Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)
Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.
This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.
Monday, December 01, 2003
We had a strong storm move through sometime Wednesday night, which caused Miss Reba no small amount of discomfort all night, and led to her rising with MUCH NOISE and BOUNCING OF THE MATTRESS at DAWN. I can sleep through a tornado, but not all that flouncing of sheets and stomping through the bathroom and other louditude.
I love my wife with all my heart, yet I have never been able to figure out why it is that on the days when I can sleep in, she seems hellbent on getting up before the rooster and making sure that I know about it, WHILE ON OTHER DAYS, such as days when she has to go to work, or on Sundays when we have to get out of the house on time, she is nigh unto impossible to shove out of the bed.
I have mentioned in passing to her before this odd phenomenon, only to receive The Look, which tells me that it is better to be roused too early from a warm bed, than to sleep all I want outside in a tent.
Be that as it may, she cannot be faulted for her work when she got downstairs--she fixed some more sort of breakfast--pan fried country-style ribs with redeye gravy, scrambled eggs with cheese, grits, biscuits, and coffee. (See, in the end, getting up ain't all so bad!) The heck with all that Pilgrim mess--THAT was a Thanksgiving meal!
After the dishes were put away and the kids otherwise occupied, it was time for Daddy to go into the forest and hew down a Yule tree to place beside the hearth. I donned my clothing, pulled down the stairs to the attic and sallied forth to the attic and pulled down the compact yet cumbersome cardboard box containing the Oglesby Family Plastic Christmas Tree.
As I lovingly detailed two years ago, this hearty and venerable old beast has been with us for a while--we bought it way back in '92 (during the Great Plastic Harvest), and it's still going strong. More or less. This year I noticed that due to the repackaging effort of one of the oafish, marsupial-like daddy elves last year, the very tip top branch had broken off, with the attendant splinters of plastic and loose stuff. No big deal--the big decoration on top always covers it up anyway. (This year is Santa Claus in a big Liberace-esque gold lame and white fur number. No, really. I think he may have been watching a bit too much Bravo! or something.)
I also got down the boxes of ornaments and lights with the help of Little Boy, who was much more fascinated with the mysteries of the attic. "Oooo--it looks like SNOW!"
"Son, don't touch this stuff--it's fiberglass and it'll make you itch."
"What does it do?"
"It's insulation, it keeps the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter and makes you itch if you touch it. So don't touch it."
I handed down the boxes and he put them at the bottom of the ladder, and then ambled down myself and buttoned things back up.
"My arm itches."
::sigh: "It'll go away after while, let's go put up the tree."
Which we did. Although he quickly lost interest when it came time to fold out each one of the 1,876 individual fir-tree-like tips. This year, though, Cat was finally old actually be of some help, so we put on one of the billion Christmas music CDs we have, lit a fire in the fireplace for atmosphere, and got to work.
Soon, (soon being something like an hour and a half) we had a glorious recreation of a living organism which had been brutally hacked from Mother Earth for the sake of a paganistic ritual. Put the box away, and then it was time for the blinkie lights. Thank heavens they were nicely rolled up and not tangled this year. One thing I did do right last year was make sure of that, so they went on quickly.
Then, Thanksgiving lunch. Since we had such a tremendous breakfast, lunch was a bit more simple--roasted turkey breast, lentils, and turnip greens. The lentils do seem sort of odd--Reba had gotten a big bag of them a couple of weeks ago in order to make a decorated turkey for Catherine (big poster board cutout of a turkey, done as a mosaic using dried peas and beans and the aforementioned lentils). Anyway, we've been eating them for the past two weeks now, and they are pretty good. Like black-eyed peas, though, they do better as leftovers.
Back to the tree, where the kids all piled into the decoration boxes and made a concerted effort to tell on each other for not being careful with the decorations. Luckily, this year nothing broke, and I didn't have any child-induced episodes of spinning on the floor like Curly Howard.
Stockings were hung, halls were decked, lights were placed in windows, doors were bewreathed, and the whole place made ready for Mr. Kringle.
"Are we going to leave cookies and milk for Santa this year?"
"OH, you bet, Cat. He's always real hungry."
"And we gonna leave carrots for the reindeers?"
"Yes indeed--they appreciate any sort of healthy, low-carbohydrate snack."
"Yes, sugar, we're going to leave carrots for the reindeer."
"Good, cause they get real hungry."
Indeed they do!
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