Dec 29, 2008

Christmas Secrets and Birthday Wishes

Now that Santa, that lazy slacker, has finally delivered all his gifts I can tell you what he was up to this past week.

First of all, only moments ago Santa's elf who works for UPS in England finally delivered our Christmas package to Morley's family--four days late. Ho, Ho, Ho, my butt. And thus later today I'll be having a chat with Santa's elves in UPS's billing department about getting a refund on those whopper fees we paid to get the stuff there by Christmas Eve.

As for Heather's visit from Santa, her gift wasn't easy to wrap so she had almost nothing under our tree before Christmas. She found her gift yesterday when she returned home from Kentucky--while she was out of town that sneaky Santa broke into her place and whipped out a mini Extreme Makeover on the bedroom in her new apartment. I wish I had made some Before and After photos to show you how great it turned out but Elf Morley and Elf Susan were so wigged out and pooped after toting all that booty up and down the stairs at Heather's place that they were too exhausted to push the button on the camera. (Not really. Elf Morley and Elf Susan just forgot to take their dang camera with them.)

As for the rest of the kids, we stopped giving them individual gifts a few years back when we realized we are clueless old codgers with no earthly idea of what teenage boys like or what the girls or my son-in-law really want. So now we give them something we enjoy together: a family adventure. We call it our "Family Christmas in July" and all of us look forward to it all year long.

This year Santa delivered a DVD to them with instructions to play it on Christmas Day:

Or go here to watch a larger version on YouTube
--and please, for Heaven's sake click the "watch in high quality" link below the screen so you can see a better, clearer format than the over compressed, blurry "normal" format.

And so that is (finally!) the official end of our Christmas season. Whew! That was intense.

And now our Birthday Season begins, and in this family Birthday Season is almost as intense as Christmas. We have a LOT of birthdays packed into the next ten days.

On that note, Happy Birthday Michelle and Carol!

Dec 26, 2008

A very mellow Christmas

What to do at Christmas is always a bit of a quandry for Morley and me. Although we know perfectly well that we could show up at any family member's home and be welcomed with open arms, that solution has never felt quite right to me. Chalk it up to being single for too many Christmases, but being a participant in somebody else's Christmas feels a bit like being Uncle Lewis and Aunt Bethany in the movie "Griswold Family Christmas". (At least I never felt like I was being a Cousin Eddie but my family might have a different viewpoint they haven't shared with me.)

We used to solve the dilemna by going on a tropical cruise during Christmas week but two years ago we discovered by accident that we were paying super premium prices to cruise during the exact week the ship contained the maximum number of brats running wild children exploring the ship under minimal supervision while their parents got hammered at the pool and totally ignored their hoodlums relaxed.

Since this has been an intense year with precious little time to chill out and relax, what I really wanted to do for Christmas was as little as possible. And that's what we've done.

On Christmas Eve we attended the first half of a candlelight service at a Baptist church near the house. It's a long story about that half-sermon, but let's just say it was the most depressing somber Christmas message I've ever heard and we sneaked out the back door discreetly left the church before we gave into our sudden urge to put a bullet through our brains the minister finished his thought provoking sermon. We dropped by some friends' house for a quick visit, then went home and built a fire and stayed up late waiting for Santa to show up.

On Christmas morning we exchanged gifts and hung around the house reveling in the rare sensation of not having anywhere to go and nothing to do, then we packed up Shelby and headed here to the boat.

In the early afternoon two couples joined us for a long, leisurly Christmas cruise around the lake. It was perfect: we had the water to ourselves, the weather was warm (nearly 70 degrees), the sky was sunny and blue, the seagulls were playful, and the boat was decked out in Christmas lights and garlands. We had Christmas carols playing on the radio but the best music of all was the sound of our cell phones ringing with calls from the kids in Kentucky and our families in Tennessee and England.

After our cruise was over, our friends left and we grilled a nice simple dinner for ourselves. Despite the wonderful weather the dock was quiet and peaceful and we had it all to ourselves for awhile, except for the ducks and the seagulls and the occasional fish jumping out of the water.

In the early evening another couple from a neighboring dock dropped by for coffee and dessert. We stayed up late again, talking and laughing and sharing memories of Christmas Past spent with our families. It was, all in all, the perfect low-impact Christmas celebration.

Today we not only get a visit from Santa (the satellite guy is coming to finally move our TV signal from the old boat to our new one), we get to be Santa by finishing a little project for Heather that wouldn't fit in her Christmas stocking. I'll have to tell you about it later since she might be snooping around the internet while she's spending Christmas with her sisters and her dad in Kentucky. All I can say about it for now is that we've had a ton of fun plotting our little project and can't wait to implement it, and she's gonna love it.

And that's what we've done with our Christmas holiday so far.

From the decks of Magnificent Obsession, we wish you a very merry remainder of the Christmas weekend, and to all a Happy, Mellow and Less Frantic New Year.

Dec 24, 2008

M-m-m-m-merry Christmas

I'm crazy trying to get ready for Christmas but there's always time to enjoy a few minutes listening to the best Christmas song. Ever.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Dec 17, 2008


It's not that I don't love you guys anymore, truly. It's just that the office is so busy here in Engineer World and it is the end of the year (almost) and I am responsible for accounting (allegedly) so I am up to my a** in alligators (allegorically speaking), but I swear things will get better after the holidays.

Really and truly, they will get better. Meow'y Christmas.

Dec 11, 2008

Christmas in Tucker

Okay, this isn't really our house but only because I hardly have time to scratch my own butt much less to waste on stuff like this we don't have enough trees in our front yard.

Dec 9, 2008

Alive in Tucker

Our Thanksgiving turkey arriving by golf cart

This is going to be a quick posting because I have precisely one hour to get myself showered, dressed and packed to go because Morley and I are going here for a couple of days courtesy of one of the firm's vendors. It's a free two day getaway at a luxury resort dressed up as a three hour seminar and these things are always a lot of fun. And can I just mention that one of the things I'm personally looking forward to the most is while Morley is sitting through his seminar I'll be catching up on my sleep.

But just so you know I'm still alive (despite the evidence to the contrary this last week or two) I've slapped up a few photos from Thanksgiving and the Christmas party we gave the weekend after. You'll find them on the website and I swear I'll add more later this week.

Gotta jet. More soon, promise.