Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Humpity hump hump

Get your mind out of the gutter!

It's hump day -- middle of the week. I'm feeling amazingly well. I've slept well recently, with no indicators of limb movements or other maladies that have kept me from getting a restful sleep (or, as Lindsay Wagner says on the sleep number bed commercial, a "recuperative" sleep).

We got the Christmas tree out and set it up Monday night, but didn't decorate. Lisa is one of those anal types that has to spread out the branches, each and every one, so that it looks real and full. Whatever blows your skirt up, honey.

We rearranged the family room, giving it what we feel is a more "homey" look. That night after we rearranged, we saw Joe sitting on the couch for the first time since...since...since I can't remember when. We plan to have this the main staging area for people on Christmas day. There will be two couches, a recliner and an overstuffed armchair in there (the room is 15x22), as well as the Christmas tree and the television. Everything is set up around the fireplace in the center of the outside wall, and we're planning on having a fire burning on Christmas day. It should be quite festive and cozy, I think.

The second couch and recliner will come from the upstairs living room, where we'll have two six foot tables set up for dinner for 15 people. We bought "stuff" to decorate the dinner tables with -- confetti, Santa & Mrs. Claus salt & pepper shakers, minature sleds to put in the center to hold butter, salt & pepper, napkins, etc. Once upon a time I couldn't have cared less about this sort of thing but, with Lisa's childlike pleasure of all things Christmas, you can't help but get into it yourself. I told her the other night that I haven't enjoyed Christmas so much since the kids learned the big bad secret.

Saturday night is her company Christmas party. I'm extremely flattered that everyone at work, including her boss, insisted that I make my party meatballs -- extremely flattered, but they're so much work! It's not the work itself that bothers me, it's the time it takes away from other things I really need to get done. What the heck, I don't do anything constructive between midnight and 6:00 AM, right?

Joe's on a 13 hour day today. Seven hours installing Christmas lights at private residences and six hours cutting, baling, and loading Christmas trees into peoples' cars. He's making $10/hour these days so it doesn't upset him terribly that he's working so many hours. It's only another two weeks before he'll be laid off for the season anyway, until sometime in late February or early March. Gotta make what you can when you can...

It's snowing. They're calling for 2-4 inches this evening and overnight. Lightweight stuff around here, but there are parts of the country where this would literally paralyze a city and shut it right down. I remember going to Fort Meade, MD one year in January to evaluate a training system and, the morning after we'd arrived, it had snowed just a couple of inches, but everything was shut down tighter than a drum. Traffic was at a dead stop and the sound of wheels spinning on pavement filled the air. Around here, 2-4 inches is just nothing to fret about other than whether the kid gets the driveway shoveled so it doesn't melt and then freeze again. An hour and a half south of us, however, where my oldest daughter lives, is under a winter storm watch/warning, with accumulations of 7 inches overnight possible. That's not even enough to shut down schools but it's enough to mess up traffic for the long-distance commuters. This storm is expected to dump a serious load of snow on the southern tier of NY, most of PA, WV and MD, and the northern parts of VA. New York and PA will stay open for business, but WV, MD, and VA will likely close right down.

Now, if you live in an area where it snows a lot, you're probably thinking "Stupid southerners, scared of a little snow," but it's not even that. Those areas typically don't have snow removal equipment because, with the little bit that it does snow, it doesn't warrant or justify the expenditure of funds to purchase that snow removal equipment. If the roads aren't maintained during a snowfall, they're dangerous and it's just easier to shut them down than to have to respond to the bazillions of fender benders that would result.

In Colorado, they don't plow the roads when it snows. They merely salt and gravel the roads -- I don't get why they do that, but they do. It's stupid and dangerous and the trucks that salt/gravel the roads have PLOWS on the front side! Must just be for show... hehe

Even after I sent the paperwork for my ex-husband's bankruptcy filing to the Child Support Enforcement Unit in Albany, I see from my online account that it didn't affect the withholding from his pay one bit. The sucker's still coughing up $750/month to pay the support and arrears, as well as whatever it costs to provide Joe with a single person health insurance policy. Had he just talked to me when he just up and quit paying, I'd have worked something out with him. But no, he had to just take a "fuck you" attitude and dare me to come after him. Back then, he was paying $560.30 a month for support and health insurance. It's almost double that now because of his arrogance. Merry Christmas, asshole... Perhaps he'll send Joe a pre-paid gift card or cash this year, instead of a rubber check like he did last year. Whatta schmuck. No, I'm not bitter or anything....

I haven't been to Curves in two weeks now. Thanksgiving got in the way, and then I had a visit from my little red-headed cousin who hasn't visited in almost 6 months. And it was the visit from hell, requiring me to stay home from work one day, sucking down Advil to slow down the bleeding, and keeping my feet up. She stayed for 10 days. Bitch. I've gained back a pound and a half, but I'm not too worried about that. Call it menstrual weight gain, call it inactivity, whatever, but I'm sure I'll drop it right back off. I'll start going back to Curves on Monday, at least 3 times a week.

I've had some unsettling dreams the past few nights. Not nightmares, just unsettling dreams about my mother and my long-deceased grandparents. Not sure what that means, and maybe it just doesn't mean anything more than that they've been on my mind (consciously or subconsciously) this holiday season. It might just be an after-effect of Michelle (my oldest) telling me about an encounter she had with my estranged sister and her son.

My mother will be 72 in February. It's been almost 12 years since I last spoke to her, when she up and moved to Florida without so much as a goodbye, up yours, or anything else. The last time I saw her, she didn't recognize me (it'd been a couple of years since I'd seen her). What mother doesn't know her own offspring that she raised? There has always been dysfunction there and, for the bulk of my adulthood, I let it eat a hole through me. It was always me that called, wrote, or visited. It was like the post office, phone company, and highways only went in one direction. When she left in 1994, I cried, I raged against her, I wailed, I mourned, and then I let go of her. I guess the reason these recent dreams have gotten me so unsettled is that they may just mean that I've not let go of her in the way I think I had. Perhaps there will always be a little girl inside of me that still wants her mom in her life. I don't know, but I'm not going to waste any more of my life grieving over what could have been or what still could be.

Tonight I think we're going to have some leftover spaghetti for dinner, then we'll work on decorating the tree and, of course, Lisa will start putting decorations all over the house. I'm rather looking forward to it, and fully intend to go out to the wood shed and get a load of wood so that we can have a fire going while we decorate. Maybe I'll cast off my "humbug" dislike of Christmas music and even put some of that on while we work.

*EGAD* I'm out of wine! Better shut down and stop off at the liquor store on my way home -- can't have a decorating plan that doesn't involve wine, right?

Best to all! Hunker down, stay warm, drive safely, and watch for deer!

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