Monday, December 26, 2011

After the Christmas Rush

Christmas came and went yesterday, and it was lovely.  Both sets of parents joined us for the day and dinner, which was nice - it was an easygoing day.   The presents and the company were wonderful.  

But today was even better.  Aside from kitchen cleanup, which continued into today, and some laundry, we've done exactly...nothing.  Except read, eat when the mood strikes, and the adorable one and I both took naps.    

I really like the day after Christmas.  After all the rushing and wrapping, all the preparations are finished, and in our house the next big event (the adorable one's 3rd birthday) is almost two months away.  There are leftovers in the fridge, which means there's no need to cook.  There's no rush to take decorations down - they can stay for a few days, or weeks at this point, until the tree starts to shed needles at an alarming rate.  We can take our time finding homes for the presents.  All the holiday-preparatory house projects - this year painting the entryway and setting up a wall gallery of family photos up the stairs - are complete.  

The only thing pending is the furnace replacement in a little less than 2 weeks.  It's still working partially, and the wood stove is supplementing, so we haven't had to rush,  which is a relief.   My brother in law, who does that sort of thing for a living, a friend of his, and my husband will replace the furnace while the adorable one spend an early January weekend with my in-laws.  It should save us about half the cost of paying someone to do it.  

And I'm mostly on vacation, so more days like this are on the docket.   We'll do a few day trips - to the Aquarium, and Old Sturbridge Village, and probably to the local zoo, but otherwise, we've got no plans.  Which is the way it should be.   

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays and an Update

Happy Holidays to all!  We're 9 days out from Christmas, and I'm getting close to ready.  All the shopping is done, some of the wrapping is complete, I'll be baking more this weekend, and the two families that we've done 'Christmas' for this year - both refugee families - are starting to recieve their warm clothes and supplies.  The first drop off was this morning, and I'll do the last one on Christmas eve morning.

I love the holiday season - the lights, the tree, the food.  Our turkey (local from Vermont) has been in the freezer since Thanksgiving - if you want a local turkey, you take them when it's butchering time - and there's one last pie pumpkin on a shelf in my kitchen awaiting it's fate as several pies and pumpkin bread.

I've been preparing a lot for 2012 this year - unemployment will run out soon for my husband, and so next year we'll do more cutting back.  Which is actually OK.   But I have done some preparing - clothes and birthday things for the adorable one for next year, buying our garden seeds early, stocking up before we let our big-box store membership expire, filling the freezer with local meats.

But some things you can't prepare for except to save and hope they don't occur, like a cracked furnace and replacement heating system, to the tune of $7k or so.  Apparently furnaces are not self-healing.  Who knew?

Well, OK, we did, we just didn't expect it 2 weeks before Christmas.  As I said to my husband "It's a good thing I bought your present yesterday, before we knew".  The response "Same for yours".

But it's all good.  We probably won't get as much renovation work on the house done as we hoped in 2012, but we'll have a huge garden. 

On an unrelated note, Christopher Hitchens died.  I adored his work, and I think I would have liked him.  He was the Archie Bunker of intellectuals - nothing was to sacred to examine, not Mother Theresa, not God, and certainly not himself.  The world is a little smaller without his caustic wit.  RIP.