Weekend Thread: Dec. 15-17, 2017
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It's been a while since we had a thread, so what's up with your weekend?
I have a few things on. Today (Friday), I had lunch downtown with a friend, which was nice (we spent most of the time hitting each other with book bullets LOL). I walked there and back and only slipped on the ice once. Hit my head - not my most vulnerable area. I also got to try the recently-opened funicular, which transports people down the river bank in style.
Tonight I'm going to see West Side Story as put on by my nephew's high school drama class. Not super excited for it, but kid is so thrilled that I'm going to attend that it's worth it.
Saturday I just have a meeting with some potential Hort Society volunteers in the morning, but I hope to get to the Farmers Market either before or after.
Sunday is the thing I'm most excited about: the annual Christmas bird count. I'm a "feeder watcher" which means I sit in my living room, enjoying cups of tea and snacks, while keeping track of species and number of birds that come to my feeder.
Tonight we went to look at Christmas lights throughout our town. We took my 86 year old mother, and ended at a restaurant for pie. Overall, it was a very nice evening, my son surprised us at the restaurant, on his way home from Reno, NV. However, the sweet friendly "spirit of Christmas" has fled our town.
My husband was urged to slow down by mom and myself. He pulled to the side of the road as soon as possible and was careful, and these were on small, residential streets, but still people zoomed up on him and honked to get past. When he pulled to the side at one point, a zombie looking man came and stared into the car. Another time, a woman in a pickup drove up close to the side of our vehicle and said, "I saw you stopped by my house, what were you doing there!?" Husband said, "I am showing my mother-in-law the Christmas lights." My 86 year old mom is in the front seat. We do not have a beat up car. She says, "I don't have Christmas lights!" Um, your neighbors across the street do? She finally drove on.
It was better in other parts of town, but really, do people not do this any more? Or is our town just "special."
Tomorrow I am going to Farmer's market for some lamb or goat. My daughter wants a good curry when she comes home for Christmas. Also, there is a new food truck there. The owners have been using my boss's lot to park on and I've been talking to the Canadian chef who runs it. She made me promise to try her food. She cooks with what is available at the market so that will be fun.
Otherwise it is wrapping gifts, baking (maybe), and doing my weekend chores.
On Friday night I went for Christmas drinks with a few colleagues. It was a very pleasant evening.
At the moment I a sitting in the IKEA restaurant having just had some delicious Swedish meat balls and a slice of cheesecake.
I shall now return home and do household chores including assembling a new single bed which we did not get at IKEA.
Yesterday was the office Christmas lunch, and yet another IT annoyance - the developer's folder in Corporate Documents has vanished after Business Objects was patched on Thursday so everyone's work has gone.
Today we walked into town for the farmer's market, and after a light lunch we saw The Last Jedi. We've just got home after doing the weekly shop.
Last night was an early night as we were both exhausted. Because we went to bed early, we were up at the crack of dawn, which is way too early on a Saturday! But we were able to get a workout in, go grocery shopping, and clean house all before 11 am!
We then went out to lunch to celebrate: The Husband got a raise yesterday and I passed my National Board Certification! Woohoo! That was a three year process and a whole lotta work! Not to mention $3000 to pay for it! Luckily it comes with a $2500 raise from my school district.
I am now in the middle of baking three batches of cookies: sugar cookies that will be melted snowman after decorating, molasses gingerbread cookies, and chocolate peppermint cookies. They will be going to my neighbors.
Tomorrow will be decorating said snowman cookies and reading.
Oh and >2 MrsLee: our town still does Christmas light drive-bys. In fact, my neighborhood is one that goes all out and gets lots of traffic on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. We will probably get quite a few tonight, too.
l’m sending Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, baking, and getting a box ready to mail to California. Also ordering some gifts online.
My husband is doing the cooking this weekend.
And he got us tickets for the Shen Yun Chinese dance matinee on New Year’s Eve!
I spent half the day washing and prepping produce from Farmer's market.
The other half was spent inspecting, vacuuming and cleaning a couch, chair and ottoman for my living room. I bought them for my son a year or so ago, but things in his life have changed and he doesn't need them now, so I'm going to get rid of my couch and chair and replace them with these. They are a rich deep red wine color and make my living room very warm and cozy.
Friday night at 10 pm Inky-the-Cat decided that he needed attention, so climbed up on the roof, got scared and started howling. Fortunately the house is single storey, so the roof isn't that far up. So Kitty managed to get the entire family up ladders calling, while he retreated on to the ridge of the roof, and from one end of the house to the other. Like we had nothing else to do. Pressure of other things meant we gave up after about an hour and a half, leaving one unhappy cat on the roof, loudly.
Up at dawn (early as it's about midsummer here) to get ready for Jess's* doggy-school Fun Day. Cat still wailing on roof. So I got a ladder out (again), and Cat stayed just out of reach (again). So Better Half went off laden with garden furniture and stuff to doggy school, and I got on with getting up. To hear a gentle lapping sound at a water bowl ... it was Inky, down at last.
