Saturday, January 24, 2015

super saturday day

yesterday i had a shower.  yes this is big news.  i don't shower every day twice a day, like some.  but the point is, i've been hating on me.  feeling ick about my hair, my clothes, my weight, my home, my day to day.  with my hair, it was feeling so dull and heavy with build up. so yesterday i said to myself, self, why don't you give your hair an apple cider vinegar rinse? groovy idea, self, i responded. and so i did.  i diluted some apple cider vinegar with some water and put it in one of the empties that hang around my shower for no purpose but to mourn their emptiness.  and i was feeling good about the whole thing.  my hair looked good.  shiny even.  and i took some extra effort with my looks and wow, yeah and mmhmm.  yep.  hi cutie.

but then life got back to normal.  i went to costco to buy some (a lot) of stuff and when i came out it was raining so hard.  i had an awesome parking spot too.  but by the time i got there, and got all my mountain of stuff into my car, i was soaked and my hair was flat and wet against my scalp.  ironically there was a jacket with a hood in my car in case i needed it.  but i don't expect to be so prepared and so it was for naught.

it dried ok, but the sheeny shine was gone.  a slowly accumulating cloud of fuzz  had replaced it by the end of the day.  that's more real life.  that's more me.  that's the life of it's own frizz  that baby avereigh pointed to in horror on halloween night long ago.  so go ahead self, have an apple cider vinegar rinse moment, but don't expect it to last long.  your homeostasis is fuzz and the universe will not let you forget it for long.

random thought i had yesterday: why does saying 'an unicorn' or 'an unicycle' sound so so wrong?

today was our ward's relief society's super saturday.  this did not include crafts.  it was a morning of workshops and then a potluck lunch.  i signed up to bring a crock pot meal, but i didn't have the energy/will/soul/life to make anything last night.  so i thought about not going. but which is worse, not going, or not bringing food? i looked at my frizz cloud and doubted some more.  but then katie called and i told her my dilema.  she said usually when she didn't feel like going to something, it turned out to be exactly what she needed.  yeah, actually that happens to me too, i thought.  so i decided to go and leave before lunch.

so basically i chose workshops that didn't have anything to do with parenting or fhe.  that left me with estate planning first and pitchers and glasses--self care second.  so basically i don't have an estate to worry about, but i might have one day before i die, so it was useful information.  bankerbishop cook gave that workshop.

the second one on self-care was really good and it was the one i needed to come for.  socialworker jacinta did that one.  right at the beginning she told about at the early part of her career when she was working in homeless shelters and how she would come home and go straight to her room, turn off the lights and climb into bed with all her clothes on and just lay there because everything was so heavy and she just couldn't handle it.  i got a lump in my throat from that moment on.  she was talking about her but talking about me at the same time and what she was talking about was burn out.  it was a really good workshop.  i know that as a nurturing giving woman, i need to take care of myself, or else i will be on empty and have nothing left for anyone.  i know about it and i agree with it.  but i don't always practice it.  in fact, i'd say that as soon as life starts getting hectic self-care is the first thing to go for me.  i stop getting enough sleep, i am haphazard about replenishing my spiritual reserves, i eat sporadically and make bad choices, and i just keep taking on more and more and pushing myself more and more and thinking that i can handle everything.  but then i come home and you know what? in this state i don't like coming home.  sometimes i even just sit in my car for a while and listen to the radio or text or whatever, because i know that inside there are many things that need to be done and that i want to do, but i just won't do them.  i'll go to my bed and lay there and even then try to make myself accomplish more things, like edit photos even if my creativity is on life support because i am an empty shell of a woman..... :) days like today are so good because i think it will be a life long thing to remind myself to stop and take care of myself so that i can do all the other things.

so i made some self-care goals.

