Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Done and Dusted


The Amish evening went wonderfully well. The kids enjoyed the lights, and nobody got carsick, which was a real hazard for excited kids with full bellies who are not used to riding in the back of the car. 

The kids were delighted with their things, and to be honest, the puzzles were a hit. I don't think they quite understood what they were initially. Reuben brought one of the small boxes over. We opened it together, and it was two planks, connected together by beads and twine. He didn't know what it was. I explained that it was a puzzle and that you had to figure out how to get them apart and then put them back together. I puzzled at it for a while and figured it out. He was dumfounded. I offered to show him the secret, and he watched avidly, pushing his siblings away when they tried to peek. He was quite proud of himself and passed it around for the others to puzzle over. Levi was just as fascinated with the puzzles as the kids were, and all of them sat with their heads together working on different puzzles. He said, "These will be a good thing to keep kids busy when there is a blizzard outside, or it is too cold to stay out." Dads too, I think.

Baby David loved the corn pudding, and he was gobbling that down anytime a spoon headed his way. 

Rudy loved his gift bag of new wooden trucks (remember, I'd gotten them at an auction, an entire box of toys for $2. David's toys came from the same box. 

The last time we were out, we stopped in Goodwill. Maddie picked up a comforter, a plain navy blue one. She was pleased with it. The upstairs of their house is not heated and she thought it would be very warm for the children. 

It gave me an idea. Upstairs at my house, packed away, is a 'mink blanket' from Korea. It is a hugely heavy very plush blanket. It is very practical for people who sleep on the floor in a land where the winter winds sweep down from the mountains of China and it is cold, cold cold, bitterly cold. 40+ years later, I still shiver to think of it. The blanket probably weighs 15 lbs and Tim cannot bear the weight of it, and so it has been packed away for all the years of our marriage. 

 I lugged it downstairs and took a look at it. It did have a design on one side. I thought that perhaps Mattie and Grandma could make a cover for it. It would certainly be warm. Perhaps the design side could simply be turned facedown, the backing being a plain lustrous blue. 



So we took it up with supper and with the gifts. Levi was sitting in a rocker in front of the wood stove, little David on his lap, rocking his boy. I said, "I'm not sure if you can use this, but take a look at it..."

They were very taken with its softness, and they even seemed delighted at its thickness and weight. Levi stroked it and joked with the kids, "This will go straight on MY bed..." It sounded like there was some discussion about it. 

On the way home, Tim said, "You did a good job
. Those presents were just perfect." 

And they were. 

Tim and I had Christmas morning to ourselves and that wasn't a bad thing. My son and oldest grandaughter called after opening gifts. Mama had to pull a night shift Christmas eve, so she and the youngest grandaughter were having some much needed nap time. It was a nice Christmas morning, a leisurely breakfast (strata, made the night before and baked Christmas morning.)

For all Tim's fretting, he did just fine. He got me earrings, a very soft nightgown, a great mirror for the bathroom at the new house, lotion and soap. I'm not sure why he worries about things like he does. He always worries that it is the 'wrong thing'. He's a practical sort of guy and he tends to buy practical gifts. One year I got a can opener. But in the course of 26 (27?) Christmases, he generally does alright, and I'm not the sort of person who bitches about gifts. I never can understand people like that. So. 

One of Tim's very most favorite gifts was, believe it or not, a ruler. My daughter and son-in-law sent it from the UK. In reading about it, I discovered that, amazingly, it dates between 1781 and 1838. Tim was about as excited as he could be about that. He's been taking that everywhere to tell people all about it. 

There was dinner with Don and Brianna and William and supper with Tim's daughter and family. By the time that we got home, I was ready to put on my soft nightgown and curl up on the couch by the light of the Christmas tree. We read about Hadrian and his reign (117-138 AD if you are interested) while Tim studied his 'new' Roman coin. 

Boxing day was spent putting up the walls in the new house. Tim is getting a load of 2x4s, and I'll meet him at the new build to unload and get a couple more walls finished. (We have four more to do, and it takes time because we are carefully thinking this through. It is a small house and small places are completely livable...you just need to maximize the space. We are tweaking the design as we go. 

Once the walls are done, Tim will do the wiring. Once the wiring is done, we will take a second look at the window situation, decide where we want the last two, install them, and then we will drywall. 

So, in summation, our Christmas was a fine one. 



