Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Scrambled Goose Eggs

First of all, let's hear it for the boy! Specifically, The Spouse, who successfully reformatted and tidied up my computer in defiance of the malicious malware. Huzzah, huzzah.

Second, the great Mug Mystery of '08 has been solved. It's amazing what a sleuth can turn up with an invoice and an 800 number. (The mug came from my friend Alameda Fats. Wasn't that nice?)

Moving on, did you realize that today is New Year's Eve? Because I just realized that. Yes, I knew it was coming etc etc etc but all a sudden it is the middle of the week and the end of the year and nearly the beginning of the new year and I all, "What?"

Suffice to say, I haven't taken much time to reflect upon resolutions for the New Year. Not that I necessarily make extensive lists of resolutions; mostly because New Year's is only one of several "new starts" in my year. I always consider my birthday a new year. There's a "new year" ish feeling to the start of any fresh month. The first day of school, even though I'm not the one going, typically calls me to reflect and remember and envision. And it even includes a traditional imbibing.

Point is, I feel like this post should be somewhat profound but all I can think about is the following 3 things:

1) In my dream last night The Spouse gave me a mountain ash tree that was just putting out new leaves. Given the nature of mountain ash trees in springtime mode, this gave the tree the overall appearance of soft, lacy fuzziness and I kept being taken by its beauty while he struggled to plant it just so in front of the new townhouse we'd bought (in the dream). And it wasn't a bad place to live except it was full of someone else's furniture, the bathroom didn't work and the phone was bad because I couldn't hear the buyer at Christie's who was going to make telephone bids on an 18th century console that I really wanted for the house and then we got disconnected.

2) MAB is out of town as of last night and could be gone through the 18th. I'm not nervous about having the whole responsibility of managing the house on my shoulders. I am very sad to think that I might not have occasion for hysterical laughter until the middle of the month. We share an office. Practically speaking it's a demmed good thing that we get along as well as we do. But it is a gift, too. We're starting to finish each other's sentences. I'm really going to miss her. I'm also going to be really busy. I hope nothing major happens while she's gone but if it does it'll look good on my resume. Assuming, you know, that I correctly solve whatever it is.

3) I must go on line and make sure that caviar store hasn't fallen victim to the economy because I gotta get over there today.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Weird but Cool

A package arrived this evening. It was a Bruce Springsteen Born to Run mug. I didn't order it, even though it has my name in the billing box.

What do you make of that?

Friday, December 26, 2008

There's a Partridge in my Pear Tree

Did everyone have a happy Christmas?  Us too.  Lovely, lazy snowy day.  Nice presents (my big iPod AND a big ass digital camera with all sorts of lenses and buttons and stuff.  Makes me feel like Annie Liebowitz).  There is something to be said for not entertaining on Christmas, let me tell you.  We lazed around and played and napped and didn't have to rouse ourselves to bustle and clean.  We ate late.  Most enjoyable.  

You'll recall I was having some problems with viruses on my computer.  Last night The Spouse informed me - after hours of Avast and Adaware scans - that my computer is "well and truly buggered".   He's going to have to flatten my hard drive and start all over again.  

Stupid spyware.

Hopefully fixing my computer is fairly high on his list of fun things to do next week while he's on holiday.  Pretty sure it is...right under playing with his new X-box and improving his Wii scores and...ok, maybe my computer isn't going to be fixed any time soon.

Well and truly buggered indeed.

Point is, if there's any blogging in the next little while it's because I was successful in dangly shiny items in front of The Child and distracting her long enough that I can get onto her new Mac.  

Now you'll pardon me while I use afore mentioned Apple to go change all my account passwords on every frakking thing.

Stupid, stupid spyware.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Smack in the Middle of a White Christmas

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Wishing all my beloved bloggery buddies a very happy Christmas!
Let's have another mimosa and then we can all take a nap before dinner, 'k?


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holy Cats!! It's Snowing!!


I like pretending I live in Norway.

