Over the Fence Who Cares -- December 22 - 28, 2002

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Well, DOES anyone care whether or not we have this thread? :-/

No snow here, temps around freezing. Makes it okay for walking the dog!

Not doing anything for Christmas. Actually my plans are to clean/pick up around the house. I should go out and get a couple of movies to tide me over too, I guess. I did put up two sets of lights on the bushes out front, and a swag on the door. My concession to holiday decorating.

Went to see the second Lord of the Rings Movies -- The Two Towers -- on Friday with some friends. I didn't like it nearly as well as Fellowship of the Ring. :-( I hope I'll like it better on a second viewing. EM, you won't want to see this one either -- lots of fighting. Which, oddly, wasn't what bugged me about the movie as a whole. Gollum was excellent!!! :-D

That's about all that's going on with me. Is there anyone else out there?

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002


Joy, yeah I heard the Towers was about two-thirds battle scenes! I also heard from a very funny friend of Ali's that it is "gay, gay gay!!" Ok then.

Bren's mother is staying with us for 10 days; she's lotsa fun actually,quite a smart-ass, just my type. Havent seen her much since we moved to the midwest. since brens dad died (87) she's been moving back and forth from california to canada, where she's originally from. She's thinking about moving here now, which I wouldnt mind, but I think it would be better having her up there in case we need to bust outa here quicklike and head north!

I'm not having christmas with my relatives this year; cannot abide my mother right now without losin it.

Lotus has her bands' debut kick-off party next saturday; everybody we know has committed to being there. They had a dry run at a little dive she sometimes jams at; they worked out some bugs and the audience was very enthusiastic. She also played solo at Famous Dave's saturday night when Lonnie Brooks came walkin around the audience and handed her the guitar. She knows how to network. Bernard Allison was in the audience, and she met him and Lonnie's son, also a great guitarist in his own right, who came over and lavished her with praise. Kewl.

Lotus is starting a part-time job in January, soliciting memberships/donations and educating folks about progressive political issues and the challenging times we live. This organization is a subcontractor to Sierra Club, Human Rights campaign, Greenpeace, etc. She went through the training and just loved it, is very excited, so I'm happy and proud of her. Not crazy about some of the door-to-door stuff, but I guess my faith is being tested!

Ali had started writing Harry Potter fan fiction; she actually let me read some it, and I was impressed! She is so funny!

I'll be glad when the holidays are over; I really do not like them anymore. We arent doing much with gifts this year; we all have all the junk we need and want. Sad I guess, how spoiled we are.

Sad, too, this site seems to be dyin. Havent heard from sheepish in ages, and even marcia seems to be missing. Oh well, time marches on. Hope everyone has a pleasant week.


-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002

I'm still here! As I posted in another thread, I got totally slammed at work and so I was too busy to post from there. Then I get home this weekend and discover that my aol account is messed up; it will let me read email but when I try to go to a website it says 'Server not found'. At first I thought this site was down, but when I got the same message with every website I tried to go to I figured out that something was up! I ended up having to install a new version of aol to get it to work correctly. All of my computer-geek friends give me a hard time because I'm still on aol, but I've had this email address since my very first day on-line and I don't want to lose it. :)

I am pretty much through the holiday gauntlet and very happy about it. Friday was the office Christmas party and I managed to avoid the gift exchange without too much comment. I hate being put in a position where I feel ungrateful, but I really have no use for a Santa candy dish or other useless holiday trinkets. I'm really not into socializing with my co-workers, it just feels so fake and forced to me.

Saturday was our Yule celebration and it was so nice because everyone was there. Our friend Crystal and/or her husband Paul had missed the last couple of holidays due to sick baby and schedule conflicts with Crystal's football team. I had already decided that our holiday celebrations were going to be "free days" as far as my low-carb eating goes, I wasn't going to ruin the celebration by beating myself up over food. I brought a shrimp ring and Jeani made some stuffed mushrooms so I did do OK in the food department, however, I did have a horn of the latest batch of mead. It was good stuff! We also had a gift exchange which was much more fun than the one at work because I actually know and like these people. I got the first season of the TV series "Highlander" on DVD. :)

Sunday was my needlework group's holiday party. We washed up all of the items we've made so far and shipped them off to the various charities. I tried to make a low-carb version of my mom's zucchini bread to take as a snack but it turned out kind of nasty tasting. I'm going to have to tweak the recipe some more.