30 comments:

  1. I'm glad it was a good holiday for all of you. Things went well here, too, despite the fact the oldest grandchild had other plans and couldn't join us. The puzzle boxes for the two middle grandchildren went over well.

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  2. Sounds like it went well. Ours too. Now for the NY countdown, not that we really do New Years but some do.

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    1. We don't generally go out, but we celebrate it.

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  3. I've been anticipating the visit to see your Amish friends for days now. I knew it would be a good time. You are a great gift-giver, Debby. And it sounds like Tim did good this year. It is hard after many years together to find something new that our partners will like and especially when we generally are able to buy what we need and sometimes even want, ourselves.
    And now it's over and let's go into the new year feeling relieved on many, many levels.

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    1. Oh, Tim's pretty easy to read. This year we were so distracted by his health and then he bought himself such a vast pile of stuff that what he got from me was a new phone charger and one of his favorite kinds of candies.

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  4. Happy Christmas Debby. It sounds like a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. It was. I hope that yours was wonderful too.

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  5. It sounds like a lovely time for everyone. I'm glad it all went well for you.
    New year, new house - exciting. I wish you and yours a happy and fulfilling 2024.

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    1. Thanks, Jabblog. Mostly, I am just hoping for a much more settled year. In fact, I'd like to see that for the whole world~

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  6. It sure sounds like the presents to your Amish friends were a hit, and also so thoughtful! And I’m not one to bitch about any gifts either- I figure they were all chosen with good intentions🥰 I’m so glad you had a good Christmas.. the good news about Tim’s health surely helped! Our Christmas was very sweet and relaxed- just us parents and two grown kids, very cozy. Happy ‘romjul’, as we Norwegians call the week between Christmas and New Year’s! Xo, Ricki/Rigmor🤗

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    1. I like that. Romjul! Are there any special traditions that go with the name? We simply resumed work on the new build. We are a partying kind of people here. (Not) I just looked up the meaning of your name. It says your name day is February 7th. What does that mean?

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    2. Romjul is a very quiet week- lots of people are off work, so most offices have limited hours, and it’s really a time to either ‘hibernate’ to get all your reading done or your food eaten.. or to have get togethers with family and/or friends! In other words- Christmas is not over!😄As for the name day- it’s really most popular in Sweden.. we never celebrate it much in Norway. Can you imagine living in the US with a name like mine??😂Rhough when we lived in NYC we got so used to unusual/foreign names that my husband refused using an alternative name for me..but I use Ricki sometimes to make life easier!

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  7. Sounds like a great Christmas! We had the group in Texas join us on the computer (Google Meet) so we could all open presents together. Everyone seemed to like the gifts and the grandkids in my house and in Texas were able to laugh and giggle together and see more of the new baby so I was glad about that.
    Now on to 2024! I hope it is a happy, healthy year for all of us!

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    1. Technology is such a blessing, isn't it? I'm glad you were able to laugh and giggle with the grands!

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  8. We had a quiet Christmas and Jack was sick. He's with the other side of his family now and my husband and I are back to work.
    I think your Amish friends appreciate things so much more than the rest of us.

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    1. The kids never disappoint. It doesn't matter whether they are opening a box of candy canes or a game. They are delighted. I read someplace that Jack was sick. Honestly, the creeping crud seems as if it is everywhere this year.

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  9. Sounds like a perfect day. And your gifts, both given and received, sound perfect too.

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    1. I love to Christmas shop, the mindfulness of it. I do it all year around.

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  10. You are absolutely the best friends anybody could ever hope for. It sounds like a perfect Christmas for everybody. They sleep on the floor?

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  11. That's what the Japanese used to do, but they had heavy futons to lie on. I wonder if they have regular beds now. I'll have to ask my cousin.

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    1. No! Oh gosh no. Amish sleep in beds! What I was saying is that the Korean people sleep on the floor and have very harsh winters. Although the floors were andol, heated, the blankets were designed for that use and extremely warm.

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    2. I'm so glad. That's a relief. :-)

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  12. It certainly sounds busy! Glad everyone was happy with their gifts. Give us a picture of the antique ruler! Does it look like a modern one, more or less?

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    1. I still owe Northsider a picture. I will post for you and him tomorrow.

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  13. Saw an interesting article today about these types of puzzles; I’m hoping you can access it as a guest: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/29/science/puzzles-mechanical-miller.html

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