Thursday, December 25, 2008

the day after the day before! it's here!


this was after our christmas eve "just-us" family celebration last night. notice the time on the clock on the wall. hilarious, huh? both of them, out cold. missy slept 12 hours, straight thru. dang, i think she's been partying just a tad too heartily. (her excuse? she got her grades for this fall semester and all a's and one b, dean's list again, so we can't really blame her for celebrating a bit.)

here is my present from missy: a really soft chenille/velour robe, something she knew i would like but don't ever buy for myself.

and hubs surprised the crap out of me by giving me some fur-lined crocs:

i haven't had them off my feet since i opened the package, lol.

our lunch with the relatives turned out to be very nice. i was treated wonderfully and i even got something close to an apology for being manipulated! i'll gladly take it! plus, none of the family members i had issues with behaved in the ways i don't like. everyone played nice. i did begin my visit kind of aloof, but once i saw it was going to be a good visit, i chimed right in the convos. the only disapointment of the day was that my parents didn't really want their present i'd sent (a digital phone system that was too technical for them, but my dad is going to think about keeping it for a few days).

since i always love to look at snow photos, here is another one of our december 10th snowfall. this one is what the pasture behind our house looked like. it was just the most gorgeous thing...

i am hoping everyone i know out in cyberland had a wonderful day in at least some small way.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

it's really the night before!

i promised to share some photos from our snowfall on dec. 10th. here are 5 that really show it. it even lasted overnight and part of the next day, too.
see the snow drift forming against our pumpkin-colored fence?
hubs looking out from the storm door
one side of the front yard
and the other side of the front yard

the back yard deck - check out the back fence (it's leaning cuz it got damaged during ike)...

tomorrow will be christmas day. amazing. where does all that time go, exactly? i could have sworn thanksgiving was just a few days ago.

as far as exchanging gifts with the relatives, we are having an austere christmas this year like most other people i know. just a few good things, and no excess fluff. hubs and i gave both our parents the same one thing, and every child is getting one gift card. this means it was a very manageable buying chore for me. i went to kroger one low-traffic afternoon and got all of the gift cards at once, and then i ordered everything else online.

i don't do well in the holiday shopping crowds at all. it's stressful and exhausting, but i don't rebound well and i usually get pain flares for all my trouble. i do miss the feel and atmosphere of it occasionally, but i really fell out of love with it around the same time i quit trying to get missy the "in" "hot" toy (the last one i moved mountains to get her was a life-size barbie...quite a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago).

as for gift-giving between hubs, missy and me, hubs and i usually don't buy stuff for each other unless we know the other one really wants it. and then half the time, we just buy it for ourselves. we probably wouldn't even buy anything during the holidays except to get a sales price.

it's been hard not to buy everything in sight this year because of the great prices. we've been good. but i confess it's because we both are betting that those sales prices are going to last and last. maybe even get better. just a hunch. anyway, hubs really wanted the sham-wow rags this year. he also wanted a new recliner and got that earlier this month. he had been wanting a sleep number bed, but then decided he did not. so i got him the sham-wows and a wall calendar.

because missy's been in college, she knows not to expect lots of little things like when she was younger. we have been giving her one big thing and some money for a while now. this year the one big thing was some expensive adobe software for her new imac (that she bought for herself). it's called in design and she uses it all the time for her advertising classes.

as for moi, hubs asked what i wanted and i said that i want him to take me to ikea in west houston next week while he is off. and i want to buy an expedit bookcase...not for my scrap room, but for books in the family room. and he's putting it together for me. that's my present.

when hubs picked up the other recliner this morning, he talked to the store owner about an adjustable bed for me (the kind where you can elevate the head and the knees and a hospital bed). so that looks promising. i may eventually get a full night's sleep in one place yet! lol

tomorrow's the big day - a very merry merry and happy happy, ya'll

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the day before the day before...

a random photo of Reggie getting his occasional treat -- salisbury steak!:

he is such a sucker for anything with gravy, lol.

and, sometimes he does eat the carrots if i butter them.


here is one of our new recliners:

i got down on the floor for the first shot, trying to make the photo more interesting. can i just say...not worth the pain that caused!
and, another "normal" shot, more close-up:

i could only fit one of them into my honda crv, so hubs is picking the other one up in the morning...because he is off work, yay! well, yay for now. he doesn't go back until jan. 5th and i will be climbing the walls having him under foot by next week, trust me. but anyway, back to the recliners. this is a champaigne gold color, i think that's what they called it. i arrived there this afternoon at 5:15 by the car clock, and i was back onto the highway at 5:27. yep, that's gotta be a record for choosing a piece of furniture AND getting it loaded into your car, huh? that's why i shop there, cuz if i can't choose and be done with it, i end up not being able to make a decision at all.


and, a shot of our bare white christmas tree...nothing but lights this year:

basically, i first decided to go "bare" because with hubs working so much and me dependent upon him getting the decorations down from the attic, i didn't even ask him to do it. of course, this meant that i had to improvise a skirt (a leopard print throw) and live without a tree topper, so i decided to treat the tree as just another light source in the room. it has added an understated and unexpectedly elegant touch. we're enjoying it.