after that workshop was one all together with a marriage and family therapist who talked about dealing with conflict in relationships.  i liked her workshop a lot too, after i got over the fact that she says "right" every couple of seconds. :) i had to tell that part of me to shut up and pay attention to the content.  she said in conflicts you can be fight, flight, freeze, food or sex.  and honestly i identified parts of me in all of them except the sex one. like fight--aggressive, irritability, blaming.  i can definitely get irritable, and maybe sometimes aggressive, but i don't blame much.  it's not my jam.  flight--avoid, escape, withdraw.  yeah i can do all of those too, depending on the sitch.  freeze--deny, minimize, downplay.  yeah, i have a condo in d' nile and sometimes i stay there.  food--over or under eat, comfort foods.  let's not talk about it.  i'm going to deny my food issues.

if you're a fighter--take a breather.  give yourself a time-out.  say "i'm leaving the room but not the relationship" if you are a runner--be present. stay in the room.  if you're a frozen buff--give yourself internal validation, and give the situation a ranking.  if it's food--eat balanced etc.  those are just quickies about each type.

when i got home i started on my new self-care goals right away.  i may or may not have made a chart that may or may not be totally rad.

after all that is said and done--the christmas tree is now on the porch and i think that 's a good start.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

maybe you shouldn't...

too late. you did.

there has  never been enough air for me under the blankets.  how do people do it?  and how do people sleep on their stomachs? no aaaair.

just discovered: my duvet smells like stale salty human. time to do some laundry.  where is neil when i need him.  oh neillll!

i should go on another cruise.  "i should do a great many things". who said that and in what movie?  ...or something like that.

right now i'm laying in bed with my laptop on my chest and typing with my elbows awkwardly poked out at sharp angles.  i have pulled my braid across my brow and tucked it behind my ear so as to give an impression of a braided uni-brow.

i have heartburn.  i have a heart that burns.

i have depleted the stores of energy, creativity, caring.  i am a barge and i need a man with a long pole to push into the river bed and move me along, singing low.  i am. i need. i want.

here are some pics i've been doing in between doing other pics.  pics are my life.
when lovers vandalize ancient buildings it's picture worthy.  this is the qatiby citadel in alex. and this was in an area that must have been more romantic than others because this is where the lovers expressed by smitten hand and sharpie, their loves.  do you think it was radwa or mohamed that wrote this? were they on a school field trip? did they sneak to lover's corner? who knows? maybe  fatma loved mohamed but was too shy to write her own name so she used her best friend's name, and then maybe mohamed saw it and fell for radwa and fatma was left alone and sad.  poor fatma.  yusef likes you, but you don't know it.
 i love this pic.  here we see the sad fatma taking radwa and mohamed's photo.  she acts brave and cheerful.  but inside she is miserable.  but who takes the pic of fatma taking the pic? yusef.  yusef is saddest of all.  just talk to her yusef.
 egyptian pigeons fly over a wall.  radwa and mohmed feel the beat of their wings is like the beating of their hearts.
 i'm a wall and i'm a witness to love and to loneliness.
 we are also witness.
 me too.
and this is are my life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

is life just about being tired? sometimes it seems like it.  working your butt off and recuperating from working your butt off.  cycle, cycle, cycle.

help. i'm a hostage of my christmas tree.

i have nothing really to say.  every day seems a blur of work.  every night an oblivion in my bed. resting sore feet, working on photos, the heaviness of cats, the overheating of the laptop.

today i work late.  i'm going to make bahn mi and pho.  wish me luck.

Monday, January 12, 2015

nice about today: leaving work and it was still light and not raining either.  so nice.

today was busy.  we made the salmon and veggie panini, and the quinoa salad and tomoato cucumber salad in the afternoon.  then we plated them and took them upstairs for a little photo shoot.  then i portioned them all up and invited everyone to try some.  the panini were soooo good.  delish.  like hello sailor.  everyone loved them.  mixed reviews on the quinoa salad. 

 lindsay, kaz and pascale have all been sick and i have escaped.  but lindsay was super sniffles today and now that i'm home my throat is starting to feel like something bad is going to happen.  call it an ominous premonition or call it post nasal drip, but whatever it is, i don't like it.

last night i went to stake choir with evelyn.  she was going to drive me but then found out she had to car to drive, so i drove her.  her husband dropped her off  early at my house and she brought a yummy apple cinnamon tea and we sat and talked and she folded and refolded my gossamer green ribbon while she talked.  so then we had choir and since there were only two practices and we missed the first one, we decided to practice during the week because we are dedicated to choir and choir is basically our lives.

