Archive for November, 2008

I do not understand how Christmas decorations can get so dirty being stored in a box all year. 

The theme for this year’s Christmas is “making do.”  I was all set to go buy a new Christmas tree this year, had it all picked out, but when I went to buy it they were all sold out of the one I wanted.  I took this as a sign.  Soon after all of that hooha, the furnace went out, and five thousand dollars later, I am wiring broken branches back onto my old tree. 

Tis the season to be frugal. 

Today is also a good day for staying home, in my opinion.  There is no amount of money in the world, no discount large enough, to make me get out of bed before dawn — when I could sleep in instead — and go stand in line in front of a store somewhere, waiting for the doors to open.  That’s just insane.  But there are people of my acquaintance, and even members of my own family, who find that sort of thing to be the height of excitement.  Guess I’m just not an exciting person. 

So today I’m playing Christmas music on the stereo and putting up wreaths and garland, and making plans to make a lot of Christmas gifts this year.  (Rum cake, anyone?)  It feels good to get back to the ground floor of the season. 


— Mox

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First world dilemma.

I’m trying to decide if it would be okay to mix prescription anti-inflammatories with a glass of wine.  Meds in the morning, booze in the evening. 

I have bigger things on my plate to be concerned with, and yet this is the most pressing issue I can face right now. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 


— Mox

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Spawn is still quite adamant about becoming Catholic. 

The first step to take is for Spawn to participate in Reconciliation, which in my father’s day was known as First Confession.  I have my doubts as to what sorts of sins a second grader would be able to confess to, but it’s a clearing of the conscience, and no matter what your age, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.   My husband and I went to a parents’ meeting on Monday night to learn more about the sacrament of Reconciliation, and how they plan to move 40-odd children relatively quickly through the process.  What I know about being Catholic wouldn’t fit in a thimble, so of course what I learned during the meeting increased my knowledge exponentially.  Now, whether or not I understand everything still remains to be seen. 

While part of me is a little bit excited that Spawn has developed the conviction to take this step, there is a bit of reconciliation going on in my head at the same time. 

Part of the problem predates my existence on this earth, during those years that my very Catholic grandmother rode roughshod over my mother for 1) not becoming Catholic when she married my father, 2) not having a passel of kids right away, and 3) not raising me to be Catholic.  I think the term “Mother In Law From Hell” was coined for women like my grandmother.  It left a sour taste in my mother’s mouth, which in turn she passed on to me.  I have always been a bit circumspect about the Catholic faith because of that. 

Another schism I am working through is my view of gender as it relates to the Catholic church’s position on women.  When my husband and I married, our minister was a woman.  That was important to me.  The denomination I was raised in allows and encourages women to be in leadership roles.  I never have been one to accept being held back because of gender.  I think it’s important that gender as a barrier should be a nonissue, much as race as a barrier should be a nonissue.  It has nothing to do with intelligence or capability.  And while I don’t pretend to understand the mind of God, I do think that he doesn’t care too awful much whether you’re male or female, just so long as you’re willing. 

I have been examining my feelings about this, trying to decide what part of them are me and what’s fallout from 40+ years ago.  I certainly don’t want to infect Spawn with my prejudice on this subject; to do so would be to discount the kid’s reasoning and feeling about it.  Even at seven a kid needs to have a certain amount of trust placed in his/her judgement, and really, it’s not like we’re talking about knocking off banks here. 

Still, in for a penny, in for a pound.  We took Spawn to mass at the Catholic church this past weekend, which is something of a homecoming for me, as I have not been to a mass on a Sunday morning since I was Spawn’s age.  My husband seemed to take everything in stride, but in the long run I am not seeing him embracing the Catholic faith.  He’s quite the anti-establishment sort.  And all that stand up, sit down, kneel, lather, rinse, repeat stuff is not his cup of tea.  And having never really been exposed to Catholic worship, he was incredulous to learn that each and every service the church has follows the same format.  There is no “contemporary” service, like what he’s gotten used to at our Protestant church.  “You mean they do communion every time?” was his question.  Oh, yes.  This is not Church Lite, nosirree. 

Had it been me on this faith quest, I feel sure my husband would have waved from the driveway as I pulled out on my way to service.  But this is Spawn’s great desire.  And as any parent knows, your children will move you to do things you never thought you would do. 


— Mox

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How does guilt taste?

My mother and I have been talking about how we’re both going to start getting rid of stuff that people have given us, and not be guilty about it.  I mean, why be guilty if you don’t like that tole-painted goose that someone gave you, because they didn’t know what kind of stuff you like?  It’s the thought that counts, right?

