Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Survived

I can't believe it has been 3 weeks since I last posted; it feels like just the other day. In that time, we got hit with an ice storm, which wasn't supposed to be as bad as it turned out to be. The boys missed their last day of school, mainly due to power outages more than icy roads or whatnot. Ours was out for about 8 hours; kudos to Jackson EMC, as this is the longest we've ever been without power since we moved here, and that was a pretty short period compared to a lot of people. I thought for sure the boys would make up that day, either on Friday (still too many power outages, I think), or at least on Monday - we are still 2 days behind from the stupid hurricane/gas crisis days our governor thought would be a good idea. The big kid had finals that day; considering his grades, he probably needed the finals to help his quarter grades out. I wonder how that will work out? Public schools - what a joke. Maybe they'll make them all up at the end of the year, so they can actually be in school part of May.

I managed to get my bead order in, and was missing one thing, though not vital for Christmas gifts. Spent that entire Sunday and Monday furiously putting beads together; I had 7 things to make, start to finish. Saturday was out, as that was our company Christmas Party. By the time I got home from the store and got all that taken care of, I had enough time to lie down for an hour, then had to get up and get started on the Big Hair, to go with the fantastic red dress I got off of ebay this year. Oh, and I decided the night before that I didn't have any jewelry to wear with it, so of course, I had to make something; I whipped up 4 strands of red twister beads Friday night. Earrings I had, and a bracelet crossed my mind, but the kind I wanted to make I didn't have a clasp for (I used up all of my clasp stock), so I just didn't bother with a bracelet at all. All in all, it worked out well. I should've taken the time to get my hair cut, because it really didn't do what I wanted it to do - too much of it. If I wait 2 more weeks, it will be 1 year since I last had it cut (not counting when I trim the bangs so I can see where I'm going). It is just now starting to look raggedy, though, so I guess it's still okay. When I do go, a LOT is coming off.

I had my shopping all done, except for a couple of stocking stuffers and such, when I shipped out-of-town stuff on 12/19. Christmas cards went out on 12/17. DH took me and his bonus to Wolf Camera on 12/17, and I am now the proud owner of a new Panasonic DMC-FZ5. I have just begun to play with it, but it is really cool, so far. It has a macro feature, which is imperative for my bead pics, as well as the simple no-frills setting, which I will most likely use when I'm not taking bead photos. I have come to the conclusion that the lights I have in my light box are not the kind I need; everything has a yellow cast to it, which I thought I would avoid using halogen lamps. Apparently, I was wrong. I will have to get some full-spectrum bulbs of some kind, like the light I have for cross stitching, which is made by Ott. I am not sure that particular lamp will work for this - it is not very bright, but that may be just my perception. I need to try it, except that it's a big, heavy floor lamp, so it's not terribly easy to just move around the house when I need to. And as it was $200, I don't foresee me buying a second one. Maybe a smaller, desktop version, if it does indeed work better. Maybe over the coming weekend, I will have time to experiment.

DH did his Christmas shopping on 12/23 and 12/24, as usual. He actually got everything wrapped, too. Now why, if I was done so much earlier, was I sweating getting the wrapping done? I guess because I have to do all of my "Santa" stuff in secret. And on Christmas Eve, the eggheads went to bed at 6:30! I am not too sure what they were thinking, but they came out every 1/2 hour and asked what time it was, instead of just coming out and watching a movie with us or whatever until it was time to go to bed. Needless to say, they just got more and more wound up, and the little kid finally fell out about 10:30; the big kid was still awake, but he knows the secret, thanks to his dad, so I just closed the door and started doing Santa's work. I didn't get to sleep until after 1:00 am. And the eggheads were up, the first time, at 4:30!!! I wanted to cry. We sent them back to bed, but of course, they weren't going back to sleep. They came back out at 5, and told Dad that it was 6, so they came in my room (Dad always sleeps out in the living room on Christmas Eve, so he can "keep an eye on things"), flipped on the lights, and told me to get up, Dad said so. I yelled "It's 5:00, not 6:00 - go back to bed. Now." So they went back to big kid's room and made a bunch of noise for another hour, though I did manage to get a few winks in before they made me get up for real. And an hour or so later, it was all over.

