December 27, 2006

Hi All

Well, it is a couple of days after Christmas and I am only just now realizing that it is Wednesday not Thursday...Almost visited C and L already today because I usually visit them on Thursdays, and yesterday I thought today would be January 3rd, which is a week from today. So obviously I'm discombobulated with this holiday schedule, though just two weeks ago I actually drove to C and L's house and walked right in on Wednesday, thinking it was Thursday, so it isn't all the holiday.

Anyhow, how was your Chanukah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or your just plain day off from the hustle and bustle if you don't celebrate a holiday? If anyone wants to share how their day went, good or bad, do feel free to write about it or them in the comment section, as you are always more than welcome to do.

We started the Christmas holiday at noon on Christmas Eve with four of us, Karen, Gary, Joe and I meeting in Karen's apartment for a special meal that each of us had contributed to. After hors d'oeuvres, which the two guys ate ravenously as Karen insisted we sit and talk for an hour and a half while the chicken cooked, instead of having it ready when everyone came, we finally ate dinner. Karen, who is Italian by ethnicity, made her family's recipe for chicken cacciatore, Joe had made green bean casserole, which he happens to like and finds easy to chew, I'd made colcannon (potatoes mashed with cabbage) and Gary helped store the food in his nearly empty refrigerator as he generally eats Meals on Wheels and so doesn't buy food or store it. For dessert I had made Christmas butter cookies and raspberry sherbet (the latter of which came out terrible, though I made it from the recipe that came with the machine...the next day I doctored it myself, and it came out much much better). By four o'clock I was exhausted and had had it with people contact, especially since we'd have to do it all day on Christmas, so I said I hoped people would continue without me, but I had to go home. They watched a movie after I left, which is good, and I went upstairs to veg out and lie down as I'd slept only 4 hours the night before.

That night I slept 9 hours and was much better rested for Christmas day. We all woke around the same time, 10 oclock and got together at 11am for breakfast and opening the presents we had bought each other. THen we had to get dressed and drive to my parents house in Madison for Christmas Day dinner, at four in the afternoon. Joe felt strong enough to drive us, so we took his car, though I was worried about his getting overtired once there and not wanting to drive home...and Karen also being too tired as well. What would we do then? As it turned out, Joe had a great time. He was the only adult that my 23 year old niece A would let enter her conversation (hah) about "those lazy welfare mothers" -- this privileged, never deprived of anything she wants, spoiled brat, who knows NOTHING about welfare as we no longer know it actually had the audacity to complain about those poor people who have too many babies just to get free money!! For one thing, A, that welfare system is dead and gone for many years now. Welfare is lifetime limited, and most is workfare, you work for your minimum welfare check...and god help you if you don't find a decent paying job while you still receive it as you can and will be cut from the rolls when your short time allotted is up. If you can't afford to feed your kids adequately, they can be taken from you... But who is A to talk about "welfare mothers"? She never had to work a day in her life until now, when she wants to live in NYC and buy enough clothing so she can change her outfits EVERY SINGLE DAY. She has never served anyone but herself, and has never done anyone a favor unless she could expect one back. I fear she is more like her father every day, a sociopath literally without a conscience (and that is her mother's diagnosis or him, not mine).

But in any event, except for that one sour aspect of the dinner, the rest went fine. I couldn't pay attention to most of any conversation anyway, including A's, mostly just heard that remark and a couple of others, then was distracted. But my father sat down at our end of the table, the foot, turning the head over to Sal, Lynnie's fiance to be, and we and Karen talked softly about safer topics. I ate well, a little of EVERYTHING served. Then had a decent serving of Christmas pudding, a very old English recipe of a steamed cake made of raisins and molasses and brown sugar and flour and suet...absolutely delicious, says everyone who tries it, with the whipped cream "special sauce" my grandmother's grandmother always served it with.

By the end of dessert, though, I could not stay any longer, I simply had to leave, and not be around such a hubbub any longer, so I asked Joe if we could get going, but that seemed to be a general signal to all, which no one seemed to mind, frankly, as everyone rose en masse and started getting coats and saying their good-byes as my father told me he was heading up to bed (it was barely 6:30pm but he gets up at 4am). It had started out a gray day, but now, in the dark, it was pouring and relatively cold for the warm days in the 50s we'd been having, but not cold enough to even turn the rain to sleet, just in the 40s. We took the longer but better lit way home as the traffic was heavier as everyone was returning from Christmas celebrations by then and got there by 7:30pm. We were all exhausted and after everyone picking up their gifts from my apartment, we separated and went to bed, "with sugarplums wearily dancing in our heads."

It was a good holiday all in all, but I am glad Christmas comes only once a year as that much socializing is entirely too much for me, and the stress of having to try to pay attention to conversations in such a crowded noisy room, where I know everyone and hear everything, is overwhelming. I still need some down time in order to recuperate, and may continue to take some days off here to get it. I don't know that I will, but I may have to. In any event, if I don't write a lot this week, I will pick up again in the New Year, after all this -- has died down and I can take a deep breath again.

Thanks for understanding. Once again, feel free to write about your own holidays in my comments section. I'll be checking there, even if I don't write myself. And it will give people a reason to stop by and read, and gives you a reason to come by: to share and get some feedback on what might have been difficult times, or maybe successfully managed times, or whatever. Do tell us!

Posted by pamwagg at December 27, 2006 05:50 PM



Please come back soon! I miss you.

Posted by: Elizabeth Grace at January 1, 2007 06:04 PM

Dear Pam,

Thanks for the photos, they're great. I 'm glad to hear you had a good Christmas Eve and Christmas. For some reason I imagined you and Joe and Karen going over to your parents house on Christmas Eve and staying over through Christmas in a full house where you would slip off to an empty room for some privacy. I don't know why I thought this. The reality seems much more sensible. But I know what you mean about needing to recuperate after the holiday.

I just arrived home last evening to some attention starved kitties (who are now blissfully sleeping on the couch near me). Last night I loaded them up with catnip as a welcome home present to all of us. How's Eemie doing these days?

My Christmas Eve and Christmas went well also. Not much stress, pretty quiet. Still, I'm very glad to be home again. I love my family but I'm so used to having my own space and solitude that after two weeks of togetherness I was sorely in need of it again.

Welcome home Pam. After you get settled back into your routine let us know how you're doing.

Posted by: Kate K. at December 28, 2006 12:34 PM

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