Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Day, Another Year

As humans, we aren't ever satisfied.  We always are looking to 'change' and 'do better.'  Tomorrow is a new year and many people will make resolutions.  And most of those will be broken before the month is done.  I don't make resolutions--I can't deal with the guilt of broken ones.  ;)

I don't know if it is because I'm getting older, but holidays and 'special occasions' don't hold the same fascination for me that they did when I was younger.  I don't know if there is one holiday that we celebrate that isn't man-made, so why is it that they are so special?  If one doesn't have family or friends to celebrate with, the day is the same as any other--there is nothing to make one day different from another.  Anniversaries, of one form or another, are different--THOSE are days when we commemorate something and aren't arbitrary in any way.  But, the specialness of those days even begins to weaken when you've celebrated the same day for decades--after a while, the only ones that are special are the 'biggies.'

Years ago, I used to come close to having a panic attack on New Year's Eve--I always worried about 'what the new year would bring.'  Everything was an unknown and frightening.  I would wonder what the year would bring to me:  Death?  Birth?  Health?  Illness?  Financial gain or financial ruin?  The good/bad things that could happen were endless and I worried.  These days, I know there is very little I can do about what will take place--and why worry about something you may not be able to change?  Of course, I know I can do SOME things to steer my future in one direction or other, but for the most part, what happens will happen.  So, why worry?  And so New Year's Day becomes just another day to me.

To all I wish a happy, prosperous, healthy, and blessed new year.  I can only pray this comes to be.

Friday, December 30, 2011


For the time being, at least, I'm sticking with Facebook.  It certainly doesn't seem as if Google+ has gone anywhere and I don't know anyone who hangs out there anymore.  (Actually, I forget that I even have an account.)  I really don't know why I'm staying with Facebook--most of the people I have 'friended' are terribly annoying and not anyone I'd be around in real life for any length of time.  But I stay, mainly because I find things out I wouldn't any other way.  (AND for the people who are dear to me.  :))  So, here are some of the whack-a-doodles I am friends with:

One of K's nephew's daughters has friended me.  I don't ever remember seeing this girl in person--ever.  She is about the age of The Oldest and lives in California.  With the amount of things she says she has done, she should be about 64 years old.  I can't believe anyone can be quite as accomplished as she claims to be and not be older--or rich, or a celebrity.  If you can do all she supposedly has done at such a young age, you have to have a lot of money--something I am sure she doesn't have.  For several months, she posted every single tornado watch/warning that was issued in the US.  I don't know why, I don't ask.  (If you don't think this cluttered up my timeline...)  She says she auditioned for one of those singing contest shows--while she didn't win, she got praised up the wazoo and encouraged to try again.  She knows three languages, other than English.  She acts, sings, and goes to school--with a double major--all while raising a few children (not sure how many) as a single mother.  (I'm not sure if she works--doesn't seem like it.)  And these past few months she has been deathly ill and the doctors can't find out what's wrong with her.  (I don't believe it is a recurrence of the cancer she has had twice.)  So, is this girl interesting and accomplished, or just a complete and total whack-a-doodle?  I would like to ask my sister-in-law, but how do you ask someone if their grandchild is a head case?  If I'm wrong about the girl, I'm sorry, but I kind of have a feeling she is 'not all there.'

Now, my family is more than well represented on Facebook--and most of THEM are people no one wants to know.  My cousin's daughters, for example.

The youngest of the two girls hasn't been on Facebook as much these days--she now lives with her two boys and no computer, since the divorce.  (I can't understand how her ex actually kept her around as long as he did.)    While she was married, all of her time was spent on Facebook, complaining and belly aching over EVERYTHING.  She hated her life and her step children.  And it didn't seem as if she actually did anything around her house--and yet, she complained about the way things were done.  (It sounded like her ex did most/all of the cleaning and cooking.  She only looked after the boys--the kids she gave birth to.)  Even though she is a presence, once again, the fact that she only can post via cellphone has kept her off of Facebook as much as she used to be.