Big kid has lots of new games and such, though I have since found out that I have to do some upgrades to his computer to get a couple of his new pc games to work; what a pain in the butt. And of course, he's hounding me every hour on the hour about it - I guess he thinks I keep processors and memory on hand, and it's free. I understand the disappointment in a new thing not working right out of the box, but when you have 10 new things, and 2 don't work, try working the other 8 before you ride my ass about the two, which can't be fixed right away regardless. Little kid got a Robosapien robot thing; it's pretty cool. He also had lots of Lego and Lego-like things for me to put together (DH says I buy those for me, not them - uh, I don't recall playing with them after I build them the first time, so I disagree), and DH got both of them air soft guns. Oh Joy. So now I have those damn plastic pellets all over the house, even though they have both been told 100 times, by both of us, to do that outside. They don't listen very well. And the weather outside has been off and on since Christmas, so they have been outside when possible; just not long enough.

I have another bead order coming tomorrow; I needed to replace all of my clasps, and get the missing items from my group buy, as well as order some Ornela hanks for multi-strand necklaces. One of the girls here at work has ordered one, for a new outfit she just bought, and I wanted a red one and a pearl-like one. I will be able to make the two turquoise necklaces I have been waiting on for over 2 months - hopefully have those done by the time I go back to work on Tuesday, after the New Year's holiday. I finally got a floor stand for my cross stitch scroll frame, and have jumped back on the pumpkins I put down when the beads got going; I plan to have that done before 2006 gets here - I'm damn close. I want to get back to my castle and get that done. I am going to give stretching my work a try - one of my Yahoo groups has a great guide on how to do it, so maybe I can save myself some sticker shock at the framers next time. I will try it first on these pumpkins, when I get them done, once I get some acid-free board from my framer. If that goes well, we'll see what else I attempt. It's taking me a little time to get used to the floor stand - DH keeps making stupid comments about me getting into my spaceship. We'll see what he says after I get him to make the necessary modifications to it; I'm betting he won't make so much fun of it then.

We seem to have lost a kitty in the last couple of days; KiKi went out Tuesday afternoon, and we haven't seen her since, though DH has called for her 1000 times, including not sleeping much Tuesday night. She's been gone for a couple of hours before, but not this long. I don't know how hard he has looked for her, but he knows she would go across the street, so she might be smashed up on the main road. Or someone could have her locked up; Ripley was catnapped by a crazy person in the neighborhood a couple of times (I wonder if those people are still there?), and was even vetted/fixed by the nappers, which was fine by me, but as they did it without my knowledge or permission, I wasn't about to pay them back, or thank them , to be quite honest. I guess when you take an animal into your home that may or may not belong to someone, and he begs to be let out (especially if he can hear his people calling him, and gets frantic), then maybe you should just leave well enough alone. Of course, they are probably those kind of people you hear about on the news; for whatever reason, some official goes to the house, only to find 100 or more mistreated/malnourished/diseased animals living in filth. Because the owner is crazy. There's a name for that, but I can't recall it right now. And it's not always little old ladies, surprisingly enough, though they seem to make the news and CSI episodes more often. Anyway, we keep hoping KiKi comes back. It's kind of a mixed thing, because the other feline residents were NOT happy about her being there, and were demonstrating their unhappiness in the ways male cats do, so her not being there right now seems to have calmed the other 3 down some; but then again, I think Booger has been looking for her, too, and though I have tried not to like her, because of all the crap with the other 3, she was kinda cute. For an ugly, cross-eyed, rat-like, clumsy old cat. All I can say is, if she does come back, she had better not have kittens - we were going to get her to the vet right after the holidays and get that taken care of, but didn't think it was of immediate need (not sure how old she is - maybe 6 months?). I've never lost a cat before - hell, I can't get them to go away, regardless of what I do to them. Just like the stupid goldfish from the fair 4 years ago that still won't die; their tank is so dirty right now, you can barely see them. They are still alive and well, as far as I can tell. Since when do 25 cent fish live 4+ years? I didn't sign up for that.

Since I doubt I'll get back here before, Happy New Year!!!

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