Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My family is nuts!

Christmas was fun. It started with me getting up much later than I had planned on Christmas Eve. I was seriously behind in my daily quota of sleep and finally caught up, hence the late wake up. After taking forever getting my behind up and ready for the day I went to join in the mayhem at my sister's place. Just about every year for I don't know how long everyone gathers at her place for Christmas. She has the biggest house out of all of us and it just kind of ended up being the gathering place.

For the first time in days the drivers on the road were normal and not maniacs. I have been swearing, biting my nails, and dodging the idiots that have been on the road the last few days. To many close calls to count. Last minute shopping must be the reason for the crazy drivers on the road. When I got there family from far and near along with friends were already gathered there. Many were already well on their way to happy times.

So how is my family nuts? Well......lemme see. I will give you a short description of what we did on Christmas Eve.

Tequila shots with salt and lime.
Dinner of Tamales and Burritos.
Roasting Marshmallows on the fire pit.
Falling over in our chairs.
Playing pool and horseshoes.
Sending the young ones for a beer run. (yes, they were 21)
Fireworks galore.
Chasing each other with fireworks called fire balls.

So you see we don't do the normal things that most families do. Sounds like a party for summer time or the 4th of July huh! The one thing that was missing on the list was the guys didn't go out in the desert to go shooting their guns at varmints like they usually do. The end of night fireworks were the best. I was laughing and thinking this is not a normal Christmas Eve by most peoples standards but I wouldn't change a thing.

Christmas morning I was up early despite being up way to late to work a day shift. I volunteered to work since we were short at the hospital. I have done this lots of times since I am usually by myself and it gives my co-workers a chance to be with their families. Besides, I can miss the first part of the mayhem and go to my sisters when things calm down. After work I went straight to her house, scrubs and all, and made it just as they were serving Christmas dinner. Before I had a chance to eat shots were served up to get me caught up with the others. Can't have me missing all the fun. I actually ate real food and disregarded my diet. I figured I earned it and would deal with any payback and pain later.

There were tons of people at the house. We have a large family and also have tons of friends who came to join us also. Not quite as many as years past but still lots. Some years we have had up to 30 people at the house. Thankfully my sisters house is big enough to handle it. After letting all the good food settle for a bit  another round of presents were opened. Some were wacky like a bag of Funions, a box Zingers, and funny shirts. One, which I gave to my nephew, started an all out war. I gave him a gift certificate to drive either a Ferrari or an Aston Martin. Everyone wanted that certificate and they were all trying to get it, steal it, or bribe it from him. He was smart and hid it right away but during the night others kept looking for it. It was the coveted present for the day.

The rest of the night was spent talking about the old days, catching up on each others lives, playing pool, playing games, looking at the young ones and feeling really old because they are really big now, and spending time with each other.

My family may be nuts but I love them all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Discovered something new today..

Today I discovered something I thought was a myth.

Last week while I was off work I decided to have some soup and crackers for dinner. I haven't had it in a while and since it was a cold stormy night, I thought it was a perfect choice. Sitting down with my soup and crackers, Christmas movie playing on the TV, I sat down and got comfortable. My ritual that I inherited from my great grandfather Poppy is to crumble all the crackers and dump them over the soup. I took the first bite and I immediately knew something was wrong. Tripping over Sweetpea I ran to the sink and spit the dinner out. The crackers were rancid. I discovered the box of crackers were expired. YUCK!!!!!!! That started a total tear out of my pantry. Forgotten was the movie and dinner. I threw out the crackers, old stuff that was close to expiring, flour, sugar, a rock that was supposed to be brown sugar, and other basic staples since I couldn't remember how old they were. Now I needed to do some shopping for replacements.

I got off work today and grudgingly went grocery shopping. I usually do my shopping on Mondays after I gather my coupons from the Sunday paper and my coupon list from the website that I belong to, The Grocery Game. I needed to replace the stuff I threw out that I didn't have any coupons for and wanted to get them while the store was freshly stocked for the weekend madness.

Since I had just gotten off work it was early, 7:30 am early, and the store is nice and quiet. The really nice thing about hitting the store at that hour is that there are tons of stuff on managers markdown special in the deli, bakery, and meat department. I love checking out the deals because many times they are small portions that is just enough for one to two people which is perfect for me. I hate having leftover food. Being single and not eating much I hate to waste food. Plus I am bad about forgetting about food in the fridge and it going bad before I remember it. Usually when I am working I almost never eat at home and eat at work so stuff sits in the fridge.

