Between work and school and Christmas preparations, the days are flying by. My Christmas shopping is progressing at a snail’s pace. I don’t have the motivation to finish early like I did last year. I’ve tried staying out of the stores as much as possible this fall, so it’s a jolt to be thrust back into retail chaos. I was especially overwhelmed at Bed Bath and Beyond. It’s “beyond” all right. Definitely sensory overload, with millions of colourful things I had no idea I needed or wanted until I saw them. And everywhere I go, such weird people. At Target customer service, there was a guy in front of me who asked to use their phone. He tried dialing the number many times but every time there was a very loud beeping before he finished dialing. Finally the customer service lady helped him remember that we always need to dial the area code. So he finally gets through; turns out he’s calling to make an appointment for a massage and he has a long conversation about which massage therapist is available when. Why he suddenly needed to make the call while shopping at Target is unclear. That’s just one tiny example of the oddities out in full force.
Other things going on these days:
Dale had a birthday last weekend. I made him the breakfast of his choice (bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and fruit, if you’re wondering), gave him tickets to a Jets game in the afternoon, and had some family over for birthday cake in the evening. I believe he had a good day, even though the Jets didn’t win.
I went to the Legislative Building on Monday with my photography class. I took hundreds of pictures, both inside and out. Not many shots were as great as I was hoping, but it was fun. This afternoon our class went to the Western Canadian Aviation Museum and shot there for a few hours. Once I sort through my ridiculous amount of photos, I’ll post some.
Our new neighbours have moved in. It’s a dad and his two boys. Dale met them already and has given his stamp of approval. I’m planning a neighbourhood Christmas party that probably only a couple of my neighbours will actually come to, but hopefully the new ones will come so we can analyze them. I made a typo on the invitation (I spelled our street name wrong) which I feel sick about; I expect that will discourage a few people from coming. They’re probably thinking, “If she can’t even spell her address right, her house will probably be slovenly and there will most likely be hair in the food.”
Spencer had no school yesterday, so he and I went to a Chamber luncheon with Justin Trudeau as the guest speaker. We put him in charge of guarding the doors until the start of the event. He was very diligent and questioned everyone who tried to enter, including the convention centre staff and Chamber employees. He was pretty excited about the whole thing, especially the mashed potatoes at lunch. Oh, and the part where he talked to Justin and shook his hand and took a picture with him. I’ll post the picture once I get it from the photographer.
|I like to hunch my shoulders over because it isn't cool for a teenage boy to stand up straight.|
|Spencer's second picture of the day with a prominent person|
We took advantage of a 45-minute block of time between children’s activities to go see Santa, despite the protests of some (ie. one) of my children. I knew it was Black Friday, but I thought most parents were probably smart enough to keep their children far away from the mall that day. Due to a rare combination of good luck and good timing, my thinking was correct. This surprised us all. There was literally no one else in line, so we were in and out in minutes. While Spencer asked Santa for money and power, I was reprimanded by two different elves for taking pictures with my own camera even though I still bought their picture. Bah, humbug. I think I said this last year too, but I guess next year I really will allow them to opt out if they’re going to give Santa a hard time.
We got our Christmas tree today. It is … interesting. The lowest branches are about three feet off the ground. We will literally be able to sit under the Christmas tree and open our gifts this year. Some of the short ones may even be able to stand. The other odd thing is that it has no smell whatsoever. I love the scent of a pine tree – smelling it whenever we walk in the door – but this year I’ll have to use my Bath & Body pine scent room spray instead. Tomorrow is decorating day.
Last but not least, Chloe passed her lifesaving exam today and can now officially be a life guard. She’s been taking full-day classes every Saturday for the past two months so she’s happy to have that over with. She has to take a couple more classes to be a swim instructor, but apparently they aren’t as intense. Now if only she had time for a job.
That's my update for the past week or two. You may also think of this as our Christmas letter. It's looking like another non-Christmas-card/letter year. We did go on two trips this year (Costa Rica/skiing in Fernie) so it would make for a nice, braggy Christmas letter, but the part about my sister-in-law dying puts a significant damper on things. So I think I'll just leave it.
I'll try to post again soon with some pictures. Hopefully there will be a decent one of my Christmas tree and everyone can comment that they don't even know what I'm talking about; the tree is splendid!