Our neighborhood had their lights, inflatables, and projectors up the day after Thanksgiving; one yard has been completely overtaken with decorations. Another trend though; three renters in the area have been evicted — one so the owner’s daughter could move in from New York post divorce, but we don’t know about the others and wonder if we could be next on the list of people looking for a new place during the holidays in which we could pick the 4-bedroom, 2-bath with cat piss, the unknown house with live-in garage, or the fenced in front yard with a pool hidden in the back.
I got to watch the younger kids (from where I work) practice their performance songs on stage for the show I will miss so I can drop the car to the shop (where they will tell us we need a new $60 fuel injector for $450 — so Caleb will be fixing that) and be home for the maintenance guy to repair our heating ducts only to have him talk shit about our lack of holiday lights, my ability to bake sugar cookies, and the amount of dirt with gopher holes in our yard (the one we don’t own). Caleb set mouse traps to remove the two problems and now the management company wants to wait a couple more weeks so that the mice don’t get “fixed” into the ducts and die and smell up the house.
Caleb had a holiday party at work and he wrapped the two gifts he got, along with one we bought, to take to our neighbor’s holiday party (the one Caleb would be called into work and miss). The kids decorated sugar cookies outside while the adults drank strawberry beverages and ate tamales, jambalaya, turkey, green bean casserole, and white trash (the chocolate covered cereal snack — not the derogatory term for certain people). There was a gift exchange and I fell into the trap of listening to a guy promoting his own product and ended up with a glass bottle in a silicone sleeve. It wouldn’t be so bad, but we already have three of them at home.
One couple let their son pick for them and they ended up with two aprons — one for mom and the other for dad. There was a cutting board, three candles, a speaker, two glasses, a bath set, a wine bottle opener, and some drink mixes. Only one gift wasn’t deemed appropriate to open in front of children (butt plug and panties) and was given to the winner of the ugly sweater contest (a snowman with his carrot penis from his friend’s nose) along with a bottle of booze.
All the people with kids left and the adults had some drinks and cinnamon rolls while the hostess packed up what wasn’t given to guests as leftovers and we waited for Caleb to get off work and arrive after 8:30 pm so he could eat dinner and unwind before the party was dispersed. It was nice to meet some of the neighbors down the street and other friends of the neighbors that I’ve heard so much about.
At work, I was given a Secret Santa sheet to fill out, but I easily get overwhelmed by these things which is why Caleb did the shopping for the party. I tend to over think the idea and have given unused gifts in the past which discourages me from trying again. I wasn’t given a price range and didn’t bother to fill it out, but thought I would do so now and see what I come up with:
- I can never resist adding another one of these to my collection… I purposely get rid of things when I notice a theme starting to grow. I fear hoarding and people setting me in any one category as I like my home to be eclectic.
- My favorite thing to sip on is… Hot — tea and mead; Cold — orange juice, cold brew or mushroom coffee, kombucha, and room temp water.
- I love this, but I never buy it for myself… expensive dresses, furry coats, and week-long vacation packages to anywhere in the world.
- I seem to always need more… peanut butter anything.
- When I need a snack, I reach for… Salty: I try to avoid anything with too much sodium (salted nuts, canned soup, salad dressing); Sweet: baby carrots, honey crisp apple, almonds, popcorn, dried or frozen fruit, protein bar, or French bread.
- I can’t live without… water, oxygen, blood, and sunshine.
- I love to smell… skunks, bakeries, and forests; But please not… tea tree oil.
- These are a few of my favorite things… Fast Food — frozen custard, Japanese ramen, and donuts; Magazine — online articles; Candy — chocolate with nuts (though I’m trying to avoid added sugars); School Supply — college rule notebooks, anatomy coloring books, pens and markers.
- Christmas time favorites… Decorations/Items — snowmen and icicle lights; Flavors — pumpkin, ginger, sweet potato, and cranberry; Scents — lemon, rose, ginger, mint, and cinnamon; Treats — sun-dried figs, sugar cookies, but no egg nog this year.
What are we doing for Christmas? We went on two hikes in the Cleveland National Forest with the dogs on Friday and I got over 17,000 steps. I averaged 2,500/day for six weeks after October 13. Today we went shopping with Fallon (our favorite neighbor) and accompanied her to Kanpai Restaurant to try Japanese ramen for the first time. It was miso base with a fish cake and green onions; I shared a bowl with Caleb. Then we took her dog to the newly opened dog park (as of Dec. 9) and he hid behind us like a shy child so the other dogs wouldn’t sniff his butt.
Caleb forgot to pick up the part for the Tribute today and I’m sure they’ll be closed till Tuesday. It took Sparky a month to tear up and completely gut the stuffed sheep Caleb got him for Thanksgiving. Piggy rolled in the dirt so much as to warrant a rinse in the tub after being in the backyard. All three of them are asleep now, each in their own bed. I will add pictures to this and then spend the rest of the evening reading. Christmas will come and go like another day here, but we’re used to being on the road or in a hotel in another country, not staycationing while we rehab our injuries and get called into work on our days off. Some days you have to adult and others you can live the life of (Riley) TheJessicaness — both are worth it.
What are you doing this time of year?