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» Sunday, December 14, 2014All In a Birthday Weekend
This birthday weekend has gone by on the wings of swifts! After my Wednesday I really needed some time off, but it's not like I've gotten any rest. In fact, when we last met, we had a new Christmas tree in the garage, and decorations half up. On my telework day I was able to put up the airplane tree (which really needs a spotlight) and tidy up downstairs during lunch. The new library tree looks so nice!
I spent my birthday on Thursday wrapping and boxing up gifts to go in the mail. I had seven to mail, but unfortunately only four were ready, so I got to work on those. The spare room now looks like a department store gift-wrap corner threw up in it, and the copy-paper boxes with the gifts are opened all over the futon. Instead of using bows which would flatten in the mail, I used butcher's twine in red-and-white, green-and-white, and red-green-and-white, and tucked the Christmas cards in the parcels. Then I took the four finished parcels, and the Christmas cards to the post office. The line wasn't bad considering the time of year, and one man left because passports were appointment only.
I made a short side trip to Michaels so I could finish a gift (except what I bought was too small, so I did something else) and I finished three small craft gifts. Then I wrapped as many parts of the other two gifts as I could and worked on something to tuck into one of them.
For supper on Thursday night James brought me a nice brisket of beef sandwich from Firehouse Subs, and we watched Doctor Who (parts three and four of "Planet of the Spiders"—almost time for Jon Pertwee to make his final bow) and then I put on The Bishop's Wife. I just plain love this movie. I know Cary Grant hated doing it, but he makes the suavest angel ever and I'd believe anything Dudley said if he was in Grant's persona. I even love the long skating scene. Especially adore Dudley decorating the tree and typing the sermon, and the way the harp calls to him. But I watch, too, just to see the bishopric! All that woodwork! And the stained glass! The pocket panel doors! The fretwork! The library! It's so gorgeous! It's almost as luminous as Loretta Young and she always looked lighted from within.
I wish I could say I awoke rarin' to go on Friday, but I would have loved to have slept later. Now that the other two gifts were completed, and that I had the proper address for one of them, it all went together easily, and I popped them in the car and went back to the post awful. I got the same clerk as yesterday, who even recognized me.
This time I came directly home. It was time for the Christmas tree. But once I decanted it and pieced the parts together, a problem arose: there's no plug at the top of this pre-lit tree, so no place to plug in "Little Blaze," the star. So, back into my outside clothing, and I drove over to Vickery Hardware in search of an extension cord. There I was, the lone woman in the store with a bunch of working men, and I'm standing at the checkout with a 15-foot brown extension cord and three triple-taps set in front of me, and for three solid minutes not one person paid attention to me. I guess they thought I was with one of the guys. Thanks a lot, fellas.
So came home and strung the extension cord down the trunk and thus was the star plugged in; I started with all the large glass ornaments, then on to the large Hallmark and Carletons, and finally filled in with the smallest ones. Finally I hid the pickle. As always I watched Christmasy things: Christmas Is, The City That Forgot About Christmas, and three Lassie Christmas episodes as I worked.
James got home a bit early after working overtime yesterday, but I was just starting to tinsel the tree as he arrived. I could have left it and finished after we had supper...but dang, after the interruptions today I just wanted to get it complete. And it does look nice: it's perfectly formed and a good size to decorate; I always though the other was too tall. But for a tree with 400 lights on it, it's so dark. Almost all the lights are on the inside branches. The tree I got from Michaels isn't like that, and it's only four feet high but you can read under the lights from it
We had supper at Panera where the chicken soup and the bagel were a nice reward for a day's work, and then we went by Kroger to buy a baby gate to put in front of the Christmas tree. I'm sure Tucker won't be able to resist it, and if he doesn't eat the tinsel or knock over the tree, he'll try to chew the rubber camels in the manger set. Since we were there we did the weekly shopping, too.
Before bed I was able to put out the manger set, each piece in place just the way Mother would have done it every year. Now the tree is complete.
