Friday, December 30, 2011

My Happy Holidays - Part II

In yesterday's action packed installment, I got as far as Christmas, yes? Yes.  So, to continue...for myself, as a kind of diary entry, in spite of an outside lack of fascination with the minutia of my life :)

Sunday: Actual Christmas day felt like a regular Sunday, really. We'd had our festivities, so the day was about just hanging out.  DR and I ended up going to the park with Kick Back Dude and the kids.  It was a very pretty day out and we had a fine time enjoying an outdoors Xmas afternoon.  I got a couple of photos -

Here are Miss Personality and Love Bug. Not entirely sure what they are doing, but it may be a simple cell phone photo shoot. Glamorous!

Little Prince is pouting over something. At the same time, he is eating a chocolate. I can never manage to eat chocolate AND pout. He's an up-and-comer for sure!
Monday: We slept in a bit. I went out to have lunch with my mom and sister.  A couple of my boys joined us, and the little ones.  DR decided to go out and do some shopping. Turned into a long afternoon.  Later DR and I went out to dinner with Kick Back Dude and the kids. It was meant to be a 'Welcome Back' dinner for DR. It means a lot to me that while not everyone in my family is terribly excited about my relationship, both Kick Back Dude and his ex, Princess Diva, as well as Girlie Girl have all been especially supportive.

Tuesday: DR and I spent most of the afternoon out running little errands.  He enjoys that sort of thing. Shopping around, checking out prices, browsing. It isn't something I enjoy, as a rule. I choose to think of it more as just an activity to share in with DR and that makes it worthwhile.  
In the evening, we continued experimenting with this quesadilla maker DR brought with him.  We have, so far, made some good to excellent quesadillas! Also, we attempted to make a pinata.  It was semi-successful...but as the basis for an birthday a couple months away, rather than immediately :)

Wednesday: We accidentally slept in a little later than we planned, but everything ended up going okay. We went out towards DR's sister's house to celebrate his nephew's 10th birthday.  Several hours were spent at Boomers. Do you know this place? Arcade games, some outdoor activities like go-karts and a rock climbing wall, lots of noise.  I was happy to be there though. I finally got to meet DR's sister and her husband and three children.  Very sweet people and they were all very kind and welcoming towards me.  We were almost going to head home after Boomers, but both his mom and sister encouraged us to come to the house for dinner and cake. Ended up being a long, but really, truly nice day.

That marked the end of my long weekend of getting sort of accustomed to having DR around daily. I'm so happy it is almost embarrassing.  I can't believe that, if we are lucky and take care of each other, we can live together like this for the rest of our lives. Not sure what I did to deserve the joy I feel, but I'm certainly grateful. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Happy Holidays - Part I

I am back to work after five glorious days of not being back to work. Guess it does give me time to blog. I've been going around catching up on your blogs; getting to see how your holiday celebrations are going so far. We do still have New Year's Eve to get through, right? But hey, so far, so good! Mine too.  Let me dish a bit.

Thursday: DR and his mom pulled up in front of my place around 7 pm or so.  I cannot even begin to describe how it felt to finally see DR after a year and a half. It felt good. Let's go with that.  Good.
We all had a little visit, then I had to run pick Girlie Girl up from work. We had a bite to eat, watched some TV, just relaxed. I know both DR and his mom were very tired after their long trip. I put DR's mom in my room (our room!) for the night and DR and I camped out on the livingroom floor. I would have been happy to sleep on a bed of nails with DR beside me again...but luckily, the livingroom floor is not bad at all :)

Friday: DR needed to take his mom to Irvine, where is sister lives, and where his mom will be staying during her visit.  I had kind of left work up in the air, but decided to just go in since they would be busy. So, it was just another work day. But you know, a little happier!  DR stayed out there for the night so that we could each do our own family stuff for Xmas eve.

Saturday: A busy day, full of prep for the evening. The last few years, as the kids have grown up, our holiday has been focused on Christmas Eve as a time to gather our own family and the extended family together. This year, WTG (my ex) hosted in his new home.  It's just a little mobile home and the place was packed full.  With everyone counted there were 22 in attendance. When I first walked in, I was incredibly overwhelmed by the amount of people and by seeing guests I wasn't expecting to see. However, it turned out to be a really wonderful evening. There was good food, provided by everyone potluck fashion....and so many gifts!