tomorrow for young weemin's we are having a january birthday party.  and basically i want to make party hats.  and a felt banner.  because not only am i dedicated to choir, but i'm also all about the party novelties.  don't feel bad.  not everyone can be me.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

don't yuck my yum (ze frank)

i didn't want to have a shower because i enjoyed my sloth, my frazzled frizz, my slump-a-dump style.  but i didn't listen.  i got naked and i got in the stall.  i turned on the hot water and stepped into the river of delicious heat.  i shaved this, i washed that.  i turned off the water and opened amy's jar of coffee body scrub.  i smeared coffee grit all over myself and spattered it all over the shower in the process.  then i looked around and laughed and turned on the hot water again.  i rinsed this and i conditioned that.  it felt so good.  and i thought about a lot of things.  like why didn't i want to have a shower?  seemed silly.  seemed so wrong.  i should have showers more often! i enthused to myself.

a couple of hours later with wet hair and cold nose, i feel less enthusiastic, but still.

it was a busy first week back to work.  so far in my experience as a manager i notice a change in me.  i don't know if anyone else does.  before i had a lot of down time in the afternoons.  now i feel like i don't have any down time.  my mind is always full of things i have to do.  there is never enough time in a work day.  i do things like start at 5:50am to cover an early morning job site, and then leave work at 4:30pm when we close at 4, and i was supposed to leave at 1:20pm.  i don't do it out of any martyr ideology.  it's just that i'm trying to get things done.  and i don't think that there is that much more to do now that i'm a manager.  i just think that a)i have way less obstruction--if i have an idea, i can do it. and i'm an ideas person.  i get ideas and then my ideas get ideas and then our two ideas get married and have babies.  and i sometimes think that i can do anything/everything that i get excited about and so i end up doing a bunch of things at once. b) i'm responsible for it all now, and that wakes me up and lights me up and makes me care more i think.

but i'm still a new manager.  give me time to get jaded and faded.  

we came up with a new menu.  want to know about it?  great, i want to tell you.
1. quinoa salad--greens, quinoa, cucumber, blueberries and mint with a choice of a few shrimps or a few slices of steak
this is a pricier item, and i don't think it will be that popular either, which is good because i won't be able to afford to make a lot of it.  i got the idea from georgina, our cute little english fundraiser. i forget what kind of dressing i was planning on doing with it. got an opinion?

2. kung pao chicken on noodles--chicken, veggies, bean sprouts, stir-fried with a spicy sweet kung pao sauce and roasted peanuts, on shanghai egg noodles.
we've made this a couple of times for our special of the day and we like it. we need to tone down the spice for the masses of tender tongues that eat at pathways.

3. miso sweet potato and broccoli rice bowl--a smitten kitchen recipe.  you roast sweet potatoes and broccoli and you put it on a bowl of rice with a miso sesame dressing and some toasted sesames.  i've never made it but it sounds yum.

4. chili--my every man every day item.  cheap, well liked, and filling.

sides: (every item except the kung pao comes with a side)
1. sweet potato skins--it's like potato skins but it's sweet potato, so it's healthier
2. tomato cucumber salad--it's simple.  there are tomatoes, and cucumber, and green onion, and there is a vinegary dressing
3. yogurt parfait--granola (maybe i'll make bethany's and maybe i'm crazy), yogurt (i was thinking of lemon or mango, or plain and i add the lemon or mango) and blueberries
4. cornbread--it goes with chili ok.

i'm not done. so you aren't done either.

