Christmas Coundown- finally here (almost) December 24

We got everything wrapped today- although it took most of the day- working off & on. We also got mr 9’s stitches out & the plumber came out to look at the pipes- he fixed the pipe but the pump is either burnt out or the well is very low because we still can’t get a drop of water up here. Because of my previous experiences with water problems & the plumber when we went to town to pick up a few things & meet up with the doctor for the stitches removal we got some more water bottles. Now I will be praying for a chrismas miracle – on the plumber’s suggestion we’re leaving the power to the pump off all night on the hope that it’s just the well a little low & that it will build up so when he stops by tomorrow afternoon & we turn it back on that the pump will kick in.  However I never thought about the pump until this morning when I got up & heard it (I think) & went out in the wind & the rain to look in the basement window (@5:30 a.m. in my nightgown) and saw water on the floor. The plumber said if the pump was trying to pump all the time the water was frozen in the pipes it could have burnt itself out. Which would be a stunningly bad thing because my pump is burried in the yard & was just replaced in 2004 (by the previous owner of my house) ms 18 is ragingly furious at me because she needs a shower & can’t take one. Somehow this is my fault I’m not sure why exactly but it is in her eyes.

christmastreeHere’s our tree with the gifts- I was a little horrified to realize how few gifts there are under the tree this year- but I at least got it to come out even so all 3 kids have approximately the same amount spent on them- which is important to the 3 of them!
Merry Christmas one & all- I hope everyone has a great holiday!

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through. ~Author Unknown

Christmas Countdown December 23

Mixed blessings at best today- The universe always conspires to remind me there are more important things than making sure the kids all get the same amount spent on them under the tree by pointing me in the direction of what’s truly important at this time of winter solstice (well- yeah- it was Sunday- I know- I’m always very late on this sort of thing) what matters more than anything else is…… Water.
Yes. Water. Monday it was 8 degrees when I left for work & it never got over 25 in my area all day long. The truly upsetting thing is that when I left for work we had water- it was dripping into the bucket I keep under my tub faucet- because it drips a lot & I tried the kitchen sink too- it was working slowly but working.
When I went to break at work I found I had a text message from ms 18 announcing that the pipes seemed to be frozen & we had no water. We do keep gallons of water for this type of thing (more for when the power is out & the pump doesn’t pump) so it wasn’t such a big deal really. Not yesterday.
I of course told her to open the kitchen cabinets- wanted her to bring the heater from upstairs down to the kitchen- which she wouldn’t do- she turned on the oven instead & nothing defrosted.
This morning it was chilly- 16 degrees on my way to work- but it got up to 39 or so- unfortunately the water is at the back of the house in the kitchen & bathroom which are facing north- the bathroom gets some sun in the afternoon- from April to October or so- but this time of year- both rooms see no sun & don’t get very warm without help.
Ms 18 ran the oven a little but there’s still no water at all. We picked up fresh water at the store & I did dishes with water warmed on the stove in pans but I’m pretty tired of it & beginning to worry about broken pipes between the pump in the ground & the basement (there’s nothing broken in the basement- mr 9 has checked it & tonight while I was out at the shed getting the kid’s presents out in preparation for wrapping them tonight & tomorrow I checked too through the window with the basement light on)
Tomorrow the weather is supposed to warm up a lot- up to the high 40’s-low 50’s so hopefully it’s just frozen pipes & hopefully they’ll thaw tomorrow!

kittehattacksvillageThis kitty thought the little village we put up was just for him & slept in it until he’d knocked all the houses off of it! What a maroon! (I’ve been wanting to use that Bugs Bunny line for days now- not sure why)

Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish.  Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself.  ~Francis C. Farley

Christmas Countdown December 22

You know- I was reflecting today that I started this particular Christmas season really excited about the holiday- I thought I would be done Shopping by December 12 & enjoying myself for the rest of the season. No hustle & bustle- running from store to store in the crowds. Surprise! I was out until nearly 9 tonight running around trying to complete all I needed to do- especially ms 12’s gifts I just didn’t know what to get her this year. I’m hoping to complete the wrapping by Tomorrow night so I’ll know if there’s any more I need to do in town on Wednesday. We shall see. The house looked especially inviting tonight when I came home at least.

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Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.  ~Author Unknown

Christmas Countdown December 21

This tree was made by my grandmother- it’s just a stuffed cloth tree but she bought miniatures & stitched them to the tree to make it something special-beads to cover the cranberry & popcorn garlands- santas- bears- dollhouses & trains. They’re all represented in 3d on this tree!

