Dual Zone

led-christmas-lights
There are lights on the tree…

DSCN8486  UP above the fireplace
…and leaves hanging from the mantel.
Dual Holiday Fireplace decor
The fireplace decor sums up the situation.  Honestly, though, it’s okay if it takes another week or two to get all gussied up for Christmas — after all, it was just a few weeks ago that I managed to put away the final few pieces of the Christmas decor from last year!

 

 

 

 

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The mind of a teenage boy

Below is the resident teenager’s Christmas wish list from 2015. In the heading, he noted that it was “mostly sub twenty” — meaning less than $20 per item.

  1. A sharpening stone of some sort for pocket knives, oil requiring or no doesn’t matter.
  2. A watch with a sturdy long-lasting band (not plastic/rubber) that is water resistant to the point I could swim with it on.
  3. Fifty plus feet of para-cord.
  4. If you can find cheap waterproof or really water resistant winter gloves with a longer wrist to go under my sleeve that would be really good too.
  5. The usual cash, some sugary poison, preferably some kind of chocolate—I’ll take any, about 95% dark and under, Swedish fish, Nutella, Eggnog, or something like bit’o honey (Caramel/Cream bite size candies) No sour, fizzy, root beer flavored, ect. [sic]
  6. Beef jerky, also preferably no weird flavors, such as teriyaki or mesquite.
  7. Random items that you think I might like appreciate.
  8. And, if you really want to invest, by any means feel free to get me something really nice, a good bike, a backyard pool, some nice outdoor stuff, a horse and somewhere to keep it, a trip to some exotic place, a working lightsaber, scuba gear, a hang gliding trip, etcetera. Use your imagination, besides, look on the bright side, if you do this, the next few [years of getting me] birthday and Christmas presents might get called off for you, or I might get spoiled and demand more.

 

DSCN7126  My memory is as out-of-focus as this picture.

My memory is as fuzzy and out-of-focus as this picture of the Christmas tree.

 

You’d probably like to know what we ended up getting him for Christmas. I’m curious myself! On Christmas Day, I was one month out of surgery for my trimalleolar fracture and on some pretty strong pain medicine. I do know that we are not the proud owners of a horse and stable. 🙂

I was curious enough to look up previous orders on my Amazon account (the only way that any Christmas shopping got done). He received, in part, some new running gear. The fact I still have Amazon Prime is proof that those were some pretty strong pain meds; I forgot to turn off our free 30-day trial and ended up paying $99 for the entire year. Never mind that I was too busy to shop the special Prime Day sale on July 12th.

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What sort of  gifts have you (or your kids or someone else you know) wished for that would fit in category #8 above? 

 

The best laid plans…

On Friday morning, I wrote this:

Too busy laughing over Jen’s post to make decisions here… and when I’m done wiping the tears of mirth from my eyes, I will be freaking out over the impending panic that it is almost Christmas and I haven’t thought about it at all.  Instead of worrying, I’m going to go take a walk.

It’s still fall, right? It’s still fall…

puddle of denial (Christmas is coming)

PUDDLE OF DENIAL  (Christmas is coming)

So here’s the thing: aside from the time-wasting gained by looking through those daily catalog giggles (no offense intended, Jen — I enjoy doing it, too) the mail drop does include the ticking of the Christmas countdown clock — something I have been ignoring for the past few months. My mind has been otherwise focused. I’ve been all “BABY IS COMING! BABY IS COMING! I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!!”  with a due-date of December first, but I suspect that the rest of the family is more concerned about Christmas.

Or maybe not. Perhaps they have been focused on cross-country meets and driving, or work, or college finals?

It’s possible that my husband is hoping I’ll shop for and cook the Thanksgiving dinner.

Meanwhile, I’ve been sewing and quilting and checking yard sales for a chest of drawers that will be the right size to top with a changing pad. Christmas, what? Do I still have time to make gifts? I’d better check my Pinterest boards…

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And then on Friday afternoon, as I prepared to go on a walk with the dog (much like the photo above), I tripped, slipped, and fell in the kitchen. No sign of cuts or bruises anywhere on my body except for this:

Both legs are stretched out straight, and both feet should be pointed in same direction... but one of these things is NOT like the other...

