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29 December 2010

On the 5th Day of Christmas . . .

I've been reading about the 12 Days of Christmas.  There is an email going around that said that it was developed to teach young Catholics their catechism in the days they were not free to practice their faith.  But other sources believe this to be an urban myth developed in the last 20 years or so.

I also read at two sources that the "four calling birds" were actually collie (black) birds and the "five gold rings" were speaking of pheasants, so that "all the gifts were actually speaking of birds."  Hardly know where they get that idea, however, with 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, and 8 maids a milking.  It looks to me like one article made that assertion and the other simply copied it.  I don't know which was which, nor do i think it worth my time to pursue it.  I'm just trying for ideas as to how to use these 12 days to plan gifts/projects/love for next year.  No clue, yet, really.

Yesterday we received a thank you note from one of Duane's nieces for the boxes (blank cards) we sent.  She made a card for the thank you.  It was nice to hear from her.  I'd wondered if the kids liked them.

 This is our current forecast:  As temperatures drop throughout the day into the 20s with the colder air arriving, so will the snow levels, down to around 4,000 feet where 4-8" of snow is expected, possibly more at the higher resort levels. W-NW winds are also accompanying this system, 20-40mph with gusts over 50 possible, making for very treacherous travel conditions in blowing & drifting snow, reduced visibility, icy roadways and winds chill values below zero. The winds will decrease overnight tonight as skies clear with the passage of this low, allowing lows to cool into the teens & single digits.  Ben's Weather

Since we are at nearly 7,000 ft, we may get more than the 8 inches predicted.  They are saying "very cold" temps for the next few days.  In fact, i'm surprised that the temp is at 29F.  Of course, "very cold" for So Cal isn't at all the same as "very cold" for much of the rest of the country.  Still, they are saying that tomorrow it probably won't get much warmer than 20F for the day.  Overnight lows are going to be around 0F.  Not cold compared to a week or more at -30F, where i grew up, but still, cold enough for those of us who have had our blood thinned by the So Cal sun.  :) 

The snow coming down right now looks very light (not heavy or obscuring visibility), but it is very steady and we've gotten more than an inch in the last hour.  

I've not been handling the cold well the past couple of years.  I don't handle heat well, either.  I think it may be part of the Chronic Fatigue issues (as well as having trouble with aspirating stuff).  Our house was built in the 70s and has 2 wall heaters, neither of which is very efficient.  We keep the thermostat set at about 53F most of the time, turning it up when we are down in the living room if we don't have a fire going.  We bundle up a lot.  Even so, i frequently get chilled and have trouble warming up again.  But i can't justify the expense of raising the temps on our inefficient wall heaters - we probably couldn't afford it.  

Duane got a generous bonus at work for Christmas.  I guess the company is doing well as so many folks buy from the internet these days.  Most of that money we will put in the bank.  We could blow it so easily!  But we don't want to spend it.  However, we have decided to use some of that money to put a direct vent heater into the house to replace at least one of our wall heaters.  Someone we know put a couple of these into her place of business and her gas bill dropped by 80% !  We think that if this is true, using the same amount of gas we use now, or even less, we could heat the house to a comfortable temperature and not be so chilled all the time.  

I've not taken a pic of it yet, but there is a story related to our being frugal with heat. We can't watch TV even with the heat set a bit higher and not get chilled.  So we use blankets quite a lot in our house.  I don't know what happened to the blanket Duane normally uses.  I'm sure i'll find it before long, but it had gotten put away recently.  So i pulled out an afghan my Granny crocheted for me many years ago.  It is multi-colored, and still looks almost new as it hasn't gotten a lot of use.  

Our cats love it!  We like our cats a lot and think they like us pretty well, too, but they are not snugly most of the time.  They can be affectionate and snugly, but it is always on their terms (usually when the house is very chilly) and they really are not lap cats.  Jazz in particular doesn't usually sit where people can pet him easily.  But since Duane has been using that afghan, Jazz can frequently be seen snuggling with him!  We have noticed that as they are getting older, they can be found snuggling with the people more.  

Mac was so funny the other day.  The fringe from the afghan was spread out, and he treated it as if it was a new and very dangerous form of life.  If you've ever seen the vids of cats that jump up and back about 2 feet when they are startled, you know exactly what he looked like.

There is a benefit to Duane getting a cold right now.  He worked the full week (well, he always works a full week or more, but this was 5 full days on premises) the 14th thru the 18th so that he could take the next 2 weeks off and we would not have to go down the hill.  This was planned.  And during that time he took care of whatever backlog was in his "to do" box.  But they are doing inventory down there and they asked if he could come help.  He told them "No," that he is sick.  I asked if there is anything in his job description that includes inventory, and there is not.  I asked what he would be doing if he were there and he said probably simply overseeing the work that others were doing so that it would get done more efficiently.  In other words, there was no justification whatsoever for him being there.  However, i know him well enough that had he not been sick, when asked he would have gone.  

I think he may be feeling worse than he's letting on.  Also, if his cold is like the one i had a month ago, it hit me hardest on the 5th day.  I don't think he got it from me.  In fact, only once have we ever been sick at the same time.  (Not a fun story.  A friend of Duane's came to help us move and was sick and wouldn't go home.  We were both so stressed we both got very ill.  I was pretty angry with his friend.)  So i don't know if the cold he has is the same as what i had, but it isn't gone quickly if it is the same.  

His parents are talking about coming up to see us.  His dad ordered a new truck a while ago, a truck with 4WD, and i think he's anxious to try it out.  (It has not yet arrived.)  This, of course, has me in panic mode as the house is a mess.  Duane told his step-dad that he's not well, but his dad just said, "You will be by the time i get the truck."  So, i guess i need to plan for company.  

The pic i had of the Nativity scene yesterday was the first year (2008) when we put it on the mantle (another of Jazz's favorite spots to play).  Last year we put it on top of a book case thingy we have, this pic.  That was the plan for this year too, but i never got around to it. 

I'm planning a give-away soon.  Nothing very special.  I found that i've several Christmas items i never use, and if you think you'd like them (i'll post pics) you are more than welcome to them.  I have 3 Hallmark dated ornaments that i never use, and some Christmas hand towels.  I don't remember what else i set aside.  So, come back tomorrow and see if you're interested.



Mrs. Mac said...

Cold here too. About the same temps and snow amounts. Sorry that Duane is not feeling well. 53 is pretty cold .. how warm would you say the room is when the wood stove is going? It's hard to regulate heat from the wood stove .. either too hot or too cold.

Not sure what to tell you about the twelve days of Christmas .. I've always heard the religious aspect of the story.

Feel well .. and try to stay warm.



Amrita said...

My that 's so cold.

I love your Christmas ornaments and creche.

My friend Holly sent me a tiny creche from Tx and some ornaments too.I treasure them