ok, so i had a few rough moments today giving in to my real feelings about being with the relatives on christmas day. trepidation, mostly. i will be trying to hide some not-so-nice feelings, so i figured i needed some kind of gameplan with at least a few specifics. maybe reading an advice column could help, so I googled and got this:
it was mainly advice on how to chit chat effectively at holiday parties, but would have been great help. except that when i read the comments to the article, i found myself agreeing to them more. and then i realized that i really don't much care about convincing anyone of my sincerity...i'm really looking for a way to sort of diss a few folks, but in a way that leaves them confused until 3 hours later after i'm long gone and they realize it.

hehe. no small order. guess i'm out of luck of making that happen, since the most i can come up with is to act disinterested yet pleasant. like, if one of them talks to me, act like i'm hard of hearing, make them repeat it, answer really ambiguously, that kind of thing. yeah, leave them wondering.

meh. i am not good at faking stuff. i would much rather address the issue head on and let the facts stand in my defense, maybe even resolve something, but manipulators don't play that game, so i would have to force the issue and create a scene in order to have that opportunity. and i am trying not to do that, as that just plays into the manipulator's hands, so Thursday should be interesting.
finally uploaded my photos from the snowfall we had a couple weeks ago, and i will try to show those tomorrow. every time i look at them, it puts me in a wonderment mood.

Monday, December 22, 2008

i just can't quit you


yep, guess who. me. it's like i just dropped outacybersight (and outamind, probly, by some of you, but i deserve it for being so neglectful). i most assuredly was present and visible in the *real* world, though. i just got caught up with life and a few bouts of painful days. more than a few, ok. and really caught up with my life.

ok, so what have i been doing?

i do know that some annoyingly large blocks of time were spent pondering current questions of life, such as:

do relatives ever have a decent function besides being pains in the arsses?

now that my christmas tree is up, do i have to decorate it or can i just enjoy it with lights only?

does anyone alive seriously believe that there is someone in charge in d.c. actually knows how to solve this financial crisis (because the #1 reply to my question "so how about this financial crisis?" is "nobody has a clue how to solve it")?

am i in denial if i just cannot believe this crisis will still be wreaking havoc in may 2010 when missy graduates college?

if it appears by all rational logic that a loved one is dying of cancer, yet no one talks about it or says anything, what is the proper way to think? i mean, do you ignore the obvious, or do you ignore the insane denial of it? I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO KNOW. SERIOUSLY.

and on and on it goes. that's just a sampler. seriously, the first question was the one most of my energy was spent on. i better not go into detail, but suffice it to say that i know this family that is going through some tough times right now and they do not know how to lean on each other openly, so that makes family dinners hard. some families just behave secretly. it sure does make it uncomfortable for the ones who are not privy to pertinent details. you wanna feel for those who are suffering, but hell, if they won't even admit to suffering, after awhile ya think, why even care?

the holiday family gatherings are merry and bright for many, but also very difficult and stressful for many others. i feel for those of you caught in the family crossfire. it really sucks. but about the only thing to do is to just repeat over and over to yourself that it is not you causing the problem and it's not you who is responsible for any of it. just brace yourself, get through the hours or the day, and then get over to the other side of the thing and then smile.

yeah. ok. so, you get the drift. really tough to do, but necessary, especially if the problems are being caused by different stresses. i've been trying to handle my anger at being manipulated by one or more people in my own family. and since i will never really get to handle it right, i'm trying to figure out how to let it go without resolution. i go days thinking it is gone, then, bam, it hits my face again. the only great thing is that missy has figured it all out and totally sees it the same way as me. thank god. at least i am not alone with it. i'm so glad i got raising her right. as she grows into adulthood, our close relationship just keeps getting better and better.

speaking of missy, she is now the proud renter of a 2-bedroom apartment. she and her work bud matt are roomies. (don't worry, matt's gay, not that there's anything wrong with that...hehe, seinfeld, get it?). i'm really excited for them, because they are excited. it is the first apartment for both of them. we gave them practically all of our living room furniture and that room is now decorated with 5 stiff modern chairs until we decide what we want to replace things with.

she had friends show up with 3 trucks and they whisked it all away, last weekend. that has been an adjustment for me, because i miss having a couch. i was glad to lose that couch because i want a new one, but i tend to miss it more now than i normally would because there's nothing yet to take its place.

a lot of times, i can only sleep a few hours on my bed and i have usually gone to the couch and slept sitting up until i can get pain-free enough to go back to my bed. this past week i've not had that and my back or whatever body part is hurting has been letting me know it's not happy. sometimes it is a pressure point with my fibromyalgia, and the ability to move my position is crucial to mitigating pain.

so i need to decide on something soon. hubs gave missy his old recliner so he was forced to finally get him a new one, and it's very comfortable. i may just go get myself one tomorrow and that'll take the pressure off needing a couch. i wanted to try several and take my time on it, because i'm considering a nice leather couch this time.

well, enough for awhile. it's a very brrr-y 29 degrees here right now with light rain, and my hands are crampy and achy. time to quit keyboarding and go lay down under an electric blanket for a bit...