Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Angel's Among Us

       I've had a good week-tiring, but good. Here's my quick recap of my joys, simple pleasures and things that made me smile.

  1. Just two of us were available for Trivia-we joined with smart people, and ended up winning.
  2. Book club was held by Zoom, but was still fun Friday night. The Firekeepers Daughter-highly recommend it. 
  3. DH took me out for lunch on Friday at one of our favorite places for ambiance. We had a terrific waiter-so pleasant, and even got one of our meals half price.
  4.  DD2 stayed over to take care of pup wile we were gone. She kept us updated on our little boy. 
  5. Lot's of joys related to our weekend-the concert was absolutely fabulous. How college students caring full loads, jobs, and other activities (though some are studying to be professional musicians)  can create such an incredibly high caliber concert is amazing to see and hear. 
  6. While we didn't have much time with our daughter, we got to have both a quick lunch before her first Saturday concert, and then dinner before her evening concert, the one we attended. 
  7. The roads were fair heading south so we did not get stranded. After the first 50 miles or so, the roads were quite clear and the countryside was just a pretty light blanket of white.
  8. All my deliveries from black Friday, with the exception of the one cancelled item, arrived and in good shape. Nothing was thrown over a river bank-how awful for people to have that done to their stuff! (I know this was a ravine, but I am in river territory.)
  9. I made a humongous batch of chicken, vegetable noodle soup using the last of a rotisserie chicken. It was light on chicken, but loaded with veggies and hit the spot on a blustery day yesterday.
  10. My daughter and I completed most of my shopping last night. I used Kohls cash and decided anything else will be cash or gift cards. 

      Now about my title. "We all got angels, but some of them haven't worked in a while." Sure, the quote was from Greg Coleman, former Minnesota Vikings now commentator on the radio, but I know what he means. It feels sometimes like the breaks in life, the little feeling of safety, the extra bit of good will, evades some people, again and again. Now he was speaking in relation to the dismal Minnesota Vikings season-and even before their pathetic loss to the at that point, winless Detroit Tigers, but I'll apply to things that really matter in the world. I don't understand why some families have been utterly devastated with Covid, and others have been so, pardon the pun, immune from the deadly or sickly impact that they feel it is at worst, a bad cold? Why are some people making such low wages and without benefits that must work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and one health issue may leave them with nothing? Why can one CEO make millions in the health insurance field? 

     I've been reflecting on the word "blessed" and how often I have used in the past, or read and hear others use it as in, "I am so blessed to have a big family to enjoy the holidays" or "I'm so blessed to buy this house." So for those that  don't have big families, or may be struggling with estrangement or abandonment, why are they not blessed? Why is everyone not blessed with a place to call home? It seems those that are blessed, don't really do a blessed thing to deserve it over those not. It seems more good luck than Devine intervention. I still wish and hope though that this world can start healing and the citizens respond and act with true love and kindness towards each other. Not act with just good intentions-because we all know what is paved with good intentions! Yes, some angels have really been taking a holiday for a while, but we do not have to. 

      In addition to my weekly list of joys and simple pleasures, I'm instituting a challenge to myself. I don't want to be a humble bragger so not sure how much I'll share, but I want to do at least one additional thing this week, and the weeks leading up to new years, for others, with nothing in it for myself. It might be looking through the "requests" list in the community Facebook and see if I can fill a wish. Maybe it's taking a meal to someone who could use a visit and cheering up.  I don't know yet- I'm hoping something calls to me. I just know this month with all it's joy and wonder, it feels right to do better for someone else, let them feel a little blessed.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Countdown Day 6-Views

      I am behind where I'd like to be decorating wise, but shopping for gifts, things are just dandy. My daughter and I are making a Sam's Club and Kohl's run and that should complete my efforts. I am getting more hit chocolate bombs from my friends daughter for DH. He found he loves cookies and cream hot chocolate and she does an Oreo version.

     We had an uneventful trip home. The first 50 miles had a few dicey spots and we drove slower, but we didn't stop even for a restroom break and made it home in about 4 hours still. Linda wanted more snow pictures but there's nothing left near my house besides little clumps because it got to 37 degrees. Here's some I took from the car as we drove by a farm. So many farms!

