White Lightning Axiom: Redux: free weekend

Saturday, December 18, 2004


free weekend

Hmmmm, where to start. Friday night was pretty much modus operandi. One big variation is that I finally got off my duff and filled the humidifier. It takes quite a bit of H2O to fill the base and the reserve tank. Filled to capacity, it would be more than enough for the master suite. Instead, I put it in the kids room which is half the size. This should help Jake out with his epidermal issues and perhaps fend off the hacking cough that you get when you try to keep the manor warm with dry heat. The Mrs stays up till the wee hours of the morning wrapping gifts and printing out the yearly Christmas manifesto. I, of course, cannot fall asleep when she is not in the mile-wide water bed. Either it is the sneaking suspicion that she will crack me over the head while I sleep, or the fact that I will wake up when she tries to pole-vault into bed due to the lofty perch it sits atop. Either way, I'm still awake at 0200 when she finally crawls under the 2000 thread sheets.

It is a horrible night. I do not think I have slept more restlessly than I did Friday night . I wake with a headache (a real headache, no migraine), a stiff neck and a sore throat. On top of that, the little canker sore in my mouth is making sure that I have not forgotten about it. Onery little bastard. The morning shoots by quickly and we spend a big part of it wrapping the gifts that need to go to Minnesota. We box them up and the Mrs runs off to the post office while I feed the kids lunch. I hope they get there before the 25th, but it wont matter much if they are a few days late. I try to send food items (nuts, candies, dried fruits) for the holidays knowing that I can always send the same thing next year. There are only so many knick-nacks that a house can hold and I hate the damned little things. It would be hypocritical to force such things on my closest of family! Speaking of sending gifts, if you want to send something to one of our boys overseas, check here. I'm sure it would be appreciated. Once we get the little rambunctious ones to bed after lunch, I figure it would be a great time to take a nap myself. I'm still not at 100% so I can't think of a better thing to do. Before I nod off, I let the hounds out so that they would not wake me when they inevitably detect an invisible ninja assassin intruder. While they were out turning the back 50 into an open sewer, I spotted my Neighbor on the other side of the fence. I was thinking that perhaps I should go out to talk with him. He has just come back from the hospital. He had surgery to remove one of his kidneys because it had a tumor in it. Not good, both ways. One: to have a tumor at all, two: to have it in a place where it could metastasize easily. It's odd that I can't seem to find the words to talk to him right now. People seem to be more terrified of MS or ALS than they are of cancer. While I stood there and mulled over my apparent cowardice, he had collected his dogs remains and gone back inside. Well, that opportunity passed me by, so I let in the lumbering hounds and went back to the master suite. Ahhh, blissful slumber.

Later on in the evening, I get down to making more broccoli/rice soup for the kids. This stuff is so easy to make and the variations are wonderful. I'm not sure why I did not steal this from SuperMom earlier. A little extra rice and it becomes less watery and so much easier for the kids to eat without painting the kitchen floor. They like it too which is a great boost for me as a parent. Who can rightfully say that their kids LOVE veggies. I think I'll try to feed them brussels sprouts next. Later on in the evening, we start to wrap presents ... Again. I'm tired and a bit fatigued so I don't get much done before I head off to bed. The Wife, however, shoulders the load and continues to forge ahead with the letters and pictures to be mailed out. And I lie awake, waiting for her to come to bed. I'm getting to be like an old dog bureaucrat who lives for the schedule, not matter how inane or obsolete it may have become. Awfully enough, I still wake up three times because of this damn canker sore. I guess I am going to have to cave in and get something to numb it down because the 'infant orajel' just is not cutting it.

Sunday is pretty laid back. Certainly colder though. In the phone calls from family, I've heard that the Arctic Blast is coming my way and has already blanketed Minnesota and New York. The fire is going full blast and is consuming entire forests. The house is at a toasty 70F. Just in case, I set the furnace to kick on at 61F so we should be good if the fire does run low on fuel. I have already chewed through half of the left bracket and fully expect to burn down to 25% of its contents. I have to keep reminding myself that I got a whole truck-load of logs for 375$, minus the labor. Of course, there is all the chains, sharpening, oil, axe handles and wedges that I did not count in the cost of this. Since we once spent 450$ on a single month of heat, and now spend about 175$, I think we may be saving a coin or two here. I have to keep repeating that to myself as I look at the burn scars on my hands and fore-arms. That stove gets mighty hot.

The rest of the day was pretty much more of the same. I wrapped presents while the wife went shopping. Kids napped, I wrapped. Kids woke, I fed them. Wife comes home, we surf while the kids watch some Disney Christmas special ... they are mesmerized, entertained and subtly encouraged to be in the Christmas Spirit. Later on, we put the kids to bed and ... well, wrap presents. The only big event of the day was that my seldom-present neighbors Chuck and Roz come over for a quick visit. They were away for a Sports Journalism dinner down south somewhere for the last few days. They wanted to stop over and say 'Thnx' for the Pistachios and all. Roz gushes over the twins, Chuck and I quip back and forth about things of little consequence. Chuck is at least a decade older than Hero Dad and it's hard for us to really talk about much since we have such different life experiences. We manage to get along though. They have several grandchildren of their own, but seem to be fascinated by the twins. Must be their 'energetic' mannerisms.


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