Friday, December 24, 2004

Last Minute Enthusiasms

Dave had Thursday off and we slept in until 7:45, a rare luxury. It is very cold here and as long as Jet the Pet stays quiet, we remain comatose. I am now including a request for his silence in my bedtime prayers.
The conversation during our breakfast coffee hour was all about retiring in Paducah KY, and taking advantage of the Artists Relocation Program being offered. Our friend Caryl Fallert is moving there this year, and as usual is blazing the trail for us all.
My goal is to find a way for Dave to retire while his health is at its best, and for us to settle someplace where it is mostly warm and green. For myself, I know I need to be in a community where there are artists, and that all seems to be adding up to Paducah, at least this week. I had my heart set on San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, but there were certain obstacles involved in moving there. I can always visit, but don’t have to live there. I am not retiring, as I am still a young chick, for a couple more days anyway.
Dave proposed calling Caryl and asking her for more info, as well as requesting a packet from the ALP website. So if he is that motivated, I will be too.
After breakfast we both rushed off in different directions. My brother who is my co-Christmas partner this year, finally touched base and we made the dinner plans final. Here is the menu, with a decidedly German flavor for a change.

Cheese Fondue with Apples and French Bread
Homemade Beers
Mouton Cadet Bordeaux
BV Merlot
Butternut Squash Soup
Sauerbraten (spiced beef rib roast)
Gingersnap Gravy and Horseradish Cream
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Crumbled Bacon
Homemade Applesauce
Carrots and Green Beans with Toasted Pecans
Cookie Press Cookies and Ice Cream
Bailey’s and Chocolate Hazelnut Liqueur
Decaf Coffee

Now that the menu is set, suddenly l feel like doing some Christmas shopping. I haven’t done any since the day after Thanksgiving, at TJMaxx, with Frieda, but now I feel like a few gifts are definitely necessary. Off to TJ’s again, the spot where I have always had the best luck finding just what I want, and stuff I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it.
For example:
1. Wamsutta Queen size sheets for our bed in Blazing RED, reduced to move quickly for $22. You know I NEED those.
2. Liz Claiborne straight leg regular waist jeans, size 8, in RED, reduced to $10. So I already have a pair, or two, of red jeans ( not counting the corduroys). I will wear them.
3. 100% Pima Cotton White Mock Turtleneck for Dave to wear under his Dale of Norway sweater, which he already opened. $12.
4. Two 70” round tablecloths for Cary’s new dining room table, one cream colored jacquard and the other RED! * note: I promised him that I would take care of finding suitable tablecloths for his new 54” square table, so he should be glad to see these.
5. A gift for Rose, his girlfriend, that I cannot reveal here, as she reads this blog. But, let’s just say that it is cute and perfect.
6. O, alright, another pair of jeans, size 8 in fatigue green, with fun pockets and buttons and things on the legs to roll up and button, reduced to $8.

It’s a sickness. I go there and think ‘I’ll just try on these pants and see if they fit’ and when they do I am so amazed. I stand there in the cubicle and examine the label to see if it really says size 8. Then I have to buy them. After all those years pretending to shop for Mother in the woman’s section, when I was really buying for myself, it is validation that I have not fallen backwards in my resolve to maintain this weight.

Recently I have learned a new way to think of gift giving, from my friend Frieda. She asserts that the gift makes the giver feel good, and that’s what its all about. Or something like that. I am not sure exactly what she means, but it has to do with giving a gift that you like, whether it is something the recipient will like or not. This concept prevents a lot of anguish. I am adding to this idea by giving a gift that will be used by me when visiting the recipient. This is especially true about gifts for Dave. Past gifts of this nature included a slide projector, a rolling tool box, cases of wine, and this year red bed sheets!
On the other hand, I am doing a service for Dave. He needn’t shop for me and I am never disappointed or faced with returning anything.
Really, Christmas isn’t about the gifts, it’s about celebrating together. I will enjoy the party more than anything and it is the memories of past Christmases that linger, when all the gifts are forgotten.


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