January 2nd, 2008

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I guess we'd be considered lower-middle-class. We didn't have some of the huge homes that some of our friends did, vacations were mainly to visit family (free room and board), not to tour, and we had our penny-pinching mac-n-cheese and turkey instead of beef years, but I think we did all right. We all pitched in around the house, got small allowances for chores done while growing up. We were taught the meaning of a dollar, but I don't remember lacking in any essentials. Then again, as soon as I could work (baby-sitting to summer or after-school jobs) my earned money was for how I wanted to spend it. If I wanted something badly enough, I saved for it. I rarely remember asking my parents for money for a movie, for example.

 

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Christmas and New Years

 Quick Winter break re-cap.

We went to visit the Toscanos on Saturday, and also delivered some old furniture and clothes to the Salvation Army. eleanors_closet and Alan ended up doing the final clearing out of the storage unit, while I entertained Jimmy with a distracting cookie-hunt and chatter. We stayed to visit and tour the new abode, and enjoy a yummy dinner with them and Carla. Got home a bit late, but had an excellent time. The new house is uber cool and I had way too much fun playing with the beagles.

Sunday we had thought of shopping, but bummed about the house instead. I honestly don't know what we did.

Monday we finally broke down and did Christmas shopping for each other together. We braved the Rockville Best Buy and picked up DVDs and a shredder that we placed in our stockings and under the tree. Then we got cleaned up and had a wonderful dinner out at Timpano's in Rockville. The skillet-roasted prawns and lobster ravioli was yummy, as was the Rosa Regale to drink and the mini-tartufo dessert. Though we had reservations, we did have to wait a bit to get seated, but we enjoyed the floor show of the various other patrons, the un-equal division of labor for the hostesses, and the creeping fake palm dragged out of its niche by staff passing by that I nudged back in place a time or two. We enjoyed ourselves immensely just the two of us, and then tried out the local Episcopal church around the corner. The music was lovely, and the service was nice, but I confess it clashed with the comforting ceremonies and hymns of my Lutheran upbringing (the final lines in What Child is This is not a chorus but a changing line for each verse! sigh), and even Alan balked a bit at the change in language of the Common Book of Prayer from the 1940 version he was accustomed to. It was very interesting, and we were singled out immediately during the sharing of peace and end of service as new and possible recruits. Not terribly likely given our schedules. commitments, and my propensity to sleep in, but neat to try just the same. 

Christmas Day I slept in late and we opened our "presents" and after testing the new shredder, making breakfast and watching Shrek 3, we bustled off to cathgrace's for Christmas dinner with the Griffith's. The company was wonderful, even if we did have a bit of trouble getting on base leaving our new car insurance cards at home. The food was awesome and very tasty, and we stayed much longer than we had initially thought we would. It is just so easy to get wrapped up in conversation that we didn't depart until close to midnight. Despite neglecting to do the cat-check (luckily Alan and I survived only a little sniffly and short of breath), we had an excellent time, and I thank them very much for sharing their Christmas dinner and day with us. It was fabulous getting to know them all a little better. (Thanks to chargirlgenius  for the other orphan offer, and maybe some other time.)

The rest of the week was spent hanging out, blissfully sleeping in, getting a hair-cut and massage and doing a bit of shopping with the post-Christmas sales and using up for coupons and gift cards. I got Alan a new sweater jacket for wearing around the house since we are trying to cut back a bit on the heating bill, moi some new clothes at Gap and Loft sales, some new underthings, as well as new skillets and a conair hairstyling brush and hair dryer in one. So far everything is working out well. Well, except the new casual pants I bought and wore on Saturday only realizing at the end of the day that the tag says wash before wearing, thus leaving me with blue legs. 

The finale to our break was hosting the Black Tie Brash Billionaire Bash New Years Eve party at our place. I had a lovely new (sale) evening gown to wear, and Corby brought me a cheap fleur-de-lys tiara. Alan wore a bow-tie as the bartender down in the space bar, and lots of folks came dressed up. It was so great to spend the evening with friends, even those who had to leave early for various reasons. Bob and I played pool in the basement with the Great Short Horde, since Issac, Emmie and Brandon were in attendance and seemed to have a great time hanging out together all night. The kids even stayed up for the midnight toast (they drank sparkling cider) and then crashed out for a bit as the adults stayed up and chatted for well into the wee hours of the morning. theodoraddid an amazing job providing the food for the party and making it tasty and upscale to the theme. Friends brought other food contributions that were tasty as well. Heck I had alisandramel's chocolate cake for lunch today since our rotten work cafeteria doesn't open up until tomorrow and we all forgot.  

The clean-up was smooth thanks to our glorious friends. We set sircorbyto making waffles for breakfast for those that stayed overnight, and I spent the meager rest of my winter break watching the Dirty Jobs marathon on the Discovery Channel last night until crash time.