Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Life gets in the way...

of blogging. Yep. There's still more holiday going on here. The last couple of days I've spent baking cookies, wrapping gifts, cleaning and preparing for more family and guests.... doesn't sound any different then before the 25th of December, does it!? And then there's a couple of cute grandkids wandering, tottering, crawling, investigating, and generally filling up our days. These are the main reasons there's not a lot of blogging going on at the moment.

A few random bits and bobs that have nothing to do with anything, but since you stopped by -

My folks are driving home from my sister's house in Ohio to their home in Colorado. They're trying to beat this next winter storm moving in from the west. This afternoon they were at a gas station on a turnpike somewhere near Topeka, Kansas. They were stuck there until a locksmith arrived, my stepdad shooting the breeze with a highway patrolman, my mom talking to me on the phone. My dad had locked their truck keys inside their trailer.

Talking to my kids a lot on the phone this last week, making all sorts of travel plans and such, I have discovered something interesting. My grown kids rarely watch the news. None of them had heard of either big storm in the Pacific Northwest and didn't know anything about a storm in Colorado. My son Joe didn't get half the jokes on a recent comedy show poking fun at the news of the last year. Sam made some comment about the war in Iraq the other day and when I tried to point out an inaccuracy in what he said, he cut me off with "Mom, I don't want to talk politics with you." Uhm, fine, but can I at least give him correct information?!

Part of me understands - they're busy with work, commuting, girlfriends, friends, babies.... but part of me wonders how they can live in our world and yet be so unaware of what's going on in it! I remember myself being a lot more involved in big "issues" when I was their age - environment, politics, health, women's rights, philosophy, religion.... my kids might spend time thinking of these things, but if they do, it's hard to tell.

I do know that when I was in the midst of raising five kids, I had to cut back on the amount of time I spent learning, volunteering, being involved in bigger "issues". Mainly I had to focus on just a few and I chose to concentrate on those that had the most day-to-day and immediate affect on my family. It seemed the right thing to do at the time and I still think it was probably the most effective use of my limited time during those years. But now, I have regrets that I didn't try just a little bit harder to stay involved or at least comment more often on larger issues. I see a huge difference between my youngest son William, who's been exposed to his parents expounding on all manner of global issues on a daily basis, and who seems to have a pretty good grasp on most of them (even if he doesn't always express a personal opinion), and my older kids who, when they even know what's going on, tend to parrot the media's favorite catch phrases and biases.

Of course there's always a trade off - William might know the names of all the current political players but he wouldn't know a nutritional fact if it bit, if he bit it on the.... trans fatty acid.

Yesterday I was still doing some more holiday decorating. Grandson Joshua, two and a half years old, was very interested in everything I did. We were chatting about all the different things was pulling out of a box - Santa, bells, candy canes, and all things holiday. As I was pulling out the holiday plates I realized the snowmen design would interest him. I held a plate down, pointed at the snowman and asked - "Joshua, what's that!?" He tipped his head at me, raised an eyebrow like I was a little dimwitted and replied "A plate." I realized what I had done and started laughing - he's lived in Sacramento and as far as I know, he's never been in the snow. He had never seen a snowman!

Speaking of snow, apparently it snowed here early this morning. I slept through it. It didn't stick down here on the valley floor. But when I went out to run some errands this afternoon, I noticed that all the hills and mountains around us are covered in white - finally! All these storms swirling north, south, east and west of us, but the only thing we've had much of has been wind.

I bought my husband a movie he's been wanting for months - Curious George. We all watched it last night. Well, Jeff and Noel and Joshua watched it. I got halfway through it and then ended up in the kitchen, cleaning up before it got too late. But the part I did watch was really delightful - adorable and quietly witty, without being sappy. When the movie was over, Joshua cried for the monkey to come back for fifteen minutes, and then fell fast asleep.

A bunch of William's buddies came over yesterday, enough to fill the entire living room (which isn't hard - little room, big gangly teens), hauling a new video camera and all the wires needed to view it on our "big screen." One of the boys had done a whole dance routine - it was really funny. And don't tell them this, it'll embarrass them, but it was oh so sweet as well. Gosh, I've known all these big, shaggy headed teens since they were tiny, scruffy kneed little boys. Too cute. It's fun to see them acting silly again and not having to always act "cool".

I took all the plants and hangie thingies out of my kitchen window and did a major cleaning and scrubbing. It looks so pretty now. Who knew that glass was supposed to be transparent!

It's sort of surprising to me how few ornaments have fallen off the tree this year. I have a theory about it. I think the grandkids, who have spent most of their time in the livingroom and diningroom, the tree stands at the corner of the two rooms, have scared the cats away from playing in and under it. There are still gifts underneath the tree, some unwrapped, some waiting for Joe, Lisa and Joli's arrival. The presents then keep the kids from getting too close, although Nonny has managed to grab a few things when we weren't watching closely enough. One ornament that I know was hanging too high for the baby but not too high for, oh, let's say a two year old like Joshua, I found yesterday in the middle of the livingroom floor. "How did this ornament get over here?" I asked Joshua, who had been alone in the room. Without a shiver of guilt Joshua raised his cute little face and earnestly tattled "Rosie took it off the tree."

Did I mention I FINALLY finished rereading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!? I started rereading all the HP books this summer as "secondary reads". That is, I had one book on my nightstand I read each night, but the HP books I took with me to read while I waited between errands in the car, brought in to read during commercials while watching television, carried outside to read while Rosie played in her little fencing. I got through the first three books fairly quickly for the little time I generally read during the day, but for assorted reasons, I seemed to get stuck in the middle of the fourth book foreeeeeeever! I made a real push to finish it by Yule because I wanted to then rewatch the DVD, with the Yule Ball scene, which I've only seen once at the theatre long ago. I didn't finish it by Yule but I did finish it early on Christmas morning. The family all sat on the couch and watched some sentimental movie while I sat opposite them in the chair with no view of the TV and wept my way through the last three chapters. I still have to find time to watch the movie. Instead of starting another night time book, now I've jumped right into the fifth book as my only read.

And speaking of owls, which we weren't, but there are lots of owls in the beginning scenes of the fifth HP book, I just took Rosie out to pee. It's a very cold, very dark night. The stars twinkling like frost. I've been nervous about taking her out at night lately because the last few weeks we've had weekly owl serenades in the trees overhanging our house. They've been so noisy that at times, inside with the curtains pulled and the bed covers pulled up over my ears, they've woke me up! I'm not sure if they're fighting, wooing, or just hooting late night drinking songs, but they're really loud. I've been paranoid that one of them would swoop down on little Rosie while we're out there, so I've pulled her kennel walls in tightly around her and stand protectively near. Fortunately it's been so cold and frosty or cold and wet that she hasn't wanted to dawdle out there. I haven't heard the owls for a few nights now, I'm hoping they've moved back down to the wooded lot down and across the street from us.

Yawn. There, I've babbled on long enough. Cuppa tea. Off to bed with it, a few cats, a chihuahua, my husband, and Harry.


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