thursdays_child: (Misc: Dragon)
( Jan. 5th, 2009 08:37 am)
The string of off and on days off is over. The laundry is almost wrangled back into shape. Boxes that have been waiting for over a year to be unpacked have been so. The kids' gifts of warm clothing have been washed and folded and (mostly) stowed in dresser drawers or pressed into service first thing this morning.

What's normal anyway? )
thursdays_child: (Beth: Park)
( Dec. 31st, 2008 12:10 pm)
I'm working away here for another two hours and then the 'office' is closing early. The wind is blowing fit to beat the band and both kids are leaping around like manic little elves in the play room, still wearing their pajamas. Long story short, it's a bit of a chaotic day and I'm glad that I don't have to cook anything or plan for a party or get ready to go out.

I'm scanning receipts to load into the expense system for work, a final task for year-end and a follow-up on the big drive to get all of my timesheets and expenses in over the course of this month to support year-end accounting activity. It's not the most thrilling task in the world, but it has to get done and right now there's something almost soothing about the 'nrrrrrr' hum of the scanner as it swipes across each train stub that I put on the flatbed.

After work closes for the day, I'm planning a quick jaunt over to the CVS for celebratory ginger ale and chocolate. I should check with my parents too about whether or not they want to do anything/have us come over. Right now I'm just pretty happy with the idea of a low-key, quiet New Year's and some solid sleep time as well as a final push to get the house into shape.

It's all very prosaic today, nothing particularly exciting, but I hope that each and every one of you have a very, very happy New Year's Eve and that 2009 brings good things your way.

thursdays_child: (Beth: Argh)
( Dec. 30th, 2008 10:41 am)
Lesson learned: go to brunch early so that what you're eating hasn't been sitting out on the buffet forever.

Cut for GI distress )
thursdays_child: (Beth: We Are Family)
( Dec. 24th, 2008 02:59 pm)
Even though it's only ten minutes up the road and easy peasy as holiday travel goes, it's nice to have been able to take that little jaunt over to hole up at my parents' house for the next two days.

I'm curled up on the couch with a playlist of Christmas music going, while the boys play with puzzles and wooden toys and the scent of the tree downstairs slowly wafts its way upward.

Tonight there will be hot cocoa and tree-decorating, maybe a Christmas movie and then tucking my boys in to sleep with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads so that Santa can come down the chimney.

Maybe we'll make s'mores again in the fireplace like we did at Thanksgiving. Maybe there'll be a little snow tonight, it's on the forecast right now if the temperature just dips a little bit lower. After all that big chill, it's 39 degrees and raining. So if it just goes a little lower tonight, we could get a little dusting and have a white Christmas morning at least until the temperature goes up into the 40s, nearly 50s tomorrow.

We swung by the Farmer's Market today on the way over to pick up some little treats and have lunch and while we sat perched on stools at the lunch counter, over the loudspeaker came the following announcement:

"Will the person with the big red sleigh parked outside, please move your vehicle. Your animals are making a mess!"

Merry Christmas.

Boy + Action Figure
Originally uploaded by littleowl.

Boy + Star Wars Action Figure == Happy Kid

Victor loves action figures and just as I was at his age, is really into Star Wars. Of course, for me that meant the original film and Empire Strikes Back and for him that means .... Clone Wars, the animated atrocity, but we'll just hand-wave around that.

His bus driver and bus aide got this for him and he was just so psyched when he opened it up. I have to go find some Christmas cards on sale tonight to pass around to the driver and to his teacher. It's the least we can do.

thursdays_child: (Vic: Snow)
( Dec. 22nd, 2008 08:39 am)
Over the weekend freezing rain poured down and turned all the trees around the house to crystal. The back steps turned into a solid sheet of unbroken ice that stretched all the way down the garden path and icicles hung from the eaves, glimmering in the light of the sun in the morning, reflecting the street lamps at night.

Last night I braved the frozen tundra and carefully made my way down those steps to cross over to CVS for milk and whatever they might have on hand to scrape ice. I wound up with the mega-ice-chipper-sweeper of doom and on my return, used it to clear a path up the steps. A few handfuls of salt into the cleared area ensured a safer walk out for Sabs and Julien in the morning.

The front, by all rights, should have been worse, a long sloping sheet of ice all the way down to the street. However, with the temperature going up above freezing for several hours yesterday and with the house south-facing, we were fortunate enough to avoid utter impassability with the driveway. It's almost as if the frozen mix never fell out front, with only some clinging ice at the very bottom and caught in the cracks of the retaining walls. My neighbors are not so lucky. Their houses face ours, face almost due north and their front yards and drivways are littered with frozen muck-muck if they didn't shovel or put down salt.

I asked the bus driver if he could pick up at the back of the house instead of the front when the snow gets bad and he said he couldn't do that without an instruction from the district. We'll just have to see if we can manage. That driveway is a menace in the winter.
One thing is for sure. My ideal weather report for Christmas does not look like this:

Low: 15°F
RealFeel®: -2°F
Sunset: 4:40 PM

That's today's forecast for later and I'm shivering just thinking about it. Everything is slick with ice right now, from the night's fall of freezing rain and snow mix. The back deck is an ice rink and the roads just don't look good at all.

