That's what next week will be, well, really Saturday-Saturday.
As you probably know, this Saturday is Christmas. It is the celebration of the birthday of my Lord and Savior. It's a big deal, in case you haven't noticed. But the fun and celebration doesn't stop there.
Next week, I turn twenty-five. I will officially be a quarter of century old. Boo that. I don't want to think of it like that. So I won't. Scarlett O'Hara really had the right idea about how to deal with unpleasant things, "I won't think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow." I won't think about the whole quarter of a century aspect. I will think of it as simply another birthday celebration. So yay me. It's my day.
New Year's Eve. Need I say more?
New Year's Day. I sincerely hope this day is a day entirely of celebration. You see, my beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs will be playing in the Gator Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines. GO STATE! A win would really set a nice tone for 2011. I'm just sayin'.
So, if there is a bit of radio silence on my end next week, just know that I have good reasons. I will do my best, though.
I love my dog. He is a handful, but he is also incredibly affectionate and loving. He is very protective and possessive of my husband and me. We love him. He is part of our family.
Unfortunately, this morning he woke up with quite the cough. A deep hacking cough. The kind that sounds like a sick duck quacking when you are a room away. He sounded terrible. And we could tell he was exhausted, so he probably didn't sleep well. I took him to the vet this morning and they saw him as quickly as possible. I have to say that he really doesn't like being on the examination table and tries to escape it, but today he just lowered his head into me and stood there, too tired to fight it.
The vet worked his magic and looked up at me and with complete confidence told me my dog had contracted bronchitis. Super. Major was given a couple of shots to help soothe his cough and I was given some medicines for him to take at home (I love our vet. Major boarded there over the weekend because we had to make a quick trip out of town and he couldn't join us. Our vet admitted that it was possible that Major picked something up from another dog while in their office and didn't charge me for the visit, the tests, or the medicines. I love people who still care about good customer service!). I was relieved when the shot stopped his cough immediately. The vet did warn me that "it might make him a little drunk." He wasn't kidding. By the time we got home, Major was three sheets to the wind.
He stumbled around the house and then went out to the yard. He would almost sit down, but about the time his tail touched the ground he would stand back up and look around like someone had just touched him from behind. He couldn't stand up straight. He would stand and start leaning one way or the other and just keep leaning until he had to catch himself before falling down. If he hadn't been so ill, it would have been really funny. Oh, who am I kidding, it was hilarious! I couldn't quit giggling. He eventually gave up and just flopped down on the ground.
I know how terrible he feels because he won't even play with his chew toys. He just stares at them from across the room. I hope his meds knock this out before Christmas. I mean, I know he doesn't really know what day it is, but I do, so I hope he feels better. We'll see.
I was thinking today about the Christmas traditions I enjoy the most. The list is long, because this is my favorite time of year. I started to wonder, though, what are some other traditions from around the world? What are some interesting Christmas facts? For instance, I read something today that suggested that the word "wassail" is derived from the Norse "vesheil" which means something like "good health". It refers to a Norse custom of going around and toasting your to all of your neighbors' good health. Also, apparently Christmas caroling in England is sometimes (or once was, I'm not sure how old the info was) called wassailing because of this.
These are things that fascinate me. I love learning about other cultures, customs, and traditions. I'm riveted.
My current blog platform has a really cool feature that tells me where in the world people are viewing my blog. It just gives me the country, of course, nothing Big Brother style creepy. I have had the distinct privilege to be read by people all across Europe, in the Pacific, and even parts of Africa. I don't know if they come regularly, or if they happen to stumble upon me. I don't know if they are natives of those places, or just happen to be traveling there. But, if you are one of those people and are willing to do so, would you comment and tell me about some of your Christmas traditions (if you celebrate it, of course)? What do you do to celebrate? Or what are some historical fun facts that relate to your place of origin? I am aware that sometimes it is difficult to comment on my page because the system gets picky. Please forgive me if you try and can't get through. I would love to know what you have to share.
Also, how to do you say "Merry Christmas" in your language? It's not a silly question, I know that my blog has been translated into other languages (another cool feature of my blog platform) so not everyone who reads it is reading it in English.
Also, if you are from the United States and just have some fun facts, traditions, or tidbits to share, please, join in the fun!
Please share. If you don't I might sing Christmas carols. And nobody really wants that.
It's time for my random tidbits of information! Buckle up.
1. The roof of the dome where the Minnesota Vikings play collapsed during a snow storm, moving their game against Giants to Detroit. Is collapsed really the proper word when the roof is made of a type of fabric. If it's made of fabric, is it really a roof. I think the argument could be made that it isn't so much a roof as it is a crazy expensive tarp. Still, the video of the snow pouring onto the field is pretty cool stuff.
2. A principal at a middle school in Memphis, TN has found a great way to convince his students to wear their pants at an appropriate height. If their pants are too saggy/baggy, he pulls them up as far as necessary to keep them from dragging the ground. He calls it being Urkeled, and has posters of the Family Matters character posted around the school as a warning. Excellent.
