Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well, I made it home without any major drama. There really wasn't much traffic today so the drive went really easily. The kitties cooperated (or were just ready to be home, too) and slept quietly the majority of the way. Occasionally there was a whimper of protest from the back seat, but for the most part, they're becoming hearty travelers.

It is so great to go visit family, but there is really no place like home.

Onward to New Years, I suppose. No plans as yet for that, but I hold out hope I'll be doing something besides moping on my couch.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the night before Christmas...

Home again for the holidays. I actually got to the Panhandle on Saturday after driving in a headwind the whole way... ugh. The kitties and I made it fine... tired from the trip but glad to be here. Went immediately to see the kiddos. Little B and Miss A are just too cute. Little B is talking so much more now than Thanksgiving. They do grow up so fast.

Every year since I was a small child, I've gotten to basically celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. With 3 sets of grandparents and family, all holidays were/are generally whirlwind affairs with lots of food, fun, and presents. Yesterday I had Christmas with my sisters and parents in the afternoon and with 2 of my three brothers, both sisters, parents and the spouses and children that belong to each. Sometimes it amazes me how truly redneck my family (that part of it, anyway) really is. You never know where the conversation will go when my brother G is around. Yesterday, his girlfriend/significant other/common-law spouse-type person, L, was telling us of G's latest -- showering with his shotgun. Yes, naked in the shower with his shotgun. He swears it is the only way to go, cause it is completely clean now. Yes, you can laugh and roll your eyes, we all did (including L!).

Through the food and laughter, presents were opened. I am a hero to Miss A because of the Bunny Slippers. Aunt C is also a hero. She got Miss A a tutu that plays a portion of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake when she moves. Miss A immediately changed into her tutu and bunny slippers and we were regaled to her fairy dance with Tchaikovsky's accompaniment. Little B got lots of presents and seemed thrilled with everything you got him and a bit surprised that things were for him. I love Christmas with children around. Their absolute joy and wonder at gifts and the need to try it on immediately or play with it immediately. You can't beat it.

Today, Christmas Eve has been a bit more subdued. C, her hubby P, my parents and Moma's parents spent the day together and visited and ate (yes, lots of food around during the holidays in my family) and went to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at G&G C's church. It is always a fun thing to do. We did make Grandaddy take off the oxygen during the candlelight portion of the service. Blowing up the church didn't sound like a very Christmassy thing to do.

Now, I'm back at Uncle J's house with him, C&P and G&G B. A quiet evening is planned. Tomorrow will be more food and family and a few presents, I'm sure.

But, I want to take this few moments to say to everyone, Merry Christmas.

King James Version (KJV)
Luke 2
1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Everyone get your Holy Hand Grenade ready

A couple of months ago, my niece, Miss A, asked me for Bunny Slippers for Christmas. Okay, that's what she's getting. The quest for cute bunny slippers was on. I ordered them from and online store and got them yesterday. Can I just say they are freakishly cute! Pink nose, fishing line whiskers and a tail at the back! Too Cute!!!!

I also found a pair for me... I want these. They are The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog and he's got a vicious streak a mile wide. Okay, so maybe only those who love Monty Python's Holy Grail will get it, but, come on, this is funny stuff.....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Time is speeding up, I swear it!

I can't believe a week has gone by since I posted last. Time does seem to speed up with age. I can remember as a child thinking Christmas would NEVER get here. It seemed that time slowed down as Christmas approached. Now, as I've gotten older, it really feels like time is speeding up toward something.

I realized on Saturday night that next weekend I'll be going home for Christmas. My house and laundry were in serious need of some attention since I haven't really been home much of an evening or weekends when that stuff gets done normally. I called in sick to the photo job on Sunday partially because I was sick and tired of some of the things going on up there... co-worker issues... and because I needed to do some things in order to be ready to go home! I slept late, lounged while I did laundry and cleaned at a decidely slow pace. It was so nice.

Not much has really happened in the past week to blog about. Everything seems to be winding down toward the holidays or hurdling forward at breakneck speed.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas Season full of fun, family, and friends!

Monday, December 10, 2007

And a very Bah Humbug to you, too.

In my job as a photographer, I generally see people at their very best. Kids are scrubbed shiny with new clothes, parents are smiling, and no one has a care or concern in the world at least for the split second it takes for the shutter to snap. I love watching the kiddos grow up and am always amazed at the changes in such short times between photos. It is great.

