large bag of bird seed. She looked at me, but I couldn’t hold out to long and told her that the rest of her gift was behind the couch. I got her yard art like she wanted, but it’s also a cool little bird feeder. Than we had a white elephant exchange, where nothing was really a white elephant, it was all good stuff. I had a bonfire going so people could also sit outside since it wasn’t an overly cold night. I think everyone had a great time!

Saturday wasn’t an overly exciting day. Paul and I had stayed up till 2 a.m. enjoying the fire from Friday so we didn’t get up till almost 10. We actually decided to try our hand at some yard sales, so we toodled around town, than drove to Beaumont for a late breakfast at our favorite place out there; the Country Junction. We didn’t eat in town since most of the boulevard was closed for the town’s Christmas Parade. We came home and then I hosed down the patio and driveway, and Paul tried to get his shop into some semblance of order.

Sunday mom came over so I could bake some sugar cookies. Paul and I had started playing Wii about noon and then him and mom watched the football game while I made the cookies. We had dinner from John’s since mom was craving pastrami sandwiches. It still wasn’t cold enough for a fire or anything. Once mom left we played some more Wii bowling. I got the sugar cookies done, but they didn’t look very good. They tasted good, but that’s about it. I’m not a master decorator by all means.

Ah, Monday, our big day at Disneyland, and Paul’s first real day of vacation. We didn’t set out early because Steph and Gareth were not going to be there till after noon, so we took our time getting up and around, stopped for coffee and something to eat. When we got there, we were shocked at how many people were at the park on a Monday. We couldn’t think of why, because technically kids shouldn’t have been out for their holiday vacation yet. The lines for the rides were long. We did a few things before the Chavez’s showed up and then we hit a few more rides.

The Disney park closed at 6 for some employee night, which I wish I had known that one ahead of time. However, we went over to California Disney, and rode Screamin twice and got to see fireworks while we waited in line. I love that ride at night. We were in the very back and I was expecting to get whipped around pretty bad, but it wasn’t, but it does go faster in the back, which was fun! Than we headed to Downtown for some dinner. We never had eaten at the House of Blues, so we waited for a table and man that was a mistake. I had to send my dinner back, the meat was so dry, and the hamburgers that everyone else got weren’t that great for $12. The bill was screwed up 4 times, but it didn’t start there, it started with the 20 minute wait at the table before we even got drinks. Needless to say we won’t ever be going there to eat again! We stopped at Starbucks on the way home and one of the girls there had to take a picture of Paul’s Ohio State Tatoo to show her boyfriend! We had a fun time even if it was really busy and didn’t get to ride to many of the rides.

Tuesday I awoke to Paul telling me Christmas was ruined for him and he was sorry that he tried not to look. I was like “what”? UPS had delivered one of my packages on Monday and of course it was marked all over the box as to what it was. So now he knows what he is getting for Christmas. The other thing that got delivered is broken and the seller will not contact me back, those assholes. They neon clock was thrown into a larger box with no packaging, so during shipping it got tossed from one end to the other. The broken light isn’t even in pieces, its actual dust. Now I am going to have to ship it back and I have nothing else to show for it for now. I don’t seen to have much luck ordering lighting online for his game room. Reminds me of the year I bought him a pool table light and they shipped it on its small end instead of keeping the light box laying down so when you opened it up you could just pull it out the same way you would hang it. The weight of the light pushing on the small end just was too much for the glass and most of it was broken. Thankfully the manufacturer was kind enough to send me replacement glass and we could fix it. You can’t fix this stuff at all!

Anyway, after that little tragedy, I got to head off for my much-needed and well deserved massage. I have never felt so disoriented from a massage. Of course she found a lot of issues with my neck, shoulders, and arms. Huge knots and tension. Gee I wonder why? It’s been a stressful 5 months!!! When I got home I pretty much vegged out for the rest of the day until about 3 and then I had to get ready for dinner with Mom and Dad. They took us to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. It was a great dinner! Afterwards Paul took us on our traditional sleigh ride to the Mission Inn to see all the pretty lights. The place was jammed even for a Tuesday night! Unbelievable! I would hate to see what it was like on a weekend! The lights were beautiful, but we didn’t dare try to go inside the mission, or we would have been hustled around like cattle!

We took off, headed back to town and stopped for a coffee, or at least Paul and I did, and than we headed up through Chapman Heights to look at more lights. They have three houses on Manning, off of Sommerset, that are all hooked up together and play music every 3 minutes and the lights go off and on with the music. It’s really cool to watch. Of course after watching that, everything else paled in comparison. It was a nice evening, if not an early one since dad had to get up early and get to work today.

I need to get going, I can’t sit here all morning, mom is picking me up at 11 to go shopping for dad’s gift, we need dog food and special Christmas coffee. I really wish I could sit here this morning and stay home. It’s cold and dreary and just the perfect day to sit in front of the fire, but we still have stuff to do. I thought Paul was going to do his shopping today, but he says it’s to cold. Not like I have a list of things that I want anyway. Am I just getting to old? I love Christmas, but I guess for me I don’t have any wants or needs, and I enjoy giving. It’s good to be able to say that I am content with things that I have and I’m not needy for more, but it makes it hard on him. I could literally spend the whole Christmas budget on him and I think I would be fine with that. I did tell dad that I wanted something to play with on Christmas, I just don’t know what that something would be. Maybe it’s because I don’t do a lot of shopping anymore. I don’t go to the malls, and while I would like some new clothes, I don’t want that for Christmas. I just don’t see what I could need and I certainly don’t have very many wants. I told him a new door mat and an itunes gift card, but he didn’t like the welcome mat idea. Well let’s see if I can come up with anything for him…this should be interesting.

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