Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Holiday Greetings

It’s hard to say when a house starts to really feel like home, but if it’s when one starts having to fix things, then this was the year we settled into the new house.  2019 started off with a roof leak into our dining room, the death of my old washing machine, and a leak under the sink, so we’re very, VERY settled into the new house. And just in case we weren’t, in August we adopted a stray kitten we found (Charlie) who is busily tearing apart anything left standing.  For those counting, Charlie brings the feline population to 4, though some days it feels more like 9 or 10, especially during shedding season..

Andy continues liking his new job, and is enjoying being close to Bogus Basin and ran to work regularly in order to train for the Mesa Falls Marathon in August (in the mountains, so not as hot as that sounds).  For those not familiar, Mesa Falls is in eastern Idaho near Ashton, where the interstate gives up and goes back to being a highway.  We found a very charming hotel from the 1930s with plumbing from the 1940s, and enjoyed exploring the upper and lower falls, part of Yellowstone, and a shortcut that has no business pretending to be a road on any map not made exclusively for hiking or goats. Andy says the scenery along the marathon route was breath-taking, but so is running 26+ miles.

I, on the other hand, have joined a radio station as a marketing consultant.  I now do radio and digital advertising, and haven’t had to deal with city planning/permits or measure anything in the snow or rain for months--which might explain the recruiter’s timing.  I did have to warn them that I have no idea who anyone is in pop culture and proved it by getting lots of “big” names wrong--including our music festival headliner--but it actually hasn’t been a problem since I’m rarely in my clients’ target market.  I can, however, write commercial scripts, so I think it balances out that I called our headliner, Pitbull, by the wrong breed of dog. I had the right species.

After much research, Andy bought a laser-cutter this year, and has already made several new wall decorations for the house.  I believe several friends have scheduled playdates for when the garage is slightly warmer. 

And after delaying as long as possible, I am now going through braces for the SECOND time, and either they hurt ​much ​ more than I remember, or I have grown into a complete wimp. However, I am now a wimp with a large repertoire of blended meals.  11 months to go for Straight Teeth, take two.

Hope this finds you all well and enjoying a healthy and happy holiday season, and wishing you a wonderful 2020.

 
This year we have learned….
● That it doesn’t matter if the bag did happen to mention which lilies were the tallest if one doesn’t bother to read the label
● Planting 180+ bulbs wasn’t much fun, but watching them come up really was--right until a deer ate them
● One’s inner child may never age, but the toys get a LOT more expensive
● The learning curve with a laser-cutter is finding the exact point between not cutting all the way through and erupting into flames.  This is best done in a well-ventilated garage, possibly when one’s spouse is absent.
● With a crazy enough kitten, “climbing the walls” is not a figure of speech
● Even as exhausting as Charlie’s antics are, it’s impossible to get mad at her.  If I could ever have leapt that far above my own head, my parents would have been fishing me off of every barn we had
● Some of us are clearly incapable of being foster homes for animals
● If done well, even jazz music played on an accordion can be enjoyable
● Never get a touchscreen laptop if one has cats
● A “sewing room” sounds like it should be clean, so I have started referring to mine as a “studio.” It really takes the pressure off.
● There is no such thing as kitten-proof if the kitten in question is Charlie
● It is possible to melt slate with a laser-cutter.  Not advisable, but possible
● The “Charlie compromise” with the Christmas trees is no lights or decorations, removing the top from the 9-foot tree, and moving it into the center of the room so she can’t use it as a pathway to the windows above the door or anything else. 
● If a phone cord isn’t charging, one of the first things to check HERE is whether a kitten has chewed it into multiple pieces. 
● A group of cats is called a “clowder.”  We thought it best to know what we wake up to each morning.
● It is possible to hear yarn.  It doesn’t matter where Charlie is in the house, but if I try to take out my knitting, Charlie is there before the sock even gets out of the bag.
● The gardening book that we REALLY need is the one which states which shrubs can be safely trimmed back and which one it only encourages
● Most people one meets when running are pretty cool, a few are weird.  It’s best to be able to outrun the latter.
● Visiting Yellowstone Park involves more alert driving than I dreamed.  Either one is stalking people in the parking lots to try to get their spots when they leave or one is trying not to run into cars or pedestrians pulled off the sides of the road to get dangerously close to animals that can outrun and kill them.
● A rest stop in southeastern Idaho has one of those explanatory signs about the importance of sagebrush.  How can one not love the optimism that travelers will be THAT curious about the only plant visible for 50 miles in either direction and pretty much all of Nevada? 
● Nothing says “love” like eating soft foods with your wife every time her braces get tightened, just for moral support