Saturday, December 5, 2020

December - trying to make it somewhat memorable.

 



Reading - 
It's December 5th, it's very windy and snow has changed to rain.  My reading is all over the place. I've started several books: The Promised Land; Barack Obama, Conversations with RBG, Jeffrey Rosen and Leave the World Behind; Rumaan Alam. I'm really enjoying the (2) NF but, the fiction one not so much but, I do want to finish all of them.

I have about (4) reviews to catch up on. I have this thing about forcing myself to write at least a mini review for any book  I've finished.  Here is what I need to post about: Good Morning, Monster (NF) Gildiner, The Wrong Kind of Woman, Sarah Crow McCraw, The Undoing; Jean Haraff Korelitz, Slow Burner, Laura Lippman (Hush series short story) and Buried, Jeffrey Deaver (Hush series short story).

I'm looking forward to reading some Christmas mysteries and was waiting for my library hold of The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries; Otto Penzler, when I saw the eBook was just $1.99 today so I purchased it instead.  I also purchased the audio of Midwinter Murder Fireside Mysteries; Agatha Christie from Libro.fm.


Christmas Shopping & Get Togethers - The shopping is pretty much done and, except for the grandchildren most of the gifts are gift cards which makes it very easy.  We are hoping for a Christmas Cookies and Hot Chocolate (wine and coffee too LOL) outdoor event here the weekend before Christmas if New England weather will cooperate.  We can wear masks and take time warming up in garage if necessary.  We usually have a mid month brunch with Santa at a nice restaurant for my birthday but, not this year. Christmas dinner is usually here too but, since our numbers are climbing, Christmas will just be the (2) of us much like Thanksgiving.

Where Did the Years Go? Yesterday, I got a card in the mail letting me know the planning for a 50 year high school reunion is in the works for November 2021! How can that be?  

More Flashbacks - Then I flashed back to 1971 once again as I received a Christmas card in the mail the same day from a best friend from high school. Ginny has lived in Texas for 45 years. Other than us exchanging Christmas cards and notes, I haven't seen or spoken to her in all that time. Inside the card was a photo of me from 1971 sitting on her parent's sofa (my dress was so short OMG). Other than the straight long dark hair, nothing about that picture looked familiar to me.  I wanted to talk with her and I was able to find her phone number online and gave her a call - one hour later, still chatting, it was just like old times. I'm so happy we were able to connect!  We caught up on children and grandchildren, family and others we know.  She and her husband (same high school class) have traveled to all 50 states since they retired 10+ years ago. We talked about our trip to France and Switzerland in 1971 and how much we hated the food and how lived on croissants, cheese, coffee and Coke that week, of course, skiing in Switzerland brought fine chocolate as well. 

What will your December and Christmas look like this year?

32 comments:

  1. It's really hard to believe 2020 is almost over and done (thankfully). Christmas sneaked up on us here, and we are not nearly as prepared as you seem to be. I imagine we'll be scrambling to get everything done at some point, but it just doesn't seem like the Christmas season to either of us yet.

    Your reading plans and goals sound interesting. Good luck on getting where you want to be coming into 2021...and let's hope for a much different year than the one we are finishing up on.

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    1. Sam, I have a feeling that 2021, at least the until summer, will be much like 2020, so stock up on books - more reading days to come:)

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  2. How cool, our Dad graduated high school in 1971. We'll be glad when 2020 hits the road.

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    1. How cool Dad! Yes we will be happy to ring out 2020 but, I think much of 2021 might not be all that different for some of us.

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  3. I love that you connected with your high school friend and that you reached out to chat! I hope you go to your reunion next year.

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    1. Helen, I've only attended (2) class reunions (10) and (20) years. I only kept in contact with about 5 from our class of roughly 400. I have no idea how many have passed on but, I know a few died in accidents in their 20s including a childhood friend when she was 27.

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  4. This month so far has been depressing. Our covid figures are rising, there are pockets of places in isolation, unemployment is rising, we have had prison riots, eleven dead so altogether not right.
    It is again only two of us, because all three children overseas. No possibility whatsoever of even going to see them as Australia has closed international borders (same here). I am forcing myself to do a bit of décor.

