My (unhappily) belated greeting:
No, we don't celebrate Boxing Day here -- and frankly I have no real idea of what it's like for those who do... (smile) But at least I know it is Boxing Day in some places today. (heh)
I can't believe it's been over a week since I last updated. Time flies and all that...
On Sunday, December 23, we went to Leslie's holiday party (very nice) and then on to The Grotto (the official name is: The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother), located in Northeast Portland (Sandy & 85th).
It was pouring down rain -- and I do mean pouring. I'd taken along a mountain fleece hood/scarf, as I don't currently own a jacket (or coat) that has a hood. (sigh) Both Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I were soaked. If I had it to do over again, I'd have taken along an umbrella (which is something I almost never do). Of course, I'm not sure it would have helped that much, really.
Marilyn timed it perfectly for both events. We had to be at The Grotto early, in order to get parking -- and then to get decent seats in the Chapel of Mary for the performance. Friend Jodi (the receptionist at work) was performing with the Conchords Chorale, directed by Don Anderson (who also directs Cloud 9). Jodi has a lovely voice -- and got to do a solo during one number. (She was one of the best solos, frankly -- and I'm very picky about such things.)
Well, we had to sit soaked for more than 90 minutes -- then face even harder rain when leaving. (ugh) I'm glad we did it, but it wasn't the best for me, recovering from being sick and still coughing...
We're still trying to unsuccessfully break our strange schedule of staying up all night and sleeping away most of the day. We got in this pattern while sick, and haven't come even close to normal since. (sigh) With vacation in full swing, we feel fine just doing whatever the hell we want!
Needless to say, we didn't end up going to a movie on Christmas Day after all -- considering we'd stayed up all night long!
I was cat sitting for neighbor June, so I did get up and spend a couple hours next door with her (unnamed) female cat. (I also tended Jim's three outdoor cats, for the record. Maggie, Molly and Mo.) I don't mind doing that at all. The indoor cat loves me just like family, and sat happily on my lap almost the entire time. But I did go home and back to bed afterwards, sleeping through the snow we apparently got around 1 p.m. (smile) All I ever saw was wetness and more rain.
We had a nice Christmas Eve. Our lifelong tradition (started by our parents) has been to get take-out Chinese and eat a laid back dinner while chatting and watching TV. Sister Sue was our only guest this year, which was perfect. After dinner we took a ride (Sue drove) and went to view some Christmas lights. It was happily dry, so we could see everything perfectly.
After that, Sue dropped us off and headed home. We managed to stay up all night (!!!), playing games, watching TV, messing with our wonderful cats (Colin and Henry) and eating. Yes, there was tons of food (we still have a lot left over here). We had them leave out the MSG, which made the food easier to live with. (smile)
Both cats love the Christmas tree, even though it's not a real one. They're under or around it constantly.
We didn't manage to actually get it decorated until Christmas Eve -- and we did a very minimal job this year. But it doesn't matter. It's quite pretty without a single deco, because of all the lovely white/clear lights all over it. The day I set it up, I just turned it on and then laid down feeling pretty sick on the sofa, staring at the tree and feeling that warm, happy glow. Even sick, it felt good to look at the tree. (Colin climbed up on my lap and we had a nap together. He rarely ever does that, so it was special -- even if he is heavy as hell.)
I did get all the normal decorations up all around the house. And we have our white light tree set up in the front yard (the first deco I got up). Plus our big red berry wreath on the front door. It's very Christmas-y here at our house!
I didn't get our presents out to the neighbors, though. Annoying, considering I had them a couple weeks before Christmas, and had planned to do them early this year (for a change). (sigh) I'll have to do them late, obviously...
Tom was amazingly generous with us. (As always. The man was generous back in high school and has only become more so now that he's in his 50's...) He sent gift cards for both of us -- mine were another $100 Starbucks card (!!!) and a $50 movie card! Plus he sent us a lovely floral arrangement, too. (And one to sister Sue, as well.) What a guy...
Christmas isn't really about the gifts for us, I have to admit. Yes, it's wonderful to get them -- who can deny it? But we give very few and actually encourage others to feel free to skip giving to us. It's a Catch 22, really. Our economy relies on people spending $$$ during this season. And, hell, we do plenty of that! But our holiday focus isn't on giving or getting, which is actually not normal for me. (I love giving gifts all the time, so you can only imagine what I'm like at Christmas...) I'm glad to be in this place where I'm not frantic about gift-giving -- but it was hard to get here. (smile)
Actually, we were very laid back about the entire holiday season this year, which was wonderful. Being sick meant we just had to let some things go -- and we didn't stress that at all. We've enjoyed sleeping -- something we didn't begin to get enough of during the entire year of 2007. And just playing games and watching TV has been so relaxing and lovely.
It's strange for me to go so long without being active at LJ, but I just decided to go with the flow. I have jumped on here and there to comment a little bit, at least. (And I always try to comment to suggestions, which I personally feel is important...) Oh, I'm way (way) behind on moderation duties, but it is what it is. I'll get to it sooner or later.
I did unfortunately let a planned Email Blast slide (!!!) for work, which makes me feel bad. But we'll do better with it for next year...
I have to be honest, it's pretty damn nice to be looking at another six days (almost a week) of vacation before we head back to work!
(But we certainly earned it this Centennial year, I think...)
I'm listening to the news about people out buying at the after Christmas sales -- and wishing I was shopping, too! No, we never go out on the day after Christmas -- but we will need to go get a few things tonight, anyway...
And why is that, you may ask?
We're expecting SNOW tomorrow -- maybe several inches, actually.
There's no way to REMOVE the huge gap after this code (???!!!) -- sorry! (Oh -- and I made this video back in January of this year...)
(By the way, if you're interested, you can view the large version HERE at YouTube.)
Yes, yes. Snow is a big deal here in Portland. We rarely get it -- and we don't handle it well when we do. Which is not to say that we don't love the idea of some snow, even so. (smile)
Happily, today is NOT garbage day -- which is delayed until tomorrow due to Christmas.
In random news, what do you folks think about the tiger attack in California?