I Wasn’t Dreaming of a Wet Christmas….

….but I got one anyway.

Skipping back a few weeks, some of my family members and I were keeping track of the weather hoping with fingers(and toes) crossed for a white Christmas.  At the time, I only recall seeing that the temperatures would be warmer(between 50 and 60 degrees).  That’s not too bad. If it’s not going to snow, I’d rather have a warm green Christmas than a cold one.

As Christmas drew nearer, I didn’t pay as much attention to the weather- I was too busy.  And really, what can I do? I didn’t have any plans for traveling to snow, and snow certainly wasn’t coming to me.  So I didn’t worry about it too much.  Little did I guess that it would be nasty….

I can’t remember when the rain started, but it was a what seems like a long time ago. The weather was predicted to be sunny on Christmas Day.  They were a-lying.  I wasn’t outside too much….or at all, except when my family and I went to go look at Christmas lights.  I don’t think it was raining, but it was definitely damp out there from rain earlier in the day.

The day after Christmas(as if it weren’t depressing enough) it rained a TON.  Like flash-flooding warnings rain.  Roads closed.   Did we stay at home, warm in our beds?  Oh no, we made a hop and a skip to our neighboring state, Missouri, to visit extended family. It was also raining there, just so you know.  It was a nice get-together, don’t misunderstand me, but I do not like traveling in rain.  Hydroplaning and incompetent drivers out on the road are just something I don’t especially look forward to, ya know?

We’ve made it home safely every time we have traveled in the past week(so far….*knocks on wood*). It’s just been hard to realize that it’s the end of December!  It seems much more like March, if I had to guess a month going exclusively by the weather. Or maybe October/November?  Or….well, Midwest weather is always so hard to generalize. It’s not typical December weather in Illinois.  Let’s just go with that.

It continued to rain for a couple days afterwards.  Including on Sunday, when our suburban decided not to start, while we were out and about….an hour-ish away from home.  That was super exciting.  A very nice friend of ours came and got all nine of us, in his seven-seat vehicle.  There might’ve been a little of illegality going on there….but we made it home safely!

On Monday the rain came much closer to stopping.  Although there were still plenty of opportunities for hydroplaning…..And someone took advantage of the wet conditions to drift their semi right off the road.  Or some of it.  On my way home from work, half of the semi was off the road and down the hill.  The remainder of it(and the corn that had been inside it) was on the road.  That was a fun commute.

Tuesday I didn’t go anywhere….***happy dance***  At least, I don’t think I did.  But I honestly don’t remember.

Wednesday we were out and about, but it was mostly just cloudy.  And cold.

Today, on my way to work, I had to take 5 detours because of flooding.  FIVE.  But I still made it there early, so it’s okay-ish.  It was also a good experience for me to deal with that situation on my own.  Although it would’ve been nice if I hadn’t had to do it so early in the morning….

Over all, I would say it was a very good, very wet Christmas(and New Years) week….I hope yours was too! My last thought is that I guess God just decided to give everyone in-ground pools for Christmas!

Happy New Year to all!  See ya next year. 😉

10 Reasons I Didn’t Blog Yesterday

  1. I was not home for most of the day.  Although I had my handy-dandy phone with me, home is where I do my best blogging….
  2. I was trying on a red dress.  Very difficult to type and dress yourself at the same time.
  3. I was visiting with a friend who is going out of town for a while, and had a *wonderful* time with her. 
  4. I was trying not to die in the parking lot at the mall when some guy came full speed at us, in reverse.  
  5. I broadened the horizons of my food choices, and tried something new at Steak ‘n Shake- Chili Mac Supreme.  It was a nice, little, tasty adventure. 
  6. I had a little girl tell me that she wants me for Christmas.  My heart melted shortly after that. 
  7. I worked on a custom order knitting project.  I’m really, *really* hoping it will be done before Christmas.  
  8. I was wearing a hat that had “#selfie” written across the front.  It was better than wearing the tiara I was offered, trust me.
  9. I got some exciting mail!!!! My knitting magazines came. Or really, most of them came.  Instead of two of my magazines, I got a DVD on watercolor and a book on Down Syndrome.  ??? That needs to be fixed.  
  10. I was singing Christmas songs, eating Christmas cookies and getting in an over-all Christmas-y mood. 🙂

 
So….none of those are really valid reasons for not blogging, but it’s better than nothing, and they were entertaining, right? Much better than a legitimate reason, hopefully. 😉 As a general rule I blog on Thursdays, but…..I was obviously busy.  

I hope your Thursday was as good as mine. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Meet Bob….

    I would like everyone to meet a new acquaintance of mine.  Or really, I guess you could call him a friend, because we are pretty close.  Even though he just came into my life last night….

    It’s a custom for my family to sign Christmas cards together- my mom will label them, write any personal notes to those receiving them and then all 6 of my siblings and I will sit down in a little assembly line kind of thing(because none of our Christmas cards would be complete without one of them, right?).  Always in chronological order.  Always.  

