Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Meme

We will decide today at 5:00 p.m. when A. gets off work if we will try to drive across the state. The current road conditions for our trip are slick with blowing snow. I expect we will be staying here. While I am a bit sad, all your suggestions for little traditions for just the two of us have me all warm and fuzzy!  
For lack of anything else to say:

Eggnog or hot chocolate? I am not a picky or cautious eater, but I can't get past the word eggnog. Too many "g"s in the back of the throat. *gag* Hot chocolate from scratch, baby!
Artemisia's Homemade Hot Chocolate
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, plus more if you want it really chocolately,
2 tsps instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp cinnamon
healthy dash of red chile powder
tiny splash of vanilla
1 cup milk

Heat half the milk and all of the chocolate, stirring until thoroughly melted and incorporated. (I found it combines much smoother if you heat it in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between intervals.)
Once combined, add the other ingredients, stir until combined. Add the other half of the milk. This should cool it down enough to enjoy immediately!

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them under the tree? Santa wraps the presents and then leaves them under the tree.

Colored lights on a tree or white? White. Once those go out, A. will insist on colored lights.

Do you hang mistletoe? Uh, no.

When do you put your decorations up? The weekend after Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Oh, my. I love it all. Definitely not the lutefisk.

Snow: love it or hate it? I love it unless I have to drive in it.

Can you ice skate? Um, skate is a strong work. I can ice wobble.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? I love the caramel cookies and this other jello, pretzel, whipped cream dessert my grandmother makes.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Oddly, going to church.

Candy canes: yum or yuck? Bleh.

Favorite Christmas show? How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original cartoon) and the Nutcracker Ballet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Obsessively Refreshing my Homepage

I am trying to come to terms with the knowledge that I did not get either Christmas cards or Christmas cookies distributed this season.


But, I have had my shopping/gift-making done for a couple of weeks, and the peace that has accompanied these last few days is so worth it.

However! I get to play around with New Year's Appropriate cookies, cookie cutters, icing and letter templates. Yay for something new!


The weather does not look like it is going to cooperate with our trip north to spend Christmas with A.'s family. I am getting pretty twitchy about this. Like, hella twitchy. Mostly because all the nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters in A.'s family will be there. The kids ages range from nearly seven to almost two, and nothing makes Christmas as fun and kids, especially kids waiting for Santa! More than once I have been bewildered by my own wish that the kids wouldn't grow up so quickly, and the holidays really bring this desire into focus. How many Christmases will we all be together with the kids, waiting for Santa?

Also, we are supposed to have a family photo taken on the 26th. They invited me to be in the family photo! I am kind of over the moon. Also, I really, really want an updated family photo. So badly. Because, again, the kids are growing like weeds and we need to document them as often as possible! Gah!

So. I am trying to deal with the possibility of not making it to northern Wyoming for Christmas like a grown up. I am failing pretty miserably.


I do, however, kind of look forward to a Christmas that is just A. and I. How sweet!

I need your suggestions, idea, musings. What would be a nice Christmas tradition for the two of us to start? We have a couple of small traditions already. I buy him a Christmas Wreath scented Yankee candle after Thanksgiving and he give me a bottle of lotion in my stocking (something his late father always did for his mother).

What can we do on Christmas Day? Do you and your significant other have something that makes the day special for the two of you (that you don't mind sharing)? How about your folks, or an aunt and uncle? Do they have some sweet traditions?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Five

1. Night before last I dreamt that Michelle Obama came to visit me and my two best friends, DPR and JelBel. We tried to play some music for her on three different saxophones, but had forgotten some of the notes. I felt a bit ridiculous, but she just smiled her awesome smile. We decided to call it a night, and she insisted on sleeping on the couch. I fretted about finding her a blanket that wasn't covered in dog hair.

The next mornig we decided to show Mrs. Obama some of the Wyoming landscape. While DPR and JelBel took her to see some random land formation, I babysat Buster, Belle, and Bo, The First Pup, and made breakfast from scratch.

Mrs. Obama was wearing a really pretty, cream skirt suit and heels and I woried about her hiking in those heels.


2. I did not get Dream Job. I didn't even get an interview! Honestly, that surprised the hell out of me. What surprises me more is that I am not devastated. Disappointed, sure. But feeling totally okay. I still fee like I would have kicked ass at that job and I am pretty sure they are idiots for not hiring me. I am not doubting that. How cool is that?

3.I have applied for another job for which I am positive I will be amazing. (Smug, much?)  I need my Thesis Advisor send an ABD (All But Dissertation) letter to Who-I-Hope-Will-Be-My-Future-Employer. That feels lame. Also, this is the advisor who is not so good with details or timeliness. I think I am going to call his ass at home and request the letter. So far, he has not acknowledged my email about it. Yeah. I am calling him. I think it is well within his responsibilities as an advisor and mentor to help me get a job, yes?

