Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ho, Ho. Ho.... aha hahahahaha

“Though you are far from us we hold you close in our hearts, and you’re in our thoughts and prayers. Have a blessed day in the Lord as you reflect upon the grace and love of God manifested in Jesus Christ.” So says my brother in an e-card. Amen and Amen.

Had it been just a little bit colder Christmas day, we would have had lots and lots of lovely snow. It would have made a very good day almost perfect day. This year we did put up a tree (we have not always done so). Saturday morning R went into the back field and cut down a cedar. Don't worry (dad was worried,, "you CUT DOWN a tree???), they multiply like rabbits and they need to be thinned to make room for the pine trees that are starting to establish themselves. He decorated it on Saturday evening while I prepared food for the church Christmas dinner. It was quite fun. N, his fiance (RC), and her ex-huband (T) showed up in the midst of the events and it was quite lively. I invited T to come to dinner on Monday with N and RC. Yes, it is rather odd they the three of them are close friends, still, but....

And they all came on Christmas day in the afternoon for dinner. Although T has family in the area, he didn’t want to spend the day with them because they treat him badly. He's loud, and friendly, and not quite in touch with reality, and it's hard to get him to stop talking once he gets going. He makes me laugh, though. It was a good day, different, at any rate. The combination of the three of them with their assorted mental problems could make interesting case studies for a psychiatry journal. And I don’t mean that in a mean, nasty way either, it’s just the way things are. It was hard to keep a straight face sometimes – one doesn’t want to be cruel and laugh at people instead of with them.

We exchanged some gifts, and played some cards. I found, much to my surprise, that RC likes to play Kings in the Corner. My brother-in-law’s mother taught our family this game, and I had no idea anybody else even played it. They all left after a couple of hours, and I’d have to say it went well.

And then I got to talk on the telephone with various family members celebrating with my parents in Gardena. I miss them, as always, when a special holiday comes around and we are here and they are there.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Definitive Answer

Occasionally freezer containers make a desperate bid to escape their frozen environs and hurl themselves out of the freezer only to crash on the ground, and occasionally, they crack. This, of course, is fatal once the item inside has thawed. Thus, I saw that a container of soup stock that R pulled from the freezer and brought upstairs for me to do something with had a cracked lid. As soon as the soup stock thawed, I tasted it and pronounced it thoroughly nasty and poured it out. I also took the huge step of throwing away both the container and the cracked lid. This was a major deal for me. I normally do not throw away such items. I always look to find another use for them. When R strolled by and saw the container in the trash, he couldn’t believe it either and queried, somewhat incredulously, “Are you throwing this away?”
“Yeah, I am, the lid is cracked.”
“Oh, okay” he says.
But then I started having second thoughts. Maybe I could still use the container. I often pack small amounts of food in sandwich bags and put them inside a larger bag, so if I happen to need some of that food item, I have a small portion instead a huge chunk. Richard hates the plastic bags in the freezer, and this disabled container would be a perfectly fine to use for that. It wouldn’t matter that the lid was cracked a little. So then I started to dither about it. And I said, “I think I have changed my mind. I think I can find a use for this.” And he said. “No, no, no, let’s just leave it” and I said, “Well, but that’s a waste I could...” and before I could finish the sentence, he fished the container out the trash and stomped on it as hard as he could and it shattered into many pieces, which he then swept up.
“There” he said, “you don’t have to worry about it anymore...” Well, I guess not.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Leader of the Pack...

A situation has developed at the Y with the exercise class I attend that leaves me feeling amazed and sort of in shock, and yet wanting laugh out loud whenever I think about it. For most of my life, I have thought of myself as being a “follower.” I’ve always been content to be in the background, let somebody else be in charge, and be happy to do what I am told. But that has changed in the last few years. I have gotten much more assertive, and now seem to be quite happy to take over if nobody more assertive than me is around. I have also noticed that in meetings when decisions have to be made, I often “control” the meeting because I am usually the only one to offer an opinion and often the group agrees with what I want to do.

Now, to the funny situation in connection with the “active older Americans” exercise group that I attend thrice weekly at the YMCA. This is a picture of the women who mostly attend the exercise class. It was taken about a year ago at a going-away party for the receptionist. The men in the background are also regulars at the Y in the mornings when we exercise, and they were invited too. The class combines weight lifting and stretching with a low-impact aerobics routine on days 1 and 3 and a walking video on day 2 where we march along in place following the leader and the group on the video. On occasion, our leader is not there (that’s the short woman on the left hand side of the picture in the second row), and then Wanda takes over (red arrow) and leads the group with the stretching/weight lifting and the walking video. Only some of us don’t like the video that much, and during one period when our leader was gone for about 2 weeks, I opened my big mouth and said that I would be happy to lead the aerobics routine. So then a subtle struggle for power started between Wanda and me over who was going to lead the group when we do aerobics. This is not an “angry thing” though. I love Wanda to pieces. She is very funny lady, and we’ve had a few hilarious sessions (but I guess you’d have to be there to appreciate it), where everyone did more laughing than exercising as we tried to work it out between us who was going to lead. I think today we finally got it ironed out, though. She’ll do the stretching, and I’ll do the aerobics.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

We are the pirates who.... don’t go anywhere

To paraphrase the gleeful “We Are The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” sung by the fruits and vegetables on our Veggie Tales video, who are dressed up as pirates but they don’t actually do any “pirate things,” they just sit around all day. We have been waiting for this day since I quit the job in May. Part of that job was shoveling snow off the sidewalks in front of the building and the loading dock in the rear, and we hated it. We? Well, it was my job but R usually went with me when winter storms dropped snow and ice. Mainly because I needed help with the shoveling, but also because I have had a few scary experiences driving in the snow and ice and I hated having to drive myself there (although I did it many times). And we have been waiting for the first winter storm to arrive so we could get up the morning and look out the window and sing “We are the pirates who don’t have to go anywhere...” Of course this morning R is probably doing more physical labor than if we were at the job because the ice storm that came through last night caused a tree to break and fall across the driveway. He had to get the axe out because the chain saw is not working and chop on it so he could clear it. And he very nearly got brained by a branch that broke off the maple tree just as he was fixing to come in the house.