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I Needed a Little Christmas

Instead of a Wrist to Forehead Sunday nor yet a Sunday Cinema, I will post about our up and coming Christmas decorations. Today was a little warmer than the past two days, so we seized the opportunity to get some lights onto our front porch.  The results fall short of other front lawn and porches, yet I feel they are worthy of some notice.

Oh yeah, we put up a couple of wreaths, too.

After impatiently waiting for the sun to go down (yes, much earlier this time of year, let us not begin that lament!), I stood across the street in the road and got this picture.  Actually, I walked into the middle of the road, but no cars were coming, so it was all right.

He looks better in real life than in the picture.

New this year, I put one of our Santas in an upstairs window.  Full disclosure:  I thought of this after I had carried said Santa from the attic to our second floor.  I did not want to carry him down another flight.  Our other Santa has been on the landing, three steps up from the ground floor, since last Christmas.  I think this Santa looks cool in the upstairs window, although he is a little washed out in the picture.  These things happen when one is not a professional photographer, as obviously I am not.

He’s older, he’s awesome, thanks Mom and Dad!

We put our older, better Santa on the porch. My Mom and Dad found him at a second hand shop when they were visiting my sister in Pennsylvania.  I just love a vintage Santa Claus!

“I’m just an angel in disguise!”

It is difficult to get a good picture of our front porch with that large tree in front, but Steven will not hear of cutting it back. Nonetheless, I tried to get a picture of the angel that graces the middle of our lights.  I hope she shows up enough for the pic.

So here is my little bit of Christmas, for the end of Thanksgiving and my birthday weekend.  Tomorrow I go back on overtime, so I hope I can still manage somewhat decent blog posts.  Time will tell (Time is certainly a blabbermouth, although I have already done that joke).  Happy Sunday, everybody!

 

Frantic Friday

I actually wrote a whole post in my head while at work today.  I even told it to a co-worker, you know, not word for word, but the gist of it. I did not go so far as to write it down, but I daresay I could remember it. However, I thought of the above-used title on my way home from work.  I thought it might be appropriate for the afternoon and evening I had envisioned, and it turned out to be true.

Steven worked until six, and we planned to meet to Christmas shop using a one-day-only coupon.  The details of where and how are not important.  For one reason, it is not one of the small, distinctive local businesses in which I delight.  I’m sorry that I do not exclusively shop at such establishments.  I mean, I’m not apologizing about it, I truly am regretful that I do not.  Be that as it may, I will tell you about my gyrations thus far today, and that will serve as this week’s Lame Friday Post.

I went straight home from work at three and took my dog, Spunky, for a walk.  He only wanted to go to the end of the street and back, but at least that is further than the end of the driveway and back.  I felt a huge need to exercise, so I changed into running clothes and ran in place on the mini-tramp, while watching part of an episode of Snapped.  It was not too cold or rainy to run outside, but I did not want to leave my dog twice in one evening.

After a shower and the usual trauma over what to wear, I got on the computer to check my Facebook notifications and email.  The Facebook check was not purely frivolous, you know.  A friend had messaged me a cookie recipe, and I intended to purchase ingredients as part of our Christmas shopping spree.  Of course, it was partly frivolous.  I also wanted to see how many Likes I got on my status of “The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote:  Stink!  Stank!  Stunk!”  But I digress.

Leaving the house shortly after five, I walked to where I was meeting Steven.  It had gotten colder, and the wind had picked up.  I enjoyed looking at Christmas lights on houses as I walked.  I started shopping without Steven, and he joined me already in progress.  We bought a lot of stuff.  No, I’m not going to tell you what!  People on my gift list sometimes read my blog, you know.

Now we have shopped, eaten, and are enjoying a glass of wine and watching another episode of Snapped.  I think Oxygen shows them all night long on Fridays.  I don’t believe I will stay up all night to see, though.  I’m tired.  Happy Friday, everyone.

 

Good Run, Dull Post

One week ago today I made myself a mental note to not take three days off from running again.  And you know damn well that is what I just did.  However, I ran today and it wasn’t too bad, so rather than dwell on my shortcomings, I offer a Running Commentary.