I think that we're going to spend Christmas day with Keith's family. It's no big deal because we don't exchange gifts with them, we just have to show up and eat. His mom makes me a little nervous but I get along with the rest of his family just fine. His neice Heather is 7 and she likes to be my shadow whenever I'm visiting. She looks so much like Keith that strangers think he's her dad rather than her uncle.

We haven't seen the Two Towers yet, we may try to catch a matinee tomorrow. Everyone I know who has seen it said that it was better than the first movie, Joy is the first person I've heard say didn't care for it as much. We did see Star Trek: Nemesis on Saturday. It was good, it was sort of like Picard's version of the Wrath of Kahn. My theory of Star Trek movies is that it's always a good movie if Deanna Troi gets to crash the Enterprise into something! :) The ending was kind of a bummer though (I won't spoil it in case I'm not the only trekkie here)

I'm off work until Friday but Keith only has Tuesday and Wednesday off, so I was home alone today. I just sat on the couch in my jammies and read for most of the day. I do have some writing that I need to get done but after all the writing I had to do for work the last week I'm kind of burned out.

I think that's about everything from me. Hope everyone has a cool Yule, Merry Christmas, or whatever! :)

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002

Oh speaking of movies, we've seen some wonderful films recently. Besides Frida, which I highly recommend but mentioned before, we saw The Bread,My Sweet and Wonder Boys, and of course Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine. Also took Bren's mom to see Big Fat Greek Wedding; was the second time for us........its such a fantastically loving film! Imagine, a good story, lots of laughter, and not a foul word or bit of violence in the whole thing! And its makin a mint, settin all kinds of records, and made on a shoestring. Bren, Lo and her Matt are in the other room as I speak watching Analyze This, which Ali, me and Bren's mom had about enough of after 20 minutes!

I want to see Jack Nicholson's new one (about schmidt,i think) catch me if you can, and that pierce brosnan tearjerker about losing his kids.

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002

I usually don't post on these threads because it seems like there's not alot noteworthy going on in my life but in the interest of keeping the forum bumping along here's my 2 cents worth.

This fall has been very challenging, financially especially. Just when it seems like we might actually get ahead a little bit Murphy wakes up from a lull and hes looking for ACTION. Vehicles were breaking down left and right. A couple unexpected things came up with the house and I still had firewood to deal with. Got a deal on firewood tho and with any luck we'll have enuf now for the next coupla years.

Being the cheapskate I am we never go to movies and only rent videos when they're older(cheaper) so I'm typically behind the times by a coupla years. After the holidays we'll be having some friends over to watch Lord of the rings for the first time. Chris isn't a big fan of excess violence eeither so I'm hoping its not too focused on it.

We'll be going to the twin cities next weekend to visit stepdaughter, son-in-law and grand son. We don't actually do Christmas but try to visit the kids a coupla times a year.

I was in the gas station the other day. Laurie, this chirpy thirty something hosewife type was working and asked me if I was ready for Chrstmas. I sez "Yup". She sez "How do you do it? I still have to shop for yadda, yadda and yadda and then theres cooking for 20 people etc" I sez "I'm ready because I ignore it." She sez, wistfully "Oh, I wish I could."

To me there something wrong with this picture. She's been making herself miserable and stressed to the max for the last three months for a flash in the pan, one day of lotsa food and presents then two days of cleaning up afterwards. This ain't my idea of a good time or how to enjoy oneself. Maybe its just me tho because I know some folks do enjoy the hyper-shopping mode and the excitement of the season. I heard one guy say he was spending something like $3000 this year for Xmas. Oh well, slide over scrooge, ya got company!

