yesterday's activities


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True. Some things are necessary. But nobody NEEDS five dollar fleece jackets at 9:00PM on Thanksgiving. People can wait until 10:00AM on Black Friday. Really.

On a related note, I was very, very touched to see that first responders from all over New England (especially Connecticut) pitched in to give the police in Newtown, CT, a day off for Christmas. That tugged at my heart strings, big time. :)


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Agree with everything you said, F.

I think I mentioned that my new brother-in-law, who is a police officer (and Jewish) worked on December 24th and 25th. He got double time pay for it.

Two Christmas Eves ago when I hurt my back, I was grateful for the doctor at Doctors Express and for the ER people. That would have been a tough 36 hours to get through without them.

What hurts my heart is that a lot of low-wage workers are FORCED to work on holidays...and aren't given double time. Instead, they are given the incentive of "We will fire you if you don't show up." It is becoming much more pervasive to have grocery stores, low-price dept stores, etc, have hours on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is one thing if a worker elects to work on Christmas because the boss is offering 1.5x or a 2x the regular wage, or in anticipation of generous Christmas Day tips at a restaurant. It is another thing if the worker is coerced.

We NEED there to be police officers, fire fighters, doctors/nurses/EMTs. Those are essential services.

No one needs to Black Friday shop on Thursday.


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I work in a 24/7 petrol station/convenience store...we are open all holidays, all the time, and the company has a policy that you can't ask for annual leave between the 19th of December and the 1st of January. I worked Christmas morning, which was ok, and am working New Year's Eve. Realistically, they are meant to follow your standard availability when rostering holidays. Christmas I was working my available hours, 6am-10am. That was fine. NYE is a Monday night, which I'm not usually available.

But I'm working it...because I might need to ask for annual leave favours in the future, and "I worked an 8 hour shift on New Year's Eve, and I worked Christmas" is a pretty good bargaining chip. The only loading we get is I think a 10% loading. Mainly because our shop is considered part of a motor trade/mechanic work agreement, not a retail one, which it should be.

Sort of sucks to work those hours, but at least the vast majority of customers are happy on those days, compared to normally, when they are grumpy at having to pay for petrol, etc.


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ccm; agree

....movies for me are a mixed bag...I know alot of single folks, clergy etc, who do not have anyone to spend the holidays fact, on the way in I ran into a lady from my gym who had just put her husband on hospice and was just getting a few hours of respite to see the movie....


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if there is a truly to good to pass up sale, it has to wait until after the holiday has also passed. i have watchec my daughter run target superstore sections, sick sick and sicker, not able to take vacation from november to february and have a few hours sleep over the course of the prep for black friday, work on black friday, over christmas, etc etc, which is why i am here visiting. she has made the leap back into a quasi teaching position not only is it becuase its now or never but the expectation to work 60 hours a week, next year opening at 9 p.m. on thanksgiving, the precious little time she has with her kids during their off school and after school time, plus the recent "you were off with strep for five days when you should have been here, tweeked her 31 year old self enough to say, enough i work 16 to 20 hour days, i saw a doctor, i was contagious, and this is the respect a mgr gets? seeeee yaaaaa!
so yesterday we talked about the return to school position,
the kids are thrilled!
went bowling and rock climbing at main event venue
barnes and noble visit
clothing shopping
and made plans for
stuffoli making with the kids, while getting plowed with nerf items in the yard!!!!
cold here, but loving it, kids asking "when are you teaching us to ski?" wellllllllll hmmmmmmm lol


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on the shopping thing; that has no interest for me...I don't like to shop on any day of the year ...let alone busy, crazy holiday shopping....not worth the savings....and yes,i have an aunt who has worked for Target for over 25 years who has had no life for the holidays for that entire time and she should have earned it by now...totally sucks


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Snowing here in central MD! My day therefore consisted predominantly of a decadent amount of reading:
-Finished reading Body Outlaws.
-Finished reading The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch with Child.
-Started reading of Pat Barker's Toby's Room.
-Spent a brief period outside watching Child sled and dog frolic around her. (She was out there a lot longer than I was. She also co-opted TWO pairs of my gloves!!! And refused to wear her snowpants!)
-6 miles on treadmill and shower.


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To supermarket v early, before the snow; I have party prep to do!
Party prep, which includes making an enormous pot of meatballs in sauce
Watch it snow
Read in front of perfect fire in fireplace, in the room with the Xmas tree
Feed people meatballs in sauce, then pack the rest up and put it in cold storage
Write a lot; been a while


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saturday...teach an oldies class....for the life of me I cannot remember a single other noteworthy fairly certain that the rest of the day was about cooking and cleaning and not much else...I remember playing cards late at night with dh and son....having said that, I think some of these days of blissful nothingness have probably been good and important melissa harris perry...continue to help my house to recover from the holidays....continue to feed the bottomless pit that is my son...attend an open house for God-dtr who is recently returned from several months in India...

chat with a friend

waffle over whether I will stay home on new years or drive to indy...with no pun intended :)...4am son and dh leave for airport....