Okay, now back to the first sentence of this post. What is the myth that I am referring to? The one about a grocery store being a singles scene. I thought it was a myth. Well it wasn't today. I was about halfway through my shopping before I finally realize what was around me. Guys and more guys. Weird. Went down an aisle and there was another guy. Went to the butcher section and there was two guys shopping. They were all alone. By the end of my shopping trip I figured that the store was 80% male and they were all shopping by themselves. Dang.... I was actually getting self-conscious at one point. I knew I looked like crap. I had been getting killed at work all night so my hair was limp, eyes blood shot, no makeup, and I'm wearing scrubs which look like pajamas. Not really the stuff to get a guys attention.

If only they shopped on Monday mornings like I do. I can't change my days. I have to do Mondays because of my coupons. Nope, I don't care that all of you girls are screaming at me that I am an idiot. I save too much money with my coupons to change. Groceries are expensive.

Well, maybe I will do a quickie trip there once in a while.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Work has been a strange time this year.

I have been wandering around work shaking my head at the strange things going on a work. We are usually busy when winter hits and by this time of the year, getting slammed. Not this time. This year we bounce from being busy as hell one day to totally still and silent the next. Everyone at work is standing around scratching their heads at the odd situation. We are used to the normal winter mayhem and it is not happening. We are all creatures of habit and are used to being rushed, overworked, and stressed from patients in every nook and cranny. Not this time. What is going on??????

To make matters worse we are having a large number of suicide attempts coming in. That alone is not helping the mood around here. By the time they make it to us there is usually a 50/50 chance that they make it. So far this year our numbers have been pretty depressing of the ones that survive, very few. I don't understand what is happening out there to make these individuals make the choices that they do. If they could only see what we do to save them. See how many people work so hard to save their life. When one of them comes in I know right away that I am going to be running my butt off for the rest of the night trying to keep that person alive. I sigh, say a prayer, and get working. The other night the latest one to come in was actually a couple. Damn.....

All I can say is keep in touch with your friends or family members, especially ones who have been acting different lately. I have talked with someone who thought about committing suicide and he said what stopped him from doing it was a person who actually took an interest in him when he felt like nobody knew he even existed in the world. He had felt lonely and just needed someone to talk to. So maybe a phone call just to say hello to a relative or friend may be worth more than you realize.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

Last year I posted about a tradition that many families had with a little guy called Elf. His story is located at this website link, Elf. I wish I had known about this little guy when the kids were little. If you have little ones or have grandkids this may be a great Christmas gift idea for you. I know I am reposting about this little guy but I just can't help it. It is so cute hearing all about his little antics. Just do a google image search on "Elf on the Shelf" and you will see all kinds of things. Him making snow angels in flour, hiding in the fruit bowl, watching TV, playing with the dog's food, and so on.

This link, Rojo's Mischeif, is to a blog with some great pictures of some shenanigans of what he does. It can be some innocent stuff going up to some truly naughty stuff. It is up to the parents. I have read where they have gone as far as turn all the living room furniture upside down, toilet paper the entire inside of the house, and stuff like that. Thinking about it, it makes it a fun time for the parents to think of something every night for Elf. What can the little guy do tonight. Think of this as way to get the kids to behave, have a fun time looking forward to what he does, and a stress reliever for mom and dad during the holidays.

I hope you are all out there enjoying the leftovers from your Thanksgiving feast and looking forward to the Christmas season. I can't wait until the kids arrive because I have a couple of surprises planned for them. Yes, I am an impatient person. At least all my Christmas shopping is done. As for decorating my house, I don't have to worry about that. I don't really do any decorating. Yes, I may be a Grinch but my place is so tiny that all there is room for is two small table-top Christmas trees. One my mom made and a stained-glass one my dad gave me. When all the kids were here after Max graduated from boot-camp my place was bursting at the seams. Kids everywhere. The slightest mess made the place look like a pigsty. I was loving every minute of it because they were all here and I knew it was going to be short lived with them going off to their own places.

I have not been paid for advertising "Elf on the Shelf". Just wanted to spread the word on a truly cute story.