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002

Sherri, I'm a regular on a Tolkien discussion board (movies and books), and believe me, I am not the only one who is less than thrilled with The Two Towers. But there are lots of folks that really liked it.

I even went again tonight. I'm more resigned to the changes, including the personality transplant they did to Faramir, but I still don't like it as well as Fellowship. Perhaps when the Special Edition Extended DVD comes out with the missing stuff put in, I will like it better. Or perhaps I will like it better after Return of the King comes out. {Shrug} Someone commented that which one you like best depends on whether you liked Alien or Aliens better. That didn't hold up, because I definitely liked Aliens better. Good thing it didn't hold up, because I HATED Aliens3! I still have high hopes for Return of the King.

I saw ST:Nemesis. I thought it was just okay -- too much like stuff they'd done before. It was nice that Deanna got to do something in the movie -- Dr. Crusher wasn't given anything to do! I thought First Contact and Insurrection were superior movies to Nemesis.

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2002

We went to watch 2 Towers the other day. I really enjoyed it but since I haven't read the books, I don't know what's missing or what isn't true to Tolkien. What happened to Faramir as compared to the book? He didn't really play much of a role as far as I could see in the movie. I personally loved the battle scenes, especially the big one at Helms deep. Is that the correct name? What I liked was watching all the battle equipment put to use. Those huge ladders with the grappling hooks were too cool. I really hated it when the elf who led the elf reenforcements was killed. I don't know his name. I get so confused with the names. We have Eowyn and Arwyn now. Also we have Soron and Soromon. So many sound almost alike.

I understand what you mean about the gift exchanges Sherri. I don't like most of them either. We are nearly forced every year to participate in one with Jim's family if we want to attend their party. I said that we would rather not participate last year, so the organizer said she would purchase them in our names. I would feel awful about that and since my husband really likes to go to the party we participate in the exchange. I'd just assume not go but since I'm not married to only myself, I figure I should take his feelings into account. I'll be glad when it's all over too. So much of it IS forced and fake. John, is there any more space left near Mr. Scrooge?

We may pass on Nemesis until it's on video. Jim really follows the reviews and participates on a couple of movie boards. He says there are too many unfavorable reviews to spend the money. It seems you all are confirming it for me.

Well everyone enjoy this next week or so the best you can and be happy and well. I'll talk to you all later!

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2002

I haven't read Tolkien since college and I deliberately haven't re- read the books before seeing the movies because I know it would just upset me. I do hate it when I know the movie isn't faithful to the book, I still have my knickers in a twist over the fact that they've got Rogue the wrong age in the X-Men movie and cartoon! :) I guess ignorance is bliss for me in this case. I am anxious to see the Ents, Treebeard was one of my favorite characters.

Have you heard the theory that the only good Star Trek movies are the even numbered ones? I thought that Nemesis was good, but not nearly as good as First Contact. Insurrection was OK. Nemesis was more like an odd numbered movie than an even one.

We're pretty cheapskate about movies too. Our trip to see Nemesis last week was the first time we'd been in the theater in almost a year. When Keith and I were first dating we used to go see a matinee every Sunday, but there's just not that many films that I'm interested in anymore.

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2002

First, I want to take this moment to wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday.

I've made ornaments that look like stain glass. It's been a hit so far. I love making stuff to give out for the holidays. I think everyone looks forward to seeing what I will come up with next.

Glenn was able to get vacation from the 21th to the 2nd BUT has to go in for Christmas day. Poor guy, not only do more families fight during the holidays, his post is on a major highway so has more accidents, it's suppose to snow and a few fellow officers seem to take off "sick" on bad days so they will be shorthanded besides. I hope he has it easy tomorrow.

We opened our presents today (when Gary was younger, we would say Santa was told to deliver to us first since daddy had to work Christmas day. Some families waited until the father came home at the end of the day. What torture for those poor kids) My son, of course, was spoiled. He got alot of models, Zoids. He will be busy for a few days putting them together.