panini: (i just read about panini and panino is the singular panini is the plural so don't expect me to add an 's' to the end of panini. i  this used to be the sandwich section.  i changed it to panini section.  you can chose grilled or ungrilled)
1. the vegitarian--pesto, sundried tomato, roasted red pepper, spinach and mozza
2. the flibbertyjibbut--smoked turkey, fig, apple,brie and spinach (not it's real name but i don't have one yet)
3. the west coaster--smoked salmon, red onion, capers and spinach on cream cheese.
i wanted a panini grill and i told benefactor earl about it and he bought us one. actually two.  welcome to panini heaven

salads: (i know tomato cucumber salad is a salad, but it's in the side section, and technically salads are a side but also have their own salad section.  there's no reason, that's just the way it is)
1. spinach, roasted beets, pear, walnut and goat cheese salad
2. broccoli slaw (with toasted almonds and craisons and a buttermilk dressing (thank you smitten kitchen)

 now i'm done.  

next week my plan is to make every one of these items and take a photo of it so that they can be on the new menus that go on each table.  this is my plan.  of course it's a week where i also have to do a basket of baked goods for the kindly couple that donated 100 000 to our new building.  and it's a week where lindsay is doing a social one night and her youth program another night and pascale is doing an evening with the young adult program.  and kaz--kaz don't care.  well he might a little.  but he also might get his papers this week and be gone like a thief in the night.  gosh, i'm starting to stress myself out.  come on self, the only one saying you have to do all this in one week is yourself.  take it down a notch!  but it's what i want.  and whatever laura wants....laura gets...  haha. i wish.

anyways sometimes well meaning or not so well meaning people, depending on the way you look at it, have told me that they think i'm doing a good job.  but they might do it by putting lisa down.  and that is like making me feel good and then making me feel bad.  because i don't want my worth to be at her expense.  and i don't want to be building on her tragedy. because it is a tragedy and i refuse to benefit by it.  i think of it differently.  that i'm carrying on the good things she did and yes i may have my own twist and yes i may make what may seem to be improvements, but i can only do them because of what she taught me, how she allowed me to develop and the foundation she laid.  so i'd rather carry her torch rather than stomp on her.  you know?  dave knows.  he loves lisa too, and the other day he told  me he was happy with what i was doing and thought i was doing a good job and didn't need to put lisa down to do it and that made me feel good and only good.

anyways.  i talk a lot.

other new year's resolutions:

2. litter box (me and the box and the cats know what i'm talking about. so far i've been doing well)
3. grapefruit for breakfast.  i love grapefruits and not only are they good for you, but they are a snappy, juicy, fresh lovely wake me up.  2015 is the year i embrace grapefruit kind of mornings.

so...i think i should get dressed now that it's five and my laundry is done, and go buy some grapefuits.  because take it from me, you can't eat what you don't have

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

i was away from work so long that i forgot to even set my alarm  for my first morning back.  izzy's needle nose paws digging into my hip woke me up and i jumped out of bed fast when i saw the clock was 8:45.  amazingly i was at work by 9:02. pretty good if you know that my drive to work is about 10 minutes long.  pretty bad if you know i didn't brush my teeth first.  there's no rule against brushing your teeth at work guys. (but honestly i forgot once i was there)

new year's resolution: take better care of my teeth and gums.  2015 the year of floss!

....i fell asnooze on the couch and then had young weemins...can you believe the last time i was in young weemins sarah and bethany and amy were my girls?

anywiggles.  now i have to sleep.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

in defence of brent, vanila is a flavour.  i can appreciate it.  i've come to this conclusion while indulging in a haagen daz vanila bean pint with homemade strawberry sauce.  it's supposed to snow soon so it's best to get ice cream out of the way.  and i like to do what is best.  unless it is get dressed and showered.  i'm repressing those urges.

heather came to visit me on new year's day and left me with all her bad foods.  she gave them to me because she knows i'm baaaad to the bone.

i'm troubled about my cats.  izzy can change into a menacing growler, archie attacker at any random time and other times be a cozy archie snuggler.  at first i thought archie must be instigating.  but he isn't.  today i took some world wide web advice and brushed them together.  because they both like being brushed.  and maybe this brushing will increase their mutal good vibes.  my place just isn't big enough to give them both their own space. my furries will turn 9 in may.  that's 55 years old apparently.

well i may have at one point had more to say, but now i'm too consumed with felinisms.

