New Year’s Musings

I rang in the new year with my traditional falling-asleep-before-midnight routine, but know it rang in because both dogs started barking when the fireworks went off. I pulled a pillow over my head and went back to sleep.

3:30 AM – The smoke detector goes off downstairs. I get up, go downstairs, find the broom, and use the broom handle to turn it off. No fire.

4:00 AM – The smoke detector goes off again. No fire. I turn it off and go back to bed.

4:1o AM – The smoke detector goes off again. No fire. It’s  a hard-wired smoke detector so I know it’s not the battery. I find the ladder, climb up and detach it from the ceiling. Said smoke detector goes on my bedside table just in case the damn thing is haunted and is thinking about going off sans electrical source.

4:20 AM – Thorin Oakenpuppy is wide awake and restless. I am wide awake and reading all about smoke detectors that go off for no apparent reason on Google. It turns out that I am not alone. More than a few people have been serenaded by “the song of our people” in the middle of the night.

Fall back asleep finally, but take a long nap in the afternoon. Thorin Oakenpuppy naps in his kennel in my bedroom because his new bad habit is barking in the kitchen when he can’t see me.

Get up, go to Walmart to buy leftover Christmas decorations for next year, kitty litter, and dog food. The lines are exceptionally long and I feel a bit overdressed because I have actual clothes on and didn’t wear my “dress sleepwear”. Or a thong for that matter. Or curlers.

I bought Mongolian beef from my favorite Chinese restaurant on the way home, and decided that Stella Rossi is my new favorite red and is destined to be my house wine. It also goes quite well with Downton Abby even though it is Italian and not British (are there even vineyards in England?).  I have a giant crush on Mr. Bates. I have a girl crush on the Dowager. I hope I’m that cool when I am old.

The Christmas holiday was spent with my parents where we continued the family tradition of avoiding each other by binge reading in separate rooms. It was a nice enough Christmas. Mom managed to resist pointing out my inadequacies (too fat, too single, too childless) until the night before I left, and for once, I didn’t take it personally. It was a weird detatched little moment for me. All her life she had issues about her own mother because she was not adequate enough (in other words “female”) and in that instant she sounded so much like my grandmother.

Funny how behavior patterns get passed down through generations.

Although she apologized the next morning and I said it was fine, the truth of the matter is that it still reinforces the idea of not being good enough.

Finally, it looks like I will be buying a house instead of going to New Zealand this summer. Honestly, I’d rather spend the money on travel, but the house needs a new roof and new floors, and there is the downpayment to consider.

Richard Armitage is late with his traditional New Year selfie. Here’s last year’s. It seems like there was criticism of last year’s selfie, but I like it. To me it is one of the rare photos of him where he doesn’t look stressed out and tired.

Happy New Year to all my readers, and thank you. I’m amazed that anyone reads my ramblings here. Thank you again.





8 thoughts on “New Year’s Musings

  1. LOL, I had that same discussion with my dad last night. I think they must do it unthinkingly, because I really don’t think they intend to hurt, and they know that after all of these years not much is going to change, but it’s still infuriating. I just said, everyone has to lead their lives as they see fit, I never wanted much to be a mother and I would be a horrible wife, so I’m doing the world a favor.

    A house: EXCITING!!!!

    And Esther is right. Don’t let anyone get you down.


  2. Happy New Year!

    What is it with these parents who bitch at their kids? I didn’t realise how blessed I was to have supportive parents who encouraged me (despite my lack of kids!). I lost my mother far too young but she left me with guidance I still remember and follow, and although in the end I looked after my father rather than the other way around, he was always appreciative.

    If it’s any consolation, however, I was just grateful that our Christmas was spent without any serious eruptions within the dysfunctional family of my own generation – my brother and his eldest son (who has three children of his own) don’t talk to one another, which makes for a fractured Christmas Day…

    Good luck with the house, and I’m amused to hear you love Downon Abbey. Yes, we do have a few vineyards in England (we had many more in the Middle Ages…)

    Keep up the blogging! 😊


  3. Thank you so much for your support, Esther. I’m actually not down, other than probably having to give up the dream of New Zealand. Happy New Year to you, too.


  4. It’s interesting spending time with my parents. I’ve always been very aware of the undercurrent of unsaid things in their house. I can read my mother’s silent disapproval no matter how she hides it. This time it bubble up when I asked if I could have one of her chocolate covered peanut clusters. She complained about how much I ate that day (which wasn’t a lot and ironic because I’ve actually lost four pounds over the holiday). I stood there trying to think of what it was “really ” about.

    The house is the one I’m living in now. It’s a two storey adobe with a flat roof. It is my parents’ house. It needs work: new roof, new flooring, new paint, new windows, electrical work, new pool decking, new irrigation: basically all of the they deferred for twenty years. I cringe at the money I will have to put into it, but eventually it should work out. The roof comes first.

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  5. I’m so sorry about your Mom, Helen. Whatever our differences, losing my parents is my biggest fear. My parents are supportive. They’ve been good parents. It’s a shame they only had me or were never foster parents, because they would have been good at it. It’s just that old dysfunctional patterns which have been passed down through the generations still play out. Since I am childless, it will end with me. I’m sorry it dissapoints them, but I never wanted to give birth, and because I teach kids all day, I really like peace and quiet when I get home.

    I wasn’t sure England had vineyards. When I lived in London, it just didn’t seem like the right climate for wine grapes. I’m curious to try some English wine now. Can you recommend a bottle?


  6. I’ll refrain from saying what I think about people who’d be judgy over a peanut cluster or several at Christmastime. She is your mom, after all. If you don’t want people to eat them, don’t make ’em. I wonder what she gets from that encounter, emotionally. (That’s always the question I ask.)

    Yeah, the house sounds less exciting than at first. I hope you can make it all work out.


  7. They were a present from the grocery store. It was a really weird thing to have an issue with, which makes me wonder what issue of hers she is trying to project onto me. I don’t think it was really about the peanut cluster.

    And yes, lol, if you can’t cheat a little at the holidays, then what’s the point of holidays?

    I’m kind of please with myself for not taking it more personally. In my younger days I would have.

    The house is a fixer upper, nut it is in a good neighborhood and it is on a big lot. If I work at it and make the improvements over the next ten years, the value should really appreciate by the time I retire and sell it.

    Still….New Zealand. That’s a hard dream to defer.


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