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Beautiful but cold and windy day, and there's not enough snow for the snow blower to work, plus a nice layer of ice underneath it, so, get up and break out the shovels, the snow melting crystals, and the car brush
Discover I don't have a car brush, remember that I drove over the last one I had, back when I lived with the ex; note to self, buy a car brush
It's a looooooooooong driveway; brother and SIL do a great job on it, I guess living in southern CA makes them nostalgic for snow, so they're happy to help; go for it, I say
Visit from hottie contractor and his hugely pregnant fiancee, this is wonderful, he has grown up so much; I kind of miss the old, freewheeling gypsy him, but the Mark II version is lovely
More party prep; father has requested eggnog, since people he's invited have requested it of him; eggnog around here is of the extremely alcoholic type, you can practically light it with a match, so off to the liquor store I go, then beat eggs, sugar, cream, brandy, and rum, put all into a crock, and set outside to chill (who needs a fridge, this time of year?)
Local brother has invited an unknown number of people, mostly cousins, here, for pizza, at 7pm; at 6, he arrives with a stack of pies, turns on the oven for warming, we arrange the area and figure out where all those pizzas and all those people are going to fit; hey, you know as well as anyone that (a)more people in a small space feels like a party and (b)everyone's going to end up in the kitchen anyway, so why fight it? he adopts philosophy and the crowded, warm kitchen becomes the Place To Be
His wife proceeds to micromanage my arrangements for the party I'm throwing on New Year's Day; I discover that I'm perfectly content to let her do so; it's as if all my control-freak issues are draining away, how can this be? who are you, and what have you done with j_a?
Phone conversation with dance buddy, which allows me to escape to upstairs so I can hear myself think and my friend talk, then go back downstairs and find that company has arrived and pizza is being consumed; I recognize exactly one of the cousins (he's *memorably* gorgeous, I'd have to be dead not to recognize him), but they all remember me, so I clearly cannot ask people their names, too embarrassing
Some cousins come up to view the newly-decorated library, meet Cat, oooh and aaah at the spectacular moon over the river, peep into bedrooms, get the nickel tour, in short (long story)
Back down for dessert; my brother has made a cookie cake, go figure; they never outgrow cookie cake, do they?
I last about another ten minutes, then am felled by fatigue and slip away upstairs to sleep
Cat, who has accepted homage from visitors all evening, is pleased that her bedwarmer has arrived


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watch dh deal with hip pain from nerve most of day.
watch grandkids and teach them how to make stuffoli
dd and partner, take down christmas decor quickly and start talking about
flipping 93end caps for work the next day, whew.
do zumba with daughter and her new dvd set exhileration hysterical laughterensues.
read whimpy kid book with grandson.
cheer for washington redskins football team.
we make a huge crab boil, kids devour seafood. geeezzzzzzzzzz.
pillow fight is on! it is a good night that end with a toasty fire and roasted marshmellows.


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-Read 100+ pages.
-Wrote in diary.
-Made 2 recipes.
-Put in 1 hr on treadmill.

MONDAY, a.k.a. New Year's Eve:
Woke up after a somewhat broken night. I dreamt about my high school jazz band director who has been dead for a number of years and woke up at around 4:30 feeling guilty that I hadn't seen him often enough after I graduated. Took me awhile to doze back off after that.

10:15--Husband left to go have a head CT (looking at his sinuses) and a chest x-ray. Day 71. Still sick.
10:45--Left with Child for science center.
11:45-4--Midnight Noon!
-Ball drop.
-Went to the planetarium show. Very funny guy doing the show, who made fun of how Ursa Minor doesn't really look like a bear, maybe more like a weasel. He also said Cassiopeia must be stinky if she's spent all those years in the sky without being able to dip below the horizon and take a bath. He blew up Jupiter so we could all see it and its moons and then said "You will never see Jupiter like this in the night sky. If you do, I suggest you make other arrangements!"
-Toured traveling exhibit: "Race: Are We Really So Different?" HIGHLY recommend this if it comes to your area!!!
-Big ping pong ball drop in the center atrium, so of course Child wanted to be a part of that.
-Dinosaur area. We first came here with Child when she was 2 1/2, so a lot of memories of this place.
Home by 5, before the crazies could get on the road. Not going out this year b/c Husband is still ill.
Chicken curry I made the day before for din.
I felt like the house was kind of cold, so retreated upstairs to Husband's office, which is by far the warmest room in the house.
Finished reading Pat Barker's Toby's Room.
Wrote in diary.
Bed before midnight. I was tired!