This morning we went to the Farmer's Market. It was a double test this morning: we not only took the power chair, we took Tucker as well. Luckily we found a parking space in the public lot on Powder Springs Road, although it was a trip navigating the railroad tracks and the brick sidewalk. I handled the dog and James coped with the chair. Tucker was on sensory overload: the people! the dogs! the scents! oh, and there's FOOD! He sniffed and romped from booth to booth and dog to dog, his tail wagging all the time. One bit of sad news: Cuisine on the Run, where James has been getting his chicken salad for so long, is ceasing operations. They couldn't find an USDA-rated kitchen to work in any longer and have decided to give it up. We always were so happy to talk to Stu at his tent at the market; he was always so nice, and the chicken salad was delicious.
Anyway, it turned out that The Corner Shop, the British store, was open, so we took turns going in and looking at the goodies. I bought us some ginger covered in dark chocolate and James bought some Christmas cake. It turns out that the lady who owns the shop has been sick; she has COPD and has only recently found a medicine that works for her. It must be miserable not being able to breathe like that. I'm glad she has something now.
Then we had to hustle home because I'd completely forgotten about James' club meeting. We both stopped at the house long enough to use the rest room; James then went off to Town Center and I was bound and determined to get Tucker a bath without having to kneel down at the bathtub. I found my answer at "Unleashed," a small version of Petco that has a dog wash in the back. For $10, you get a tub with adjustable platforms, a very nice high pressure water shower head, two towels, dog shampoo and conditioner, a curry brush, and a place to dry the dog. Tucker definitely knew what was going on and tried to retreat under the tub. He was put back in and restrained with a leash. I talked to him through the whole process and finally he got resigned to it, just looking at me pleadingly with big eyes, but making no struggle; he had another fit when I turned the dryer on, but I can't blame him; it was so noisy! I finally folded his ears down with one hand and used the dryer head with the other. If it was summer I wouldn't have even bothered, but it was chilly out.
Finally he was all fluffy and clean, and I picked up a little treat for him, and then went by the coats. I was hoping to find something "knit" and red, but most of them were too small and/or icky pink, but I found a cute one in blue that was his size, with "Trouble Maker" the legend on the back! As we were checking out, the clerk told me Santa Claus would be out in a few minutes to take pictures with pets for a donation. Now, we always wanted to do this with Willow, but always seemed to miss the weekend, and she was so fixated on James she probably wouldn't have sat with Santa. It seemed providential. Tucker just romped over and greeted him, let Santa pick him up—a quick squeak toy noise and the photographer snapped the picture, and in five minutes I had a print. Easy peasy.
Then I took him home via the gas station so I could feed Twilight. Now, when we got home what I should have done immediately was to finish with the decorations (the woodland tree and the foyer, because James wanted to put the space tree up with me), and maybe wrap some gifts. But after putting a few things up I realized I was developing a headache. I'd had a plain hamburger on the way to Unleashed, so I wasn't starving. I put the Army/Navy game on for Snowy and finally decided to take three ibuprofin and lie down for a half hour. Well, the futon is full of boxes, so I lay down on the bed with a fleece over me, and was out like a light until James got home at 4:45, waking only to hear some boys talking loudly outside (the bedroom window is open).
We had supper at the West Cobb Diner. Boy, was it warm in there, and crowded. You could barely hear yourself over the crowd. We had turkey as always, and took half of it home for lunches. Then we went to the used book store, 2nd and Charles, to get rid of the leftover box I had gotten back from McKays. They only took a few things, and I dumped the rest in the "free books" bin except for the DVDs. James got something with his gift card, and I found a "Reminisce" book about the Depression with what little credit I got. (There was a beautiful book about Mount Vernon, but I didn't know if I wanted it that much.)
We came home via the battlefield park and Kennesaw Avenue to admire the Christmas decorations. One house had white lights with red floodlights: stunning! Two others had those GE light balls in the trees over their homes. In that neighborhood, though, with the vintage homes, mostly white lights. It was only when we got back into our own neighborhood after James stopped for gasoline that we saw a lot of multicolor trimmings, which I prefer.
Spent the evening watching Christmasy things: "Lassie's Gift of Love," Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, The Small One, "Pluto's Christmas Tree," and finally Mickey's Christmas Carol.