The oldest of the girls is the biggest drama queen in the world.  And she airs the family laundry every chance that she gets.  These days she has been bad-mouthing her in-laws and her husband's best friend so badly that I'm surprised anyone is still talking to her.  (Not too long ago she berated her father's family, so she is an equal opportunity lambaster.)  She just gave birth to her sixth child and we had to 'listen' to all of her health issues daily--and this is because the doctors told her to never get pregnant again.  She decided to ignore the medical profession.  I believe my Oldest must have the patience of a saint, because she is quite close to this girl--and I can't understand how.

One of my non-relative friends is very dear to me, but he is living vicariously through his kids these days.  He keeps posting about his sons' band and the gigs they play.  I couldn't get through one of the videos he posted, so I'm not too sure how good the kids are, but they really seem like brats to me.  (I've never met them, but some of the things he writes...)  Anyway, I'm just happy that they live far away because I'm not sure I could figure out how to say "No, thank you." to going to watch the kids perform.

Of course, one of the things that gets me the most are the conversations some people have to post--these are conversations with their very young children that THEY find hysterical and interesting.  (NO ONE who reads this blog is implicated here!!!)  Many times I have read one of these and wound up shaking my head, asking myself "WTF????"  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Not EVERYONE thinks your kids are cute/amusing/geniuses.  I'm happy YOU think they are, but just keep it to yourself, please.

I got on Facebook because of my girls--I figured it would be a good way of keeping in touch with what is going on in their lives.  Come to find out, The Youngest doesn't post often to Facebook--I believe she does most of HER communicating through instant message and texts.  Now, The Oldest shares quite a bit--and a lot of the time she shares too much.  Today, she commented on someone else's status update and I found out something I wish I didn't:  It looks as if she is planning on getting pregnant again next year.  There are no words...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Time


It is 3:00 AM on Christmas morning.  The Youngest and her husband and K are sleeping.  The cat is curled up next to the heat run, sleeping.  I have the crock pot cooking our Christmas brunch and I am just enjoying the quiet, by myself.  This is my time.

For the last 48 hours I have been running myself ragged.  I did laundry, last minute cleaning, shopped, cooked, wrapped presents, and about a dozen other things.  I didn't, however, relax or do much sleeping, but I knew my time would come.  And it has.

On Christmas Eve evening, we went to celebrate the season with dear friends, something that has become a tradition in the last ten or so years.  We ate, drank, made merry, and exchanged gifts.  Afterwards, we drove through the silent streets of our town and looked at Christmas lights.  While most were pretty to look at, sadly, there were far more disastrous attempts than beautiful displays.  But, that's the way it is every year.  Too many people begin decorating with a very good idea and then wander off into some surrealistic, modern art sort of thing that makes absolutely no sense--I think they suffer from adult attention deficit disorder.  That is my only explanation for some of what we saw.

When we got home, the four of us opened the gifts we had for each other.  I was pleased to see how more than a few of the gifts we gave turned into some of the favorites of all time.  Gift giving can be such a hit-or-miss affair, that it is great to hit a home run--and I believe I/we hit several.  K and I got a couple more things for the hockey cave as gifts and I got another Nativity--this time, an all-animal-shaped-like-bathtub-rubber-duckies one.  I will have to post a picture of it before I put the decorations away.  And once again, K outdid himself in the jewelry department and gave me a pair of gorgeous diamond stud earrings.  Yeah, I think I'll keep him.

A little bit of time was spent admiring/studying/playing with the gifts we received, but in due time each one of us began to lose our zip.  Conversation grew scarcer and yawns became more plentiful.  I put the crock pot going and the rest of the family settled for some much needed sleep.  And I came to the computer room to be alone.  I have always loved the time when everything is done and I can sit by myself and relax.  It is such a peaceful time and a relief when I get to this stage.  Having grown children allows me to 'be done' so much sooner than when the girls were at home.

