Monthly Archives: December 2009

So This Is Normal?

This past year has been a bit hectic for Hubby and I.
 
We lost Blacky, but gained Rocky.  There are times when I’m sure that Rocky is Blacky reincarnated.  How else can you explain being blessed with the best tempered dog ever twice in a lifetime? 
 
We dealt with all of MIL’s health issues and struggled to help her keep her independence as long as possible.  When she passed, we thought the responsibilties would ease up a bit . . . and then we learned what it is to be responsible for settling her estate.  Oh, dear.
 
We delivered papers for a year.  Probably the most underappreciated job I’ve ever had.  I enjoyed the job except for the middle of the night thing. 
 
We didn’t have a lot of free time.  And I really missed it.  But now that MIL is gone and we quit the paper, we have a bit of free time on our hands.  It’s a foreign concept to us.  Sitting on the couch watching TV?  We sit on the floor with the puppies asleep in our laps?   I actually have time and desire to knit/cross-stitch/read?  It’s so deliciously decadent to do nothing at night. 
 
It’s everything I remembered. 
 
 

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Christmas Lights Guitar Hero

 
This has my vote for the best Christmas Light Show Ever!!
 

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Feeling Better

My Christmas Spirit finally arrived . . . during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.  While I was sitting in my usual spot listening to the choir and taking in all the beautiful decorations and doing some people watching.  I hope it’s not improper to people watch during Mass.  
 
The Christmas Eve celebration at my house wasn’t but but it was very strange.  The memory of all those years of celebrations at MIL’s house was there like the elephant in the room that Hubby and I didn’t know how to deal with.  Jr and Hubby are still fighting so he wasn’t there.  The grandkids were there but Princess didn’t show up until late because she had to wait until 5:20 p.m. for her paycheck.  Her first Christmas Eve home in 15 years and she almost missed it.  I have misplaced part of the Grandkids Christmas present.  I put them somewhere safe and now I can’t remember where I put them.  They’ll probably show up after the first of the year!
 
Christmas Day with my Mom & Dad was as wonderful as always.  Except for Baby not being there.  To be honest, I didn’t realize that she was gone until just now.  So I guess I’m okay on that front.
 
Rocky had a wonderful first Christmas.  He and Luci are fighting over the same toy.  Doesn’t matter if I buy them both exactly the same thing, they still fight over what the other one has.  We didn’t get any snow for Christmas – only rain and mud so there went the Christmas Baths.  They’re both a little dingy now from romping in the mud.
 
A three day weekend to eat cookies and play on the computer.  Actually that sounds pretty nice!!

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The Day Before The Day Before Christmas

I’m off to shop for the food for The Family Dinner tomorrow night.  Did I mention that I have to work most of the day tomorrow and Hubby will be doing the cooking?
 
I haven’t wrapped any Christmas presents yet. 
 
I haven’t baked any Christmas cookies yet. 
 
I still need to clean the house. 
 
Bless Hubby’s heart that he’s cheerfully helping with those tasks. 
 
Computer was broke last week and we just got it back today.  Talk about serious withdrawals!
 
Family drama involving Mom’s side of the family.  We’re not close to that side of the family and now I understand Mom’s decision to distance herself (and all of us) from them.  I always knew that Mom had a miserable childhood but she never shared specific details until now.  How someone went through all that and became the loving center of our family is beyond me.  If I wasn’t in awe of her strength before, I am now. 
 
Hubby and Jr had a massive argument last week.  Jr has seriously disrespected Hubby and won’t be joining us for The Family Dinner tomorrow night.  The situation has totally destroyed what little Christmas spirit I had.  If it weren’t for Hubby and the puppies, I’d cancel Christmas this year. 
 
We have just enough snow on the ground to make it look like Christmas.  Maybe it’ll bring back some of my Christmas spirit.
 
 
 

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Potpourri

The tree is up.  The wreath is on the door.  The Fisher Price Nativity Set is up.  That’s about it.  I’m so far behind it’s not funny.  No stockings hung with care.  No lighted garland.  No angels everywhere.  I need to get a move on.
 
Most of the shopping is done, though.  I need to get presents for Hubby and the Puppies (and the cat!).  Then I will need to wrap them and put them under the tree . . . and make sure that Luci and Rocky don’t go sniffing the presents thinking they are for them.  
 