Ideally, the day before Christmas Eve fluffy fat flakes fall from the sky and blanket the world with a clean blanket of white about a foot deep. Christmas Eve itself is cold and clear with a deep black sky and stars hanging high above like diamonds from the song. A coat, hat, gloves, scarf and warm coat are enough to make walking around in that clear night comfortable, but a warm cup of cider on the end of a caroling walk is a welcome treat for chilly cheeks, noses and fingertips. Christmas Day is sunny, with passing clouds and the snow still mostly a pristine coating in the back yard, shortly to be punctured with footprints as we charge outside to sled and put together snowmen.
thursdays_child: (Rose Tyler: Glum)
( Dec. 11th, 2008 10:55 pm)
It's been a dreary few days and that makes for some glumness naturally. For all it was so cold a few days ago, it /feels/ worse now with the rawness of cold rain and cold air. It just creeps in everywhere, the damp. When it's just cold and dry out, the chill is biting, but it doesn't cling. When we wrap up in blankets and flip on the heater, everything feels better. The wet cold is harder to combat.

Of course the upside to having dreary days is that there's tea and cocoa to make to stave off the dismal grayness and chill. And making both of those in a nice pot to pour into a pretty mug is kind of fun. I've been thinking about baking, because there's just something internally warm and fuzzy about baking and winding up with yummy treats at the end of it. It would make the kids happy too, light Vic's face right up if I actually made cookies instead of buying them.

They like to help bake, but having the proceeds of a good baking jag will be almost as good I think. So now I just have to decide what kind of cookies to make. I think I might go with snickerdoodles, because there's nothing quite so comforting about the smell of cinnamon sugar and butter wafting through the house. It'll take me back to every other time my mother made the same cookies and made the house smell divine around the holidays.
thursdays_child: (Floating Stars)
( Dec. 8th, 2008 12:20 pm)
The floors are icy beneath my bare feet, a downside to hardwood that is otherwise so much easier to keep clean with two boys and four cats in the house.

The windows breathe chills inward, cold pockets at regular intervals along the walls, that send shivers up my spine as I go by.

Even the cats have given up the chairs and the carpet in favor of the surefire blast of warm air that comes up from every heating vent.

In spite of the omnipresence of winter in the house, in the snow-speckled view outside the the window panes, the thermostat is resolutely set at 62. Warm enough to be all right with a sweater, but not so high that the heating bill will arrive with triple-digits and send us all into pre-holiday sticker shock.

Up in my office, I keep the space heater on low, but treat it like an old-fashioned foot brick, with my slippered feet propped up on top of its blocky, square shape and think about how much colder it must have been in Colonial times here, with only smoky hearths and those proverbial bricks to make it through the winter.
thursdays_child: (Holidailies 2008)
( Dec. 7th, 2008 02:16 pm)
Cold winds swept in last night carrying with them swirling clouds of snow. The roads stayed clear, but for a light dusting of white, the flakes gleaming silver in the ambient glow of the streetlamps. Caught in the headlights as we drove home from my parents' house, the falling snow looked like long streamers of tinsel, flickering and turning in the night. Though it was cold, the surface of the roads was warm enough to melt most of the snow on contact, leaving puddles of black water here and there, a threat of sheet ice to come as the thermostat plunged in the hours after sunset.

Home again, we unloaded the kids into the back yard where they stood jumping around in the pink light cast by the tall lamp in the parking lot next door, trying to catch snowflakes and make snowballs. For the first time in two weeks, between the chilly weather and the scarlet fever, my boys willingly played outside. They charged into the house to get more layers of gear on, then turned around and charged out into the gathering layer of white on the grass.

I sat inside, comfortably warm with a cup of tea and listened to their cheerful whoops of delight as they tried to peg each other with loose handfuls of snow and challenged each other to make bigger balls out of the stuff.

There wasn't really enough to keep them captivated for too long, but when they came in their cheeks were rosy and their eyes alight with the adventure of this winter's first real snow.
thursdays_child: (Holidailies 2008)
( Dec. 2nd, 2008 10:31 am)
I'm throwing in the towel on my online journal at I only ever really post here anyway because of the ease use involved with the security settings and when I do want to lock something, most of the people I want to lock it to are here. Oddly enough it's the advent of Holidailies that has spurred this decision. When I went to register, I had to decide which site to put down in the box and given how things have been lately I just went 'frak it' and put my LJ in there instead of my site.

I'll need to do some archiving type activity over yonder, but basically, that journal is closed. I kept it up for ten years, though the spurts of writing over there have been largely limited to Holidailies posting and random entries for a while. Overall, I'm cutting back and consolidating on my online presence. I'll probably be dropping some domain names this year and one of my hosting accounts. The amount of bandwidth and space that Verve gives me as a long-term customer is totally insane, so I'm not going to drop them, and I'll keep because I'm too invested in that domain name. Anyone hosting with me, don't worry, not going anywhere, it just seems silly to me to pretend like I'm still journaling over there, when the truth of the matter is, that all my journaling happens here.

At any rate, all set up for Holidalies, including a slapdash LJ icon. And with that, it's back to working on some stuff and taking care of the family as the scarlet fever starts to turn tail and run.


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