In the next week or two, I will put the Christmas decorations away and begin my time of being content.  Winter will bring that out in me, as I stay in more often and don't feel any pressure to leave the house--after all, NO ONE would go out in the snow if they didn't need to.  Sitting in the corner of the couch, drinking a hot mug of tea and watching a hockey game or old movie or reading a book will become my activities.  I will attempt to do all of the 'after Christmas' things that I vowed to do only a week ago, but will probably only accomplish one or two of the tasks.  And I will ignore any guilt feelings I may get--until next year at this same time.

For now, my short term plans are to get through the last of the holiday duties:  the Christmas meal.  The evening will be spent visiting with The Youngest and her husband and then they will leave on Monday for home.  K will go back to work on Tuesday and Wednesday and then on his week off we will take a day trip to do some after-Christmas shopping.  Finally, I will be able to put all of this holiday stuff to rest for another year.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas full of family, friends, food, and festivities.  And I wish a blessed, healthy, and happy New Year to each and every one of you.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let's Talk Meds

We are told that generic drugs are no different from the brand name ones.  I guess this is true, but in at least one instance, this is not--and doctors and pharmacists agree.  When someone has hypothyroidism, the drug of choice--or the name brand drug of choice--is Synthroid.  Over the years, the patent on Synthroid has expired and we now have quite a few different meds to take care of this condition/disease.  After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I was put on one of the meds to control my condition and over the course of time, things got better.  I was relieved when we got to the dose I needed and everything was stabilized--and it all came to pass with the drug Levoxyl, a generic thyroid supplement.  All was going along fine until the day I went in to pick up a refill of my meds and the pills looked MUCH different from what I was used to.  Levoxyl looks like this:

And I was given pills that looked like this:

Same color, VERY different shape.  But, I was told both pills/meds are equivalent.  And I was okay with that until I had my next blood work done--and my blood levels were unstable, again.  It took me another round of blood work a few months later before I realized that my new problem was tied to the change in my meds--and I was correct.  After discussing this with my MD, he prescribed Levoxyl, no substitutions, and my levels have been stable ever since.  Another lesson learned.


A few months back, K saw his doctor and pointed out a bit of a rash/dry skin that he had behind his knees. It was diagnosed as a kind of dermatitis and a prescription for a lotion was written.  K filled the prescription and his rash was taken care of in good time.  The other day, he brought the bottle to me and asked if I would order a refill for him.  The name of the medication--mometasone--seemed familiar to me, so I had to look it up.  As it turned out, K's lotion for his rash is the same medication that I use as a nasal spray for my sinuses, Nasonex.  Same drug, different forms, for two quite different problems.  Interesting.


A while back, I wrote about a friend of mine who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia.  He ultimately decided to have a bone marrow transplant and has had some set-backs and side-effects from it.  He wasn't tolerating a medication called tacrolimus--which is given as an immunosuppresant agent for those having transplants--very well and the doctors were needing to do some adjustments.  The name of the drug sounded very familiar to me, but I put the thought out of my mind.  After all, I knew of no one else that had received a transplant of any kind, so I shouldn't be familiar with the drug.  And then one day, I reached for one of my many lotions/potions/ointments that I use for the psoriasis I still have and there was a tube of Protopic, which is the ointment form of tacrolimus!  I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, as psoriasis is an auto-immune disease and the immune system needs suppressing in order for the skin to heal, but it stunned me, nevertheless.  It's hard to wrap your mind around two such different uses for the same drug. 

With these three examples alone, I can't imagine what it takes for doctors to 'get things right.'  And 'get things right' is what they do more times than not.  While their mistakes can, and often do, have life-ending consequences, it still is a wonder that more mistakes aren't made.  Whenever I think about it, I have a new respect for doctors and all that they know.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Make Up For The Last Post...