Here are some photos of the festivities -

Girlie Girl and Social Animal cannot control their beauty and charm!

Kick Back Dude and Girlie Girl being jolly and such. Schweet!

Why, Handsome Lad! You look fabulous!

Me, me mum, Little Prince, Princess Diva, & Love Bug. We got stuff and this is some of it ;-)

I finally got home around 10:30 or so.  DR finished up with his own family and came back over.  By Christmas proper he was home...and it was probably the happiest I've been in such a long time.

I will take a break and you give you a break....more to come tomorrow :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We're Ready!

All is right in the world!  Merry Christmas to some of the best girls and boys in the whole world.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Festivus, We Salute You!

"The Festivus Song"written in 2003 by three people who got it:
by Rockyhors (DR),
Wildblue (me),
And two people who didn't:
John H. Spencer.

Now it's time for Festivus
a holiday for the rest of us
no dreidel to spin
or fat guy creepin' in
a season that quickly ends
gather your family and friends
this part is the most fun
tell each and every one
how this last trip round the sun
every wrong thing that they've done
has really let you down
but no need to wear a frown
---- now it's time for Festivus ...

Now it's time for Festivus
A holiday for the rest of us.
No big ticket items
Or games of gelt hide 'ems
It's no festival of unity
But you'll speak with impunity
Call your dad and mother
Invite your sis and brother
Tell 'em what you REALLY think
Bottoms up, lets have a drink
Spread the ugly truth around
Cry, if you must, without a sound
---Now its time for Festivus.....

Now it's time for Festivus
a Holiday for the rest of us
We'll gather round the festive pole
an icon of majestic length
and stretch and flex as we prepare
the challenge of the feats of strength
We'll feast as friends who hate us
are preparing to berate us
we gather for this yearly meal
with family we'd like not to see
why subject ourselves to this ordeal?
because, you putz, the chow is free
Beeeeeeeeeeee-caaaaaaaaaause (gasp)
----- now it's time for Festivus!......

Note: Goes wildly off course here ---

Now is the time for Festivus
a holiday for the rest of us
but keep us far away from mistletoe
because we really don't trust Uncle Joe
and big expensive gifts for kids are poxes
because they end up playing with the boxes
you know that you can count on sweetie's mom
to tell you why your turkey was a bomb
while in the den Ed, Bill and Walter stare
as if a football game were on the air
you're tired of each other -- that much is clear
and so you smile and wave "Same Time Next Year"
---- now it's time for Festivus! . . .

And now, it is the time for Festivus,
A holiday made for the rest of us.
Blow out the pilot light and crank up the stove,
Insert your head and reunite with Jove.
Beware the cars careening to and fro,
don't sin too much, and don't eat yellow snow.
The carolers evoke a thoughtful grin--
One well aimed .22 will damp their din.
The yule log burns, it is a merry light
It's Presto scent's like smoking Samsonite.
The guests are gussied up, so no one knows
that Uncle Fred has cankers on his nose.
And all those joys abound with little fuss
Because it is the time of Festivus

And that, my friends, is the Festivus song.  A tradition here at Fresh Hell since 2005! Hope you all enjoy celebrating with your own Airing of the Grievances and Feats of Strength around the old Festivus Pole!  Festivus for the rest of us!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All I Want

Time, time, time for the final Choose and Defend Wednesday before one more festive choice to be made! We are almost there, people! Home stretch! And yes...of course, I am talking about DR's journey, as well as the push towards Santa's big day.  For today, though, let me learn a bit about you and the way that your family celebrates.  Which part of the holiday is the main focus in your family...

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Maybe it is both, or neither, or it changes from year to year. You can tell us all about that in comments! But still. You know the rules. For the purposes of this game, you are encouraged to Choose and also, of course, to Defend. So let's have it! Make a statement! Tell a story! Make me stop yelling things with my fingers!!!! Choose and Defend :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Counting the Minutes

Counting down to Christmas. Counting down to some time off from work. But mostly counting down, in earnest now, the return of DR.  After a series of misadventures, primarily car related, he and his mom were finally able to set off on their cross country trip earlier today.  Finally! DR thinks they should be here by Thursday. Think good thought for safe travel, would you? Thanks!

