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Our Christmas 2014 Highlights

Gladly, Christmas took it’s time getting here this year. It didn’t sneak attack but rather stealthily aimed itself at my life and I prepared for the onslaught with the small people in mind. It’s easy to be slack about holiday happenings when you’re a swingin’ single gal. You are carefree as it ought to be. Because the next phase of your life involves being responsible for small lives and their happiness forever.

Playing with the Christmas loot on shalavee.com

Littles need lots of selfless consideration, preferably well in advance so you don’t get knocked for a loop when the big present might not arrive in time. But there’s really nothing to be done about the fading sound of the ringing of the belief bell.

Her very own laptop on Shalavee.com

Christmas 2014 highlights necessarily include happiness and a little disaster. Of course Eamon woke up the first day of Christmas break sneezing and gifted me his cold for Christmas. My nose was in the holiday mode with red and green nostril discharge at any given time throughout. Festive! And Fiona can now say Ah-choo, so funny.

And then Christmas Eve, I walked into our office to see Fiona at the desk on the chair with my open laptop pressing the on button. And then pressed it off. It would seem that the computer has to “repair” itself after such an incident. I thought my brain would explode with worrying. And then, for some unknown reason, I thought it would then be a fabulous idea to make another round of cookies that same day too. But everything is well that ends well.

Waiting for the cookies to bake on shalavee.com

Our new hot water heater, installed last Spring, hadn’t been doing its 80 gallon best and a test of the bottom element found it to be bad. Really? I think I’m officially a grumpy old lady because new appliances are now a dreadful thing to me. Like when you get them and they don’t work or they’re really loud or they aren’t as efficient as the last one. Hate that. I offer my vacuum cleaner picture as proof.

Kenmore vacuums aren't what they used to be on Shalavee.com

But Mark went right ahead and called and the part will be here this week. Unfortunately he’ll have to install it and that should prove tricky with his hand healing after a carpal tunnel operation tomorrow. One hand Stan I’ll be calling him.

Princess potty on Shalavee.com

Happiness was everywhere. I decorated three beautiful trees without a hitch. There were no complaints about the presents because either the child got what they wanted or didn’t have a clue that such a day existed and was so very happy to have new presents magically appear. And this year I made sure to number the presents on the bottoms with a master list for me so the present shaker was thrown off. It worked!!!

All three children together on Shalavee.com

But most of all, my children were happy and healthy and here with us opening presents and stealing candy cane chunks to suck until she spit out the plastic wrapping. And we had food on our table that we shared. More than some others during these holy days. If we could get around our shame and our pride, many people could enjoy their holidays just a little more.

So Happy New Year to All and I hope you have much to be grateful for.

See you in 2015. Otherwise known as Friday.

Another Annoyances List Post

I’m generally a pretty positive person. But the edge you see every once in a while, it’s still me. Only edgier. I’m overdue for an annoyances list post so here’s my most recent rant of pet peeves that have bugged me since my last rant.

I’m irked by the insincerity of peppy positive people saying “You’ve got this”. I’m flattered that you want to act like you believe in me but you don’t know me. And if you don’t know me then you are not allowed to have faith in my abilities. I don’t always have this faith. Sometimes I do but I’ll tell you when I’ve got this, OK?

And equally, from a while back, the overused snarky, ”Just saying” always implies judgement which, once said, can’t be taken back by uttering this phrase. It ranks up there with my now deceased Grandmother’s “Well bless her heart” which always meant there was a judgement coming about how pathetic whoever it was whose heart needed blessing was.

Frozen wasn’t a very good movie. I just watched Tangled and it was waayy better. But any and all the over-hyped merchandise pushing movie campaigns are annoying. Especially the Disney empire because the sad hypocrisy is that the Disney company, according to the wishes of the now deceased Mr. Walt Disney himself, is anti family health coverage. No, their employes do not automatically have their families covered ever. They should consider themselves lucky to be employed. Um, hypocrites.

me and my shadow man from Shalavee.com

And lastly, those posts/emails that command you to chain mail forward them or else. Or else you’ll befall bad luck. Or else you won’t be showing solidarity with the women folk. Or else you won’t receive ten recipes that you will be forever glad to have. I don’t like threats. Or online blackmail. And I will probably never forward it to ten of my closest women friends so please avoid me when you send those out. I still love ya’ K?

OK. Now I feel better. Hostilities purged and ready to continue to spread good cheer to humanity as usual. Thanks for listening. And please feel free to share your own irksome acknowledgements in the comments. Husband gave me a couple and they were good ones. Perhaps we’ll hear them from him in his own words?

The Napkin Lady

We called her The Napkin Lady. She’d come into the restaurant during off hours like after lunch. She’s order something small from the swing shift waitress. And then, when she was in the empty-ish dining room, she’d grab all the napkins from the settings of the neighboring tables and head for the bathroom. The toilets in the lady’s room would always be stopped up after her visits.

Baltimore on the Fallsway on Shalavee.com

I’d like to tell you that we all felt sorry for her. We kinda did but that toilet situation made it difficult for those of us who had to clean up the overflow. And eventually she was given a warning. I don’t know if she was banned. But I do know that she was also a “cat collector” and lived right down the street so that I would walk by her house occasionally. She was weird but sweet. And no one wanted her shame to rub off on them.

parking curbs on Shalavee.com

We distance ourselves from people who seem needy or less fortunate. As if shame and misfortune and self-loathing may be contagious. Who wants to serve the homeless food at the holidays when it reminds people of where they never want to be? Let’s go the mall instead where everything is OK, shiny, and perfect. Why bring the holiday mood down by taking a hard look at where we could go but for the grace of God.

Goldborough house in Denton, Maryland on Shalavee.com

Sure I find myself frustrated when I am confronted with homeless men at every stop light in downtown Baltimore holding cardboard signs claiming their shameful plight. I don’t ever remember there being this many of them. And I am very tempted to take the beltway round next time. Because I don’t want that poverty and need in my face. Somehow it reflects badly of society or the city and of me.

Behind the building on Shalavee.com

But what if we didn’t cause it and we came from a place of compassion for the people who are whacked and downtrodden. What if we disengaged from all the judgements and defenses and panic and just sat with the idea that world cooks up lots and lots of recipes for people and not all of them are good. But there they are and deserve to be seen but not necessarily fixed by you or me. If we didn’t make it about us then maybe we sometimes could make it about them. And show our humanity every once in a while.

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