Both legs are stretched out straight, and both feet should be pointed in same direction… but one of these things is NOT like the other…

The above photo was taken in the ER prior to the four attempts at “reduction” for my dislocated ankle. I’m glad to say that (finally!) the 4th time did the trick. However, the X-rays show that I’ve broken my left ankle in three (3) places.  I’ve been home since 9pm on Friday, faithfully taking Percocet every four hours, and hopping on my right foot behind a walker.  Why yes, I did have a spare walker in my garage, a yard sale find from a few months ago. But what I really need now is a wheelchair. Because hopping on one foot is neither a secure nor smart way to get around.

Monday morning, SuperDad and I will be contacting my primary care manager (PCM) and the orthopaedic surgeon to get the ball rolling on the rest of story.

The rest of the story probably does not include my shopping for or cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It is doubtful that I will be driving myself anywhere for the remainder of 2015. Details of work are about to get a little lot more interesting; unless a minor miracle occurs, I cannot be there tomorrow to prepare for a monthly meeting nor do I expect to make it in to the office for the rest of the week.  As you may recall, I am an office of one without a replacement. Helpful documentation has been squigly since the burglary 4 months ago with changed passwords and procedures that are not all written down for such an emergency.

And I am desperately clinging to hope that the rest of the story will include being present for the birth of my first grandchild.

Pass the cookies… the ones I haven’t yet baked

You know that magical, mystical month of preparation that is wished for between Thanksgiving and Christmas? The one I keep hoping will appear before the end of this week? Um, yeah. Today is Friday and I’m gradually realizing that my dream of such a month is only that: a dream.

2011 December 117  wreath

The funny thing about Christmas is that it comes with exceeding regularity every single December 25th, whether or not I am prepared. In this way, Christmas is like a military moving day, which — as my husband is wont to say — comes whether or not a person is ready for it.

In the past few weeks I have continued on in life much as I do the rest of the year:  going to work, taking a bit of time to waste hours on facebook in an effort to avoid reality spend with friends and other loved ones. My days as “Christmas Wizard” seem to have gone AWOL. I no longer set aside the many hours (hours often stolen from other parts of life) to make the Christmas Magic happen. I actually do plan to have the kids set up and decorate the tree with only minimal participation from yours truly. My handling of ornaments is relegated to unwrapping each one from its tissue-paper swaddling cloth. I am content with this job.

I am, quite possibly, too content with the fact that Christmas comes in 5 days. I have yet to mail a single package. I have yet to finish a single sewing project (let alone begin 3 additional projects conjured up in the past 2 weeks). At some point, panic will set in and I will pull some marathon hours in an effort to complete a single project in time to wrap it and put it under the tree. And the Christmas letter that I envisioned sending out several weeks ago? Not yet written.

The panicky side of my brain tells me to GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER ALREADY and to start scurrying about like a headless chicken. The practical side of my brain tells me that running in circles isn’t an effective plan. The panicky Self insists that Christmas is coming — and SOON — whether or not I am ready for it; the practical Self replies, “Yes, you are correct.”

Now if only that additional month of preparation would suddenly appear this weekend…

12-13-14

DSCN5292  birthday

Happy (late) 19th birthday to Humorous Juniorous, in person!

He managed to miss his bus home on Thursday by oversleeping (a $40 mistake) and then nearly missed his bus on Friday as well. Apparently one must prepare for a trip via Greyhound much like one must prepare for an airline trip: pack ahead of time and get there early.

The second bus trip was more scenic than the one he had first planned, stopping at more small towns along a ’round-about way toward home. At one point I received a text telling me that one town was prepared “for a festival and/or a tourist trap.” One of his honorary aunts is there today for the Christmas Lighting Festival, something I’ve long wanted to experience but have not yet done; however, I decided to not disown him for his opinion of my favorite Bavarian village here in our fair state.

Now that we have [belatedly] celebrated H-J’s birthday, he and his younger brother have assembled* the Christmas Tree and SuperDad strung the lights. I’m hoping that tomorrow afternoon Miss K (H-J’s girlfriend) will join us and the 3 teens will decorate the tree with ornaments.
I’ve got a busy week coming up with work meetings, band concert, choir rehearsal, and book group. My secret plan is to have ingredients and recipes strategically placed in hopes that teenagers will get the urge to bake Christmas goodies… if that doesn’t work, I’ll beg. 🙂

Honestly, I could use another month between Thanksgiving weekend and right now. I could also use another quilting retreat in that extra month. We could call it the month of Preparation. Does anyone have a time machine?