Weekend Coffee Share: Christmas Day in the Rain

If we were having coffee together, today, it would undoubtedly be via telephone. Here in eastern North Dakota we are enjoying a rainstorm that promises to turn to sleet when the temperatures drop below freezing. There’s still coffee and hot water for tea. Also, milk and hot chocolate mix. Treats are sparse as I am trying to lose weight (diabetes diagnosis), and Al is joining in on the effort by limiting high-calorie food choices at the grocery store.

Our Christmas Eve gathering took place on Tuesday evening, and we were not able to visit my father, due both to uncertain weather forecasts and my not feeling well. My youngest brother made the trip, earlier in the week, and I enjoyed looking at the photographs that he took that day of Dad, the house, and old WWII pictures that I had not seen before now. I plan to download a few more.

my father, in uniform, getting a haircut
Father, Pacific Theatre, WWII

I would tell you that I am enjoying these three days off from activities. The kitchen sink holds no dirty dishes; i should take a picture to remind myself what that looks like. And the laundry’s done and things folded or otherwise put away in their designated spots.

Since we last visited, the Scampers have eaten only half a dozen towels/dishcloths. Fortunately, one of our grandnephews gifted us with dishcloths, Tuesday evening. And his grandmother and grandfather gave us an oven mitt and a pair of hot-pads.

There was a surprise when we got to this year’s house of holiday celebration. There was spaghetti and meat sauce, rather than the traditional turkey or ham. They’d fixed gluten-free pasta as well as wheat, so I could share in the lovely spaghetti sauce. Oh, my!

One nephew, with his son and SO, headed out for Florida via North Carolina ahead of the storm, and another, with his bride, arrived just after the first’s departure to spend the Christmas weekend with his parents.

I would confide that I am just as happy not to be with a group of people during this three-day weekend. We are enjoying the silence, the lack of activity, and “puppy time” with the Scampers. I already have deserted the puppies several times for extra naps. Not feeling so tense as I had earlier in the week.

Currently I am just finishing my week’s reread of Sharon Shinn’s novels with Fortune and Fate. Next, I think, I will go back to reading L.E. Modesitt, Jr.’s science fiction novels, starting with The One-Eyed Man or Gravity Dreams.

Wishing you and yours a joyful winter (or summer) holiday season.


P.S. You will find our Weekend Coffee Share host at Part Time Monster with a holiday blog post and the linky to other participants in this week’s Weekend Coffee Share.


You can’t go home again

. . . but photographs are fun to look through. We got our first digital camera in 2003 and started taking photographs. I am the oldest of the seven children, six still living, who made it to adulthood.

My father and two of his daughters, home at Christmastime
Father & Granddaughters

One brother (third from the youngest) still lives in the home town. The above picture is of our father with the brother’s two daughters on Christmas Day 2005. Below, a few snapshots of the living room some years later, sans tree.

a photo of of parents' living room
Living Room
living room with fire place, book shelves, chair (and husband), and wall art
Living Room, Fireplace and Reference Book Shelves and My Husband

Since the last of the children left home, the encyclopedia sets (Compton’s and Britannica) were moved to shelves downstairs The Great Books of the Western World remain on the built-in bookshelves beside the fireplace.

At holidays, three tables stretched from kitchen to the Christmas tree, when families were smaller, and for the opening of the presents, Christmas Day, there was barely enough floor space to accommodate everyone. These days, even if the parents were still up to hosting Christmas, just my next youngest sibling, his wife, his children and their grandchildren would fill all of the available space. To get all of us together (and we’re scattered from coast to coast) would require a small park.

rev. 2016-01-23.

Christmas Week | Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would welcome you to the basement family room, so that I can keep track of the procession of laundry through the washer and dryer. There is plenty of room, because most of the furniture has not been returned to the basement after installation of an egress window. That was in late summer. As we’ve gotten older, I’ve spent more time in my former office on the main floor of the house. Now that there is a fire exit, I will feel comfortable transferring more activities downstairs.

I would share my feeling that my health is finally on the upswing, now that there is enough snow on the ground to cover most of the grass and weeds. On both Thursday and Friday we enjoyed outings, and I came away from them feeling invigorated. Saturday is a sleep-in day, and my husband is sleeping in. I’ve been reheating coffee from last night, but I’m now putting on a fresh pot, and there’s hot water for tea. (I’ve replenished my supply of Oolong and enjoyed a cup before I went to bed, last night.) And I was pleased after the last snow finally to see rabbit tracks across our yard. I have hope that they are an indicator that the rabbits who were born and grew up in my garden this past summer are still alive and healthy.

This past week was up and down. I had a lot of trouble sleeping for any long stretches. I fell asleep often throughout the day, which left me feeling wobbly. Meals have been hit-and-miss. We did go to the grocery that we do not like, beginning of the week, to purchase Dole lettuce; it’s the only store left that stocks it, although I notice that the store brands are gradually edging it out. I’ve enjoyed having green leafies again. On Thursday I had an appointment at the salon for my eight-week haircut. In case there will be holiday photographs, we decided to leave an extra eighth of an inch, this time. Normally I have it cut to half an inch, but this time, to five-eighths. It is a marked change from the twenty-four inches of a year and a half ago, but it’s easier to wash and dry, which cuts down on allergens, and generally much less bother.

Twice since reaching adulthood I let my hair grow long enough for a nice braid. The rest of the time (ever since my mother told me that I had to take responsibility for my own hair care) I have opted for short hair…most often a “buzz cut”. For years, the family YMCA was across the street from our office building, and I swam for half an hour before work, each day.

We stocked up on groceries, Tuesday, before the storm, but must replenish perishables. Especially fruits! We hope to get out for a restaurant meal, this weekend. Last time we arrived too late at the Olive Garden, and so went on to Denny’s. Going to try for a before-five mealtime. I want to sample OG’s gluten-free pasta. Love their salads! I may splurge and have a glass of wine (which they still will not sell in 3-ounce servings).

I wrote a lot of haiku, this week, both on this blog and QuietSpaces.net, in addition to the two weekly challenges. I took very few photographs. Among the family members (my family of origin) many emails and FB posts have been exchanged. Things to straighten out, adjustments to be made, and wondering about where to find the presents that we have decided on for Al’s sister and brother-in-law.

I hope that I will last longer at the Christmas celebration than I did at Thanksgiving. Maybe there will be fewer people and much less perfume. I would love to spend at least the dinner hour with family before heading home for another shower. I am hoping for turkey, but suspect that since there was turkey at Thanksgiving, the Christmas celebration comes with baked ham.

The delight of the week: We found some soup mugs and also very heavy microwaveable bowls on sale at Macy’s and bought two each of two different styles. The heavy bowls are deep and just the right size, and so we went back to the store yesterday and bought three more bowls, at 40% off instead of the 30% off of the previous visit.

Our microwave bowls and cups, long suffering, had begun to crack, and so we decided to toss the ones that show flaws and avoid microwave explosions. One cup already lost its handle upon removal from the microwave, dumping hot soup on me and surroundings. I would like simply  to toss the older, flawed dishes and cups that are no longer safe to use. Among other things, I think it would cut down on the number of dishes I have to wash at one time. Life Simplification!

I hope that this week is enjoyable for you, whether gathering together, avoiding gatherings or continuing with customary activities.


P.S. I’m finding that I enjoy writing these Weekend Coffee Share posts (visit Part Time Monster HERE). I hope to find more time to read other people’s, this weekend. The end of the week has involved longer waking periods. I am hopeful!