I felt pretty cool in today’s running outfit.  I found my leopard spotted long johns which I had worn to an evening appointment Tuesday.  This is how I get two wears out of my long johns and leggings.  The teal winter running shirt my sister gave me for my birthday was clean.  I discovered that one of the colors on my best running shoes exactly matches the shirt.  I put on a red headband for a little more color, and to cover my ears.

It was not too cold out.  Cold enough on my hands, but I could handle that.  It had rained earlier, so there were still a few puddles to run around or jump over.  Mostly I ran around them.  I don’t like to bounce too much when I run.

Some people had their Christmas lights on already.  I appreciated that.  I had neglected to turn on ours. I made a mental note to do that before Steven got home.  It is so nice to return home to a Christmas-lit house.

I did not feel too awful as I ran.  My feet hurt, because I had been on them all day for the past few days at work.  My legs felt tired for the same reason. However, one deals with these things.  I kept going.   I did not run very fast, and I did not go up any hills.  However, I kept going for 25 minutes, which was one minute less than I had run on Sunday.  I call that respectable for a mid-week run.

My only regret was that I had not put a sweatshirt out to wear on my cool-down walk.  The wind had picked up by that time and was quite sharp.  I thought briefly about skipping the cool-down but said to myself, “Oh, just do it.”  So I did.

 

Running from Post-Christmas Letdown

Yes! Yes! On my last chance before 2015, I have returned to Saturday Running Commentary! I am the woman!

How’s that for not having a post-Christmas letdown (yet)? Well, when you are feeling down, there is nothing like physical activity. And if you get to the physical activity before the blues really kick in, so much the better.

Steven and I got up at a ridiculous hour this morning, because he had to work at 6:30. The weather report promised mid to upper 40s later in the day, but I wanted to get my run done so left shortly after Steven did, 6:27 by my watch.

My thermostat said it was 34 degrees, so I had on leggings, long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt, winter running socks, a hat and mittens. Also my reflective vest, because it was still dark out. That had the advantage of having a zipper pocket in which I placed two tissues and my house key. I reminded myself to be careful of the key when I took the tissues out to blow my nose. Losing the house key that way is just the sort of thing I would do.

I had thought that by running while it was dark out I might see some Christmas lights still up. I knew I might not see many. For one reason, some people around here seem to feel the need to puritanically haul down all lights and decorations immediately their calendar turns to December 26. For another reason, some people turn their lights off at bedtime and might not turn them back on in the morning. Steven turns our lights off but we turn them back on in the morning till the sun comes up.

Regular readers may have noticed that I have not been running since November. I know, how dreadfully remiss of me. It was with some trepidation that I set out. However, a few steps down the street and I was thinking, “This is EASY! I can do this!” I quickly noticed some lights on houses on German Street, which made me feel even better.

I ran to the hill by Valley Health. Normally at my first run after a long pause I do not require hills of myself. However, I felt I should make an effort. As I ran by the hill up to Herkimer County Community College, the streetlights mocked me. It will be a while before I am ready to take that hill again, but I vowed to myself that it will happen (I’ll probably write a blog post about it).

I stopped feeling that running was easy by the time I reached to the top of the hill I did run. Now my legs felt like macaroni, breathing was less than fun, and I wanted to stop. However, I persevered. The Christmas tree I could see in the lobby of Valley Health cheered my up.

Back down the hill and into the residential streets, I began looking also for lights that would indicate other people were awake thus early on a Saturday. I saw a few. After all, it wasn’t four in the morning. Between 6:30 and 7 is a perfectly normal time to be up, even on a weekend. I saw several houses with Christmas lights on but no other lights. A couple of houses with lights but no Christmas lights. How depressing. One house had only the basement lights on. Probably a mad scientist’s laboratory. The flowered curtains were a dead giveaway.

There was just a little bit of light appearing in the sky as I approached the end of my run. I only require 20 minutes of myself when returning to running but thought I might possibly manage a little more this morning. My body had returned to the “I can rock this” stage, but I didn’t want to push too hard. After all, I do have the rest of the day to get through.

I ended up going for 24 minutes, which is how long I went the last time I ran. As Tabby walked my cool down with me the sky lightened even more. I admired the bare trees against the blue grey. When Steve, Tabby and I took a walk yesterday, I kept saying how much I love to walk. However, I don’t know if anything really feels as good to my legs as the cool down walk after a good run. So it looks as if I’ve kept that post-Christmas letdown at bay for a little longer.

