It’s 9:46 PM. I want to go to bed. Will I make it to midnight? Doubtful. *yawn*
Archive for December, 2010
Okay! Some pictures are ready now! Yes! We are moving now!! This small batch of 10 carries us from February through May of 2010. Apparently nothing picture-worthy happened in March. Go figure.
I’m resolving, not as a New Year’s thing but just as a general Return to Sanity kind of deal: I will get caught up with pictures. Soon. I’m sorting through all of the pictures from 2010. I don’t, um, actually have any pictures ready to post today. Heh. But I will have some real soon now. Honest.
I had grand plans for us to see all of the cool movies over break, but we have yet to get out to a single show. We haven’t seen Tron. We haven’t seen Chronicles of Narnia (nor have we read the book, which we are supposed to do before we see the movie). We haven’t seen Gulliver’s Travels, which I heard was dumb, but dumb-fun, so we were gonna go see it. I’d even entertained a thought of possibly going to see that romantic comedy with Paul Rudd. It didn’t look particularly great, but Rudd’s always charming and fun to watch, and I thought maybe it’d kill some time. But here it is, Tuesday, 11 days into break with 5 days left, Alice is going off on an overnight trip with her dad tomorrow, we’re booked on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and we haven’t seen a single movie yet! How did we get so busy doing practically nothing (except shopping and wrapping presents and shoveling snow and playing video games and eating and eating and eating)???
We got about 6″ or so of snow overnight. It’s too powdery for sledding, but it makes pretty good snow ice cream. The wind is crazy, though: gusts of 40-50 mph, and you can imagine what kind of wind chill that brings. I shoveled the driveway as best I could, while the wind did its best to stop me. We got pretty lucky, I think; we got enough snow to make everything all winter-wonderland out there, but not enough to cripple us. The roads are pretty clear, the mail and the trash guys came today as usual (although it took them a bit longer to get here than it usually does), and it’s supposed to get above freezing every day for the rest of the week, so this’ll all be a pretty memory by the new year.
I don’t generally go in for Black Friday and Doorbusters and all of that over-the-top holiday shopping orgy stuff, but I do like to nip out on the morning after Christmas and hit the clearance at Red Circle Boutique. This morning I was out and back before the kids were up (and well before the snow started*), spent about $100 and scored flannel sheets for two of the beds; a new eco-friendly non-stick grill pan; my holiday cards for next year; assorted bows, tags, and scissors for next year’s wrapping; a few needed groceries and miscellaneous assorted fripperies. Can’t beat that!!
* It’s gonna snow here, finally!! I know lots of other areas of the country have been pounded with precipitation in the past few months, but we haven’t had a measurable snowfall yet, and I’ve been getting a little antsy about that. It should start falling in a few hours and continue through tomorrow morning, and we should get 6-10″. Coincidentally, the kids got new sleds this year. Yay!!!
The Universe is screaming at me not to overextend myself this holiday season, and so I’m doing my best to listen. The small family gathering we were going to host today dwindled from a cozy crowd to an intimate affair to absolutely no one coming at all, so I’m taking the hint and taking it easy. Two kinds of cookies is fine for now, and if a few cards get mailed after the 25th, so be it. I’ve got things to do today, but I’ll do them slowly, and we’re going to have an all-day snack party, just the four of us, to eat up the party food I bought yesterday, and all of the other little bits and pieces crowding the fridge. Right now: hummus and three dippers. Later: cheesy spread, grapes, and gourmet crackers. Later still: veggies and dip, with wine. Cookies ad lib throughout the day. Yum.
Shopping: DONE (even the groceries!)
Cards: DONE (except for a few addresses I still need…)
Cookies: 2/3 DONE (chocolate ones tomorrow)
Wrapping: 3/4 DONE (just the fiddly bits left)
Christmas is allowed to come soon. I just need some sleep first. I feel like crap.
Too tard ta blog, peoples!! I woke up at 5:15 this morning (why?!?), and now it’s 9:30 and I’m pretty much good for nothing else today. I got the refrigerator cookies and the pecan sandies partly done today — Alice helped me to make the dough, and it’s all chillin’ in the fridge. I’ll bake the nutty ones tomorrow (and then drizzle them with chocolate, I think) and the buttery ones on Friday, I think. I’ll also make the chocolatey ones tomorrow.
