Off the Grid

It’s been nice to be off the grid for the past few days, but mostly I’ve been sleeping. I have a terrible cold/infection (not sure yet) and it has laid me out. I went to choir practice and sat by myself, because through the magic use of abdomen muscles, I was mostly able to avoid singing from my throat. I would have stayed home, but that was impossible because I’m the soprano in a quartet and we had to practice on our own. It’s pretty much the only time I’ve left the house this week, except that I ran out of peanut butter.

In part, I think my room is making me sick. I have made progress on it, but it’s not the perfection I am seeking in my Virgo/Marie Kondo simplicity. I just haven’t had the energy. However, my coughs are productive and getting things out has helped immensely, especially in the singing department.

It’s been kind of weird being sick during Advent. Normally, I get this kind of thing during Lent. Spring is my least favorite season because even though it’s beautiful, it’s deadly. I have a lot to fill my time, though.

I’ve been doing a lot of updating the church’s web site from my office there, and I am learning a new CMS called Squarespace. It’s not WordPress, that’s for sure, but some of the skills are transferable and some are not. The biggest drawback is that I can’t see real code or style sheets, and figuring out how Squarespace deals with these things has been a lesson in humility. However, it is something so low energy I can do it while feeling half-dead, so I am productive in my misery.

I have done all of my Christmas shopping except for one present, and that’s because I don’t have the address. It will be coming shortly, and I can’t wait for her to see it. No hints as to give it away, but sufficed to say I am good at the gift giving game. I take into account all sorts of things, like what their interests are and the “when you see it, you’ll think of me” factor. The only time I use Amazon wish lists is when I am picking out books. They’re so personal that it’s hard to judge someone’s taste. Better to pick out something they’ve already said they’d read. Although once I bought a book that someone had added as a professional guide, because I couldn’t think of a better gift now than more money later. Then, I hit send and Amazon in their “suggestions” list put up the perfect present. Like, so good I wish I’d thought of it myself, because it was just so star-spangled awesome that I felt impotent in my gift giving ability, because seriously, WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?

I ended up getting both. Problem solved.

Not many people get two gifts from me, but this was the no-brainer of presents.

The excited and happy thank-you note was the complete indicator that I’d scored big, and it’s to Amazon’s credit.

That didn’t happen this year- all of the presents I picked out were all my idea, and it makes me feel good. Two presents are so particularly awesome that I think they’ll flip when they get it, but again…… Spoilers.

The hardest part was not picking out a gift for my mother. Last year I got her some earrings that were flowers encased in clear resin, a teardrop shape that I thought would flatter her face. I never got to see her wear them.

The Winston Churchill talking action figure I got my dad was a big hit, too.

Dana prides herself on being right. LOVES IT. So one year I got her a t-shirt that says, “I’m right 97% of the time… who cares about the other 4…” She got the joke and put it on immediately… along with taking the bows off the wrapping and sticking them to her head.

I wish I could say that I’m looking forward to Christmas this year, because there have been so many great presents and moments over the years. But there’s nothing that anyone could get me or say that will erase the fact that a gift from my mom will not be arriving with a sweet card containing all her hopes, dreams, and love for me.

As Lindsay would say, “Mom was the best.”




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