Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It's Been a Long, Long Time

...since I blogged. But I'm still kickin'. The Son and I flew to Chicagoland to spend time with my family. The Husband drove and joined us there. We had a surprise 80th birthday party for My Dad at a German restaurant that was really great fun. It was complicated a bit, because "Second Christmas" takes place at my parents' place whenever most of the crew can be there. So Dear Ol' Dad was so concerned that all these family were coming from out of town, and wanted us to fix big dinner for everyone. We all spent a lot of time on surreptitious phone calls, making sure that everyone "had plans" for the afternoon. Then on cue, one of my sisters called to say that they were going to the restaurant for an early dinner, and would Mom & Dad and our group like to join them. When we arrived, everyone was in another section of the restaurant, and they all came in singing. There was, of course, German beverage, and at the end of dinner, we ended up singing some more.

We went back to Mom & Dad's for presents, and then we sang a little bit more.

(We're not "singers"-- we just like to sing.)

We have a system of gift-giving that works well for our family. My siblings and I don't exchange gifts. If we see something that we want to give to someone, we just give it to them whenever, but no actual exchanging. Each of the kids gets one present from all the aunts and uncles. At Thanksgiving, those who are together divvy up the kids (this year I had one of my brothers') and we purchase gifts. As they are getting older, most of them like to get gift cards. The typical amount is $35-$40. We let "The Accountant" sister know how much we spent. She adds it all up, factors in what we spent for my parents (this year was a new CPU for their molasses-like computer) and divides by 9. That's our bill. We either get money back, or pay the difference between our share and what we spent. We really like that the kids get something useful, that they are not over-innundated with "stuff", and that it's equitable. We also like that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to get presents for 26 kids.

Then along came New Years. A lovely party at my second sister's lovely house to see in 2006. Being together-- priceless.

Go Hokies!!!
The only downside was that The Daughter was not with us for all this family bonding. However, she was in Jacksonville with her friends, involved in Gator Bowl activities. They kept those Marching Virginians hopping, with parades, including one at Disney and another in Jacksonville, pep rallies, performances etc.

As you are already aware, Tech beat Kentucky. We had another opportunity for a family gathering back in the MidWest, as The Husband and I sponsored a Gator Bowl party for The Relatives. We got Famous Daves, and the bloodies were quite the hit. (we also had a red velvet cake, which is actually maroon, in honor of the Hokies.)

Our pride in the team was immense. Our disappointment in Marcus Vick's behavior was also immense. What a bonehead move to step on that guy's leg. And then to follow it up with the rest of the garbage behavior. It's really unfortunate that someone with so much talent is just throwing his life down the porcelain. And if any NFL team is deluded enough to think that he's going to be anything other than an immense amount of trouble, they deserve what they get. I was really glad that Virginia Tech showed him the door, and I've never admired Frank Beamer more. The home of Michael Vick and Bryan Randall and so many other honorable and also talented people should not be a refuge for thugs. So There.

Yeah-- a little bit. Worked on a couple of socks, but nothing spectacular.

So What Have I Been Doing With My Time?
Working. A Lot. And really enjoying just doing my thing, taking care of my patients, and avoiding the peripherals.

And, putting together the condo we got in Blacksburg. We went down weekend before last to put together beds, spackle/sand/paint a bathroom, and get the place looking good. And it does (although it's a bit like walking into page 79 of the IKEA catalog.) We went down on Saturday, and planned to leave on Monday afternoon, stopping in Winchester for dinner with The Son. Nice plan. As I was taking a shower to rid myself of the sweaty, smelly aura I'd acquired, The Husband pounded on the door demanding that I turn off the water. Luckily I'd opted not to wash the hair, and I was about rinsed off, so the timing was great. Turns out we were leaking water into the apartment below. So we called Mike, our Handy Guy down there, who came over with his merry crew. It was an old gasket from the tub drain to the pipe. It took them a couple of hours, but they fixed it, and didn't charge us, because he'd installed a tub liner, and said he should have checked the entire thing. There's integrity for you. So I convinced The Husband that we should spend another night rather than heading out on a 4-1/2 hour trip at something after 9 p.m., and as long as we were there, we painted the other bathroom on Monday, then departed, had dinner with The Son, and then home.

And now, why am I not knitting more? Because I have two major articles to write, with deadlines looming. And I can't justify knitting when I need to do them. So why don't I just do it and get it over with? Well that's what I'm going to start right now. I'll let you know how it goes.

I WILL, however, go to The Shop tomorrow. I'ts been a Long, Long Time.


Rossana said...

What a special 80th surprise birthday you all put together for your father! Happy Birthday, Nurse Laura's Dad! And I'm glad all turned out fine with the water leak. Whew, talk about good timing!

Phyl said...

It was so good to see you yesterday! You look lovely and even more so in your Klaralund!