fibermom

"Respect the earth, live in harmony with nature, spend time with your family, be good to your neighbor, and value the dedication, skill and care of the craftsman."

Playing with the Holy Family

December 18th, 2018


The Baby is playing with my grandmother’s nativity set.


I love it that she can play with it and be yet another generation that has done so.

Today’s song:

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!

December 17th, 2018

Here’s BAWK #5, completed on the trip.

I saw a little more of Denver. #2 son and I drove #2 daughter to the airport there, and had a lot of good conversation along the way.

He talked quite a bit about his plans for the future.

What a wonderful young man he is! I’m so proud of all my kids.

Graduation

December 14th, 2018

#2 son received his doctorate today. He, his girlfriend, my husband, and I had a cup of coffee with his advisor and his wife. That was a very nice episode.

Then we went to a typical Colorado style pub for a pre-prandial glass or two, and then to a farm-to-table restaurant for dinner.

We started the day at the Silver Grill for breakfast and cinnamon rolls.

We explored Old Town and had lunch at Coopersmith’s. It was a very pleasant family day.

Driving

December 13th, 2018

We were in a car from about 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The baby slept, played with us, and cried. I read and knitted and sang to the baby.

We were quite comfortable in our Air BnB. #2 son and his GF met us with pizza and beer. We did a lot of talking and laughing and the Baby learned how to climb stairs.

We slept reasonably well after the long trip.

Santa’s Coming for Us

December 12th, 2018

Nights are getting shorter now, hot chocolate
Fills the air and Christmas cheer does, too
Pick a merry old Christmas tree, so lovely
The joy this time here brings to you
Santa’s coming to town
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da)
Santa’s coming to town
Singing to the deer in the sky
Singing as they jingle, jingle, jingle tonight
Singing to the moon, set it free
You’re the angel on the top of my tree
Singing to the spirit above
Sing your heart out with all of your love
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Oh, Santa’s coming for us
Send your letters off to Santa, baby
Tell him all your secret wishes, too
Send your letters off to Santa, baby
Hoping all your wildest dreams come true
Santa’s coming to town
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da)
Santa’s coming to town
Singing to the deer in the sky
Singing as they jingle, jingle, jingle tonight
Singing to the moon, set it free
You’re the angel on the top of my tree
Singing to the spirit above
Sing your heart out with all of your love
Santa’s coming for us

Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming for us
Oh, Santa’s coming for us
Santa’s coming to town
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da)
Santa’s coming to town
(Oh, do do do, oh, do do do)
(Oh, do do do, oh, do do do)
(Oh, do do do)
Santa’s coming to town
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da, oh, da da da)
(Oh, da da da)
Santa’s coming to town

This fun song makes it sound as though we’re expecting Santa Claus to come and pick us up and take us off to his workshop, possibly on some other planet. This is okay because we are apparently aliens anyway, singing to the deer in the sky of all things.

Stupid lyrics are traditional for Christmas, so enjoy this song today.

We’re heading out on our road trip!

O Come Divine Messiah

December 11th, 2018

This lovely Advent hymn is credited to Abbe Simon-Joseph Pellegrin. The words were translated from the French by Sister Mary of St. Philip.

1 O come, Divine Messiah,
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Refrain:
Dear Savior, haste! Come, come to earth.
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
O come, Divine Messiah,
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

2 O come Desired of nations,
Whom priest and prophet long foretold,
Will break the captive fetters,
Redeem the long-lost fold. [Refrain]

3 O come in peace and meekness,
For lowly will your cradle be:
Though clothed in human weakness
We shall your God-head see. [Refrain]

This is such a sweet tune, with such a gentle message, that it should help calm any feelings of holiday stress.

Having received my “no restrictions” from the optometrist yesterday, I got back to Wii Fit this morning, and plan to do some Daily Burn this afternoon.

Work is the priority. Since this will be a long weekend, I must get all the blog posts out at least to Monday. Packing is also high priority, and cleaning the house before we leave would be a good thing.

On the other hand, it is precisely two weeks will Christmas and I still have two gifts to finish.

On the HGP, December 10th is the deadline for handmade gifts. I am ignoring that. With sweet songs about peace and silent waiting, I will also ignore potential holiday stress.

Cataract Surgery Diary: Post-op

December 10th, 2018

I had my penultimate check up today. I think next time I’ll get a new prescription. This time I got “No restrictions.” I can see even better than they expected. The lenses are in the right places, everything looks beautiful, and I’m through.

This is good, since I have a road trip coming up in a couple of days. When we get back it’ll be a week till Christmas, more or less.

I plan to work a lot between now and then, but also to have fun. And clean house. And exercise, eat properly, and finish as many Christmas gifts as possible. In other words, I’ll be adding a good dose of normal to the festivities.

Life Score

December 9th, 2018

I got an email invitation to try out an interactive quiz designed to grade my life, showing me what’s working and what needs work. I got an 83 overall, which is not bad. In fact, it is in the range they call “Success.”

Somehow I left out the spiritual part, so I might have to go back and redo. However, I can see that I’m doing okay intellectually, emotionally, as a parent, and in my vocation and avocation. My social life needs improvement, as do my marital situation and my financial situation — those three are in the “Frustration” range. My physical fitness is on the edge — in the “Success” range, but lower than most areas of my life. My vocation is a little lower than other aspects, but that’s just the financial aspect of my vocation, so it belongs to the financial section.

So goals for next year should improve my relationships, my fiscal fitness, and my physical fitness.

