December 21st, 2012

father christmas

Neighbors Christmas? Started in Today...

Marilyn and I talked about going to get our manicures -- then decided to skip it. We just weren't in the mood -- and I keep getting compliments on mine (even if it is grown out), so what the heck. Maybe we'll just put if off, period.

I helped sister Sue with some stuff on her computer this morning. When I was over there working on it I had cleared the cache for her browsers, so it wasn't keeping any of the passwords (which is a bad habit to begin with, mind you -- I have people at work who do that, too... sigh...). Yeah, yeah -- I know a lot of people do it. But just keep in mind that it's not the most secure thing around.

Well, Sue needed to get logged back in to Facebook and so on -- so I made sure she was good to go. I tend to keep copies of passwords for others, so I often have them when they do not. This is one of my JOBS at the office -- minding all the passwords for all the various festival accounts -- so I'm used to doing it. Over the years I discovered that I'm pretty good with my method of storing these, while others will lose passwords. And as it's often me trying to help someone out AFTER they've lost a pw, let's just say it saves ME a lot of time and trouble if I have the info saved somewhere! Hahahahaha.

Anyway, today I wanted to start taking out stuff to neighbors. As I think I mentioned before, this year we're giving each neighbor a bottle of wine, a tiny tin of butter cookies, a Christmas tree ornament and a candy cane. Originally I was picturing put the ornament hanging from the wine bottle, but that didn't work really well. So everything is in a bag, and I've included some tins of mints and flashing pins (my one neighbor was so excited about her pin that she put it on immediately and was flashing green and red and quite delighted!). We also give each family a Christmas card.

I went down to see Gladys and Bruce, who live way down the street from us. Marilyn and I met Gladys totally by chance the year we moved in our Portland house. In July our cat Indy was taken from the yard -- and we were driving all over the neighborhood trying to find him. We discovered a cat that we THOUGHT was him -- but it turned out to be Gladys's cat, Eddie (Edgar Allen Poe the cat)! (For those curious, Indy did find his way home again weeks later -- and the man who took him went back to a jail cell in California, where he belonged...)

It was charming that Gladys brought out two framed photos of Eddie for me to see -- saying, "Here's the fellow who brought us together." Isn't that sweet? We don't have a single framed photo of any of our cats -- including Colin and Henry! I guess maybe we should do that sometime...

Gladys was sick with a cold and I'd phoned before going and told her I'd just drop off our gift. But once I was there she and Bruce (her husband) and I got to talking, and I was there for nearly an hour. Which is nice, as this is often the only visit we have all year long! Her daughter has four kids now -- which is a surprise to both Gladys and me. Gladys was talking about how in the 1970's they were trying to get people to have fewer children -- talking about the world being over-populated and so on. But that message isn't out there anymore... (smile) Gladys and Bruce are really into Christmas and have their house decorated inside and out, with a live tree in the living room.

After Gladys I went to see Rose, across the street -- who doesn't have a Christmas tree this year and was gloomy as can be. She clearly wasn't in the mood for a visit, so I didn't stay very long. I felt bad for her: She said it had been a difficult month. A topic that came up today was how everybody is struggling with money woes -- and worried about the economy...

After Rose I went to see Barbara, who lives across the side street from us (apparently with her son, but I've never met him -- and rarely seen him -- in all these years). She had her tree up and decorations all over and was full of the holiday spirit. We had a nice visit for around half an hour.

Then I took stuff over to Tom and Estelle's house -- and I think I woke Tom (Estelle was probably at work). He said I'd caught him in his long johns, which I thought was cute! Anyway, we barely talked, as I wanted to let him go back to whatever he was doing...

Finally, I dropped off the bag for Chuck and his family (who live on the other side of June and Jim). It looked like somebody was home, but I think in all the years I've been taking them stuff I've only found them home once or twice -- so I'm used to living their stuff on the front porch.

I would have liked to go to see and visit with June and Jim -- in fact I phoned there, but didn't get an answer. But at least I got five families done today, so that's a great start! I'll try to finish up tomorrow, if possible. But it looks like we're not leaving Saturday, so if necessary I can wrap it up then.

Sister Sue had considered coming down to join us at the beach house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but today decided to wait until after Christmas. Marilyn and I both think that's fine. I imagine she wants to be with Candy and Nicole on Christmas, which makes sense. Plus she doesn't want to go see Les Mis ("Les Miserables"), which is what both Marilyn and I have been planning to see on Christmas day for ages now. (We had planned to see "The Phantom of the Opera" on Christmas Day 2004 -- which we ended up not doing. And we've been mad about it ever since! We never did see Phantom on the big screen! So we're not going to miss it this time around...

