Monday, December 17, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings No. 15 - Holiday Edition

This version of miscellaneous musings is brought to you by all the sights and sounds of the season that have caused me to either smile, shake my head in wonderment or even get mad, sometimes two or more of those reactions simultaneously. If you're new here, these musings have become a sort of 'thang' here on my blog, and you can see the string of 'em at this link. Remember, my blog is non-revenue producing, so any links or brand mentions are NOT sponsored, other than me sponsoring them!

It's so fun to see how people decorate their yards for Christmas, and the trouble they go to. Check out the one below, spotted in my neighborhood. Here, we have the Holy Family, the three wise men, Yoda and the two weiner dogs. Even the North Star couldn't guide this crew.
December 6 is the feast of St. Nicholas. Growing up Catholic, my parents celebrated our stocking gifts on this occasion. We received tangerines, nuts, and usually one small gift. Well, in a family of nine kids, my parents improvised for stockings. My Dad was a WWII vet who lost his leg just below the knee from a mortar explosion in 1945. Our stockings were my Dad's stump socks! They were pretty awesome, actually, held a lot, and were quite sturdy. Hey, we were onto the natural, farmhouse look before it was popular!

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Here is a picture of my Christmas crack for this year that I had to search and stock up on. Target came through on the Limited Edition Peppermint Oreos and the Planters Brittle Nut Medley. I found the nut medley two years ago and bragged how good it was. We couldn't find it last year. Sweet stripes are cheaper at WalMart, but Cracker Barrel has them too. We are crazy for sweets in this house! Other sweets arrived as gifts too.
A Grinch realtor in Baltimore has stolen the show with the house listing shown below.
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Well, my niece in Austin happens to be a realtor, and she happens to love makeup and costuming (that's her, below, with her baby girl, my great niece, last year).

I told her she could SO do that!

Meanwhile, I said I was purging some of my Christmas stuff this year. Hahaha, if you read my last post, you can see that I failed miserably. I did sell a few things that were cumbersome to store (see photo below), and I've marked down the wooden porch carolers and sled. One daughter took a tub full of things, and the other daughter took just a couple items.
If keeping decorations was as easy as the magical suitcases in the Hallmark movies, there'd be no issue with storage! Seriously, have you watched in every.single.Hallmark.Christmas.movie where working girl (usually) goes to small town, gets stuck by bad weather or by not closing a deal, and magically, her carry on suitcase can produce an entire week's worth of clothes, not to mention numerous pairs of boots and matching coats?! We watch the Hallmark movies and laugh each time we see the many cliches in every one. Well, here are a couple of games to play while watching Hallmark movies when you spot any and all of the cliches. 
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Speaking of drinking, I've been listening to the Pandora station, Christmas Radio. Some of those old classics have all kinds of swag, you can just hear it! Dean Martin sounds drunk, probably was, in just about every song on the album below:



I just love the musical arrangements behind the voice. These were the voices of my parents' generation. Let's not get started on the whole "Baby, It's Cold Outside" crap. 

Y'all! We got a new bed! Oh, yes we did. Not that our 20 year old mattress that looked like a roller coaster track with its dips (top L frame in collage, below) was needing to be replaced or anything.....but I was pretty excited when those Sleep Number guys took that thing out and replaced it!
It's still new, like a toy. We bought split king mattresses with a flex base (cyber Monday deal), and we're still figuring out how to improve our sleep scores that it records each night (yea, there's something under that platform base that records your every move, creepy). So far, my best score was the one below, after about one week of adjusting the settings and finding the right sleep number, pillow combination:
You enter your preferred number hours for sleep (mine is 9). It tracks time in bed if you're watching TV or reading (that shaded area on the left), and then scores you overall. Lol, then it coaches you with commentary. I have already found the "SNORE" setting handy with the remote, and altering Mr. P.'s bed position without him even knowing it! Our settings work independently of each other. I love it. My back and neck do too. This purchase was ten years overdue.

Speaking of recording your every move, do any of you have Alexa, Google, Echo or any of those other voyeuristic gadgets in your home? Well, while shopping for the family white elephant presents, we decided on today's latest and greatest version of the keyfinder - the Tile* - for Mr. P's family. My family had two of them in our 2017 exchange, and they were the most-stolen presents.
We also ended buying a package set for ourselves that had a gift with purchase - the Google mini home. It's a first for me/us. Just like the bed, it's kinda creepy. "Hey Google, play Pandora Christmas Radio" is about as intimate as we've gotten so far. But did you hear about Rocco, the African grey parrot who was placing orders with Alexa from Amazon? You've gotta read it - too funny!

* Side story right up there with "Aunt Bethany Saying Grace" in Christmas Vacation:  As I said, we had two tiles in our grab bag exchange last Christmas with my family, with 34 guests. Someone also brought towels as a gift. When people were trying to steal the "tile" and calling out, "where's the tile?", one brother-in-law replied, "the towels are over here". Everyone burst into laughter, a true Christmas Vacation moment.

In my last post, I mentioned creating a crafted wreath that I'm using on my sunroom dining chairs this year.
What I didn't tell you is that those suckers required hours of cutting the threads, drilling the holes (70 of them!), and hot gluing them together (6 hrs to be exact, but who's counting?). I am one who appreciates the value of time, and that is why I don't craft or sew much anymore (but am willing to pay for those who do!). I can do spreadsheets all day long, though, and tell you the net value of selling one of - any of  - those things. So, yea, spreadsheets are more my thing than crafting these days. 

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the leaves to fall on my Japanese maple tree in the landscape. The other day we were taking our daily walk, and one neighbor was on a ladder, shaking his tree to make the leaves fall, lol. I immediately thought of the Steve Miller Band song, "The Joker" (♪♫"I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree"♪♫). 🤣🤣

Okay, readers, that's it for the holiday edition of miscellaneous musings. I'll be back on the flipside of Christmas, but until then, wish me luck with an expected 38 family guests for Christmas Eve dinner. Here's hoping no one gets sick before the dinner is served (or use it as their excuse for getting sick after), all the commodes flush, the geese don't destroy my riverbank lawn parking (💩), and a good time is had by all. Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a truckload of batteries to keep my little light strings running.....and me too!

Merry Christmas!
Rita C. at Panoply

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