So we survived Halloween by keeping the shutters closed and the porch light off. Oh what a party pooper you may say, but hear me out. Mr. Husband and I are the babies in our neighborhood. The majority of our neighbors are elderly and the only time a house goes up for sale around here is when someone died. There are no houses with children near us.
Any kids that show up here are bused in from who knows where and swarm all over the block scaring us half to death when they dart out into the street from between parked cars. I don’t like it. When I’m in a cynical mood I wonder if the parents are hoping for the opportunity for a juicy lawsuit. I prefer children that I at least know in passing, as in I trip over their tricycle when walking my dog, they throw a Tonka truck at my head, etc.
The holidays are always a weird time for me. It is particularly stressful for me because I have in-laws who have entirely different expectations of when and how to celebrate holidays. After going through this for years I have developed a deep-seated resentment because my in-laws tend to ignore the fact that I have my own family with their own expectations and ways of doing things. This is mostly my fault because I haven’t put my foot down and explained that I have a right to celebrate my way occasionally. Instead I’ve piled up a humongous debris tower of resentment.
I have bowed out a few times over the years and gone to be with my family for Thanksgiving. I always have a lot of fun even though my family gatherings can get a bit wild and crazy. So… what to do…what to do?
I’m going try to plan a bit this year and decide what I am willing and capable of doing. I’m going to send out Christmas cards this year. I haven’t for a few years, partly because I received a snippy reply from one of the card recipient’s informing me that I was wasting the earth’s precious resources and killing trees by sending out Christmas cards. Well, how rude! I removed them from my list and in an attempt to take the high ground I refrained from calling them and sharing my opinion that they should take up residence next door to the Grinch who stole Christmas.
So here I am facing the holidays again. It occurred to me while ruminating about this subject for the last few days is that Mr. Husband our past 10 years together has not joined me with my family for a holiday even once. It’s been his way or the highway, year after year. I’m not quite sure why I put up with this, but it’s starting to piss me off. Why do I do this to myself? I’ll just grin and bear something for years or even decades and then suddenly it’s a Mt. Vesuvius eruption of anger and resentment. Then I decide that I’m not going take it anymore and Yee Haaa, here we go.
So it’s not too early to plan for the holidays. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to do the Christmas card thing. But, for Thanksgiving I’m going to visit my family in New Orleans. What the heck, maybe I’ll just stay there for Christmas. I haven’t been with my family for Christmas in maybe 20 years. It’s high time to do something about that.
I’ll be the first to admit that I just do not understand what is going on inside the talking heads up there in Washington. But I am at even more of a loss than usual these days. This ridiculous government shut down nonsense is simply beyond the pale. I would give me left arm to be a fly on the wall in the room where “they” decide what is essential and what is non–essential as far as government services are concerned.
I’ll bet good money that the government-funded barber shops, restaurants, and private health care for the bigwigs up there in Washington are buzzing along, business as usual. Yet our tax dollars are now spent to shut down national monuments that are just sitting there in the open air and not even manned to begin with. People have been arrested people for hiking in the Grand Canyon. I am shocked and appalled. How on earth or what kind of bizarre disconnect from reality, does it take for a government officials to decide they have the right to close a canyon, for God’s sake??? It is one of the wonders of the natural world. Our national parks, which people come from all over the world to see, are closed. What kind of message does this send to our neighbors on this planet?
I’m concerned that we are rapidly becoming the laughing-stock of the civilized world. As a rather cantankerous grandmother, sometimes I think that our elected officials up there in Washington all need a stern do better talk, a good spanking and all sent to bed without their supper until they stop bickering, learn to work together and do what it is that we hired them to do…which is run our government in an efficient, humane and prosperous way, as they solemnly promised to do when elected.
Right now it reminds me more of school yard shenanigans where boys get in a snit because everyone won’t play by their rules so they snatch up their toys and go home. We the people, who purchased their toys in the first place, are not getting our money’s worth by any stretch of the imagination.
I have to admit that I am more outraged than usual by the absurd twists and turns in our nation’s capital. It hit Mr. Husband and I personally because we had plans with a group of 10 to go to Gettysburg this week and receive a day and half private tour by the director of a documentary which will come out soon on the PBS television station. This came about because a friend of ours was one of the people to fund the documentary. But now we can’t do it and our trip is cancelled because the Gettysburg National Cemetery is CLOSED.
Well with all this horrifying hoop de la going with that shooting at the navy yard in Washington my life somehow seems trivial in comparison. And that my friends is why I think watching the news is bad for the psyche!
So anyway, back to my life. As I mentioned what seemed like eons ago but was actually only a couple of weeks, Mr. Husband and I went to Seattle to attend a cousin’s wedding and visit a friend who lives on an island a short ferry ride from the city.
The wedding turned out to be a wonderful and joyous event as weddings often do, but it was a comedy of errors getting there in the first place. The groom chose a location way out in the boonies, a Christmas tree farm owned by a friend of his father. The whole wedding party and prep team moved out there the Wednesday before the Saturday wedding day.
It quickly turned into a temporary mini city with campers, people down by the lake in tents and the whole shebang, almost another Woodstock. Their family is a good fit with ours because that sounds like something we would do. AFTER they got down there it occurred to them that there is no cell phone coverage so people coming in from out-of-town had no way to reach them.