In theory.  All theories become null and void when my mother enters the picture. 

As I mentioned earlier, one of the things I have recently become motivated to purge from my household is a lot of seasonal stuff.  I’ve got a collection of Christmas village buildings and accessories that I no longer have room to (safely) display.  And it’s a shame, almost, because back in the day I really enjoyed creating the little scenes.  Some of the pieces are really beautiful.  But after the cat played hockey with little porcelain people, the charm started to lose its’ luster for me.  After all, there’s only so much super glue you can purchase. 

So I sat at my dining room table on Sunday at listed the whole lot of it on eBay.  My mother came in for a visit later that afternoon and asked me what I was doing.  When I told her that I was selling my village, her reaction was, “Well.  I guess I should have never spent all that money on that stuff.” 

Waitaminit.  Wait a gol-durn minute.  She’s got twice the village pieces I have, and duplicates of some of the things that I have.  She doesn’t put many of hers out these days, either.  And one day, it will all be mine. 

So… what?  I’m supposed to hang onto this stuff?  Not do anything with it?  For what purpose?  To avoid offending my mother?  Especially since she was the one who initiated the conversation about getting rid of stuff that people have given us if we don’t use it?  I mean, it was HER IDEA. 


My mother can work a nerve like nobody’s business. 


— Mox

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From “the hits just keep on coming” department: 

Back during the summer I noticed a little bit of pain in my left knee after a workout.  Nothing too serious, but it felt almost like a muscle strain along the back of my knee.  I took some time off from my regular workout, babied it, wrapped it when I did work out, and went on my way. 

It’s never really felt right, though.  I spend a lot of time sitting in the average workday, and whenever I get up from my desk my knee is stiff.  And since my mother has had both knees replaced, I know that knee pain is nothing to futz around with.  So today I went to my doctor to see if maybe I should be doing something about it. 

Turns out there is some fluid on the knee.  My doctor sent me to the lab for some x-rays and gave me a prescription for some slam-bang anti-inflammatories.  And kaboshed my abs class for the time being.  And suggested that I try my walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical machine, rather than walking around the track.  Because my two-miles-in-thirty-minutes is really pounding the hell out of my joints. 

I’m one of those weird people who actually enjoys that little ache you get from a good workout.  But I do not recover like I used to.  This thing with my knee is just not healing itself. 

Guess I’ll be in the warm therapy pool with all of the other little old ladies before this is all over with. 


— Mox

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(Yes, a post on Saturday.  Because I feel some entitlement to whine right now.)

Dear reader, I am cold. 

Not your run-of-the-mill cold because it’s 22 freakin’ degrees outside sort of cold.  Oh no, that would be a mere luxury. 

This is more of a whoops-your-30-year-old-furnace-is-broken sort of cold. 

Meaning, currently it is 60° inside my house.  And dropping. 

On a good day, 60° is colder than I want for it to be, inside or out.  My threshold for cold tolerance stops at about 74°.  In this instance, 60° is warmer than it is outside, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but not what you want for it to be within the walls of your castle. 

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that even with Thanksgiving coming on we should be warmly ensconced with a new furnace just in time for the holidays.  To the tune of a dollar figure with three zeros behind it. 

Argh, ack, and ugh. 

Well, there goes Christmas.  Happy freakin’ holidays. 


— Mox

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Right.  So the other day I wrote about some of the minutiae in my life, namely the epic purging that’s going on in my household.  I am trying to feel the progress as it’s happening but I am really tired of gnawing on this particular bone. 

I was starting to feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel until I realized.  Christmas is coming.  And I have some stuff that I need to put up on eBay that is seasonal.  Like a boatload of Department 56 Dickens Village houses. 

Argh.  Another lost weekend putting things up on eBay. 

But if I can successfully shed myself of these things, then there’s one more plastic storage box that I can use for something else.  I mean, let’s be honest — I have cats.  I have a kid.  I have no safe place to be putting up a Christmas village made entirely of porcelain.  These things haven’t seen the light of day in at least five Christmasses.  They need to GO. 

I mean, I might as well do this since it has turned wicked cold.  Yesterday, y’all, it actually SNOWED.  Nothing that stuck, but still. Snow this time of year is just too blasted much.  And I’m just far enough away from our beach vacation that I can no longer call up the feeling I had sitting on the sand. 

Nope.  Nowadays I’m sitting around inside in sweatpants listing stuff on eBay.  But I’m going to be listening to Caribbean music the whole time I’m doing it. 


— Mox

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