I was up early (nothing new there) to prepare the Christmas goose while listening to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.Continue reading “Christmas Morning Candids”
Sunday Afternoon Family Gaming
Sunday afternoon, once my Texas offspring recuperated from the long drive and boundless energy of the eighteen month old grandson, Derek suggested we play a game. He had brought several with him from home, a few with short play times (as little as five or ten minutes) and more complex board games that require more setup and explanation. I’d previously played Camel Up and Parade, neither of which I was in the mood for. 5-minute Dungeon I want to try before he heads back to Texas.
Derek suggested we play Pandemic, which I’ve been wanting to try for several years. While the grandson ran Royna ragged, Derek, Rachelle and I played two games of Pandemic. Kudos to my offspring for suffering through the first game and my steep learning curve.Continue reading “Sunday Afternoon Family Gaming”
The Return of the Rest of the Offspring
Yesterday, while Rachelle and I braved shopping at Costco, Lowe’s and Target, my son, daughter-in-law and grandson drove safely but surprisingly quickly up I-35 from North Texas to Northeastern Kansas. They made only one stop, for gasoline at the southernmost KTA (Kansas Turnpike Authority) rest area. This is an amazing fete considering my grandson isn’t yet eighteen months old (that happens on the 9th day of Christmas next year).
The consequence, however, of a baby who sleeps for about nine hours on a family road trip is predictable (see photo above). By early evening, Derek and Royna were dozing on our new sectional while Senna wanted to explore all the strange new environment of our home. Interestingly, he’s not overly interested in the Christmas tree or the presents tucked underneath. Rather, he found one of the Costco boxes to be endlessly entertaining as well as an impromptu piano lesson from Rachelle which introduced him to a new noise maker he could easily reach.Continue reading “The Return of the Rest of the Offspring”
Welcome to Winter Solstice Eve Morning
Good morning and welcome to the last half day before Winter. Officially, Winter begins tonight after ten o’clock (Central time)
Winter Solstice 2019 Countdown
Enjoy the shortest day of the year because I’m looking forward to the longest, darkest night of the year – every amateur astronomers dream.
Today, my son, daughter-in-law and grandson are driving here from Texas. They left before dawn and we anticipate their arrival late this afternoon.
With the help of my daughter, who arrived earlier this week, my main floor living area is mostly baby proof. And the new furniture was delivered Thursday afternoon. And Friday, Rachelle setup the Christmas tree and last night over home-made pizza we decorated (or rather she decorated because she’s the artistic one).
Rachelle and I will spend part of the day shopping, taking advantage of her Costco membership to stock up on food she can eat (corn allergy) and for the rest of the family as well. While I have a Christmas goose in the freezer, I need to plan for other meals and sides. Instead of just Terry and I to feed, I’ll have three to four times that many to provide for.
So we are ready for family gathering and making new memories until we once again scatter back to our nests for the new year.
My daughter landed early and safely very late Tuesday evening but didn’t step off the plane until Wednesday morning (technically a couple of minutes past midnight). Despite arriving at least fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, no gate crew could be found once the plane taxied to Terminal C. I kept my self from dozing off in the cell phone parking lot by leaving the car turned off despite temperatures in the teens. Rachelle finally called me and I navigated the surprisingly congested orange cone maze of construction that is the remaining two terminals at KCI to retrieve her before she froze to death. An uneventful drive home through Platte City and Leavenworth found us back at home by 1:30 a.m. My alarm goes off at 5:18 am.
Unsurprisingly, I ignored my alarm and slept an extra hour. I had convinced myself that Wednesday was the department gift exchange so I absolutely had to drive to work. I realized mid-morning that the gift exchange was Thursday so I could have worked from home. However, it was a mixed blessing, my absentmindedness, as it gave me the opportunity to take a late lunch and shop for my daughter at Trader Joe’s on Ward Parkway, about 10-15 minutes south of where I work. She has a corn allergy and many products at Trader Joe’s are safe for her to eat. And I found that of the two Trader Joe’s stores in the KC metro area, the one on Ward Parkway was larger and much easier to access than the one I visited last Saturday in Overland Park.Continue reading “Daughter Downloaded”
In the midst of my second system upgrade of the week, my son called me to warn me they had changed their minds and were planning to drive up from Texas to visit us in Kansas for Christmas. My brain halted. Upgrade on hold. What?!?!