Gledelig Jul!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twas 2 Days Before Christmas

You know I love my job, right?

Because today is the first time ever since I started working when I feel really pinched between what what I have now and what I used to have. To whit, a year ago I was at home, at leisure and busily making preparations for Christmas. This year the list in my head of things to do keeps getting longer. Last night, in the middle of the night, there was a lot of "oh, my yord, and another thing"...sorts of moments. (I had some awake time, what with the terrifying dream I had last night, so terrifying that The Spouse had to wake me up because I was crying out.
"What was the trouble", you kindly inquire? It's a tossup. In the dream I was watching a youth try to break into The Neighbor's house with a broom handle while I tried to call 911 on my cell because our phone line was out. But I was also 4 or 5 months pregnant and had missed all my prenatal visits, because apparently my subconcious self is the Queen of Denial. It was terrible).

Point is, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and there's stuff to do and up until this year that just ocassioned a day of happy hustle bustle as I put the finishing touches on celebrations but I don't know when I'm going to wedge in any of it now. Not to mention, everything is completely up in the air because the snow is still everywhere (except, you know, where it's turned to treacherous ICE) and no one really knows what this week is going to be like anyway. Will the next storm come as predicted? Because if it does, we won't be making it to church on Christmas Eve. Which will be the weirdest. thing. Ever. The last time we had a white Christmas we lived downtown and could walk to church. That's over.

"But," you say, being practical like you are, "you have all day Christmas Eve to decorate and start the brioche dough for Christmas morning and wrap the last of your presents. You'll even have time to clean the corners, start the soup and update Quicken. Silly goose".

"Nuh-uh," says me. "I have to work on Christmas Eve and so does The Spouse".

"Oh," says you, "that kinda sux".

"Yep," says me, "it really kinda does".

(Although I did forget to mention one good thing. In fact, I am about to praise George W. Bush. No. Really. He gave federal employees Friday off, with pay. Snaps to him. But that doesn't really resolve my pre-Christmas issues. Still, it was really nice of him).

Bottom line, I really wish I had today off because then all I have to do would feel like joyous hustle bustle and not a list of oh-mi-goshes.

On the other hand, I'm not really 5 months pregnant.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

For Nicole

There's more where this came from.Rosehips in the Snow

Garden Pot with Bamboo Stake

Tree with Snow Garland

Snow Bench

Snow Angel, of course

Our Lady of the Snows


Let it Snow and Snow and Snow and Snow....

Here's how it transpired:
Thursday: snow.
Friday: cold.
Saturday: started snowing again at 3pm, snowed until the wee hours of the morning.
Sunday: started snowing at 10am. It is now after 8pm and it is still snowing.

Good thing that the Christmas shopping is done (finished that yesterday downtown with The Neighbor, just before it started snowing again), the groceries are fetched (The Spouse has 4 wheel drive) and the power is on.

But we're out of rum.
Side porch cicles
Front porchcicles, Saturday night

Front porchcicles, Sunday morning


Saturday, December 20, 2008

And It's Snowing. Again. In Seattle.

I'm enjoying the spirit of the season. It's hot and it's buttered.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Seattle in snow is stunning. Ridiculous, too. Too many hills, too many people who haven't a clue how to drive in it. But we have a housekeeper at work who lives in my 'hood, is from New York and has four wheel drive. It's all good.

Before the snow came I had "Baby, It's Cold Outside" on my mind all day. And that made me think of the scene in "Elf" where Zooey Deschanel and Will Farrell sing the same. (I love that movie).

And that made me think about the recently learned fact that Zooey is in a band called "She and Him" so I went looking for something that would showcase her talents more fully and found this little gem:

She and Him "You Really Got a Hold on Me"

No wonder she's on The Spouse's list for The Child's New Mommy.

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I'm Not Being Coy

My computer has been weird. The Spouse did some detecting. He described my hard drive as a "petri dish". 'Nuff said.

