Saturday, December 20, 2008


I'm through with the decorating, the presents are bought and wrapped, and this weekend is the BAKING! This is our tree. Notice the Santa hat-clad Mummy in the back corner.
Haha. I love him. Hannia came over and took a lot of pictures with her fancy new camera. I love how she was able to capture the glow of the tree in very low light. She was/is going to come try to capture the lighting outside after dark one evening, but seriously, its been raining and drizzling every single day for the past week or so. I'm sure she will have a chance though since I like to leave all my decorations up at least through New Years.

Anyway, Erica will be driving home this afternoon, which makes me happy. She has a list of baking that she wants to do, too. My daughter....she can bake. And make the most amazing ice creams. She claims not to be able to actually "cook", but that's just not the case. She prefers to make desserts. I have a feeling she could cook if she really wanted to. She mocks the fact that I make eggo frozen waffles. She, on the other hand, whips up homemade waffles from scratch with all kinds of delicious additions like chocolate chips. She is making homemade Gingerbread waffles for us for Christmas breakfast. She is also having to haul her waffle-maker here with her since I do not own such an animal. I think I used to. But it was never used. Like never even taken out of the it ended up going to Goodwill. Pray for me that I don't gain a hundred pounds or so during this next week. I have every intention of enjoying myself this holiday. But after that? Oh, the healthy eating and the rigid gym schedule will commence. It is going to be mandatory, and I am going to be a total Nazi about it. My husband is already dreading it, even though he knows its good for him.

Speaking of eating and good food, we are all going over to Stephen and Hannia's tonight for dinner. Mexican. Yummy! I have no idea what Hannia is making, but I am sure its going to be good. She also loves to cook. See? With all of these cooks and bakers in the family, maybe its ok that I am only marginal when it comes to the culinary scene. Right? Also, I get to see their Christmas decorations for the first time. The Christmas branch! And I am looking forward to that. There will be pictures.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Retirement Plans.....

Today at worked sucked BIG TIME! On days like these, it helps to fantasize about retiring. I'm nowhere near that yet, but still....we talk about it a lot. We have a tentative plan that goes something like this: We sell off most of our worldly possessions except for the most cherished and necessary and we travel. Not continuously, because seriously I don't like living out of suitcases and being constantly on the move. But more like picking out places that we really enjoy and renting an apartment there for about a year or so. Its hard to get an actual feel for a place if you just visit briefly for a vacation. I would like to get to know these places....really KNOW them firsthand. Experience everything a place has to offer 24/7 for a decent length of time.

Of course, we like to sit back and list the places we would like to live. New York makes the list. Maybe it even makes the top of the list. I could totally live there for at least a while. I'm not sure we could see everything there is to see in a year. There is an energy about that place. A vibe. It feels like the center of the universe. And the shopping....Oh my Lord. The shopping! Thats all I have to say about that!

And then....lets spend a year or so on some beachfront property somewhere NOT in the continental US. Maybe the Virgin Islands. Or maybe Costa Rica or even Mexico. We went to Costa Maya a couple of years ago (on a cruise) and it was beyond beautiful. We went snorkeling at a place just like this:

After that, there just HAS to be a year in New Orleans. I'm not entirely sure my husband will go for that one, but the fact is that I love that place. Like "love" love it. I felt like I had come home the very first time I went there. I think it has something to do with the fact that its a lot like Charleston, SC where I spent a whole lot of time during my childhood. Like Charleston on steriods. I can sit and people watch in Jackson Square for hours on end. I saw the vampires stalking the steps of St. Louis Cathedral while the religious freak screamed about eternal damnation right beside them. Where else in the world can you see that? While having your fortune told by a purple-haired psychic at the same time??? Beautiful. There is a certain weirdness about that place that soothes me. I am weird by nature, myself. I feel perfectly at peace there.

And the list goes on and on. My husband would love to live somewhere out in the desert someplace. Maybe someplace near the Grand Canyon. Actually, if he could, he would probably live right on down in the middle of the Canyon. That one might be a hard sell for me. But if he would deal with the strangeness of New Orleans, I suppose I could deal with the isolation of the canyon. For a year. If we had internet access....haha.

Anyway, these are the thoughts that get me through a hell day at work. It keeps me going. But I don't know if any of these things will ever transpire. I mean, suppose we have grandchildren by retirement ...? Would I rather spend time with my grandkid or people-watch in Jackson Square? Thats a tough call. I have a feeling priorities change as time goes on. But whatever dreams get you through the day.....right?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dog Update

That dog that we found yesterday, (well, technically she found us), DID belong to the people who lived in the house where my husband left her. So it all worked out really well. Bruce ran by there this morning, and they were home so he got to talk to the man who lives there. He never even realized that his dog was missing. She was there when he left and there when he got back yesterday evening, so....he was clueless that she was out having a big adventure. And I am happy that the situation has been resolved in a way that did NOT leave me with yet another dog.

Also, we finally put up our Christmas inflatables today. First Bruce wanted to cut the yard one last time to mulch in the leaves. Then we had rain for an eternity, or it was really cold and windy. Have you ever tried to set up one of this 8 ft giant blow up characters in a swift wind? Its almost impossible. But we got around to it today. I had 2. A Grinch with his dog, and a Santa with his reindeer. And to my dismay the Santa was broken. Bruce took it inside and took the motor apart and it had broken off its mount in such a way that was impossible to fix. How sad. Poor Santa is dead. And it left me with only the Grinch, which didn't look right. My yard needs 2. One on either side of the front walk to look balanced. So, I have spent my afternoon running all around town again. In the Christmas crowds....again. And I was getting more and more discouraged because every place that I tried was ALL sold out. Most of the Christmas decorations are sadly picked over already. I ran into Lowe's in a last ditch effort, and there on the empty shelves sat this one last snowman. I really wanted a snowman anyway. And there he was, just waiting for me. So, he's mine now and he is already up in the front yard. So all's well that ends well. Stephen and Hannia just reported that they found the perfect Christmas branch, we all are having a happy ending for today.