Friday, December 25, 2009

How I Spent My Christmas Morning

  1. Drag myself out of bed at 8:30 (up til 1:00 am the night before; sang for Xmas Eve service) to get ready to go run the Nursery for the Christmas Day Service at church.
  2. 10:10 arrive at church. Hit first snag; door to downstairs is locked. Run get master keyring from Fr. Jerry, unlock door, take keyring back to office.
  3. Go in Baby Room. Smoke alarm beeping shrilly; battery dying. Try and stand on chair to reach it; not tall enough. Delay further action til room set up.
  4. Go to kitchenette to get pagers for parents dropping off babies. Door locked.
  5. Go back upstairs, up to the altar, ask Fr. Jerry for his keys again as I have locked the master keyring back in his office. Says his son has them. Find son, son says he had given them back. Go to sacristy, tell Fr. Jerry, someone finds keys on counter.
  6. Go get master keyring, take keys back to Fr. Jerry. Go back downstairs, open kitchenette. Keep keyring with me this time. Take out pagers and console, set up outside door.
  7. Can't find Sign-In notebook. Begin to wonder if this whole nursery thing is a good idea. Go back into kitchenette to find paper for improvised Sign-In list, miraculously find notebook in a box.
  8. Room finally set up, 10 minutes late. No babies yet... but also no assistant nursery worker, so unable to take babies in any case.
  9. Go to downstairs boiler room and find ladder. Climb up to beeping smoke alarm, take out battery. Return ladder to boiler room. Return master keyring to office.
  10. Get coffee.
  11. Sit for about 5 minutes until 11 am. No babies, no additional childcare worker.
  12. Put everything back, turn lights out, lock nursery. Go home.
Merry Christmas!
I should mention, I am more amused than annoyed. I do wonder if this was an important lesson or something... I can't seem to find the moral.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

Christmas 2009

Dear Friends and Family,

As I write this, I am still waiting on an answer to an offer I made on a house ON THE 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND. It’s a short sale, which means the bank gets to decide, and apparently such long waits are routine. I waver daily as to whether I should go ahead and start packing books and things, or act as though it won’t actually go through (which at this rate is entirely possible, since the bank’s delay will probably mean the house will go into foreclosure, and all my waiting will have been for naught.) So my apartment is a mess, with stacks of empty boxes waiting to be filled. And I am SO anxious to leave my apartment - I’ve been there for 10 years, and have most definitely outgrown it.

Apart from this Joy Deferred, it’s been a pretty good year in all other respects; steady work with my House Calls business and many new clients (resulting in periodic Flood or Famine), a full year of singing with my church’s newish Chamber Singers ensemble, and the regular hobbies and social activities I’ve been doing for the last several years. I’ve now been working part-time for the American Economic Association on the Vanderbilt Campus for 4 years, and I am glad to say I still like it and my co-workers!

Let’s see, anything else important... I did get a new car in April; a white Honda Civic, precisely what I wanted, with ridiculously low mileage on the odometer. It’s so odd how you can despise one car and love another. Although that love may well die when I have my first big repair bill!

My sister Greta and her family have moved to Batesville, AR after a year in a small town in New Hampshire (which I never even got to see!) and are living in my Grandmother’s old house. It’s so good to have them closer to Nashville, and conveniently located in the same town as all of my other maternal relatives! My nieces and nephews are all getting too big for words. They’re all too old to cuddle without much rolling of eyes. Although Henry (8) is still the little Hug Monster and will gladly provide hugs on demand. Elliott has just turned 16 and is driving quite well, so I have officially lost 50% of my value as an Aunt Within Driving Distance, alas! I still babysit for Amy’s kids occasionally, which is nice, when I’m not being The Evil Aunt Who Forbids Video Games; they don’t like her very much. We all got together this Thanksgiving at Amy’s and it was an absolutely fabulous time. It was PlayEatPlayDrinkPlayShop, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Several women of my family (mom, sisters, aunt and cousin) went on a Girls Weekend in October to a conference in Memphis, but I think we quickly realized that we’d all rather just hang out together and go shopping. (I, of course, foresaw this, and made no effort to actually sign up for the conference in the first place!) We had such a good time that we’re already talking about when we can do it again. Mom is suggesting a villa in SPAIN. A bit of a jump there!

As always, I’m doing a lot of needlework and crochet in my spare time. This year I entered several pieces in the Williamson County and TN State Fairs, and won a few ribbons and one Best in Show! The prize money isn’t anything worthwhile (in fact, after entry fees and fair admission, I made precisely $1 from the State Fair) but it’s fun to do, and a prize ribbon is always a nice little pick-me-up. I suppose this means I have officially become the Old Maiden Aunt, and you may find me in years to come sitting on a porch in a rocking chair. With my laptop. And I finally finished my Tennessee Sampler after working on it off and on for 3 years! Now if I can just get low-interest financing to frame the thing...

Current Fascinations & Obsessions
British TV shows. I have always had an affinity for British comedy; well, this year it exploded. I became obsessed with quiz shows that you can only see clips of on YouTube, like QI (Quite Interesting), 8 out of 10 Cats, and Would I Lie To You?, along with Supersizers Go..., a show where 2 writer/comedians eat, dress and live as people did in an earlier time period, such as Elizabethan, Victorian, etc. It makes you profoundly grateful for our modern diet! But anything that combines history and humor is my idea of perfect entertainment. And Doctor Who is still on the top of my list, of course.

Radio Shows and Podcasts. I’ve become more addicted this year to a variety of audio shows, like NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and BBC’s The News Quiz, as well as more amateur programs like The History of Rome, and Stuff You Should Know. A few years ago I realized that after years of fiction, I was really hungry for non-fiction and genuine information, as well as a return to the cultural History that I used to love so much I got a degree. Now years later, I know more about current and past events than I ever did when that was my educational focus! And they do a marvelous job of whiling away the hours on the road each week going from job to job.

Sitcoms. Thank goodness, they aren’t actually dead as they periodically claim in various articles. There are a ton of really good ones on at present; How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, Better Off Ted... then there’s all the ones everyone tells me I should be watching, but really, I watch too much TV as it is. I guess it’s part and parcel of the current economic downturn that we need comedy more than usual.

I wish I had more of interest to share, but my life is fairly quiet these days, except for the occasional flood of work and church music. By the way, if you get the chance to attend a Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along this Christmas, I HIGHLY recommend it; it will absolutely knock your socks off! I almost wished that I was just listening instead of participating; the sound was so enormous! I will be producing the Christmas Concert at St. Bartholomew’s again this year (December 20th @ 7pm); please consider yourself invited!

God bless and keep you this Christmas Season and in 2010...

Love, Susan