    As I’m sure you can understand, some names are harder(or just take longer) to write.  Some people have 7 different letters in their name, some of us only have 3.  There is also the difference of signing to consider.  Some of us sign cards much like a movie star- quickly, and then on to the next.  Others of us put a little more work into it.  I am the only one with just 3 different letters in my name(although the total comes to 6, just so you know!).  And I was very much in movie star mode last night….So given those two factors, I should’ve been the one who could sign my name fastest.  But unfortunately, that was not the case- I put too much loopiness into my name, which takes a while!  

    Anyway, during some of the gaps in card-signing some of us started talking about the possibility of inserting an extra name into the long list, and seeing if anybody noticed!  There are a lot of names to read and I would totally understand if everybody doesn’t go down the long list to read every single one of them.  I probably wouldn’t if I was in their spot.  But maybe I’m lazier than the average individual.  Who knows?  Anyway, we never did *quite* convince my mom that putting “Bob” in the middle of our names was a fantastic idea.  Only certain people on our Christmas card list would understand.  That is, if they noticed. 

    During a different gap in signing, the siblings on either side of me got bored.  Not having a card in front of them to sign, but having a perfectly working pen in their hand, they started signing the next closest things…..my arms.  Lucky me.  

    One of them drew a simple smiley face and a line.  The other drew what looked like an angry 6-year-old saber tooth tiger, who was missing one of his two front teeth.  Gotta hand creativity over to that one….

    Then came Bob.  Because we couldn’t just talk about putting his name on our Christmas cards without him making an appearance!

        
    This is Bob. Bob meet everybody.  Everybody, this is Bob.  He was quite the friendly chap, kept everybody laughing, told my mom that he loved her, and had the cutest yawn ever.  And check out those eyebrows!

    Then we finished signing cards, I washed my arms, and Bob left.  Maybe he’s like Frosty and will come back next year!  

    I hope you enjoyed meeting Bob and are having a great Christmas season!!!

    5 Not-So-Bad Things About Having a Cold

    5. Kleenex won’t go out of business. Isn’t that a relief?  Although half the time I use alternative things like paper towels, TP, etc.  But don’t tell them that….

    4. You can threaten people invading your personal space by merely saying,”Don’t make me breathe on you!” (Even if you aren’t contagious, this one normally works….unless they can’t understand you because you’re incredibly hoarse or starting every word with a ‘B’ because your nose is stuffed up)

    3. I *thought* having a cold might exempt me, or at least lessen the necessity for me to answer the phone at my job.  I was mistaken.  And in addition to that, the phone was the busiest it’s been in a long time.  Sigh….Murphy’s Law for sure.

    2. Colds normally make you cold.  Or at least not-warm.  What do you do to fix that?  Wear warm clothes.  Guess who has lots of warm, knitted accessories….. Me!  I won’t complain about an opportunity to wear my knitting.  Even if I can’t see it because my eyes are watering so much.  

    1. I appreciate being healthy so much more after I get over being sick.  Maybe I’m just an ungrateful person, but I have a hard time thinking that I’m only one that does that.  Anyway, getting back to normal feels so good after being sick.  

    Bonus points: You can’t smell.  You might think this isn’t a benefit, and any other time I would agree.  But my lack of that specific sense saved me from something everyone else in the office yesterday got the “privilege” of smelling. 😉  I’ll spare the details.  

    If it wasn’t obvious, I’m getting over a cold. Thankfully, typing isn’t affected by a stuffy nose.  

    The Salesman vs. The Receptionist

    My job is to be nice.  Well, to answer the phone and be nice.  There are a few other things I do, but we’ll stick with that for now.  In being nice, you are always super polite- saying thanks when people haven’t done anything for you, never talking back, offering to do what you can(or can’t if you are a really nice receptionist).  That’s my job- I’m a receptionist. 🙂 Thank you.

    Are you aware of what salesmen do?  The exact same thing.  They have a different motive, and are trying to win your good opinion to sell you something, but behavior can be similar- saying “Thank you” too much and being super-polite and all.

    Okay, so maybe you’re following my lead here, maybe not.  What do you think happens when a salesman comes into an office with said super-polite receptionist?  It’s not an opening line to a joke, it’s a real-life scenario that happens all too often to me.

    It instantly becomes a competition of who can help the other most, who can be the nicest, and who can say the two words “thank” and “you” together the most times….

    The first sentence out of both of their mouths is either “How are you?” or “How can I help you?”.  If they happen to say them at the same time it then turns into a *polite* battle of “Sorry, what did you say?”, or “No, I’M sorry- you go first.”  Then the salesman politely inquires about the business owner, maybe throwing a compliment in about the fine carpet, eccentric painting on the wall, or the good ol’ weather.  The receptionist politely tells the salesman that she will make the business owner aware of his presence and see if he can get in soon.  She also offers water/coffee extremely nicely for a jump to the lead in the politeness competition.  The salesman then graciously accepts, and having a reason to say “thank you” does so profusely, both when it is offered and when it is put in his hand.

    Next is the receptionist’s duty to apologize for the wait, and maybe offer some small talk(the small talk is probably my least favorite part).  The salesman is perfectly fine with the wait, thanks the receptionist for letting him know, and then continues the small talk.