Our house, which we’ve lived in since February 1999, has never been baby or toddler proofed. In that year, 1999, you may remember, the one where everyone was panicking about Y2K, my children were in third grade and sixth grade (starting middle school in fact). So definitely no need to protect them from getting into drawers full of knives and kitchen utensils, nor from electric outlets and chemicals stored under the kitchen sink.
I’m really trying not to panic, truly I am.
My daughter flies in from Seattle next Wednesday at midnight. She will stay for ten days. That has been planned for weeks now. She was going to have the guest bedroom. Now, unfortunately, she will be relegated to an air bed in the cavernous great room or sleeping with me and/or her dad in the master bedroom. Terry and I tag team sleeping anyway because I am a morning person and he is a night owl. And we have a king size bed that all three of us could sleep in with room to spare.
So my son, daughter-in-law and grandson will have the guest bedroom.
Today I’ll shop for my daughter at Trader Joe’s because she has an alergy to corn. Fun fact (not so fun for her): Corn is in almost all processed and packaged foods and does NOT have to be listed on the ingredients.
Tomorrow I won’t be able to shop because we are under a winter weather advisory for 2-4 inches of snow from Sunday at 9 am until Monday at 6 pm. So I’ll have absolutely no excuse not to clean and baby proof my home.
Check back on Monday and I’ll post my progress.
The Curse of the unChristmas Spirit Lifted
I was a bit shocked last week when I returned to work from a normal weekend to see traditional Christmas decorations in the elevator lobby, including Christmas trees and presents. The relief was palpable. If you read my last post, you’ll understand what nine years of PC purgatory looked like. The vote is still out on the winner of the worst decoration (I’m leaving the poll open until after Thanksgiving).
I’ve been sick the last couple of day, and so has my furnace. It’s having surgery right now in my basement. All of this meant we had to cancel our annual trip to visit my son, daughter-in-law and grandson for Thanksgiving. I don’t want them to get sick with whatever I’ve got and I can’t leave my house unattended with an unreliable furnace. I guess I’ll get caught up on my early winter reading.
I wish all of you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. Spend quality time with your family and friends. I’ll have to substitute a video call with my far-flung offspring.
Nine Years of unHoliday Spirit
I started this blog in October 2010, over nine years ago. I had blogged for a couple of years, writing book reviews mostly, on MySpace, but didn’t care for their interface. Once I found GoodReads (Summer 2008), I started writing reviews there and then when I re-discovered my love for astronomy, I needed a place to post photos and write about my new adventures. Less than two months into my new blog, after returning to work from Thanksgiving, I walked into my building and saw the most hideous holiday decorations of my life. I took a photo with my cell phone (remember, it was nearly ten years ago, so the quality sucks) and post the first of my longest running blog series on ‘unHoliday’ decorations.
To see all the lobby decorations for the past nine years, click on the photo above to be taken to my Flickr album.
For the past nine years I had to console myself with the Country Club Plaza Lights, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center, the Kansas City Life Insurance Building and an annual trip to the inside of Union Station.
There is hope for my building as the Curse of the unChristmas Spirit appears to have been lifted and will be revealed in a forthcoming post.
Welcome to my annual roasting of my building’s attempts at modern art holiday decorating. When I showed my husband this year’s photo, his first words were: “Bowling pins?”
I had to concede his point. At least this year the dominant color is red with a swash of green.
A Deer in the Headlights
It’s not bad enough that my Texas trip was cancelled at the last minute. Or that I haven’t seen the sun since before Thanksgiving and that Kansas City is experiencing it’s fifth consecutive day of rain and drizzle (more rain today as it’s slightly above freezing). Or that I gave up my day off to voluntarily drive the vanpool to work because I believed both my back drivers had requested this Monday after Thanksgiving off. Surprise! Both of them rode in the van this morning.
Nope, it couldn’t possibly get any worse, right? Until I remembered as I got off the parking garage elevator and walked to the building elevators and saw this: