Anyhow, I'm on day #5 of 30 consecutive days off- between the holidays and little work, I volunteered for the "layoff deal- Laid off this week; next week is two paid holidays and three vacation days (which the company pulls from your bank and sticks here right off the top), the next week is New Year's Day paid and the rest lay-off; and the first full week of January off while (our big customer) gears back up.
This is okay with me- especially missing the worst weather of the year so far- but not good for staying in shape. During the work week, lunch is a pair of cold pop-tarts (since much else makes me drowsy and not very productive), and I make up on the weekend. (Not that it needs made up!) But now, I have opportunity for TWO meals, neither of which are getting worked off because
A- it's been too cold to get out for an extended walk;
B- Mr. Dog somehow ended up limpy-gimpy again. Not sure how, and not as bad as the last time, but noticeable, enough to trigger my PTSD over Fred (our last dog), and leaving someone just a bit mopey. I'm hoping the warmup we're slated to get arrives without the rain that's supposed to come with it, or someone's not going to have a very happy Christmas.
However, there is big fat Daddy to take care of, and I have two ways that I use there:
A- replace one meal with a healthy snack. Tonight was a double chocolate milk, two Baby Bel cheeses from Laughing Cow (and I know why she's laughing), and part of a dark chocolate Hershey Bar. Well, half of a large dark chocolate Hershey bar.
B- Have Laurie find me the swipe card for the workout room across the street (which I did) and go exercise (which I did- 50 minutes on the treadmill.)
Obviously, this isn't exactly the Richard Simmons plan. In my defense, the chocolate milk was Carnation instant breakfast, though. And besides, that coronary isn't going to come here on its own, now is it?
I've been reading about other people's Christmas trees a lot lately (some decorated, some not), and got a comment from my lovely niece about our "tree" de jour and the ones my mom used to put up. So I thought I'd give you a little background.
When I was little, it was always a real tree, with tinsel and garland and lights the size of a walnut (and hot!) and bulbs and ornaments and the coolest little manger scene- and of course, the six weeks of sweeping up needles and tinsel that came with it. I never was a firm believer in Santa Claus (the chimney led downstairs to the furnace), but that was okay, because it was fun no matter where the gifts came from, and everybody got together for a big meal, lotsa presents, an afternoon of Euchre, and what have you.
Sometime before Mom passed in '76, we switched to an artificial tree. (That may be it pictured- it looks awful small for a realie). Mom's death changed a lot of things. The family didn't get together as much any more... the kids were getting older and had other things to do...Brother Tom moved to Lima (Ohio, not Peru), Pete went to Auburn, then Florida, then Angola (Indiana, not Africa). The artificial tree was abandoned for a tall potted cactus who seemed a bit put off by the attention, and then by an Elephant Ear which hated being decorated (which was jake with me, because I hated it). After Dad passed, the EE somehow was assassinated, and decorating devolved to lights in the windows and the nativity scene, which I always complimented with a handwritten plaque of John 3:16.
|The Christmas Elephant Ear.|
Once Laurie and I teamed up, it's been better. There have been some family meals, a few presents more, a lot more of the meaning of Christmas. And no more real plants being abused.
Now I'm old, the kids are older, and it will be future grandchildren who will get presents one day. Hopefully not real soon, either. It'll never be what it was- not on the good side, with all the kids, all the presents, all the family. It won't be the bad side either- no more of "Dad's drunk and ready to piss mom off", no more "Gee, a snow globe. Will this one leak like last year's?" And sadly, no more Midnight Mass on TV because our current Bishop doesn't want to spend the money on something meaningful like the late great John D'arcy did. But it will be together- me, Laurie, Scrappy, with a cameo or two by KC. Who knows? Maybe a get together at Laurie's family's, maybe an appearance by Shenan.
That will be a nice enough Christmas. But Santa still won't touch my socks...