Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Done

Which Christmas is the most vivid to me? It's always the next Christmas. ~Joanne Woodward

It was not the kind of Christmas I would typically enjoy writing about; it was bittersweet and simple. However, I was given the three things I wanted most: a bigger camera bag, a thermal mug that keeps things hot or cold for hours, and a Silhouette cutting machine.

Last year my husband bought me a new camera that is so much faster and higher end than the one I had that I actually can get the facial expressions I was going for rather than the blurry one than comes two seconds later. I did not use the new camera much because it was a bit more complicated and...well, I had been having years of disappointing pictures with a child who increasing was becoming camera shy. It just soured me about taking pictures, so last year when I received this camera and had not asked for one, I guess I just was not in the mood to fully appreciate it. I did buy a tripod with my gift money from my husband's mother as the one I had was not good anymore, but I still just did not use it much. Then I began trying to take some pictures, especially when we went to north Georgia this past fall and all I could think of was why had I not been using this little gem so much more! I had to get used to switching lens and my camera case just was not accommodating for everything, so that went on my list for this Christmas. I am loving my camera now!

My husband asked for a thermal mug a few Christmases ago. We picked up one at a store hoping it was a good one—it was priced like it should have been. It kept his tea hot for hours as he wanted...probably not as many hours as the one he gave to our daughter and me, but it has served him well. After I had a drink from his a few hours after he had been carrying it around, I was amazed how hot it still was and I might have mentioned that I wanted one then...wink, wink.

The Silhouette cutting machine was something I told my daughter about in the last few weeks and I thought would not happen. My husband was away from home the last four weeks. I had looked at these machines before and with the renovations we are going to be making in nearly every room in our house this coming year, I thought I would find a number of uses for it. The Princess is eyeing some ideas for her room as well. I did not get any materials for cutting, but that is fine. I would rather choose the materials for myself and my husband's mother was quite generous with her money gift this year so...I am really looking forward to placing lovely words on a few walls here and there, amongst other things.

My husband's big gift was a gun safe. It has been delivered and is in waiting in our garage to be moved into its special spot in what will become my husband's man cave/office room (presently our arts and craft room). My husband pulled off the wallpaper and I finished that corner of the room as it should have been done the first time by the first owners. My husband said that the walls and ceiling where the safe will go looks so beautiful that he hates to cover it, but eventually that entire room will look that good.

He also asked for Christian T-shirts as his old ones were quite worn looking. I found a company that had Kerusso shirts for half price with free shipping for orders over $60, so my husband now has eight new Christian T-shirts.

The Princess had been given a new point and shoot camera before the science retreat as part of her Christmas gifts. She got lots of stuff that she loves being that she is fully a teenager: temporary hair coloring sprays in several colors, leg warmers, leggings, lightly colored lip gloss (the only makeup she is allowed to have presently), over the ear headphones and adapters so she can use them with her tech as well as the digital piano and keyboard. She also loves her thermal mug and when she opened it she mistook it for mine that I had not yet opened because the colors were so close especially in the lower light: hers is red and mine is plum. Realizing what she had unintentionally given away what I was getting, I laughed it off saying with saying that Dad must have been really good at fooling her by having her help him wrap her own present and having her think it was for me.

We also bought tickets to the Creation Museum at half price and will be going sometime this coming year, probably in the late spring or early summer on our way to visit with my aunt and uncle in Ohio.

We had Christmas dinner and then rested. At around 6:00, we got ready to go to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens at an IMAX theater in 3D. It was so worth it! No spoilers here. When we got home it was after 11:00.

That was the good.

There was also the bad.

My husband's back went out on Saturday night, Dec 18th, when he was bending over to get a light bulb to replace one that went out. You have to understand that my husband has a very physical job and lifts very heavy stuff all the time, but over the years we have determined that the only time his back goes out is when he has been under a lot of stress and he is doing a mundane task. For instance, about fifteen years ago, he was working for a manger that kept pressuring him, making him feel unappreciated and it turned to making him quite resentful; I came home to find him crawling on the floor after he had bent over to pick up an envelop he dropped at the mailbox. Yeah, we laugh at it now, but at the time.... So this time it was stress from our situation with the Princess for the past few months and the last month being under a great deal of pressure at an account to install a machine when the room for its installation was not properly prepared by the customer. His back was primed just for the right moment to kink and so it did. I prayed over him and it went back in place, confirmed by the chiropractor, however the muscle soreness has been more stubborn and I think that is because he is supposed to rest this holiday...we all are, I think.

On the evening of December 16, our pastor's 16 year old son died from a head-on car collision when his car went over the middle line for reasons unknown, but the curve is sharp and it is a dark area of that two lane highway. We have not been to the church because of my husband's back. The play was postponed and will probably be revised since it will be after Christmas now. I honestly do not know the pastor's family that well. All pastors are busy people, but I will say that he has a good support team or circle of close friends. We did not attend the viewing or the funeral on Monday, but we prayed. You may remember one of my very first posts about Valerie; it is very hard for me as an empath to not sink into the stormy sea of people's darkest emotions, particularly with the death of a child. With everything that we have been going through with her, I am thankful to have my child, but since I lost my own brother when we both were still in elementary school, I have always had a keen sense of how fragile life can be and how precious it is. This was just one more thing to tug me down that emotional abyss out from which I keep trying to climb. We all agreed to keep a distance and allow the family to have one less family with which they would have to interact.

The Princess' piano teacher decided that her old dog was not healing well from an injury and could not take the medicines that would help him because of his other health issues, so she put him down about two weeks ago. She is a dear friend, who has been living alone for many years and I feel so bad for her.

Lastly, I really missed my Jamie cat this Christmas. He always right in the way in one way or another while we were unwrapping presents for nearly two decades.

Although, not necessarily bad, it has been unseasonably warm, as in the 70's on Christmas. No fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate just does not have that warming of the old bones feeling, air conditioner uncovered and running to reduce the humidity in the house because of all the rain, and even all my sweaters are still packed away! It just kind of messes with the whole ambiance of the season for us.

Ending on a good note....
One of the Princess' science projects was to be making a "Rube," that is short for a Rube Goldberg device, which is a contraption, invention, device or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion, generally including a chain reaction. Instantly, my husband and I thought of Doc Brown's dog food machine in the first scene of Back to the Future. My daughter had not seen the Back to the Future movies and it just so happens they released a 30th anniversary blu-ray edition. 30 years?!  I remember when that movie came out the very best of media was LaserDisc (before CDs) and I viewed a portion of that movie on it, but today with blu-ray is even better than that. We watched the first one last night and I have to say that one has to love digitally remastered and big widescreens with surround sound! Wow!

My Lord, thank you for another Christmas with my family together, safe and happy. Your Son was our best Christmas gift of all, still every year we are together, I am very thankful.


  1. Christmas is always an ambivalent time for me & I think this year was the worst ever. It's not just the loss of family members but also the consumerism in the face of so much tragedy & thinking of Syrian refugees in the mud & wet & cold at Calais....You may be an empath but I can live other people's tragedy as if it's my own & it is no fun!

    We just had a low key day with the 2 home & fed the loony cats chicken.

    1. I understand.

      I just talked with the mother of my daughter's best friend yesterday, telling her we only had lights on the tree and no decorations; she laughed and said they had done exactly the same. So many parallels with that family.


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.