Friday, December 24, 2010

Let's Jolly This Joint RIGHT UP

What's the best way to increase the jolliness of Christmas Eve by about a hundred percent? I don't know, but I DO know a surefire way to decrease the jolliness level. Here's what you shouldn't do.

You shouldn't try to vacuum the filthy and mostly unused upstairs bedroom in which there are supposed to be people sleeping tonight without first turning off all the space heaters in the house because it turns out that that bedroom is on the same circuit as Cubby's bedroom and the MiL's bathroom, neither of which connect with said bedroom and so would not logically be on the same circuit, but both of which have space heaters and are thus overloading that circuit already without the additional electrical strain of a vacuum.

If you do decide to do such a foolish thing, you will then spend a (very jolly!) half hour trying to figure out which fuse box that circuit connects to--because OF COURSE there are two in our ridiculous electrical system--and then trying to figure out which of the glass fuses was the one that blew, and THEN going to the hardware store because OF COURSE we don't have any replacement fuses for that particular number of amps.

So don't do that. Stick with booze. I think that would be a much safer bet for jolliness.

Merry Christmas Eve, poppets! May your day be merry and bright (because you aren't a dumbass like me).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let's Talk Tradition

Merry Christmas Eve-Eve, poppets! I think it's time for a holiday-themed Audience Participation Day, don't you?

Yes, of course you do. Because you think what I tell you to think, OBVIOUSLY.

So! Let us speak of holiday traditions. When I was growing up, my family's Christmas went like this: Christmas Eve we got to open all the gifts from out-of-town relatives. Since we were a military family and never spent the holidays with any extended family, there were usually at least gifts from my grandparents to open. Then, greed momentarily satisfied, to bed we would toddle.

On Christmas morning there were stockings to dig through. Incidentally, Santa always brought my family quite a lot of chocolate, but here, Santa tends to stuff my stocking with things like nuts still in their shells and dried figs. Is Santa trying to make me eat more fiber or something? And where does that fat dude get off trying to non-verbally lecture ME about nutrition? Punk.


Right, so . . . stockings first. Then we would open all the gifts. All at once, if you will remember our previous discussion of this practice. Christmas breakfast always included monkey bread*, which was made with the biscuits in a can for maximum processed, soft unwholesomeness. Because really, if you're going to cover the biscuits in a pound of butter and sugar, does it really matter if the biscuits under the candy coating are less than wholesome? No.

And then we would have a big dinner in the afternoon with ham and things. Plus, there was church in there too. Which probably deserves more than just a passing mention at the end of this list, as the religious thing is actually the origin of the whole Christmas celebration, rather than monkey bread. Although you could totally have a religious moment with monkey bread. All that sugar could induce holy visions, I'm pretty sure.


Your turn! Tell me what you always did for holidays growing up. Or what you do now. Which would be a different post for me entirely.

* Wikipedia, that font of all totally accurate knowledge, tells me that monkey bread is also called "pinch-me cake." I find that hilarious, for many reasons.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Decided To Spare You

We finally got our Christmas tree decorated on Saturday. By "we" I mean the MiL and I, as the Grinch elected, as per usual, to stay in his Grinch-cave (his office) and avoid the festivities altogether until it was time to descend to Whoville to place the star on top.

I kept meaning to get a photo of the tree to post. But I have decided that for one thing, any photo I take of it is sure to be terrible, since I am The Worst Photographer In the World. And for another thing, do you really need to see a picture of our tree? I mean, it's a Christmas tree: lights (small and multi-colored--no monochrome white for me, thanks), ornaments, green needles . . . you know the drill.

The only strange thing about the tree this year is that I elected to get a very small tabletop tree. So it actually goes as high as our regular trees, but it's a three-foot tree on a three-foot table. This had a lot to do with a certain infant lurching about the place. Also the fact that dispensing with the bottom three feet of tree makes for a hell of a lot less wrestling with lights and hauling of boxes of ornaments.