4. Last night A. and I went to my office Christmas party. It was a really fun evening, surrounded by really good people. I am so fortunate and grateful for my co-workers. This is not hyperbole; they are good people. I don't necessarily want to leave my current job, though I wouldn't mind a new challenge, that is for sure. I don't want to leave these co-workers. But, A. and I are trying to move on to post-grad school goals, and so it goes. I do want to put us in a position where A. can start to pursue his goals. That is my most current goal. Certainly not my only goal, but for right now, for Team A. & Artmeisia, that is what has to happen.

5. Did you know that an ingrown hair that turns nasty is considered a boil? A boil? I guess I thought of boils as some random, medieval trial of some sort. You know, that when away with the advent of soap.

I happened across that delectable tid-bit during some random googling yesterday, and it was not googling about icky skin infections, either.  A BOIL. Yuck.

Anyway, Happy Friday to you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Five

1. Why, hello there!

2. How about some riveting weather chit chat, eh? What can I say? When it is -40 with windchill weather is kind of an omnipresent topic, you know?

We've had enough snow and wind to totally drift my car in at the house. We are a one-truck household right now. I kind of like it when this happens. I feel like such a team, what with A. and I planning our schedules and helping each other out. It is kind of sweet. In a pain-in-the-ass, bitch-under-your-breath, poke-your-eyes-out-with-the-fireplace-poker sort of way.

It has been somewhere around -15 and -22 for nearly two weeks now, with highs reaching 4 degrees, at best. To keep our pipes from freezing we've kept the wood stove going throughout the night. This means A. and I take turns getting up at 1:30 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. to add wood to the fire. I am so flippin' tired! I was positively delirious when my alarm went off this morning at 4:00 a.m. No, really. It was one of those wake up's where you are pretty much back asleep as you hit the off button. Thankfully A. got up and took care of the fire, because it never even crossed my mind at 4:00 a.m.

I am in total awe of all parents who survive keeping infants alive. Dear lord.

3. We are working on training Buster and Belle to stay at home without us without anxiety, but they aren't there just yet. This has been a bit of a bummer with the super sub-zero temperatures. We can't leave the dogs in their doghouse, even if it is very well insulated.  I worked from home three days during this two-week cold snap so the dogs could rough it by taking their naps next to the fire. But I have run out of remote work (unless I configure my home system differently, which I might try and do this weekend.) So, I decided to day-board the dogs at the fancy-schmancy vet in town for the last three sub-zero days. (It was surprisingly inexpensive, just $13/day for both pups.)

So, for most of this week I drop A. off at work in the morning then drop the dogs off at the vet. Again, I don't know how people have kids and schlep them all off to school and daycare and whatnot before going to work. Saints, the whole lot of you.

Wednesday night, in her excitement TO! BE! FREE!, Belle ripped a toenail clear out when she exited the kennel. She didn't make a peep, or pay any notice to her foot. She was too busy squirming around, saying hi. We couldn't help but notice all of the blood all over the lobby floor, however. Holy. Shit. That had to hurt, but you wouldn't know it by how Belle was jumping around, wagging her tail. (Needless to say, I was really glad we were boarding them at a vet's office.)

Poor thing had to get the nail sheath completely removed and her little paw is all wrapped up. She hasn't whimpered, whined, wobbled,  limped or licked at her foot at all. In fact, I have to keep her from rough housing with Buster and jumping up on the bed. I don't think she even felt it, the lunatic.

The antibiotics must have been a bit of a shock to her system, however. When I went to lift her out of the truck Thursday to carry her in to the vet's, I discovered, by way of olfactory horror, she had barfed up her breakfast. Yay! Not only did we have to dig our way out driftd snowpack that morning, but I got to scoop up doggy puke from all over the gear shift! Wahoo!

4. We went through our entire wood pile on the front porch, seeing as how we've been keeping the stove going nonstop. So, last night, A. and I bundled up in long underwear, jeans, turtlenecks, sweatshirts, snowpants, winter coats, balaclavas, hats and gloves and hauled wood to the front porch. It wasn't too windy, and was just above zero, so it wasn't nearly as miserable as I anticipated. But, still. It is a shit ton of work.

Yes, Thursday was a spectactular day, if you were wondering.

5. As I was digging chopped wood out of a snow drift, it once again became clear that my survivial is not automatic. It is not a given. Regardless of all the illusions we put up to make us think otherwise.

So, while the past couple of weeks have left me tired, sore, and sometimes delirious, I am grateful for the tangible reminder of my mortality, of my fragile agreement with the Universe to keep breathing.

I plan to enjoy every inhale and exhale.

Happy Friday to you!