Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Calamitous Yule & Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!
Best wishes for a bright and wonderful 2019! 

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last blog post! In fact, it's been an embarrassing length of time. Hopefully, all of the issues that kept me occupied elsewhere over the holidays have been resolved and Burt and Ivy will be making their sporadic appearances soon. Life is always unpredictable and I had a record number of unfortunate occurrences this past December. Luckily, they were nothing serious and everything was fixed by Christmas. At least that's what I'm telling myself, ha!

It all started with our fairly new furnace shutting itself off on really cold and windy days. So we turned to our gas fireplace for some heat but it wouldn't light! As it turned out, the air intake and exhaust pipes on the furnace were the culprits and an easy fix. As for the fireplace,  SPIDERS had invaded the gas line (they are attracted to the smell of gas, ugh!) and had kept the pilot light from igniting. I couldn't help but feel sorry for this poor guy who had to spend a whole morning with his head in the fire box but he got it fixed. The drawback is that the pilot light has to be on all the time to keep the spiders away and now I need to find a way to make that up to the environment.  

A few days later, with both heating issues resolved, we finally got a chance to get a tree. His Madness was very happy there were so many left! The place we buy our Christmas trees from bears no resemblance to those cute stalls in the movies. Maybe they only exist in fiction, ha! Have you ever seen one in real life? Anyway, the one we frequent is in the parking lot of a strip mall, facing a six lane highway. We have to shout to be heard over the traffic but the trees are always fresh and they smell really nice - once we get them home.

We did find a pretty tree but while bringing it into the house the top accidentally snapped off and then we noticed there were quite a few gaps and wonky branches. Fortunately, once it was decorated, it looked just fine. Lights and ornaments can go a long way in enhancing the charms of a freshly cut tree, ha! Of course, I forgot to relocate the ghost pumpkin to the basement. It sat on the hearth all during the holidays, Halloween is never really over at our house. 

My birthday falls a couple weeks before Christmas and that always gets me off track. Even though it comes at an inconvenient time, I do like having an excuse to put off working on holiday stuff for the day. Also, because I've got so many other things on my mind, I forget about being another year older! 

Luckily, it came and went without incident because there was a lot more craziness to follow.  

After the heat was restored, the tree acquired and the birthday celebrations were over, we made a trip to the veterinarian. Apparently, Stewart ate something he shouldn't have and Spenser just ate too much. In any case, everyone survived and the kitties are fine and loving the tree.

This little gem showed up in the mail with our Christmas cards.
This is my third summons, they get me every four years, like clockwork!

While catching up on Christmas shopping one day (HM can't resist a silly hat!), my credit card was declined! The bank had frozen it because they detected suspicious activity. A hacker was on a shopping spree at Walmart. Luckily, I had other cards but that was the one that was set up to automatically pay all of the utility bills for our home and the family farm, along with charitable donations we make monthly. It wasn't a tragedy for us but it took awhile to straighten out and I felt so bad that the places that help people with real problems didn't get our donations before Christmas.

In the middle of the credit card fiasco my phone finally gave up and refused to charge.
Lucky for me it was Christmas time.
(Who knew they had such cool wrapping paper at Target?)

Another piece of good luck was that Andy and Kristin were home for the holidays so Mr. Programmer was around to set up my new phone! One evening, after checking out its fancy camera, I joined them (around the now working fireplace) for what has become the typical family activity. They must have noticed they were all just sitting around, staring at their phones before I started giving them a hard time about it! Maybe not. We actually had a very nice Christmas in spite of a the hiccups. I'm truly grateful that they were all so minor, there could've been a few less of them, though.

Life has settled down for now. Apart from the blizzard on New Year's Eve, having to replace the DVR and my laptop forgetting all my passwords when I upgraded to Mojave, the daily disasters seem to be over. I'm hoping whatever was going on this Christmas season won't repeat itself next year - or worse yet, follow down the path of our Possessed Kitchen!

See you soon, or whenever I finish Jury Duty!  

A belated Happy Holidays to all those who celebrated!

Thanks for stopping by and have a very Happy New Year!

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