Hey, I survived my Christmas alone! And guess what? I liked it! Well, OK, I wasn't totally alone, but I'll explain that later in this post.
Where should I start? Alright, how about this ... On Saturday, I had to run a couple errands, and as I left the house, just yards down the road two young bucks darted across the road in front of me. They weren't close enough to worry me, and I was doing only about 15 miles an hour, but I was just thrilled to see them! Both were, I think, four points, so you know they aren't very old. I stopped and just watched them disappear into the woods. As I sat there it dawned on me that there were probably others, and I looked back on the side from which they came. Sure enough, there were more ... lots more! There was at least one more four point buck, a six point and an eight point buck, six to eight does of various ages and four to six fawns! They were moving around so it was hard to actually count them. My camera was in the car, and I got a few shots. As usual when photographing deer, they are a bit too far out of range, so these aren't really great shots, but here they are, anyway.
If you enlarge this, you'll see a six point buck. Handsome fellow.
They didn't run from me, but they kept their eyes on me and slowly moved away slowly.
This is a four point buck that didn't jump in front of me.
Can't you almost hear the front one saying, "Come on, kids, say close and move quickly; we don't know what the human might do!"
This doe watched me intently for a long time and her baby stayed beside her. All that moved was her ears as they twitched.
Skip ahead to Christmas Eve. While I was getting things ready for Christmas Day, baking and cooking, I was also doing some laundry. I washed several sweaters and spread them out on a drying rack. I have one of those racks that has a plastic frame with mesh stretched over it, and they can be stacked on top each other to save space. And I went back to the culinary wonders I was performing. a couple hours later, I walked into the bedroom and found this......
Apparently Mr. Ali thought it was a cool new soft and cushy bunk bed for him! The top "bunk" is broken now, and look at my sweater! I had to rewash it! I can't believe it!
He apparently "nested" there for a while, because the sweater, which was half dry, was wrinkled unbelievably badly!
Christmas Day after I was up and around for a while I looked around and Ali was no where to be found. I called him and whistled to no avail. I wasn't exactly worried, because I knew he was in the house and I'd seen him a while earlier. Never the less, I was concerned. After several minutes, I went to the bedroom again, and I happened to look at the bed. I had looked there before, but not in this spot......
Most times, he curls up on a throw that I keep at the foot of the bed. He looked at me as if to say, "Please don't make me get down!"
Doesn't he look a little pathetic?
Looking less pathetic here but still like he wants to blend in with the pillows! Silly little guy!
Yes, I left him there.
He actually does this snuggling down in the pillows from time to time. I think it is just cute as heck!
Now here is how the days actually went. I stayed busy with baking and cooking, not as a planned diversion, but just because I was enjoying it greatly. I haven't done that is several years, and it was delightful for me. I'm having to relearn high altitude baking. Grrr, at times!
On Christmas Eve I took a load of goodies to my boss and his family. His college age kids are home, his 87 year old father is visiting from Florida (his first time here), so his hands here full. He is in the midst of a divorce, living in a neat old, refurbished house, but small for the group and inadequate for much holiday-type cooking and baking. Trying to balance everybody's activities was a challenge for him.
So "we girls," the women in his life, who work for him and an artist that is a close part of our group and is "in residence," so to speak, decided to help him a little. L did a crock pot full of ribs, J made a spinach souffle, A did a bread pudding, and I made the "nibbles," cheese spread, cookies of several types, several slices of my mom's recipe for Christmas Orange cake.
I asked about their plans for Christmas, and it was still up in the air. I know they've eaten out a lot because they've been on the go, and since he said the kids would probably spend Christmas Day with their mother, I asked if he'd planned a dinner for himself and his father. No, he hadn't, so I told him that they were welcome to join me. There was a tentative arrangement with a friend, but it wasn't firm because she is a mutual friend with the soon-to-be-ex, lives near her, and he did not want the ex to get freaky if he was that close. She has in the past, saying he was spying on her, so he wanted to keep things calm.
Except for that little trip I was completely alone on 12/23 and 12/24. While I felt good about the holiday and being alone, there was a hint of wondering because it is a whole new experience. I connected my computer with that 22+ hours of Christmas music to the home theater system, and cleaned house and baked. What fun I had. I talked with several friends at a distance, some of whom were having their own "alone Christmas," others just because. I noticed that I was not in the least lonely! It was a peaceful and my introspection were positive. I felt good about myself, about being at this place and time, and about everything in general.
I have completely enjoyed these past few days! Yes, it wasn't just that I got through or that I didn't have a problem with it. I actually enjoyed this time by myself! I know now that I'm truly set and happy with my life as I am living it. It does not mean that I want to spend every Christmas alone. But I can!
On Christmas Day I got a call from Da Boss, asking if the offer was still open. Yes, of course. So he and his dad came for dinner, and we had a very nice time. I think he was surprised that I had enough food since I was alone, but I'd invited several people who were not able to be with family this year, and I wanted to be prepared in case they decided to come. I didn't fix "too much," whatever that is, but there was enough for whatever, whoever.
You see, two years ago after my husband died I promised myself that I would not become a recluse. I would dress every day (well, occasionally I have a jammie day and stay curled up on the couch, but it is not often and usually because I don't feel well). I would put on make up every day. I would eat meals at the table, not in front of the TV. I would actually cook for myself most days, not eat out or rely on prepared foods. I would not stay home more than one day at a time unless I was ill or weather stopped me, but would maintain contact with the world outside my walls. In a few words, I would not stop living. And I haven't.
I have proven to myself that I can do these things, and I think that has helped me to know that I am me, whether I'm "home alone" or with others. I don't need to worry about it now, and as long as I continue to stay close to the above plan, I'll be fine. It feels good to be secure in this.
Another thing ... I received one gift this year. Yep, one gift. Da Boss brought me a nice gift jar of his special homemade seasoning salts that I've complimented him about. I love it ... something specifically from his thoughtfulness and that he knew I'd appreciate. Perfect! And I did not miss anything else. I didn't need anything, I love that there was no obligatory gift exchange. We get so caught up in making sure that everyone on our list gets everything they want, or everything we think they want, or everything we want them to want. I'm happier with homemade gifts from the heart and school pictures from the grandchildren than I was on those Christmases when I got dozens of gifts!
When Da Boss and Da Papa arrived, there were some snow flurries, but nothing heavy at all. About three hours later Ali asked to go outside, and when I opened the door, I was surprised that we had about three inches of snow!! I didn't know that snow was even in the offering! Da Boss decided that perhaps they should get off the mountain before they couldn't! I checked to be sure they got home and they did, and it snowed only about an inch at that point in town. By then I had over four inches! I went out into an open spot and measured it, because I was curious. Later it blew a bit, and it drifted, so it would have been hard to know after that. I'm glad I measured when I did. Here is what it looks like this morning .....
A few days ago I took a picture of the embankment in back of the house. I just thought it was picturesque.
As you see, there is some residual snow as it is protected from the sun for most of the day.
I didn't want to wade through the snow to get the same angle, but it doesn't particularly matter as you can see the difference in the snow today.
Finally a couple cartoons that caught my eye yesterday. The first is an obviously "hip" grandpa, because he knows the language and isn't thinking "sandal." LOL!
Secondly, my opinion, too!!
Happy Boxing Day to our Canadian friends!!!
Life is beautiful!!!
PS - I think I'm going to have a jammie day today. I don't want to go anywhere, anyway, and I'm achy with a mild flare up of fibromyalgia, so I'm gonna get on the couch and watch some movies. Yay!!