As I surf the interwebs, there ARE times when I actually will read the comment sections of certain stories.  I don't know WHY I do this, as I usually just get frustrated and angry by the idiots who comment.  Yet, I read.  (I'm afraid I might have masochistic tendencies.  ;))  One thing that you find out very quickly is that there are only a few comments that get recycled over and over again.  And Linda Holmes over at NPR noticed this same thing when it comes to the inevitable 'year-end' lists we'll be inundated with shortly and wrote an article about it:  'The 20 Unhappiest People You Meet In The Comments Sections Of Year-End Lists.'

Here are a few of my 'favorite' commentators:
 7. The Self-Punisher. "I always hate your tastes, so I knew this would be a miserable and useless list before I decided to click on it and read the whole thing, and now I know I was right."
 11. The Person Who Thinks You Were So Close. "I like all these picks, but you ranked The Descendants as your #4 and Martha Marcy May Marlene as your #5, and they should be the other way around. FAIL."
 14. The Minimalist. "These blow."

Too funny!  For the rest of the list, go here.

The Gifts of the Season: Depression and Guilt

The concept of loving the Christmas/holiday season is so foreign to me, it may as well come from another planet.  I don't understand people who really love the holidays.  As far back as I can remember, this time of year has always left me depressed for one reason or another.  Since being a little girl, nothing about the season has ever met my expectations--I've always felt as if 'something' was missing.  Even though I have never experienced the perfect Christmas, I'm at a loss to explain what the perfect Christmas is like.  I guess the Rockwell painting images are what I expect, but not consciously.  If I could KNOW what I want, it would be so much easier to try and replicate it.  Alas, I haven't found the answer to what a perfect Christmas is.

Becoming an adult just made me more determined to make things perfect for myself and those around me.  I did my best to give/make the perfect gifts and decorate my house perfectly.  I baked and cooked and crafted until I couldn't see straight.  I never wanted my kids to know how I felt about the season--and I think they didn't until they grew up.  Still, each January left me more depressed than the year before, as I couldn't come close to what I wanted--even though I didn't know what I wanted.  On top of not getting what I 'wanted,' I also felt like a failure because 'something' was always missing.

For years we went 'back home' for the holidays--and we brought all of the gifts for the kids and everything else we needed for 'the day,' to The Parent's house.  We spent part of Christmas Eve with the in-laws, went to Christmas Eve church services, had gift opening at The Parent's, and completed everything with the kids getting their Santa gifts on Christmas morning.  And throughout the time I spent there, I had to try and make everyone happy.  We didn't spend nearly enough time with the in-laws as we should, because The Mother didn't want us to enjoy ourselves away from her.  I felt disloyal if I had a good time with the in-laws, so I suppressed any happiness there and limited my time with them.  Of course, spending most of my time with The Mother didn't help me, as she has ALWAYS been depressed during the holidays.  Not only couldn't I make everything good for myself, I couldn't even do for others.  Just another example of me not being good enough.

I finally decided that it was too stressful for me to keep going home for Christmas, so we started to build our own traditions in our own home.  This should have been a good thing, but I was then placed under so much guilt for not spending time with family, that I couldn't get out from under it.  I not only was dealing with The Mother about this issue, but the in-laws, as well.  And the beauty part of all this was that K was the one who would always tell me in November that we were staying home, and so that is what I told everyone.  Of course, as the middle of December rolled around, he would always bend to his mother's will and change his mind.  He didn't tell her this, usually, but it was made very clear that we COULD go there if only I would agree.  Of course, by that late in the season, it was too much MORE work to change all of the plans, so we stayed here and I piled a bit more guilt onto myself.

Things might have been less depressing for me if the rest of the family would have come to US every few years.  But we were the ones who had to haul our two kids, luggage, gifts, etc, etc, etc, 100 miles when it would have been so much easier for The Parents--for example--to come here for a few days.  After all, there was just the two of them.  But no, they wouldn't do it.  And so I took us out of the family circle and made us outsiders.  MORE guilt.