Christmas Card Snow

For this week’s Non-Sequitur Thursday, I offer a post about a walk Tabby and I took yesterday, in which I mention last month’s holiday. I say that is non-sequitur enough.

I was a little nervous at the start of the expedition. It had warmed, rained, then cooled. I figured there was a good chance the sidewalks were icy. By the time we went the sun had set. I don’t like walking in the road at the best of times. In poor light, it seemed especially ineligible.

Still, dogs like to go for walks. I like my dog. We gave it a try.

It was snowing what I think of as Christmas card snow. Lots of gentle white flakes floated down. I kept looking up into the streetlights to watch it fall. That made me think of when I was a kid. I’d keep peeking out the front window to check out the rate of snowfall under a handily placed streetlight. I would get my hopes up for school closure, but it hardly ever happened in those days.

Most of the puddles on the sidewalk had not frozen yet, but I managed to avoid walking in too much wet. There were a couple of dicey spots. You know, mud can be slippery,too. And things were starting to freeze up again. However, I managed to stay upright, and we continued.

I was happy to see a few houses still had their Christmas lights on. It looked appropriate with the Christmas card snow falling. I especially liked a house with three small trees covered with different colored non-blinking lights. We can see those trees from our upstairs window. I enjoyed getting a closer view.

We only went around the block. Tabby didn’t seem to mind the short walk, and we were both happy to get home to Steven. Maybe he will walk with us one evening soon.

Picture This

My place of employment considers both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be paid holidays. Therefore I shall feel free to make another silly post, in addition to yesterday’s bit of whimsy (do you think that is a nicer word than “nonsense”? Discuss amongst yourselves).

The Mohawk Valley has gotten a dusting of snow for Christmas. Isn’t that delightful? The look without the pain of shoveling. As I write this I am aware that in other parts of the country people are sitting around in their shorts by barbecue pits thinking of our White Christmas with scornful pity. Well, to each his own, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow.

I am in Rome, NY for the holidays (thieves, don’t take note; there is really nothing in my house worth stealing) (I do this joke every time, but if you go to rob my house anyways, please clean the bathroom, it needs it again). Perhaps by next year I will get the proper camera or smart phone and be able to post pictures to this blog. That would be a good thing, because the city of Rome has some of the nicest Christmas lights around.

Some of the display came from a large, fancy restaurant called Trinkaus Manor, which tragically burned down some years ago. Many people from Rome cherish memories of driving out to Trinkaus at Christmastime to walk around and see the lights. After the restaurant burned down, the city ended up with them. What a great Christmas gift. I hope later on tonight to take a drive downtown and see the sights.

I see now where this would have been a better post with pictures. Oh well, one does what one can. It is Wuss-out Wednesday after all. Once again, Merry Christmas.

Two Block Tabby

Now that winter weather is here, it becomes more of an effort to take our schnoodle, Tabby, for a walk. This being Wuss-Out Wednesday, I suppose I could write a post about how I’m too damn much of a wuss to take my dog for a walk today. However, dogs like to go for walks. Our dog is a very sweet, good dog. We took her for a walk.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (today) have all been cold. I know, not as cold as it’s going to get. In our defense, Steven and I are both still convalescent from last week’s colds (the head kind, not the weather). I told Steven he could stay home, but he agreed to walk with us.

We went two blocks, taking a different direction each night. That way we could check out different neighbors’ Christmas lights. I make myself obnoxious by pointing out each house with lights and each tree visible through a window. As a testament to what a good husband Steven is, he does not find it obnoxious.

It was cold but not particularly windy. Till tonight, when we were two blocks from our house and turned a corner. Yikes! Right in our faces! Of course this was the block Tabby found the most things she wanted to sniff. I was happy I had worn a scarf.

My favorite kind of lights are different colored and not blinking. I especially like when there are a lot of them. My favorite house has three trees, a wreath, and lights around the porch railing and pillars, all different colors, none blinking. But I enjoy the blinking lights as well. I particularly notice the new icicle lights, that actually look like they’re dripping.

One lady was standing on her porch, talking to another lady and a little girl.

“Pretty lights,” I said.

“Thank you,” she replied.

I wanted to say, “No, no, thank you!” Because I think it’s nice for people to hang lights and brighten up the neighborhood.