I wanted a specific thing.  This is not a NEED but a WANT, I am well aware.  But I knew it would be too much $.  I've been saving (and the $ from my xmas bonus at work was earmarked for this thing).  At best, I thought I might get a check with $ toward the purchase of this specific thing.

My parents splurged big time and got the specific thing for me.

I have some new tech to play with (omg - I got *exactly* the specific thing I wanted!).

Plus my 5.5 y.o. nephew was extremely excited that he got to pick out gifts to give everyone, and was SUPER EXCITED to give me earrings (which probably sparked the whole family debate of whether or not I have my ears pierced.  My brother thought I did not, my s-i-l insisted I did.  For the record, they are double pierced - and have been at least single pierced for the last twenty-five years.).

I have never seen a little girl SO EXCITED to get a pair of boots (exactly the UGGS she wanted) as my almost ten y.o. niece.

It has been a super exhausting, but super good day.
Christmas came and went - a very low-key Christmas, which is all to the good.  Dad was released from the hospital directly home.  There was talk of him going to rehab, but decided home nurse visits would be what he needed rather than in unit somewhere dreadful.  So he came home on December 16th.  He's been getting stronger ever since, and late last week his cardiologist gave him back his car keys - which means he is driving himself to the mall to do his walking therapy (too cold and too much snow/ice to walk around the outdoor track, and he needs it to be a level surface - so the mall it is!).

Today he even showed up at the gallery with the dog.  He really shouldn't have had the dog with him (muscular 70 pound Lab) because he shouldn't be pulled - but I guess it all went okay.  Interesting things I did not know about cardiac surgery.... when they do the "long cut" (from just under the throat notch to around the diaphragm area) there is less pain, and easier recovery than if they do the "short cut."  Longer scar, but easier path back to health.  Dad had the "long cut."  He was only on heavy duty pain killers while he was in the cardiac ICU unit, and off them completely pretty much before he left that unit to go to the step-down unit.  And he's only had to take the prescribed pain meds once since he got home (first full day home, he had trouble readjusting to a non-adjusting bed - completely normal).  He is healing well.

I spent a lot of time at the gallery today, because not only did we redo both windows (wtf? both?) we also took down the Christmas ornaments and cards and things, which necessitated the reorganization of the whole front of the shop - and then the cleanup of all the holes left in displays around the shop.  In between customers, of course.

My "big gift" this Christmas from my parents was exactly what I asked for.  I got an airbrush - which I spent a lot of Saturday playing with.  So damned cool, I can't even.  It has much much MUCH better control than I realized, and learning the ins and outs is going to a hell of a lot of fun.  I am using it with ink at the moment.  I have some fluid medium that I can mix with regular acrylic, but I am not really ready for that yet - the ink will let me learn with fairly easy cleanup.   It is pretty and shiny and I will be hauling the whole rig over to my folks in a couple of weeks to show my mother how it works.

Went to NYC for New Years (no, not Times Square - but we did see the fireworks in Central Park).  It was awesome, and exactly what I needed - a few days away.  I spent more money than I should have, but less than I expected to all told.  I used the cash "holiday gift" that work gave out at the holiday party - pretty much exclusively all weekend.

Second year in a row Bergdorf Goodman blew us away with their holiday windows.  They were spectacular.  Even the one or two we were less fond of were amazingly well thought out and executed.

While I was gone we got TEN inches of snow... which had compressed itself down to about four inches by the time I returned.  I had no idea it was ten inches until my mom told me today.  Oddly enough, someone plowed my drive while I was gone, because it was very clear it had been plowed.  The walkways hadn't been touched, but the driveway was mostly clear.  Weird.  No idea which neighbor gave me the New Year's gift of a plowed drive... But I won't turn it down (since I was a couple hundred miles away when it happened...)!

G turned ELEVEN last week.  ELEVEN!  Soon, she'll be taller than me...
Spending the morning with my brother's kids. By the time they left Nephew L (3 and a half) was desperately NEEDING a nap - K said he's been wound up all week in excitement and besides that he's at the age where nap-taking is difficult and sort a hit or miss proposition.

G, turning ten-next-week, is a goofy goofy kid. She is not a girly girl - prefers jeans and tees and sweatshirts to any thing else. Cares not a jot about her hair (which is very curly like mine, but a pretty golden brown like my brother's). But then she also spent some time using the cast off wrapping paper to make a "gown" and swan around the room in it acting silly (my mom got pictures).

B, will-be-eight-in-february, is all about the shine and sparkle and bling. Apparently, she was wearing a shirt her Nammy (her mom's mom) got for G, but G never ever wore it - it was a pretty soft grey shirt with a large slightly wonky heart shape in black. K said she finally put it in B's closet on Saturday, and made a bet with my brother "she's going to come down in that this morning - its new!" sure enough it was "Mommy - look, a new shirt - I found it in my closet!"