Throughout all of the preparations and celebrations, I was a complete and total bitch--especially to K.  I worked myself to death and was so sleep deprived that I probably was a danger to myself and others.  Of course, I couldn't take out my frustrations on The Mother--heaven forbid--or any other family members, so K got it full-force.  And I KNEW what I was doing as I did it--and couldn't stop myself.  I had such inner turmoil that it was a wonder I didn't sprout a dozen bleeding ulcers every year.  The wicked witch of the west was a pussy cat compared to me.  I don't think I can EVER properly do enough for him to make up for how I was--and I still feel guilty.

Many years have now passed and I'm not dealing with the same things as I once did.  I see how circumstances shaped my perspective on the season and I know what I did right and what I did wrong.  And I still can't shake the hatred and depression.  Oh, I put on a good enough act--even though most people KNOW how I truly feel--but if I'm smiling at this time of year, rest assured it IS all an act.  I'll play along just so others won't be brought down to my level, but I am never truly comfortable around people who are having a good time--it just seems foreign to me.  And as soon as it is all over, I will face my disappointment once again, because this year won't be any more perfect than any other.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Great Idea

I finally finished my Christmas decorating.  I have to take that back--I'm ALMOST done with my Christmas decorating.  However, I have so few things left to do, that, in essence, I AM done.  I kept everything much more simple than I usually do--much less decorating happened this year than in the past.  I just don't have the energy to go all-out these days.  Maybe next year...

Anyway, I did one thing that I haven't done before--simply because I never thought of it.  One day while surfing Pinterest, I came across the following picture:

I LOVE this idea!  Simple, yet fitting in a bibliophile's home.  And I KNEW I had to make my own book tree. My biggest problem is lack of floor space, so I knew I wasn't going to make the tree as tall as I would like, but I did my best.  And this is what I came up with:

Not too bad, hey?  The tree topper was given to me for my birthday by my very best friend--adorable!  Next year I will figure out a way to make the tree at least five feet tall--and maybe even taller!  I just have to figure out where I can put it.  And with the amount of books I own, I could do an entire FOREST of book trees.  Now, that is something I would like to see.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cue the Pity Party (Updated)

Every year around this time, I have to have myself a pity party.  I never know what exactly will trigger it, but I watch and wait to see what sets me off.  Today, I got my cue for my pity party.

My husband is generous to a fault--and that is one of the reasons why I fell in love with him.  Sometimes, though, I wish he were a bit more selfish.  And he is what caused me to feel sad tonight. 

Way back when, K scheduled vacation time for Christmas.  The Youngest and her husband have been coming home and spending Christmas with us for several years and had/have every intention of doing so this year as well.  But, good intentions don't always turn into good things--or don't in a timely manner.  The S-I-L is one of the 'low man on the totem pole' employees where he works, so he isn't in a great position to dictate when he will take time off.  For the last few years, he has used his lack of asking for off-days during the year as leverage to get holiday time, but he doesn't feel as if he should push it this year.  So, here we are, a week before Christmas and we STILL don't know if the kids will be with us for 'THE day.'  As nerve wracking as this is, I can live with not knowing until the last minute.  I'm not going to do much more if they show up, than what I would do, anyway.  I will find out in due time if we will have company, or not.

Now, back to K.  He is one of the top 10(?) in seniority where he works.  (He may be even higher on the list due to retirements, but whatever.  He is HIGH on the list.)  He can pretty much dictate when he wants to take time off and get it--which is a perk for having been there as long as he has.  My husband certainly doesn't abuse his position, however.  For example, he makes sure (as much as possible) that he doesn't ask for time off during hunting season, so that the ones who DO hunt can have THEIR time.  He also is very good about giving up holidays to people with young families.  We don't do big 'family' visits for Easter or the Fourth of July, etc, so he will gladly work and let someone else have the time.  And this year he has made it known that he will give up his Christmas vacation if we don't get The Youngest here.

