Happy new year everyone! Wow, being on vacation has felt like being a million miles from my computer. I had 187 entries in my Google Reader to catch up on, and almost as many photos to upload to Flickr! It’s been a week since Christmas and I have yet to have the time to play with my new sewing machine, I haven’t blogged, I haven’t made anything, I’m feeling quite useless. What I have done, which I haven’t done enough of lately if you ask me, is hang out with my hubby. Luke had the week between Christmas and New Year’s off and we spent the whole time practically welded at the hip. Since he started working third shift we haven’t seen much of each other and it’s been a really long time since we’ve spent that much time together. It was really nice at first, and then the hermit in me started to get a bit cranky.
On New Year’s Eve, just hours before people were coming over to celebrate, I was desperate for ten minutes to myself! I’ve been forced to spend so much time by myself at home in the evenings, that I now realize that as much as I might complain, I like to be alone. Alone I had not been in eleven days. I hadn’t had the opportunity to read a book, go online, sew, draw, craft, or even sit in peace without being asked why I was quiet, or crabby. So I went to the package store. No, it wasn’t that bad, I had been planning to go for some party supplies, but I really wanted to go just to get out of the house. I felt like a shrew, and I still feel terrible. Luke was so helpful and perky and wanted to wash dishes and chop veggies and help however he could and I really just wanted to whack him with a spatula and tell him to get out of the kitchen. I didn’t though, I told my inner-wench to chill out and took a ride to the package store alone. I came back and prepared for a house full of new year’s guests, mostly Luke’s cousin’s gang, and mostly all kids. Still overwhelming for the one who yearns to be alone, but it was fun and I managed to stay up until midnight and drink champagne and actually play a couple of decent games of pool.
So what else has been happening? Let’s see… when did I last write? Well how about I start with the weekend before Christmas? The Sunday before, we went to my mom’s for a little Christmas breakfast with my mom and dad, sister and her gang, and my aunt Holly. Holly brought my cousin’s baby Bella, who was adorable. It was the first time I had seen her since she was born, so of course, I took about 97 pictures of the poor girl. But really, she’s adorable, isn’t she?
So are these two.
Christmas Eve we had a little issue with the Cover-It that houses Luke’s tractor (the issue being that the snow and wind ripped a big hole in it) so we went out in search of a tarp to cover it. While we were out, we stopped by Luke’s cousin’s house and watched them finish decorating their gingerbread train. It was very cute.
Then we went home to make a ham dinner for Luke’s mom who was coming to visit and exchange gifts. Luke had been up since 10pm the night before (he worked the Sunday night/Monday morning shift 11pm-9am) so we fell asleep on the couch post-presents, watching Miracle on 34th Street. Christmas morning we hung around and exchanged gifts. I already told you about my new love, the sewing machine. Luke got all manner of fun things (because I like fun things) and also a sweet pair of cowboy boots which amazingly fit AND he liked. Then we moved the party to my mom’s house. I was bringing the floorcloth (wrapped in a tablecloth) plus all sorts of other big things, like a coffee maker for my mom, and once added to the mountain of presents at my mom’s house already, this is what the pile looked like. It’s kind of embarrassing.
Once again, I couldn’t get a decent picture. The mustard color of mom’s walls just SUCKS the light out of the pictures. There was lots of paper tearing and laughing and squeals of delight. Andrea loved the floorcloth, and her husband Christian, who wins EVERY game he plays, got this handmade beauty from me. I am still a little sad that I didn’t “accidentally” leave off one of the “Ns” and make it say “winer” or even “whiner” instead.
After mom’s house, we went back to Luke’s cousin’s house to visit with that side of the family some more. We left there exhausted, stuffed, and ready for bed.
The day after Christmas my mom, sister, and close family friends get together for a Girls’ Day In-type thing. This year we had brunch at my house, then we all went to the movies together. It was so much fun, I love the movies. We saw P.S I Love You which was so good, but should be called P.S. Hand Me a Tissue. I loved it and still want to go back and see it again. And I’d really like it if Luke could speak with an Irish brogue but he stubbornly refuses.
The next two days were hilariously identical. Thursday we went to Home Depot to get supplies for a project we’ve been dying to finish and I’ll tell you about in a bit, and then we went to the new Cabella’s store where Luke had a shiny, new gift certificate. Friday we had to go back to Home Depot for something we forgot, then we stopped to visit a friend in South Glastonbury who said, “hey, let’s go to Cabella’s!” so we did. Again. And again we came home without spending the gift certificate. It’s just too overwhelming. It’s like Disneyland, but pretty impressive anyhow.
Saturday we got to work on our project. Here’s the finished product, can you guess what it is?
Stumped? It’s the ceiling over the bar. Here’s another view. About a hundred years ago when we started building the bar/playroom in the basement, we talked about making the ceiling above the bar something different than the acoustical ceiling that’s everywhere else. We wanted something cool and different and we came up with the idea to make it a basket weave of tin flashing. And two years ago we bought the flashing. See the amazing pace at which we work? It took two years to finish the epoxy on the bar top, and now two years for the ceiling. We’re speedy. But hey, it looks awesome no matter how long it took. Luke did an amazing job, as always, making one of my “wouldn’t it be sooo cool if we could…” ideas come true, and it looks exactly the way I pictured it would.
We had to stop the ceiling project midway because we had some other plans for Saturday night. Our neighbor Roland bought tickets for the fights at Mohegan Sun and I hate watching people beat the crap out of each other so much that I don’t even know what fights they were. IFL? Is that such a thing? I think that’s what it was. Either way, Renee and I went along for the ride, and to drive to boys home after the fights. We spent the four hours (can you imagine watching people hit each other for FOUR HOURS?) of the fights playing the penny slot machines. Laugh if you want, but the money disappears slower that way. We played for a couple of hours, lost $20 each, and went to the pub for a drink. Our luck turned while we were sitting at the bar when we found $20 under Renee’s stool. Fantastic! Our drinks were paid for and we had extra money to go put in the penny slots again. We went back to the same area, picked new machines, and two hours later both walked out $80 richer than we had arrived. Not a bad night.
Sunday we lounged around, finished the ceiling, cleaned up and got ready for New Year’s. Which brings us right back where we started. Tonight life goes back to almost sort of normal. I’m still on vacation until Monday -I’m not sure I’ll even remember how to go to work, I’ve never been off for so long – but Luke’s in bed now getting some shut-eye before he goes back to his normal (crazy-weird) work schedule tonight. And wouldn’t you know it, we were lazing on the couch watching the perfect brainless New Year’s Day movie, Dude Where’s My Car, and I had a sudden panic thought that made me so sad I wanted to cry – he’s going to work tonight. I’m going to be all alone. I know, hypocritical crazy woman, this is true. But at least I have you. And, wow, 216 Google Reader entries to read now. That should keep me busy. So happy new year everyone! I wish you all a great 2008. It’s good to be back, I’ve missed you.