Archive for November, 2006

Nov 27 2006


Published by under The Man

On this date in. . .

2006: Staying home, watching two strangers dismantle our windmill and cart it away. Waiting for my husband to come home so I can go into town and buy more cat food and perhaps look at a car I’d like to own. Listening to my iPod and thanking my stars that I don’t have to keep switching CDs out when I want to hear different music.
2005: Up north at Dr. Mom’s house, hanging out and staying warm. Probably eating more food than is good for me, and reading with a large dog or two curled up on my lap.
2004: Getting married to the best man in the world.

Happy anniversary, honey! After six years together, and two years of marriage, I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have found someone like you.

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Nov 26 2006

My halls are decked, yo. I put up the tree and the…

Published by under Holiday Magic

My halls are decked, yo.
I put up the tree and the exterior lights today. Also, the little bit of other decoration that goes on or around our house. Now all that’s left to do is finish shopping (get a hold of me, Julio!), and start the neverending task of wrapping presents.

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Nov 24 2006


Ugh, I just woke up for the second time. I actually went shopping with Mom and Sister today, so I had to wake up at 5 AM in order to be in town by 6 AM to get teh totally r0x0r deals. I did get some shopping done, and did get at least one deal that qualified as “great”, but I still have more shopping to do. Anyway, I’m tired. I’m still a bit fuzzy, which means I could sleep longer, but I want to go to bed at a normal time tonight and not at 4:30 AM.

A totally worthless Friday Five below. I miss the old, abandoned Friday Five site with good questions.

What’s your favorite yellow food?
Oh man, it’s a tie between lemon poppyseed poundcake and lemon poke-hole cake. Both are yummily delicious and oh-so-bad for you.

What’s your favorite yellow item of clothing?
I don’t think I own anything yellow. If I do, it’s summer clothing and it is packed away. Out of sight, out of mind.

What yellow object can you see right now?
A small tin of Burt’s Beeswax lip balm on my desk. I love the stuff, but I hate the tin packaging because it’s SO HARD to get the lid off, especially if your hands are lotioned. I prefer the much more user-friendly stick form, but this was a Christmas gift from last year.

When was the last time you felt like a coward?
Probably when we lived in the trailer and I didn’t confront my neighbors about their neglectful treatment of their dog. I didn’t want to have to worry about drunken violence while I lived there, and the only thing I knew about those people was that they shouted at each other loud enough for me to hear it inside my house.

What did you last use a sticky-note for?
I haven’t used an actual yellow Post-It since I stopped working, so it was probably something like a reminder to take a load of stuff home from my desk. I write myself notes all the time on a white notepad, but they usually don’t get taped up places.

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Nov 24 2006

We celebrate by drinking wine, unlike the Puritans.

Published by under Holiday Magic,Photos,The Fam,The Man

Happy Thanksgiving, American people! Happy Thursday, everyone else!
I took an assload of pictures at our Thanksgiving dinner, but since I didn’t get signed releases from anyone, I don’t feel right putting them up on my site. I can put up this one, since my uncle, aunt, and Grandma are turned away from the camera, and I feel that this accurately depicts my family’s pre-dinner festivities:

Why the hell isn’t that wine bottle open yet?! There’s drinking to be done!

I have a truly awesome video of Mom and Grandma dancing in the kitchen to the “Sleigh Ride” song, but even though I told them I was putting it up, I think I value my life more than my commitment to high comedy.

Also, this is my Grandma’s bird. He started out as my bird, then Sister took him over with her devilish charm, but he lives with Grandma and is totally spoiled. She calls him “Weeky Peek”, but we all call him “BIRD!”

When Grandma called earlier this week and said Mom was coming over to “help her with the bird”, I of course assumed that BIRD! had some sort of problem. Then Grandma said “It’s just too big for me to handle and take care of alone” and I got really confused, because BIRD! is all of six inches high, until I realized she meant Mom was coming to help her cook the damn turkey. I felt like a doorknob.

The Thanksgiving table

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Nov 20 2006

Who ARE all these people?

Published by under Introspection,The Fam

I was paging through old Friday Five questions at the new site I found, trying to get a feel for the kind of stuff they usually ask, and trying to decide if this was a site I was going to continue to use. One of the questions I found was “How many cousins do you have?”, and to my alarm I found the answer to that is I don’t know. I mean, I do know, if I stop to reckon it all up, but at the same time I don’t know whom to count as a cousin. Do I count the nieces and nephews of my stepfather? Do I count the nieces and nephews of the woman I call the ex-stepwitch, who, through a miracle of modern asshattery, actually managed to remarry into another branch of my family after divorcing my father? Do I stop at first cousins? Because, if I don’t, the number might well become astronomical and beyond the ability of my limited mind to calculate.

My family is large and German, two adjectives that might as well be the same thing. I mean, my maternal grandfather’s family was at least half British, and my maternal grandmother was at least one-quarter Welsh (I think), but the majority of both sides of my family are German. And, in German immigrant fashion, they went cuh-razy with the reproduction thing. My parents were showing great restraint in only having two children.

Let me lay it out for you like this: My paternal grandparents ended up with seven living children. Those seven children all have at least one child of their own, and in most cases, more. From my father’s side of the family alone, I have sixteen first cousins. Five of those cousins already have six kids of their own, between them – these children are my first cousins, once removed.

My maternal grandparents had four children. One of my aunts has no biological children, but has two step-children from her marriage. For the sake of simplicity, I won’t count them into the bloodline. This leaves me with only six first cousins from my mother. Only two of them have children, giving me four first cousins, once removed.

This brings me to a grand total of 22 first cousins and 8 first cousins, once removed. . . 30 people I can biologically claim as “first” cousins. But, if I start adding in my step-cousins, both from my stepfather and then from aunts and uncles remarrying, the number grows quite a bit. If I count in cousins that I’ve gotten through my own marriage, the number grows again. And, to be fair, the number of “first cousins, once removed” should also include the first cousins of my father and mother, but I don’t know how many of those there are, because I’ve never met most of them. I don’t even know their names. I know they are out there, but I don’t know who they are.

My father has, many times, told me that I am related to nearly everyone in my hometown, one way or another. He’s not joking, either. Of course, that statement is not as true as it once was – people die, move away, and people move in from other places – but there are a number of families in that area who don’t share my name, but who are related to me, somehow.

I guess the real question is: who is your family, really? I realize that at some point, your family are those that you have agreed to acknowledge as your family. By blood, my stepfather has no claims as a member of my family, and yet he is. By law, if nothing else. But also by agreement and love. But, that is too obvious. I have friends who I consider family, for the same reason. These are people who have no biological claim on me, but who I am more connected to than some of those who are tied to me because we share some of the same genetic material. And the flip side of that question is: when do people stop being members of your family? When does the degree of kinship get so thin as to be inconsequential? If I were to go to Germany tomorrow, and find some odd fifth cousin who never knew I existed, is that a family member? We would probably have nothing in common. Is that person more a member of my family than Vicki or Mackers, with whom I share history, jokes, memories, but not blood? I don’t think so, but there are people out there who would say otherwise.

What do you say? How large is your family, and do you count those who are not related to you by blood in its numbers?

Note: I got clarification on the cousin relationship from

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