Every few days, K has been asking me if I have heard whether the kids are coming, or not.  Tonight I told him that I STILL don't know what the plan is and he told me that he will be canceling his vacation when he goes back to work--that the time is winding down and a decision has to be made.  He is doing this so that one of his co-workers--a guy who is at the plant as a bit of a second-career sort of thing (basically NO seniority, whatsoever), with grown children (that he sees often during the year), and no grandchildren--can have the time off to be with one of his kids, who will be here.  So, if our daughter doesn't come home, I will be here, home alone, for Christmas.  And that has caused me to have a pity party for myself.

I know that this isn't the end of the world and that I probably will be relieved to have time for myself, but right now it doesn't feel very good.  This very possibly will be as low-key of a Christmas as we have had in quite some time.  And so, I will wallow in pity for a time and then pull myself up, slap myself upside the head, and say "What the F*** is your problem, woman?"  And I know that all will be right with the world.

UPDATE:  Just spoke with The Youngest and they WILL be here for a couple of days next weekend.  They won't get here until Christmas Eve and have to leave the day after Christmas, but they will be here.  What a difference 24 hours makes!  :)  (And K's vacation will stay in place--thank goodness he wasn't at work today to change things.)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

War Between The States

We don't often see wars between two states, but for some reason or other, Michigan seems to be a participant (possibly) more than other states.  The most famous war is the one with Ohio, but these days, we are fighting with Wisconsin.  And Wisconsin fired the first shot.  Here is the story...

First, this is what Michigan looks like:

Of course, the thing that everyone thinks of most when they think of Michigan, is the shape of the Lower Peninsula:

The shape makes one think of a mitten--plain and simple.  And we who live here will use our hands to point out different places in the state, just as if we were holding maps--even using two hands so that we can show places in the Upper Peninsula, too, like this:

This concept is so famous and common, that no one could possibly think that any other state would take and run with it for THEIR state.  But we underestimated Wisconsin.

Here is Wisconsin:

Here is Wisconsin next to Michigan:

So, which state looks like a mitten?  Well, Wisconsin thinks THEY do and have a tourism ad campaign going on in which they use a mitten-shaped Wisconsin:

To say that some Michiganders are not pleased, is putting it mildly.  There are YouTube protest songs and there are 'explanations' as to how Wisconsin CAN be seen as having a mitten shape:

Anyway, there are some people who actually have their panties in a bunch over this and then there are the rest of us who are using this as an opportunity to make fun of the 'cheese-heads.'  Bring it on, Wisconsin, we're ready for you!  ;D

Being Green?

Most of my Christmas shopping consists of sitting in front of the computer and letting my fingers do the walking.  It makes my life so much easier to do it this way and I'm much less apt to get cranky if I don't have to deal with people.  With seven grandchildren to buy for, I don't have the energy to figure out what each one would want as a gift.  My solution to the grandchildren gift dilemma is this:  I have them write a list of all of the books they want and then I buy them.  They are happy and my shopping takes very little time.

Some of the books that the kids ask for are out of print, so I do business with the used book stores online.  But, the majority of what is wanted are new books, so Barnes & Noble gets a good chunk of money out of us every year.  And because I had a number of per cent off coupons to use, I wound up placing three separate orders to finish up my B&N shopping.  Yesterday I got a little more than 1/3 of the books I ordered.

These books were sent in three separate boxes--but they were NOT from three separate orders:

Now, to fully appreciate how absolutely ridiculous the difference in the packaging and the contents is, here is a picture of the two side-by-side:

First of all, I have a problem with the amount of packaging, because it is completely wasteful.  As you can see, all of the books could have fit in one box, instead of being shipped in three. This makes little sense to me, as all of these books are sent to the same address, paid for from the same credit card, and the same membership number is used to make the purchases.  Sending so many boxes couldn't possibly be profitable for B&N, as I get free shipping for EVERYTHING because I'm a member.  Ridiculous.