That said, I think I'll have to go back to the regular tree next year. The tabletop tree is messing with my mind. It's just not quite right somehow. But it works for this year. And it's still pretty. Which of course you'll have to trust me on, since I didn't take a picture for you.

Apologies to LeVar, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Marvelous Night for a Moondance

I like ruts. I prefer to stay in my ruts whenever possible. But every once in awhile, I'm forced out of my beloved ruts by circumstance. Last night was just such a circumstance.

At eight at night, I would, per the rut, be sitting by the woodstove reading a book, thinking about heading upstairs for bed in half an hour or so. Instead, A. and I took the dogs on a walk in the woods.

I KNOW. I totally climbed out of THAT rut. Momentarily, anyway.

It was almost a full moon, you see. Also, there was a thin snow cover on the ground reflecting the moon light. It was so bright, we were casting shadows and didn't need flashlights at all. Plus, it was a relatively comfortable 30 degrees with very little wind.

The walk itself was uneventful and unremarkable. Except for the fact that it was occurring at pretty much my bedtime.

And hey! Speaking of walking! Several comments yesterday made me aware that it is perhaps WAAAAY past time that I tell you Cubby is walking.

Yeah. Sorry about that.

He's actually been walking for almost a month now, although in the beginning it wasn't so much walking as controlled falling. Now he's graduated to lurching in the manner of Dr. Frankenstein's monster. Or a mummy. Cute!

He can get across a room by himself if there are no obstacles, though he still prefers to have a finger to hold onto. He skipped crawling entirely, apparently considering that too inconvenient and babyish.

This has, of course, opened up whole new vistas to him. Some favorite destinations include the brass drawer handles on various pieces of furniture (shiny!), the liquor cabinet (shiny bottles!), any dog or cat foolish enough to stay within range (fuzzy!), and this one floor lamp that he would pull right on top of himself if left to his own devices (stupid!).

Thankfully, he has not yet managed to figure out how to get up by himself from the floor. He's trying REALLY HARD, though, so I know it's only a matter of time before I no longer have an infant and instead have an honest-to-God toddler.


Monday, December 20, 2010

The Whole Happy Family

A. let the sheep out of their pasture yesterday for a little outing. They get bored in the winter, what with the lack of grazing. Grazing is pretty much their only form of entertainment, being sheep and all. So he let them out to wander around and pretend to graze on the various frozen things around the property. Then he moved on to some chores. Namely, splitting and stacking some more wood.

I was unable to assist him since I was Cubby-wrangling (and isn't THAT just a shame), but I did bring Cubby outside so we could at least keep A. company while he worked.

We spend a lot of time telling Cubby all the tasks we have planned for him when he's a little bigger. Poor kid is doomed.

I think he looks ready to stack some wood, don't you?

The dogs were frolicking around with large, unwieldy sticks, A. was industriously splitting wood, and Cubby and I were providing the sparkling conversation, when what to our wondering eyes should appear around the corner of the house . . .

But eight tiny reindeer! Except not so tiny. And actually sheep.

They had heard A. talking about how nice it was to have the whole happy family out together. The sheep, apparently, consider themselves part of the family.

Also wood-splitting supervisors.

There's nothing like family togetherness.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wedding Ahoy!

I got a call from my sister yesterday morning. You all know my sister--the one who comes to visit and inevitably ends up being put to work at some kind of disgusting manual labor?

She is, to put it mildly, a Good Sport.

So my Good Sport sister called me yesterday morning. And I thought, "Huh. That's weird. She never calls on Saturday mornings." And she doesn't. Unless there is some Very Important News to share.

There was. She's engaged.


I KNOW! So fun! I met her betrothed when we were in Arizona last month, and he seems like an extremely nice person. But more importantly, he seems like the sort of person who will be able to help us with many, many chores when he and my sister come to visit.

I just want him to understand how things are for visitors to Blackrock. So, to my soon-to-be-brother-in-law: Welcome to the family, come visit us soon, and don't forget your work gloves.

P.S. Seriously, welcome to the family and come visit. I'm just kidding about the work gloves (kind of).