My favorite gift was from my son. I kept admiring a statue of a Pocket Dragon on the internet which was titled "But I didn't Mean to..." It was even cuter then the picture. I bought myself an egg from Dinotopia and it hatched a really cute dinosaur. My husband gave me some pants, gloves, a coat, socks, a coffeemaker and some DVDs First Knight, Ice Age and the two Mummies. No puppy or pickup truck...sigh...

Tomorrow we will go to my in-laws for dinner (did I mention I love my in-laws?) My neice is up from VA to be with her father so hopefully I'll be able to see her and give her a big hug.

Merry Christmas all!!!!

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2002

We’re enjoying a wonderful, if sometimes hectic, Holiday season, out here on the farm. Work has been especially busy, with a local flu epidemic, one co-worker off with pneumonia, and another off with a critically ill family member. The unit had been hectic up to this week, but we tried to get everyone ready to go home and spend the holidays with their families; with just one young girl scheduled to spend Christmas with us. Somehow, a large gift bag appeared in the staff break room; soon overflowing with puppy dog slippers, jammies, beanie babies, hair scrunchies and toys - Santa visited the psych ward last night! We’ve all pulled together to cover the hours at work; and rearranged our schedules - sometimes several times in one week - to accomodate everyone’s plans for the holiday season. It’s really wonderful to work with folks who care enough for each other to do that! Several of us handed our Wal-Mart gift cards from the hospital back to the boss with instructions to tuck them in a card for our ill co-worker; and we managed to collect enough cash besides to pay her rent for the month, so we’re hoping that her holiday was a bit less stressful as well.

Jessie and I somehow managed to find time in our schedules of work and school to get together to bake Christmas cookies the week before the holiday. To make things even better, Dad brought Bailey out to help; so we had 4 generations baking (and eating!) cookies in one kitchen - plus Jessie’s new German Shepard/Boxer pound-puppy (Maraca, but I call her Cupcake!) scrambling underfoot. Jes and I also snuck in a few shopping trips - including a fun time in the toy department, picking out toys for Kaylee. Pop came home and took a look at the toys spread out on the couch and went into a laughing fit - when he finally got his breath again; he looked at me and said “Payback time for Jessie?!” It’s plumb scary sometimes, how that man’s brain works like mine! Legos - 120 piece set, play food - 50 piece set, dishes - 36 pieces, Scooby-Do memory game - 64 pieces, plus assorted Barbies and Barbie paraphernalia (all those little shoes!) among other things - Oh yeah, Jes will be picking up toys for a loooong time! (Finally!) Hey, at least I didn’t buy Play-Doh!

I got off work yesterday morning and came home and took a short nap before preparing for the kids, and Lisa and Bailey to come out and open gifts with us. When I got up, it was snowing - a white Christmas, yay! We had about a half inch at that time (1pm) and by the time everyone got out here at 3, we were up to 3 inches, with no sign of stopping. We hustled up the dinner prep and left things on the stove to cook while we opened our presents - usually an after- supper tradition, but we wanted to get the kids on the road to home before it got too bad. The snow was still coming down when I finally wore out last night; looks like about 8” out there; and 20 mph winds - hate to see the snowplow guys out today instead of celebrating with their families. We may be celebrating with Hub’s family a bit later today than originally planned; tho I do have to go in to work at 7 pm tonight.

Everyone was delighted with their gifts - Bailey was especially excited by a set of 4 horses; and by a little puzzle thingy that had a track on it for a little battery powered vehicle to race around - we had picked out the one with a little school bus and she hollered “Hi Mommy!” every time the bus went by. Poor Pop had to read “Mr. Brown Can Moo - Can You?” from her stack of books before he got a chance to hustle his feather bed upstairs to plop down and try it out. When he came back down, he had his suspenders on over his Grinch sweatshirt. We all had to make a date to get together later on when the weather clears to play Lisa’s Coke Monopoly game; and Jes and Chad’s Bump game that Pop and Hubs crafted for her. Hubs wore his bib overalls to the dinner table - with his apron (a gag gift!) on top - and shared one of his bottles of wine. Chad’s Leatherman tool came in handy for getting boxes open, and snipping the zip ties holding things on cards; and he pulled on his Michigan Wolverines hoody sweatshirt before they braved the snowstorm to head for home.