    If the business owner happens to be available, the receptionist thanks the salesman for waiting, tells him that the business owner will see him now, and offers more water, coffee, and small talk until they get to the business owners office.  The salesman at this point gets to say “thank you” to his heart’s content for getting to see the business owner, getting more water/coffee, and whatever else he can think of.

    If the business owner is not available, the receptionist gets the lovely duty of informing the salesman.  Apologies are in order here. Lots and lots of apologies.  An apology for his wait, and not getting to see the business owner, and anything else she can think of.  The salesman begins again with the thank yous for their time, thanks for the water/coffee, thanks, thanks, thanks.  One last effort is made on the part of the receptionist to offer the salesman a “to-go” cup in the hot summer weather….

    The receptionist and salesman then part ways….until next time.  Up until their paths cross again, they lay awake at night conniving different ways to say “thank you” more often, maybe apologize for more things, and be even more polite.

    All of this is quite true, except that last paragraph.  I have never lost any sleep over worrying about being more polite. 🙂  Anyway, I just found this very entertaining- kind of a Frankenstein meets Dracula, if you will.  I hope your week is going well, and I hope sometime that you get to witness a whole new kind of battle- the battle of The Salesman vs. The Receptionist!

    Morals from “Minions”

    Hey there!  It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review thing.  My last one was The Amazing Spiderman 2.  I just wrote some spontaneous things that the movie got me thinking about, and this “review” will be no different. 😉

    The Minion movie was really cute- my family went to see it in theaters a couple weeks ago.  Most of us even had shirts with various Minions on them!  As we were going in the lady giving tickets was nice enough to ask if we were going to the Minion movie or the Terminator.  Take a wild guess, lady.

    Anyway, I will try to stick to 3 “morals” like I did last time.

    1. It’s important to have purpose in life.

    When the minions didn’t have purpose, they were bored out of their minds and got nothing done.  With nothing to live for, even fun things became tedious.  It’s very sad….Purpose is vital!

    2.You don’t actually have to speak words to be understood.

    It certainly helps, I will admit.  But Bob, Kevin, and Stuart are the three main characters of a movie and hardly speak any English at all.  The most communicate through *how* they talk through inflection and such, not the actual few words they use.  While this is fun to think about(and watch in the movie), I still recommend trying to be as understood as possible, which includes using the appropriate language of the person you are addressing. 😉

    3. Bananas are AWESOME!

    If all those little yellow guys love them, why shouldn’t you?

    images

    And there you have it, morals from the Minion movie, without spoilers or anything.  I hope you are having a fabulous day and enjoy a banana today. 🙂

    An Open Letter to Writers Everywhere

    Dear Writers Everywhere,

    Something that I’ve had on my mind recently is writing.  By “recently”, I mean in the past couple weeks(when I haven’t been blogging….), and by “writing” I mean blogs, newspapers, books- all the different forms, but especially the book part.

    What has held my fascination for so long is my admiration for fictional story-writers.  All other writers are great in their own right, I am not saying fictional story-writing is the only good sort of writing by any stretch.  It’s just the one category that I find particularly enamoring because it’s the one I feel completely incapable of doing!  I’ve done pretty much every other kind of writing I think- research papers, poetry, speeches(very few of those, thankfully), and even short stories.  But whenever I try to do a full-blown chapter-after-chapter story, I find that I am without material.  Call me unimaginative.  Maybe it just means I’m not a very good writer.  Either way, it can’t be done, so I have a deep appreciation for fictional story writers, especially the ones who write well AND have a good story.

    I think for most people, writing takes at least some effort.  You can tell me if you think I’m wrong, but it’s my opinion.  At the very least, it takes some thought.  Research papers take research and a lot of time and thought.  Poetry takes rhyming skills, imagination, and time and thought.  Speeches take at least some boldness to speak them to the crowd(and some time and thought- otherwise your audience will be disinterested).  Short stories take time, imagination, and more thought and more effort!

    Now with fictional stories, you don’t have a limit on how long your audience will listen to you speak(although it’s a good thing to keep their attention!), and you don’t have any history/facts to use for your writing material like there is for a research paper.  There’s no rule for rhyming the words….You are pretty much all on your own creating content for a story.  This is what fascinates me….

    It’s fascinating that you can keep all your character’s personalities straight as you write the story and keep them true to character.  It’s fascinating that you can write one chapter at a time, focusing on the “now” of the story, while still keeping in mind what you will need to accomplish for the twists and turns later in the story.  It’s fascinating that you have the imagination to come up with a story so different from anything else out there that it is worth reading versus some other story.  It’s fascinating that you don’t get bored with the story after a while, and give up).  I think that’s what I’ve done with pretty much every story I started to write- I came up with what I thought was a BRILLIANT beginning, but had nothing to follow it. I’m obviously just fascinated. 🙂

    So thank you to all writers out there for being who you are.  I promise I appreciate all your work, whether it’s fictional, poetry, biographical, or one of the many other types of writing!  Reading your writing makes life more interesting.  Thank you so much for putting your thoughts, imagination, work, and time onto paper(or a computer screen).

    And then there are editors and illustrators…..But I’ll save that for some other time. 😉  Have a wonderful rest of your week, and keep on writing!