Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lost the day

It's nearly 6 pm and I've been awake almost an hour. I'm leaving shortly, heading to work. As much as I love my schedule, sometimes I feel like I've completely "lost" days. I was worn out when I fell into bed this morning around 9. Now I'm up just in time to take care of Sage, get ready and head back to work. I'm looking forward to a few days break to get back into my day routine, then it'll be time to flipflop back to the nightlife. More later.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

The day's been full, and I'm hoping the night will be q.... (we never say the q word out loud in the ER, or it's the exact opposite) at work tonight. The doc is one that seems to have annoyed the ER gods at some point, because we always seem to have more patients or more crisis for him to deal with. On the good side, it does make the time fly by... I like the staff that's working tonight--we're fortunate to have such excellent folks in the department.

Usually we have Christmas Eve steak dinners at my mom's but since John and I are both working tonight, we opted for steak luncheons instead. My brother manned the grill, and did a nice job of it. I thought I might sneak a little nap in after lunch, but came home and made some meatballs to take to work tonight for a little snack, workload willing. I'm even hoping to peek into Ebay and see if by chance my long dry search for a fiesta syrup bottle might possibly be over. I spotted a cobalt one the other day that ends tonight... we'll see how things shake out. (yes, I'm a cheapskate.)

The weather is mild here, although the wind is pretty fierce tonight. I don't think I'd trade it for the snow that the folks up north have. I hope there will be a time during the night that I can go outside, peek for the stars and contemplate for just a minute what it might've been like all those years ago... and that one bright star in the East.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Wasn't it just yesterday that I had weeks and weeks before Christmas to do all those things I used to always get done? Maybe it's a case of "the more you have to do, the more you get accomplished..."?? So... here's a list of what used to get done... maybe at the end I'll share what I've actually DONE this year.

1. I always had at least 2 trees up and decorated, sometimes as many as four by the first week of December. This year, I did get my little kitchen/fiesta tree up in October, but so far I haven't been inspired enough to drag all the other stuff out.

2. I made my own gingerbread house and often had parties, doing additional houses with/for other people. I baked multiple types of cookies, had the ingredients and my part of the menu planned for the Christmas meals way in advance. I hosted Christmas Day breakfast for a lot of years after my son was born. This year, I know I'm making lasagnes to send to work with my son Christmas night, and that we're having lunch at my mom's Christmas eve, since John and I are both working. I did make 2 batches of cookies for a cookie exchange, but no other baking at all. Not even Christmas cookies with Zoe.

3. I used to always go all out with lights outside my house (Don't think Griswald). I used to use about 10,000 blue lights on the bushes/trees in front of my house. This year, I have 2 of those triple candelabras in my bay window in the dining room, single candles in the kitchen and living room windows, and put red/white lights on the 2 Christmas tree shaped junipers that flank my front steps. I used the big ole C7 bulbs, rather than the mini lights... just 700. Maybe I'm becoming a minimalist in my old age.

4. We used to have some sort of party/open house during the holidays. You'd think with my work schedule I could at least manage that... I mean, I work Fri, Sat, and Sun nights...12 hour shifts but geesh, I'm off during the week. Back in the days I was in banking I worked 5 days a week, and half a day on some Saturdays.

5. Christmas cards. Always used to be mailed Black Friday weekend... This year? I did manage to get them addressed. Hopefully no one will move and I can send them next year!

6. Shopping was easy back in the day... I started in July, sometimes earlier if I found something "good". I was nearly always finished by the end of October, and wrapping was completed by the end of November. I went out on Black Fridays for entertainment, rather than any need to shop.

7. I used to always get my trees down Christmas night, or the morning of the 26th. This was more necessity than anything because my husband generally left for a week or 10 days at the hunting cabin, so if i wanted had to be then. Decorations and outside stuff waited til he got home after 12th night. Last year, seems like I finally got the tree shoved back up in the attic around the end of January. I'll see how this year goes.... I'm tempted to leave my Fiesta tree up, just cos I like it.

This year, I did manage to get my Fiesta tree up in the kitchen, have a few lights outside, and baked a very few cookies for the cookie exchange. I did a little bit of my holiday shopping back in the summer at the tent sale, and I took care of getting my son's gifts. I cheated with my brother's gift. God bless gift cards. I'm still waiting on the addition to my mom's dish collection to arrive from the Ebay seller (you'd think December 9 would have been plenty early, even with holiday postage woes.) Mom and I got a tiny 3 foot tree and the trimmings to decorate and take to my grandmother's room at the rehab.

I'm going to Mom's today to put the lights on her tree. (Evidently I'm a little OCD about lights on Christmas trees... I like a lot of them, evenly spaced. It drives me bonkers to see the wires when people just toss them on the trees. My brother refuses to put the lights on Mom's tree, cos he knows I'll just pick at it.)