Their Nammy also took all the granddaughters to get tinsel in their hair the weekend after Thanksgiving - even K got some. B's tinsel strands were purple and lavendar, G's were crystal and silver, and K's were reddish bronze. It is a fad, I guess, that is not-quite-here (as in there are only a couple of places in the wider New England area that offer it). And the each only got one bit of it (about four strands in one spot). I guess celebrities have been seen with this stuff? I don't know.

The thing they got was something they couldn't stop playing with was from me. I found these moldable filled with not-sand rubber covered "heads" that could be shifted and pinched and pulled into forms and then "whacked" back into neutral. They had two eyes made of stickers and a bit of yarn glued to the top for hair. They are washable. I got one in pink and one in blue and figured Luca was a bit too young. The girls loved these strange things! I found them at a night market in Taiwan and paid less than $3 US for each. I had no idea this would be the thing they couldn't keep their hands off of. My mom gave them extra stickers for eyes (they kept falling off because little fingers kept poking, prodding and picking at them).

They're off to DisneyWorld today - their Ogo (mom's dad) is taking the whole family via frequent flier miles (that is Nammy, Ogo, M, K, and the kids G, B, and L - that is a LOT of miles)! But then Ogo has been traveling for business nearly every week for years. Plus - four adults and three kids? ALMOST the right ratio of kids to adults! K's grandmother and great aunt live in Florida and are traveling up to stay with the family in Orlando for the week and spend time with the great grand children.

My parents gave the kids bean bag chairs - ginourmous ones. Ones they could lounge on with a couple of other kids and all still be comfortable. B had asked and asked for one for Christmas, and my parents got it for her.

G has been lobbying on behalf of her little brother for an electric jeep he can ride around in. For months she's been talking about it and when she helped him write his letter to Santa she asked for it. I guess this summer, their cousin E had one that L just adored - and G has been going on and on that L would love something like that. Well, he got it!

I know B's gift from Santa was an iPod Touch. I don't know if G got one too or not, she didn't say. It didn't seem to me that G was all that concerned about opening presents - she wanted to see everyone else open theirs, but she didn't seem to want to open her own. Goofy goofy kid.

After they all went home, I spent the rest of the day with my folks.

It was a good day.
I spent Sunday with my parents trying to get the house in order, doing some last minute grocery shopping and trimming their tree (and putting bows and ribbons on my father's packages to give to my mother, because while he can *almost* wrap a box, he's all fumble fingers with ribbons!)

Monday we had dinner at my brother's (M) house, with his in-laws and M and K's next door neighbor. The girls were all excited, and B was jumping about in her new shoes and fell face first into the edge of a table. Poor w00bie! She has a lovely black and blue mark on her cheek - it looks like someone punched her. But, she got the klutzy genes from our side of the family, and there are five adult witnesses that can say she did it all on her lonesome.

After dinner, we had dessert - little ice cream balls with coconut and each one had a birthday candle. We sang (!) the happy birthday song to baby Jesus (I don't get it either), and blew out the one candle in our dessert. G and B each tried to be the "last" one to blow out their candle. Oh, Girls!

Christmas Lunch at my parent's house was lovely, if chaotic. Then we opened presents - I got a couple of good photos of the girls with their gifts. B lagged behind, and G got frustrated and "helped" her a couple of times.

My father actually bought my mother an iPhone. For those that know my mother, this is a *really* funny gift for her. She does *nothing* with computers, or technology if she can help it. She's had an email account for all of six months (just for store business - she's part of an artists cooperative store, and they all have an email list), and stopped checking it four months ago - too stressful.

They don't own a microwave, and the TV/DVD player confuses her. She just doesn't like technology very much. But he got her an iPhone, because he thinks she will have an easier time acclimatizing to using it for computer-like uses.

I got a boxful of socks! I love socks! And my mom gave me about eight pairs all wrapped up in a box - untold riches! My "big" gift was a rather sizable gift card - I have lots to spend on myself! My brother and sister-in-law gave me a wooden nut bowl. And a couple of bags of mixed nuts. I choose to read nothing into the gift.

The girls got me a rather nice scented candle. Then B wanted to set up the toy I got her (a Playmobile play set), and G wanted to break into the lego train set my parents gave her, so we all sat around and started building things. The pink castle room went together rather well, I thought. And apart from not liking the "bad one" of the set (the set has a figure dressed in a long black cloak and labeled a "witch" - I prefer to think of her as the wicked step mother, because all stories seem to have a wicked step mother.) she loved it, mostly because it is pink and has a princess and a fairy godmother (complete with wings). K napped on the couch during this furious activity. She seems to fall asleep at the drop of a hat when pregnant - which must be lovely.

Then they went home (before going back out for dinner at K's parents house, with overtired little ones, joy! We did that particular dance *last* year) and my parents and I made dinner for just us. Lasagna, roasted asparagus, and my mother and I had pumpkin mousse cake for dessert. My dad had apple pie. All in all, it was a fine, if exhausting day. I was happy to come home and crash.