Monday, December 29, 2014

a lot of christmas but not all of it

christmas... did i really not write anything for the whole month of december? yep. i really really didn't.  

i had a nice and of course sometimes crazy christmas this year.  i love being in the cantata because it helps me get in the spirit. i love singing with super-star rich alto-ess krystal.  her voice is so beautiful and strong.  my favourite song we sang was the hallelujah chorus.  krystal very much disliked it because we were not very good at it.  we needed more practice.  but that song is so powerful.  it didn't matter how poorly we sang it, i cried almost every time we sang it.  and i studied the scriptures from the messiah, inspired because of my connection to that song.  and it was so good.  so good to me.  sweeter than honey.  i did some posts about it on the so called family scripture blog... :) before christmas got too crazy.  wuuuut christmas is not crazy.  people are crazy.  i'm crazy.....hahahha ahh.... ahem.
we are not blue from lack of oxygen or because we are smurfs or any other reason but that blue lights are shining on us. (melissa, krystal and i.  i feel that melissa and krystal are supah cute in this pic.  i also appreciate that over my shoulder is the good fairy aka. melissa's husband and over melissa's is shauna's husband who looks like he is a bad fairy (but probably isn't))
so anyways after the cantata i almost forgot about the christmas devotional but the key thing is that i didn't forget.  so that was good.  the next project to tackle was my work christmas party.  we were expecting 150 people.  but we got around 100.  that week was just a blur of work and prep and cooking and exhaustion.  our main meal was maple glazed ham with toasted marshmellow yams (sweet potatoes for dad) and roasted lemon parm brussel sprouts.  vegetarians got a roasted tomato and mushroom and spinach goat cheese tart.  some people called it pizza.  i got mad at said people.  the big issue on the day was oven space.  so we made the swee-yamatoes the day before (this was not fun.  i had swee-yamatoes dried on me for days afterwards.  no i did not shower the whole week.  just kidding i did, that's where i discovered it.) and the day before that we trimmed and halved 52 lbs of brussel sprouts.  yeah, that is a mountain of brussels buddy. on the day of the party i had 5 crock pots of glazed ham in various spots all over the clubhouse because our electrical can not handle too many crock pots per area.  i kept sending lindsay and kaz all over to check on the ham.  one in the kitchen, 2 in the office, one in the thrift store, one in connie's office, and one in the clerical unit. :).  then the sweet spuds went in the oven, and were promptly tooth picked and foiled by beryl to keep warm.  then the tarts, and last were the brussels.  in the end we had so much food left over i let all the helpers eat twice and they gorged on it on the weekend, took it home, and still there was more left over.  after the dinner was the dance where there were snacks (that anyone wanted a snack made me mad, truth be told) and desserts.  it was a 12 hour day and by the end i was so exhausted.

the next week i only worked 2 days before i was on vacation.  kaz got another job in the usa and so he's leaving us pending visa success.on my last day we exchanged gifts. i got lindsay and she got me.  kaz and pascale got each other.  i got lindsay a gift certifricate for her favourite store aritzia and i made her white chocolate macha sugar cookies from my christmas edition of bon apatit.  i saw her drooling over them one time, so yeah i'm cool like that. she got me a lovely scarf, some body mists, a christmas mug and a candle.  

ginger drink is the bestest!
i was so ready for vacation. i had this idea to make natalie an 'N' to put on the wall of her room.  dad said he had some wood and he would help me cut them out.  by the time i got to ma and pop's i had decided why not do one for michealah and elizabeth too?  it's not right to leave mom out of the letter making party so i showed her the style of letter i wanted for each girl and she drew them on the wood for me.  then dad jigsawed them.

and i helped!  you can tell from my safety goggles that i mean business.  you can also see my new scarf ala lindsay.
 i spent a number of days at mom and dad's working on ze project. on this particular day my ring (that i bought myself while christmas shopping--cardinal rule broken) matched my sweater perfectly and i admired it while i drove.  now you can admire it too.
the sides of the letters are in gold.
saturday i stayed late painting coats and waiting for them to dry and painting more coats.  
sometimes i felt tired and discouraged and sometimes i felt my hair matched dad's chair.
 another day, i stayed to work on ze projject while mom and pops went to baby sit for tracy and jojo (one can alternatively say this nickname with a spanish interpretation --hoho (christmassy))  after they left i went around the house and documented some of mom's christmasness.

