Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

And look at this!



Snow in Texas? Unreal!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve

Popovers and orange cake look likely at this point, but I have the crab legs thawing in the fridge just in case. Poor us.

I got that wreath I was after thanks to my parents:


End result: We're not total scrooges this year. :)

One of my sponsored children (the Romanian) sent me this lovely greeting:


I found a post (on a food blog of all things) about the awkwardness of celebrating Christmas without children. I don't agree with the idea that we don't have to celebrate the Nativity of Christ, but I'll admit that that's because I'm Orthodox and think differently than other Christians. No, I'll not be celebrating Christmas because I want to throw up (yay). But I agree with the sentiment that you wonder, "Who am I dressing the house up for?" I've just decided that the answer is me. And my husband. Next year. I'll even put the tree by the intake vent in the hopes of spreading the smell of Christmas throughout the house. :)

Unrelated to Christmas, I think I'm beginning to understand the biological clock. Clearly I'm almost 30. I sat upright in the middle of the night and told Chris I wanted a baby. Not my own--I have no interest in pregnancy. Don't think I'm terribly capable of it anyway. Anyway, I got the itch bad to foster babies who were born drug-dependent. It would be hard and there would be heartbreak, but it would be worth it. Then I went back to sleep and got over it. And I got a package of trendy clothes from Australia and began to fantasize about taking a trip over there (Chris would rather go to New Zealand, but they're close enough that I think it would work in one trip). So now I'm back to being the childless wife who would rather travel and write and not know how to decorate for Christmas. How long until that biological clock runs out of batteries? When's menopause?

Have a lovely Christmas, gentle readers. May it not be fraught with tummy bugs and existential crises.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Dinner: Tummy Bug Version

I went to bed feeling a little cruddy. I woke up at 3:40 feeling a lot cruddy. Now Chris feels the same way. It's either something we ate or something we picked up.

Right now, we're going to indulge in some lovely Sprites (mine has cherry in it!), but if things are still bad on Christmas we have a contingency plan. The orange cake will still be made because it sounds too good to pass up. The rest of the overly-complicated meal will be replaced by coconut flour popovers. Yummy. Chris has offered to cook up eggs and bacon too, but I'm going through another vegetarian crisis and may pass up on the bacon.

Ah, this Sprite is good.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Dinner

How 'bout a fun post, huh?

I thought we'd be with Chris's family on Christmas Day, but we had to push that back a bit. The upside is that Chris and I get a Christmas dinner all to ourselves! Wanna know the menu? Too bad. Here it is.
Fun, fun, fun! :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Annual Christmas Rant

Yes, it's that time of year when I revel over the Son of God becoming man so children could get thousands of dollars in unneeded presents. (I buy my nieces books because I'm the un-fun aunt.)

Who exactly decided that Christmas was just for the benefit of children? Okay, I'll grant that a baby is involved, so the inclination to involve children (especially the small ones) seems natural. And I'll also grant that, when I was at home with my mom going through old Christmas ornaments, I picked the ones for myself that evoked that good ol' feeling of Christmas nostalgia. But being part of the infertile community, I know there are people who feeling unbearably sad because they don't have children to share Christmas with. I think I understood that feeling when I was Episcopalian a million years ago, but now that I'm Orthodox I know something with certainty:

The Nativity of Christ is for everyone and worthy of celebration by everyone. 

Am I callous for saying that? Has my acceptance of being childfree caused me to lose my empathy with those who mourn? That's really for you to decide. My opinion is unlikely to be changed by much of anything.