Today I wanted to get all of the food shopping done, but Anth was in a rare shopping mood himself, so we ended up diverting our path to help him with his stuff. So tomorrow: GROCERIES. Gotta do it. And then there’s just a little more wrapping, and maybe 5 or 6 cards yet to send, and then it’s Christmas and I can rest. Briefly.
P.S. Two weeks until my birthday!! Hint hint hint!!!
Progress has been made! Progress has been made! Great Maud Almighty, progress has been made!!!
I got all of the non-food errands done today, started the wrapping, and got some clarity about how the rest of the week will go, so that makes me feel better.
But then I found out that I probably forgot about something that is going to inconvenience several other people, so today’s basically a wash. *sigh*
Argh, not enough is getting done. Sammi’s still feeling rather poorly, mostly in the tummy area, ever since Friday. She’s got a limit to how much energy she’s got in a day, which is putting a crimp into my ability to Get Things Done and take care of all of the niggling little errands I’ve got on my list. Also, the fates seem to be conspiring against me to make everything I do accomplish turn out to have been done Not Quite Right. Very unsatisfying. Plus I had a LLL meeting this morning in a room where it was 58°F according to the thermostat on the wall. I got a chill then and haven’t really warmed up since. I should probably take a hot shower before bed. *sigh* No baking done yet, no meals planned yet, no groceries gotten yet, 80 cards sent with perhaps another 40-50 yet to do, nothing wrapped… I guess it’ll all either get done, or turn out unnecessary. I hope.
I finally started my cards today! 64 are ready to mail out, another 16 ready to be addressed and stamped. (More to do after that, of course.) What a weight off my mind. Now, when will I get to do the wrapping…?
It’s 10:00 a.m. and I’m the only one awake. Sammi was up for a while but is sicky-napping on the couch now. Anth was out late last night, celebrating the fact that he’s off from work until 2011, so he’s still asleep. Alice is a teenager and I told her to turn off her alarm clock last night, so naturally she’s still out. Happy first day of holiday break!!
Sammi was sick today, and missed the “last day of school before break” festivities. That’s the news of the day; not much to report. Now I’m very tired and have to do about a dozen things before I’m allowed to go to bed. So no blog today. You never saw me.
Okay, first, new recipe up!
I’m working on planning our holiday food. That takes care of Christmas breakfast. I need to take a survey of the family about Christmas dinner; it’s normally some kind of soup or casserole — something easy and filling. The past few years I think it’s been split pea. This year I’m considering lasagna, maybe…?
The other question is Cookies. I’m thinking
- Some sort of shortbready butter cookie with pecans in it, possibly half-dipped in semisweet chocolate
- Some sort of buttery, crispish drop cookie with colored sprinkles (I made a really nice refrigerator cookie a few years ago; I’m not sure but I think this is them)
- Something straight-up chocolatey, with nuts, maybe these or these
- Something candy-like, possibly these or these
If anyone has a good recipe for #1, kind of a Mexican Wedding Cake kind of thing but not rolled in 10X, please share. I’m thinking maybe these?
Okay, so, I am buckling down and starting work on the cards today, I swear. But I just realized that I still need to do this:
If you have gotten a card from me in past years, and you’ve moved since last December, and/or if you’ve never gotten a card from me and you’d like to, PLEASE email me with your (new) address ASAP!
There, now I can procrastinate on the vast majority of my cards while I wait for people to reply to that. Perfect.
Hey, I got through the whole day without spending any money! At this point in the calendar, that’s quite an accomplishment, y’know? I mean, okay, I paid the bills for the month, but that doesn’t count as spending money, does it? It’s certainly not the fun kind of spending…
Hey! It’s 9:53 (23 minutes past bedtime) and I have nothing to say, so here’s Sammi!
hi everybody who reads mommis blog! x-mas is soooooon!!!!!! you better get me presents!! jk you dont have 2 BUT YOU SHOULD!!!!!!!!! haha! anyway!…..we got an HD tv!! and our x-mas tree!! soooooo close 2 x-mas!!! yay!!! x-mas=SANTA PRESENTS CANDY DID I MENTION PRESENTS!!!!<3. so thats all i have to say! bye!!!!