Then there's been the whole Arctic Blast-7-inches-of-snow thing.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It is, as The Spouse describes it, "punch you in the face cold". We got about 2 inches of snow on Sunday. The roads are clear...there's just a little ice around here (it's worse in other places)...but more snow is predicted.

I hope it doesn't snow. If it does it will be impossible to go to Mr. Stewart's funeral and I'd like to be there for Martha. Not to mention, there's a school concert on Wednesday and I still have some Christmas shopping to do. Like, a lot, actually.

But the snow is so pretty, the sky so clear, the moon so bright. You gotta like that. Especially when the house is so toasty warm and the coffee good and hot.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mr. Stewart

Mr. Stewart ended his earthly journey this morning at 4am. Fitting somehow...this is the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday...the day when we sing "Rejoice!" He died as he wanted, at home, with his family.

Mr. Stewart was the first in-law, a distinction he took very seriously. Sometimes too seriously. But then, he was a serious man. He was a thinker. Quiet. Where everyone else in the family would greet you with effusion and big hugs, he was the one who hung back a little before offering a subdued "Hey, Lorraine" and a quick embrace.

I don't know that Mr. Stewart was always that comfortable with the family. Given his quiet, serious nature, I think our crazy was sometimes a mystery to him. He liked it but I'm not sure he always knew how to get down with it. On the other hand, I'm saying this about a man who once dressed in drag and danced an Irish jig at Thanksgiving, so maybe he was crazier than he let on.

Here's what I do know: he loved his wife very much. He loved his daughters very much. And he was an awesome uncle. He was the one who would sign on to take all the kids off on some adventure when the rest of the grownups wanted to do anything but.

The last thing we ever did together physically was hold hands and pray. The last thing he ever made me do was laugh out loud for a long time. And ding dong, that's saying a lot.

I've played this before. The Spouse was just shooting random video at a family Thanksgiving. Mr. Stewart and his daughter Hannah, the one who made him a grandpa, were talking about her buying a car. Very mundane, but The Spouse turned it into something else. And somehow it seemed like a fitting tribute. Maybe because I don't have any video of that crazy Irish jig.

Rest in peace, Mr. Stewart. I'm so thankful your suffering is over. You were dearly loved. We'll catch you on the flip side.

Hannah Und Heir Papa

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Law and Disorder

Last night I was enjoying cocktails with The Neighbor, as we're wont to do, when I heard The Child hollering across the fence.

"MOM! MOM! Dad got robbed!"

Abandoning my drink, I flew home to find The Spouse, shaken and awaiting the cops.

Mercy, says you. What was he doing? Had he been down in Pioneer Square carousing and got himself rolled in a dark alley? Was he walking through the center of an unlit park where drug traffic is known to flourish? Was he loitering outside an abandoned building in the industrial district?

No. He was walking home from work and half a block from our house.

Two young men (one taller than The Spouse, the other shorter...both assholes) asked if he knew the time. (How stupid do you have to be to invite a mark to know the exact time of the commission of your crime, btw?) He obliged and kept walking, because that's the sort of thing you do in your own relatively safe neighborhood at 5:37pm on a weeknight. Next thing he knew they came up behind him and sorta surrounded him. They said they had a gun. They took his wallet, his cell and briefcase, then casually strolled off up the street as if nothing had happened.

Say it with me: "Bastards!"

The early part of our evening was spent giving the police a report (him) and cancelling bank cards and cell service (me). There was also some shaking and shuddering (mutual).

The middle part of the evening was spent being really frakking upset (him) and listening (me).

He did say that he was interested in some vengeance. I suggested that, while a reasonable response, perhaps he would be better served allowing the authorities to handle it. "What if I became a superhero first?"

"That would be ok then".

"I could wear a cape".

"No, no capes".