We're planning to do our annual Christmas lights tour one evening before Christmas next week.
We pile in the car, and tour the area, doing (sometimes nice, sometimes not) commentary on everyone's outdoor displays. I've really been tempted a few times over the years to take pictures to send to If you've never visited the site, it's worth a peek.
We used to have a bit of an advantage in finding the best/worst displays because my dad was sheriff of this county, and my husband was a police officer for our town. They did a LOT of driving, just in the course of their jobs, and knew where the best/worst displays were.

I'll probably do my wrapping after I get home from work Monday morning...assuming I'm fairly coherant.

Where does all the time go?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Family Dinners, Holidays, and Elvis.

For every year of my entire life (only 44 of them, despite my son's assertions that I was around for the invention of dirt)... we've spent Christmas Day at my grandmother's house. My mom's parents both died before I was ten, so my memories of them are a little hazy, and my other grandfather died when my dad was five, so no chance for memories there. I never really gave much thought to not having more than one grandparent...Gran more than made up for the other three. Anyhow... she's 92 now, and had a stroke in July. Still rehabbing, and making progress, and we're hoping to have her home by early February, but it means no Christmas at Gran's house this year. Weird. A month or so, one of my uncles emailed and suggested we all have dinner out, and tonight was the night suggested... okay...doable but still.... weird.

So... tonight we went out to eat. The Home Place in the great metropolis of Catawba, Virginia. Fantastic home cooked foods, served homestyle (you know, big bowls that keep miraculously being refilled). I drove down with my mom and my son (I might devote a whole blog page to that little trek). Rain and fog made for an interesting ride. Once we got there, I enjoyed being around my uncles,aunts and cousins... only my brother, one cousin and one cousin's spouse were MIA. Nice night...just not really Christmas, yanno?

Both my son and I are working Christmas Eve, and John also has to work Christmas night. I had been pretty cheerful about the holidays until tonight, and something about this dinner just sucked all the merry right out of me. Maybe I'm just whiny. Time will tell.

There was one little bright spot earlier in the week... One of my nurse friends has the MOST entertaining niece and nephew in the history of the universe. I look forward to seeing her after she's spent some time with just never know what they'll do or say next. This past weekend was a case in point. The kids were at their Grandma's, and Mattie says to her grandmother, "Hey Grandma, we've got to go to the concert this Sunday at 7pm."

Grandma of course has no clue what Mattie's referring to.... and says, "What concert?!".

Mattie's reply took Grandma aback..." ELVIS, GRANDMA! He's gonna be in concert here!"

Grandma (being of a certain generation, ADORES Elvis, and still listens to his music enough that Mattie recognizes him) very gently tries to tell the little girl that Elvis is uhm....dead.

Mattie says, "Well, that might be, but he's gonna be in concert Sunday night at 7pm." Nothing anyone said could sway her, and no one could figure out WHY she was so sure.

Later on, she pointed the sign for the concert out to her mom... Turns out, one of the local churches was having their Christmas pageant that Sunday night... the name of the pageant was

"The King Is Coming To Town".

who knows...maybe Mattie was right? Puts a whole new twist on the Christmas Story doesnt it?

Anyhow, it made me smile.... and i think it made me feel better to share the story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blog Names...or Tuesdays aren't conducive to creativity

So, I decided to try this blogging thing... Who'd have expected writer's block to strike when trying to decide on a blog name??? I puzzled and mused, probably resembling the Grinch when he was puzzling over what terrible, awful thing he could do to all the Who's down in ... well, youknow what I mean...

I wanted something that was chatty (like me...!) and something sort of Southern...also like me...
I wasn't blessed with one of those screamingly southern names like Billie Sue or JoEllen. I'm just Elaine. I collect Fiesta, old linens, Christmas ornaments, and dust bunnies. I've had a whole lot of fun over the years with Fiesta, and have somehow managed to corrupt (infect?) several of my friends along the way, too. A year or two back, I had brought a box of dishes to one of the nurses I work with and she got allll excited over this one piece and squealed, "oooooh is that Cara Faye for me?" Ever since, I have to stop and think before I try to say carafe... or "Cara Fay" is what falls out of MY mouth. Cara Faye it is.

Dishing... well.. could be several things... If you aren't a collector, chances are you're thinking of chatting or something verbal. For me, it's a little more active, and a LOT more dusty. Dishing means scouring yard sales, flea markets, antique stores, junk stores, thrift stores... looking for whatever bit of dish flotsam washes up on the retail shores. I go fairly frequently, with mixed results. Sometimes it's a solitary pursuit, sometimes a shared venture. Either way, it's fun.