We got our best giggle of the evening when Jes opened the traditional underwear gift - Hubs and I had spent nearly an hour one evening hooking 14 sets of bra straps through underpant legs and stringing them all together - then stuffing them all down in a tall, narrow box. When she pulled out the first set, they just kept coming out, like a magician’s scarf from his sleeve! Lisa was trying to talk her out of a hot pink set trimmed in that fluffy feather stuff, but I think Chad nixed the deal…

I made out like a bandit as well; with 5 Gene Logsdon books, the new Nitty Gritty Dirt Band CD and some kitchen ware - not to mention the now traditional chickens - a doorstop, bag keeper, planter, cookie jar, address labels, coffee mugs - and a nekkid rubber chicken to hang from the rear-view mirror of my farm truck! Which the boys finally got running in time for Christmas - weather permitting, Hubs and I will tool around the farm in it when I get home from work tomorrow morning - tho from the forcast, it doesn‘t look likely!

All in all it’s been a lovely holiday season so far for us. We did manage to have a small fire in the fire pit on the Solstice - no Yule log, just fallen branches from the trees in the yard and a chunk of apple wood from one of the last apple trees in the old orchard. My schedule had gotten changed to the point that I was working DAY shift somehow, on that Saturday and Sunday; so I had to pack it in early and head to bed - no booze or bacchanalian celebration; just some s’mores and a bit of snuggling - more my style in any case! I have to work New Year’s Eve (again? I SWEAR I worked it last year too!); so it will be a quiet evening (I hope!). I’ll nap for a bit when I get home on New Year’s Day; then get up to prepare our traditional corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and black-eyed peas. I’ll find a bit of time on my next day off to look back over this past year, to see what I’ve managed to accomplish; and to make my plans for next year. We’ll take the tree down before New Year’s Day, to make more room just in case we get folks dropping in. Good food, good friends and family - I can’t think of anything better.

And speaking of good friends; I send my hopes for a pleasant Holiday season, however you celebrate it, to all my BTS friends - those here and those who have left us - hope they at least peek in! Best wishes in the coming year - may all your dreams come true!

-- Anonymous, December 25, 2002

Slept-in, worked on my woodshed some, popped some corn, drank coffee, read my book by the woodstove, lit my oil lamps and watched the drizzle and clouds dance off the tops of the pine trees.

Then I thanked God "or whoever" for allowing me this lifestyle!!....Love to all.....Kirk

-- Anonymous, December 27, 2002

Polly your holiday sounds like the great family celebrations we used to have when I was a kid. I really miss them. Keith and I spent Christmas home alone doing nothing. I didn't think that it would bother me but it did a little bit.

I'm back at work today and I'm the only one here from my department. It's been a very productive day. I finished writing the rest of the text for my website, did some crochet, posted here, and now I'm going to do my reading assignment for a workshop I'm taking. :>

-- Anonymous, December 27, 2002

I can't seem to post. It keeps going 'Ouch' at me and says I can't post.

-- Anonymous, December 27, 2002

I got "ouch" too. Something about too long? I dunno...

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002

Okay, so I am testing the "ouch" factor. If this goes through, maybe it DOES mean the post is too long. In that case, I suggest you copy your entire post before trying to submit it. If it gives you "ouch" again, try submitting it in multiple posts. You can paste the copied text into a word processing document, to notepad, or to a blank email so you don't lose the whole thing. Then copy and paste sections to the posting box here, until you've posted the whole thing. We don't care if you have multiple posts!

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002

Things are topsy-turvey here. Pop had a CVA - a stroke - Monday morning, so I am spending 24/7 at the hospital between caring for him and work. He's not doing too bad, but is very frustrated with all the medical hoo-haa. Me too! Don't have much time, but did want to wish everyone a safe, prosperous - and healthy! - Happy New Year!

Take care,

-- Anonymous, December 31, 2002

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