the pinecone christmas carolers led by a pine cone mom and dad:
the notorious scented pine cone basket made by me after a craft fair visit with slavica at beban park, and kept alive by mom since the early 1990s. 
mom's babies watch over the christ baby.  i can't help it if i'm the cutest one.

  cinnamon pine cones in the bathroom.  mom is out of cinnamon. she can't find it anywhere.  help her.  help christmas.  what am i sitting on?? the bathroom throne of course.

 a mom and dad bear grace a poinsettia and christmas lights wreath over the wooden sign bethany and i made them for outside their front door. do you think the 'C' is too big???

after documenting i turned off all the lights in the bathroom except the pine cone lights and listened to the radio version of the christmas carol while languishing in a hot n steamy bath.  a luxury a girl with only a stand up shower doesn't get often.  when the water would cool i would add new hot water.  when the hot water was gone, so was i.

another day: by this time i had a new phone.  praises be.  i caught mom and dad in the living room just about to read from one of their books on the atonement.  i joined them.  sarah texted me that she was sad she wouldn't be with us all for christmas. i said we were sad too.  then i told mom and dad to make sad faces and i took a pic of us all at the same time...

 so on thanksgiving bryan complained that he was the only one without an owl.  so i made him one.  and i wanted to give it glasses so mom gave me a pair of hers that she doesn't use...

 dad philosophizes in the background, "in my day owls bought their own glasses!"

  this is my christmas advent calendar that i robbed and plundered before the middle of december. and these are my christmas pomwonderfuls, one of which i just cut open this morning and sucked the delight right out of it like a dementor who survives on wonderful.

well sunday came and we had our christmas program.  our choir did alright.  krystal said so and she doesn't lie about things like that.  i constructed my whole outfit because i wanted to wear a turquoise bow in my hair...  after church i had a cozy and a delish nap.  
 you may think that i'm a present under the tree and i am.  
a while after my nap i went to the ferry to pick up one amy leigh aka speshul.  amy was tired.  amy wanted to go to sleep.  but i wanted her to decorate with me and guess who won?  me.  and guess who enjoyed herself.  that's right.  amy.  familiar pattern...  the truth is, it was nice to decorate with someone.  gave me a stomach for it. (say stomach like you're from yorkshire). 

 then i let amy sleep in my room with the christmas tree lights on and i watched some christmas movies while i wrapped some presents in the kitchen.

one was the nativity.  i love that movie.  and another was journey to the christmas star, which i realized afterwards was a scandinavian story.

next morning this happened:

we decided that it would be extra extra special and christmassy to go out for breakfast and so we did.  we went to ricky's and we did not regret it.  i had a 3 cheese and mushroom omelette with stuffed hashbrowns and sourdough toast.  yummers!  amy had naught with benni sauce on the side.  she's like that.  we delighted in our yummies and never needed to eat again until supper.  after that i did my last five minutes of tanning... oh yeah.  i joined that curious population who use tanning beds.  because...well... i had a rash.  an itchy one.  pityriasis rosea isn't pleasant.  anyways i was getting pretty golden brown all over.  in spots that never saw the sun if you know what i mean... the tanning ladies knew me by name and i had my own purple goggles that i kept there.  the tanning lady said all the girls pick purple and at that point i wished that i had chosen green.  durn it.  after basking in artificial rays amy and i went shopping.  she hadn't shopped a drop yet!  i had to get mic and a nat some clothes.  we lucked on some good t-shirt finds for fubman in old navy.  amy told me he wanted to show off his hour glass figure, which gave us much jul-tide merriment, although not as much as bum 3.  we giggled as we imaged shawn with a big booty and a cinched in waist under broad shoulders.
soon i dwindled in unbelief... but we trudged on.  there comes a point during the holidays that one despairs of malls.  amy and i also despaired of our appearances because we both chose unwisely that day to slum it with our hair and every mall mirror reflected the start truth of what we had done to us.  i bought something for lisa at sephora and got a free sample because of my points. so i got a little velvety matte red lipstick.  amy and i sat down outside of sephora to see if its charms would bless our visages.  let's just say that it blessed amy's but mine was beyond blessings. never mind.

