20 December 2013

Looking for Christmas

It's been a rather sobering Advent this year with the death of Juanita's mom and then Willow getting sick. Every day has become an emotional struggle, and I woke up this morning feeling very down. But there were things to do.

After breakfast I dressed so I could finally take Nicki's gift to the post office to mail. I've had to delay mailing it because I had not finished a little something I wanted to include in the package. I had finished that last night and wrapped and addressed the parcel. I also got an airmail stamp to send what will be a very belated Christmas card. I wanted to bake cookies when I got back, and I didn't think we had enough flour or sugar, so I stopped at Food Depot to pick them up, then "fed" the car.

On my way home I thought I'd stop by Lowes to see if they had any more solar lights. The direct route was through the "Covered Bridge" neighborhood which includes a 19th century mill site and, of course, the titular covered bridge. The bridge has to have an I-beam barrier on each approach because, despite numerous signs saying that the clearance for the bridge is only seven feet high, big delivery trucks continue to drive up to and smash into the I-beam. Sure enough, as I was exiting the bridge, here came another idiot truck driver without the sense God gave a goat, heading for the bridge.

Anyway, the solar lights were all gone; oh, well. I was in a pretty morose mood at the time and looked wistfully at the abandoned Borders store across the parking lot, wishing I could just walk through those doors and back in time. The weather wasn't helping; it was overcast and getting warmer by the minute. Tomorrow, the day of the winter solstice, it's supposed to be a horrible 70°F. Ugh.

When I got home I remembered James saying he didn't feel like putting up any more Christmas lights, but I suggested we might want to just put up the Moravian star. I wanted to do something to cheer him up, and we all need a star to see by, so I dragged out the ladder—this was the hardest part because I am acrophobic and can't go over the second step—and hung up the star, plugged it into the extension cords, and set up the timer. I also stripped the old blue LED light set (tell me again how LED lights are long-lasting; every string of LED lights we've bought either have at least a dozen lights out, or half the string is out) off the little tree on the porch and put on another set, so when we came home tonight the Moravian star was softly glowing blue and the tree was doing the electric blue slide. (The poor solar lights, though, were looking very puny due to the cloud cover all day.) I also put out the greens basket (which partially covers up the big timer and the extension cords), and hung the Christmas decorations on the porch railings. They should have gone up after we put up the lights, but then we didn't do lights.

Once in the house, I did a last-ditch effort to get the lights on the airplane tree to work. I replaced what looked like two burned-out bulbs (but there are at least two more) and tried to replace the fuse, but I couldn't get either out. Needless to say, it didn't work, and this is why I didn't start baking the wine biscuits until 2:30. Besides the fact that I had to dispose of what flour was already in the canister, the baking went flawlessly. I made two batches of wine biscuits which were almost done when James arrived home—by the time I changed clothes and printed out coupons, they were finished.

We had supper at Giovanni's, which tasted really good since I never did have lunch. I splurged and had lobster ravioli. We then braved the stores around Barrett Parkway to go to REI and finish a gift. I'm thinking this is the last one. I won't know until I start wrapping. Oy.

We also stopped at Barnes & Noble with 25 percent off coupons. James found a new Harry Turtledove novel and I bought a collection of Christmas mysteries. Also found a new "Best of British" and picked up a cross-stitch magazine.

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