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Christmas is a time when you get homesick even when you’re home. ~Carol Nelson.

Christmas Countdown December 20

Here is mr 9 putting together my early Christmas present- the only big one this year & one we need more than I want. It’s a new vacuum cleaner & much needed I admit (the old one blew up around August & we’ve been sweeping the rugs with a broom since then)I’m not particularly enthused about a vacuum cleaner but I will be glad to have clean rugs again. I did not get all my Christmas shopping completed Friday night & have tentative plans to go right after work on Monday night to complete the chore (this is one thing I hate about not having enough money- things like Christmas shopping which should be fun & exciting become a chore because I have to wait until the last minute because one thing after another gobbles up every extra cent I might put by to get a head start on the shopping)

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All you can do is dream of a white Christmas for it seems that it always leaves most of us in the red.

Christmas Countdown December 18

The ‘weekend’ (can’t really be a weekend if I’m working from 10 to 3 tomorrow can it?) began fairly early this morning when I made sure ms 12 got up to go to school – called the school to say mr 9 wasn’t going & went back to sleep.
The Doctor’s office called me back at 8:15 to say the doctor usually is at the local nursing home (where ms 18 works) on Thursdays but if we could come pretty soon she’d see us before going over there.
So we got dressed mr 9 ate toast in the car & I made my breakfast stuff & we ate/drank in the car on the way there & were in the office at quarter to 9. They soaked his foot- checked it out & decided it needed stitches.
Dr O talked with mr 9 about the stitches while she was doing them & gave him a shot to numb the area- now- 3+ hours later he’s pretty much numb there still.
We went to the grocery store & picked up much of the meat we’ll be eating for dinners in the next 2 weeks including a nice roast for Christmas (Turkey once a year is more than enough for me) Now if I can just get the roast the right amount of cooked – as in keep the center nice & rare but not get anyone sick from it!
It looks like We’re going to be going to Chrissie’s daughter’s chorus Christmas recital tonight. That should be fun-even ms 18 is thinking about going with us.
Right now I should be making mouse ornaments & so will let this be for now.

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Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year – and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.  ~W.J. Cameron

Christmas Countdown December 17

This is a day which I’m sure- we’ll look back on & laugh. Someday.
Right now it’s not at all pretty & I’m sure before the week is over I will be stark raving bonkers.
Work was ok- busier than it has been just lately. I came home planning on making cookies because mr 9’s class Christmas party is tomorrow- ms 12’s is Friday & I thought the cookies would keep.
We had a lot of fun making cookies- we made rice krispy treats- easy fudge- chocolate chip cookies & our butter cookie recipe which we used for both simple butter cookies & pepermint & chocolate pinwheel cookies.
I wanted to keep the butter cookies simple- as in roll it into a bar- cut pieces off & bake. Mr 9 wanted to make cookie cutter cookies- which I really don’t like to do- a lot gets wasted & the more you roll it out the tougher the dough gets so the last few cookies are not so good (of course I’m too cheap or frugal to just throw the dough away)
After much debate I split the half of the dough which wasn’t for pinwheel cookies & gave mr 9 about a third of that half to make his cookie cutter cookies.
That was just fine- except that he dropped a cookie cutter while he was making his cookies & didn’t pick it up on his way to the oven to take cookies out.
So then- a little while later- on his way back to the washer & dryer (where he was making his cookies) he stepped on the cookie cutter he had dropped- he stepped hard & now has an inch long gash in his foot.
We cleaned him up & debated what to do next. It is a deep cut but it was already 8:30 by then & of course- since late August the kids don’t have insurance any longer (In March they’ll have insurance through their dad but it’s a long time until March) So I didn’t want to take him to the emergency room.
Ms 18 stayed with him- his foot wrapped in a cloth & elevated. Ms 12 & I went to the grocery store & got big bandages & some anti-bacterial cream with pain killer in it.
I’ve already called our doctor’s office (who will accept payments from me for his care) hopefully they’ll call me first thing in the morning & fit mr 9 in bright & early-I have a feeling it’s going to require a couple of stitches.
Mr 9 is taking the whole thing quite personally- the cookie cutter happened to be in the shape of Texas (my mother lived there for awhile once & bought a lot of things in the shape of & about Texas & gave many of them to me) So now he hates Texas!
He is quite upset about missing school tomorrow this is the kid who has 2 weeks of- beginning after school on Friday & is mad because they don’t have a half day Friday! I found out though- that his upset is not due to scholarly activities it’s  due to the Christmas party.
Cookie baking pictures are below.

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He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L Smith.