But mostly he was really, really pissed. This morning he is still really, really pissed. Of course he is. There are layers to it, you see. First is just the simple fact of the violation of YOUR neighborhood, YOUR freedom to just frakking walk home from work without being assaulted, coupled with the whole fearing-for-your-life thing that happens when someone takes your stuff after threatening you with a gun. Then there's the whole annoying business of being the one who has to do all the work of making calls and wasting time at the DMV to get a new license and spending time at work getting a new badge and all that. Because really, how is that possibly fair? Take my money, sure, but come on. You know I'm just going to cancel all my cards the second I'm able. You'll get nothing out of it and it'll be a headache for me so work with me here.

And then this morning there was another layer of annoyance as he realized that they got his lunch bag, his coffee mug and - and this really got him going again - his gloves and scarf.

Of course, there is good news in all this. First and foremost is that my husband wasn't injured or killed. Stuff is stuff. He'd be a little less easy to replace. Second, he is notoriously difficult to shop for; Christmas shopping will be a little easier this year. Third, he had left his iPod at work yesterday. If he wants, he can add today's Jukebox to his playlist. It suits his mood.

Bon Jovi "Wanted Dead or Alive"

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear JP

Hi, Poodle! Did you get home OK last night?

I know you wanted me to write a post about strangers who leave mean comments on blogs. It's good fodder to be sure. (A subset of that discussion would be about all the people who leave vile, insulting comments on various news blogs. Have you seen some of those? HMOG. That's a whole other brand of crazy- especially when someone else calls 'em out on their fraktardery and they come back with some self-righteous crap like "Oh, I guess you're just afraid of dialogue". Really? Dialogue?)

I even had some material about how no one has ever once held a gun to my head and forced me to read a blog. If I find one I don't care for - no matter the reason - I just click "next". I've never once wasted any time leaving some rude rant about how stupid that person is because I don't happen to agree with what they say. I mean, seriously, who has that kind of time? Most days I'm lucky to hit your blog and Buck's. (You make it easy, what with the whole not-updating-every-day thing and his are always short).

But then it occurred to me that my time would be better spent just reading some blogs & catching up with some of my peeps. So I did.

Sfoof was funny and Iwanski was, as usual, brilliant. And then I ran out of time. See?

How's your mom?



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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gross and Weird

No, this post is not about the governor of Illinois. Although your assumption was reasonable.

Rather, this morning I would like to reveal an odd thing about The Cat. The fact that she eats butter when she gets the chance isn't so weird. Who doesn't like butter? It's up there with bacon and pie for sheer nummy goodness. And as Dame Judi pointed out, it helps with hair ball control. Always a good thing.

We had hoped our new cat would be a hunter like Phoebe. Turns out she is, but not in the way we'd desired. The Cat hunts worms. With deft skill she finds the longest, fattest worm in the garden and then, much to the disgust of The Child, she brings it into the house. Then she plays with it. She pats it with her paw and watches in amazement as it wiggles around. She nudges it with her nose. She gently lifts it with her paw and tosses it into the air. Sometimes she'll get up on her hind legs so she can bat it around a few times before it drops. Then she nudges it again. This repeats for a bit until she decides to bite it. She usually does a few test bites before snapping the thing in two. Or three. At this point she loses interest, leaving what is left of the poor tortured annelida to dry out, only to be discovered later by the completely grossed out Child.

Last night we watched her play with a worm for a good 10 minutes. As soon as it was dead she went outside and came right back with another one. It's like she's got her own personal worm farm out there somewhere. Why she is compelled to bring them into the house I'm not sure. I guess the lighting is better.

It is a weirdly fascinating habit and I suppose finding the occasional dessicated worm isn't nearly as foul as finding bird or rat guts...which is what Phoebe liked to leave behind. But still.


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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Quick Update

1) I've just extended my lease on The Child; she found my ID badge this morning on the way to the car. Yeah, it was sitting right there on the sidewalk, where I'm guessing it had been all frakking weekend. Sheesh.

And b) how frakking stupid do you have to be to actually blow out the stupidometer? I may not be the shiniest whisk in the kitchen but ding dong, Gov. Rod Blagojevich makes me look like a freaking brain trust.

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Things Not to Do

1) Don't lose your ID badge, especially if you work for the government. Because replacing it is not a simple matter of going down to HR and having them print you up a new one. There is a mile of red tape between you and that new badge.

2) Also, if someone gives you a new lanyard for the holidays, make sure you test the clippy thing that holds your badge, preferably by attaching it to a team of oxen and having them pull on it. That way you will be sure the clippy thing will hold and you will be spared Item 1.

3) Don't assume that your alarm clock is set for the correct time without checking it first. Especially if your child "borrowed" it over the weekend. This is important, particularly if you would prefer that your alarm not freakishly go off at 1 a.m.

4) If you used to own a cat and then you didn't and then you get a new one, remember that cats are not restricted to a horizontal plane and it might be a good idea to put a cover on the butter. Unless you enjoy cat spit.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Something That Bugs Me

I'm a big fan of prayer. I do it all the time. I like to pray. Prayers are beautiful.

I am not a big fan of email chain prayers that have flashing pictures of angels and end with "Now make a wish, spin around 3 times and email this to 412 people and your prayer will come true".

I'm not a theologian, but I can tell you right now, that ain't how it works.

I admit that sometimes the prayers I'm sent are very lovely. If they are so lovely that I feel compelled to share them I copy and paste the prayer, just the prayer, into a new email and send it to those I think might appreciate it. But I'm here to tell you that I do not and will not, pass on a stupid, superstitious, pagan "don't break the chain" prayer email and I don't care who sends it to me.

And while I'm ranting, here's another thing. I have some friends who are not of my political persuasion. That's a good thing, for everyone. But with most of those friends we follow a policy of "agree to disagree". I don't send my W jokes to them, they don't send their "Bill Clinton is the anti-christ" crap to me. It works very nicely.

But I have this friend who has been sending me stuff lately. Not just me, other folks, too. A few weeks ago she sent me something negative about Barack and I responded with, "You do know I voted for him, right?" Her response? "Yes, and I love you anyway".

Well, thanks a crap ton for that, sweetie, but it did make me wonder if I was being too subtle. What would make a person think, Obama supporter that I am, that I would enjoy negative emails about the man's character? I'm not talking about a well-reasoned op-ed piece by a conservative journalist who has questions and concerns about the direction an Obama administration might take. Bring it on. No, I'm talking about half-baked dribble drabble that regurgitates Swift Boaty lies and distortions. And I hate that crap.

Right, so the other day she sends me something else, purporting to be from Newsweek magazine, showing all the demographics of the election: how the Republicans won more states, more land area, more counties nationwide were red than that.

And all I could think was, "What is your frakking point?" Are you suggesting that Barack Obama isn't really the president-elect? That the election was somehow stolen? Or is it just that after 8 years you can't handle the fact that for once the election went the other way? Because the bad news is, the other demographics suggest that all that "land mass" that went Republican is inhabited by 13 red necks who graduated 8th grade and haven't had an original thought since puberty. (Am I stereotyping? Why, yes, I believe I am). I for one am relieved that this time around we as a nation weren't subjected to the tyranny of the undereducated & hyper religious.

Anyrant, I was so mystified by this email that I didn't even know how to respond. So I didn't. Because the one think I refuse to do is mix it up with someone who I otherwise care about but who is clearly so partisan that she can't even give the guy time to be inagurated and mess up before she starts lambasting him. (Oooh, that's a good one...I shoulda told her that). But turns out, I don't have to. At least not this time. Someone else on the email thread did it for me.

Her response was calm and well-reasoned. It included the Snopes link that demonstrated that the "article" in question was a rehash that's been going around for years and then she summed up with "So what? The election is over. Move on".

I liked it so much I wrote to her to thank her and she wrote me back to thank me for thanking her and it was a nice little bit of closure.

And that reminds me of something heartbreakingly amusing. Martha was telling me a story the other night about Mr. Stewart. They'd adjusted his pain meds but it gave the poor guy hallucinations. Mostly it was members of the family kept coming to visit him (which is sweet if you think about it) but sometimes the hallucinations took another tack. Once he told Martha urgently that they had to go vote.