3. The official engagement photos of William and Kate have been released. One of them is almost an exact copy of one of the engagement photos of Charles and Diana. On the one hand, that is a sweet way to honor William's parents; on the other hand, are they trying to sabotage this relationship? Kate already has Diana's ring. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful and a fitting tribute, but does nobody remember how that marriage ended? I'm just saying.
4. I'm still cheering Kate on. Brunette princess named Catherine (even if she spells it wrong)? Yes, please.
5. How do you get Kate from Catherine? Why not Cate? Or Katherine? Or why not Kathryn and go by Kathryn? I like that last option best, of course.
6. Brett Favre didn't start tonight. As one of my friends pointed out, the last time that happened, I was only six years old. That is all I'm going to say about that tonight.
7. We had snow flurries where I live yesterday. We are predicted to have sleet/snow/ice on Wednesday morning. This means two things: 1 - it is way too cold here, and 2 - Wednesday morning every person in the metro area will completely forget how to drive and it will undoubtedly take me at least twice as long to get to work as it normally does.
8. It's hard to not be in a good mood when you are listening to your favorite Christmas songs.
On Friday I was in my office working peacefully when the fire alarm began to go off. Our building has a history of false alarms, so before I began to make sure all of my fellow employees were exiting the office in an orderly fashion (it is part of my job), I called the main desk of the building. I was informed that the alarm had gone off as a side effect of a pipe bursting in one of the elevator shafts and they were working on the problem, but that it was not necessary to exit the building. I was relieved and began to let my colleagues know. I was relieved. I personally didn't want to walk down the stairs. I work on the 29th floor.
A few minutes later, I got a call from the main desk. The water was causing some circuits to short. Sparks were involved and they were evacuating the building as a precaution until they could get everything under control. They made it clear that everyone was to stay off all the elevators, because both sets were involved in the incident. Twelve total elevators. All of them rendered useless and dangerous. Super. I gathered my co-workers and we began our descent. Again, I work on the 29th floor. THE TWENTY-NINTH FLOOR, PEOPLE. That's a LOT of stairs. A LOT.
And I was in heels.
Lord, help me.
I will be the first to admit that I'm not in the best shape of my life, but when we got to the bottom, I wasn't out of breath. That is a miracle in and of itself. My knees were a bit wobbly, though. A bit might be a euphemism. I was like a weeble. And my feet were not happy.
We had been standing out in the cold for about ten minutes when they came out and told us that the problem had been solved and we could all return to our offices, via the elevators. So we did. I returned to my desk and went back to work for the last couple of hours of the day. When it came time to go home, I stood and my legs were like jello. Okay, so I'm out of shape. I knew that already. The real trouble had yet to come.
This morning (Saturday) when I awoke, I noticed a general discomfort in my legs. I stretched. It didn't go well. I stood. It didn't go well, either. I was betrayed by my own limbs. I'm hoping tomorrow goes a little better.
I would like to point out to you that just because you drive a very large, very tall, very dirty piece of crap vehicle, does not mean that you can use it like a tank on the road. Just because you don't care if your car gets totaled, doesn't mean the rest of us are itching to be in the same situation. If you are just a bad driver, who passed a driver's test and then instantly forgot all rules of the road, let me remind you. Let's start simple, shall we?
1. You can't take your half out of the middle. Stay in your lane. Either lane. But you only get to pick ONE!
2. When you need to turn, USE A BLINKER.
3. If you get within 50 feet of your turn and are not yet in the lane you need to be in, don't expect me slam on brakes for you. As the old saying goes, a failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
4. If you are about to miss your exit, as in you have actually started to pass the exit, and I have legally and comfortably taken the exit it is NOT OKAY FOR YOU TO SUDDENLY JERK ACROSS THE MEDIAN, COME INTO MY LANE, AND RUN ME OFF THE ROAD.
5. If your radio is up so loud that you can't hear me blast the horn as I have to employ defensive driving techniques to avoid a collision or going off the shoulder of the road, it is TOO LOUD. You're not cool. You're a moron who needs to have your license revoked.
6. Put your cell phone down. I don't care if you are texting, talking, or what have you. Multitasking is obviously not your strong point. Let it go. You need to pay attention and have both hands on the wheel. Driving is clearly a difficult task for you. Focus.
7. The local highway is not Gran Turismo 5. Try not to kill anyone.
8. If any of this is too difficult for you to grasp, call a cab. Can't afford a cab, take a bus. Just stop getting behind the wheel. Someone is going to get hurt.
I don't say any of this to hurt your feelings. I'm saying it because I don't want to get killed on the way home because you never check your mirrors and think the median is fun to jump over. Either go back to driver's ed, or sell your car and walk.
I read a blog post recently on BlogHer about an incredible woman. Her name is Darlene Cavalier. She is a scientist, who is also a professional cheerleader. And she's not cheering for just anything, she's cheering for science.
Excuse me? What?
