Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The spirit is willing, but....

Greetings on a rainy Tuesday morning, friends.  We're due to have a day of rain here, and then a couple of days hence, it's gonna be COLD here!

There's an old saying that a gentleman never discusses his ailments, but let me begin by mentioning that I have had a stubborn upper respiratory disorder for more than a couple of weeks.  I feel bad, then improve, then I decline again.  Right now I feel pretty good, but in twelve hours, who knows?  My wife is in what we hope are the final stages, too.

Important to note because here we are, December 6, and we've done very little regarding Christmas.  Oh, we've decorated our smallish house, with my wife and I finding the final touch over the weekend, replacing a lighted wreath for the front door wherein the old one gave out when we plugged it in.  Actually, SHE found the final touch yesterday, as she came in with a bow for the new model.

And we've planned a bit of our shopping, just about all of it for immediate family.  But we aren't IN the Christmas spirit, you know?  Neither of us has felt 100%, I'm still not fully in a routine after being in my new job for only about six weeks, and I suppose the post-election malaise is also somewhat to blame.

Here's another area of concern, if you will....I think I've spoken up here in the past about online shopping, particularly with Amazon, which sells, well, just about everything.  Our daughter, who lives in Colorado, is good about suggestions for her kids' Christmas presents, as we've only been with them once on Christmas morning, so she knows, as we do, how much better it is to give something we know they'll enjoy AND to have the ability to ship it gift-wrapped.  We ship them another box, but to have at least some of it taken care of is, well, great!

So we got a couple of initial suggestions from her, and the item she suggested for her son was available on Amazon, but available less expensively elsewhere, so I opted for another seller.  That worked fine, the item arrived, but the problem is that now another online retailer is bombarding me with e-mails.  And not just a few.  I mean three or four a day since I purchased this item!

The other suggestion our daughter offered, this one for her daughter, was NOT available on Amazon. This is an item that comes in several colors, and only one color had a promised date of availability.  Not again!  So last night I had to return some items to a big-box retailer in the area, and, amazingly, they had the item in all of the colors, especially the one recommended.  Problem solved!

Our Christmas card list has dwindled over the past few years, as we've lost touch with some recipients and other have passed on, which is generally what happens.  I also think a lot of folks just don't send Christmas cards anymore, since they stay in touch via Facebook (and I've expressed my thoughts previously in that area).  Those with whom we annually exchange cards always like the fact that we started including a Christmas letter MANY years ago, and really heard about it the year we omitted it.  We get a couple that are very self-centered, but ours talks mostly about our kids and THEIR kids, which is what our target audience really wants to read anyway!

Last year we ditched the cards altogether and bought Christmas letter stationery and coordinating envelopes.  Saved quite a bit over the cost of actual cards, and they take regular postage (more than once we picked out pretty cards that required extra postage, which didn't make me all that happy, and one year all of them came back as lacking sufficient postage, which REALLY didn't make me happy).  We have 40 sheets left from last year, but we have not managed to go out and either pick out new stationery or get envelopes that go with what we have.  So that's still sitting.

I guess we'll get going soon.  Pretty much have to.  Maybe this really cold snap will help!

In other news, Kentucky basketball played, well, like a bunch of freshmen, and lost their first game over the weekend.  The football team accepted a bid to play New Year's Eve in Jacksonville, Florida in the TaxSlayer Bowl, which for most of my lifetime was called the Gator Bowl.  Side note--I imagine that tracing the heritages of most of these now corporately-named bowl games is kind of interesting.

And it appears our president-elect is considering everyone but me for the position of Secretary of State.  There is even one corporate CEO supposedly on the "short list."  Frankly, I'm stumped as to what will happen once this man takes office.  In Europe a movement similar to the one that drove our election results was turned back in Austria this week.  So there's that.

Not much else to add, except to wish everyone a good week.

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