3. my iPod
1. cell phone
4. framed photos
5. WJ’s “friends” (aka stuffed animals)
10. portable DVD player
12. sleeping bags
13. and pack it all in the car
Thirteen Things I Want To Do That I Haven't Done (Yet!)
1. travel to Egypt
3. travel to Australia
4. drive a racecar
5. take a photography class
6. go to a culinary academy
7. ride in a hot air balloon
8. visit Stacie and Liss
9. go on a cruise
10. win the lottery
11. take WJ to Disneyland
12. go to a taping of the Oprah show
13. decide what I want to be when I grow up
"What's the one food it simply wouldn't be [your winter holiday of choice]without?"
The Art of Cooking
Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are two side dishes made in honor of Grandma - Pennsylvania red cabbage and honey glazed carrots. Probably not dishes that would be considered "must haves" for most, but definitely something it wouldn't be Thanksgiving or Christmas without in our home.
"If there were one passion in my life that I can attribute to heritage, it would have to be the art of cooking. Grandma Smith was one of the best cooks that I know. And she could literally create a gourmet meal out of what seemed to be nothing more than two or three items in her refrigerator.
Her kitchen was the size of a postage stamp, but was stocked with every kitchen gadget that her cabinets could hold. Almost every Sunday we would visit Grandma and delight in the smells and tastes of her wonderful cooking. She delighted in making sure there was something on the table that everyone could enjoy. If it was Dad's favorite entree, then it was Mom's favorite side, and my favorite dessert. And though she would never admit it, I think she delighted in eating too. She would trim one more piece off the meat, or cut one more sliver of pie, just to "even it out", she would say.
On holidays she would fill the tables with a feast of traditional treats, some of which I have continued as traditional dishes at our holiday meals. Not only did Grandma cook for family, but also spent years catering parties in San Francisco for the likes of well known individuals, such as Shirley Temple Black.
She never followed a recipe, and never wrote one down. Her recipes looked more like grocery shopping lists with no instructions, left up to the maker to decide what the final product would look like. When Grandma passed, I was lucky enough to be given many of those "recipes" and have attempted to recreate some of her masterpieces. Though I know they will never be quite as good as when Grandma made them, I delight in honoring her by enjoying the art of cooking."
Grandpa Jerry and his Granddaughter
Every Christmas Santa rides around in an old fire truck adorned with holiday cheer playing Christmas music and belting out the traditional "HO HO HO... Merry Christmas!" He's escorted by two volunteer police cars and a host of children and adults passing out candy canes. This is our 6th year seeing them parade down our street.
The Big Guy
It's the one time during the winter months that the whole neighborhood comes out. And it's the one event that usually signals the start of the holiday season for me. Seeing the excitement and joy in the kids eyes is incredible. Even the big kids... like me.
(For those of you who read regularly, come back later. Or tomorrow. You already know all this stuff.)
So, this being the first day, I want to introduce myself and the rest of the cast of Refuse to Blog. My name is Lisa (as you can see from my profile). I'm a single (currently unemployed) parent living in Western Washington. (If you've got any job leads in the area, hollah!)
Refuse to Blog started a year and a half ago when my good friend Stacie (who's also participating in Holidailies) decided that I needed a blog of my own. You can read my first post here to see just how thrilled I was. Not. So. Much. Yet here we are today - still blogging. (I seriously think Stacie knows what's best for me much more than I do. Shhh! Don't tell her I said so.)
What happens here at Refuse to Blog? Well, that depends on the day. And my mood. This is your warning that I like to rant and rave and bitch and whine. And what better place to do it? But I also throw in a mix of funny stories, meme's, shout outs, and the weekly Thursday Thirteen. You'll never know what to expect.
And now, the cast:
Wesley (aka WJ) - my wonderful, sometimes annoying six year old son
Stacie (aka Stace, Stacky)- my wonderfully, amazing friend who I've never met IRL (yep, 3 years strong!)
Liss - a kinda sorta new friend, met through Stacie (they hang out IRL)
Guest Appearances (and comments) made by:
The Rents - my meaning-well-but-sometimes-overbearing parents
Groove (aka Hu) - friend, former coworker, and co-author of evilness
Sis (aka Jessica) - friend, talented artist, and Sister (not IRL)
Johnny - the ex and WJ's father (though don't expect to see much on him)
Hopefully that helps with your acclimation to Refuse to Blog! Questions, comments, answers (when I ask the questions) are all encouraged.