The only way to reach anyone at the farm was to leave a message at the main house which had a land line. Then they had to leave the property and drive up the hill near the town to return calls and check text messages. They gave out the wrong number, oopsie, then finally figured it out and gave out the right one the day before the wedding. To make it even more comical, the wife of the owner of the property decided, right at this crucial, time to go on a telephone blab-fest with her girlfriends and ignore call waiting in the process so no one could get through.
But it all worked out and we figured out how to get there on our own. It was a good 2 hour drive southeast of Seattle. We had an interesting talk with the owner of the farm. The property is 20 miles South West of Mount St. Helens and when she blew their farm was covered with 6 inches of volcanic ash. Good fertilizer eventually, but it did kill off all the Christmas trees and they had to start over.
In the end a good time was had by all. I wish the happy couple a long and loving life together.
Yesterday when I published my post about stress WordPress popped up a little window announcing that it was my 450th post. Wow, I didn’t realize how prolific I have been these past few years. Then I got to doing some math. Hmm, I’ll say my average post is 500 words. They are usually longer, but I’m using a conservative estimate here. Multiply that by 450 and I get 225,000 words. The average fiction book is between 80,000 to 120,000 words. So I’ve written the equivalent of 2 books since I started this blog. A rather interesting factiod, if I do say so myself.
So all the stuff the experts say about book writing is starting to ring true for me. To not the let the size of the project overwhelm me, but rather just do a little writing on it every day, not matter what, and eventually voila, I have the first draft. I know I have a book in me somewhere and I work on it sometimes in spurts. But the doing it in spurts methods makes it much harder. If I put it down for months and come back to it, I’ve completely forgotten what I was aiming at and practically have to start over. Sheesh, I have trouble remembering what I ate for breakfast yesterday.
Another reason I know I have a book in me is because I’m told by friends and relatives, freakishly often, when listening to some wacky adventure I had way back when, tell me flat-out “You should write a book! This stuff needs to be in writing.”
So this morning I’m re-inspired. I finally accept at a gut level that it doesn’t have to be a herculean task. Just chip away a little every day. Doing a little everyday will keep the whole thing fresh in my head. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.
I’m having temporary technical difficulties accessing my stored snippets. The external storage device I store the draft on has decided not to speak to my new network after getting AT&T Uverse installed. But this is a minor problem and one that I can probably solve in a few minutes with only a medium level of cursing to add to the melodrama. It’s just another excuse though. And I swear I’ll get right on it…as soon as I get back from our trip to Seattle, (we leave tomorrow). The Pacific Northwest and a wedding…life just doesn’t get any better. Booyaa!
I’m going up the country Babe, don’t you wanna go?
I’m going up the country Babe, don’t you wanna go?
I’m going to some place where I’ve never been before
Lyrics, Going up to the Country, Canned Heat
Well the dog days of this Texas Summer are almost over and I got the itch. Want to go somewhere, get on the road, in a car, board a plane. It’s time to start packing. Mr. Husband and I are heading to Seattle in a week or so and I can’t wait. We are attending my cousin’s wedding. That’s my excuse anyway, not that I’m not looking forward to her wedding.
I Love the Pacific Northwest, it’s so green and lush and laid back. If money was no object I would have a summer house up there. Texas winters can be a bit on the nasty side, but it’s the wicked summers that really do me in. A hundred degrees in the shade every day, where’s the fun in that? I’m hoping that the Hubman falls in love with the area like I am and wants to go back frequently.
With Hubman holding my hand to draw strength from, maybe I’ll finally go up in the Space Needle. It’s a major tourist attraction in Seattle that I’ve avoided like the plague, mainly because I don’t handle heights well. I get dizzy on a step stool.
Furthermore with travel plans, I’ve decided that’s it my turn this year to spend Thanksgiving with my family in New Orleans. I’ve done the last 3 here in Texas with Mr. Husband’s family and it’s always a fine and sumptuous feast, but I miss my family, even if they do drive me bat shit crazy on a regular basis.
My sister is going to China about the same time we will be in Seattle. She’s going with her dad to visit her extended family in Beijing. Her father is a Hawaiian Chinese mix and he had children prior to meeting my mother, so she has a half-brother, his wife and children there. They have plans to visit the Great Wall and all kinds of exotic adventures. I can’t wait to experience it vicariously through pictures.
She asked me if I had any advice for her about traveling to China. I’ve been to Hong Kong, Kowloon, and Macau, but never mainland China. I told her that the most important thing to bring was an open mind and a sense of humor. Although a voltage converter plug, lots of stomach medicine, and her favorite brand of contact lens solution would be an asset.
I also warned her that men treat women entirely different there. There is no concept of chivalry as we know it here in the deep south of the U.S.A. A man will not only not hold a door for a woman at any time, but will knock her down in his attempt to get through the door before her. They will even swarm and bash into you in a rush to beat you to board a plane. I never did understand that. The seats are assigned and no matter whether you board first or last, you’re all leaving at the same time when the plane takes off. It must be a cultural thing.
I’m also contemplating squeezing a trip to Tucson, New Mexico in October to visit an old friend there. I haven’t visited with her in almost 9 years. She is in her late 70’s so I think it’s high time to get my butt out there for a visit.
Life is good. I love to travel and I have 3 trips stored in my hopper of imagination already. Tally Ho!