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2 1/2, playing around in big dinosaur footprint.
10, checking out her own Maryland Science Center photos lying in big dinosaur footprint.
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Learning about air currents in Newton's Alley, totally delighted, age 2 1/2:

Hoisting herself up using a pulley, also in Newton's Alley, age 10
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So you mean struffoli? As in little fried dough balls drizzled with honey syrup?!?! *swoon*. My god. I haven't had those in ages, and I LOVE them. My uncle is the only one in the family who makes them, but only for Christmas, and I haven't seen him the last couple if Christmases. Sigh. One if these days I need to learn.

(Also, major hint freakin hint for next year's DF auction. :) I don't care what it will cost me, if you put them up for auction they will be MINE!!)


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enjoyed the pics ccm

yesterday; practice, use spanish flash cards on myself, journaling, set up some lunch dates, read a memory of anything else

today, because I am almost done; three practice sessions, shop for some basics in my wardrobe that have worn out, repair/mend things in both dh's and my wardrobe, download some music for step class, clean out some junk in a few closets, watch NU game as mandated ....can't remember much else...oh...and thoroughly enjoyed peaches cincy chili and the cherries...both were awesome


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@Fascination--Spanish flash cards? Are you going on a trip somewhere or just trying to improve your Spanish? My sense is that there probably is not a large Spanish-speaking in your immediate area, but perhaps I am wrong. About 15 years ago, I took some Spanish. One thing my Spanish teacher had us do was read articles from CNNenespanol. It was a fun way to improve vocabulary.

Woke up...Happy New Year! But something seemed off. Went downstairs and checked the thermostat. Yup. 62 degrees. Turns out the blower of our heat pump had tripped a fuse and wasn't blowing. (Husband figured this out when he woke up hours later, not me. I would have had to call the HVAC guy if I were single b/c I was stumped. I'll bet that would have cost a pretty penny on New Year's Day.) Husband's theory is that all the dust from the basement remodel caused the fan to have problems and tripped the system.

Additionally, my cat Cleopatra knocked over one of Husband's computers by springing off of it. All this before 9 AM. So the morning was a little more exciting than I would have liked.

Read some of Stephen Greenblatt's The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. (It's a Pulitzer Prize winning book.)

Made a delicious lunch for me and Husband: chicken salad with craisins, walnuts, and celery, served on a bed of greens. We have been rating the recipes (mostly WW and skinnytaste) I've made recently from 1-10 and he said this one was a 9 and I can make this for him any time I want. :) It was YUMMY! I love craisins.

Grocery store b/c I stupidly left out the chicken stock on the kitchen counter...and it needs to be refrigerated after opening.

Child and I made Slow Cooker South Indian Lentil Stew. I really enjoyed having her in the kitchen helping me with all the different spices.

We read some of The Last Apprentice: The Curse of the Bane which just arrived from Amazon on Monday.

Put away laundry to try to make sure we were ready for school the next day.

Treadmill--6 miles, shower. (Jogged for 5 miles straight at 6 mph pace, then intervals.)


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ccm...we actually have a decent sized hispanic population around here...(particularly where I choose to eat :))....I took 4 years of Spanish and have not retained it well and have always regretted it, because I love the culture....I could see myself, when my dancing days are over, or reduced, doing ministry in the Hispanic community, either nearby or far flash cards and watching more telemundo for me


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yes peaches! i cannot type on this flat screen keyboard notbook whatever this is device, same one dh brought along on the road trip so forgive the missing "r". my mother was, God bless her soul german and northern italian, the honey balls were Easter and Christmas only, flour on the counter in a volcano shape, eggs in the center and the mixing with hands was great, my grandkids, all of them 5,5,6 and 7 had the most fabulous time, making this and while making this, i shared with them their italian heritage and their great grandmothers christmas tradition, they asked alot of questions, and my daughter felt the need to take pics of all of us making this, while she herself also learned about her grandmother and she did remember some of it. cooking and learning, what a great combination.
yesterday, very cold here, played baseball with little ones, one girl conked on forehead with ball, and laughed it off, tiny dog, pondering why she cannot get the ball.
we go through alot of clearance target stuff to be donated to local public grade school, and wow, that was alot of stuff.
nerf war inside house,
pillow fight, grandparents vs grandchildren.
legoslegos and more legos
it is a good day

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