That's right, folks. I know the perplexed look on your face because it was on mine, too, when I first read this post by Mia Mercado (many thanks to Mia!). I was intrigued, but mostly by a sense of skepticism that yearned to fed. Science cheerleaders, you say? How exactly does that work? Who is even watching these cheerleaders?
It turns out, the answer is that a lot of people are watching them (if you want to join them, take a peek at Mia's post, because she includes a video clip). And after reading the article, I feel like cheering them on. You see, Darlene started off wanting to basically make science easier to understand and help scientific concepts appeal to the masses, feeling that this would lead to better conversation about scientific discoveries. She used her experience as a 76ers Cheerleader and her wealth of science knowledge to create something that I am fairly confident nobody had ever seen before.
I think the best part of it all is that her fellow science cheerleaders are BOTH professional cheerleaders and scientists. Scientists by day, cheerleaders by night. It all sounds like a Disney Channel special, doesn't it? But it's true. And while the idea was to actually make the concepts easier to understand and remember for adults, the program is actually a huge hit with little girls. They see the cheerleaders as proof that girls can have both beauty and brains. You can be a jock and a nerd. You can be athletic and a bookworm. You can be a scientist AND a cheerleader. I don't care how we get that message across to kids, that being smart is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as we get it to them.
So thanks, Darlene Cavalier, for thinking outside the box!
And thanks, Mia Mercado, for spotlighting the science cheerleaders!
2-4-6-8, Who do we appreciate? The Science Cheerleaders, that's who.
Is the name of the Christmas Album from the a cappella group Straight No Chaser. And you know what? It is just terrific. You know I love Christmas music, y'know, because I told you, but this is just superb. There are traditional tunes, some new tunes, and some traditional tunes that, well, are going to sound new.
I'm not telling you to buy the CD. I'm telling you that I bought the CD and it is fabulous. Nobody asked me to say that. Nobody affiliated with the group even knows who I am. I don't care. I love the CD. It makes me laugh, it makes me want to celebrate. In short, it puts me in the Christmas spirit. Not that the impending holiday isn't already brightening my days, it just never hurts to get a little extra boost of enthusiasm.
Now, Straight No Chaser isn't new. In fact, they were a college group and have had many reincarnations at said college (I can't remember exactly which one, but I want to say Indiana? Yes, I checked. It's Indiana. Thank you internet.), but this CD was made by the guys who made it all famous. Famous, you say? Yep. Just check YouTube.
No, really. Check it out. You won't be disappointed. They make me smile.
I'm a Christian. I pray. I talk to God. Especially when I am struggling internally with something. Sometimes He answers. I mean, I've never heard the big booming voice from the sky, or seen a burning bush, but sometimes He makes things pretty clear. Other times? Not so much.
I have trouble sometimes tuning out the world and just listening for what He has to say. I know if you don't share my faith all of this sounds crazy, but it's all true. It is hard to quiet the fears and anxieties of my heart and force myself to just listen.
The hardest part of listening? The patience. I'm getting better, but, unfortunately, patience is not a virtue of which I am in abundance. I try, but I'm still a work in progress.
I've been thinking about this lately because I've really been praying about something. The question was a two parter. The first part? God threw me a bone and made that answer incredibly clear. The other part? I got nothing.
Hello? Is this thing on? Any day now.
Maybe he has been giving me the answer and I just don't see it.
So before Thanksgiving I wrote a post about possibly putting our Christmas decorations up early. I didn't want to wait too long to put them up and get my household into the Christmas spirit and we had a lot of commitments away from the house. Well, we didn't decorate early. It just seemed wrong. So when did we get it done?
Uhm, about that. We haven't yet. I mean, we turned in all the old Christmas lights we had for a discount on new LED lights at Home Depot, so we are set for lights. We got all the decorations out of the attic and have decided how to decorate everything (it is our first Christmas in our house). My shopping (and wrapping) is mostly done. Christmas music has been playing in my car (and my head) for days and days. But my house? Not so much.
I feel like all is not right with my world. My Christmas angels are still in their boxes (yes, I put them back in their original packaging every year, I'm clumsy and they are breakable). Our stockings are not yet hung by the fire with care. And don't even get me started on the tree. Well, maybe you should, actually, because I haven't even started yet! I have my work cut out for me over the next few days.
How did this happen? How did I go from debating whether or not to put up the decorations before Thanksgiving to still not having made progress at the end of the December 1st? Where did the time go? I mean, I know last night I got distracted and allowed myself to spend a lot of time playing on youtube. But what about the other days? I mean, I know I have done other things besides go to work, come home, walk and feed the dog, and do laundry. Haven't I?
Ok. Maybe not.
Luckily, in our little neighborhood, I'm not the only one who is not yet glowing with holiday celebration. Only one other house in the subdivision is fully decorated. Overachiever. Way to make the rest of us look bad.
I vow that major progress will have been made by the time the SEC Football Championship game airs on Saturday. It may not be done by then, but it will be well on its way. It will. It will. It will.