Are you acquainted with Padgett Powell? Have you read his new book, The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? Dare I risk a poor imitation even though I haven't read it yet?
Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? Do you remember that line from A Christmas Story? Have you ever had soap poisoning?
Do you still think about toys you loved as a kid? Is Colorforms on the list? Did you ever have a playmate whose parents bought them all the messy toys that your parents wouldn't dream of bringing into the house? Did you like that kid, or just their toys? Were there a lot of kids in your neighborhood growing up?
Have you taken down your Christmas tree yet? Do you pack everything away carefully, or just take your chances with breakage? Have you vacuumed up all the needles? How often do you vacuum in general? Are there dishes in your sink? And how often do you change your bed? Is that too personal?
Is it nerdy to be home on New Year's Eve blogging? Do I care? Can you believe that it's been ten years since we were all worrying about the Y2K doom and gloom threats? Are you happier today than you were ten years ago? Why?
How long has it been since you talked to your best friend? Went to the dentist? Weighed your ideal weight? Is your bathroom scale in the bathroom? What else is in your bathroom? Do you keep magazines in there?
Have you ever made a mistake that you can't forget? Have you forgiven yourself? Have you tried?
Are you green? How big is your carbon footprint? Are you committed enough to live without air conditioning? Are you old enough to remember when schools weren't air conditioned? And when the black boards were actually black? Did you have a policeman come to school once a year to hold a bicycle rodeo? Do you remember what the hand signal is for a left turn?
Was this post annoying? Or was it as much fun to read as it was to write?
I spent a good half hour on the phone with tech support. I could feel the tech rolling his eyes at me when I kept dropping the cords behind the desk and having to retrieve them. He finally told me that I had one of two problems...either my wireless router had gone bad, or my wireless card in the computer had gone bad. Neither of those sounded good to me, as we are in the middle of an emergency fund crisis right now with Carey's truck...transmission went out...$4,000 repair...but that's another story.
Well, since I have no other computer to test the router, I took the laptop to a wifi spot in town today to see if I could get connected there.
At first I had no luck. The pop-up message told me I had no wireless...damn...then I noticed the help links for troubleshooting.
Step one: Make sure the wireless button on the front of the computer is in the on position.
You've got to be kidding me.
Yes, I am that clueless.
I'm just happy...a) that this didn't cost me anything --not counting the blow to my pride--and b) that I figured this out on my own in the privacy of a public wifi hot spot, and not while on the phone with that tech support guy.
This bottom picture didn't turn out very well...reflection on the glass. But I don't have time to be a perfectionist right now!
I've been crossing tasks off the old to-do list left and right. It feels good.
The butterfly 'collections' have been wanting to be created ever since I first saw them on Chez Larsson ages ago. Making one for a friend on my Christmas list motivated me. I found the frames the other day at Goodwill. I went in specifically to look for frames deep enough for this purpose, and I found two! That kind of thing never happens to me.
So aside from a couple of dollars each for the frames and mats and a can of spray paint, all it cost me was time. Oh, and a Martha Stewart punch and magazine pages...but I already had those.
I also got the Christmas tree competely decorated. I haven't put all the boxes away yet, but I want to go through and whittle down the decorations to just what has sentimental value or is used every year.
I've also finished up the Christmas shopping for the most part. Maybe I'll actually get things wrapped before Christmas Eve this year. Yeah...that kind of thing never happens to me either. :)
1. As usual, time is getting away from me as far as Christmas preparations go.
2. I've had a vague headache all afternoon...I should have just taken a nap.
3. I got my hair cut very short on Saturday...but I would have liked it even shorter...I may have to go back.
4. I heard a friend's voice on the internet this afternoon. It was someone I haven't spoken to in years. It made me feel really sad.
5. I worked on our Christmas letter this afternoon. I used to be very anti-Christmas-letters, but I came to the realization that...a) I really look forward to our friends' Christmas letters...b) I really hate receiving cards with just signatures from friends and family...and c) I've ruined entire boxes of cards by writing personal messages in them, but never mailing them. These days you can print the letter on the front and color photos on the back. Even at that, I'm not sure I will actually get it completed and in the mail this year. The letter is done, but I still have to decide on which photos to include.
6. I ordered a 'fresh' balsam wreath this year, hoping that it would make the house smell like Christmas since we have an artificial tree. The wreath arrived somewhat damaged, and I can't smell it even standing close to it. Since hanging it, it has dried out noticeably. Even Caitlyn noticed it while she and Chloe were visiting, and she asked if she could clean up the needles on the floor for me. :) It's not worth the trouble and expense to return it, but I won't purchase another one next year.
7. I spent all last evening watching DVDs of season one of Mad Men. I finally stopped, with the intent of saving the rest to watch one episode at a time (on Sunday nights, of course...they just aren't the same since the third season ended). And since I didn't start watching it until about the middle of season two, I am loving getting the background...all new to me!
Up bright and early, camera in hand. Uh-oh. What's that in my rear view mirror? Did he just turn on his lights?
But officer, I have a dance recital to get to. A warning instead of a ticket? Really? Thanks, Officer Ramos! (Oh, and I took the photo while we were stopped and he was running my license, not while driving down the road.) :)
And this is what was waiting for me.
Sorry for the grainy photo, but I loved Caitlyn's expression in this one.
And making her dance debut...
And her daddy thought she would freeze on stage...HA! Chloe owned the stage!
And they came home with me. We had a rolicking afternoon and evening, and now they are snuggled up in bed asleep. I think I'd better go join them, so I'll have energy to keep up with them tomorrow.
I just ran across an idea for a simple, cheap (recycling), practical gift, that I am definitely going to make for someone for Christmas. Shhhhhh...
These fire starters are easy to light with a match...don't unwrap, just light one end of the wrapper. Then place in your fireplace and toss a little kindling on top. Before you know it, you've got a nice warm fire going.
And these are so easy to make, that it would make a great gift for kids to make and give too.
My interpretation follows:
empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes
'wrapping paper' such as paper grocery bags or craft paper
raffia, jute, or 100% cotton yarn
Start storing empty toilet paper tubes (and paper towel tubes cut to a similar length) in your laundry room. When you clean your lint filter, stuff the lint into the tubes. The lint can be augmented with some loosely crumpled newspaper.
They are usable at this point. But since I'm making them for gifts, I thought I'd dress them up a little bit.
'Wrap' the tubes in paper, leaving the ends long enough to twist, and tie with raffia, jute, or 100% cotton yarn. I'm using craft paper, because I have lots of it, but you could use paper grocery bags, or the Sunday comics. (Edited to add: I originally stated that gift wrapping paper could also be used in this step. But my friend the science teacher told me NOT to use Christmas wrapping paper, as the inks used are not safe to burn and breath the fumes.) (Edited to add: a comment pointed out that lint from synthetic loads is not safe to burn and breathe fumes. I always clean my lint filter after each load dried and always discard the tiny amount of lint that is left by synthetic loads. However, I have a lot of loads that are from 100% cotton jeans, towels, and bed sheets. Those are the loads that produce lots of lint, and that is the lint that is saved at my house. Thank you, commenter, for bringing that to our attention.) Ta-da! Put the finished fire starters in a bucket or a basket to sit near the recipient's fireplace. Add a bow and a gift tag, and you're done!
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