Need to plan a menu for Christmas Eve dinner at our house.  Need to figure out what I’m taking to Mom & Dad’s for Christmas Day.  Need to decide which cookies to bake.  Need to bake/cook everything.  Need to clean the house.  Aarrgghhh. 
 
How is it possible that there’s only a week left until Christmas? 
 
The final day delivering newspapers was last week.  Princess took over the route on Monday.  I won’t know what to do with myself if I dn’t have to get up and go to the paper this weekend.  Hubby’s having a hard time adjusting his sleep schedule.  He’s used to sleeping a couple of hours, then getting up and going to the paper and then coming home to sleep.  
 
I’m over the cold, but now it seems like everyone else at work has some form of the same thing.  The weather here in Ohio changes by the minute so it’s no surprise we’re all sick. 
 
Having some computer issues at home.  I don’t think I’ve got it completely fixed, but at least I can use the computer. 
 
Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop to take a look, you might miss it. 
 

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A Christmas Story

The Gander Mountain Christmas Circular arrived in the mail today.  Hubby looked at it and found something he wanted for Christmas.  I looked at the circular and saw something I wanted.  No, I’ve never been to Gander Mountain.  But they have something I want for Christmas.  I showed it to Hubby and said . . .
 
"I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"
 
Without skipping a beat, Hubby replied, "You’ll shoot your eye out."
 
I laughed until I cried. 
 
I’m so proud!!  Hubby answered in the correct context without even giving it a second thought!  This is a major accompishment.  I LOVE the movie "A Christmas Story"  I watch it as many times as humanly possible during the holiday season.  Nevermind that I’ve got my very own DVD copy of the movie that’s NEVER BEEN OPENED!!!  There’s just something about watching it on TV.  Every year I watch the 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" on TBS.  I recite entire scenes while the movie is on.  Hubby does not share my fascination with this movie.  In fact, he avoids it like the plague.  He tolerates it because of me.  So the fact that he got the joke and completed the line was an early Christmas gift to me. 
 
There’s a lot to be said for spending over half your life with the same man . . .
 
But, seriously, I want a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas . . . .

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Carrier Appreciation

If you get your newspaper delivered to your house the old fashioned way – by a newspaper carrier – please read the following very carefully.  What you are about to read is true.  Cross my heart. 
 
Hubby and I deliver papers for the paper here in Smalltown.  It’s a small route – less than 200 customers – and it’s fairly easy.  Two retirement homes and a few houses on a cul-de-sac in a very nice part of town.  The daily papers are easy to deliver – he can do that in little more than an hour.  The Sunday papers are harder because of the ads and inserts – that can take up to 2 hours. 
 
Here are the drawbacks.  Delivering the papers is a 7 day a week/365 day a year job.  No days off.  No vacation.  No sick days.  You deliver papers every day of the year.  Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Easter Sunday.  If you want to take some time off, you need to find somebody to sub the route for you.  You deliver papers in all kinds of weather – rain, snow, heat, fog – and in the middle of the night.  The daily papers have to be delivered by 5:30 a.m.  The Sunday papers have to be delivered by 8:00 a.m.     
 
Here’s the part that you probably don’t know . . . and the newspapers don’t want the customers to know.  We don’t get paid a whole lot of money to deliver the paper.  You pay 75 cents for a daily paper – we get paid 9 cents to deliver that paper.  You pay $1.75 for a Sunday paper – we get 30 cents to deliver that paper.  You pay $6.00 for a Sunday New York times – we get paid 10 cents to deliver that paper.  If we forget to deliver the paper to your door and you call the paper to ask for them to re-deliver the paper to you, we get charged $3.00.  For each complaint.  Which is why you have to be careful who you get to sub your route.  If the sub does a bad job delivering papers, you can end up owning the paper money at the end of the week.  We have to pay for the supplies – bags, rubber bands – that we use.  Since carriers are considered independent contractors, we don’t get health benefits, workers comp or unemployment.  If it’s a good week and we have no complaints, we make about $130. 
 
Yes, that’s right.  Hubby makes $130 a week delivering about 200 papers a day, every day.  
 
Until we started delivering papers, I had no idea how hard the job was – or how little it actually paid.  But now I know and I swear that I will never again take a dry newspaper on my doorstep for granted.  If you get a paper delivered to your door every day, show the carrier a little love this holiday season – and every season. 

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