I can't believe I haven't blogged since Wednesday. Thursday was my last day of work for TEN DAYS. Did I mention that? Ten whole days! Thursday was a little rough, but the situation at work will be changing when I get back, in what I hope will be a positive way.
Friday was excellent. Coffee was languorous and led to breakfast at the little Greek place nearby. I came home, I wrapped presents. And then I went out on the bike. I went 13 whole miles!! On real roads! In traffic! I was excited. And I gassed up the bike for the first time! By myself! Without overflowing the tank!! It was excellent. But when I came home, my legs were pretty cold (note to self: I have GOT to get some motorcycle pants already!!). So I crawled under the blankets in my bed. And was still cold. And was lying there being cold when the doorbell rang. Who could it be, I wondered. When I opened the door, there was a box. And in the box?? A fleece blanket!! The second half of my unexpected Christmas gift from Claudia.
Talk about psychic. What great timing! It warmed me right up when combined with my comforter. So much so that I PTFO'd. Zzzzzz.....
I woke up in time to go to dinner at Shady Pines. My mom made cookies yesterday, so they were still a little warm when I got there (YES, for those of you who are interested, it's true. The chocolate chip cookies continue!! She just uses the mixer now). Dinner with their friends was lovely. Came home, more zzzs.
Christmas morning I could NOT get up. In spite of having something awesome to go to! I finally dragged myself out of bed for reals (this was, like, the third attempt) around 9 (Maggie was like, whew, finally!!). I went over to Larry's to wish his cats a Merry Christmas (and also fill their food dishes), and they were so excited to see me. Despite being mostly a dog person, I've actually come to adore his cats. The little calico is all kittenish and playful, and she spent quite a bit of time chasing my fingers and purring like a motorboat. The black cat, who is long haired and soft and just gorgeous but who also sheds like a fiend, had previously been apprehensive of me and my smells-like-a-big-dog self. He appears to have gotten over this. He is all love and snuggles and even let me pick him up today.
I left them and went to Richard and Nellie's house. Since the coffee shop is closed on Christmas, they had us all over for coffee. Not to mention cinnamon rolls, eggs, and hash browns. Richard, of course, is Jen's ex-husband. Who lives next door to Jen's mom. And they still hang out with Jen and Bill. It's all very absurd and of course they get along beautifully. It's a nice lesson in how to be an ex, frankly. Anywho, it was such a wonderful time. Kim and Quinn came by, Garth and Ginny, several other friends, and one of my favorite Villagers who is going to school up north and I don't get to see him nearly enough. Oh, my heavens, it was such a lovely time. Oh, and there was this cocoa...Richard's secret recipe....it was like drinking a Hershey bar, but better. Wow, so good.
I left there, picked up Maggie, and we went to Shady Pines. We opened presents, kibbitzed a bit, and then shared a Christmas meal with two of my parents' friends. Which was also lovely. The staff was great, the food was good, and some random staff member (I think he's a maintenance guy, actually) played Christmas carols on the new Steinway that was just donated to SP by the local Maggiano's, of all places. I hung out with the folks for another three or four hours, catching up on gossip and talking about the relocation and our life as it is now. My uncle called. My dad napped. Maggie intermittently demonstrated her new knowledge of "gimme your paw." It was really wonderful.
I came home from there via the cats (Mags, much to her disappointment, stayed in the car) and then decided I was going to put an hour into cleaning the house. I made it about 45 minutes, but decided I'd done enough to go over to Garth and Sherry's. Where we were again joined by Ginny, Jen, and Bill. Bill immediately peeled off to go play Xbox with their 14 year old son, and the rest of us drank wine and ate chocolate truffles and told stories. It was the perfect cap to a wonderful day.
The only thing that would've made it better would have been having all of our Chicago and Ohio friends and family nearby, and everyone else who is dear to us. Merry Christmas, y'all!!