steaming cup of ginger
 the caption for this photo is "dead"
 i sent this creepy pic to fatima. she said it was the creepiest pic anyone ever sent her and that she couldn't even look at it. lol.  this gives me a lot of pride and joy.

when the shopping was done we went home and tried to have a 30 minute power nap but it was repeatedly and hopelessly interrupted by judy on the phone and judy at the door.  so i got up and finished packing (i was weirdly almost done the day before), cleaning up (ie dishes and litter box) and amy lugged item after item out to the car.  before too long we were on our way to surrey first to pick up the letters (thanks to mom for touching up the painting on sunday as i lay like a present under my tree) and then on to chillywack.

unbelievably katie and brent's house was the one with a giant blow up santa outside.  i didn't take a pic but i should have.  inside we people were eating the most delicious version of shepherd's pie.  a version made with left over turkey and trimmins with cheese too.  some people, mic and nat, do not like stuffing.  what a sad existance...

after dinner i went with katie and the girls to deliver secret santa cookie packages to people's door steps.  there was a considerable amount of teenage angst, and there was laughing and breathless tales of running from door steps, and admiration of lights along the way.  elizabeth tucked her copper hair into a toque, explaining that if they saw her hair through the window they might think there was a fire.
natalie kindly gave me her bottom bunk to use for the duration of my stay.
 and i was so excited to look over this:
it's a book i made for mom.  it's a scripture journal.  it has blank pages and pages with pics i took and scriptures i paired with the pics.  it turned out beautifully i think.  i got it sent to katie's because i wasn't sure when it would arrive. if you would like to preview the entire book i think you might be able to here.   or here i started this book at 4 in the evening on december 10th and finished it at 4am on december 11th with little break. (it had to be ordered by the 11th) it was an emotional and spiritual experience and by the end i was fried of brain. i missed a scripture for two pictures.  one for andrea and dean's pic and the other a leaf.  mom can chose her own for those. :)
queen elizabeth herself 
 the next day we did all the shopping that chillywack and 'buttsford could afford us.  but first we had breakfast.

 and some of us squished it into our toes...

katie tricked me into going to cyattonwood for 'one' thing.  but i found my final gift--a my little pony blanket for the queen.  and we battled with the old ladies of sears.  katie found an online deal for a suit for a hundred bucks.  me and her were going halfsies.  the ladies tried many things to try and dissuade us.  their tricks included disappearing when we were about to show them the online deal.  and then chris who pretended to be helpful explained that they needed a hard copy for their accounting, and they couldn't print it out, we had to.  and then she continued to show us other suit combinations for double or more of the price we wanted.  not to be deterred we went home and had lunch.
and i had a much needed shower... (vo) and then we all went to 'buttsford.  this is where while helping michealah and natalie find gifts for their mom and searching for a purse for brent to give her, i yet again dwindled in unbelief.  but amy, after some time on her own, and being tricked into buying a nail care set, felt refreshed.  she came to my rescue and together we found katie exactly the right purse at aldo, one i had missed before, because i had been blinded by stiffords.  that night we wrapped a few more...

i don't know who's this is and what it is, but i know that it is good. and i know that it was opened because i got the orange ribbon back.
i stayed up until 2am i believe.  pff.  pfff, i say.

christmas eve day was not a day i ever saw.  amy left to get fubman and i started my long day of wrapping and helping others wrap.  natalie was a very good apprentice.  katie and i made a yummy chipotle and sausage amongst other things chili to have with fritos underneath and cheese and sour cream on top. brent made his yummy caramels with a hint of peppermint and a handful of fateful marshmellows.  mom and dad left home without the perogies and had to turn back.  the sister missionaries came and katie kept us wrapping until the bitter end before the table had to be moved out of the kitchen so it could be extended.  we had a yummy meal of perogies and frito chili pie.