But before you slam your computer shut (unless it's a desktop--please don't do that) and curse the god cruel enough to make me and give me internet access and a blog, consider my very recent revelation. I write a blog post about Christmas every year because I don't have kids, I'm unlikely to have kids, and I don't particularly want kids anymore, yet I still believe that I have both the right and the responsibility to celebrate Christmas. But I don't. That Christmassy nostalgia from picking through childhood ornaments was still fresh on my mind as I sat in a salon with my glasses off and my hair under a plastic cap slowly turning black, and I turned to Chris and said, "Can we get a real tree?" It's one week to Christmas and we haven't decorated. We're unlikely to this year. We didn't last year. Two years ago, we took a plastic tree out of a box, put it together, and didn't even put ornaments on it. Chris doesn't even want to bring that tree in from the garage (apparently it's a pain in the butt to get through the door). Will I even wrap presents this year, or will I just stuff them in gift bags? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I'm waiting for kids that I know will never happen!! I want a real tree and snowflake-shaped lights and a wreath on the door! What am I waiting for?!

If I have my way, we'll put the artificial tree on the curb with a "Free to Good Home" sign on it and be done with it and all artificial trees for good. We'll look even more like the neighborhood scrooges than ever. And we'll get on with life and celebrate Christmas without kids. Because we can--and should.

That wasn't much of a rant. Terribly sorry to not be as acerbic as last year. Perhaps I'll be in the proper spirit next year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Wishlist

My mom discovered a problem with my original post on what I want for Christmas. The website for the shelter has changed (I doubt their website is their highest priority anyway). It's now here, but there's another problem: The Paypal link doesn't work properly. So you have some options: 1) you can send money this way:
Or send a check / money order to:St. John Foundation For The HomelessPO Box 290-423,Brooklyn, NY 11229, USATel. 718-769-0983info@SvDom.org
2) or, you can give money to another organization: Fund for Assistance to the ROCOR.

I'm OCA, not ROCOR, but Chris's godfather is a ROCOR priest. Also, while we're fortunate to be able to support our priest at St. Maximus, most ROCOR priests (Chris's godfather included) have to have civilian jobs. That's why my little heart broke when I read this:
When hurricane Sandy spared his home in NJ with little damage, Fr. Timothy thought that, compared to most people, the situation of his young family of 4 was enviable.  What are a few days without power when you still have each other and all your earthly possessions, minus the perishable food that had to be thrown out?His happiness turned to anguish when he found out that both he and his matushka’s income was cut off indefinitely, because their employers suffered from Sandy. Like most ROCOR clergy, Fr Timothy’s parish does not provide him with a salary or health insurance. FEMA denied his claim. The family has no place left to turn to.   
So, if it's what you prefer, click on the link for the Fund for Assistance, turn your head to the right of your screen, select "Hurricane Sandy Victims" on the drop-down menu, and hit donate. Then, ideally, you'll donate money for my Christmas present. :)

I hate asking for presents. :(

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Media Fast

I wish I could say that taking a day off from the world (essentially) was my idea, but alas it comes from here: Media Free One Day a Week Challenge! Or should I say that it was the catalyst? This was percolating in my brain for some time, but sometimes seeing someone else write about it is good motivation.

Consider yourself warned: We will be out of pocket from Saturday at 5:00 PM until 11:59 PM Sunday. Chris's phone will be on and plugged in (and sort of out of sight), but my phone will be completely off. There will be no texting, no smart-phoning (I made a verb!), no TV (which is okay since we're boycotting the NFL--this has been the best year ever, by the way), no Wii, no Netflix, no internet, no computer, no Kindle, no nothin'. What will we do instead? I have no clue yet. Shooting a roll of film and walking dogs has been suggested so far. Listening to Orthodox CDs is a must and may be the only thing to keep us from going mad. And yes, various and sundry family, we are aware that you call us to talk on Sundays. That's why Chris's phone will be on.

So ... why? Family time! And taking a break on the Lord's Day. I've gotten back to writing lately, but I've always had a bargain with myself to take Sundays off. No matter how bad I want to get something down, it has to wait. Ideally, church attendance would accompany that, so I have to get my illness and, well, laziness out of the way.

That's what's up at our house. Maybe you'll consider the media fast as well!