I’ve now wrapped, packed, and mailed all of the wrap-pack-and-mail-able gifts, which means that Christmas has begun, sort of, kind of, yeah. Also, the pictures arrived today, so every moment I am not working on getting all 100+ of the cards signed and stuffed and sealed and addressed and stamped and mailed out is entirely slackerish behavior on my part.
This morning Sammi got up and turned on the TV, and everything on it was a lurid shade of fuchsia. This removed my last vestige of plausible resistance to our acquiring a new HDTV, so Anth is out right now buying one, and dropping by the cable office to switch our box for an HD box. That was fast.
I got the lights up outside today — more than usual, and they twinkle, which is nice. And we got a treeeeee!! Alice didn’t come with us to pick it out, because she was at an all-day birthday party. We got a nice petite tree, and I helped to carry it in to the car from the rolling hills of the tree farm, and then later I got hives all over my forearms. Neat!!
(I’m not being sarcastic — I really did think the hives were neat in a “wow, my body’s never done that before” kind of way. A dose of Benadryl cleared them right up, but then that gave me a few hours where I felt like my head was going to fall asleep and fall off my neck and roll away under a table.)
Tomorrow’s a cozy day: stay in PJ’s, make more apple butter, decorate the tree, maybe give the guinea pigs their first shampoo…
My Pampered Chef online party closes today! This is your last chance to buy!
Long-time blog readers know what’s coming: We saw Santa today!!! We’ve been getting a picture taken with this Santa (the real Santa) every year since Alice was 2.
Alice is really, really, really completely so over going to see Santa, and Sammi’s not much more eager. At this point, I’m dragging them to the mall once a year and begging and bribing and wheedling for this picture. I don’t care. It’s totally worth it. I love this so much. I was talking to the girl taking the pictures today, and she says they’ve been there, with this Santa (the real Santa), for 15 years and I’m by far not the only mom dragging her teen in for a yearly picture. Heh.
Yesterday the girls and I saw Tangled, with Sammi’s BFF in tow. The movie was very cute and pleasant. I liked the villain(ess). We chose not to pay extra for 3D, and I would think that the lantern scene would’ve totally rocked if we had. Some of the songs were a bit tiresome. *Shrug* It didn’t make a lot of impact on me…
Today, to restore balance to my psyche, I went to see The Warrior’s Way today while the kids were at school. It was very intense. Awesome swordplay. The main guy was The Hotness, all swirling black coat and flashing sword. It was darker than I expected, and less cathartic, and it seemed to be missing some minor expository scenes, but overall quite good, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Two movies in two days got me thinking about movies in general, and what makes a movie appeal to me. Setting aside the obvious (I like Indie films, comedies, quirky stuff for kids, certain actors, etc.), there are certain kinds of movies that I just cannot resist:
- Movies which emphasise style over substance. If a movie has a flashy eye-candy trailer with a few unbelievable effects or cool shots, I will start to salivate. The plot can be a mere rudimentary nub of a sketch of a story, as long as it’s reeeeaalll purty to look at. Timur Bekmambetov’s movies (especially Nochnoy dozor and the sequel Dnevnoy dozor) are prime examples of this, which is not to knock the plots of those movies, much…
- Movies with unreliable narrators, dream logic & imagery, or other acts of reality-bending. If you can have a spirited “what the hell happened in the movie we just saw” conversation with your date/daughter/internet buddies, you’ve probably seen a movie I loved. Inception comes to mind here.
- Movies that depict or deal with biblical themes, particularly apocalypse, in a “blockbuster” way. I’m not sure why this theme appeals to me so much; I’m not a religious person at all, but give me an action movie where angels are battling demons, or an emissary from Satan is hunting a woman who’s pregnant with The Chosen One, or the angel Gabriel has come down from Heaven to destroy mankind, or any of that ridiculous stuff, and I am hooked. I guess these are called religious horror movies? The Ninth Gate and The Seventh Sign, Constantine, Legion… Middling movies, all, but I gobbled ‘em up like candy.
- Movies with stylized violence, particularly swordplay, and a comic book sensibility. Like The Warrior’s Way. Like Kick-Ass. Like Watchmen. I’m soft-hearted and tender-tummied about realistic violence and truly terrifying situations, but I’m bloodthirsty for over-the-top murder and mayhem. The Matrix and its first sequel were fantastic for this, of course.