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    1. Mystica, I guess many of us are experiencing the same thing. I consider myself luckier than some as my 2 children and grandchildren live between 15 and 35 miles from here so we can pop over outdoors during COVID from time to time. My husband's family lives 3-4 hours from here and he hasn't seen them in a year.

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  5. We're in lockdown so it will be a quiet Christmas, just the two of us as well. I reconnected with a childhood friend in 2007, thanks to Facebook. When I joined she was the first person I looked up! It was just like we had never lost touch and to this day, we are still in contract and our husbands play golf every week in the summer. Thanks to the lockdown I have only seen her twice since March! We miss our gettogethers.

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    1. Jackie, Isn't it funny how we can pick up with old friends just like time stood still? Happy you made a connection. Hope the holidays are peaceful for you.

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  6. My husband and I decided to celebrate by watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas audiobooks each evening during December. Just yesterday I found The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (audio) on Hoopla and we were planning to listen to part of it (it's 34 hours.) Thank you for telling us about the 1.99 ebook.

    How fun that your high school friend has reached out to you and that you were able to catch up. I graduated in 1974, and you and I apparently went to the same hair stylist. I hope that you will be able to attend your 50th high school reunion.

    I'm sorry those books aren't working well for you. I usually have lots of 5-star reads, but that has not been true this year.

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    1. Deb, that's a great movie about Christmas movies and Christmas audio books. Too funny about 70s hairstyles for teens. It was easy and I never needed a hairdresser. My aunt would trim the spit ends every few months LOL

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  7. The holidays are certainly going to be different this year. We generally have people flying in from out of state, but no flying this year.It'll be a lot quieter.

    The years do fly by, don't they? And fifty are gone in what seems like a blink of the eye.

    I don't typically read a lot of memoirs, but I might make an exception for the Obama book.

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    1. I can't believe how quickly it all goes by; now I know what my mother meant. Have a good holiday - make it memorable.

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  8. Christmas cookies and hot chocolate (wine and coffee too) sounds lovely, especially the wine. ;-)

    We aren't going anywhere for Christmas either. Usually it's just the two of us. Sometimes on another weekend or during the week when my wife isn't working, we go to visit my parents who live about 60 miles away. I'm pretty sure we won't be doing that this year, even though we already have had covid, but better to be safe than sorry. And to be honest, we don't want to get into it about masks and just the general awkwardness with family over them.

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    1. Bryan, I hope you and the wife do something to make the holiday special; you've both been through a lot with COVID. Take care.

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  9. We are trying our best, and most of the time, we manage to take things in stride. Our quiet country ride for Thanksgiving was great, but Christmas...without the kids is another story. Decorations, Christmas music, and Christmas baked goods, Bloody Mary Fridays each week as we try to think of things that make us laugh and avoid too much talk of the news. I'm interested in Conversations with RBG. :)

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    1. I love your Bloody Mary Fridays. It reminds me we only have enough mix for (1) more Blood Mary LOL

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  10. It's beginning to look a lot like COVID here. My Christmas cactus is even late, just beginning to set some microscopic buds. I will read The Mistletoe Murder by P D James, for a reading group, this month. I sure hope by this time next year we can look back in wonder.

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    1. My Christmas cactus is late as well. Mistletoe Murder sounds fun.

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  11. I want that Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, but it’s full price on Australian Amazon :(

    I feel a little guilty, our Christmas will be the same as ever as almost all restrictions have been lifted due to weeks without any covid cases in the community. My family will spend most of the day with my parents for lunch and then the evening with our best friends, we’ll travel to see my husband’s family around New Years.
    I’m glad you were able to catch up with an old friend though. I was just invited to our 30 year reunion next year and balked at how long it’s been!

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. Thats weird, I wonder why some books on sale on A here are not where you are? Hope you have a great week as well.

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  12. With Covid cases being so high I'll be staying home with one of my sons. My other son and his family live next door so we'll probably meet in our backyards and talk for a while. Makes me so sad to have them so close but not able to hug them :(
    Especially my great grand baby!