I hope all your holidays are fantastic this year, and that the coming year is better than the current one!
etakyma: (Default)
( Dec. 15th, 2007 03:19 pm)
So the North East is braced, and waiting for snow. Out Thursday storm dumped about nine inches of snow in my area starting at about noonish. Knowing it was going to be bad I worked from home. After listening to the horror stories that the Thursday Commute engendered, I thank the impulse that said "y'know what? Just don't go out."

I didn't. And my next door neighbor (the sane ones, not the crazy ones) was out snowblowing his driveway late (the storm petered out at about 10ish) and he used his snowblower on my driveway too. All I had to do was clear off the car and shovel out the head of the drive (where the plows plowed me in) and be on my way. So nice!

I know that Gwen's commute, generally about an hour or so on public transportation took her just over four hours in the storm. Some people spent four or five hours trying to drive under fifteen miles. Terrible!

So because I haven't had the time to do any shopping for the holiday, I got up this morning insanely early to go to the mall. There is really no one around at just before 8am at the mall. I was done in about an hour. All told, I got home from my pedestrian errands and shopping trip around noon.

I've been watching the day turn from bright sun to overcast, and am expecting to see snow at any moment. It is supposed to get really really messy. So I've ticked all the adults off my shopping list and I just need ideas for the wee relatives. Next weekend I'll roam a bit farther afield I think...

Everyone doing okay? Don't let the weather get you down!
I've been stuck in sewing hell for the last few days, and my computer time was zero... BUT I am pleased to report I finished the last stitching on the quilts for my nieces this morning in time to wrap them up for giving this afternoon.

They were a huge hit. Seeing as B's was nothing but three color runs of fabric (no joining fabric even cut yet, nothing put together), I am pretty damn pleased. And G and B ran around with them the rest of the afternoon. Other big hits with the girls: the blue Slinky G got. The lizard LED light B got. The big-girl bike (no training wheels) G got. And Favorite Baby's new pink playsuit outfit. Favorite Baby is the name of B's favorite doll. All the other baby dolls are simply "Baby." This one is "Favorite Baby" and Favorite Baby must go with her at all times (she'll be 3 in February so not so much with the sense-making).

I am *so* glad this holiday is done. I am so tired! The late nights and early mornings of intensive quilting to make sure I got finished in time have taken their toll. I am so sleeping in tomorrow!

I hope whatever mid-winter holiday you all celebrate went well. The calendar year is drawing to a close, and Huzzah! (sploosh) This coming year should be better in many ways.

It is time for today to end.

Its is that time of year! The dance studio's annual Nutcracker show. There are only eighty children (ages 6-18) in this year's Nutcracker. The lights were very easy - I played during the dress rehearsal this morning, programmed all the cues in at lunch. First show went fairly smoothly. Tomorrow we just have two more and that is it! The three girls sharing the sugarplum fairy role are very good. They are some of the students I can pick out in whatever number they do because they are so good. These are the kids taking four to seven dance classes a week.

Shopping returns... suck this time of year. My brother got me a really nice sweater for my birthday, but it is too large. I need the next size down (both my brother and sister in law are twigs, so they tend to over estimate clothing for those of us who are real-sized people - which makes me say, but I can estimate *your* size correctly, why can't you see I am not as fat as you think I am?!?).

Anyway, I took the sweater back, to get the right size, and the sweater comes in black and red. I like the red. No one, no where has the red in my size. I mean, WTF? I can get it in any size but mine. I *like* the red. I have too many black clothes as it is, and it is a lovely shade of red (on the blue side of the red-scale, so it makes me look pink-cheeked and not sallow). I hate having a birthday this time of the year. It gets lost during Thanksgiving (I was told I couldn't have a party for my tenth birthday because the holiday season was too stressful. I still bring that up to horrify my mother. I was also a brat as a teenager making everyone celebrate *on* my birthday, *for* my birthday even if it *was* Thanksgiving day. Yeah, I can remember my brother's birthday parties as a kid far easier than mine. He was born in May, and beautiful May days a lot of the games were outside. Mine were held in the basement due to cold/rain/snow. Our basement is not finished. Yeah, unresolved bitterness...). Anyway, I ended up not exchanging it for the black in my size, because I am thinking I might be able to find one in red after christmas.

Which brings up a whole other "thing." Christmas and my lack of funds this year. I am likely to scale way back. I've got one joint gift for my parents, and I am making gifts for the girls (I just need buckets of time to finish). My brother and sister in law are gonna be a problem... I have no earthly clue.

Okay, I am done whining. I think it is this headache, and I am fighting a cold so I am more likely to whinge on. Anyone seen "Happy Feet"? Any reviews? Liked it, hated it? Tell me, please!


etakyma: (Default)


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