But... Why is it that Christmas can bring out the worst in some people? Saturday at the photography job was utter and complete chaos. That is pretty par for the course this time of year, but people seemed extra grumpy on Saturday. The kids didn't want to smile, the parents were screaming at the kids to smile or threatening to spank them (by the way, to those who are parents who might be reading this, that tactic NEVER EVER EVER NEVER works to make the kids smile) and the photographers were trying very hard to remain upbeat and cheery through the entire process. For the most part, in front of customers, I succeeded including when I was being berated by a customer.

Said customer felt I was not capturing the "essence" of her child and proceeded to tell me how much of an awful and untalented person I am. I went to my happy place in my head, got my most peaceful look on my face, and pretended to be listening. Another customer who witnessed the tirade commented later that he didn't know how I handled that kind of treatment with such grace. I had to laugh as I admitted to him that in my head I was asking if the "essence" of her child was spoiled brat because that is what she is raising. (I had enough tact to not admit to the gentleman that I was also imagining her head exploding as she berated me.)

Not all parents and kids were bad and my rather odd sense of humor tends to put folks in a decent mood. For example, when taking pictures of entire families, generally the father is not really thrilled with being there. I try to joke around as I put them in uncomfortable positions and say things like "no complaining, she actually is the one who had to give birth!" I often tell Mom to snuggle up to Dad and pretend to like him at least for the picture. I also threaten to use our "tickle stick" on him to force a smile. That has a two-fold effect of making Mom and kids smile, too. I got some really great shots and made some people really happy on Saturday. That is the point of my job really.

After I delivered pictures to the gentleman who had witnessed my serenity at the berating, he wished me Bah Humbug. As he left, I waved and wished him a very Bah Humbug, too.

On Sunday, the weather cooled off considerably (like to the 30s from the 80s on Saturday) and people were in a much Christmasy-er mood. Thank goodness....

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Meme

My younger sis, C, tagged me for this as a faithful reader of her blog. It sounded fun, so here goes!

Oh, and if you're someone who reads my blog regularly and you feel like doing this Meme, tag, you're it!

What kind of soap is in your bathtub?
I only have Dove for Dry Skin right now

Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?
No. But that sounds good. I wish it were summer.

What would you change about your living room?
I would make it just a bit bigger and move the fireplace to another wall.

Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?
It's actually empty right now. Now, the dishes in the sink need to be loaded into it and it needs to be run, but for now it sits empty.

What is in your refrigerator?
Condiments. A partial loaf of bread. Some cat food. I think there are some leftovers that could be used as a science experiment by now also. I have some cheese and sandwich meat, too.

White or wheat bread?

What is on top of your refrigerator?
Three kinds of cereal. Breakfast bars. Chips. Crackers. Raisins.

What color or design is on your shower curtain?
Because my bathroom in the apartment is so very small and the tile they put into the shower is pretty, I have a clear one up.

How many plants are in your home?
Just three. I have a giant corn plant and two pothos ivy plants.

Is your bed made right now?

Comet or Soft Scrub?

Is your closet organized?
Not in the least. It's on my "to-do" list that never seems to get done, though.

Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?

Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?
Not right now.

If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
No garage, just a carport.

Curtains or blinds?

How many pillows do you sleep with?

Do you sleep with any lights on at night?
No. I like it really dark when I sleep.

How often do you vacuum?
My bedroom is the only room with carpet and I try to get it vacuumed every week or two. I sweep the floors more often just to keep the dust bunnies and fur balls under control.

Standard toothbrush or electric?
Standard. Although, I wish I had my Soinicare again.

What color is your toothbrush?
Whatever color the dentist gave me last month.

Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?
Yes.. It has little daisies all over it and I got it because it made me happy.

What is in your oven right now?

Is there anything under your bed?
There's extra pictures that I don't have room to put up on the walls, an inflatible queen sized mattress and probably a cat.

Chore you hate doing the most?
Unloading the dishwasher.

What retro items are in your home?
I don't think I do.

Do you have a separate room that you use as an office?

How many mirrors are in your home?
Two in the bathroom and one in the vanity/dressing area.

What color are your walls?
They're kind-of a khaki beige-y color.

Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?
Not really.