I worked on reducing debt in 2018, but finished out the year with massive medical bills that undid all those efforts. Not to mention my husband’s tax troubles. I did mark several consumer debts “Paid in Full” in 2018 and I have a simple plan to continue that effort in 2019.

Over the course of four years, I have completed my weight loss goals. The Polymath pointed out that this is not really a long time in comparison to my life as a whole. The same attitude should assist me on my financial improvement path.

As for my physical goals, I worry that maintaining my new healthy weight might be hard. But I know that continuing with my eat/move/sleep goals will be good for me regardless. I will commit to continuing my good habits and improving those that are still wobbly.

My follow-up email also says I need to have more fun. I feel like I have a lot of fun, actually. Thinking about making debt pay-down a focus of the next year doesn’t sound like fun at all. Continuing my debt snowball will just require a weekly payment, not a lot of thought or engagement, though. I can think more about relationships. Maybe that will be fun.

I’m not really in the goal-setting part of my year yet, but I am in the time when I like to have these things percolating in the back of my mind.

Here’s our song of the day: “Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding.”

The tune is the beautiful “Merton” by a 19th century composer, William Monk. You can hum this haunting tune to yourself at work today. Christ, in this song, is dispelling sloth, so it’s an excellent Advent song for workers.

Bad Christmas Songs?

December 8th, 2018

I enjoyed this cross and highly-opinionated rant about some of my least-favorite Christmas songs, including “Little Drummer Boy,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” “Mary, Did You Know?” and “Frosty the Snowman.” This is not a musically informed article (the author claims that the stunning “Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming” has “no real tune”) and is very prejudiced against bells, especially onomatopoeia-style bells. But it’s funny.

It also introduced me to this song:

I’m not a Keely Clarkson fan. The lyrics are not good. The story appears to be that this girl used to celebrate Christmas alone with nothing but presents under her tree. This made her feel sad. Christmas alone was cold and gray, even though she apparently had people who cared enough about her to send her presents. Now she has a man under her tree, which sounds uncomfortable at the very least, and that makes her happy.

Not great literature.

You’re here where you should be
Snow is falling as the carolers sing
It just wasn’t the same
Alone on Christmas day
Presents, what a beautiful sight
Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight
You’re all that I need
Underneath the tree
Tonight
I’m gonna hold you close
Make sure that you know
I was lost before you
Christmas was cold and grey
Another holiday alone to celebrate
But then one day everything changed
You’re all I need
Underneath the tree
You’re here where you should be
Snow is falling as the carols sing
It just wasn’t the same
Alone on Christmas day
Presents, what a beautiful sight
Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight
You’re all that I need
Underneath the tree
I found, what I was looking for
A love that’s meant for me
A heart that’s mine completely
Knocked me right off my feet
And this year I will fall
With no worries at all
‘Cause you are near and everything’s clear
You’re all I need
Underneath the tree
You’re here where you should be
Snow is falling as the carolers sing
It just wasn’t the same
Alone on Christmas day
Presents, what a beautiful sight
Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight
You’re all that I need
Underneath the tree
And then one day everything changed
You’re all I need
Underneath the tree
You’re here where you should be
Snow is falling as the carols sing
It just wasn’t the same
Alone on Christmas day
Presents, what a beautiful sight
Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight
You’re all that I need
Underneath the tree
Tonight
It’s a fun tune to sing, though.
It’s possible that my determination to present new songs this year is causing a dip in the quality of the songs I’m offering you. I’ll see what I can do about that.

Stockings?

December 7th, 2018

I think I’ve finished my shopping. I had thought I was through before, but I hadn’t bought things for stockings. Actually, I wasn’t going to do stockings. Last year we had 13 people here for Christmas morning and there were 13 stockings.

This year, I think Christmas morning will just be me and my husband. No need for stockings.

I put the nativity set on the mantel. Obviously, I am not tall enough to see the dust on the mantel without the help of a camera, so I will have to redo the mantel. But it definitely doesn’t have space for the stocking holders.

Having made the plan for the mantel, I learned that #1 daughter and her crew will be here for Christmas morning. That’s three stockings.

My position on holidays is, my daughter says, like a bus station. Events take place and whoever is there participates.

But then I began to think. If three people get stockings because they show up on the 25th, what about the four who are planning to come on the 26th? They don’t get stockings? And if they do get stockings, then #2 who is coming on the 1st should surely get one, too.

So that’s 8 stockings. Maybe 10 because my husband and I should get stockings if everyone else does, right? So I spent a couple hundred dollars on things to put in stockings.

Happily.

Yes, I have reached the point where I just cheerfully spend money because it’s Christmas. I must be sure not to go into stores. Or to websites.

There are songs about stockings. This one is completely new to me:

 

Christmas Alphabet
C H R I S T M A S
C is for the Candy trimmed around the Christmas tree
H is for the Happiness with all the family
R is for the Reindeer prancing by the window pane
I is for the Icing on the cake as sweet as sugar cane
S is for the Stocking on the chimney wall
T is the Toys beneath the tree so tall
M is for the Mistletoe where ev’ry one is kissed
A is for the Angels who make up the Christmas list
S is for old Santa who makes ev’ry kid his pet
Be good and he’ll bring you ev’rything in your Christmas alphabet

Well, maybe it’s not precisely about stockings, but it’s cute.

It was recorded in 1954. It was written by Buddy Kay and Jules Loman. I had never heard of the McGuire Sisters, but they were actual sisters who sang close harmonies like the Andrews Sisters.

Sing this with your kids.

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