- Movies that examine, play with, and especially subvert gender roles. Have something interesting to say about this topic, or put a good-looking boy in a dress (or some really good makeup) and you’ve got my attention. This is why Mulan is my favorite Disney movie, and why I own Velvet Goldmine on DVD.
Do any of these categories work for you, too? Do you have any movie suggestions for me? Comment!!
Good card news: We have a picture, and prints are ordered! Some time between the 13th and the 23rd, they’ll arrive and then I’ll start complaining about having to address all the cards. Fair warning.
Bad/weird card news: We got a card today, addressed to us by name via a printer directly onto the envelope, with an unreadably smudged postmark. The card itself is a Hallmark photo card depicting four kids and a dog posing in front of a mountainous vista somewhere. We don’t recognize the kids, or the dog. The front says, “Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, hopeful New Year!” and the back say, “May you be blessed with a happy heart and all the joys that are a part of this beautiful season.” All the words are printed directly on the card (no handwriting anywhere). The back features a prominent Hallmark logo, and a small blurb “Make the perfect card at www.hallmark.com”. Can you see where this is going? We have no idea who this card is from. I’m 50/50 split between thinking it’s a card from someone we know (kind of?), who ordered their cards online and forgot to put their name anywhere on them, or thinking it’s a highly-sophisticated-but-confusing ad for Hallmark.
If you’re thinking of making an order from Pampered Chef, please do! My party’s half over, and I’ve got one sale so far. Their gadgets are pricey, but they last forever!!
I’m not doing too well with the holidays this year…
Shopping is ok, I guess, I think. I’ve got a list, and I’m working through it. Some people are done. Some people (the people who came out of me) are never done, but I’ve made progress there, too.
No picture chosen to send with our cards. No list made up for cards. Obviously no cards mailed out yet. I’m okay with them going out whenever they do, but it sure would feel good to have them done.
I realized a few minutes ago that I have no idea about baking, and I can’t seem to get excited about it. Can’t seem to get excited, in general, actually. *sigh*
Some years it’s “I don’t want Christmas to be over!!” and some years it’s “Oh God, when will Christmas be over?!?” 2010 looks like the latter. Here’s hoping I start to feel a little sparkly soon…
Today I am accompanying 3 teenage girls to the second-largest mall in America. Please, if I don’t make it back alive, remember me fondly.
Today is Sammi’s half-day! Woot for 8½!!
- Don’t forget about my Pampered Chef party!! (Yeah, I’ll be mentioning this every other day or so for the next week. Deal with it.)
- If you’re local, make sure you come out to our school for the Holiday Bazaar, tomorrow between 11 and 4!! It’s going to be really cool, and I made cookies to sell (chocolate peanut butter chip)!
- Christmas is 3 weeks from tomorrow! I’m dooooooooooomed!!!
I resolved today that I need to do at least one thing each day to get ready for Christmas. Today I, um, realized that I have no idea what to get for Anth. And I think that’s about it. Negative progress is still progress, right??
Okay, well, ’tis the season and all that, so I’m hosting a Pampered Chef party for two of my bestest friends. It runs through December 10. If you spend $60 or more, you can get a free dessert sauce (Chocolate Raspberry, Caramel, or Cherry Almond)!
Here they are, folks, for those who love them, in no particular order, with lots of commas in the intro, because everyone loves commas, I think, probably, it’s the advent calendars!!!
- Cookie Countdown 2010
- Banjo Bunny
- Holidays on the Net
- X-Entertainment (PG!)
- Cat Who Laughed
- Boowa & Kwala
- Grace Cathedral
- Beliefnet Advent 2010
- Santa Claus’ Christmas
- Dionaea’s Advent Calendar (PG-13!)
- Electric December
- Greg’s Advent Calendar
- Online Interactive World Advent Calendar
- St. Margaret Mary
- Yule in Iceland
- Henry and Nancy
- Perl Advent Calendar (only for Perl geeks)
- Advent calendar on sustainable development
- North-Pole.co.uk’s calendar
- National Museums Liverpool
- Virtuellen Adventkalender (this one’s in German, but the calendar’s pretty, and there’s nice music)
- Adventskalender (ditto the above, except this one’s in Dutch)
- Calendrier de l’Avent en Chansons (same, but French)
- BBC Somerset Games
- Bonus non-calendar link: Suburban Sprawl Holiday Music Stockpile