Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Catch Up

Wow, what a lazy blogger I have been. A sure sign that life is going well.

It's the lull between the bookend celebrations. Winter has settled in with a Christmas blizzard that dropped 22" in our immediate vicinity. Right here at the house, we didn't see that much because we were getting a lake-effect warming that turned the second half of the three day storm into mostly rain and sleet. This meant of course, that if you didn't get your shoveling or plowing done right away, everything turned into cement. It's snowing again now, but I am not expecting anything like the Christmas blow.

The puppy is staring out the bedroom picture window in hopes of seeing her little friends the chipmunks (not the ones in the theaters) despite many conversations about how chipmunks sleep through the winter, which I am all in favor of.

Our downstairs tenants now have a little kitten that spends most of her days up here in mock battle with the puppy (who is not really a "puppy" but a five year old toy poodle). This provides me with endless distractions - not that I need any help in that department.

We have a full house once again now that my daughter is home for a month. She had her annual "Spaghetti Ball" the day after Christmas where she invites her posse to a "fancy" dinner and they all get dressed up and hand their car keys over to me for the night. Last year they got locked out of the house after a 3 AM walk to Perkins and had to climb a ladder to the second story to get to an unlocked door. Fortunately things worked better this year.

We have a full complement of parties yet to go to. This coming weekend we head down to the Cities for Risa's paternal family celebration, but before that, we have a family gathering here on New Year's Eve and dinner at a friend's house the next night. Busy busy.

OK, time for me to get on with my chores (as laid out by SWMBO). Talk later.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Winter Stillness

The girl is back to her studies six hours by road away. The boy is on his way home from the Twin Cities after a night away. Risa is seven hours by road away, celebrating her best friend's birthday. The Old Dawg is in heaven and the Little Dawg is having visitation with her ex-dad. That leaves Isis, the Old Kat who makes infrequent appearances. The house is very quiet.

I am taking advantage of the stillness to bake an experimental batch of cookies from a recipe I found in last Thursday's paper. Calls for a pound of butter and a pound of sliced almonds. How can it go bad?

What I should be doing is moving junk from one "in the way" location to another spot that is "marginally less in the way." I am having motivation problems.

Winter is here finally. We have been having lake effect ice crystals for the past few days. This is the season when the giant lake steams. If we get a real cold blast from Santa on the pole, the water will be much warmer than the air and it will be a fairy scene of mist and ghostly ships floating eerily through the water clouds.

It is my week for Mom duty. She had a driving assessment done about a month ago and the result is that she can no longer drive. This precipitated a change in how the remaining local siblings will deal with support. In the past, my mother would call my sister for assistance whenever it was necessary. This put an unfair burden on my sister which was going to grow worse now that Mom could not use her own car to get around. We had a meeting and decided that we would all take one-week shifts as major care-givers and chauffeurs. This is my week and it has actually been nice to interact with my mother on a more frequent basis.

Yesterday I took her to have her hair done and then a stop at the bank. Today, it was up to the mall for yarn. Tomorrow, I will take her to church. Feels good to be of use.

The only thing that is hanging over my head is the upcoming holiday. I really dislike having to sit down and try to guess what to buy/make for everyone. I am bad at it. Consequently, I have earned the moniker "Grinch" because of my unease with the season. This year threatens to be harder than usual because we are a blended family - each with different traditions and expectations. Due to the sensitivity of deeply held traditions, it is so easy to cross a line and ignite a powder keg. It will be the season of walking on eggshells.

Well, time to pack up my sorrows and get out into the bright lights of society on a Saturday night. I think I'll go down to the cafe where the boy works just to keep him a little off balance. Then a movie downstairs from the cafe. I think they are playing "The Yes Men Save the World" or something like that.