Are we there yet?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five - Award Season

Thought I would treat myself to a little Friday 5 today! Here is what that blog's author, Scrivner, had to say -
Golden Globes nominees were announced this week, and while it should be clear by now to anyone paying attention that they are fully irrelevant, they do kick off the season for reflective retrospection, at least in certain parts of life. In that spirit, please announce your awards for the year 2011 in these categories!

1. What wins your award for Best Supporting Household Appliance? I'm sorry. THAT is a personal question. Moving on.

2. What wins your award for Outstanding Performance by Something that Comes in a Bottle or Can? It would would be cuter if I had a boozy answer for this, but I'm not really very drinky.  The award goes to Dr. Pepper!  I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, we're a Pepper...wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too? Come on. You know you want to. Just do it...I won't tell, I swear. Do it.

3. Who wins your award for Excellence in Poor Timing?  Since sometimes my whole life seems to be based upon the notion of poor timing this might be a hard one to narrow down. However, I am going to go ahead and announce a tie, with the award going to two great blasts from the past - Team C and Gerard...this one's for you. Maybe you should wrestle for it...

4. What wins your award for Wardrobe Newcomer of the Year? Easy. That award goes to the newest addition to my beary Sebastienesque t-shirt collection. Bear with Machete, come on down!!!

5. What wins your award for Outstanding Achievement in Stealing Time? The Internet.  More specific? Um...Blogger?  No...Tumblr?  Oh, I has to be Twitter. There. You happy, Twitter, you time sucking jerk?

(bonus question!) 6. The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences calls its trophy the Oscar. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences calls its trophy the Grammy. What do you call yours? When you win here, you when a Fresh Hell.  Enjoy!

I invite you all to play along on your own blog or in comments. I'd love see who wins YOUR awards!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Man Must Have a Shed to Keep Him Sane

Thought I'd go all in with another sort of festive post for this week's Choose and Defend Wednesday. I was thinking about the many things about Christmas that leave me with mixed feelings. Some of the pomp seems to be just so much filler...yet it also has that callback, traditional element that is hard to dismiss.  When I thought of "filler" and "tradition" what immediately came to mind, for some reason, are those traditional fillers that tend to go in the Xmas stocking. Follow that line of logic! Um, anyway...What is your favorite traditional stocking filler?


All that's left to do is Choose and Defend. I will leave you to it :) Gracias!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm Gifted!

Here is a quick pictorial post about some gifts I've already received. I have to admit that getting things does help get me in that proper festive mood :) I guess giving things has a similar effect, but I am still waiting on my vacation sell back check so that I can really begin shopping. 

Anyway, here are some lovely things for you to admire -

This is the Sebastien print that I bought Sunday. It makes me laugh
every time I look at it.

My newest Sebastien bear tee. So true, so true.

My little bear friend, Milly, gave this to me early, because I gave her an early gift. All six episodes of Andy Barker, P.I.   I ♥ Andy Richter and still mourn the loss of this show and Andy Richter Controls the Universe.  Very happy to have this on DVD :)

Milly also gave me this cute, cute tee! Books! A cute giraffe in specs! Love it!

This was a shirt that Team C brought me when he stopped by to see me unexpectedly last week. Haven't seen him in a couple of years, but he still knows me I see!

So yeah, I am getting in the mood!  On a less festive note, it looks like DR is pushing back his departure date. That is why I took the countdown clock down.  He had planned to leave tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning. Now it looks to be maybe Friday or Saturday. Who knows? Not me. But I guess he has to do what he has to do and I will see him when he gets here. *sigh*

Please check in tomorrow for Choose and Defend Wednesday!!! Thanks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Renegade Craft Fair

Yesterday, my little bear friend Milly and I took the Metro into L.A. to the Renegade Craft Fair.  Our purpose was twofold - to look at all the fine artistic creations AND to meet someone I feel like I've known forever, blogger and artist Sebastien Millon!  (Note: he doesn't get a chance to blog much anymore, but check his place out anyway. Lots of great art there!)

Here I am with the handsome devil, Sebastien.
Milly was kind enough to take our picture :)

I've been a fan of Sebastien's work for a long time and own many of his graphic tees. Of course, like a giant geek, I wore one to meet him. He is just as cool and nice as I'd imagined just from knowing him online. This was one of my first opportunities to meet a fellow blogger and I highly recommend it.