Until these companies can figure out a way to use less shipping material, I don't want to hear another word about how we should do everything to be 'green.'  MY little amount of wastefulness is a drop in the bucket compared to what I'm seeing from the companies I deal with on a regular basis.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Write and Run

It has been a few days, so I thought it was time to do an update.  NOT that my life is exciting or anything.  :)

We'll start back at Black Friday.  I didn't go out--of course--so I didn't know about the excitement until The Oldest called me.  (From 100 miles away.)  Shortly after 3:00 PM that day, several--8+--businesses had bomb threats called in to them.  Walmart, Target, the mall, and several other stores and a hotel, were the targets of the threats.  Everyone had to be evacuated from the businesses and the places were searched.  Nothing out of the ordinary was found, so everything was up and running and back to normal a couple of hours later.  As of today, no one has come forward--or, at least, been given the reward--and we are no closer to knowing who did this than we were two weeks ago.

Some people seem to think that the threats were made by someone attached to the 'occupy' movement.  Now, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but I STILL think it was a bunch of kids at home, unsupervised, with nothing better to do.  It will be interesting to see of the people responsible will ever be caught.  (And I'm not holding my breath that local law enforcement WILL 'get their 'man.'')


We finally have snow.  Over the weekend a storm front moved in and dumped many inches of snow on the area--just not here in town.  We only got enough snow to blanket everything, but that is the way it is so close to the Lake.  Still, I do believe winter is finally here.


Last week Thursday, we did our monthly road trip.  Normally we go on the road on Friday or Saturday, but this month was different.  Our friends were having house guests this past weekend, so we moved our trip up a few days so that we could get together.  I truly am happy that things worked out the way they did--we didn't have to fight quite as horrendous crowds on a Thursday as we would have on Friday, so that was a very nice thing.


I am trying to get myself motivated enough to begin the Christmas decorating.  And I am not succeeding.  But that isn't the worst of it:  I still have to make an effort to get GIFTS bought.  But I have to actually write out a list, first.  To say I'm behind in Christmas preparations, is putting it mildly.


Our truck has finally gotten the 'once over' from the shop and everything that needed to be, is now repaired.  We are giving the truck to The Youngest and her husband just as soon as we can make arrangements to transfer possession.  K decided to pass the truck on, as it isn't worth a bag of rocks if we used it for a trade-in--it IS over ten years old--and our daughter and husband can use a second vehicle.  K was all set to buy a new truck and then he decided against it.  He wants to see how we get along with only one vehicle, so that is what is going to happen.  I understand his thinking:  There are times--most of the time, actually--that the Envoy just sits for days without being moved.  However, I dread the thought of not having a vehicle at my disposal at all times.  I love the feeling of freedom that I get when I know I can leave the house any time, day or night, that I want.  This is going to be very interesting...

And finally, I will close out with another Christmas reference.  

There are some people who don't do the whole 'Santa' thing with their kids.  Some feel as if it is against their belief system, others feel as if it is teaching their children to mistrust the parents because of the lying.  The Oldest and her husband never have done 'Santa' with their kids.  I have no idea why and I don't ask.

Growing up, I was taught to believe in Santa Claus.  And I pretty much believed until I was in 4th or 5th grade.  (EDIT:  Upon further review and thought--and a couple of hours later--I think I found out about 'no Santa' when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade--NOT as late as this.  I know I was a late bloomer in far too many areas, but NOT quite THIS far behind.  ;D)  Then, one Christmas Eve, I stayed awake and heard The Parents putting out the gifts and I finally knew the truth.  But, for a few years before this, I questioned whether the guy was real or not--and I would ask The Mother if he was.  She NEVER lied to me, but told me this, instead:
"You will never get any presents from Santa Claus again if you stop believing in him."

Quite a good way to get around the 'lying' issue, yet a nice way to keep your child young for a while longer.