"No, honey, we've already done that. The election is over".

"But I have to go, I have to win the race".

"Honey, the only race you're in is the race for heaven".

He looked at her perplexed and asked, "I'm not Obama?"

Takes some serious meds to make my dear Republican BIL think he's Barack Obama. But it handed me quite a laugh, for which I'm grateful. And yeah, they've since readjusted his meds.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Time's Up

I have an expectation about videos; an expectation which is often disappointed, but an expectation nonetheless. In that vein, I don't particularly enjoy this video. What in the world has this to do with the lovely song about wanting to be remembered for the good stuff and forgiven for your imperfections? Nothing.

On the other hand, it's a little "Battlestar Galactic-y" and that's cool.

(We saw this show the other night about parallel universes and so now I can content myself with believing that somewhere there is a parallel universe where "BSG" is on every week without fail and the producers never put the show on a year long hiatus just for the hell of it. There's also a universe where "Gilmore girls" is on. And there's one where I actually live in Stars Hallow. Cool, huh?)

Anytrekkie, I do enjoy this song quite a lot and that's why I'm playing it. That's how I roll on Jukebox Friday.

Linkin Park "Leave Out All the Rest"

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

47 Days and Counting

I sent this to some friends the other day. But now I'm sharing it with all of you. Because, seriously, how cool is this dude?


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ramblin' Rose

I have two, count 'em, two Project Puget Sound reviews to do for you. Eventually.

The bedroom needs to be smudged with sage (the herb, not the girl) and a circle of salt must be put around the bed. Some malevolent force has taken up residence there and keeps kicking me into wakefulness in the middle of the night and I'm soooooo over it.

No matter what is going on, no matter how annoyed I am, no matter how cold and dark the morning dawns, knowing there is a hot cuppa joe in the kitchen is just the best damn thing ever.

The New York Times reports that we've been in a recession since last December. WTF? Further proof, I believe, that Sling is always right.

Yesterday I called MAB's attention to the fact that I was having a really good hair day and she replied, "Yeah, you had one last week, too". A good hair day and I missed it? I hate when that happens.

My cat has the sneezles. I should probably call the vet. Although it is a really amusing little sound.


Monday, December 01, 2008

A Note

Not a single one of you noticed that on today's first post I originally spelled "believe" incorrectly. (I transposed the i and the e, of all things). Clearly, Anne didn't read blogs today.


How to Amuse a Tired, Grumpy Child

Over the hum of the blow dryer enthusiastically declare, "MAN! I am having such a good hair day!"

The giggles will persist for some time.

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Can You Believe it's December Already?

There was a whole chunk of the night last night where I wasn't sleeping. The Spouse's alarm didn't go off which meant that when mine did the first words out of his mouth were not exactly lyrical and soothing. And perhaps I should say a word about my alarm clock.

I had a radio alarm, but the reception on my side of the room was hideous and I could never get anything beyond a very irritating hummy buzz of noise when it went off. Which was very annoying, especially since The Spouse's alarm always goes off to the dulcet tones of Steve Inskeep. So I bought a Baby Ben...a clock that is so retro it has to be wound every night. It has an absolutely appalling ring. In fact, to call it a "ring" is to insult all the bells in Christendom. It makes a gross, rattling tone that grabs you by the vitals and throws you out of bed. But it's effective.

Point is, the day did not begin with promise and yet I feel perfectly happy and content. Perhaps it's to do with the loveliness of yesterday, the first day of Advent. Church was lovely, the day was lovely (very foggy but nifty in that). We worked together to clean the house within an inch of its life, I bought 75 ft of sweet smelling garland to swag all the front windows of the house and we had a nice dinner last night which included an Advent prayer time that set the tone for the season. Plus, I got to open the first window on the Advent calendar, which meant chocolate.

So yeah, I'm a little tired and am pretty sure that massive quantities of coffee will be required today but it's all good.

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