we went caroling.  the first couple of places weren't home but the rest were and we had fun like always.  some people gave us cookies and drinks or chocolates.  a guy named pierre with a little dog named sunshine inexplicably joined us along the way.  he introduced sunshine to everyone and even asked for treats on her behalf.  pierre and sunshine ended up coming back with us to katie's for the end of the night candle program.  i barely got my candle statement out without crying because i feel like i've been given a special gift this christmas, not that i can explain it very well, but i know that i have.

after the program the serious wrapping began.  katie and i were joined by amy and shawn, and mom, and michealah all in a frenzie of wrapping.  soon they all melted away to their beds and only katie and i were left.  i wrapped for dad, i wrapped for brent, i wrapped for...shhh...(santa).  we wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and searched for boxes and became silly with what we wrote on gift tags...
one of my faves was a joint effort by katie and i.  it said "to my piglet from your porkchop" (to mom from dad) this creation, mostly katie's genious, sent us into gales of tired giggles for quite some time.
 dad picked this one up by the ribbon on christmas morn.  like the ribbon was a handle.  and i reprimanded him for it and he reprimanded me for reprimanded him and the cycle continued...

sometimes a ribbon stumped me.  at one point i fishtail braided some yarn to use as a ribbon.  it was the most ridic looking present but i liked it.  
this is it.  i saved it for future generations.
when we finished it was christmas morning and almost 6am.  biffy would already have been awake, durn her, dearrrr dearrr child, chin cup.  katie and i stumbled into bed for a two hour nap.

  it doesn't look like a lot but it is ok.  it's a big tree and they're stuffed all underneath and around.

 then we opened our stockings and presents and everybody got good things including me.  this year i was very blessed in the jewelry department, especially earrings which is nice because i've been wanting more earrings.  but bracelets were not far behind. i also got lippies, and leg warmers, a soft grey eternity scarf, a huuuuge step up from my 8gb memory card aaand...

 i'm excited about this.

katie and i made the overnight coconut french bread that karen so kindly turned us on to.  it was a yummy addition to christmas morn.

after all the morning glory i eventually made my way back to bed and slept until 4pm when katie woke me up.  i chopped my broccoli and we all went to doug and delanies and had a late christmas dinner.  it was late because things happened and this is our family we are talking about.  i mashed delanies sweet potatoes and added sugar and butter and cinnamon and i think i made them quite tastey.  doug gave me the extra lemon i needed for my broccoli.  i am deeply indebted. dad carved both turkeys and mom did useful things that cannot be repeated.
where is the bun? i et it.  brent's gravy was divine.  tracy's stuffing was a star player on the plate.  those are my commentaries.

 i am trying to show off a bracelt from amy and danglies from natalie here but really i am just showing off my new phone.  hi phone!
i forgot to say that weirdly i pulled a muscle in the arch of my left foot really badly from my 7 plus hours of wrapping on christmas eve.  i guess i sitting on the balls of my feet for long periods of time and not noticing it.  i spent the next couple days noticing it.

boxing day was a day of lounging and eating left overs and treats.
 o'mally is seen here longing for a nutella jar of his very own.
sarah taunted me with this and so i sent this back:
katie makes the yummiest peppermint bark.  please note her christmas cardigan.

katie and i went for an evening walk/limp and when i came back i took this pic of me.  note my christmas grey.

then queen and i took a series of candy pics...

while katie tried out her hot new boots (from me! only 27 bucks!) and other christmas outfits.
here she is in...gasp! leggings!!
 sass much?

then we tried to watch some of north and south but katie was too tired. she tried my suggestions of knee raises and arm pumps and upper cuts and jabs but it was no use.  we went to bed.

next day we indulged natalie's new found obsession for pride and prejudice before watching north and south.  then it was time for me to leave because all good visits come to an end.

on my way home i stopped to see fatbud and we exchanged gifts.  she gave me a pretty and unique necklace to  complete my christmas jewelry collection.

and then i came home to my kitties and my cozy but very chilly home.  judy left a thermometer for me. 10 degrees inside.

ps. i'm the 1st counsellor in young wheemins now.