     One thing I like about coming back into the metro is seeing the Minneapolis or St Paul skyline. DH likes to go around Minneapolis though I'll drive through both, so I only had a view of St Paul coming in from the north. Maybe someday it won't be gray when I'm the passenger. I like skylines in general. Whenever I'm in a new city, car or flying and then getting a cab or car from airport, I always look for the approaching view. In our new office for work, we'll likely have a good view of the Minneapolis skyline facing west. The new building is just down the road from my old workplaces Minneapolis building, barely on the Minneapolis side of 280, and I remember that from the second floor you could see downtown. We have both the first and second floor if our new office. Not that l'll be in office much. I'll leave you to get ready for my work day with that glimpse of St Paul. Happy Monday.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Nice Little Trip, But an Extra Day??

     The concert was beautiful and we may be stranded another day. We're watching to see if the late morning lull happens as the weather report said and we can get two hours south where there isn't much snowy weather yet. I've been looking at the updates on MN511 and it looks better, and if we get in road by 10:30, the plows will have been out and we'll have a three-four hour head start if the second wave. It doesn't look like the twin cities are impacted much, so think we have a plan. Otherwise, I guess we better think about staying put. DH will not like that.

      Here's what it looked like after the concert. Snow started sometime during the concert and went all night. There was nothing on the ground yet when we took our seats.

     We took our daughter for a meal at a hip cafe, the same one recommended by her friends back in October. She and I had hippy bowls, layered rice and root vegetables. Mine was a more Asian flavored inspired with the addition of kimchee, cabbage, and sweet chili sauce. Here's was Mexican inspired with black beans, corn, and peppers. She got sweet potato fries and zesty avacodo ranch. DH had a fantastic burger and fries, with as our receipt called it, boring ranch. We then got trapped behind  a parade route trying to get our daughter back for her call time. We weaved our way around and found a back route. Life in Minnesota in December. It's an adventure.

You can't see the blowing yet.
View from our hotel window.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Small Scale and Special

     While I live in hope that get togethers of those with some degree of protection from getting, or getting bad cases of Covid are safe, many people will feel like thy need to still stay clear of large public events, or even extended family this holiday season just like last year. Short of gathering only by Zoom again, I've been trying to think of things that can be done on small scale, but are festive and merry and maybe check the Christmas cheer box as special as houses full of friends and families. Racking my brain only goes so far, so I'm taking a bit of help from Mr.  Google. A few were my own and flashbacks to previous years.

Drive Through Christmas Lights: Last year a local farm did it all up with lights and invited the community to enjoy with them. All across the country are events like this at Zoo's, state and county fair grounds, and downtowns. It's a big thing even pre-pandemic in Minnesota so just typing in the search bar and loads of options come up. Here's a site that has a directory for many states at The Traveling Mom.  I know gas is pricey this year, but save by bringing your own thermos of hot chocolate, or if you have a designated driver, a second with some mulled wine. By default you can only have a few people in the vehicle and can keep to those in your bubble. 

Recreate Holiday Classics I'm a sucker for a holiday classic movie, and that could mean those even more recent. I always thought it's fun to recreate, immerse myself in something from one of those favorites. Setting a nice table and eating  macaroni and cheese a la Kevin McAlister, wander the down town area after dark in the snow like George Bailey, grab a  sled and take a kid or kid at heart to a sledding hill, no spray on cereal varnish required, like Clark Griswold-then snuggle down and watch the movie themselves. 

Have a game night, holiday or otherwise. We like to play cards but its been a while. I bought DH a cribbage set last year and we still haven't played it. For shame. Or...find a cheesy board game based on a classic. DH got this a few years back. I think this is the year we will break it out.

Have a crafting get together. I suck at crafts, but that doesn't make me hate doing them with people I can laugh with and laugh at myself. I still have a huge bag of wine corks that I was determined to make this cute Christmas Tree for each of my sisters. My one attempt was an epic fail, but maybe I should keep at it as someone might be getting $25 a pop selling them online! Maybe I'll just skip the craft and keep contributing to my cork supply. Maybe if crafts aren't your forte what about a photo organizing night (those envelopes of photos stuffed in shoe boxes never labeled) Get fun ones scanned and copies made for people that would appreciate them. Make photo copies and paste on Christmas shapes cut out of old wrapping paper or newspaper print. Use stuff you have. This could check off "Make some cheesy paper wreaths and cut outs for my windows" I included in my list on December 1st You could get fancy and try making Retro style 3 D paper ornaments. 

     Like I said, you can Google and get better ideas. The thing is, most are just possible things to do this whole long winter. Though if you are looking for a few small scale things to do to make the season bright, maybe something will call to you. We're on the road this morning and DH has been watching the weather. It seems we likely will be driving and arriving right as it is starting up north. I'll try to capture a few pictures for you all.