What does your home smell like right now?
Vanilla from my oil warmer.

Favorite candle scent?
Pear scents or vanilla.

What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now?
1 jar of kosher dill slices.

What color is your favorite Bible?

Ever been on your roof?

Do you have a stereo?
I guess the only one I have is in my car.

How many TVs do you have?
Two. One I bought for my living room and the other I got for free (a 35" Magnavox) when my office downsized and we didn't need two.

How many house phones?

Do you have a housekeeper?
No, and I wish I did just to do a good "deep clean" once a month.

What style do you decorate in?
Hand-me-downs from Moma & C... they've got great taste, so my apartment is really pretty cute. If left to my own devices, I'd have a very art deco-style furniture.

Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?
It depends on the room it will be used in. Right now I have a plaid couch that I love. Since I live in an apartment, I can't paint the walls, so I use my furniture as my color. But if I were to go buy a couch now, I'd likely buy a solid colored one.

Is there a smoke detector in your house?
Two. One in the bedroom and one in the living room.

In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you'd grab if you could make only one trip?
hopefully, I would be able to grab the cats.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Life since Nablopomo

I have felt almost guilty, like I wasn't doing my homework, for not posting the past couple of days. It's funny how something like blogging about my life -- or lack thereof -- can become a release of sorts for pent-up frustrations, sharing fears, and finding out that you're not that much different than everyone else out there who is just trying to make it in this world.

So, what has been going on in my life for the past few days, you ask? Let's see. I've got an awful cold. Thank goodness I don't feel nearly as bad as I sound (or look thanks to rough tissues at work all weekend). I've discovered that anytime I get sick, it goes to my chest and I cough. It's a nuisance, but not totally unbearable. I have decided to go to the doctor today and get something a little stronger than the over the counter cough medicine I've been taking. It seems to have lost its effectivness. Bummer.

UPDATE: I went ahead and went to the doctor for the cough since it was beginning to really hurt when I coughed (and I don't mean the stomach muscles, I mean my lungs hurt). He said I have acute bronchitis (I could have told him that) and a mild ear infection in both ears (this did surprise me a little bit). So, Z-pak and Tussionex now in hand, I should be up to par in no time at all. I still don't feel bad, other than this nagging cough, so yay for small favors!

I have been working at the photo place on weekends for a while now. I've added Friday nights now through Christmas. People ask how I can do it. There are screaming kids, frustrated parents, lazy parents who allow their kids to destroy the studios (grrrrr to that one), but for the most part, I get to see people and kids at their best. They are generally all dressed up in favorite outfits or special Christmas suits or dresses this time of year. My whole job is to make them smile. It really is fun. I will admit, not everyone can do it. I will also admit that during the Christmas season, I tend to go hide in my car for my 30 minute lunch break just to get away from the chaos in the studio. But, overall, it is a blast.

I had a treat yesterday at work. I started at the studio in September/October three years ago. A few months after starting at the studio, Mrs. O brought her newborn baby in for pictures. I got to take those pictures... and the 3 month, 6 month, and 9 month pictures. Last year, on Miss Katie's first Christmas I took her pictures. I hadn't gotten to take the pictures during the year, though, because I didn't work there during the spring and summer. When Mrs. O brought her in yesterday, I didn't get to take the her pictures (it's kind of luck of the draw as to who takes the photos during the Christmas season since there are several photographers and three studio bays) but Katie wouldn't cooperate with (also known as smile for) the photographer. Mrs. O requested that I take the redo because Katie "knows me and feels comfortable with me." {insert ego boost here} I did the reshoot and we got some great pictures and both Mr. and Mrs O thanked me profusely. See, that is why I love my photo job.

So, that is my life these days. Busy and hectic as normal but with a few ego boosts to lighten the load a bit.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Day 30: I did it!!

I did it. I posted everyday this month. I had my doubts that I'd be able to keep up with it, but I did. It almost feels like a graduation of sorts to be ending the month.

I found out quite a bit about myself this month. I think sometimes blogging this month was a chore but I did it and because it meant I blogged on more than just venting/down days I got to show my funny/sarcastic side a bit. So, maybe I'll post tomorrow, maybe I won't. I will, however, try very hard to keep it up and blog most days.

I also made some new imaginary friends whose blogs I enjoy reading mostly daily. For those who have read my blog mostly daily... thank you.