Sue wants to see "The Guilt Trip" (Barbra Streisand's current movie) -- and so do both Marilyn and I. But we don't want to see it Christmas Day. And we certainly don't want to force Sue to see Les Mis if she doesn't want to -- because the idea is to have FUN on Christmas, after all.

Normally we three sisters have Chinese food on Christmas Eve -- a family carryover, as our parents liked to have Chinese every year. So often it's the three of us getting takeout (or even eating out, like we did last year). But it's fine to have new activities -- and new traditions -- our goal to spend the holidays at the beach house.

We plan to leave on Sunday, by the way. We're thinking we might go out and see our friend Shari on Saturday, before we take off. (Shari's birthday is Sunday -- and she's probably not spending Christmas with her brother and sister-in-law, as she's not getting along with them...)

We're going to an on-air radio party first thing tomorrow morning (early!) so we need to head to bed! I'd better stop now. I didn't mean to make this so long!

I hope all my friends are enjoying the holidays!


More Neighbor's Christmas...

Well, the alarm didn't go off -- so Marilyn and I missed the on-air radio party first thing this morning. You know what? We're both cool with that. (smile) Sleeping in had real appeal, so we seriously didn't mind... (Happily Carol was there to represent for the festival!)

Today was mostly another LOVELY, lazy vacation day! (woo hoo) I've been continuing to read my Mary Russell birthday book (Marilyn bought me the download) on my Kindle: "The Moor: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes" [Kindle Edition] by author Laurie R. King. I just LOVE Laurie's writing -- more than I can begin to say! (And you all know how PICKY I am!!!) I actually savor it all.

Her descriptions of the moor??? Fabulous. Honestly, if you're looking for a truly entertaining read -- and one that has quality writing -- then you can't go wrong if you try this book!

I can't recall if I mentioned that we're NOT going to decorate the Portland Christmas tree. We decided it was enough to decorate the tree at the beach house. It's still nice to have the tree up -- and to turn on the lights now and then. Plus we have a lot of our usual decorations up both in the living room and family room, so it's very Christmas-y here. (smile)

I went out and did a few more neighbors today -- taking out our gifts (like yesterday). Nobody was home at John and Barbara's house, so I just left the bag. I phoned for June and Jim again, but didn't reach anyone. (The car is there, so I'd assume someone is home. But if they're not in the mood for company, that's FINE! I've certainly been there. One or both of them might be sick or something, so no worries...) But I did actually connect with Janet across the street, so we visited for about half an hour.

Plus she's going to keep an eye on the house for us while we're away (she often does that). She has a key and can go in and out with no problem -- and phone us if there's any problem. Janet isn't the only one who will do this, of course! It's nice to know that neighbors will keep an eye on things when you're not at home. We've got good neighbors! (And we have a tendency around here to all share keys with one another -- something Janet and I were discussing today. That might seem old-fashioned to some people, but it works for all of us!)

I did the treadmill again today (sorry to say I missed it yesterday). I'm only doing half an hour right now, but hopefully I'll work up to longer soon! (Marilyn did an hour on the treadmill...)

We watched "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" tonight (Marilyn and I had never seen it before). It was cute! Mom loved Garfield, so people were always giving her Garfield things. In fact, I have a Garfield Christmas magnet on the fridge right now that belonged to Mom... (Mom was also a cat-lover, just like us...)

We had fish again for late lunch/early dinner today. This time we had Gorton's Beer Batter Tenders, instead of the Beer Battered Fish Fillets that we usually have. The fish is SO GOOD that aside from putting lemon on it, it doesn't need a thing. Even Marilyn -- who loves cocktail sauce on fish -- will it this fish plain.

Tomorrow I need to try and get Christmas over to June and Jim at some point. But I guess I can always take it by late when we're back in town, if it comes to that.

And Marilyn and I plan to try and get out to see our friend Shari. (Her birthday is Sunday.) She had plans to go out, so I don't think we'll stay very long. But we want to take her a card and gift...

Anyway, bed soon!

Before I dash, we got Umpqua Ice Cream this time around. We wanted PEPPERMINT, and Freddies was OUT of Dreyer's Peppermint. Last year we bought a lot of the Freddies brand (which was really GOOD!). Amazingly enough, Umpqua beats out both Dreyers and Freddies for taste (!!!), so if you have the chance to try it, I'd really recommend it. Yummy! We'll be having some before bed, trust me on that...