One of the exercises at the Fun Day was Sit -- Stay and Stay -- Down. Fifteen dogs did this perfectly, but the sixteenth got bored about 20 seconds into the Down phase and wandered off to greet the others. Need I add that the sixteenth dog was Jess?
Oh, and yesterday was a public holiday here (long story, infringing in large part on the sign at the Pub door) and an important political meeting -- why am I not surprised that the main story in last night's news was that proceedings were delayed by 7 hours by registration glitches?
* Jess after Dog's girlfriend in Footrot Flats. Like the cartoon original, she's a black-and-white creature of, er, uncertain ancestry.
>8 hfglen: Ah, the joy of pet ownership! I wonder if there was a Jellicle moon last night?
>8 hfglen: Jess is a borderline collie?
The Christmas bird count is proving a disappointment. My feeders, normally busy, are deserted. Possibly because it's very windy, possibly because the ungrateful little wretches know I'm watching for them.
>10 tardis: Probably one of her ancestors was. Apart from the colour, her shape is strongly reminiscent of a "Pharaoh Dog" or Africanis.
>10 tardis: When we did the bird count thing, I swear they knew what we were up to. We could only count the birds between certain hours, and the feeders would be amazingly empty at those times. Up until a half hour before, and starting soon after the end, masses of the little cheeps were there.
We did zilch this weekend. Hung around the house. Read books. Fooled around on the internet. Watched a movie. Snacks. Wine. Martinis. Cheese. Then the cat sneezed on the cheese and that was that. Cats are butts.
Well, after yesterday's junketing, I finally got himself to finish clearing up the piles of paper he's been steadily bringing back from his flat and dumping in the sitting room (I've only been nagging for the last 3 months). The tree is now 80% built - I wanted to get it into the corner before I slotted in the last branches and got the fairy lights on - but I've now discovered (or not) the transformer for the lights has vanished. It's not in any of the Christmas boxes including the one where it should be. Grrr.
Of course, if I buy a new set I'll find it when I get home. I suppose the lights ought to be replaced - goodness knows they're old enough (I inherited them when we cleared Mum's house) and I don't think I can get the specific replacement bulbs any more. Himself has a vague memory of the transformer being put in the attic sometime after the rest of the Christmas stuff went up, but I can't find it.
(Yes, I know, it's an artificial tree but I object to spending the next 6 months finding pine needles all over the house - not to mention spending hours getting the blasted thing to stay upright within 5 degrees of the vertical. That tree cost Mum £40 in a pre-Christmas sale at Homebase some 15 years ago and although it sheds a bit, it's nowhere as bad as a real tree. She'd left it too late to get a real tree and when I got home just before Christmas she expected me to find a decent one. Funnily enough, we never got a real tree again.)
Re birds, despite the recent snow we've not seen many on our feeder - until we put out a half-coconut filled with suet & exciting bits (well, exciting if you're a bird of the feathered variety), and all of a sudden the starlings descended and started getting acrobatic and squabbling.
I have NO deadlines hanging over me for the next three weeks. How luxurious it's going to be.
This weekend I finished an initial stab at a research proposal and a freelance article. The three programs scheduled for December are over. I broke the revenue mark for the year (barely) but the point is that I crossed that finish line as well.
I am looking forward to some serious reading time BEFORE the New Year. (Although I do need to get some Christmas decorations up in the next few days. And wrap some gifts. And maybe bake?)
Over-extended? Me? Where did you get that idea?
>15 jillmwo: May you sink into the joys of the season, and leave all the stress behind! I am looking forward to wrapping the few gifts I have to wrap, and yet, procrastination has set in. I think it is because there isn't much to wrap that I keep putting it off. That and the mental barrier to digging all the wrapping stuff out of the cupboard...
Hope you find lots of immersive time to read, and good reading matter to fill it with!
I haven't been online much lately, so am posting late. Friday I got one parcel in the mail, did a bit of shopping, dropped off several Christmas donations around town, walked the ski trails (three days of freezing rain over the past week has rendered the ski tracks dangerously icy) and attended a potluck Christmas party for the literacy society, which was nice. Saturday I watched birds, finished Artemis, did more Christmas shopping, and walked the ski trails again. Sunday I was up early to have breakfast with a friend and drop her off at the bus station by 7:30. I went home and watched birds for a while after that, put up a new bird feeder, put bindings on a newish used pair of skis I picked up, walked dogs with a friend, then went to the college staff and students Christmas dinner. After I got back I procrastinated on getting my other presents wrapped and ready for the mail.
I was really excited this morning to see some different-looking birds at my feeder - when I got the binoculars out they were a pair of red crossbills - a species I've never seen before! The male stayed mostly on the wrong side of the feeder, so I didn't get a good look, but the female stayed for quite a while where I could see her. I tried a few picutres, but the light was really bad, so they aren't very good. Fortunately I am only working half days this week, so it didn't matter that I was really late for work.
It's snowing a little today, so I'm going to try skiing again after work. We'll see how icy it is now.
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