Thirteen Thoughts on Participating in NaBloPoMo
1. It was fun!
2. Sometimes it was really hard to come up with something to blog about. (Not that I don't have a zillion things running through my head at any given minute - they're just not all blog appropriate.)
3. I found some really cool fellow bloggers that I might not have found otherwise.
4. It gave me something to look forward to every day.
5. It caused me to really think about posting something other than just crap. Of course, some days, that's all I had in me.
6. It gave Stacie and I something to talk about every day. (Not that we don't have enough other stuff to talk about (LOL) but there were days when we were both struggling for subjects to write about and we'd bounce ideas off one another.)
7. It gave me a reason to hound Liss and get her blogging butt in gear! (Love ya girl!!)
8. It made me remember just how much I enjoy writing.
9. It got me taking pictures again - something I'd kinda stopped doing for awhile. Knowing I could post them and blog about the activities was great (especially since I've not been scrapping in so long).
10. I think it was a great way to unite the blogger community.
11. It made the month go by really quickly. (Not sure if that's such a good thing, but...)
12. It seemed to have gotten people (like me) to be more active in posting.
13. Today is the last day. Thanks for reading all month!
Winter in Western Washington is truly predictable - even if you aren't a weather forecaster. Rain. Rain. More rain. And, on occassion, a little snow. (See picture at left for the definition of little.) As you see, that's exactly what we woke up to this morning. A LITTLE snow... if you can even call it that.
On went the TV. No reports of closures or delays in our school district. Surfed through all the closure/delay lists on-line. Nope. None reported in our school district.
So, I called the school. No answer. And do you think in this day of modern technology such as VOICEMAIL there might possibly have been a recorded outgoing message about whether or not there was school today? NO. OF COURSE NOT! That would be too simple!!!
But wait... there's more.
Do you remember my previous posts about the school's Emergency Phone Tree which I am the lead on? The one we are supposed to USE in case of an emergency or OTHER late breaking, IMPORTANT information that needs to be passed on to every family at the school. Yeah, that one. Was it used this morning? Umm... lemme think. That would be a big fat NO bird coming in for a landing. (Thanks for that extremely appropriate phrase Stacie!)
Now, an hour and a half after waking up and monitoring the news, I bundle my kid up like he's going out in a snowstorm and we pile into the car. And before even leaving the driveway I ask him to "please be quiet and not ask me to look at this and that and whatever he deems important for me to see at the exact moment" because the roads are probably going to be icy and I need to pay attention to the stupid people who don't know how to drive in this weather. We back out. Heading to school. Sliding around like a drunken penquin on the black ice that WAS NOT covered by any of the handful of snowflakes that had fallen to earth.
Then we get to the main road. And the traffic (heading the opposite direction) is backed up and not moving. Apparently a snowflake landed on someone's windshield and obscured their vision leaving them impaired for driving. I make a mental note to myself. Self (I say!). Do not drive home from school in your usual direction. And while I'm trying to plan my route back to the house WJ is suffering from a severe case of diarrhea of the mouth and yelling "Look at that Mom! Did you see it? That was cool!!" Umm... NO! I did NOT see whatever it was you're yelling about since I am trying to make sure that I don't ram into the back of this forking SUV that is driving slower than molasses. Sheesh!
Finally, after our trecherous 10 minute drive, we arrive at school. And the damn thing is locked up tighter than Fort Knox! Just forking great.
But wait. There's more. Oh yes there is!
Arriving back home I check to see if by any chance the school had called to start the phone tree. Of course not. But one of the other mom's who's part of the tree had called wondering if we were going to actually USE the phone tree. "Yeah! Notsomuch" I tell her. So again I go back to monitoring the news and checking the closure/delay lists on websites. And FINALLY, more than two and a half hours after starting this whole process and being forced to register as a member at one of the news websites just so I can read the closure/delay list, I see it.
Delayed start: 2 hrs
In theory, it didn't really have to be this difficult.
Not feeling all that creative this week, but know I have a ton of shit to get done. So, I give you...
Thirteen Things I Need to Do to Get Ready for Christmas
1. Finish shopping (off to a good start, so must not fall behind)
2. Get the tree up DONE
3. Put up the outside lights DONE
4. Check for lighted lawn decorations at Walmart DONE
5. Write Christmas letter (this is a big maybe!)
6. Address Christmas cards
7. Buy stamps to mail said Christmas cards DONE
8. Remember to pick up wreaths on Dec 1st DONE
9. Decorate the living room/family room DONE
10. Wrap presents
11. Mail presents
12. Buy teacher gift
13. Mentally prepare for WJ being gone the weekend before Christmas through Christmas day