While I was there I got a new tee and also an awesome print. Pictures tomorrow.  If you haven't or even if you have, make sure to check out Sebastien's Etsy shop.  You can also see his latest work on his Facebook page.

Hope you all had a good weekend too. But mine was better! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tick Tock

Do you guys see my countdown clock? In about a week, DR will be back in the land of earthquakes and love :)  I'm happy,  excited, and nervous. We are planning for him to move in, which I am also happy, excited, and nervous about.
One of the first pictures I ever got of DR, from about 7 or 8 years ago!
He is planning to make the trip back by car. He and his mom will head this direction, setting out either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. It isn't quite clear how long the drive will take, but probably they will arrive Sunday or Monday (the 18th or 19th).  The plan is for them to come to my place for a couple of days and then go on to his sister's place and be based there during the holidays. I think that will give us a good little transition period. I admit, however, that when he brought up having his mom with us for the first couple days of our reunion, it certainly changed my mental image of that reunion! Still, it makes the most sense, and I am glad to get to meet his mom finally. After all, he has had the dubious pleasure of meeting my parents already.

Anyway, I expect to have these butterflies in my stomach for the next few days. I have some things to do to get ready for guests...and for a new roommate, so to speak. But honestly, when I try to think of what to do, my mind goes kind of blank. That's how I roll.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Revved Up Like a Deuce

After slaving away in the darkness for the past four of my work days, I was super excited to see the lights on when I came to work today. We pulled ourselves together and opened to the relieved public by noon.

In honor of this glorious day, I dedicate this week's Choose and Defend Wednesday to LIGHT!  And, you know, might as well get specific and festive too, right?  When you are out oohing and aahing at the holiday displays, which ones really light your fire?

Muli-Color Displays

Single Color Displays

Multi-color is multi-color, but for Single color feel free to imagine any one color that you like! Tell us which you prefer and why. Choose and Defend! You don't have to celebrate Christmas or decorate yourself to have an opinion there is no getting out of this. Choose and Defend!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Weather Event

It has been an odd few days.  On Wednesday night, we had what is being referred to as a "weather event". Some very high winds came through, like 80-90 mph, all during the night. I could hear the palm trees rattling, but it didn't disturb me unduly. When I got up Thursday morning, it was clear that the winds had created some major consequences. Many, many trees had been torn apart limb from limb or uprooted altogether. Transformers had been knocked out, power lines were down. The whole San Gabriel Valley was quite a mess. 

I never lost power, but all over the place schools were closed. I have had kids in school for over 20 years and we've never had school cancelled unexpectedly. We don't have snow days here! Anyway, no school for Handsome Lad. I hadn't heard anything from work, so I headed in. It took me 70 minutes to drive the 12 miles. There was so much debris in the street and most of the traffic lights were not functional. When I got to work, I found that there was no power. 

We sat around for a couple of hours, and finally the decision was made to send everyone home.  Those of us scheduled to work the next day (Friday) were told not to come in unless we were called. Keeping up on Nixle, I knew power hadn't been restored.  So...I ended up with two extra days off, paid!  Plus, of course, the weekend.  Handsome Lad and his family spent Friday night with me, as they had lost power too. Fortunately for them, theirs was restored early Saturday.  My mom had lost power too, but the property owners had a generator! She was fortunate and was able to stay home snug.

When I went in to work this morning, I knew that there was still no electricity in the library.  I was hoping they'd send us home quick. However, they were probably sick of paying us for not working. We were told if we wanted to leave, we could take vacation time, otherwise we should find some sort of little project to work on...and maybe the power would come back on at some point.  Bah.  So we worked in the cold, dark building...mostly shifting books and straightening shelves. Always stuff that needs to be done, but tedious in the dark! They did finally let us go about 4:00, when it started to be become too dark even to work near windows.  Towards the end of the day, they also brought by a HUGE generator.  So, by the time I go in at noon tomorrow, maybe we will have some sort of power.

They have told us we cannot open to the public until we are fully functional. Meaning we have to have enough to juice, not only for lights, but the servers and such must all be up and running. I hope we can return to business as usual. The old people that come every day were lingering around the door this morning, probably unsure of where they'd spend their long day. After school the kids were all around the building...because the library is where they go! I loved having extra time off, I can't deny it. But since now they are going to make us linger in the building no matter what, I really, really hope they can get us functional.