Thursday, December 29, 2005

Almost the end (of the year)

I survived Christmas! I feel like I should make a t-shirt with that logo. One of the gifts for my son was fun t-shirts; one says, "I just kidnapped myself. Give me $100 or you'll never see me again." Anyway, a good time was had by all, even though one of my gifts to the Hub didn't (and hasn't) arrived. I'm back at work today, I think there might be two dozen of us here, everyone else taking vacation until Jan 3rd. It's a little spooky, actually.

I fell asleep last night trying to think of something to post here, but I didn't come up with much. I slept really well, though. But this morning I got to thinking about a memorable Christmas from several years ago, and I thought I'd relate it here.

I don't know who thought up the original idea, but for some reason everyone in the family decided to come to WV for Christmas this one year. So there were the four of us, my parents, my sister, Hub's father, his sister and her husband from Michigan, and his brother from Oregon. Oh yes, and his sister brought along her grandaughter too, she was about 4 that year. Plus there were the family members that live just south of us, that always came for the day. I knew from past experiences that there were some champion eaters in this crew, so I went into overdrive preparing food that I froze and then needed only to heat up; stews, chili, casseroles, that sort of thing, in addition to all the usual holiday baking of cookies, candy, rolls, pies and so on. I even went so far as to rent an additional refrigerator, because I knew putting away leftovers is such a pain when the fridge is full. Some of them were staying at our house; some at mom's house, and some were coming only for Christmas day. Hub's sister, S, and her husband and grandaughter came a few days early to get things underway, and nearly the first thing we did was go to the grocery store. S started feeling queasy on the way there; by the time we got there, she had to throw up in the parking lot. This was the beginning of what came to be known as the Christmas from hell.

It must have been a really virulent stomach virus, defying all attempts with Lysol and quarantine to control it, because everyone caught it. Everyone, one by one, started in with the throwing up, and proceeded from there. I laid awake at night trying to identify who was running to the bathroom this time, based on the sound of the heaves. My son taunted my daughter who came down with it on Christmas Eve; so of course, he came down with it on Christmas Day. And naturally, all my carefully planned meals went into a cocked hat; the ones who hadn't caught it (yet) wanted regular food; the ones in the depths of sickhood wanted nothing; and the ones recovering wanted crackers and weak tea. And I never knew who would be which, for any given meal. In the end, all 16 of the family got the bug, including those who only came for Christmas day, although, mercifully, they succumbed after they got home. Once everybody left, I caught it too. Oh yeah, we also suffered a plumbing disaster, and had to get a plumber out on Christmas eve. It was the Christmas present that kept on giving; and that was the last time anyone suggested getting everyone together for the holidays.

Hope yours was a Merry One!

Friday, December 09, 2005


Today is one of those days when all the grey-ness of the world seems everywhere. It's a place I'm familiar with, and when I come back to it, it seems like any of the times in between that were good never happened. I think part of it is the weather; it's not the cold I mind, it's the darkness, the fact that it's twilight at 4:30 in the afternoon. I have a "sun" lamp, and maybe it does help, at least somewhat, and it's a really good light to sew or do any sort of close work with. And some of it is due to the impending holidays; I do enjoy being off work, and I like finding the right gifts for everyone, if only the actual act of shopping wasn't necessary. And finally, there's the fact that over the holidays I don't (touch wood) see my therapist, and that tends to make me more anxious than usual too. I remember when Christmas was the biggest, most exciting, most longed for day of the year, better than even birthdays. Then gradually it bacame an enormous amount of work, with 15 for dinner, gifts, stocking stuffers, baking, cards, letters, parties, last minute runs to the mall, running out of wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, each new stressor feeling like the final straw. But gradually, as family has died, there isn't really all that much to do for Christmas now, and it makes it feel, I don't know, anticlimactic? Melancholy?

Anyway, I hope all 6 of my faithful readers out there are doing great and planning a big holiday meal with all the trimmings, family, and fun they can stuff into one frenzied day. I plan on sleeping a lot, personally.

Monday, December 05, 2005

First Day Back

Well gosh, time does fly when you're having fun. I am back today at work, having been off for four weeks post surgery. The first two weeks I was so wrecked it was all I could do to get up and shower, never mind accomplish anything. Even a trip to the grocery store left me so pooped I had to go sit in the car until hubby finished. The second two weeks were even worse. I got the Cough That Wouldn't Die back again, in spades. Nothing like coughing with stitches in your tummy. Another trip to the doctor, who (apparently correctly) diagnosed it as a side effect of taking Altace, an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure. Stopping the Altase is gradually clearing the cough; the prescription for another drug will wait until the cough is completely gone. It will be so wonderful to sleep through the night without racking coughing, trying to sleep in the recliner, and taking nasty cough syrup every 4 hours.

One thing I did do while home was (blush) get another kitten. Yes, I know we have too many, and yes, all the others are bent completely out of shape, but they will get over it eventually. She's a cutie, and now I know to stay out of Petco. We call her Beans, because she's full of them.

It looks at work like I've never been gone, I had been keeping up with the email, so I didn't have 400 waiting for me to wade through here. I don't have any other rush items waiting either, which is good, as I am moving pretty slow today. I wish there was someone to talk to here, but the Asst. Director selected before I left has evidently not started yet, for some reason. There was a big fire event in dentistry while I was gone, they evac'ed the building but soon contained it. Glad to have missed all the excitement.

Well, time to check out a few things and get to work. How long do I have to go today?