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  13. I'm glad you are enjoying your nonfiction reads, but am sorry Leave the World Behind isn't wowing you. I have it on my list (audiobook) and hope to get to it early next year. It seems to have mixed reviews. I didn't realize The Undoing was based on the book *You Should Have Known.* We just finished watching the series and it was INTENSE! Highly recommend. I'm just about finished with my Christmas shopping, too. I feel bad, but everything was ordered online. It's just been too risky to go out shopping and then there's ridiculous expense of shipping boxes across the country. Hopefully, next year will be better for local shopping. What fun to spend time chatting with an old school friend. I've only kept in touch with a couple from elementary school and high school and haven't been to a class reunion since my 30th. It will just be the three of us again for Christmas. None of our relatives live in Oregon and while a few want to come for a visit, we have strongly discouraged it. I haven't seen my daughter or granddaughter since September 2019. :( Actually, the same is true of my brothers. We were all together for my daughter's wedding. Sigh. We'll make up for it next year!

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    1. I just finished Leave the World Behind (no review yet) but, I really did not like how the story played out. I bet you can't wait to see your daughter and brothers in 2021 hopefully.

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  14. We are under a new stay at home order which was just announced about 40 minutes ago. We must stay home unless it's an essential task. Many are openly defying that and I believe there are more people out now than there were before just because they want to be difficult about it. Calling it house arrest. We had 10K+ new cases just yesterday in LA County. These people are idiots.

    I have no idea what the rest of December will be like. We are shut down for three weeks and that could be upped. Don't think my son will be coming down for Christmas but it's hard to say. New job, yep, another new job and he is moving into a new place next week through the end of the month.

    I was not able to do much shopping before we got shut down. I did buy some stuff online but not much and that might be okay. I need more for my son but with all the acting classes we spent money on this year and all the college and audition fees, I am thinking whatever we have for my daughter will be enough.

    This is my last week of work before my long vacation but I am not able to tie things up because of poor planning from other areas. Last minute requests don't go over well with me. I don't want to be bothered over break either.

    Boy, I sound bitter. LOL. It's windy again here and so although I took the pup for a walk she was literally flying like a kite and we had to return. She is giving me dirty looks.

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    1. I just saw the news about LA County and the bar owner who is making a name for herself in Sherman Oaks, worldwide. It does not seem that the policy was uniformly enforced but, I'm hearing her POV only so...

      I am sure your children will be pleased with what they receive and know mom is always there when they need something or are in a bind. Hope you enjoy your upcoming time off.

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  15. How lovely to be able to connect with an old friend like that! So glad you were able to talk to her and it must have lifted both of your spirits so much. I'm struggling to figure out how to make this Christmas special. With Covid and my son's illness I don't see us seeing anyone other then our immediate household so that leaves out my parents and our older kids - especially since he will have just come off a tough round of chemo. We may figure out some kind of drive through thing. Have a lovely week and a Merry Christmas!

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    1. Katherine, the drive around sounds nice and safe. I'm so sorry your son and your family needs to go through this in addition to COVID...sad.

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  16. I think the wind here has finally died down, thankfully. When I hear snow and rain, I think of icy roads. I hope everyone is being safe where you are. I hope you are able to have your outdoor early Christmas with your family and the weather cooperates. We are planning a low-key Christmas this year, just the three of us. We'll probably set up video so we can check in with my mom. I feel bad for her, being alone. Her dog, Allie, is not long for this world, and that only makes me worry more. I am hoping Allie has enough life in her to see it through Christmas for my mom's sake.

    My shopping is all done. I did it online this year. I am waiting for one more package and still need to wrap. All the out of town gifts have been mailed off.

    That is so neat that you were able to connect with your childhood friend!

    I hope you have a nice December, Diane. I am not sure the New Year will bring much change, at least not at first. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel and it's getting closer.

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    1. Christmas will be what we make it this year. Like your mom, my SIL will be alone with her elderly dog who brings her so much joy. He has been with her since my brother died and with her through several serious surgeries since. Virtual hugs to you and your mom. Yes, I'm hoping by mid-2021 we will be able to go out more.

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